Did You “Write” Your Bible Today?

Did You Write Your Bible Today?

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  Galatians 1 – 3Proverbs 6Psalm 26 – 30)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11

Read the “0306 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” – (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)

A few years back, our church began using a one-on-one discipleship program called “Daily in the Word”, which is a tremendous tool for teaching new believers the foundational truths of Christianity. One of the things that I like about this training is that it emphasizes the practice of writing Scripture. I had read the Bible many times, and had memorized and studied portions of the Scripture prior to taking this course, but I must confess that I had never made it a practice to write out portions of Scripture; and to be honest, I was skeptical about the benefit that I would receive by it. However, I have been amazed at how writing the Scripture has helped me to see some things that I had never seen before, and has also helped me to retain much more than just reading alone. I have actually filled up whole notebooks with the Books of the Bible that I have now written. Recently, I purchased an expensive leather journal, and I am writing the Book of Psalms in it. I intend to pass this along to one of my children when I am finished.

Our passage this morning tells us in Deuteronomy 17:18 – 20 that the kings of Israel were required to write out a copy of the law for themselves, and they were to keep that copy with them so that they would know what to do. I don’t believe that all of the kings actually did this because many of them certainly did not follow the precepts contained in the law, and as a result were not very successful at ruling the people of God. However, some of the kings, like David, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others did know the Word, and followed it closely as they ruled over the people. During their reigns the kingdom had the blessing of God evidenced by His abundant provision as well as His protection from enemies. God’s Word certainly made a big difference in the nation when it was revered and obeyed.

We need to place a high priority on the Scripture today. I believe we ought to set aside a special time when we read, listen to and write the Word of God. I believe the more Scripture we absorb into our hearts and minds, the more our faith will be increased (Romans 10:17), and the better we will be able to fulfil the will of God for our lives; not to mention the fact that we will enjoy more prosperity and less problems in life simply because we will know what we should do.

Have you ever thought about writing the Bible? If the Lord tarries, I would love to eventually write out a complete copy of the Word of God. I know the time and effort that I put into it will reap a far greater return.

Additional Note – Notice vs. 16 – 17 regarding what the king was not supposed to do:

“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” – (Deuteronomy 17:16-17)

The king was not supposed to multiply horses, wives, or wealth for himself. Boy, Israel sure got away from that, didn’t they? How many wives and concubines did Solomon have? 1000! It must be that the kings of Israel and Judah neglected to “write [them] a copy” of the Word of God, and they certainly must not have been reading it, because if they had, they would not have gotten so far away from where God wanted them. The same is true for you and I today as children of the King. We need to stay close to the Bible; flood our lives with it, so that we will know what we are supposed to do.


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Rejoice Before the Lord

 

Rejoice Before The Lord

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 12 – 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  2 Corinthians 9 – 13Proverbs 5Psalms 21 – 25)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0305 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.” (Deuteronomy 12:7)

And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.” (Deuteronomy 12:12)

“But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.” (Deuteronomy 12:18 KJV)

“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,” (Deuteronomy 14:26)

In each of the verses above the people of God were commanded by the Lord to come to the place that the Lord would choose, and there they were to bring their offerings, whether they be the “firstlings” of their flocks, or the tithe of their crops, or even in some cases they were to bring an equivalent value of their offering in money, with which they could then purchase an appropriate offering. The place of the Lord’s choosing was wherever the Tabernacle of the congregation would be set up. Eventually, the Temple would be built in Jerusalem, which would be the permanent place for the Lord’s people to assemble. Anyway, once at the temple they were to eat “before the Lord” of the sacrifices that they had brought, and rejoice.

Here is how the process worked: God gave the people commandments to live by in their new land. As long as the people obeyed the Lord and kept Him first in their lives, He would bless them with abundant provision and prosperity. Every once in a while, God wanted them to gather together, and sort of have a celebration with Him, rejoicing in all that He had done for them. He wanted them to come to where He decided, and celebrate His abundant provision with Him.

I see a beautiful parallel today to the local church. God has ordained that we gather together often, and we too are to bring with us a portion of what the Lord has blessed us with, and we are also to rejoice before the Lord because of His abundant provision. It’s easy to rejoice when we reflect upon all that we have in Christ. Besides the eternal blessings of salvation, we also enjoy the protection and provision of a wonderful Heavenly Father who takes care of us. God wants us to gather together often and rejoice before Him, praising Him for all that He has done. Let’s not forsake the “assembling of ourselves together”, but let us get together as often as we can, and when we do, let us bring back to Him some of what He has blessed us with, and then let’s be sure to “rejoice before the Lord”.


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The Choice is Yours

Choice-is-yours

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 9 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  2 Corinthians 5 – 8Proverbs 4Psalm 16 – 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

Read the “0304 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” – (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

The choice that God “set before” the people of Israel 4000 years ago is the same choice that he places before His people today. If we love Him and live for Him, His hand of blessing will be upon our lives and families, and we will also be fruitful and productive in our ministry for Him. However, if the world, with all of its attractions, lures us out of the will of God and causes us to live for ourselves, then we will lose God’s blessings of provision and protection.

It is very frightening to me the number of casualties that there are among the ranks of Christians. It scares me because I know that it is only by the grace of God that I haven’t fallen myself. But I believe that our chances of surviving this wicked world with our faith intact will greatly increase if we heed the commandment that God gave the people in the verses prior to v. 26:

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” – (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)

“For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.” - (Deuteronomy 11:22-25)

The Bible teaches very plainly that our faith in God will grow proportionately to amount of time we spend in the Word of God (“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 ); not merely reading the Word, but also meditating on it, memorizing it, and applying it to our lives. If we spend time daily in the Word, our faith in God will increase, and if our faith increases, we will then have a desire in our hearts to obey Him; and if we are obedient to Him, He then can bless our lives.

Are you struggling with your faith? Get back into your Bible, and get back into the church services. Increasing your time in the Word, will increase your faith, which will increase your obedience, which will increase your blessing. The choice is yours.


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Let’s Get Back to the Bible

King James Bible

 

Note – We are very sorry for the inconvenience. Apparently, this blog has been attacked with some sort of a virus. We are working diligently to fix it. Please be patient with us. We are preachers, not technical experts. 

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 6 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  2 Corinthians 1 – 4; Proverbs 3; Psalms 11 – 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0303 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Remember Who Butters Your Bread

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Just before the children of Israel entered into the Land of Promise, God gave them a few important instructions that, if heeded, would guarantee their success in their new home. He told them that if they loved Him with all of their hearts, and obeyed what He commanded them, they would “increase mightily” in the land. He also warned them to completely drive out all of the inhabitants of the land. They were not to make any covenants with them, but were to completely remove or destroy them. The people of God were also warned not to forget God Who gave them this wonderful and fruitful land, and could easily remove them from it if they forsook Him.

God didn’t just want the people to hear these commandments one time, He wanted them to be constantly reminded of them. In Deuteronomy 6:6 – 9, God tells them that He wanted His Word to be memorized, and it was also to be posted everywhere so the people could always remember what God had done for them, and what God expected of them. His Word was also to be diligently discussed and instructed in the home so the children could learn about and revere God also. Knowing and obeying God’s Word guaranteed the prosperity of God’s people. God reminded Joshua of this very same truth in Joshua 1:8:

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

David also understood this principle and wrote extensively about it in his psalms:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:1-3)

In fact, the largest psalm (Psalm 119) is dedicated completely to the Word of God:

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)

This principle is still applicable today. God’s people need to immerse themselves in the Scripture through individual daily reading, studying, and memorization. It is also important to gather together with other believers in the church and hear the Word of God preached and taught from the pulpit. People say that too much of anything is not good, but I can’t imagine that too much of the Bible is bad. In fact, I believe the problems in America today are largely due to a neglect of the Bible. 

Let’s get back to the Bible.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)


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Who’s In Control? – The Saturday Morning Post

 Todays Reading – Numbers 34 – 36

“They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” (Proverbs 28:4-5)

Good Morning. Dontcha just love the Spring-like weather we’ve been having lately? Dontcha just hate when when people cry out, “Global warming! Global warming!” Dontcha just wish that those in control would fall to their knees and pray to Almighty God, Creator of everything, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the only God to lay His life down and shed His precious blood for the sins of man, and then rose up three days later as proof of payment? Sorry…

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)

Those in control need to know that their control comes from God. Those of us who are oppressed by those in control need to acknowledge that their control comes from God. Everyone needs to come before Almighty God, confess our sins, and beg for His mercy on our country…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicals 7:14)

Elections are coming soon. Vote righteousness, and not money. Healing for our nation can only come from the Great Physician. Put Him first.

When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.” (Proverbs 28:28)

Peace! (Revelation 22:21)


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God Knows Why?

 

Today’s Passage –Numbers 30 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 13 – 16; Proverbs 26; Psalms 131 – 135)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Isaiah 51:11

Read the “0226 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.” (Numbers 31:15-17)

Numbers 31 is a very somber passage of Scripture. Moses is commanded by the Lord to perform one last task before he dies, which was to “avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites”. 12,000 men from Israel went out and attacked a much greater number of Midianites, and were able to conquer them completely without  losing one of their own men. Of course, the Midianites were not so fortunate; they ended up losing everything with all of the adult males being immediately slain. At first, the women and small male children were all spared. However, when the victors returned to camp with the spoils and the captives, Moses commanded that all of the small male children, as well as all of the adult women would also have to be slaughtered. Only the small girls were spared.

I must confess that Bible passages such as this are not the ones I look forward to reading. Later on, in 1 Samuel 15, God would once again order the annihilation of an entire nation of people (the Amalekites), again including all of the women, children, and even the livestock. I have often wondered why God would command such a thing. I have examined these Scriptures carefully in the past and have even preached messages from them. I have explained to people some of the reasons why God would need to be so severe, but I was always left with more questions in my own mind. Wasn’t there any other way? Couldn’t God have spared even just the children? How do we reconcile this Old Testament  God of vengeance with the New Testament God of love and mercy? My human reasoning cannot fully comprehend the answers to all these questions regarding what God was thinking when He chose such drastic courses of action.

I still don’t have all the individual answers to these and many other questions, but I have come to a place in my faith that has helped me tremendously. I no longer question God. There are a lot of things about God that make absolutely no sense to my finite brain, but I trust that He knows what He is doing, and He does not have to offer me any explanation. Why did God kill all of the Midianites? Why did He destroy the entire world with a flood? Why did He kill the Amalekites? Why did God allow the Towers to come down on 9/11? Why does He permit the pain and suffering of millions of people today? I know why, and yet I don’t know why. I mean, I may understand partially, but I can’t comprehend fully; but I do know God, and I trust Him that He knows why, and that’s good enough for me. I know God loves me, and I know He loves the world and all of the people in it, and I know that God does everything right, even when I can’t see any right in it.


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A Pastor’s Heart

Today’s Passage – Numbers 27 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 9 – 12; Proverbs 25; Psalms 126 – 130

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read a previous post from this passage – “Bring Your Cause Before The Lord

Read the “0225 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. … Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” – (Numbers 27:12-13, 16-17)

Notice in Numbers 27:12 – 17 that Moses is being told by God that he is going to die. Can you imagine being given the time and location of your death? Consider Moses’ reaction to the news. There are no complaints, no arguments; just one request: Moses asked God to make sure that the people would be cared for. Moses was a true pastor/shepherd. He was not merely an hireling. He loved and cared greatly the people that had been placed in his care. Moses wanted to be sure that God would give the people of Israel another leader that loved them just as musch as he did.

Sadly, there are many people involved in the ministry today who do not have a pastor’s heart, as Moses did. Too many spiritual leaders are hirelings. They may be great administrators, and they can often preach and teach the doctrines of the Bible with passion and clarity; but they lack a love for the people that they minister to. They love the crowd, but avoid the individuals from within the crowd. The people are seen as a means to an end, and not an end in themselves. I find myself falling into this category at times. Perhaps it is because I have been hurt on occasion from individuals within the congregation. For whatever reason, I have caught myself distancing from the flock that God has given me to pastor.

The ministry is people. People have problems, needs, questions, and burdens. God has called pastors and other spiritual leaders to minister to the needs of people. The pastorate is not just about preparing and preaching sermons, though that is certainly important. It is also not just about praying in private for the people. It is not just about administrating budgets, facilities, and staff. All of these things are necessary and good, but they do not take the place of personal ministry – one on one – in the trenches, in the streets and lanes of the city, in the highways and hedges, and in the homes of the people.

Moses loved his people. He preached to them, he prayed for them, he protected them, and he personally cared for them and involved himself in their lives.

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” – (1 Peter 5:1-4)


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A Strong Message

Today’s Passage – Numbers 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 5 – 8; Proverbs 24; Psalms 121 – 125)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0224 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

 “And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” – (Numbers 25:6-8)

In Numbers 25, we have a very strange story. It seems that as the people of Israel were sojourning in the land of Moab on their way to the Promised Land, some of the men began to get cozy with the women of Moab. God had a big problem with this for several reasons; but the main reason is that these women were not Jews by birth or by conversion. They were an idolatrous people, having entirely different standards of morality as well as an idolatrous system of worship. It wasn’t long before the people of God began to participate in the sacrifices to these false gods. This was a violation of God’s sternest warning to the people when they left Egypt. The Israelites were to be a separated people. God didn’t want them to fellowship with any other people because He knew that they would eventually turn the Jews away from Him.

God was furious with the people; and He wanted Moses to do something in order to purge this idolatry out of the camp of Israel. Eventually, a strange thing happens. A man took a Midianitish woman into his tent in the sight of Moses. I do not think they were going in there to have a Bible study. Anyway, this was also witnessed by one of the priests: a man named Phinehas; and he, in his zeal for the Lord, went into the tent and thrust a spear through both the man and the woman at the same time. At first glance, we might think that God would not support this kind of action; but on the contrary, He is very pleased with it; and He rewards Phinehas, and his family for doing it. Why? Because what Phinehas did served two purposes. First, it appeased the wrath of God; and secondly, it sent a strong message to the people of Israel to stay away from the inhabitants of the land. God is a jealous God.

By the way, these people were from the land of Moab. Remember yesterday’s blog about Balaam. Balak, the king of Moab wanted Balaam to curse the children of Israel. Balaam was unable to do this because God would not allow it, but it appears that the people of Moab were able to as much damage to Israel by fellowshipping with them as they could have done by fighting them. We really need to be careful who we fellowship with. My preacher used to say: “we are now, or we soon will be, who we hang around.” I believe that is a true statement more often than not.

I believe that today our churches are being inundated with sin and compromise. Most of God’s people, including many preachers, are looking the other way. We have almost given up the fight against sin. We need a Phinehas today, that will stand up and send a strong, yet loving message against it. We need some bold Christians that will stand against the incoming tide of immorality and cultural idolatry that is flooding the lives of the people of God.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – (Ephesians 5:11)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

 


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Which One Is The Jackass?

Today’s Passage – Numbers 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 1 – 4; Proverbs 23; Psalms 116 – 120)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read the “0223 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12)

“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” – (Numbers 22:28)

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” – (2 Peter 2:15 – 16)

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” – (Jude 1:11)

Chapter 22 of the Book of Numbers presents a very interesting and familiar story of a mule that was given by God the ability to speak audibly to her owner, Balaam. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to carefully read the passage in order to get the most out of what I am about to say. Besides, what God says in His Word is far more important that what I will say in this blog, so don’t skip the reading.

Anyway, in this passage we have the prophet Balaam, who is living in the land of the Moabites. Why he lived there and not with the people of God is a mystery. The king of the Moabites is watching very closely the nation of Israel as they are sojourning very close to his border. He wants them out, so he goes to the man of God and asks him to place a curse upon Israel. He doesn’t go himself, however, he sends some of his princes to do his bidding. After hearing their request, Balaam inquires of the Lord, and the Lord tells him not to go with these men, and not to speak anything against Israel because they are a nation blessed by God. Balaam the prophet goes to the men and gives them God’s answer. The men return a short while later and press him to reconsider. Now this is where Balaam begins to err. He already asked God, and God had already said no; but the princes promise him if that he would go with him, their king would give him great honor and a lot of money. Now, he should have just repeated what God had already told him; but instead he tells them that he will go back and ask God again. He wanted God to give him what he had already been told that he wasn’t going to get. Balaam’s problem is that he really wants God to curse the Israelites, because it would mean that he would receive great riches from this Moabite king. God is not at all pleased with Balaam, but he allows him to go. He permits him to do what is in his heart. He was not permitted to curse Israel, but he was permitted to cozy up with the enemies of Israel, and receive the rewards that came with it. So, I ask you the question: which one was the real jackass?

This is not the only time in the Bible that God has permitted things that were against His will. He gave Israel a king because they kept asking for one, even though He knew that it wasn’t what was best for them. Notice another example of God granting the continual request of a complaining people when the Israelites complained to God as they wandered in the wilderness:

“They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:13-15)

I know many people today who keep asking God for things that are clearly against His will. Why don’t we just take “no” for an answer. God knows what is best for us. Don’t keep pestering him to give you what He has already closed the door on. Too many Christians are practically breaking doors down that God has chosen to keep closed.


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Keep Going – Even When It Hurts

Today’s Passage – Numbers 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 25 – 28; Proverbs 22; Psalms 111 – 115

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read last year’s post from this passage – “Look to Jesus

“Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.” – (Numbers 20:1-5)

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” – (Proverbs 24:16)

“Never, Never, Never Give Up” (Winston Churchill)

“When you’re going through hell, keep going” (Winston Churchill)

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” (Thomas Edison)

Sometimes life stinks. How is that for a blunt statement. Oh for sure, there also many, many great moments in life, and tremendous blessings; but there are also times when it is difficult to drag yourself out of bed. And, for whatever reason, God chooses to allow us to go through these rough days.

Think about the things that Moses had to deal with as the leader of God’s people here in Numbers 20. The chapter opens up with the death of his sister. When a loved one dies, it can certainly be a time of discouragement. I am sure that Moses was more than a little sad at the passing of his sister. However, it does not stop there. The very next verse tells us that at that time there was another shortage of water, which caused the people to “chide” with Moses. Didn’t they understand that he had just buried his sister? I mean, give the guy a break, will ya. Give him some time to mourn.

God next told Moses to speak to the rock in order for the people to get water, but the next thing we find out is that Moses lost his temper, and smote the rock, instead of just speaking to it. God was not happy with Moses, and Moses lost his ticket to the Promised Land as a result. I feel bad for the guy, and I can understand the way he felt, as well as the way he acted. There have been many times when I have used poor judgment, and have acted rashly when the pressure was on in my life.

The chapter closes out with another tragedy, the death of his brother, Aaron, seemingly also a result God’s judgment for Moses’ striking the rock. So, in one chapter Moses loses his sister, his brother, his future leadership position in Canaan; not to mention the fact that the people were ticked off at him. I would have quit. Moses didn’t. He kept going – even though it hurt. Read the next chapter, and you will find Moses continuing in leadership, and fighting battles for the Lord.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but I know that you need to keep going. Moses didn’t quit, and neither should you.


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He Fell Upon His Face – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 22 – 24; Proverbs 21; Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 121

Read the “0221 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face…” (Numbers 16:1-4)

Good morning. Have you ever been attacked by other Christians, or for that matter, the unsaved? You were just going along fulfilling God’s will when somebody sins, and because sin does not only affect the sinners, but those around them too, something happens to you too. You may have to shift things around because you lost a good worker. You may not be able to see them again because they moved away. Sin affects everybody.

Moses had a problem with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. They assembled two-hundred and fifty princes, famous in the congregation, men of renown: and they gathered themselves against God’s men: Moses and Aaron. What was the final outcome? God was not pleased with their actions…

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.” (Numbers 16:23-35)

A horrible price to pay for rebellion. But this could have happened to the whole congregation: all of Israel…

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?” (Numbers 16:20-22)

What did Moses and Aaron do? They fell on their faces, and asked God to forgive the congregation. God would later tell King Saul, through the prophet Samuel…

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” (1Samuel 15:23)

And Exodus 22:18 commanded, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What did Jesus say to do?

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

Jesus tells us…

1) Love your enemies. You only have one enemy: the devil. He is the slug that infests and destroys the world that God created. Others may appear to be like enemies, but the real enemy is the devil.

2) Do good to them which hate you. They hate you because they are not like you: they don’t have Jesus. The best ‘good’ you could do for them which hate you is to give them Jesus.

3) Bless them that curse you. That curse was put there in their mouth by the devil, so be a blessing to them. If they need help, help them. Show them Jesus in action.

4) Pray for them which dispitefully use you. Dispitefully use means to insult, slander, or falsely accuse. Pray for these people. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God, begging His mercy on the congregation. Should the congregation have to pay for one man’s sin? No, but this sin of Korah’s took out three families, and two-hundred and fifty princes. Remember Jesus on the cross…

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:34)

Peace! (Psalm 86:5)


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Obstacles

Today’s Passage – Numbers 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 19 – 21; Proverbs 20; Psalms 101 – 105)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0220 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” - (Numbers 14:8-9)

What do you see when problems or trials come your way? Do see the trial, or do you see the God Who is much bigger than your trial? How about obstacles? Is your God bigger than your obstacles? In Numbers 13 and 14 we see the twelve spies going into the land of promise to check it out. It is amazing how that all twelve witnesssed the same things, but only two of them saw that God was bigger than the obstacles. Ten of the spies came back with nothing but negativity. It is too difficult; the giants are too big. We can’t do it. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, didn’t pay too much attention to the giants, because their God made the giants look like little children in comparison. They saw nothing but victory, and the goodness of God in the land that they were to receive.

Let me ask you he question again. What do you see. Do you see the Christan life as something too big or too difficult? Do you see God’s will for your life as impossible for God to do through you. Let me share some verses with you:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – (Philippians 4:13)

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – (Luke 1:37)

“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” – (Mark 10:27)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – (Hebrews 11:6)

God was well pleased with the faith of Joshua and Caleb. They were the only ones that got to go into the Promised Land. Will God be well pleased with your faith?


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We Could Use Some More Spirit-filled Preachers

Today’s Passage – Numbers 11 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 16 – 18; Proverbs 19; Psalms 96 – 100)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0219 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.” (Numbers 11:26-30) 

Today’s reading contains an interesting story about two men, Eldad and Medad. These men were apparently appointed by Moses to be among the seventy that God had called to help him bear the burden of the people of Israel. These seventy men were gathered together at the Tabernacle where the Lord had caused his spirit to rest upon them. However, Eldad and Medad did not go wight he seventy to the Tabernacle, but the Lord caused His Spirit to rest upon them in the camp anyway, and they began to prophesy in the camp. Apparently this break in protocol concerned Joshua so he went to Moses and requested that he make them stop. Moses, however, instead rebuked Joshua, and told him that he wished there more than just these two men that were Spirit-filled and speaking for God in the camp.

There is a similar story in the Lukes gospel:

“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:49-50)

In this story it is John who is concerned about a man who is casting out devils because he wasn’t one of the twelve disciples. Jesus rebuked John stating that what the man was doing was good, and that because he wasn’t working against the cause of Christ, he was actually advancing it.

Sometimes we become a little envious, and even skeptical of other groups within Christianity who don’t dot their I’s and cross their T’s exactly the way we do. They may not run in the same circles, and they may not belong to the same denomination or fellowship, but they are doing a work for God. They may not do things the same way we do, but if they are doing something for God, we shouldn’t try to hinder them. We ought to applaud anyone who is advancing the cause of Christ. We need more people who are Spirit-filled, and preaching the Word of God.


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Don’t Move Until God Tells You To

Today’s Passage – Numbers 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 13 – 15; Proverbs 18; Psalms 91 – 95)

Read the “0218 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Joshua 1:8

“At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” – (Numbers 9:23)

In Numbers 9, the Bible tells us that the children of Israel only moved when God moved. They followed the cloud by day, and the fire by night. If the cloud rested, they stayed in one spot; if the the cloud moved, they followed it. This kept life pretty simple for them. They did not have to make a decision about where they were going to go, they just followed God.

We can do the same thing today when deciding where we are going to go, or what we are going to do. We can simply follow God. Determining the will of God in this time is just as easy as it was then. God guides us through his Word through prayer, and through counsel. Let’s say you are contemplating a move to a new geographic location. You need to check out what the Bible says about that place. Is there a good, Bible believing church for your family? The Bible says a lot about people moving. Abraham moved into Egypt after being told that Canaan was the place of God’s blessing. He had some problems in his life as a result of that move. There are many other examples and principles in the Bible that will help you to make a decision. One thing is for sure, you do not want to move simply for financial reasons, or because you think the grass will be greener somewhere else. Lot moved because the grass near Sodom looked good, but he ended up losing everything, including most of his family.

Prayer and counsel are also important steps in determining a desicion. All three need to be in agreement, however; and you know what the Bible says about a three-fold chord, right? It’s not easily broken, is it? Pray about your decision, but be aware that God will never reveal in prayer something that goes against the principles found in the Word of God. Then you need to get counsel. Have some people in your life that you can go to for advice. People who will be honest with you. People that won’t tell you just want you want to hear. Don’t “shop” for counsel, either. People often will go from person to person until they find someone who will agree with them. That’s not counsel. Ask your pastor; ask your parents; ask some godly person in your life who will tell you the truth.

When are you going to move; and where? Who are you going to marry; and when? Where will you go to college? Which church will you attend? Where will you work? These are all important decisions. You don’t have to decide these for yourself. Follow God. He will direct you path; He will light the way. I promise if you follow God all the way, you will be pleased with what He does with your life.


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The Voice of God

Today’s Passage – Numbers 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Proverbs 17; Psalms 86 – 90)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0217 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.” – (Numbers 7:89)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” – (John 10:27)

Chapter 7 of Numbers is certainly a long chapter, and not exactly what I would call great devotional reading. However, as with the rest of the Bible, this is a very important passage. Here we see the heads of the tribes of Israel all presenting to the Lord their offerings at the dedication of the Tabernacle. Each tribe had to offer the same thing which includes some gold and silver; incense and flour; and an assortment of animals. We certainly can see from this passage, and from many other recent chapters that the Israelite were certainly dedicated in the area of giving; but they not only gave what was required, they also gave over and above what was asked of them.

The last verse of this long chapter tells us that after the offering was made, Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with God, and he heard the voice of God coming out from between the cherubims on top of the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to hear the audible voice of God; to actually hear Him speak personally to my physical ears. I can, however, hear the voice of God today as much as I desire to because He speaks to me through His Word. The Bible is God’s voice. He spoke to me this morning about this dedication offering. He also gave me some wisdom from Proverbs 17. And then he motivated me and stirred me as I read about Peter and and the other apostles and people from Acts.

God speaks to me in other ways also besides the Bible. Sometimes, as I walk and pray in the mornings, God will speak to my heart. Now, we have to be careful about these “still small voices” that we hear in our heads and our hearts. We need to be sure that it is God that is talking to us. Sometimes our flesh and even the devil will put thoughts in our heads that are not of God. One way you can tell if it is actually God talking is if the thing that He tells you is in agreement with the Word of God. He never goes against His Word. It always disturbs me when people tell them that God had told them to do something that was a complete contradiction to His clear revelation from the Bible.

Have you listened for His voice today? Did you open up your Bible this morning, along with your heart and mind, and hear what God has to say to you? Have you waited on Him today in your prayer closet to hear Him speak to you about specific areas of your life? It is not that God is not still speaking today as much as it is that His children are not listening.

 


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The Lord Bless Thee

Today’s Passage – Numbers 5 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 7 – 9; Proverbs 16; Psalms 81 – 85)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”  (Numbers 6:24-26)

In chapters 5 of the Book of Numbers, God is instructing the children of Israel about what they should do if a man suspects that his wife has been unfaithful to him. The Bible talks about “the spirit of jealousy” that comes upon a man if there is something going on behind his back. I believe the same holds true for the wife. I know that today we don’t often think of jealousy as being a good thing; but interestingly, the Bible records that God is very jealous over his children. I do not think it is wrong either for there to be a healthy dose of jealousy within the marriage either. A man should love his wife to the extent that he cannot bear the thought of her being with anyone else. The same applies to the wife. Jealousy is, I believe, a God-given emotion. Now it must be controlled, just as all of our other emotions; and we cannot let it cause us to sin, but I believe it to be a good thing nonetheless.

Chapter 6 primarily deals with the rules concerning the vow of the Nazarite. When a person took this special vow of consecration in Old Testament days, he would not cut his hair or his beard, and he was not permitted to touch any alcohol, or come near anything (or anybody) that was dead. This vow was a vow of “separation unto the Lord”. The person that took this vow was declaring that his or her life was wholly dedicated to God. Usually, a person would be under this oath of separation for a period of time, not for his entire life. By the way, don’t confuse a Nazarite with a Nazarene, which is a person that comes from the city of Nazareth. Jesus was a Nazarene.

I was captivated this morning by the prayer of blessing found at the end of chapter 6. It seemed almost strange for this beautiful prayer to be place in this particular place. I mean, we have been reading a lot here lately about a bunch of commandments, sacrifices, rules, etc. Here, God tells Aaron that he wants him to pronounce this prayer  of blessing over the people. I think God just wanted to remind the people that he loved them and that He was for them. I think we can learn a couple of lessons from this as well. First, we need to be reminded that God loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. We often will think about God as this angry, cold dictator that is ready to pounce upon us when we do wrong. That is not God. He loves us and He wants to give us the richest blessings, and a life full of abundance.

The second lesson that we should learn from this is that when we are trying to teach our children, we need to remember to let them know often that we love them. Yes, we need to give them all of the rules, commandments, and instructions; and yes, we ought to discipline them when they do wrong; but we also need to make sure that they know that we (and especially God) are in their corner, and that we want nothing but the richest blessings for their lives. This would be a good lesson for preachers and other mentors to learn as well. In our zeal to instruct, we sometimes come across as being uncaring and unloving. You have heard the old saying: “People do not care about what you know, until they know that you really care.” Well, we ought to really care, and we ought also to express that love and care often to the people that we are trying to help.

 

  


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A Job For Everybody

Today’s Passage – Numbers 3 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 4 – 6; Proverbs 15; Psalms 76 – 80

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 3:1

“Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.” (Numbers 3:6)

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” – (Romans 12:3-8)

In chapters 3 and 4 of the Book of Numbers we see God’s instructions to the families of the tribe of Levi. They were placed in charge of the ministry of the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons were the priests, and they were put in charge of the service of the other families. The Gershonites were responsible for the setting up, taking down, and transportation of all of the curtains and coverings of the Tabernacle with the exception of the vail. Only Aaron and his sons were to remove the vail, and it was to be placed upon the Ark of the Covenant. The Kohathites were responsible to transport all of the furniture in the Tabernacle, though they were not permitted to touch any of the “holy things”, or even be present when they were being covered by Aaron and his sons. The Merarites were responsible to set up and transport all of the boards and bars that served as the framework of the Tabernacle. Each family had their responsibility, and each family had their place where they were to camp around the Tabernacle.

The thought I had this morning regarding this passage is this: what if one of the Merarites didn’t want to transport bars and boards? Maybe he wanted to transport coverings instead like the sons of Gershon. The point is that these people were not given the choice about what they wanted to do. They were assigned a task by God and were expected to do it. It is sort of like the military. They don’t really care about what you want to do; but they are going to assign you a duty, and you will be expected to do it.

It is not at all like this in the local church today. We tell people that they can do whatever they want to do. We tell them that they have the liberty to choose where, why, and how they can serve the Lord. But, should it really be that way? Shouldn’t we still be seeking to discover what the Lord’s will is regarding who will serve, and in what capacity. There are many guidelines given in the Bible regarding service within the local church, and that certainly is where we should start the process, but we also ought to be very careful that we are very prayerful about what each person is given to do within the body. We also need to be careful about just sticking people in positions simply because there is nobody else to do it. We see a perceived need, so we place anybody we can find in the position. I believe that if the need is genuine, God will supply the right person. Maybe we are creating needs and positions that are not of God. I remember at one church we were serving in years ago, I felt that it was my duty to fill every perceived need that was present. I was working with the youth, junior church, bus ministry, Sunday School, and much more. The problem was that it wasn’t God’s will for me to be doing all of those things, so I began doing them in the flesh, which profited nothing. And maybe somebody else was missing out on their true calling because I was doing too much.

I believe that God has got a job for everybody to do within the local church; and also believe that God has got the right person for every need within the body. Leaders need to be admonished to pray earnestly about finding the right, biblically qualified person to do the job; and the people need to be willing to fulfill God’s will for their lives, whether it be teaching people or cleaning toilets. Every task within the church is important, and every worker within the church is equal in the sight of God, as long as they are doing what God has called them to do. The ministry is much more than just preaching and teaching the Word of God. In order for ministry to take place in a local church there are a lot of tasks that need to be performed. God has gifted certain people to perform each of these duties. I believe that all ministers need to be willing to do whatever is necessary in order for the ministry to function, but we also need to be constantly on the lookout for people who will be willing and able to do all of the things that need to be done. Every duty is important, and every person that performs these tasks are also important to the cause of Christ. The janitor that does his job well is just as much in the center of God’s will as the preacher who prepares, prays, and preaches.

What is your job within the local body of believers? What has God equipped you to do? Find your niche within the church, and help your church fulfil the Great Commission.


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They Did All That The LORD Commanded: To A Point – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click hereto view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Proverbs 14; Psalms 71 – 75)

Read the “0214 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.” (Numbers 1:54)

And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.” (Numbers 2:34)

Good morning. After taking a count, Moses found the army of Israel to be 603,550 men who were able to fight. They had the Ark of the Covenant, where God would be on the mercy seat. They had witnessed Egypt destroyed by plagues. All Israel walked across the Red Sea on dry land. They saw the Egyptian army destroyed in the Red Sea. And they sang praises to God that the horse, and the rider were thrown into the sea. They dined on Manna which God sent down from Heaven. They drank water from the rock in Horeb. God had protected them all the way to the promised land. God had supplied their every need all the way to the promised land. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses all the way to the promised land. Except trust God. God told Moses…

“Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.” (Numbers 14:28-33)

In Matthew chapter 13, the Bible says…

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58)

How about you? Can you’re God take care of you, and rid you of the giants in your life? Or are they still there because of your unbelief? This makes me wonder: with everyone saying the US needs to take vengeance on ISIS for the death of Kayla Mueller, what would be the outcome?

“And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.” (Numbers 14:39-45)

Would God help a country that has turned it’s back on Him? A country that does not want any part of God in it’s government offices, in it’s schools, and anyplace else they can keep Him out of. Unless God has mercy on us, it can not turn out well. There is only one way out…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

To end the madness, turn back to God.

Peace! (Revelations 22:10-14)


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The Center of the Camp

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 26 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 19 – 21; Proverbs 13; Psalms 66 – 70)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0213 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “The Choice Is Yours” and “First Things First

“Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.” - (Numbers 2:17)

In Numbers chapter 2, God gives us a description of what the camp of Israel looked like when they were not on the move. A careful reading of this chapter will reveal that the nation of Israel was divided into 13 different groups, which included 11 of the original 12 tribes; and also the two half-tribes of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim). These groups were all strategically placed around the tabernacle. Immediately surrounding the tent on all four sides was the tribe of Levi. They were placed there as closely as possible to the tabernacle because that was their place of service. They were the ministers and priests of the Lord. Beyond the Levites the remaining twelve tribes and half-tribes were positioned by threes in each direction. For instance, on the east side of the tabernacle, beyond the Levites, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon. There were also three tribes on the west, south, and north. The thought that I am trying to develop here, however, is that the tabernacle was in the very center of the congregation. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt, between the cherubims on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. God, and His chosen place of worship was the very center of the lives of the people of Israel.

Now let’s fast forward a few thousands years to the time of the local church. I realize that today God dwells in the hearts of His children, but the local church is God’s chosen place for corporate worship, and it is the place where we are to be organized in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

 “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” - (1 Timothy 3:15)

God should still be at the center of our lives; and the local church should be at the center of the life of our family. I have been a pastor now for nearly ten years, and I have been involved in God’s work for twenty. I have observed that the families who place a high value on the local church, recognizing it’s importance, tend to be stronger and happier than the families that do not. Don’t misunderstand, I do not think that the church has a higher priority than the home; but I do believe that successful homes are built around a strong, Bible believing, New Testament church. The churches’ role is critical to healthy marriages and to the spiritual development of our children.

Take a moment to consider the role that the local church plays in your life; and then consider the role that you play in your local church. We need to keep our local churches strong, and I believe that there are many ways that you can help:

1  Participate in the local church – attend the services and find something that you can do that will serve others. God has uniquely equipped you in certain areas that can be used in the local church.

2  Pray for your church and your pastors and leaders. The ministry can be very discouraging, but you can be an encouragement to the people that minister to you simply by lifting them up in prayer. It wouldn’t hurt for you to let them know on occassion that you are praying for them.

3  Support your church with your tithes and offerings. The work of God cannot go forward without the tithes of God’s people. When you don’t give you are telling God and the church that they have no place of value in your life. You can also support the church by not bashing it. Let people know where you stand. If you are for the ministry, speak out for it, and don’t let others run it down in your presence. Negativity and complaining are like cancers inside the church that will destroy it from within.

Is the local church important to you, or isn’t it? God says that it should be. Remember, He died for the church. It’s His body. He places a great value on it, and so should we.


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The Mind of the Lord

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 24 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Proverbs 12; Psalms 61 – 65)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0212 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Take Time to Remember

“And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.” (Leviticus 24:12)

In our reading passage today in Leviticus 24:10 – 16, we read about a man who had a mother who was an Israelite from the tribe of Dan, but his father was an Egyptian, presumably one of the mixed multitude that followed the Jews out of Egypt. The story tells us that this man (the son) “blasphemed the name of Lord and cursed”. The Israelites brought the man that cursed to Moses, but they were not sure what should be done to this young man by way of punishment, so they put him in prison (“in ward”) until they could find out “the mind of the Lord”. In other words, they were trying to discover God’s will.

My thought this morning has little to do with the fact that the man blasphemed. Nor does it have anything to do with the mixed nationalities of his parents. What caught my attention was the fact that Moses and the Israelites did not react hastily to the situation, they waited until they knew what God wanted them to do. They want to make sure they had “the mind of the Lord”.

What a great lesson this is to all of us reading this passage today. So many times when faced with new or difficult problems, we react rashly before we carefully discern the will of God regarding the situation. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 states:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

There is a recipe for discerning the will of God that contains four ingredients:

1  Wait – don’t do anything until you know for sure that you are doing the will of God. Too many of us rush into a decision before we have had a chance to determine what God wants us to do. My children would sometimes come to me asking for permission to go with a friend somewhere, and sometimes they would need an answer right away, and in those cases the answer would always be no. Why? Because I didn’t want to be rushed into making a bad decision.

2  Study – Go to God’s Word and see what it says about the problem you are facing or the decision you need to make. Bible principle will answer so many questions before they are even asked.

3  Pray - Ask God to give you wisdom to help you specifically apply His word to your unique situation. In our story today, the specific situation that Moses faced had not clearly been addressed in the Law, so they needed God’s help to figure out what to do in this unique set of circumstances.

4  Counsel – Seek the wisdom of others who may have already faced the situation that you are facing. Seek the he help of those who are students of the Word, and have the ability to discern God’s will through study and prayer. “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

We may be tempted to think that the punishment for this young man’s crime was kind of harsh, but at least we know that the decision to stone him did not come from Moses or one of the other elders of Israel; it came from God. Moses and the men of Israel made sure that they were doing exactly what God wanted them to do.


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Take Time To Remember

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 22 – 23 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 15 – 16; Proverbs 11; Psalms 56 – 60

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33

Read the “0211 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” – (Leviticus 23:4)

In chapter 23 in the Book of Leviticus, we see the Lord giving His instructions regarding special days that would be set apart from other days. On these holy days, or “holidays” the people were commanded to stop their normal routine, and refrain from doing any kind of work. God wanted their focus to be on Him during these days. The special days (or in some cases weeks) listed in the chapter were as follows:

1  The Sabbath – every Saturday the people were to take a break from their work in order to rest. God rested the seventh day after He created the earth, so in some ways the Sabbath was memorial of God’s work at creation.

2  The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread – a memorial to God’s deliverance of the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. It seems to be that God wants us to remember some things. We are quick to forget the provision and protection that God has given us.

3  The Feast of First fruits – this Feast took place on the day after the Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast was an acknowledgement that the whole barley harvest belonged to the Lord.

4  The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost – This was a dedication of the wheat harvest. It took place in May/June 50 days after the Sabbath before the Feast of First fruits.

5  The Feast of Trumpets – 1st day of seventh month – it consecrated the entire seventh month as a Sabbatical month.

6  The Day of Atonement – 10th day of the seventh month – this was the day the priest went in to the Holy of Holies to offer for his own sins, and the sins of the nation.

7  The Feast of Tabernacles (also called Booths or Ingathering) – beginning on the 15th day of the seventh month – commemorated the time that God provided for Israel as they wandered the wilderness in tents after being delivered from Egypt. This feast is also a celebration of the fall harvest.

All of these special days and feasts were designed to help the children of Israel to remember things that should be important to them. God wants His children to remember all of the wonderful things that He has done for us. We tend to get very discontented when we forget all of the blessings that God has provided in our lives.

I believe it is important to continue these traditions in our lives today. We may not observe the same days, but there ought to be some special days in our lives where we take time out to remember. And, I believe we should be very careful to come apart on the Lord’s Day – Sunday –  that one day out of seven for the purpose of resting the body, and reflection upon Christ. We are all busy people, or at least, we should be; but we need to take time out to remember. We need to take time to remember God on a daily basis by spending time with in our devotions. We also need to keep the Lord’s day holy and separated from the normal rotines of the week. And there also needs to be some special days in the calendar year when we set apart time toremember important blessings from God.

There also ought to be special days that we set apart time for reasons other than spiritual. Families should observe special days, like birthdays and anniversaries. We ought to go out of our way to remember the important events and people in our lives.

Added Thought from the passage

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” - (Leviticus 23:22)

In the middle of this passage dealing with special days and feasts, God instructs the people of Israel to remember the poor. They were to intentionally leave some of the fruit from the harvest in the fields so that poor folks could come by and gather it. Today, we need to also remember that there are people less fortunate than ourselves that need some help. God has blessed many of us tremendously with financial blessings, and we need to remember to share some of what the Lord has given us with others. Just a thought.


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What’s The Difference

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 13 – 14; Proverbs 10; Psalm 51 – 55)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song –Psalm 34

Read the “0210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” - (Leviticus 19:2)

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” - (Leviticus 20:26)

In the passages which we have read from Leviticus today, we see that God intended there to be a difference in the people of Israel from the world that surrounded them; or actually would surround them when they finally entered into the land of Canaan where God was bringing them. God warns them not to be like the people of the land. God was removing them (the Canaanites, etc.) from the land because of their sinful lifestyles. God’s people would have to be different, or God would expel them out of the land as well.

In the three chapters that we have read today there are many different commandments from the Lord regarding how they were to be a holy people, set apart from the rest of the world. I will not take the time to deal with all of them, but I will mention a few here in this devotion. Think about the world we live in today as we examine these thoughts; and see if we, as Christians, are as “set apart” as we should be. Let’s take a quick look at how the children of Israel were to be different:

1  They were to be different morally. Much of chapter 20 deals with sexual sins such as adultery, homosexuality, and even bestiality. God says that the previous inhabitants of the land were all guilty of these things. The people in our world today are also very perverted in their ability to live morally pure lives. We live in the era of “if it feels good, do it.” God says that His children are to be different.

2  They were to be different in their compassion for others. They were to make provisions in their crops for the poor and the stranger. God reminds them that they were strangers at one time. He wanted them to leave the corners of their fields, and the gleanings for people who needed help. How concerned are we today about helping people? Many of us have been blessed of God with abundance. God wants us to share part of that blessing with others. I think the key here is that God wants us to remember that it all comes from him anyway. We are often like the kid who was eating with his dad at McDonalds. When his dad reached for a french fry out of his son’s meal, the son pulled them away. Not very wise considering the dad supplied the meal in the first place, and would be the supplier of many future meals.

3  They were also to be different in their faith. The people of the land were very superstitious. They worshipped all kinds of “gods” and idols. Some were even guilty of sacrificing their own children. God wanted the people of Israel to stay far away from all of that stuff. No wizards; no witches; no familiar spirits; no divination; no astrologers; no soothsayers; none of that junk. God wants his children to be wholly dependent upon Him; and He does not want to share His glory; or His worship with anybody, or anything else. We have a lot of “idols” in our society today also, don’t we. They may not be little statues, but they are there none the less. An idol is anything that comes between us and God.

4  They were to be different in their respect for the older folks. I think that we are getting away from this in our world as well. There used to be a time in America when Granddad and Grandma were the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family. They were deeply revered and respected by their children and grandchildren. It isn’t like that any more; but we need to get back to it. Today, even young children will mock their elders, and answer back to them. Christian parents need to be very careful that they do not tolerate such behavior in their children.

5  They were to be different in their business dealings. They were to be fair and honest with people; never cheating them with unjust balances and such. The world today is replete with people who will are trying to steal money away from others. There are myriads of scams out their designed to rob others. God’s people should never be involved in any business dealing that is not providing a good product or service at a fair price.

These were just a few thoughts from the passage. There are many more examples contained in the text. But how do we fare today in this present world that we live in? Are we any different from them? Or are we just like them with the exception of the “fish emblems” on our cars. As time goes by, there ought to be more and more of a striking difference between God’s people and the people of this world. Just a thought.


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JUST FOR LADIES – By Camille Stahl

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Have you ever had to go someplace and didn’t know how to get there? You would never just get in a car or enter a plane or other form of transportation without first getting the directions. You may ask someone for directions or look at a map or a GPS to help you start your journey. But the bottom line is you need directions.

Heaven is a place where one needs direction to get to. It’s not found on a map or in any GPS. Other places you’ve been before, have several ways to get there. Most faraway places are very costly.

Heaven’s way is only One Way.  In the Bible, there are many verses that can lead you to the Only Way.  Let’s look at the Romans Road Way.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

And just one more from 1 John:

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  (1John 5:13)

God promises His children Heaven. He didn’t leave it to His children to figure out the way. He gave a ‘road map’ for the journey, the Bible. Need directions?

Thank You

John 3:16


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There Is A Fountain

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 11 – 12; Proverbs 9; Psalm 46 – 50)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

Read the “0209 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this morning’s passage – “It’s Still in the Book”

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” - (Leviticus 17:11)

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”- (Hebrews 9:22)

In Leviticus chapter 16, we learn about The Day of Atonement. This was the one day in the year that the high priest, which at this time was Aaron, would be permitted by God to go into the most holy place, called The Holy of Holies. On this day the priest would go into the most holy place where the ark of God was, and where the presence of God dwelt between the cherubims on the top of the mercy seat, which was the covering for the ark. He would go in first with the blood of a bullock which he offered for his own sins and for the sins of his family; and then he would go in with the blood of a goat which was for the sins of all of the congregation of Israel. This was the only day that he was allowed to enter into the presence of God. If he attempted to go in at any other time; or if he did not go in with the right heart, his offering would not be accepted and he would be smitten by God.

This Day of Atonement served as a sort of temporary appeasement of God for the sins of the people. The New Testament is very clear that the sacrifice of an animal could never really atone for man’s sins. It did remind man and God annually, however, that there would someday be the perfect sacrifice; the Sinless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He would someday come, and shed all of His blood for the sins of all men. The Old Testament Day of Atonement was merely a picture of the only true sacrifice that could be accepted by a Holy God. His blood was shed for you and me. I love the hymn, “There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood”. It reminds us of the awesome love that God has for us; and, praise God, sinners are still being plunged beneath that flood in order to have their sins completely and permanently cleansed and forgiven.

Have you applied the payment that the Lord Jesus made to your eternal account yet. He made a deposit 2000 years ago of His precious, perfect blood in order to pay the price for your sins and mine. I received that payment, by faith, over twenty years ago. I pray that if you haven’t done so yet, that you will receive it today.

And by the way: remember how the high priest could only go into God’s presence once per year. Things are different now. God has ripped the veil that separated a Holy God from a sinful people through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And now we can enter into His presence anytime we want; all because of the precious blood of Jesus.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” - (Hebrews 4:16)


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Leprosy in the House

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10; Proverbs 8; Psalms 41 – 45

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

“When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;” – (Leviticus 14:34)

As we continue reading in chapter 14 of the Book of Leviticus, we come across this curious passage that deals with leprosy within a house. This leprosy spoken of here would not be what is commonly called leprosy today (Hansen’s Disease); but rather this leprosy that appears on the walls of a house seems to be a type of mold or mildew. I remember when I was in Bible College down in Longview, Texas, there was a man there that was on the staff of the college that had purchased a beautiful home, but shortly after moving in they discovered that there was a mold problem in the house. Now I’m told that some types of mold can be very dangerous, and can cause many physical problems for people that come in contact with it. Anyway, this dear brother and his family had to eventually move out of the house for several months until the mold was completely removed from it. From what I understand this was no easy undertaking either. I believe if I remember correctly, that most of the drywall had to be removed and replaced after the framework was cleansed.

We have had a little trouble with mold in our house here in Galloway as well. We had to completely “gut” two of our bathrooms during our time here. One thing that I have learned about mold is that, like leprosy, it starts out very small; and often can be growing within the walls, as well as without. In fact, it probably grows better inside the walls where there is no light and perhaps a little moisture. In the right conditions, and if left untreated, it will quickly spread. It must be removed early and completely.

Even though this leprosy is not the same physical disease that was spoken of involving humans, it is still a picture of sin. We must be careful that we are vigilant about keeping sin out of our homes. We must watch for it, and remove it as quickly as possible; and then strive to keep the area as clean as we possibly can. If sin is allowed to multiply and grow, it will eventually destroy our homes from within. When it gets that bad, it will require much more than a little cleaning. We will have to “gut” areas, or possibly the whole home. It will take major reconstruction to fix the problem. Don’t let sin gain this kind of a foothold in your home. Nip it in the bud as early as you can.

I want to challenge to think for a moment about your home. Ask God if there is anything in your home that needs to be removed and cleansed. If there is, do it now, before it grows into a huge problem that may not be easily fixed.

Added Thought from Chapter 15

“And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.” (Leviticus 15:25)

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” – (Luke 8:43-48)

Notice in chapter 15 the instructions given regarding a woman who had “an issue of blood” that continued beyond the normal period. She was to be separated from everybody, and had to constantly wash everything she came in contact with. Notice the New Testament reference (above) of the woman that was healed by the Lord Jesus after having an issue of blood for twelve years. I am not sure if she strictly observed all of the rules mentioned in Leviticus involving her separation, but I am very sure that her disease was not only very debilitating physically, but also caused her a great deal of problems with her relationships with people. I am sure she was somewhat isolated from family and friends. Can you imagine finally being pronounced “clean” by the Lord Jesus Himself, after twelve long years. By the way, Jesus wasn’t troubled at all by the touch of this “unclean” woman. Sometimes we have to rub shoulders with people that are “unclean” in order to help them. Just a thought.


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Unclean

Today’s Passage –Leviticus 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 7 – 8; Proverbs 7; Psalms 36 – 40)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 19

Read the “0207 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” - (Leviticus 13:45-46)

This morning we have been reading all about the plague of leprosy from Leviticus 13. Leprosy was certainly a horrible disease which, I believe, was fatal in almost all cases. If a person was determined by the priests to be a leper, he was separated from all others in the congregation, including his family, and was required to live outside the camp presumably among other lepers. If they were ever in a situation where they were in a close proximity with non-lepers, they were required to cry out unclean, unclean, so as to warn the people to keep their distance. This policy may seem to be harsh to us, but it was the only way to keep leprosy from spreading throughout the entire congregation of Israel.

Leprosy in the Bible is a picture, or type, of sin. Sin is like leprosy in many ways. It starts out on the inside, but eventually works its way out to the outside. It starts out small, but soon covers the entire body. If not dealt with, it will also spread to everybody. It causes us to be separated from God, and the people we love; and it leads eventually to death. We are all sinners, so we should all be able to relate to this dreaded disease. Fortunately for us there is a cure, a cleansing for this spiritual leprosy that we are plagued with. It is called the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the song says, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” What a blessing it is to know that there is a cure for the penalty of sin in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we are unclean in our flesh, He comes near to us and cleanses us from our sin. Praise the Lord!

One more thought regarding the leprosy of sin. God spared no precaution in trying to keep the people away from leprosy, and He feels the same way today about sin. He wants us to stay as far away from sin as possible. We are supposed make much of sin, instead of trying to minimize it. Don’t try to justify the sin in your life; do your best to eradicate it. We will never be able to remove the presence of sin in our life altogether. There is no such thing as “sinless perfection”; but we can get as close to God as possible, and through our closeness to God, see sin as He sees it. Maybe then we will strive to keep sin as distant from us as Israel attempted to keep leprosy from their congregation. This does not mean we loathe the sinner; we are commanded to love them, and pray for them, and do everything we can do to help them get to the cure; just as somebody helped us


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Ouch! – The Saturday Morning Post (on Friday)

Today’s Passage –Leviticus 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 5 – 6; Proverbs 6; Psalm 31 – 35)

Read the “0206 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” (Leviticus 12)

Good morning. I hope you don’t loose your breakfast over this rather tender subject: Circumcision. God told Abraham…

“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” (Genesis 17:10-14)

Today, many believe that the practice of circumcision is barbaric. In March 2007, the World Health Organization recommended circumcision to reduce the spread of AIDS after a large-scale study found that circumcision reduced the rate of HIV infection of men through heterosexual sex (a man and a woman) by almost 60%. This finding isn’t actually anything new; there have been many studies for many years coming to the same conclusion. But even this finding is controversial: anti-circumcision advocates reject these findings and claim that the studies are flawed. In any case, circumcision is no substitute for abstinence.

Why on the 8th day? Many studies show that the factors that come together to make blood clot are at their highest level on the 8th day after birth. But in my research on this, I did come across a website that gave this reason: God wanted it on the 8th day, and He wants what is best for us. King David said…

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

God knows us better than we know ourselves. If I had to decide on whether to circumcise my child or not, I would have to go with what God said. We are not under the Law, we walk in the Spirit. Circumcision appears to be a good thing to do.

In the previous chapter (chapter 11), God tells the Jews it okay to eat Locust. God knows. It turns out that insects are a high source of protein, and could be the answer to the problem of feeding the world. In many countries, around the world, insects are a part of their diet. I’ll abstain!

Peace! (Leviticus 11:22)


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Strange Fire

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 3 – 4; Proverbs 5; Psalm 26 – 30)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Joshua 1:8

Read the “0205 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

This is a very scary passage of Scripture. God kills the two sons of Aaron for offering “strange fire” before the Lord. This story reminds me of when God killed Uzza for putting his hand upon the ark of God in an attempt to steady it and keep it from falling off of the cart that it was being transported on. (See 1 Chronicles 13) On the surface, these accounts make God seem to be unfair in that He kills people over minor infractions, but let’s consider this “strange fire” passage before us in Leviticus.

Why was God so upset about the “strange fire”?

1 They were supposed to take the fire from off of the brazen altar and use it to burn the incense. Apparently, they had violated God’s clear command and had taken a short-cut to accomplish their purpose. God does not like when people do His work in their own way. (See Exodus 30:9; 34 – 38)

2 Though we cannot be sure, it appears from the context that they may have been drunken when they were serving in the Tabernacle. Notice what God commands Moses in verses 8 – 11, just after this event takes place:

“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” (Leviticus 10:8-11)

God is very serious about His service. People who minister for the Lord need to be extremely careful that they are serving God His way, and that they are giving Him their absolute best. God may not kill us today for taking the ministry lightly, but just think about all of the people who will suffer spiritually when we serve God in our flesh and don’t give Him our best effort.


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Ignorant But Not Innocent.

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 5 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 1 – 2; Proverbs 4; Psalms 21 – 25

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0204 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:” – (Leviticus 5:3-5 )

I read today’s passage once through, but I struggled with what I should write about, so I went back to read it again. The second time around I noticed in chapter five that God was instructing the Israelites regarding sins of ignorance. I had to think about how a person could sin without knowing it, but it didn’t take long to figure out that we sin ignorantly all the time. Think about it. We do all kinds of things that are wrong and cause harm, without intending to do so. Also, we have done many things in the past, perhaps before we were saved, that we didn’t even know were wrong. The Bible says that even the thought of foolishness is sin. How many of us ever considered when we were yet unsaved that our thoughts were just as sinful as our actions. We may have been ignorant while doing these things, or thinking these things, but we were not innocent. Plus, there is the fact that some actions may be permissible for some, but wrong for others. The Bible says,”Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” – (James 4:17)

The bottom line is that we are sinful creatures. Not only do we intentially sin, but we also do many sinful things without fully realizing it. In our passage, God gave the children of Israel a solution for this dilemma. He told them that when they found out about their guilt, they were simply to confess it, and then offer a sacrifice for it. Praise God, today we do not have to offer up sacrifices to God for our sin because the Lord Jesus took care of all of the sacrifices necessary to atone for our sin when He was sacrificed once for all on the Cross of Calvary. But, I think it is still imperative for us to confess to God our sin when we find out about it, and then thank Him for the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that atones for it.

The idea here is that we need to stop trying to pretend that we are not guilty. We need to lower our defenses, and fire our “inner lawyer”, and get to the place where we recognize that we are full of sin, completely guilty before God, and totally unworthy and undeserving of His love and forgiveness. Stop trying to pretend that you are above sin, or that you have arrived at some kind of spiritual plateau where you are somehow better than other people. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. On my best day, I am still full of sins, most of which I am too dull spiritually to even recognize; but that’s OK, because I have a Saviour that I have completely trusted to save me from the eternal penalty of my sin, and I also trust Him daily to forgive and restore me to a place of fellowship with Him. Thank God for Jesus!

One more quick thought, If just now you have come to the place where you realize that you are a bigger sinner than you thought you were, yet you also understand that God still loves you and forgives you anyway; why don’t you cut the other sinners around you some slack; they’re struggling with the same sinful condition that you are. Just a thought.

Oh, and by the way, the baby pictured above is also not innocent, but the blood of Jesus atones for his sin, and protects him until he comes to the maturity level where he realizes that he is guilty before God. There will come a day when he will know that he is a sinner, and then he will be accountable for his sin. He will then have to either receive or reject the atonement made by the Lord for his sin.


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It Is Finished!

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –Luke 23 – 24; Proverbs 3 ; Psalm 16 – 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4

“And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:” – (Leviticus 4:33-34)

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – (Luke 23:34)

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” – (John 19:30)

I must confess that as I was reading the 4 chapters from Leviticus this morning, I kept thinking to myself: “what am I going to write about from this passage”. The four chapters are all about the Old Testament offerings. We read about the burnt offering, the meat offering, the peace offering, and the sin offering. I have been a student of the Bible for many years, and I still don’t have all of the Old Testament offerings straight in my head. I really was not looking forward to writing a devotion on one or all of these Old Testament sacrifices. But, then I read the “second miler” passage for this morning from Luke 23. I read where Jesus said, “Forgive them”, and I thought about when He said in John’s gospel, “It is finished”; and then I got excited. I realized that I don’t have to know  all of the details of the Old Testament sacrificial system because all of those sacrifices and offerings pictured and pointed to one thing: the sacrifice that Christ would make on the Cross of Calvary. It truly is finished! We don’t have to run down to the Tabernacle or Temple every time that we sin. We do not have to keep it all straight, because Jesus Christ paid for it all when He died for our sins. Praise God!

The next thing that I thought about this morning was that I don’t fully appreciate what the Lord did for me on the Cross. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live in Old Testament Israel. It certainly would have been very burdensome to live under the Law; and it was also impossible to live it perfectly. Do you think that even the best of the Israelites did everything the way they were supposed to. Do you think that every time they committed a sin of ignorance (and didn’t get caught) they went down to the priests with a sacrifice. I doubt it. But then that must have led to a lot of guilt, because they knew in their hearts that they were not fully obeying the Lord. What a relief it is to know that all sin: every sin, whether they be sins of ignorance or not, are forgiven. They are all under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I feel like speaking in tongues right now! (just kidding) Praise God for Jesus!!!!

Oh Oh! I just got another thought: a thought about sacrifices. There is one more sacrifice that I should consider today: the living sacrifice. I am to present my body a living sacrifice to the Lord. I am no longer my own: I am bought with a price, and I belong to Him; and that is my reasonable service. It is the least that I can do to live for the Lord since He was willing to die for me.

All of those thoughts from what I thought at first to be a dry and tedious portion of Scripture. Thank God for the Book of Leviticus!

Did you also notice with many of these offerings or sacrifices for sin that the man that committed the sin was the one who had to kill the animal? That makes it very personal. I do not like to kill things. I guess I am a little squeemish. I don’t even like to kill bugs. When I find one in the house, I usually bring it outside. For me to have to kill an animal every time I sin, would certainly be enough to cause me to not want to sin anymore.

Now think about the Lord Jesus. Did you ever think that every time you sin, it is like you personally crucifying the Lord. It is you and me that are piercing His brow and His side. It is you and me that are driving the nails into His hands and feet. Think about it. If every time you sin, you thought about having to slay the Lord of glory to atone for it, wouldn’t that deter you from wanting to sin anymore. I guess that is what the Bible means when it says the love of Christ constrains us. He loved us so much He was willing to die for our sins, and it was our sin, my sin that put Him on that cross. Think about it.


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