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Monday, January 24, 2022

Deuteronomy 10




WEEK  4                                   Deuteronomy 10

MONDAY  Reflections

Lord, if you save me, I'll serve you forever!

Does God answer these prayers? Yes, sometimes I believe He does, but it isn't because He is getting a good deal. God can't be bribed (verse 17). To think our lives are such a prize for God is really arrogant. God can't be bribed.  God created the entire world and everything belongs to him.

 

However, a prayer that understands since God freely gives us salvation in Jesus, so He deserves nothing less than our complete surrender is quite another thing. The words are the same but the prayer is completely different. This prayer is one that God, I believe, responds to. Salvation may not be physical deliverance but it will be salvation.

 

One side point: We can’t bribe God, but He still wants a relationship with us and went to the cross so He could have one with us. We can’t bribe him because He’s already paid the price for us. 



Deu 10:1-22
(1)  At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
(2)  And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
(3)  And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
(4)  And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
(5)  And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
(6)  And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead.
(7)  From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.
(8)  At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
(9)  Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.
(10)  And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.
(11)  And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.
(12)  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
(13)  To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
(14)  Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
(15)  Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
(16)  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
(17)  For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
(18)  He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
(19)  Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
(20)  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
(21)  He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
(22)  Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ezekiel 33




WEEK  3                                             Ezekiel 33

SATURDAY  Reflections

Ezekiel 33 repeats the call of Ezekiel being a watchman. The words echo back to the beginning of the book but today I want to consider verses 18 and 19.

 

Ezekiel 33:18-19 NLT “For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live.”

 

This reminds me of something I have heard many times by coaches, “It’s not how you start but how you finish that wins the game.”  We see here that God says the same thing, in fact, He said it first. The truth carries over into many areas of life. Yes, beginning well can help you finish well in competitions and in life, but it doesn’t mean you will. It is true that starting poorly makes it harder to finish well, but unlike the competition, the decision to repent and follow God erases God’s judgment.

 

Yes, someone coming to Christ later in life will never be able to reclaim the time that was lost, but the good news is the past life doesn’t have to be balanced. There is no excuse that says I can’t make it up, it’s too late. With God’s forgiveness, you don’t have to make it up, you just have to surrender to God from then on.



Eze 33:1-33
(1)  Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(2)  Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
(3)  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
(4)  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
(5)  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
(6)  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
(7)  So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
(8)  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
(9)  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
(10)  Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
(11)  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
(12)  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
(13)  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
(14)  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
(15)  If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
(16)  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
(17)  Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
(18)  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
(19)  But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
(20)  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
(21)  And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.
(22)  Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
(23)  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(24)  Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.
(25)  Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?
(26)  Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land?
(27)  Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
(28)  For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.
(29)  Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.
(30)  Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
(31)  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
(32)  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
(33)  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Deuteronomy 9




WEEK 3                                    Deuteronomy 9

FRIDAY  Reflections

They're too powerful and can't be beaten, begin the attack! This is basically how God prepared the people. I have a suicide mission for you and you can't win. One can't say God wasn't being brutally honest. God then added it was His work that was going to give them the victory. He told them the reason He was helping wasn't that they deserved it, but because of the wickedness of the people and the promises made to their ancestors. God again was being very, very honest. Yet, besides all of this God was giving them the opportunity to be part of the covenant.

It is the same today, we do not deserve God's grace, we didn't earn it but we (gentiles) are being given an opportunity because Israel (as a nation) didn't accept and as a promise to our ancestors, Adam and Eve (among others). This doesn't mean Jews can't come to Jesus, but when they do it isn't because of the covenant given to Moses. 




Deu 9:1-29
(1)  Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
(2)  A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
(3)  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.
(4)  Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
(5)  Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
(6)  Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
(7)  Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.
(8)  Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.
(9)  When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
(10)  And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
(11)  And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
(12)  And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
(13)  Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
(14)  Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.
(15)  So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
(16)  And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
(17)  And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
(18)  And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
(19)  For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
(20)  And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
(21)  And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.
(22)  And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.
(23)  Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.
(24)  Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
(25)  Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.
(26)  I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
(27)  Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin:
(28)  Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.
(29)  Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

John 3




WEEK 3                                                 John 3

THURSDAY  Reflections


QUESTION: Does anyone know what the most quoted verse in the Bible is?

If you answered John 3:16 you are correct. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (NLT).

It says that God loved us so much that He gave His best for us. 

You may wonder why we should ask about this verse in this study of the Bible. There is something I want you to realize in the middle of all the stress in your life. You are valuable to God. He gave His best, His all, to try and reach you.  This is one of many verses which say the same thing, “You are valuable to God.” Not just your neighbor, that great teacher, or some famous person: You are valuable to God. Jesus always sees you as valuable. He loves and cares for you and that is why He came to save you and to give you a better way to live.

 

Without truly believing this truth the rest is almost pointless.


Joh 3:1-36
(1)  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
(2)  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
(3)  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
(4)  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
(5)  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
(6)  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(7)  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(8)  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
(9)  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
(10)  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
(11)  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
(12)  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
(13)  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
(14)  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
(15)  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
(16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(17)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(19)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(20)  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
(21)  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(22)  After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
(23)  And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
(24)  For John was not yet cast into prison.
(25)  Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
(26)  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
(27)  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
(28)  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
(29)  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
(30)  He must increase, but I must decrease.
(31)  He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
(32)  And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
(33)  He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
(34)  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
(35)  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
(36)  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Psalm 117




WEEK 3                                         Psalm 117

WEDNESDAY  Reflections

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. The ironic thing is that my thoughts on the chapter are going to be longer than the chapter itself. One might be confused when reading this chapter in different versions because some say God’s kindness and truth last forever and others his love and faithfulness.

I, though, don’t want to focus on those minor issues (the words are closer than we may think), but on the idea, the psalmist makes on the everlasting nature of these attributes. God isn’t one thing and then another. God is always the same and his attributes don’t change. Our actions do, and our relationship with him can but he doesn’t change. He doesn’t become something else. He isn’t progressively growing into something else He Is. Or as He described himself “I AM.”


Psa 117:1-2
(1)  O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
(2)  For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.