Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

Judges 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. 

This verse seems to tell it all.  This verse always intrigues me in that it says there was no king in Israel.  Technically, there was a King - the King of Kings- but they didn't recognize Him as such.  Can the same be said about us?

Look at what the result is when there is no king..... everyone does what he/she wants to do, whatever is right in his/her own eyes.  When you think about it, doing what is right in your own eyes translates into that there are no absolutes.  Everything is relative.  That is not what the Word of God says.

The kingdom of God is wherever God reigns.  Does He reign in your heart?  Do you only do what is right in His eyes?  What is right in God's eyes is what we call righteousness.  We sing the song that says - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  And all these things shall be added unto you.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Let's not fall into the trap that the Israelites did - thinking that because they did not follow God, that He wasn't their King.  The Word of God tells us that His throne is eternal.  Make no mistake about it - God is our King, ruling in His sovereignty.  We just need to understand that and obey Him.

I guarantee you it is the "right" thing to do.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28, 2016

Psalm 74:16 -17  But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task; until I went into the sanctuary of God;  then I discerned their end.

You really need to read the entire Psalm to get the full picture, but this verse is the pivotal one.  Prior to this, the psalmist is contemplating why the wicked seem to prosper.  The first 15 verses show how distorted our viewpoint can become as we focus on situations rather than God and His goodness.

As this verse indicates, it is only after one goes into the very presence of God and sees things from His perspective, that he/she sees things clearly.  In this case it has to do with how the evil come to an end, but this is also true in everything.

It is in God's word, in prayer, and in Christian fellowship that we can get a grasp on God's perspective on situations.  Take time to seek the Lord as you go through the day. Ask Him to let you see others through His eyes of love.   It is only when we see people and situations through His eyes that we are able to love and serve others.  Give it a try!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 27, 2016

Psalm 132:4  I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the LORD.

How are your daily devotions?  Do you have a daily quiet time?  I am a morning person, so a morning quiet time works great in my schedule.  Night time is an entirely different story.  For years I have tried to figure out how to have an evening time of devotions, but have been totally unsuccessful.  I have used excuses like: I am not a night person. 

There are nights that I may not sleep well, and I always think that if I would have some quiet time with the Lord before going to bed, I probably would sleep better.  I will lie there and toss and turn and even try to pray, but can't seem to concentrate.  Then I came upon this verse.

I decided it would be my vow to the Lord that I would not go to bed until He and I had some quality time together.  It has really made a difference.  I encourage everyone to have quiet time with the Lord, but especially of an evening if you want a good night's sleep.  Try it tonight!

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016

Judges 6:25  "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old.  Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."

If you remember, this was said to Gideon before he was to go out and rid the land of the Midianites, who had been oppressing the Israelites.  When we read the story of Gideon, so often we remember that he was the one who put out the fleece and had God reassure him of his call.
What struck me this morning when I read this passage was the fact that before he could go out and be used by God and rid his homeland of the enemy, he first had to rid his household of his gods.

Isn't this true in our own lives?  Before we can be used by God, we need to rid ourselves of our gods we serve.  It is so easy to get caught up in worshiping "things" that become false gods in our lives.  Did you know that the Hebrew word for idol means "nothingness"?  That just about says it all.  We devote a lot of time and energy (and even money) on nothing.

Gracious God, dig deep in my heart.  Please remove the gods - make room for only You.  You alone are God.  Cleanse and purify my heart and mind.  Open my eyes that I might see the idols in my life for what they really are.  I want to be used by You, Lord.  Please use me.  I love You.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 25, 2016

John 17:20-26  (verse21) - that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

This verse is just a portion of what I call the Lord's prayer.  When Jesus prayed for us in that prayer He repeated more than once that His prayer was for us (the church) to be one.  We know that His prayers would be according to the will of the Father, so there is no room for doubt on the matter of unity.  What does it look like to be one like the Father and the Son are one.  Why can't the church get this right?

Did you also see the rationale behind this idea of unity?  It is to preach the gospel.  That is what I see that it means.  This unity prescribed by the Lord is not meant to be a spiritual or invisible unity, but a highly visible unity that results in people coming to the Lord for salvation.  That the world may believe.......

I wonder if we stop to consider when we put other congregations down, or talk badly about other denominations, or cause division within our own fellowship that we are hindering the spread of the gospel.  Ouch!  What do you say?  Instead, let's try to be an answer to Jesus' prayer.  After all we know for sure it is the will of God.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 24, 2016

Hebrews 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Do you ever feel like you are far away from God?  Do you ever feel like your prayers aren't even reaching the ceiling, let alone God's throne?  I know there are times that I feel that way, and it often times overwhelms me to the point that I just don't pray.  Or many times I find that when I walk away from prayer and then feel guilty, it is because I didn't know what to pray in the first place. When I consider the above Scripture, I find that I struggle with lack of confidence to boldly approach God's throne.  I think too often we make praying way too difficult.

First of all, we need to remember it is a throne of grace we are approaching.  Secondly, we need to remember we don't have to offer the solution to our prayers as we pray, for instance:  give me wisdom.  Maybe it is not wisdom that we need.  If you reread the above Scripture, you will see that what we receive when we go the throne of God with confidence is mercy and grace.  Isn't that enough?  Absolutely!

Remember the sinner in Luke 18, whose prayer and attitude was applauded by Jesus; he merely muttered, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"  Between his words and his posture, he got his prayer across to God.  Sometimes I think it is acceptable to think about coming to the throne confident, but confident that you are a sinner in need of mercy.  Let God put the rest of the equation together.  Is there ever a time you are not in need of God's mercy and grace?  I think not.

So pray, and pray often confident in the fact that you are a sinner in need of God's mercy and grace.  That is a prayer I can guarantee you will always break through the ceiling and soar to the very throne of our Merciful God.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 23, 2016

 Joshua 21:45  Not one of all the LORD's  good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Did you notice the words - not one and every one?  That is really saying something that not one single promise was broken, and every single one came about as the Lord had said. That is our God.  He is the great Promise Keeper.  He never says anything that He doesn't mean or that will not come about just as He planned.

What does all this mean in the life of the believer?  It means that He is one we can always count on.  When He says He will never leave us nor forsake us, we can rest assured that will be the case.  The Bible is full of God's promises to His people.  It would behoove us to get into the Word and take special notice of God's promises.  I like to keep a log and also underline in green all the promises I run into.

Make sure that once you see the fulfillment of His promise that you thank Him.  It is also good to record them in a gratitude journal.  It will be a real source of encouragement.  In a world where breaking promises is becoming more and more prevalent, it is good to know God doesn't change.  He kept His promises to the Israelites, and He is still keeping His promises to His people.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016

Joshua 16:10  They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.

If you are familiar with the conquest of the land God had promised the Israelites, you will remember that He told them to wipe out the people totally.  They were to destroy them completely, so they would not worship their idols.

Looking at the above Scripture we find they did NOT dislodge the Canaanites who were occupying the land.  It reminded me that we are not so very different.  How often we don't dislodge the sins that occupy our hearts and cause us to worship idols.  It is so easy to point the finger at the Israelites when we read this passage, but we need to be careful.  I am convinced God shares these stories with us to teach us something about ourselves in order to repent and turn back to Him.

If you are reading this during the Lenten Season, use it as a reminder - not only to turn back to God, but do it quickly.  It doesn't take Satan long to gain a foothold.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21,2016

Proverbs 16:33  The lot is cast into the lap; but its every decision is from the LORD.

Do you believe in luck?  I used to, but I don't anymore.  This verse is a great reason to not believe in luck.  If I understand it correctly - whether it is the roll of the dice, the flip of a coin, or a winning (or losing) lottery ticket - the decision is from the Lord.

I know some people don't like to hear this, but that is what the Word of God tells us.  I think a few other things go along with this.  I don't think there are coincidences, and superstition has no part to play in the life of the believer.

All of this can be a real comfort, because we don't have to beat ourselves up over a lot of things like "I should have picked tails."  However, I need to make something else clear -  we still have free will and can do some pretty stupid things.  I think it is a hard concept to understand that the Lord allows things, but doesn't necessarily cause them.  The best way to try to understand all of this is to get into God's Word and get to know Him intimately.  See for yourself and remember He loves you more than anyone else does.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 20, 2016

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, " I am the way, and the truth, and the life."

I know this Scripture is so familiar to you that you probably think there is nothing new to learn about it, but think about this.....

Do you have trouble telling others about Jesus?  As I have been recently studying this, it occurred to me that this verse not only teaches there are absolutes in the economy of God, but they can become a tool to help us evangelize.  Do you have friends who you would like to talk to about the Lord, but don't know how to approach them?  Or maybe family (who tends to be harder to talk to)?  I am suggesting you write down the names of those people you want to witness to and then categorize them as one who is seeking the way or the truth, or the life.

I know people who are very interested in truth and search for it in every situation... then this is the person to talk to about the absolute truth - Jesus Christ.  This world does not have to be full of relative situations. There can always be a truth found in the Word of God (incarnate) or the Word of God (in print).

There are those people who really love life and are continuously looking for the "good life".  Again, you can approach the gospel from that vantage point.  Life doesn't get any better than Jesus.

And then, like the disciple who questioned Jesus in the passage just prior to the quoted Scripture above, he was looking for the way.  He wanted directions on how to get where he wanted to go.  I am sure you know people who are always looking for directions.  Let them know there is only one way and it is the person of Jesus Christ.  He will guide them throughout this life in all they do.

Just think about it and see if this helps.

Friday, February 19, 2016

February 19, 2016

John 14:13-14  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

This can be a really tricky passage.  I have heard it taught several different ways.  I think we would be naive to think that by tacking on the name of Jesus to our prayers, we would be granted anything we asked for.

To me it means that if we are praying in the will of God, He will do what we ask of Him.  The crux of the matter is to know the will of God, which takes getting to Him intimately.  This is why I think it is a great idea to pray Scriptures back to God.

The other thing the passage from John addresses is the "why" He answers our prayers - in order to glorify the Father.  I wonder if we share our answered prayers to the same extent we do our prayer requests.  I think it would be a good idea, to let others know that He not only hears our prayers, He answers them.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016

Psalm 6:2  Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD heal me, for my bones are troubled.

This happens to be one of my favorite verses.  At a time in my life when I found myself doubting things, the Lord gave me this verse.  One morning I had an appointment with my doctor and he decided I needed to do a bone scan.  I do not eat in a healthy manner and I am not good about getting enough calcium, so I dreaded getting the scan.  (Isn't it interesting how when we think if we don't know something, then it isn't so?)  Eventually I got my results and it was an ominous report.  I remember coming home and crying out to God.  I normally go to the Psalms for comfort.  My Bible opened up to Psalm 6.  I still remember how astounded I was when I read verse 2.  It immediately became a favorite prayer of mine.

I love how God speaks so intimately to us.  The thing we must remember though, is that we have to be listening to His voice in the Word or in prayer.    Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church (that would be you.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February 17, 2016

Psalm 62:11-12a  One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard; that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. (NIV)

I hardly know where to begin on these verses.  I read these this morning, and it was like a thunderbolt from heaven hit me.  In the past when I read these, I questioned how could the Lord say one thing, and I hear two?  Over my years as a Christian I have come to believe that because God is love, everything He does is motivated by love.  I was reminded of that in the above passage. At the same time as God is saying something regarding His strength - let's say for instance when He tells Israel that they will be carried away by the Assyrians and He has appointed it - we understand it is with a strong hand that He will direct the Assyrians, but at the same time we hear His love.  He is doing whatever it takes to get His people to turn from their wicked ways and return to Him.  It is because He loves them.  So we hear the two messages at the same time.  Does that make sense to you?  Really think about it.

I encourage to always look for that second statement of love, regardless of the text.  I think you will gain a new appreciation for the Scriptures and the One who loves more than anyone else.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016

Deuteronomy 17:16  The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you "You are not to go back that way again."

When I read this in my morning devotions today, I am not sure why I was so taken aback by the phrase in the above Scripture.  Maybe it is because I have a past, or because I have "gone back" to habits I had worked hard to break.

The easiest one to talk about is my ongoing struggle with food.  I have yo-yo dieted more often than not in my life.  I will lose the weight and know exactly what I should not do, but do it - telling myself, "just this once."

We really are very much like the Israelites who had been in bondage all those years and when they were hungry or thirsty, they wanted to go back to Egypt where there food cost them nothing.  Really?  Bondage is nothing.  How soon we forget what it was like back then.  The comfort is that the Lord knows that or He wouldn't have seen the need to include the admonition in His word.

Rather than beat ourselves up over all the times we have gone back that way, let's concentrate on God's command to not do it again.  Let's just remember that He is all-knowing and has a loving reason for everything He tells us.  Instead of questioning Him, in the spirit of Nike - let's Just Do It!

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

II Corinthians 4:2  Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions.  We don't use deception, and we don't tamper with God's word.

When I first read this Scripture I could not understand why secrecy, shameful actions, and deception were juxtaposed with tampering with God's word.  It took me some real meditating on this passage to get it. As I was thinking about the word "tampering,"  I tried to put it in some other context, one I was familiar with,  and came up with the phrase "tampering with one's brakes."  We have all seen movies in which the villain decides to tamper with the hero's car.  The intent every time is to either destroy the person or at the very least cause him to wreck.  

Boy, when you think about this in the light of - tampering with God's word, I suddenly get the picture.  I really think that in order to increase the attendance of the congregation, or in an effort to be popular there are those who tamper with God's word.  I think the intent is different from my example of the car brakes, but the wreck and destruction will still be the outcome.

God's word is exactly as it should be.  It doesn't say one thing too much or leave anything out that should be there.  In addition to tampering with the message, the same injustice is done when parts of God's word is omitted.

If I really want to be convicted as I look at this Scripture, I can think of it as putting oneself in God's place when he meddles with the word.  Ouch!  We need to be very careful as we approach God's word.  We need to do it prayerfully and never read into it more or less than it actually says.  A great rule of thumb is - always let Scripture interpret Scripture.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

I Corinthians 13:4-8a ( I know you know about the love chapter)

I love love! It is a topic we write poems about, sing songs about, and dream about.  Because the Word tells us that God is love, I like to take the word love out of the above passage and put in "God."

Listen to how it reads:   God is patient, God is kind.  God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud.  God is not rude, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  God never fails.

Tell God how much you love Him today!  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

February 13, 2016

Hebrews 13:6  So we say with confidence, " The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?"

I recently read a survey that indicated that the most debilitating thing in a Christian woman's life is fear. I couldn't help but think of that survey when I read this Scripture.  The facts show that women are afraid of what others will think of them, or what others will say about them.  I believe that this fear is directly from Satan.  Because women are afraid of what others will think they don't step out and proclaim the gospel, or they don't step out in faith and serve the Lord openly.  Instead they remain quiet, and I believe Satan would like nothing better than to silence Christian women.

God has given us voice, a powerful one that has sturdy roots in the Word of God.  Don't succumb to the wiles of the Devil.  Speak up, speak out, and speak often.  Remember we have nothing to fear, for what can man do to us?

I have been trying to think of a way to think differently about my FEAR, and I decided that FEAR is Forgetting Everlasting Attributes of my Redeemer.

Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12, 2016

I Corinthians 2:9  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

With an initial look at this Scripture one can think it is speaking of heaven.  Heaven is prepared for believers.  There are books written and songs sung about heaven - but we can barely imagine what it will be like.  There are those references found in the Word of God, but not sufficient to give a thorough understanding.  In fact, I believe when we look at much of the literature written about heaven, we find many misconceptions.  This Scripture reminds us that it will be beyond our wildest dreams.  Though we may not be sure what exactly heaven will be like, we can be sure it will be splendid.

With a second look at this Scripture we find that this can be a promise to a believer for the "here and now."  We are to encounter each day with new expectations.  After all, we know God's mercies are new every morning.  Why shouldn't we be looking for things we have never seen before - perhaps a fresh touch from the Lord.  Why shouldn't we be listening for new things that we have never heard before - perhaps a new word from the Lord.  Any because the Lord knows the plans He has for us, why shouldn't we be looking for what He has in store for us - plans to prosper.  I encourage you to claim this Scripture as a promise from God Almighty to you.

With a final look at this Scripture, don't miss to whom God promises these words - those who love Him.  Don't wait another minute, tell Him now.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016

Matthew 22: 37-39  Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

I love it when God's word goes counter to the ways of the world.  There is just something about it that makes me think that it is cool. For instance I have never seen an example of a love triangle that turned out well in this world - fiction or non-fiction.  Normally they are all about someone getting hurt in the end.

When I looked at this Scripture this morning I suddenly thought this is a healthy love triangle.  We are told to love God; we are told to love our neighbors, and finally it is understood that we love ourselves.  As I read this, as long as we get things in the right order - it is a healthy relationship.  It reminds me of the word JOY - Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last.  Another love triangle.

So I encourage you to get into this love triangle - it will result in a wonderful life, in which no one gets hurt.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 10, 2016

Numbers 35:6  Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee.

This is not my original thought, I actually took this idea from a prayer I read in The NIV Worship Bible.  It was pointed out that all of us are guilty of manslaughter, for it was our sin that caused the Lord's death.  The Lord not only forgave us, but He provides us a place of refuge.  He is our Rock and our Refuge.  How cool is that!!

Who said there isn't much relevant to be found in the book of Numbers?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

Genesis 1:5b  And there was evening and there was morning - the first day.

Did you notice the order of the day as given in this Scripture?  You probably know that the Jewish people still consider the beginning of their day sunset.  It just dawned on me ( no pun intended) that they are always going through their day leaving the darkness and entering the light.
Isn't that awesome?

I think there is some merit in praying at night in the dark and asking the Lord to deliver you from the darkness into the light of a new day.  I think that is the same as saying "watch over me this night and give me yet another day."

I am going to do it this evening and if there is a new devotion on this blog tomorrow, then you will know He has answered my prayers once again.

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

Psalm 125:1  Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

I have read this verse many times, but for some reason today I really needed it.  I find that I am easily shaken.  A change of plans, a new endeavor, a misunderstanding, a new acquaintance, and sometimes looking in the mirror and realizing I am aging.  I should not let these things shake me, but what can I do?  I have read all kinds of self-help books.  Today it just hit me that I don't need self-help, I need God's help.

The Psalmist reminds us that those who "trust in the LORD"  are the ones who will not be shaken.  It is a matter of trust.   Are you shaken today in some circumstance?  Save yourself some time and go straight to the Lord.  Get in His Word and listen for His voice.  From Genesis through Revelation we find examples of people trusting in God and coming out victorious.

The icing on the cake is that we will have eternal life (endure forever).

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7, 2016

Ezekiel 31:9 - 10  I made it (Assyria) beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of Eden envied it, that were in the garden of God.  Therefore thus says the Lord God; Because it towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height,.....

As we are studying the book of Ezekiel in Bible study right now, we came upon this verse and it was pointed out that in this passage God says He is the one who made Assyria have such a great height, then He goes on to mention that Assyria was proud of its height.  The rest of the story is God destroyed them.

We are not much different.  On one hand we talk about how God has endowed us with certain gifts, and then we take those very gifts and turn them into things that make us proud - as if we made them for ourselves.

It would behoove us to remember all good gifts come from God, which translates into - God gets the glory.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February 6, 2016

Genesis 2:2  And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

I took the above Scripture out of the ESV translation of the Bible, but I know there are others that read very similarly.
The thing that I find so interesting is that is says on this 7th day - God finished his work.  Notice it doesn't say he had finished his work by the 7th day, this reads that on the 7th day he finished his work.

Could we entertain the idea that on the 7th day God created "the Sabbath?"  It is just an idea.  I think it is kind of cool.  It would be a great thing to research.  Any takers?

I am really wanting to learn more about how to truly honor the Sabbath.  I have been looking for commentaries on it.  I have found a couple, but that is about it.  Any ideas please post a comment.

Friday, February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

Habakkuk 3:18  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Take a look at how this verse is written, and you will find that something that normally doesn't call for rejoicing must have happened prior to this verse - because it begins with "yet."  If you go back and read the previous verses you will see what I mean.  In today's vernacular it would read something like this:  I lost my job, my husband left me, my kids are all on drugs, my pipes froze and flooded my house ...... you get the idea.   Then we hear:  "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

When you look up the word rejoice in the Hebrew, you will find it actually carries the idea - jumping up and down and spinning around.  That is really rejoicing.  If you have the salvation of the LORD - you have what it takes to rejoice even in the most dire situations. Let the love of the Lord permeate your soul, so you, too, can say, "regardless what happens to me - I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 4, 2016

Psalm 133:1  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

This Psalm goes on to describe it like a precious ointment, and even like refreshing dew.  There is an undeniable excellency found in brotherly unity.  What a blessing it is when people of like faith come together.  There is something safe about being with other believers.  I know at a time when I was suffering from agoraphobia, being with other believers was the only time I felt safe and not in panic mode.

I bring this all up now because winters can be absolutely treacherous when it comes to snow, high winds, and bad roads.  Our small, rural church is on just enough of an incline that we have had to cancel our services too many times during the winter.

We are planning on being together tomorrow, and I am almost giddy.  I have been thinking about the times I missed the body of Christ with whom I fellowship.  I have missed the encouragement that comes with worshiping together.  I have missed my brothers and sisters in Christ, their hugs, and their smiles.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 3, 2016

Numbers 9:9  A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the (red) heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp.  They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.

In the Old Testament the Lord designated the ashes of a red heifer, without defect or blemish, to be used in the water of cleansing for the purpose of purification of sin.  Did you catch that the heifer was killed before the sins were committed?  In other words the debt of sin had been paid before the sins occurred.  

Doesn't this remind you of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?  He, too, shed His blood long before any of you, who are reading this, committed your sins.  It reminds me of the song in which we sing: " He paid a debt He did not owe.  I owed a debt I could not pay."  To make it even better - the Scriptures promise us that it is as if we had never sinned at all.  He not only forgives, but forgets.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016

Matthew 24:45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

I was challenged today to look at this Scripture and define what "work" was the faithful servant to be doing?  When I started reading the entire passage ( vs. 36-46) I thought I was familiar enough with it to answer that the servant needed to be ready and waiting for the Lord's return.  Upon reading it again - I see that the servant is to feed the household.  Could this apply to our pastors?  I think so.  I think it is also a challenge to us to not only get into the Word, but faithfully teach and share it with others.  You could say a mother or father could see this as a challenge to feed the family with the Word of God.  Obviously teachers in Christian education need to feed their students the Word of God.  As witnesses we need to feed others with the Word of God.

This seems like so much more than waiting and looking forward to the Lord's return.  I know I often times will pray to the Lord, telling Him how I long to hear Him say to me, "well done my good and faithful servant."  After reading this Scripture, I feel like I have a better idea of what that will take.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

Leviticus 24:2  "Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually."

This verse reminds me that we are like those lamps - we are to be shining our light continually.  As I pondered that, my mind went to  how we are supposed to be the light of the world.  From there my mind leaped to walking in traffic.  What?  Yes that is where my mind went.  Why - because I was thinking about when we are walking in traffic, we should walk toward the headlights.  I likened that in my mind to walking into the light of the Lord.  If we were to be walking away from Him, we would need to turn around ( repent) and head back to His loving arms.  So, I know in these days we say so and so has my back.  In my metaphor of walking in traffic - I don't want Him to have my back.  I want Him to have my front.  I want to be heading into His light and His life.  I want His light to so permeate my very soul that I will be able to keep my light shining continually.  Ah... we are back where we started.

I may have taken the circuitous route, but you get my drift - right?