In His Word
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." – Psalm 119:105

Jul
28

1Mon - history

Deuteronomy is the first book in the Bible to mention God’s love, speaking of it from beginning (4:37) to end (33:3).  With His love comes commands.  The book contains some form of the word “command” between 100-135 times.  A loving God gives commands that those He loves need to keep for their own good.

The book also refers to the Israelites’ love for God.  In fact, it mentions love around 25-32 times, depending on the version – 5th highest of all books in the Bible.  It also contains the word “obey” more than any other book in the Bible except Jeremiah – around 20-30 times, depending on the version.  These two things are inseparable, “loving the Lord your God, (and) obeying His voice…” (30:20; also :16, 11:13, etc.).  God shows His love “to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (5:10; 7:9; 11:22; 30:16; etc.).  As Jesus later said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15).

God loves us today, so He has given us commands for our good.  If we love Him in return, then we will obey/keep those commands.  Love, commands, and obedience will always go together.

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
25

Fri - church

Paul wrote the Roman brethren, “…it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:8).  He was concerned about the Jews, the children of the flesh.  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” (10:1-3).

Paul preached that those who believed in Jesus and confessed Him as Lord would be saved (10:9-10).  It doesn’t matter what nationality one may be, “for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;” (10:12).  How would someone believe and call on Him?  “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (10:17).  Israel had its opportunity to hear, “But to Israel He says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’” (10:21).

There remained a faithful remnant among Israel who would be saved by the grace of God, because “God has not rejected His people” (11:1-5).  Others would see that grace extended to the Gentiles, and their jealousy would turn them back to God (11:11-14).  Those Gentiles should not become arrogant and think they were better than the Jews, for just as they were grafted in where the Jews were broken off, they could again be broken off as well (11:17-21).  “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.” (11:22).  The Jews who did not continue in unbelief would be grafted back in, because God’s desire was that the Gentiles would come in and that “all Israel will be saved;… For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (11:23-32).  “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! … For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (11:33-36).

Which will you experience at the judgment: the kindness or severity of God?  His grace causes His kindness and mercy to be extended to all, but you must accept it in obedient faith.  If you don’t, then know that His severity awaits you.

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
24

4Thu - Gospels

When the twelve returned to Jesus after being sent on the limited commission, He tried to get away with them to rest, but the people saw and followed them (Mark 6:30-33).  After feeling compassion for the people and teaching them, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed them all, with twelve full baskets left (6:34-44).  “There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:21).  On a later occasion He fed four thousand men with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish, with seven baskets left (15:32-39).  The people rightly responded, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14).

But Jesus did not come to earth to satisfy physical hunger; He came to satisfy the need of the soul, to provide “the food which endures to eternal life” (John 6:27).  He is “the true bread out of heaven…the bread of life…” (6:32-35).  Unlike the manna their fathers ate and died, “this is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die… living bread… he who eats this bread will live forever.” (6:49-58).  Many of His disciples would not accept this truth about Him and quit walking with Him (6:60-66).  When Jesus asked the twelve if they would also go away, Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” (6:67-69).

We can be like the crowd and get caught up in the physical things of this world (6:24-26, 30-31).  If we are not careful, they will take all of our focus and energy.  We must heed Jesus’ warning: “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you,…” (6:27).  Jesus offers us something greater than anything this world can offer: eternal life.  It is available to all who will feed on His word and feast on Him as the bread of life.

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
23

3Wed - prophets

When Babylon captured Jerusalem and carried off exiles, Jeremiah was given a choice where to go and decided to stay in Judah, along with other Jews who had fled to surrounding areas and returned (Jeremiah 40).  The remnant came to Jeremiah and asked “that the LORD your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do… May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with the whole message with which the LORD your God will send you to us. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God.” (42:3-6).  God told the people to stay in the land and not fear the king of Babylon, “for I am with you to save you and deliver you…” (42:9-12).  Yet arrogant men among them did not believe Jeremiah and said, “As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you!” (44:16).  They went to Egypt, taking Jeremiah and the people with them (43-44).  God told them that He would utterly destroy them for ignoring Him and going to Egypt (44).

We need the same attitude as the remnant.  We must realize our dependence on God to know the way to walk and what to do.  We should be committed to following His whole message, “whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.”  We must listen to His voice.  “Whatever the Lord our God says,… we will do it.” (42:20).  Arrogance and pride must be replaced by complete submission to God, else as we noticed yesterday in Proverbs we will be like the arrogant Jews who would not listen and be destroyed (16:18).

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
22

2Tue - poetry2

There is no sin that God hates any more than pride.  The Proverbs repeatedly tell how much He abhors it.  In the list of seven things He hates, that are an abomination to Him, “haughty eyes” top the list (6:16-17).  Pride makes a person feel high, but “a man’s pride will bring him low” (29:23).  It leads to dishonor, disgrace, and shame (11:2).  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (16:18), for “the LORD will tear down the house of the proud.” (15:25).  “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” (16:5).

There is a better way to be.  “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (16:19).  “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.” (11:2).  “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (29:23).  Nothing good comes from pride, but humility demonstrates wisdom and leads to honor.  Set aside your pride.  “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10).

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
21

1Mon - history

With the book of Deuteronomy containing Moses’ final words to the Israelites, he spent much of his time reminding them of things they already knew.  He told them around 25 times to either “remember” and/or “do not forget” various things.  They needed to remember and not forget God’s deliverance (5:15; 6:12; 8:14; 15:15; 16:3; 24:18), His power (4:9-10; 7:17-19), His blessings (8:11-18), and His wrath (9:7-8; 24:9; 25:17-19).

We need to remember these same great things about God today and cannot afford to forget them.  In addition to these, we have other great things to remember that they never knew.  As Paul instructed Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead,” (2 Timothy 2:8).  We must “remember the words of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:35) and also “remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Jude 17).  “So remember what you have received and heard, and keep it,” (Revelation 3:3); for without the proper response to what we remember, we might as well forget about any hope of being saved.

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
10

4Thu - Gospels

“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” (Matthew 10:1).  Then He sent them “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” with this message: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (10:6-7).  Those to whom they preached were to provide their needs, “for the worker is worthy of his support” (10:9-10).  It wouldn’t be easy.  “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (10:16).  When they were arrested and questioned, the Holy Spirit would give them the words to say (10:17-20).  Jesus told them, “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. … “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (10:22, 28).  Jesus’ message would divide family members and put to the test how much people truly love Him (10:34-39).

“Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:6).  “When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself” to a secluded place to rest (9:10; Mark 6:30-32).

If you ever think you are busy, then take a look at the life of Jesus.  Yet as busy as He was and as much as He had to accomplish, notice that He set aside time to rest – and made sure the twelve did the same.  There are times we all need to get away from the daily busyness of life to rest a while.  Are you in need of such a rest?  Take it now so that you can be a more effective servant later.

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
09

3Wed - prophets

Jeremiah told Zedekiah king of Judah that the Lord was giving Jerusalem into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and that Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon (Jeremiah 34:1-7).  “But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.” (37:2).  When “Jeremiah went out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin in order to take possession of some property there among the people,” someone accused him of going over to the Chaldeans and arrested him, but Zedekiah intervened and made sure Jeremiah was cared for until Jerusalem was captured (37-38).  Finally Jerusalem fell.  Zedekiah was captured, blinded, bound, and brought to Babylon; but Jeremiah was spared (39).  The Lord had already told him, “But I will deliver you on that day,… and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” (39:17-18).

In the days of Jehoiakim the Lord rewarded the Rechabites for their obedience, and He rebuked Judah for not being like them (35).  He also had Jeremiah “Take a scroll and write on it all the words which I have spoken to you concerning Israel and concerning Judah, and concerning all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day. Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way; then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.” (36:2-3).  “Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim …all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD.” (36:9).  The king was not as receptive.  He “cut it with a scribe’s knife and threw it into the fire…” (36:23).  When he did the Lord declared of him, “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night.” (36:30).

Just as the Lord was with those who were with Him and against those who were against Him, so He is today.  “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22).

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
08

2Tue - poetry3

Proverbs has much to say about the heart.  It can be full of bitterness, sadness, and pain (14:10; 14:13; 15:13; etc.), or it can be full of cheer, joy, gladness, and tranquility (14:30; 15:13, 15; 23:15; etc.).  “A man’s heart plans his way” (16:9a), which is why it is so important to “keep your heart on the right path” (23:19b).  Long before Jesus had to deal with those having hardened hearts, Solomon warned that “he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” (28:14).  He also warned against having a perverse or proud heart (11:20; 16:5; 17:20; 18:12).  The Lord tests and weighs the heart (17:3; 21:2), and He wants “all your heart” (3:5; 4:4).  Be sure to keep love and faithfulness and wise teaching in your heart (3:1, 3; 4:21; 22:18; etc.) and to “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (4:23).

“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. …For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (27:19; 23:7).  What is your heart reflecting?  What are you thinking?  “My son, give me your heart…” (23:26).

Have a great day in His word!

Jul
07

1Mon - history

The book of Deuteronomy contains the final words of Moses to the Israelites when he “undertook to expound this law” (1:5).  The word “Deuteronomy” means second law, with the book containing a second telling of the law first given at Mt. Sinai.  Not all of the current people were alive – or at least not old enough to remember – when the law was first given or many of the events that occurred during the journey.  The book covers a period of around 40 days.  Moses reviewed the history of the Israelites from the time they left Horeb (1-4), the stipulations of the covenant (5-26), blessings and curses (27-30), the appointment of Joshua (31), the song of Moses (32), the blessing of Moses (33), and his death (34).

Have a great day in His word!

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