March 29, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 3:21-29

Do Not Fear…

“Enough is enough” is what God told Moses.  Almost like a parent who looks at their child and says, “stop asking, I’ve said no, and I mean no.”  Moses takes it like a champ by obeying what God says.  In this recounting, Moses speaks of when God told him he wasn’t able to enter the Promised Land.  A practical application for us is this:  Sometimes when God says no, He means no.

Although this is great, I want to look more specifically, today, at verse 22.  This is what Moses encourages Joshua with:

“Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

Our rendering of verses like these can be great and misleading at the same time.  Here’s why; if we lose the reason behind this confidence, we lose the confidence.  Again, if we lose the foundational reason of not having to be afraid (God is with us), then we have no reason not to be afraid.

As believers, we don’t have to be afraid because the God of the universe is with us, and He fights our battles for us.  He is in control, and He always will be.  He is the Author and the story finishes how He has written it.  We don’t have to be scared…. not because we are strong enough, not because we have it all together, not because we are growing stronger, not because people applaud us, and not even because we have been successful in the past.  We don’t have to be afraid of our battles because the Lord, our God, will fight for us.  Let Him be your confidence today.

Here are a couple questions to ponder on:

What am I afraid of right now?

How can I practically trust God to fight my battle for me?

Posted by:Sam Cirrincione

March 28, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 3:1-20

We’ve been in Deuteronomy for about a week now and you may already be starting to think that you’re reading the same thing over and over again. So far we’ve read a lot about God speaking, Israel traveling, Israel fighting.. and repeat. Today’s devotion may seem much of the same on surface level but there’s two very important things that I would encourage you to notice from today’s Scripture. First, don’t ever name your son Og. Even if he’s going to be a king. Scratch that. Especially if he’s going to be a king. King Og. I can’t imagine what middle school was like for poor ol’ Og. On a more serious second point, God gives us REST and we must take advantage of those Sabbaths.

I know some of you are probably rereading now and wondering where I got this Sabbath passage from and I missed it myself the first time reading through these twenty verses myself. However when studying it a little more, vs. 20 stuck out as God shared with the men of Israel to rest as they left their women and children behind in the cities that they just conquered and for the men to move on but to rest before doing so. According to the ESV Study Bible, this word “rest” is similar to the “rest” God had on the seventh day after creating the first six and the “rest” we have in Psalm 95 being in the good shepherd’s flock. Rest is important because life is tough and we must work hard in the responsibilities that God gives us. The men of valor was to move on and fight to take what God had given them and they we told to rest in between. We are called by God to do certain things for Him, move certain places to be missionaries and to fight temptations while pursuing holiness. Some of you know the importance of Sabbath as you are in a particularly busy season of life with family, your job or possibly ever your service in church and you must find great peace and comfort that God will give you rest if He has given you responsibilities and called you to do something in any of those areas. So work hard because Jesus worked hard for us in defeating satan, sin and death on the cross but know there is Sabbath and rest to come like Jesus knew when He would be resurrected and reigning over all things on His Heavenly throne.

Posted by:Erik Koliser

March 27, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 2:26-37

I really like verse 31 from our passage today.  Here it is in four different versions.

The LORD said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.” (NIV)

 

“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Look, I have begun to hand King Sihon and his land over to you. Begin now to conquer and occupy his land.’ (NLT)

And the LORD said to me, ‘Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possession, that you may occupy his land.’ (ESV)

“The LORD said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.’ (NASB)

Begin to conquer and possess.  Begin now to conquer and occupy.  Begin to take possession.  Begin to occupy.  When I read those phrases I want to go conquer something.  I want to go take a big, bold faith step and watch God act on a big, bold promise.

The Lord had already promised Moses that the land he was to take had already been given to him in verses 27-31.  God told Moses to move in and possess the land.  Moses did what God said to do.  God did what He said He would do, and they took the land.

God has made some big promises to us.  He promises that if we trust in Him, He will give us wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).  He promises eternal life to all who know Him (I John 5:13).  He promises that His grace is sufficient for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).  He promises that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (I Cor. 10:13).  He promises that all things work together for the good for His children (Romans 8:28). He promises to supply all that we need (Matthew 6:25-34).  He promises to produce fruit in our lives (John 15:5).  God promises that He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  God promises peace of mind (John 16:33).  God promises that the Holy Spirit will direct and empower us (John 16:7-16).  I could go on and on about His promises.

When I see God’s promises, I want to go conquer and take possession of the promises that He has made to me.  Believing God’s promises and acting on them isn’t always easy, but the rewards are always worth the obedience.

I don’t know about you, but I plan on conquering and taking possession of His promises today.

Posted by:Rich Duffield

March 26, 2014

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 2:1-25

Moses’ recounting of Israel’s wilderness-wandering history is where we find ourselves in Jumpstart today. In fact, these past few days, as well as a few to come, put Moses in the storyteller’s seat. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going on and why he’s doing this, here’s a helpful note from the ESV Study Bible: “Moses’ first speech rehearses Israel’s past failure at Kadesh near the beginning of the 40-year wilderness period as well as its passing through Edom, Moab, and Ammon without fighting, its successes over Heshbon and Bashan, and the distribution of those two lands. Chapter 4 is an exhortation that functions as a transition from the history in chs. 1–3 to the rehearsal of the Ten Commandments in ch. 5. The purpose of chs. 1–3 is not simply to retell history but to use history to persuade Israel to trust God so the land will be conquered. Deuteronomy 1:6–3:29 parallels the historical prologue of ancient covenant treaties. Chapter 4 does not readily parallel such treaties.”

Today’s account on the wilderness is pretty detailed, and in the same coin, very simple. Moses explains how God guided them every step of the way. At times, they dealt with his disciplinary hand. At other times, they experienced his incredible blessings. But the reality of the entire situation can’t be understated: they were in the desert… not absent from God’s presence, but still, the desert.

Are you in a spiritual wilderness right now? Do you feel like you’ve wandered in circles, waiting for a better land? Don’t forget that there is an eternal Promised Land for you. But don’t overlook the wilderness season. God has much to teach you while you’re in it. Just ask Moses. Or ask David. He’s got a lot to say about the wilderness and the desert. Check out Psalm 63 sometime.

What did you learn today from this passage? What did you glean from Moses’ leadership? What sticks out to you concerning God’s plan and purpose for the wilderness? What can we learn from the Israelites’ response to God and to Moses?

Posted by:Todd Thomas