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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Secondhand

Judges 1:1 thru 3:30

Oh when, Oh when does it ever seem like the children of Israel will stop doing evil in the sight of the Lord? Judges 2:19, 3:12

It just seems like we are watching this vicious cycle that never ends, doesn't it?

Have you been wondering why it is taking so long for them to conquer the Promised Land? 

I sure have.

Today we, or should I say I, got my answer to that last question and it makes complete sense.

"...I did this to test Israel- to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did."  That is why the Lord left those nations in place.  He did not quickly drive them out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.  Judges 2:22-23 

Sad to say they are not passing the test. 

One reason I feel each generation is falling away is they are living on the experiences the previous generations had with God.  And secondhand religion just won't work. 

If they do not have a true and authentic relationship for themselves, they will not stand for long because they do not possess their own solid foundation.  As we are reading.

See the commands were given from the Lord to their ancestors through Moses and we know that generation served God, loved God and worshiped God.  They were not perfect but they did have a relationship with God. 

When the new generations are not taking the commands and living by them for themselves, they are spiritually becoming like Adoni-bezek, walking around with their thumbs and big toes cut off. Judges 1:6

Without your thumb you cannot grip a weapon.

Without your big toe you cannot stand firm.

Oh the enemy wants to do that same thing to you and me today.   He wants us defenseless and weak. 

But I do love the mercy of our God...

But when the people cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. Judges 3:15

This week we celebrate the day our rescuer saved us.

Seek Jesus for yourself.  Love Jesus for yourself.  And worship Jesus for yourself.

A secondhand relationship with Him could never compare.

Loving my Jesus,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week 13 Readings

March 26
Joshua 12:7 thru 15:19

March 27
Joshua 15:20 thru 17:18

March 28
Joshua 18:1 thru 19:48

March 29
Joshua 19:49 thru 21:45
1 Chronicles 6:54-81

March 30
Joshua 22:1 thru 24:33

March 31
Judges 1:1 thru 3:30

April 1
Judges 3:31 thru 6:40

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Gap

Deuteronomy 33:1 thru 34:12
Joshua 1:1 thru 2:24

We lost our beloved Moses today.  I am so sad to see his story end but Joshua's exciting journey is just about to begin.  We also met Rahab today and although she may be a small character in the story, her life is going to play a huge part in not just the salvation of her and her family, but all of humanity as well. 

I really want us to look more into Rahab's life at a later date, but today I want us to reflect on one of the aspects of the life of Moses.

I know in his heart he hated to die, not for the obvious reasons, but because he was the one who stood in the gap on more than one occasion for the rebellious children of Israel.  Had it not been for him God would have wiped them all out and started over.

But Moses prayed, and the hand of God was stayed.

Who was your Moses?  Who was the one who stood in the gap praying for you? 

For most of us it was our grandmother, or our mother, father, sister, brother or our friend.

Where would you be today without that person?  Who would you be? 

Today, I want us to not focus on that person in our life, but for us to be that person in someone else's life.

I once heard someone say, If you are not praying for your children, then who is?

Are we, you and I, standing in the gap and covering our kids, husbands, wives, parents, friends, coworkers, and churches in prayer?

If not, then who is? 

And does it really matter?

Go back and reread Exodus 32 and Numbers 16. 

Yes, it matters.

So, who will you stand in the gap for today?  Their very lives may depend on it.

Standing in the gap,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 12 Readings

March 19
Deuteronomy 26:1 thru 29:1

March 20
Deuteronomy 29:2 thru 31:29

March 21
Deuteronomy 31:30 thru 32:52
Psalm 90

March 22
Deuteronomy 33:1 thru 34:12
Joshua 1:1 thru 2:24

March 23
Joshua 3:1 thru 6:27

March 24
Joshua 7:1
1 Chronicles 2:7
Joshua 7:2 thru 9:27

March 25
Joshua 10:1 thru 12:6

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scary Decisions

Deuteronomy 10:1 thru 12:32

All weekend we have been reading Moses' charge to the children of Israel to obey the commands of the Lord, to follow His instructions and to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Every one of these acts requires them to make a decision; they could do what's right and be blessed or do what's wrong and be cursed.

As we continue to read these next few weeks we will find out a little bit of both happens.

The consequences of good or bad choices are something that still exists today.

And over this past week this one thing, making the right decision, has been something weighing heavy on my heart and mind.  Mark and I have been dealing with some situations where one wrong decision made by some people has not only affected them, but a host of other people as well.

Lives have been hurt, changed and some lost because of one seemingly small decision. 

So my prayer for all of us today is that we would stop, think and pray before we make even the smallest move in our life because our decisions will always stretch far beyond our reach.  And once made and acted upon, that action can never be changed no matter how hard we pray. 

That my friend... is scary.

Praying we all make good decisions in life,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Time to Celebrate

Week 11 Readings listed at the end of this post.

Deuteronomy 1:1 thru 3:20

We have made it to Deuteronomy!!   If you all are still hanging in there with me you get some major brownie points.  So take a moment today and celebrate your success with maybe a Starbucks latte or even a delish chocolate brownie. 

In this new chapter today our reading was all about Moses recounting the past 40 years.  He said in one day what it took us a month to read.  Oh well, I am a person who wants the details anyway.  :)

But one line stood out to me this morning as I read it. 

...During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing. Deuteronomy 2:7

Man, life can sometimes feel like one long 40 year stretch of wilderness wonderings.  BUT, the Lord your God is with you and you will lack for nothing.

I so needed that word today. 

I suffered from food poisoning this week.  When you are in the midst of sickness on that level you feel you will nev-ah ev-ah be the same again.  Then a couple days pass.  Your appetite comes back.  Your strength comes back.  And all is well again.

Whatever you are suffering with today, life will one day feel normal again.

God is with you.

And while you are in your wilderness...

you will lack for nothing.

Praying for all of you today,






Week 11 Readings

March 12
Deuteronomy 1:1 thru 3:20

March 13
Deuteronomy 3:21 thru 5:33

March 14
Deuteronomy 6:1 thru 9:29

March 15
Deuteronomy 10:1 thru 12:32

March 16
Deuteronomy 13:1 thru 16:17

March 17
Deuteronomy 16:18 thru 21:9

March 18
Deuteronomy 21:10 thru 25:19
 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Promise Keepers

Numbers 30:1 thru 31:54

Today our reading began with the laws concerning vows.  I found the laws very interesting because they varied based on whether you were male or female, married, single or widowed.

Moses reminded the people that their promise to God was a very serious matter and must be kept (verses 1-2).  In Old Testament times people did not sign written contracts.  A person’s word was as binding as a signature and to make a vow was even more binding.

No one was forced by law to make a vow; but once made they were to be fulfilled.  To break a vow meant a broken trust and a broken relationship. 

Trust is still the basis of our relationships with God and other people.  A broken promise today is just as harmful as it was in Moses day. When people forget that God hears what they say they are tempted to lie and this causes the fabric of society to come apart.

Any and all vows made by a man were unconditional, and he was fully responsible for them; but vows made by a woman were often conditional in nature. 

There were at least two types of vows that could be broken but only immediately after they were discovered.  The first being the vow of an unmarried daughter living in her father’s house which could be invalidated, but only immediately after it was discovered (verses 3-5).  If the father hears the vow and says nothing, the vow must stand and the young lady must fulfill it.

The second was that the vow of a married woman which could be invalidated by her husband (verses 6-8; 10-16).  If he disagrees with the vow and forbids it the vow is annulled but it must be done soon after it happens. A widow or divorcee must stand by her vow in the same way as a man (v. 9)

So some food for thought for us today...

#1. To make a promise is to obligate myself to the Lord, whether I realize this or not.

#2. The foundations of society today are eroding because of unkept promises, whether they involve official contracts, marriage vows, political pledges, or words spoken on the witness stand.

#3. We expect the Lord to keep His promises... and He expects us to keep ours.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Week 10 Readings

March 5
Numbers 19:1 thru 21:35

March 6
Numbers 22:1 thru 24:25

March 7
Numbers 25:1 thru 26:65

March 8
Numbers 27:1 thru 29:40

March 9
Numbers 30:1 thru 31:54

March 10
Numbers 32:1 thru 33:56

March 11
Numbers 34:1 thru 36:13

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Love a Plan

Numbers 6:1-27 & 10:1-36

The children of Israel are packed up and ready to move on to their next location. And let me just say, I love the precision of the instructions God gave to Moses as to how they were to pack and move throughout the land.

I know, sounds odd.  Truth is, I'm odd.  Just ask my kids.

But there was a method and an organized way to which they moved and that makes me grin because sometimes I think I can over organize and over plan. I am not one to move blindly through events. I think they call people like me control freaks. You see, I like things to go a certain way because I know you get certain results.

Again, there is a reason and purpose for the way God instructed them. I laughed when I read the order the tribes were to move because I am sure that everyone did not get why they had to do everything the way God described, the same way my family can so not get me sometimes.

We are getting ready to sell our home and I am already packing and organizing. (Pray my family survives me. Seriously.)  My husband and kids don't understand why I am doing this when we don't even have a sign up in our yard yet. But I know the less things in a house the better it shows and when we do sell half the work will already be done. 

So when you read Numbers 10:13-28 you get a better understanding as to the why God said to do it the way He said to do it. 

Did you notice which tribe was to lead the way? Judah.

There is so much meaning here that I wish I had time to really get into it. But here are a couple points of interest.

First, Judah means praise so their praise led the way. Your praise to God should always be first before your actions for God.

Second, Judah (Praise) was the largest tribe. Our praise should be greater than our fear, our doubts, or anything else that would separate us from God.

Third, Jesus came from the tribe of Judah so anything we ever experience in life, Jesus experienced it first. He went before us (as the tribe of Judah did for the children of Israel) and prepared the way.

Another purpose for God’s plan of action can be seen in verse 21, …Before they (the Kohathite division) arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location.

Therefore, when the Kohathites (who carried the sacred objects for the temple) arrived no time was wasted, they were ready and waiting to set up the temple.

Wasting time really gets my blood boiling. I think I love God even more now that I know He too does not like to waste time.

Lastly, Dan’s troops were the last to march serving as the rear guard for all the troops of Israel.  The rear guard protected them from the things they couldn't see coming their way.

Because man was not designed by the Creator with eyes in back of his head, God has covenanted with His people to protect and guard them from behind (Isaiah 52:12).

We ought to walk with confidence when we consider that the God of Omnipotence not only goes before us, but He guards us from behind!  Therefore we can boldly say, Even if I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because you are with me! Psalm 23:4

I love order. I love God. I love that God loves order.

So today if you are struggling with why God is asking you to do something a particular way, trust Him that He has a plan, purpose and reason for it. He’s not trying to control you, He’s trying to protect you and make your travels on the road to your Promised Land the most productive for the Kingdom they can be.

Off to do some more planning, organizing, and packing,