April 23, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 18

There are three main issues dealt with in Deuteronomy 18, and they are each unique. The first concerns the treatment of those in primary spiritual leadership roles for Israel. The second: the holiness of Israel and why the Israelites must avoid the practices of the people of other nations. The third is regarding the coming prophets as well as the Final Prophet. Let’s glean some insights from each.

1) The Care of the Religious Leadership.

Those that labored in full-time vocational ministry — the Levitical Priests — set themselves apart, and they were to be treated differently. The Lord wanted these men to be respected so they had to remain respectable in their dealings. They were not supposed to worry about their financial situations. The people were to take care of their needs so they could focus on ministering. Their worth wasn’t to be found in money or things but in the Lord; He was their inheritance.

These are principles that need to be applied to those in ministry today. Paul addresses this a number of times. The church must take care of those who labor in preaching/teaching/shepherding. Those who labor as such need to be respectable and above reproach so that they are worthy of such care by God’s people. Since many in full-time ministry were not/are not wealthy, they must, above all things, remember that God Himself is their inheritance.

2) The Holiness of Israel.

The people of Israel were not supposed to adopt another people’s customs or adapt to their religious practices. They Lord called them to be set apart. Living a holy life would remind them of their God as well as point others to Him. The Lord is clear in this passage. If they adopt/adapt, they would be in blatant sin. It seems like they missed this boat a few times. Idol worship is a big no-no. “You shall be blameless before the Lord your God…” (v.13).

The Lord expects this of us today as well. We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17). Church, let’s fight to remember these words from 1 Peter 2: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

3) The Lord’s Prophets.

God raised up Moses to lead the people of Israel for a season, but more prophets had to come. These men of God would give important messages from the Lord, many of which foretold of the coming Christ. The people of Israel needed to recognize these prophets, test them, and obey the hard words they would give. There would be One who would come, though, who would be a final prophet for them and for the world. His message and promise is eternal. This Prophet would lay His life down for His people after giving them countless life-giving, truth-saturated teachings. His name is Jesus Christ.

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What did you learn today? What has God been teaching you throughout Deuteronomy.

Posted Todd Thomas

April 22, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 17:1-20

God has a certain way we should do things. When we do things His way we find out it always works out for the better and when we don’t it often brings us harm. In today’s reading we see a lot of rules and regulations that God has laid out for His people. He also puts with many of them what should be done and why some of these certain things should happen. What we have to understand is that God truly does know best and we have to trust that and when we live our lives by His rules and regulations we find freedom and security in it. Here is the point:

God does not give us rules to hem us in but rather to set us free

For many of us, when we see a rule or a law we have to obey we typically feel that we can’t have fun and that we are being limited in our lives. The truth is that when God gives us rules to live by it shows us His love. For parents out there… we tell our kids they can’t play in the street or not to touch a hot stove or not to just eat junk food or stay up all night because we know they won’t like the consequences and they could really get hurt. God is our loving father who gives us boundaries because He cares for us and knows what is best for us. So, the next time you feel like God is holding you down or stealing your fun, remember what would happen if you played out in the street as a kid.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd

April 21, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 16:13-22

Today’s reading – about the Festival of Shelters – reminds me to be thankful.  You would think, with all God has done for us, that would be a natural reaction in our lives – but it isn’t.  Instead we complain about what we have and ask for more.  We need to stop today and THANK God for what He’s done for us.

Let me lead us through a time of thankfulness today…

1. Recapture the Moment (v.13-15a)

Sometimes we just need to stop – shut everything down – and live in a moment of thankfulness.  That was one of the purposes God had for the festivals He required of His people.  What about you?  Are you living in the moment?  Recently I was moved with that idea and wrote this blog post…

If you have a minute – check it out – http://wp.me/pAaqB-4r

So take a minute and get quiet – Recapture the Moment.

Psalm 95:2-3

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 28:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

2. Recognize the Source (v.15b)

Who is the Source of your blessings?  Is it your hard work?  Brilliant planning?  Good fortune?  No – those blessings came from the Lord.

Stop and Recognize the Source of your Blessings.

Psalm 7:17

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Isaiah 12:4

In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.

3. Recommit to Give (v.17)

When we are moved by God’s goodness – our response should be – What can I do?  How can I help?  Where can I serve?  What do you need me to give?  Ask God how He wants you to respond and Recommit to Give to Him.

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:11-12

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Need a little more push to give thanks?  Listen to this song…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMEpb39M0e4

Please reply with the TOP 3 things that you are thankful for.  Let’s give God a praise offering on this BLOG today!!

Posted by:Tim Parsons

April 19, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 16:1-12

Remembering God’s Work In Our Lives…

Sometimes I just reflect on all that God has done for me over the years.  I think about who I was, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and what could have been my destiny.  This remembrance leads me to praise God for his mercy.  There is no reason to be discouraged when we are breathing love beyond reason in Christ.

Remembering the past of what God has done can be a powerful tool for motivating us in the future, of what God can still do.  God used this tool of memory plenty by setting in place holidays that were designed to cause people to remember God’s wonderful works for them in the past.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

I have an assignment for you… check out this simple little description I found on a small website regarding the feast of weeks that you just read about.

Feast of Weeks: http://www.christcenteredmall.com/teachings/feasts/weeks.htm

Think of the imagery… the seven weeks of seven, a number symbol that God uses often for the idea of “completeness.”  Think of the idea of this feast symbolizing the end of the harvest season, and this being the time after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven (the end of His harvest season) and of the Holy Spirit coming to begin a new era of “harvesting.”  I could keep going, there is so much imagery in these holidays…what a beautiful God who uses imagery like this of numbers, and farming, and holidays, and timing, to ultimately all point back to His Son and His mission.  Unreal.

And, we can practically apply this to our lives by taking the time to simply remember.  With Easter being tomorrow, it is a holiday of remembrance.  A time to remember what Jesus did for us through his life, death, burial, and resurrection.  Take this time to remember, and ultimately praise God, for what He has done through Jesus and in your life.  And, use that as motivation for what you still know He has left to do in your future.

Posted by:Sam Cirrincione