Well Done!

Well Done

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 32 – 34 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Colossians 1 – 4;  Proverbs 11Psalms 51 – 55

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read the “0311 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. … And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,” – (Deuteronomy 34:5, 10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” – (Hebrews 9:27)

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:” – (Acts 13:36)

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” – (2 Timothy 4:7)

In Deuteronomy 34 we see the death of one of God’s choicest servants, Moses. Moses had served in the will of God for forty years, leading a stiffnecked and rebellious group of people through the wilderness, finally delivering them to the border of the land that God had given them. Moses had finished what God had called him to do. God was well pleased with the service of Moses, and I am sure that he heard the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” – (Matthew 25:21)

I think if we look back on Moses’ life, we can certainly see that he had a fulfilling life. Most people never find that kind of fulfillment. They live their lives trying to accumulate toys, and experience all of the pleasures of this world; but in them they never find the fulfillment which fills that empty cavern in the center of their souls. Too often, people die today with many regrets, many unrealized dreams. They often wish that had a chance to do it over again, or at least were granted a little more time to make things right. I don’t think that Moses had many regrets. I am sure there are some things that he would like to have redone. I bet he wished that he had kept better control of his temper at Kadesh; but for the most part, I believe that Moses was ready to go home to the Lord.

Moses found the will of God for his life, and he fulfilled it. I think that statement really sums up the secret to living a life that ends without regret. By the way, he also poured his life into others before he left so that they could carry on the work when he was gone. What are you living for? I think most of us who know the Lord really have a desire built in us to accomplish great things for Him, but we often put God’s will on the back burner so that we can do our own thing for a little while. The devil tricks us into thinking that there will always be time later on in life to get busy serving the Lord; but all too often the days just race by, and before we realize it, our lives are at the end. Time flies by, doesn’t it? Let me encourage you to not wait another minute to start the process of finding God’s will for your life, and then fulfilling it. What does God want you to do? Get busy! You will someday be on top of Mt. Nebo yourself, and then you will realize that your time is up. Like Moses, you will be able to see from that vantage point, not only what had been accomplished, but also what could have been accomplished. We will all have some regrets, but if we get busy now, we can die with the joy of knowng that we fulfilled God’s purpose for our lives.


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What Do They See?

What Do They See?

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 4 – 6Proverbs 9Psalm 46 – 50

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

Read another post from this passage – “Choose Wisely

Read the “0309 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.” – (Deuteronomy 28:10)

I was captivated by the verse above. Notice that it says that people will see that the Israelites were called by the name of the Lord. It does not say that the people will hear mere words. The people were not to just talk about their relationship with God, they were to live it; and live it so powerfully that the surrounding nations would fear them.

It is rare today that the world looks into the life of a Christian and sees the hand of God working so evidently and powerfully in them that they are actually feared. For the most part Christians today are mocked and made fun of, but not feared. Why are we the laughingstock of the world today? There are many reasons, but I believe the main one is that our lives do not demonstrate the power and abundance of the life of faith. We dabble in God, but we don’t let Him get all of us, and unless He has all of us He cannot demonstrate His power in our lives.

Christians should be walking billboards illustrating the power and blessing of an omnipotent God. People should be able to take one look at us and tell that there is something radically different about us; something almost intimidating. The story is told of the great preacher, Charles Finney, who visited a factory one day in New York, and after merely making eye contact with a woman in the factory, she began to weep uncontrollably. That is pretty powerful. Our lives should declare loudly and boldly that we are the children of an awesome and all powerful God. People may not agree with us, but if our lives are fully surrendered to the Lord, they should respect us. Do the people around you fear you because of the presence of God in your life, or do they mock you? Sobering thought.


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And Such Were Some of You

And Such Were Some Of You

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 23 – 26 (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 – 13; Proverbs 8; Psalms 36 – 40)

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

Read the “0308 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:” – (Deuteronomy 26:5)

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” – (Psalm 40:2)

“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” – (Jude 1:23)

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” – (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Read again Deuteronomy 26:1 – 11

In this passage the Israelite was commanded to bring an a firstfruit offering to the House of God, and then he was to recite a statement to the priests acknowledging that he remembered where he was when God found him. Actually, he was really speaking on behalf of the nation in that he was recognizing that God took Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees and brought him into the Promised Land. He also was acknowledging that all of the blessings that he was enjoying was given to him by God.

There are a lot of ways that we can apply the principle found in this passage. First, I believe that God would want us to keep fresh in our minds what it was like for us when we were not saved. I think as time goes on in our Christian life, we tend to forget about where God delivered us from. We were lost, without direction, without purpose, and without God’s blessings on our lives. God truly did bring us up out of “an horrible pit”, literally plucked from the fire. Don’t let time dim the memory of where you came from.

Secondly, because we remember what it was like before God saved us, we need to express our appreciation to Him for all of the things that He has done for us now that we are His children. Besides just a future home in Heaven, God abundantly provides for our needs here on the earth. He protects us from many of the harmful things that plague those that don’t have a relationship with Christ. He also give us purpose: a reason for living. We have been priveledged with the task of being His ambassadors to this fallen world. All because of salvation. Don’t forget where you came from. Realize that if it wasn’t for the marvelous grace of God, you could still be there.


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Put Your Game Face On!

Put Your Game Face On

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  Galatians 4 – 6Psalms 31 – 35Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

Read a previous post from this passage – “Feminine and Modest”

“And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” – (Deuteronomy 20:8)

In Deuteronomy chapter twenty, God gives instructions to the people of Israel regarding going into battle. Before going into the fight, God weeded out anybody whose hearts and minds would not be in the fight(vv 5 – 8). If these soldiers were not not fully committed and focussed on the battle ahead, they may be a danger to the other men. If they were consumed with fear, God knew that their fear may spread to the others and discourage them as well. God wants those who fight for him to be “in the fight”.

These verses bring several thoughts to mind, but the one I will share with you is one that I have given quite a bit of consideration to lately. In Christianity today, there is an awful lot of “half-hearted” effort in the battle to fulfill the Great Commission. So many are distracted, and so many more just do not seem to care at all. We need men and woman who are willing to give their all to and for the Lord. Consider these verses:

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – (Revelation 3:16)

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – (Luke 9:62)

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – (1 Corinthians 10:31)

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” – (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

We are in a battle today: against the devil; against the evil of this world. We are fighting for the souls of men, and God needs us to be focussed and determined as we fight. We need to decide whether or not we want to be in the battle or not, because turning back is not an option. We need to get in all the way or get out of the way. By the way, I understand that there will be times when we need to break from the battle temporarily for rest and restoration, but that does not mean we give up altogether. Sometimes we will have to fight on even when we are weary, but we must keep fighting. The time of eternal rest will come soon enough, but right now we have something to fight for. Christian, put your game face on!

I heard Brother Roloff (via a tape) sing this song years ago:

I Came Here To Stay

Well the champion marched, for forty days
said “Gimmie a man to fight!”
The Israelites said “We got a brave heart,
but our feet are sorta full of fright!”
Then a boy with a sling and a pocket full of rocks,
who knew how to trust and pray said:
“If you’re gonna run, may as well start now cuz I came here to stay!” 

Run if you want to run if you will
cuz I came here to stay
If I fall down, gonna get a right up
cuz I didn’t start out to play
Its a battlefield brother, not a recreation room
Its a fight and not a game
Run if you want to, run if you will,
but I came here to stay

The kids wouldn’t bow, the king got mad
said: “Turn that ol’ furnace up high!”
“Tie ‘em up, throw ‘em on in,
those Hebrew boys are gonna fry!”
A little while later, they looked in the furnace,
they heard brother Shadrach say:
“Pull up a chair boys, warm your hands,
we came in here to stay!”

Run if you want to run if you will

 


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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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Not Another Word!

Not Another Word

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10

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

Read the “0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” – (Deuteronomy 3:26)

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

When we were kids, we used to drive our parents crazy asking for things. We would keep asking over and over again until they finally acquiesced to our request, or until they got angry and said, “enough is enough – not another word!” In our passage today we have Moses asking the Lord to change His mind about letting him enter into the land. Moses had been leading the nation for over 40 years, delivering them up to the border of the Promised Land. He had put up with all of their problems and complaints. You would think that God would have cut Moses some slack, and let him see what he had been working toward for a good portion of his life. But God had already told Moses “no”. God is not like us, either: when He says “no” He means no. God told Moses, “Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” He basically told Moses to quit asking. He wanted Moses to be content with God’s will, whether or not it seemed fair.

Paul had a similar situation in the New Testament. He had a thorn in the flesh that He wanted God to take away from him. He asked God three times to remove it. God finally told Paul to stop asking. He wanted Paul to be content with the thorn, which for some reason was the will of God. He told Him that He would give him grace to go with the thorn, and that He should be content with that because it is sufficient.

I think it is just human nature for us to keep asking for things. By the way, there is nothing wrong with asking, and God even wants us to keep asking over and over again for the same thing. But eventually there will come a point when He will answer. He will either grant you the desire, or He will tell you “no”. When He tells you “no”, quit asking; and then be content with His will coupled with His grace. If you really needed what you were asking for, he would have given it to you. Be satisfied with what you do get, and know that God knows what is best. Perhaps someday we will understand a little better why God answered the way He did, but for now, just trust Him.


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Just One Thing

just-one-thing

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

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 9 – 12; Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5)

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

Read the “0301 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,” – (Deuteronomy 1:32)

The context of the above verse involves Moses reminiscing with the nation of Israel as they were near the end of their wandering in the Wilderness for 40 years. He reminds them of the reason that they had to delay their entrance into the Promised Land, which was their inability to trust God to deliver the “giant” inhabitants of the land of Canaan into their hand. They were afraid, and their fear caused them to doubt that God was powerful enough to give them victory. This was after they had seen first hand the power of God as He delivered them from the Egyptians; as He parted the Red Sea; and as He miraculously provided for their needs in their journey. Notice what Moses said in verse 31:

“And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.” – (Deuteronomy 1:31)

God had certainly never given them a reason not to trust Him. They had seen Him do the impossible, yet they could not trust Him to give them victory in the battle with the people of Canaan.

My thought this morning is in the phrase, “yet in this thing”. Though the people had seen God do great things in the past, and were trusting Him to do many things in the present, there was one thing that they could not trust Him to do. They were “picking and choosing” the specific areas of trust. Do you find yourself doing that? I guess it is something we are all guilty of, if you think about it. There are some specific areas where we choose not to trust God. So what do we do instead? We do what seems right to us. Let’s consider some verses that should challenge that course of action:

“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)

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” – (Proverbs 12:15)

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – (Proverbs 14:12)

We need to trust God completely. We need to surrender to Him completely. Either He is the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God, or He is not. We need to trust in His provision, protection, and His purpose for our lives. We need to take our hands off the wheel, and allow God to steer our course, and control our direction. I know that this is a very difficult thing for us to do, but it is still what God demands. Let Him have His way in your life. You can trust Him in all things, not just most things. God did bring the Israelites into the land, just 38 years later than He could have. As a nation, they did eventually receive all of the blessing that the land had to offer, but many individuals missed out. What blessings and abundance are you missing out on because of your refusal to believe God “in this thing”?

One more thought. We can apply this principle also in the area of our obedience. We often “pick and choose” which commandments and principles of God that we are going to obey. God wants complete submission to His will.


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I Will Be With Thee

IMG_3161

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 29 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Philippians 1 – 4; Proverbs 10; Psalms 46 – 50)

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

Read the “0310 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. … And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” – (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23)

Perhaps no greater source of encouragement can be found for the Christian today than the words contained in these verses. In our passage today we see Moses in his final days upon the earth. He has fulfilled God’s will for his life by leading the people of Israel out of bondage, and has brought them to the border of the Land of Promise. He is passing the baton over to Joshua, who had faithfully served Moses for the forty years of Moses ministry. Joshua has an extremely difficult task in front of him. He is following behind one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind, and he has been places in charge of a people that have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can be very rebellious. In fact, on the very day that Joshua is appointed his new position God tells him that the people are going to rebel. How would you like to be given the job of leading people who you already know are going to eventually stop following. If I were Joshua I would not only be fearful of the task ahead, but perhaps even a little discouraged. However, twice in this passage Joshua is reminded that it’s going to be OK, because God will be with him.

What a blessing it is to know that as we serve God today in the center of His will, that He promises to go with us as well.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – (Hebrews 13:5)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – (Matthew 28:20)

Sometimes it can be very difficult living for the Lord in the world that we live in. It is not easy being a good, godly parent; a witness on the job; a servant in the church; a light to the community: all of which God calls us to be. But God is with us. He goes before us, and then helps us as we strive to be His ambassador in this dark world. Sometimes, we may feel like we are all alone, but we are never alone, because God is always with us.

Did you recognize His presence in your life today? Did you talk to Him yet this morning? He desires to have intimate fellowship with you, and to use you to fulfil His purpose in your world. What a wonderful and awesome priveledge it is to know and serve the King of the Universe! Lift your head up high. You’ve got connections. You know the right Person. You are personally acquainted with God, and you represent Him to those who don’t know Him.


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Let’s Get Back to the Bible

King James Bible

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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Choose Wisely

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Proverbs 9; Psalms 41 – 45)

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

Read the “0309 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

This?

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” – (Deuteronomy 28:1-6)

Or This?

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” – (Deuteronomy 28:15-19)

The Choice Is Yours To Make

Choose Wisely

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” – (Deuteronomy 30:15)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” – (Deuteronomy 30:19)

 


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I Will Be With Thee

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 29 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Philippians 1 – 4; Proverbs 10; Psalm 46 – 50

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

Read the “0310 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. … And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” – (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23)

Perhaps no greater source of encouragement can be found for the Christian today than the words contained in these verses. In our passage today we see Moses in his final days upon the earth. He has fulfilled God’s will for his life by leading the people of Israel out of bondage, and has brought them to the border of the Land of Promise. He is passing the baton over to Joshua, who had faithfully served Moses for the forty years of Moses ministry. Joshua has an extremely difficult task in front of him. He is following behind one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind, and he has been places in charge of a people that have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can be very rebellious. In fact, on the very day that Joshua is appointed his new position God tells him that the people are going to rebel. How would you like to be given the job of leading people who you already know are going to eventually stop following. If I were Joshua I would not only be fearful of the task ahea, but perhaps even a little discouraged. However, twice in this passage Joshua is reminded that it’s going to be OK, because God will be with him.

What a blessing it is to know that as we serve God today in the center of His will, that He promises to go with us as well.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – (Hebrews 13:5)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – (Matthew 28:20)

Sometimes it can be very difficult living for the Lord in the world that we live in. It is not easy being a good, godly parent; a witness on the job; a servant in the church’ a light to the community: all of which God calls us to be. But God is with us. He goes before us, and then helps us as we strive to be His ambassador in this dark world. Sometimes, we may feel like we are all alone, but we are never alone, because God is always with us.

Did you recognize His presence in your life today? Did you talk to Hm yet this morning? He desires to have intimate fellowship with you, and to use you to fulfil His purpose in your world. What a wonderful and awesome priveledge it is to know and serve the King of the Universe! Lif your head up high. You’ve got connections. You know the right Person. You are personally acquainted with God, and you represent Him to those who don’t know Him.


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Have You Forgotten?

 

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 23 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 1 – 3Proverbs 8Psalms 36 – 40

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

Read the “0308 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: … Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:” – (Deuteronomy 26:5, 13)

My thought this morning comes from Deuteronomy chapter 26. In this chapter God reminds the people of Israel that when they get into the land that He had promised them, and they begin to receive of the goodness of the land, they were not to forget to bring back to God the tithe of their increase. People do not like to hear much about tithing nowadays; but the real purpose of tithing is not for God (or the church) to get their money, but rather for people to express in a tangible way the fact that they remember that God has blessed them. The people of Israel were encouraged to bring their tithe basket to the priest, and then they were to publicly state their appreciation to the Lord by rehearsing the fact that God had brought them out of cruel bondage, and delivered them into a land of incredible bounty. The tithe was just a small expression of appreciation for what God had done for them.

Today, we are just as quick to forget about the goodness of God. We can see that fact demonstrated in the way people give today. Most Christians don’t tithe; and many don’t give anything at all. We sometimes try to justify this lack of faith by blaming it on rough economic circumstances, etc., which I am sure certainly plays a partial factor; but the real issue is a matter of the heart. When people do not give back to God, they are not remembering and appreciating what He has done for them. However, I don’t want the focus of this morning’s devotion to be on tithing principles. Our giving habits are but one indicator of our remembering. My challenge this morning is get you to think about the ways you express your appreciation to the Lord for what He has done in your life. Don’t forget to remember God. And don’t forget to remember the good things that  people have done for you either. We tend to forget very easily,especially when a difficult circumstance arises in our life. Because our focus is on the new problem, we forget about (and lose appreciation for) all of the previous solutions and blessings that have been given us. We are no different from the little child who screams for a new toy, forgetting about all of the other toys he already has.

Do you remember the goodness of God in your life? Do you express your appreciation in words, and in other more tangible ways? We must be careful not to forget God. If we do, then we will gradually slip further and further away from the center of His will for our lives, and eventually He will be forced to correct us, which is never pleasant.


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Feminine and Modest

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” – (Deuteronomy 22:5)

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” – (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

In our text today, we see the famous verse that has no doubt been preached millions of times in reference to the attire of a lady. I know that I have quoted this reference countless times myself, but perhaps, I haven’t preached this principle as much as I should. I am very concerned that there has been an accelerated trend toward immodest as well as masculine dress among our Christian ladies, even in our fundamental churches over the past few years. There has always been immodest dress in our churches, but it seems that lately so many of our ladies are completely throwing in the towel in any attempt to obey biblical principle in the area of dress.

As far as I can see, there are two overriding principles when it comes to women’s dress: femininity, and modesty. A women should dress in such a way that there is clearly a distinction between herself and a man. This principle would also apply to hairstyles as well. Many women today are choosing to wear their hair very short, and even with a masculine style. The Bible is clear that a woman’s hair should be longer than a man’s. It seems like our culture is reversing the Biblical model. Men’s hairstyles seem to be becoming more feminine, and vice versa.

Women should also dress modestly, meaning their clothing should not draw attention to their bodies. Tight pants, and low-cut tops are magnets for mens’ eyes. Many ladies in our churches today are wearing dresses, which are definitely feminine, but, unfortunately, many are not modest: either too short, or too tight, or very revealing in the top. There have been many times, even at church, where I have caught my eyes wandering where they shouldn’t simply because there was someone dressed inappropriately. I know, shame on me; but shame on the lady also that reveals herself through her clothing to men that are not her husband. Clothing should not draw attention to the body. You may have heard this illustration before, but I once heard someone speaking on this subject who said that if a man’s attention is drawn to your body, and not your face, you are dressing immodestly. The word translated apparel in 1 Timothy 2:9 is “katastole”, which is defined as a loose garment, “let down”; or a long, flowing robe.

There is a lot more that I can say regarding this subject, but I think that you get the point. I am not saying that women should wear burlap sacks down to their ankles, but I do believe that Christian ladies should be much more careful when choosing their attire.


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Writing Scripture

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

Scripture Memorization for March – 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 20

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.

Read “The Truth about Joy in Ministry” by Pastor Paul Chappell

“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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Remember Who Butters Your Bread

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 – 4Proverbs 3Psalms 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.

“And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” – (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

In the passage of Scripture referenced above, God is admonishing the children of Israel not to forget the Source of all of their wealth. He was about to give them a land with houses and vineyards and farms; none of which they would have to build or work for. The Israelites would be waliking into a great situation. It would be like you or I inheriting a beautiful home, fully furnished, with two cars in the driveway; and then we were given a profitable business to further add to our wealth. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it. The problem with all of this was that somewhere along the way the people would slowly begin to forget about where all of this blessing came from. At first they would appreciate it; but then they would begin to think that they deserved it and were entitled to it; and finally, they would come to a conclusion that they had earned through their own efforts. At the end of the cycle, they have bitten the hand that fed them; and they have completely forgotten Who butters their bread.

I have observed this attitude in many Christians today. People often come to Christ  when their lives are in a mess. They are often in financial distress, or their marriages are falling apart; or both. They come to Christ, and He begins to turn things around for them. At first, they greatly appreciate what God has done for them; but slowly and gradually they forget Who it is that is blessing their lives. They stop attending; they stop tithing; and they stop serving. Somewhere along the line they think that they fixed their problems all by themselves. What happens next is not good. God has to stop blessing them; and they often end up right back where they started.

America is doing the same thing. We are the wealthiest and most powerful nation on planet earth. Why? Because God has blessed us. It is not because we are smarter or better than other nations. We are just blessed. But we are quickly forgetting the Source of our blessing. Unless we get it turned around, it cannot end well for America. Just a thought.


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Not Another Word

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16Proverbs 2Psalm 6 – 10

Scripture Memorization for March – 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 20

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

Read the “ 0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read “Seven Ways To Balance Your Schedule” by Pastor Paul Chappell

“But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” – (Deuteronomy 3:26)

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

When we were kids, we used to drive our parents crazy asking for things. We would keep asking over and over again until they finally acquiesced to our request; or until they got angry and said, “enough is enough- not another word!” In our passage today we have Moses asking the Lord to change His mind about letting Moses enter into the land. Moses had been leading the nation for over 40 years, delivering them up to the border of the Promised Land. He had put up with all of their problems and complaints. You would think that God would have cut Moses some slack, and let him see what he had been working toward for a good portion of his life. But God had already told Moses “no”. God is not like us, either: when He says “no” He means no. God told Moses, “Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” He basically told Moses to quit asking. He wanted Moses to be content with God’s will, whether or not it seemed fair.

Paul had a similar situation in the New Testament. He had a thorn in the flesh that He wanted God to take away from him. He asked God three times to remove it. God finally told Paul to stop asking. He wanted Paul to be content with the thorn, which for some reason was the will of God. He told Him that He would give him grace to go with the thorn, and that He should be content with that, because it is sufficient.

I think it is just human nature for us to keep asking for things. By the way, there is nothing wrong with asking; and God even wants us to keep asking over and over again for the same thing. But eventually there will come a point when He will answer. He will either grant you the desire; or He will tell you “no”. When He tells you “no”, quit asking; and be content with His will coupled with His grace. If you really needed what you were asking for, he would have given it to you. Be satisfied with what you do get, and know that God knows what is best. Perhaps someday we will understand a little better why God answered the way He did; but for now, just trust Him.


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Almost Home

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 32 – 34

(Second Milers also read – Philippians 1 – 4; Proverbs 11; Psalms 51 – 55)

Scripture Memorization for March – Psalm 1

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

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. … And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,” – (Deuteronomy 34:5, 10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” – (Hebrews 9:27)

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:” – (Acts 13:36)

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” – (2 Timothy 4:7)

In Deuteronomy 34 we see the death of one of God’s choicest servants, Moses. Moses had served in the will of God for forty years, leading a stiffnecked and rebellious group of people through the wilderness, finally delivering them to the border of the land that God had given them. Moses had finished with what God had called him to do. God was well pleased with the service of Moses, and I am sure that he heard the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” – (Matthew 25:21)

I think if we look back on Moses’ life, we can certainly see that he had a fulfilling life. Most people never find that kind of fulfillment. They live their lives trying to accumulate toys, and experience all of the pleasures of this world; but in them they never find the fulfillment which fills that empty cavern in the center of their souls. Too often, people die today with many regrets, many unrealized dreams. They often wish that had a chance to do it over again, or at least were granted a little more time to make things right. I don’t think that Moses had many regrets. I am sure there are some things that he would like to have redone. I bet he wished that he had kept better control of his temper at Kadesh; but for the most part, I believe that Moses was ready to go home to the Lord.

Moses found the will of God for his life, and he fulfilled it. I think that statement really sums up the secret to living a life that ends without regret. By the way, he also poured his life into others before he left so that they could carry on the work when he was gone. What are you living for? I think most of who know the Lord really have a desire built in us to accomplish great things for the Lord, but we often put God’s will on the back burner so that we can do our own thing for a little while. The devil tricks us into thinking that there will always be time later on in life to get busy serving the Lord; but all too often the days just race by, and before we realize it, our lives are at the end. Time flies by, doesn’t it? Let me encourage you to not wait another minute to start the process of finging God’s will for your life, and then fulfilling it. What does God want you to do? Get busy! You will someday be on top of Mt. Nebo yourself, and then you will realize that your time is up. Like Moses, you will be able to see from that vantage point, not only what had been accomplished, but also what could have been accomplished. We will all have some regrets, but if we get busy now, we can die with the joy of knowng that we fulfilled God’s purpose for our lives.


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Choose Wisely

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28

Second Milers also read – Galatians 1 – 6 (Galatians 1 – 3, Galatians 4 – 6); Proverbs 9; Psalms 41 – 45

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34

Scripture Memory for March – Psalm 1

Read last year’s post from this passage – “What Do They See?”

This?

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” – (Deuteronomy 28:1-6)

Or This?

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” – (Deuteronomy 28:15-19)

The Choice Is Yours To Make

Choose Wisely

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” – (Deuteronomy 30:15)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” – (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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Your Game Face

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 5 – 8; Proverbs 7; Psalms 31 – 35)

Scripture Memory for the month of March – Psalm 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

“And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” – (Deuteronomy 20:8)

In Deuteronomy chapter twenty, God gives instructions to the people of Israel regarding going into battle. Before going into the fight, God weeded out anybody whose hearts and minds would not be in the fight(vv 5 – 8). If these soldiers were not not fully committed and focussed on the battle ahead, they may be a danger to the other men. If they were consumed with fear, God knew that their fear may spread to the others and discourage them as well. God wants those who fight for him to be “in the fight”.

These verses bring several thoughts to mind, but the one I will share with you is one that I have given quite a bit of consideration to lately. In Christianity today, there is an awful lot of “half-hearted” effort in the battle to fulfill the Great Commission. So many are distracted, and so many more just do not seem to care at all. We need men and woman who are willing to give their all to and for the Lord. Consider these verses:

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – (Revelation 3:16)

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – (Luke 9:62)

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – (1 Corinthians 10:31)

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” – (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

We are in a battle today: against the devil; against the evil of this world. We are fighting for the souls of men, and God needs us to be focussed and determined as we fight. We need to decide whether or not we want to be in the battle or not, because turning back is not an option. We need to get in all the way or get out of the way. By the way, I understand that there will be times when we need to break from the battle temporarily for rest and restoration, but that does not mean we give up altogether. Sometimes we will have to fight on even when we are weary, but we must keep fighting. The time of eternal rest will come soon enough, but right now we have something to fight for. Christian, put your game face on!

I heard Brother Roloff (via a tape) sing this song years ago:

I Came Here To Stay
Well the champion marched, for forty days
said “Gimmie a man to fight!”
The Israelites said “We got a brave heart,
but our feet are sorta full of fright!”
Then a boy with a sling and a pocket full of rocks,
who knew how to trust and pray said:
“If you’re gonna run, may as well start now cuz I came here to stay!”

Run if you want to run if you will
cuz I came here to stay
If I fall down, gonna get a right up
cuz I didn’t start out to play
Its a battlefield brother, not a recreation room
Its a fight and not a game
Run if you want to, run if you will,
but I came here to stay

The kids wouldn’t bow, the king got mad
said: “Turn that ol’ furnace up high!”
“Tie ’em up, throw ’em on in,
those Hebrew boys are gonna fry!”
A little while later, they looked in the furnace,
they heard brother Shadrach say:
“Pull up a chair boys, warm your hands,
we came in here to stay!”

Run if you want to run if you will


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Writing Scripture

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 15 – 18

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 1 – 4; Proverbs 6; Psalms 26 – 30)

Scripture Memory for March – Psalm 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

“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.


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Biblical Separation

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 12 – 14

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16 (1 Corinthians 13 – 14, 1 Corinthians 15 – 16); Proverbs 5; Psalms 21 – 25)

Scripture Memorization for March – Psalm 1

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

“If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.” – (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)

You will notice from the passage above that God was very serious about this matter of separation. He didn’t want any hint of the false gods of the heathen inhabitants of the land of Canaan to enter into the lives of the people of Israel. God was so adamant about this that He demanded the death penalty for anyone (even a close friend or family member) that attempted to lure an Israelite into worshipping other gods. It goes on to say later on in the chapter that whole cities should be completely destroyed if the people of that city begin to worship Belial. They weren’t allowed to take any of the spoil from these cities: everything and everybody was to be destroyed. I will reiterate: God is very serious about separation.

Separation was not just a doctrine for the Old Testament Jew, either. God expects the New Testament Christian to be separated from sin and the world, unto the gospel (Romans 1). Consider the following verses:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – (Romans 12:2)

“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)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – (1 John 2:15-17)

In these latter days, separation has almost become extinct. Even Christians who believe in separation are not really very separated. If we were to be completely truthful, we would have to admit that this world of pleasure and possessions has cast quite a spell upon the church. I believe the only way to break the spell is to intentionally limit the influencing media that the world uses to pull us in, and then draw closer to the Truth of God’s Word. Some day, very soon, the Lord will come and take those who belong to Him home to Heaven. Nothing from this world will matter to us then. We might as well get used to eternity now. Let us draw closer to the Lord, and let all of the ungodly distractions of this world to be moved far away from our lives.

By the way. I am not suggesting isolation. There is a vast difference between isolation and separation. Jesus said that we are to “in” the world, just not “of” the world. God loves the people of this world, and wants us to influence them and reach them with the gospel of Christ. He just doesn’t want us to get caught up at all in the sinful pleasures of this world system, or too caught up in amoral things (things that are not necessarily wrong, but may be weights) that are not eternal.

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” – (Colossians 3:1)

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – (Philippians 4:8)

There are a lot of beautiful things, people, and places on this earth that are not wrong for us to be around; but there is also a lot of evil out there; a lot of distractions, and God wants us to be separated from them, so that we will be able to see Him clearly, and do His will more effectively. Christians are to be different from the rest of the world out there because we are supposed to be shining the light of the gospel to them. Our lights have become very dim as the world has gotten darker, when we really should be shining more brightly than ever before. Just a thought.


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Paving The Way

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 9 – 11

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 9, 1 Corinthians 10 – 12; Proverbs 4; Psalms 16 – 20)

Read – “One Simple Way To Encourage the Heart of Your Pastor” by Pastor Paul Chappell

Scripture Memory for March – Psalm 1

“Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.” – (Deuteronomy 9:3)

I get a lot of comfort from verses of Scripture like this one. You see, I hate to admit it, but I am basically a very fearful person by nature. I am afraid to try new things; I am afraid to to meet new people; and I am very afraid of rejection and failure. In Deuteronomy chapter 9, God is encouraging another group of fearful people. The people of Israel were about to enter into the land of promise, and though the land was a wonderful place, it was also inhabited by some pretty big and mean dudes who were not too pleased about this new nation moving in. But God reminded them here that they need not be afraid, because he was going to go before them and pave the way for them. He was going to clear the land first, so that the Israelites would basically be able to move right in.

The reason why verses like this one comfort me is because I am also often afraid to do the Lord’s will in my life. God sometimes asks me to do things that I am not naturally comfortable with. I remember the first time that I was asked to do a devotion. Even though the group that I was addressing was only a small group of junior aged boys, I was scared to death; but I knew it was something that God wanted me to do, so I did it. It turned out well, too. God went before me, and He went with me. Soul winning is another activity that causes me great consternation. I am scared to death of rejection. The thought of somebody slamming the door in my face is almost enough to keep me from going. But, again, I know God wants me to “preach the gospel to every creature”; and He always goes before me and provides me with wonderful opportunities to share Christ with the lost, or to encourage the saved.

What has God been asking you to do that you are afraid to do? Remember, He will not ask you to do something that He will not equip you and empower you to do. God will go before you. He will pave the way, and after the road is clear, He will go in with you to help you along the way. You know, every time I overcome my fears and do the thing that the Lord has called me to do – without exception – He blesses; and I walk away with a joy and a fulfillment that is beyond description. I bet that He will do the same thing for you!


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Not Another Word!

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5

Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 1 – 4; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10

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

Scripture memory for March – Psalm 1

Read “Remember to Replenish” by Pastor Chappell

“But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” – (Deuteronomy 3:26)

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

When we were kids, we used to drive our parents crazy asking for things. We would keep asking over and over again until they finally acquiesced to our request; or until they got angry and said, “enough is enough- not another word!” In our passage today we have Moses asking the Lord to change His mind about letting Moses enter into the land. Moses had been leading the nation for over 40 years, delivering them up to the border of the Promised Land. He had put up with all of their problems and complaints. You would think that God would have cut Moses some slack, and let him see what he had been working toward for a good portion of his life. But God had already told Moses “no”. God is not like us, either: when He says “no” He means no. God told Moses, “Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” He basically told Moses to quit asking. He wanted Moses to be content with God’s will, whether or not it seemed fair.

Paul had a similar situation in the New Testament. He had a thorn in the flesh that He wanted God to take away from him. He asked God three times to remove it. God finally told Paul to stop asking. He wanted Paul to be content with the thorn, which for some reason was the will of God. He told Him that He would give him grace to go with the thorn, and that He should be content with that, because it is sufficient.

I think it is just human nature for us to keep asking for things. By the way, there is nothing wrong with asking; and God even wants us to keep asking over and over again for the same thing. But eventually there will come a point when He will answer. He will either grant you the desire; or He will tell you “no”. When He tells you “no”, quit asking; and be content with His will coupled with His grace. If you really needed what you were asking for, he would have given it to you. Be satisfied with what you do get, and know that God knows what is best. Perhaps someday we will understand a little better why God answered the way He did; but for now, just trust Him.


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Just One Thing

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 1 – 2

(Second Milers also read – Romans 13 – 16; Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Scripture Memory for March – Psalm 1

“Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,” – (Deuteronomy 1:32)

The context of the above verse involves Moses reminiscing with the nation of Israel as they were near the end of their wandering in the Wilderness for 40 years. He reminds them of the reason that they had to delay their entrance into the Promised Land, which was their inability to trust God to deliver the “giant” inhabitants of the land of Canaan into their hand. They were afraid, and their fear caused them to doubt that God was powerful enough to give them victory. This was after they had seen first hand the power of God as He delivered them from the Egyptians; as He parted the Red Sea; and as He miraculously provided for their needs in their journey. Notice what Moses said in verse 31:

“And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.” – (Deuteronomy 1:31)

God had certainly never given them a reason not to trust Him. They had seen Him do the impossible, yet they could not trust Him to give them victory in the battle with the people of Canaan.

My thought this morning is in the phrase, “yet in this thing”. Though the people had seen God do great things in the past, and were trusting Him to do many things in the present, there was one thing that they could not trust Him to do. They were “picking and choosing” the specific areas of trust. Do you find yourself doing that? I guess it is something we are all guilty of, if you think about it. There are some specific areas where we choose not to trust God. So what do we do instead? We do what seems right to us. Let’s consider some verses that should challenge that course of action:

“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)

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” – (Proverbs 12:15)

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – (Proverbs 14:12)

We need to trust God completely. We need to surrender to Him completely. Either He is the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God, or He is not. We need to trust in His provision, protection, and His purpose for our lives. We need to take our hands off the wheel, and allow God to steer our course, and control our direction. I know that this is a very difficult thing for us to do; but it is still what God demands. Let Him have His way in your life. You can trust Him in all things, not just most things. God did bring the Israelites into the land, just 38 years later than He could have. As a nation, they did eventually receive all of the blessing that the land had to offer, but many individuals missed out. What blessings and abundance are you missing out on because of your refusal to believe God “in this thing”.

One more thought. We can apply this principle also in the area of our obedience. We often “pick and choose” which commandments and principles of God that we are going to obey. God wants complete submission to His will.


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Well Done

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 32-34; Proverbs 11

(Second Milers also read – Philippians 1 – 4; memorize John 1:1)

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. … And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,” – (Deuteronomy 34:5, 10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” – (Hebrews 9:27)

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:” – (Acts 13:36)

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” – (2 Timothy 4:7)

In Deuteronomy 34 we see the death of one of God’s choicest servants, Moses. Moses had served in the will of God for forty years, leading a stiffnecked and rebellious group of people through the wilderness, finally delivering them to the border of the land that God had given them. Moses had finished with what God had called him to do. God was well pleased with the service of Moses, and I am sure that he heard the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” – (Matthew 25:21)

I think if we look back on Moses’ life, we can certainly see that he had a fulfilling life. Most people never find that kind of fulfillment. They live their lives trying to accumulate toys, and experience all of the pleasures of this world; but in them they never find the fulfillment which fills that empty cavern in the center of their souls. Too often, people die today with many regrets, many unrealized dreams. They often wish that had a chance to do it over again, or at least were granted a little more time to make things right. I don’t think that Moses had many regrets. I am sure there are some things that he would like to have redone. I bet he wished that he had kept better control of his temper at Kadesh; but for the most part, I believe that Moses was ready to go home to the Lord.

Moses found the will of God for his life, and he fulfilled it. I think that statement really sums up the secret to living a life that ends without regret. By the way, he also poured his life into others before he left so that they could carry on the work when he was gone. What are you living for? I think most of who know the Lord really have a desire built in us to accomplish great things for the Lord, but we often put God’s will on the back burner so that we can do our own thing for a little while. The devil tricks us into thinking that there will always be time later on in life to get busy serving the Lord; but all too often the days just race by, and before we realize it, our lives are at the end. Time flies by, doesn’t it? Let me encourage you to not wait another minute to start the process of finging God’s will for your life, and then fulfilling it. What does God want you to do? Get busy! You will someday be on top of Mt. Nebo yourself, and then you will realize that your time is up. Like Moses, you will be able to see from that vantage point, not only what had been accomplished, but also what could have been accomplished. We will all have some regrets, but if we get busy now, we can die with the joy of knowng that we fulfilled God’s purpose for our lives.


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I Will Be With Thee

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 29-31; Proverbs 10

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 1 – 6; memorize John 1:1)

“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. … And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” – (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23)

Perhaps no greater source of encouragement can be found for the Christian today than the words contained in these verses. In our passage today we see Moses in his final days upon the earth. He has fulfilled God’s will for his life by leading the people of Israel out of bondage, and has brought them to the border of the Land of Promise. He is passing the baton over to Joshua, who had faithfully served Moses for the forty years of Moses ministry. Joshua has an extremely difficult task in front of him. He is following behind one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind, and he has been places in charge of a people that have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can be very rebellious. In fact, on the very day that Joshua is appointed his new position God tells him that the people are going to rebel. How would you like to be given the job of leading people who you already know are going to eventually stop following. If I were Joshua I would not only be fearful of the task ahea, but perhaps even a little discouraged. However, twice in this passage Joshua is reminded that it’s going to be OK, because God will be with him.

What a blessing it is to know that as we serve God today in the center of His will, that He promises to go with us as well.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – (Hebrews 13:5)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – (Matthew 28:20)

Sometimes it can be very difficult living for the Lord in the world that we live in. It is not easy being a good, godly parent; a witness on the job; a servant in the church’ a light to the community: all of which God calls us to be. But God is with us. He goes before us, and then helps us as we strive to be His ambassador in this dark world. Sometimes, we may feel like we are all alone, but we are never alone, because God is always with us.

Did you recognize His presence in your life today? Did you talk to Hm yet this morning? He desires to have intimate fellowship with you, and to use you to fulfil His purpose in your world. What a wonderful and awesome priveledge it is to know and serve the King of the Universe! Lif your head up high. You’ve got connections. You know the right Person. You are personally acquainted with God, and you represent Him to those who don’t know Him.


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What Do They See?

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28; Proverbs 9

Second Milers also read – Galatians 1 – 6; memorize John 1:1

“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.” – (Deuteronomy 28:10)

I was captivated by the verse above. Notice that it says that people will see that the Israelites were called by the name of the Lord. It does not say that the people will hear mere words. The people were not to just talk about their relationship with God, they were to live it; and live it so powerfully that the surrounding nations would fear them.

It is rare today that the world looks into the life of a Christian and sees the hand of God working so evidently and powerfully in them that they are actually feared. For the most part Christians today are mocked and made fun of, but not feared. Why are we the laughingstock of the world today? There are many reasons, but I believe the main one is that our lives do not demonstrate the power and abundance of the life of faith. We dabble in God, but we don’t let Him get all of us, and unless He has all of us He cannot demonstrate His power in our lives.

Christians should be walking billboards illustrating the power and blessing of an omnipotent God. People should be able to take one look at us and tell that there is something radically different about us; something almost intimidating. The story is told of the great preacher, Charles Finney, who visited a factory one day in New York, and after merely making eye contact with a woman in the factory, she began to weep uncontrollably. That is pretty powerful. Our lives should declare loudly and boldly that we are the children of an awesome and all powerful God. People may not agree with us, but if our lives are fully surrendered to the Lord, they should respect us. Do the people around you fear you because of the presence of God in your life, or do they mock you? Sobering thought.


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Have You Forgotten?

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 23-26; Proverbs 8

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 9 – 13; memorize John 1:1)

“And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: … Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:” – (Deuteronomy 26:5, 13)

My thought this morning comes from Deuteronomy chapter 26. In this chapter God reminds the people of Israel that when they get into the land that He had promised them, and they begin to receive of the goodness of the land, they were not to forget to bring back to God the tithe of their increase. People do not like to hear much about tithing nowadays; but the real purpose of tithing is not for God (or the church) to get their money, but rather for people to express in a tangible way the fact that they remember that God has blessed them. The people of Israel were encouraged to bring their tithe basket to the priest, and then they were to publicly state their appreciation to the Lord by rehearsing the fact that God had brought them out of cruel bondage, and delivered them into a land of incredible bounty. The tithe was just a small expression of appreciation for what God had done for them.

Today, we are just as quick to forget about the goodness of God. We can see that fact demonstrated in the way people give today. Most Christians don’t tithe; and many don’t give anything at all. We sometimes try to justify this lack of faith by blaming it on rough economic circumstances, etc., which I am sure certainly plays a partial factor; but the real issue is a matter of the heart. When people do not give back to God, they are not remembering and appreciating what He has done for them. However, I don’t want the focus of this morning’s devotion to be on tithing principles. Our giving habits are but one indicator of our remembering. My challenge this morning is get you to think about the ways you express your appreciation to the Lord for what He has done in your life. Don’t forget to remember God. And don’t forget to remember the good things that  people have done for you either. We tend to forget very easily,especially when a difficult circumstance arises in our life. Because our focus is on the new problem, we forget about (and lose appreciation for) all of the previous solutions and blessings that have been given us. We are no different from the little child who screams for a new toy, forgetting about all of the other toys he already has.

Do you remember the goodness of God in your life? Do you express your appreciation in words, and in other more tangible ways? We must be careful not to forget God. If we do, then we will gradually slip further and further away from the center of His will for our lives, and eventually He will be forced to correct us, which is never pleasant.

By the way, the picture on the top is of the Twin Towers. We vowed on 9/11 that we would never forget what happened that day. We said that we would not forget what was done to us, nor would we forget those who died. Yet, it seems like our nation is quickly breaking that vow, just as she has forgotten Pearl Harbor. We need to be careful to remember, and reflect on all of these things. Let’s not get so busy in the present, or so worried about the future, that we forget the lessons and the blessings of the past.


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