Handle with Care … by the Real Travis Clark

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

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

Read the “0215 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – First John Three:One

According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 4:49)

The book of Numbers is a book that many people would skim over and I understand why. This book has a lot of names and family trees, it has a lot of rules that we don’t have to abide by anymore because of Jesus. In a great part of the book of Numbers, but specifically in chapter four  it even gives the manual if you would on what each person should be doing. We know that the Bible has something for us in every page, but if we’re honest with ourselves we probably think sometimes “what does this have to do with me?” In Numbers 4:1-15 we see God giving the instructions to Moses so he can relay them to the Kohathites. God Does this also in this chapter for the Gershonites (21-28) and the Merarites (29-49) So why thousands of years later is it important for us to read about this? Well number one the service that they are doing is preparing the tabernacle for the journey. I’m sure Pastor Erickson has talked about this in previous devotions so I won’t touch on the importance of it because I would assume most of us know the importance of it. So that is a big thing and God wants us to see how serious it is to deal with the things of God. God gets so specific of the covering even down to what kind of skin it should be. (Verse 6) If God is this concerned about the tabernacle that he made sure it was preserved in His book, don’t you think God wants us to prepare our temple the proper way? The reason why our way of worship and living for God is different, is because of the Trinity. Jesus died for our sins so we can go to heaven, and also we now have an intercessor so we can go directly to the Throne Room in Heaven! 

Romans 8:34 “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” 

 Then we have the Holy Spirit living inside us: our temple. I hear this phrase all the time “I won’t say that in church.” Well if your saved you have the Holy Spirit inside you, so you shouldn’t “say that” period. We have this portion of instructions to show us how important it is to take care of the things of God. So if you are saved you need to take the same kind of care and precautions that God wanted the people to do in the book of numbers. Paul explains this perfectly to the people in Corinth. 

1 Corinthians 6:15-20 “[15] Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. [17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Another thing I noticed is God didn’t give this job to one person; He didn’t even just give this job to the most important person, or people. God wanted multiple people involved. That means in the Church God doesn’t just want Pastor to do it all or one of the people on Staff to do it all. He wants multiple people to handle the things of God. On a personal level he also doesn’t just want you to walk alone. 

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

God wants us to have accountability so if we are not handling the things of God the right way we will have people in place to guide us in the right direction. 

If there is one thing that we can take away from Numbers 4 and apply it to our lives it’s this: Handle with care.

The Clark Family

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Give Ear … by Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – Psalms 78 – 79 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – Proverbs 1Psalms 1 – 5Mathew 1 – 2)

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

Read the “0701 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 78:1)

I believe since the invention of the smartphone we have become the worst listeners. Just think about it, how many times this week have you seen someone or yourself on their phone while having a conversation with someone else? It has become so hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone, because they are not giving their full attention. I have seen myself do this way too often. What happens is usually I’m not one hundred percent sure what the person talking to me is saying. Sometimes I even have to stop and say, “what were you saying?”  It’s extremely rude, but it also can be costly. Someone may be telling you important information, and now you were not able to retain the information because you were not paying attention. Listening is what this particular Psalm is talking about.   

The first thing the psalmist says is “give ear.” He’s saying I need you to listen. He wants them to listen to the word of God. He goes on to talk about why you should listen. I think why I should listen would be to help my life, or make my walk with God better. However, this passage is not to benefit me at all. The reason he’s telling us to listen is for the generation to come. God says, you had better start listening to the law for your children’s sake. If you are a parent, or a mentor to the generation to come you have a responsibility. Your responsibility, for the next generation, is for you to have a personal walk with God. God is saying, if you listen, and you follow me, the generation to come will have a better time following. I have seen this to be true today. I know there are mighty Christians who have had their children stray away. Yet other times the children leave God, because the parents were not really listening to God. These parents would go to church, but after church they would watch or listen to something that is wicked. They would bring their Bible to Church, but that is the only time they would open it up. The generation to come is watching, and they are thinking if it’s not real to my parents, why would I make it real for myself?

“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

At RU (the addictions program I run at my church) I often have addicts say they are just “hurting themselves” and not anyone one else by partaking in their addiction. I inform them that is not the case. Number one they have people whose hearts are breaking because their loved one is trapped in an addiction. Number two many children of addicted parents tend to get caught up in the same addiction. Could that be hereditary? Maybe. Rather, I think a big part of it is watching their parents partaking in the addiction. 

So how are we doing with our Christian walk? Are we listening daily to God so that the future generations have someone prepared to lead, or are we like the person talking to someone, with a smartphone, unaware of who may be following us? Let’s “give ear” to God.

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark. Travis is an assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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“Besides” … by the Real Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 18 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 16 – 18Psalms 101 – 105Proverbs 21)

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

Read the “0521 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Keep Your Eyes on the Lord.”

“Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand. But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” (2 Chronicles 18:5-6)

A couple of weeks ago I preached the longest message I have ever preached. The portion of scripture was 2 Chronicles 20, and now I am writing a devotion on chapters 18, 19, and 20. I’m going to just touch on chapter 18:

Here in 2 Chronicles 18, we have Jehoshaphat making an alliance with Ahab, which is kind of odd, and really a whole separate devotion in, and of itself. Ahab was wicked, and Jehoshaphat was good. I believe Jehoshaphat allied with Ahab to try to bring him back to the Lord. Verse 3 states: “And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” Jehoshaphat said he would go, but he said first we need to see what God has to say about it. Ahab agreed. Jehoshaphat asked 400 prophets and they all said, “go, God is with you.” You would think that would of been enough for Jehoshaphat. If four hundred prophets said God is going to give you victory, you would think that would be the “green light” that Jehoshaphat needed. My response, if I was Jehoshaphat, would have been, “great – let’s win this battle in the name of the Lord!” Jehoshaphat had a different response here in 2 Chronicles 18:6: “But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” The key word that stuck out to me was “besides.” Jehoshaphat had 400 hundred people in agreement of what God wanted. Most of the people who are reading this are Baptists, and we know it’s hard to get 4 preachers to agree on what God wants let alone 400. Here Jehoshaphat wasn’t concerned about what the people may have agreed upon. He ultimately wanted what God wanted.

Then another prophet, named Micaiah, comes in. In verse 16 Micaiah says: “…I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.” The thought would be this: The conclusion of 400 out of 401 prophets wasn’t enough. The agreement of 99.7% of the prophets saying God would bless wasn’t enough. What is “enough” for you to claim that it is of the Lord?

I love counsel. Proverbs 11:14 says this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” I’m for Counsel. When I make big decisions in my life there are people I go to for counsel; Pastor Erickson being one of them. I heed their counsel, but that is not the say all to where I formulate my answer. Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” We need to search out each matter. You may have gotten counsel, but have you prayed? You may have prayed, but have you fasted? You may have fasted, but have you searched the Scriptures?

When Jacob stole the blessing from Essau, Jacob made Isaac think he was Esau in every area except one; Jacob’s voice didn’t match Esau’s. Genesis 27:22 states, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Issac still blessed Jacob. If Issac would have questioned Jacob’s voice, he may have realized it wasn’t Esau. What decision are you making that checks all the boxes? Is there something “besides” that God may want us to search out? Let’s make sure we look into the “besides. Our spiritual life may depend on it. 

 

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark.
Travis is an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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Leaving a Legacy… by the Real Travis Clark

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

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read previous posts from this passage – “Bring Your Cause Before The Lord;” and “A Pastor’s Heart.

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

“Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.” (Numbers 27:1-5)

Here the daughters of Zelophehad come to talk to Moses. They were making their case to Moses saying there father Zelophehad, was a good man who loved the Lord. They continued to explain that he had no sons, and that the daughters should be able to have his inheritance. In 2020 this may not seem like a crazy request, but in that time women never received an inheritance. The first born male would receive a double portion, then if there were more sons they would divide up the rest. As you may remember with Jacob And Esau in Genesis 25, Jacob stole Esau’s birthright which eventually led to Jacob stealing the blessing. So for the times, this request the daughters made was a very bold request.  I want to focus on the reason why they made the request. They felt comfortable to make this request, because of their dad’s testimony. Their father with someone who walked with the Lord, and loved the Lord. They took that petition to Moses to tell him their father was a good man, therefore he should have an opportunity for his name to continue  through this inheritance.  This made me think:  would someone be able to make a bold request and the premise of their argument be my walk with God? Now back to the text-Moses did not have an answer for their request, so he decided to go to the Lord, and ask him.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren. And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren. And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 27:6-11)

The Lord’s response was that the daughters were right! They deserved the inheritance of their father. Not only were they able to receive an inheritance, but God made it where families in this situation or something similar would be able to receive an inheritance. God changed the law because of a request. Not just a request, but also because of the life their father lived by loving the Lord. Let this be a challenge to us. We need to love and serve the Lord not only for us, but for the people behind us.

 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:12-23)

I don’t find it a Coincidence, but after God recognized the legacy of a man, He addresses Moses’ legacy. Moses unfortunately  was not able to enter the promised land because of his disobedience:

 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. … And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:7-8, 11-12)

Moses loved the Lord, and his “inheritance” which would be the promised land is going to be passed on to Joshua. I thank God that even when we mess up God still will do His will, even if the person he chooses doesn’t cooperate. Jonah ran from Gods will, but God still made a way!

 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17)

God now gives Moses’ “inheritance”  to Joshua, and Joshua becomes one of the greatest leaders of all time! This is also a great reminder to make your past exactly that your past! Even though Moses fell he got back up, kept serving God, and also was a huge mentor to and influence on Joshua. The Devil would love to take your impact by reminding you of your past, don’t let him!!

Numbers 28 And 29 talked a lot about offerings. And you may not think that chapters 27, 28, and 29 should go together, but they go together perfectly. Chapter 27 talks about a good heritage- having a good godly role model or father or mother in your life. Chapters 28 and 29 talk about personal offerings and sacrificial giving. Some of us have a legacy that was left behind by a parent, grandparent, or maybe a spiritual parent in our lives. We need to be thankful for our goodly heritage (the inheritance), but we cannot rely on it. We have to make it personal through sacrificial living.

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember

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