It's a gorgeous cold morning here! Can you see the fog rising from the river? I had to put on my down coat to take this picture.... brrrr.... but I wanted to remember the beauty.
I want to remember the beauty in Deuteronomy today too!
You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God
from the flock and the herd,
in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.
Israel was to keep the Passover and remember what God did for them.
They were to do it when He said and where He said and how He said.
Everything was to be done according to the Lord’s choice.
In this chapter he says “where the Lord chooses” six times.
I’ve enjoyed so many thoughts this morning, but I will share just one.
The Lord Jesus, at the Passover, instituted a new feast for believers that we have the privilege to enjoy. The Lord’s supper. It is His choice. It is for our benefit.
We obey Him and remember what He has done for us.
Throughout my life, in the good times and bad, as I pour out my remembrances and thanks and praise for the Lord Jesus, with the other believers, God gives back to me in amazing ways. He has spoken to me so clearly during those times. He is so precious! No matter where I am in the world, as I sit at the Breaking of Bread, remembering the Lord Jesus, I’m home. Someday I will really be home doing the very same thing perfectly with no sin! Oh how I long for that day!
On the first day of the week,
when we were gathered together to break bread…
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you,
that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
and when He had given thanks,
He broke it and said,
"This is My body, which is for you;
do this in remembrance of Me."
In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in My blood;
do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of Me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
It’s a privilege!
It’s a responsibility!
It’s great joy!
Now I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!
So precious is Jesus, my Savior, my King,
His praise all the day long with rapture I sing;
To Him in my weakness for strength I can cling,
For He is so precious to me.
For He is so precious to me, (so precious to me,)
For He is so precious to me; (so precious to me;)
'Tis heaven below, my Redeemer to know,
For He is so precious to me.
I praise Him because He appointed a place
Where, someday, through faith in His wonderful grace,
I know I shall see Him, shall look on His face,
For He is so precious to me.
Beware that there is no base thought in your heart...
You shall generously give to him,
and your heart shall not be grieved
when you give to him,
because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you
in all your work and in all your undertakings.
For the poor will never cease to be in the land;
therefore I command you, saying,
"You shall freely open your hand to your brother,
to your needy and poor in your land."
God is interested in our hearts!
Israel was to be generous to the poor in the land and not have a bad attitude about it!
No base thought. Your heart shall not be grieved.
For us today:
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly
will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully
will also reap bountifully.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart,
not grudgingly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6,7
I love these verses. Especially because this was a major theme in my parents life and I want to follow in their footsteps. Cheerful giving. Hilarious giving.
What a great answer to selfishness.
Invest your money for eternity.
God loves a cheerful giver!
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God,
and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession
out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Israel was a chosen people and as such they were set apart to God. They were to be holy which would be seen in practices that were different than the nations around them.
Sounds like the instructions for believers today.
But you are A CHOSEN RACE,
A royal PRIESTHOOD,
A HOLY NATION,
A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION,
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light;
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE,
but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;
you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY,
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers
to abstain from fleshly lusts
which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:9-11
Believers today are chosen, are priests, are holy, and belong to God.
Israel and the church. Two different people. Two similar truths!
How should I behave today?
Proclaim His excellencies. (He called me into light!)
Abstain from fleshly lusts. (They war against my soul!)
Pretty clear instructions!
Something to do.
Something to be.
Last night one of our Bible study thoughts from Exodus 12:13 was
"When I see the blood, I will pass over you." Do you have the blood of Jesus on your life?
But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your GOD WILL CHOOSE from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. Deuteronomy 12:5
…then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your GOD WILL CHOOSE for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you. Deuteronomy 12:11
Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, but in the place which the LORD CHOOSES in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. Deuteronomy 12:13
But you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your GOD WILL CHOOSE, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings. Deuteronomy 12:18
If the place which the LORD your GOD CHOOSES to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire. Deuteronomy 12:21
Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD CHOOSES.
Six times in this chapter God talks about His choice of the place where He would meet with the people. Imagine God and man having a meeting place! It was going to be the tabernacle. They were not to be creative and come up with their own place. They weren’t to be innovative. They were to go where He set up. And follow His instructions.
Today there is a place to meet God. It is in the person of the Lord Jesus. No longer is there a tent. It’s a person! Don’t be creative and think you can get heaven through any other way.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
Meet God in Jesus!
Today’s reading! Wow! I hope you read your Bible everyday!
Moses shared spiritual lessons from Israel's past with those who had seen the great work of the Lord. They experienced amazing works of God, but they didn’t seem to get it, so he had to spell it out! He reminds me of a good mother explaining what just happened and reminding her children what’s right.
Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons
who have not known and
who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God-
His mighty hand and
His outstretched arm,
and His signs
and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt
to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land;
…but your own eyes have seen
all the great work of the LORD
which He did. Deuteronomy 11:2-7
You have such a great responsibility when you have seen the work of the Lord! You need to live according to what you have learned! It’s so easy to forget or go backwards because of personal sin. No! Stop! Live up to what you know. Then what? Pass it on to your children.
You shall therefore impress these words of mine
on your heart
and on your soul;
and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
You shall teach them to your sons,
talking of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk along the road
and when you lie down and when you rise up.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house
and on your gates…
I love those verses! My parents saw the importance of the work of God and passed on God’s greatness to me. I need to pass it on to the next generation. God is real! God is great! He is doing a work today! Get with His program! This comes with a blessing and a curse for Israel. In many ways it does the same for us.
See, I am setting before you today
a blessing and a curse:
if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God,
which I am commanding you today;
and the curse,
if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God,
but turn aside from the way
which I am commanding you today,
by following other gods which you have not known.
And in their history, Israel will be blessed and cursed!
If you look at your history, you will see the same.
When we obey, we are blessed.
Sin is a hard taskmaster.
It saps your life right out of you.
To obey is better.
Trust and obey for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.
I love the scripture! Thanks, God, for these reminders today!
it is not because of your righteousness
that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess,
for you are a stubborn people.
do not forget
how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness;
from the day that you left the land of Egypt
until you arrived at this place,
you have been rebellious against the LORD.
Three times earlier in this chapter the people are warned about attributing any success they are about to enjoy because of their own righteousness. They needed to remember and not forget that they were rebels. Stubborn! God was working His purposes not because of them. To further stress the point some examples of their rebellion follow in this chapter.
It struck me this morning how the world tells us how great we are, that we are good and valuable and to think highly of ourselves. That hasn’t worked too well. What we have is a world of self seekers who are always at war. The reality is, we are rebels and any good in our lives comes from the hand of God because He is kind and generous and working His purposes out in history.
Jesus died for rebels. He died because we are not good. There is nothing good in us. Today remember you are a rebel. Then live in the joy of sins forgiven, a home in heaven and deep deep gratitude. Now that’s living!
You shall remember all the way
which the LORD your God has led you
in the wilderness these forty years,
that He might humble you,
to know what was in your heart,
whether you would keep His commandments or not.
He humbled you
and let you be hungry,
and fed you with manna which you did not know,
nor did your fathers know,
that He might make you understand
that man does not live by bread alone,
but man lives by everything that proceeds
out of the mouth of the LORD.
In the wilderness He fed you manna
which your fathers did not know,
that He might humble you
and that He might test you,
to do good for you in the end.
God’s instructions to Israel are good for us too.
Remember all the way God has led you.
There have been difficult days. Trying days.
To humble you.
To test you.
To know what is in your heart.
To see whether you will obey.
To teach you to live by the Word of God.
To do you good in the end.
That's very clear!
Yesterday God showed me my heart. I asked Him to.
Teach me to live by Your Word!
He will do good in the end.
In the end.
I find it hard to wait for the end.
But I'm waiting in hope.
Even so come, Lord Jesus.
All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well,
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
I read a devotion by FB Meyer today and it contained so many of the truths I've been enjoying, I thought I would share it with you for your encouragement.
"Jacob said: All these things are against me." Genesis 42:36.
"What shall we then say to these things: If God be for us, who can be against us? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us." Romans 8:31-37.
THY COMPLAINT is very bitter, thou Prince of Israel! What ails thee so sorely? Is there none to comfort? "I do well to be sorrowful! The days of my years have been few and evil! Driven from my father's home; a stranger in a strange land for thirty years; in constant dread of my brother; compelled by the misdeeds of my sons to flee the country; bereaved of my beloved Rachel; lamed through my resistance to God's Angel--I had already suffered to the uttermost; but now we are straitened by famine and want; Joseph is not, Simeon is detained in prison as a hostage, and they are demanding Benjamin, the son of my old age and my right hand."
Let us beware of passing hasty judgments on God's dealings with us. He cannot work out His fair design without some cross-stitches on this side of the canvas. The black clouds are only His water-cisterns, and on the other side they are bathed in sunshine. Do not look at your sorrows from the lowlands of your pilgrimage---but from the uplands of God's purpose. No chastening for the present is joyous but grievous, nevertheless, afterward.., dwell on that Afterward! If Jacob had not been led along this special path, he would never have come out on the shining tableland, where God Himself is Sun.
"In all these things we are more than conquerors! " These are brave words, thou strenuous soul, how darest thou reverse the findings of the patriarch? Hast thou sounded the depths? Hast thou been in the pit?
"Ay! I have most certainly been there! I have experienced tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword; thrice beaten with rods, once stoned. In journeyings and perils, in hunger and thirst, in cold and pain. But nothing has succeeded in separating me from the love of Christ; and I am persuaded that neither life nor death, things present nor things to come.., shall ever separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Yes! thou great Apostle and Lover of Christ, thou art right! In all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him who has loved us--our Saviour, Jesus Christ!
Help me, O Lord, to believe that what seem to be my losses are really gains, and that each ounce of affliction is adding to the weight of glory, not hereafter only, but now! AMEN.
You shall love the LORD your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today
shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down,
and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign
on your hand,
and they shall be as frontlets
between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house
and on your gates.
What more can you say to that?
I guess the questions to ask are…
Am I loving the Lord with all my heart?
Is there something in my heart that I love more than the Lord?
Am I loving the Lord with all my soul?
Is my whole being, my very breath involved in loving the Lord?
Am I loving the Lord with all my strength?
Do I love Him vehemently? (I looked up the word)
Is His word on my heart? Period. Not just once in awhile.
Do I teach them diligently to my children?
Do I use every occasion to teach the Word of God?
When I sit, walk, lie down, rise.
Is the Word there when I work and when I think?
Is it the foundation for everything done in my home?
I can't help but notice the connection with loving God and keeping His word.
It reminds me of:
He who has My commandments
and keeps them
is the one who loves Me;
and he who loves Me
will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him
and will disclose Myself to him.
There is much to meditate on here and do!
What a challenge.
I sure don’t want God to say this of me…
But I have this against you,
that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
It is now time to live love!
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!