Monday, March 31, 2008

Hall of Fame Faith

March 31, 2008

Judges 4:6-10 CEV
(6) One day, Barak the son of Abinoam was in Kedesh in Naphtali, and Deborah sent word for him to come and talk with her. When he arrived, she said: I have a message for you from the LORD God of Israel! You are to get together an army of ten thousand men from the Naphtali and Zebulun tribes and lead them to Mount Tabor.
(7) The LORD will trick Sisera into coming out to fight you at the Kishon River. Sisera will be leading King Jabin's army as usual, and they will have their chariots, but the LORD has promised to help you defeat them.
(8) "I'm not going unless you go!" Barak told her.
(9) "All right, I'll go!" she replied. "But I'm warning you that the LORD is going to let a woman defeat Sisera, and no one will honor you for winning the battle." Deborah and Barak left for Kedesh,
(10) where Barak called together the troops from Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand soldiers gathered there, and Barak led them out from Kedesh. Deborah went too.

People often look at Barak as a man of weak faith, one that would hide behind the skirt of a woman. Did you know that this same man who hid behind the skirt is listed in Hebrews 11 in the Hebrews hall of fame? If he is a man of weak faith how did he get there.

Barak walked in the faith that he had. In those days, a woman that had gotten to the prominence that Deborah had, judging all of Israel, would have been very rare. It was a male dominated society. And one thing is for sure, woman, no matter how prominent they become would not go to war. I will sometimes picture myself as the people I read about in the Bible. As I meditated on this situation I pictured Barak being called by Deborah and being told to go fight a war. Now he did not have the men or the machines to go to war, and here is this woman, who can stand behind the lines, way behind, safe in her house and she is telling him to go to war. I can almost feel him saying, 'that is easy for you to say. If you are so sure, go with me.' And to some degree, that required a whole lot of faith. If she had died in the war, he would have gone down in history as the man who killed a prophetess , a judge of Israel. Not the type of way I would like to be remembered.

To her credit, Deborah called his bluff and they went to war. And they won. And Israel had peace once again, at least till the next time they forget God again.

God can take what little faith you have, faith that is so small it is hardly noticed, and put you in the Faith Hall of Fame.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 3:1-5:31
Judges 6:1-7:25 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, March 30, 2008


March 30, 2008

Judges 2:18-19 NET
(18) When the LORD raised up leaders for them, the LORD was with each leader and delivered the people from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The LORD felt sorry for them when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them.
(19) When a leader died, the next generation would again act more wickedly than the previous one. They would follow after other gods, worshiping them and bowing down to them. They did not give up their practices or their stubborn ways.

As we begin the book of Judges, we will look and see a repetitive pattern that the Israelites got into all through the book of Judges. It is a pattern that we can learn from in our own lives as well. They would be oppressed, call out for help, God would raise a judge to deliver them who would then die and then they would go back to their bad ways and the cycle would start again.

In our own lives, we face problems that seem to overwhelm us like the Israelites did from their enemies. We cry out to God for help. He sends it in the form of a councilor, one to disciple you, a pastor, or someone else. Eventually the problem gets resolved and then we drift away from the one who helps us, and from God. Finally we wind up back in the same situation all over again.

I do not know about you, but in my life that has happened quite a few times. I do not want to be on it anymore. It is time to trust God and keep your trust in Him. Stay with him when the times are bad, anyone can do that. Can you stay with Him when the times are good?

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 1:1-2:23
Judges 3:1-5:31 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, March 29, 2008


March 29, 2008

We have choices in life, many of them. We have choices of what we eat, where we live, what kind of car to drive, even where to go to school. But we have a very important choice to make in our life, one that affects our eternity.

Joshua 24:14-15 CEV
(14) Then Joshua told the people: Worship the LORD, obey him, and always be faithful. Get rid of the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt.
(15) But if you don't want to worship the LORD, then choose right now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you're living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you'll worship their gods. I won't. My family and I are going to worship and obey the LORD!

I did not have a family that taught the way to God was only through Jesus Christ. I was told that message though. And with that message came one choice, to accept Him as my savior. But then I had another decision to make. If I would follow Him. You see, God will let us stay in our sins if we want. We can continue in our addictions. We can continue to hate people. We can, but that is not God's best for our lives.

Joshua told the people you can follow what ever gods you want. And we can do the same today by living a lifestyle not pleasing to God. But then he said something else. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. That is a conscious decision that you have to make and for those that God has given to you till they come of age. Have you made that decision or are you still following the 'other gods'?

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 22:1-24:33
Judges 1:1-2:23 for a daily reading tool

Friday, March 28, 2008


March 28, 2008

A few years ago there was a praise and worship song that I sang in church that said:

Our God can never fail
He's proven it time and again
Trust Him and see
He's got all the power you need.

How true a set of words. Even when the Israelites were not sure of what to do, God gave them what He had promised them.

Joshua 21:43-45 LITV
(43) And Jehovah gave to Israel all the land which He swore to give to their fathers. And they possessed it, and lived in it.
(44) And Jehovah gave them rest round about, according to all that He swore to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood before them. Jehovah delivered all their enemies into their hand.
(45) Nor did fail a word from any good word which Jehovah had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Not only did He give them what they were to posses, but then He gave them peace on all sides. There enemies did not attack them.

When we get into the areas that God wants us to be in, peace will follow.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 19:1-21:45
Joshua 22:1-24:33 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Take the land

March 27, 2008

Many times God will tell us that we are to posses something or do something for Him but it does not happen right away. At times that can get discouraging and we may want to throw in the towel. Know that you are not the first one to have that happen.

Joshua 18:1-10 ESV
(1) Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.
(2) There remained among the people of Israel seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned.
(3) So Joshua said to the people of Israel, "How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?
(4) Provide three men from each tribe, and I will send them out that they may set out and go up and down the land. They shall write a description of it with a view to their inheritances, and then come to me.
(5) They shall divide it into seven portions. Judah shall continue in his territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall continue in their territory on the north.
(6) And you shall describe the land in seven divisions and bring the description here to me. And I will cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
(7) The Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the LORD is their heritage. And Gad and Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan eastward, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them."
(8) So the men arose and went, and Joshua charged those who went to write the description of the land, saying, "Go up and down in the land and write a description and return to me. And I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh."
(9) So the men went and passed up and down in the land and wrote in a book a description of it by towns in seven divisions. Then they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh,
(10) and Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD. And there Joshua apportioned the land to the people of Israel, to each his portion.

There were several tribes of the Israelites that God had promised a portion of the land, but they had not taken it yet for what ever reason. So Joshua just told them, go look at that land, write down what is like, come back and we will divide it up. They you can go and take it on your own. Some never did take what they were supposed to do. Some of the children of Israel did not do what they were supposed to do. Others tried and succeeded.

When God gives a vision and you are sure of what it is, then hang on to it and work for it to succeed. But also know that it may not come to pass right away.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 16:1-18:28
Joshua 19:1-21:45 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A river runs through it

March 26, 2008

A lot of people would say that older people cannot do what God has called them to do since they are weak and frail. That is not the way it was in the time of the Israelites.

Joshua 14:6-15 MKJV
(6) Then the sons of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, said to him, You know the thing that Jehovah said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea regarding you and me.
(7) I was forty years old when Moses the servant of Jehovah sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land. And I brought him word again as it was in my heart.
(8) But my brothers that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I fully followed Jehovah my God.
(9) And Moses swore on that day, saying, Surely the land on which your feet have trodden shall be your inheritance, and your sons' forever because you have fully followed Jehovah my God.
(10) And now, behold, Jehovah has kept me alive these forty-five years as He said, even since Jehovah spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness. And now, lo, I am eighty-five years old today.
(11) As yet I am as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and to come in.
(12) And now give me this mountain of which Jehovah spoke on that day. For you heard in that day how the giants were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. If Jehovah will be with me, then I will be able to drive them out, as Jehovah said.
(13) And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.
(14) And Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, to this day, because he fully followed Jehovah, the God of Israel.
(15) And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba; that one was a great man among the giants. And the land had rest from war.

You see, when the spies went into the land the first time, only Joshua and Caleb came out with the good report. Caleb was promised land and even though he is now 85, he plans to go up, take the land and conquer it.

There are always new lands for us to take, new experiences to learn. If we do not keep trying to learn and do, we become like a lake. A lake is where water comes in but does not go out. If left by itself it becomes stagnant and death takes over. If the lake has a river coming into it and also one going out of it, then it is constantly changing and will keep life in it. We may feel old, we may even not move as well as Caleb did when he was 85 (at 55 I am not sure that I do), but our mind can be out there fighting the fight. And that is where Satan would like you to die, in the mind, because there he will have you beat.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 12:1-15:63
Joshua 16:1-18:28 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Seek first God

March 25, 2008

Have you ever gotten God to bless you after really seeking Him in something. I know I have. And it gets sometimes to be common that we will continue to get what we need when we seek Him. After a while of that, we might get cocky. We might think we know what the Lord wants us to do. The children of Israel though that way at least. God had told them to not to make a treaty with any of the people of the promised land, to kill them all. So one day some people came to them with a story:

Joshua 9:7-14 CEV
(7) The Israelites replied, "But maybe you really live near us. We can't make a peace treaty with you if you live nearby." The Gibeonites said, "If you make a peace treaty with us, we will be your servants." "Who are you?" Joshua asked. "Where do you come from?" They answered:
(8) (SEE 9:7)
(9) We are your servants, and we live far from here. We came because the LORD your God is so famous. We heard what the LORD did in Egypt
(10) and what he did to those two Amorite kings on the other side of the Jordan: King Og of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth, and King Sihon of Heshbon.
(11) Our leaders and everyone who lives in our country told us to meet with you and tell you that all of us are your servants. They said to ask you to make a peace treaty with our people. They told us to be sure and take along enough food for our journey.
(12) See this dry, crumbly bread of ours? It was hot out of the oven when we packed the food on the day we left our homes.
(13) These cracked wineskins were new when we filled them, and our clothes and sandals are worn out because we have traveled so far.
(14) The Israelites tried some of the food, but they did not ask the LORD if he wanted them to make a treaty.

It looked like a good story. Notice however, verse 14. They did not ask the Lord if He wanted them to make a treaty. That was a big mistake.

Now do not get me wrong. I am not saying that you have to ask God what clothes to wear each day. That is taking seeking God's will to an extreme. But for almost all of the big (and some of the little) ones, it is time to get asking God what He wants. I am sure that the world would be a better place if we sought God in what we did in our lives in stead of assuming that we know.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 9:1-11:23
Joshua 12:1-15:63 for a daily reading tool

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bringing down the walls

March 24, 2008

Joshua 6:7-10 ESV
(7) And he said to the people, "Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the LORD."
(8) And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD following them.
(9) The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually.
(10) But Joshua commanded the people, "You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout."

We look today at Joshua taking the city if Jericho. God gave him some very strange instruction to take the city. March around the city once each day and on the seventh day, march seven times and then blow the rams horns. Then the city walls will come down and they can take over.

Now I do not know about you, but I can picture the guys walking around the walls. Each trip around they are looking at the walls asking themselves and each other when the cracks are going to show up in the walls. There was probably going to be a lot of doubt spoken. So Joshua did a smart thing. I do not know if God told him to do it or he did it himself. He told the people:

"You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout."

In other words, march and keep your mouth shut. And this was for a good reason. Scientists in today's world have found there is a correlation between the words that we speak and what we become. I am not saying 'name it and claim it', but I am saying that if you speak negative things, then negative things begin to happen. If you go around saying that your marriage is a failure, that your kids are out of control, or what ever, then your mind gets that way and you will, deep in yourself, do things to make it happen.

Joshua had a wall to take down. He had to tell the people to keep their mouths shut. You have walls in your life. What do you have to keep quiet about?

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 5:1-8:35
Joshua 9:1-11:23 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, March 23, 2008


March 23, 2008

One of the most common set of words that I have ever read in the Bible could either be 'fear not' or peace be with you', both of which mean the same thing for the most part. In today's reading we find out why. Fear can kill you. I have heard it said that fear is just faith in the wrong thing. The people of Israel, when they came to the promised land the first time were in fear of what the spies reported. They had no reason to be you know. Take a look:

Joshua 2:8-11 NET
(8) Now before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to the roof.
(9) She said to the men, "I know the LORD is handing this land over to you. We are absolutely terrified of you, and all who live in the land are cringing before you.
(10) For we heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt and how you annihilated the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, on the other side of the Jordan.
(11) When we heard the news we lost our courage and no one could even breathe for fear of you. For the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below!

Rahab is telling the two men who are checking things out on in the promised land this time, that as far back as when God parted the Red Sea, the people of Jericho have been waiting for this day to come. They had heard of the miracles of this God and knew that their days were short. In reality it was they who were afraid of the Israelites. If they had not been so afraid when they came the first time, the Israelites could have had the land and all the people would not have had to die in the wilderness.

You see, fear can kill you in a wilderness that you have put yourself in.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Joshua 1:1-4:24
Joshua 5:1-8:35 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, March 22, 2008


March 22, 2008

Psalms 91:4 KJV
(4) He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Years ago a evangelist came to the church that I was at. He told a rather funny story about this verse. He had been preaching about it one night, how God wants to wrap you up and protect you like a mother bird wraps a baby up in her feathers to protect it. He told the people to get a picture of that and make it stick and if they felt they were in trouble to remember it.

That night a woman from the church he had been at was walking home and a mugger jumped out and started to attack her. She remembered what he had preached but could not remember the verse to quote it so she just started yelling 'feathers, feathers.' The mugger got scared of this woman and took off and as he was running attracted the attention of a police man driving by. He was arrested. When he talked to the lady afterwards he told her that she was acting like a lunatic and that is why he ran.

You know something, the verse did protect her even though she could not quote it by heart. All she needed was one word, one powerful word. Feathers.

Next time it seems the world is coming against you, just remember one word.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 32:1-34:12 Psalms 91:1-16
Joshua 1:1-4:24 for a daily reading tool

Friday, March 21, 2008

God is a parent also

March 21, 2008

Deuteronomy 31:16-18 ESV
(16) And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them.
(17) Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?'
(18) And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

If you are a parent of an older child you might know how God feels here. You try to raise them so that they will be good people. At some point you know you have to let them go. They act fairly good but you just know there are problems down the road for them. Not because of what you have taught them, but because of the choices that they will make.

God here even knows that they are going to fall back into their bad ways. He does not want them to, He has even warned them of what to do and what not to do. What a feeling to have. You know they are going to crash and burn. What would you do (or have you done) as a parent.

To me there is only one thing to do, do what God does. God steps back and lets them do what they will do. He gives them the free will to do what they want. On the other hand, he also gives the consequences . When they do wrong, he steps back and does not bless them. Likewise, as a parent you cannot bail out a child when they need it each time. They need to come and be repentant and know what they have done wrong.

Study what God does if you really want to be a good parent.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 30:1-31:30
Deuteronomy 32:1-34:12 Psalms 91:1-16 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, March 20, 2008

God has a secret

March 20, 2008

Deuteronomy 29:29 (Amplified Bible)

29The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all of the words of this law.

A few months ago my pastor preached on the fact that God does not hold us responsible for what we do not know is a sin, but for what we do know is. He used some scriptures that kind of said what he was trying to say. I kind of put it on the back burner and asked God to show me other scriptures that would follow this thought. When reading the reading for today I was looking for what to write about. I had a few things that I noted as I was reading but all of a sudden this verse jumped out at me. Isn't God good.

God has secrets. He may choose to reveal them to us, and then we are responsible for them. But until and unless He does, we need to live by what has been revealed to us. And what has been revealed to us. God has revealed it to us in His Word. The life of Jesus would be a good place to start.

Let's start living in the secrets that God has given us though His Word.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 28:1-29:29
Deuteronomy 30:1-31:30 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sins of our fathers

March 19, 2008

There is an old adage that says that the apple does not fall far from the tree. It basically means that a child will not be much different than the parents that he grew up with. While this is true there are many cases where it is not.

As I write this there is a black man who is running for president. Since he is a democrat I do not follow his political leanings. A lot has been made of the church that he went to and the rhetoric of the pastor that he has sat under. The pastor has said many inflammatory statements about the United States. Since this man is a spiritual son to the pastor there is a feeling that a lot of this may be the way the candidate is.

Deuteronomy 24:16 MKJV
(16) The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, neither shall the sons be put to death for the fathers. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

We cannot judge one person for what another one does. Each man has to pay for his own sin. While I could not have sat under a man who spoke the way this pastor did, I cannot blame the candidate either.

See I grew up with prejudice towards people of color. I was told it was OK for them to improve themselves but I had better not make any of them my friends and was even put down by my father when I did. I am not that way. I even attended for a time a mostly black church.

Do not judge one for the sins of their parents. Let the parents be judged on their own. If you had judged me by my father's actions you would not see the real me.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 24:1-27:26
Deuteronomy 28:1-29:29 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The clothes you wear

March 18, 2008

Deuteronomy 22:5 CEV
(5) Women must not pretend to be men, and men must not pretend to be women. The LORD your God is disgusted with people who do that.

Gender identification is an important thing in this verse. We can use this verse to say that woman are not to wear pants, but look back to what they wore in that day. Men and woman both wore a garment that went over the head. Pants did not come in till much later.

What is talked about here is the fact that men are to be men and woman are to be woman. That is not to say that we can not get in touch with our opposite gender, but if you are a man, you are a man, and likewise woman. Do not try to make yourself to be something that you are not. God made you what you are and He knows best in your life. Stop trying to be something that you are not.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 21:1-23:25
Deuteronomy 24:1-27:26 for a daily reading tool

Monday, March 17, 2008

Read the words

March 17, 2008

Deuteronomy 17:18-20 BBE
(18) And when he has taken his place on the seat of his kingdom, he is to make in a book a copy of this law, from that which the priests, the Levites, have in their care:
(19) And it is to be with him for his reading all the days of his life, so that he may be trained in the fear of the Lord his God to keep and do all the words of this teaching and these laws:
(20) So that his heart may not be lifted up over his countrymen, and he may not be turned away from the orders, to one side or the other: but that his life and the lives of his children may be long in his kingdom in Israel.

Some people may ask why should I read the Bible every day? I would say that it tells us in God's word. When a new king was to be put in charge of the Israelites, the first thing he was to do was to write out the book of the law (the first five books of the Bible), and then he was to read from it every day.

God wanted the King to know His word. If it was important for the king to be lead by the word, isn't it also important for us to be led by His word also.

Take some time to read His word today.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 17:1-20:20
Deuteronomy 21:1-23:25 for a daily reading too

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Helping the poor

March 16, 2008

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 CEV
(10) You should be happy to give the poor what they need, because then the LORD will make you successful in everything you do.
(11) There will always be some Israelites who are poor and needy. That's why I am commanding you to be generous with them.

You should always help the poor. God is not referring to people who will not work, or who think they are entitled to something because of who they are. He is talking here about the widows and the orphans. If it was today it would be the family that lost a job or they have lost the main bread winner in the family due to illness or death.

What is the result of helping these people. They will make you successful. Not them really, God will, you receive that blessing because you have blessed them.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 14:1-16:22
Deuteronomy 17:1-20:20 for a daily reading too

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Where do you go to worship?

March 15, 2008

Deuteronomy 12:8-11 VW
(8) You shall not do as we are doing here today; every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;
(9) for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which Jehovah your God is giving to you.
(10) But when you have crossed over the Jordan and dwelt in the land which Jehovah your God is giving you to inherit, and He has given you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety,
(11) then there shall be the place which Jehovah your God will choose to establish His name. There you shall bring all that I am commanding you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow unto Jehovah.

Before we come to know the Lord we can worship Him any way that we choose. If we want to sleep in and say that we can worship Him by getting in touch with nature, then that is OK. When we decide to know the Lord though we have to do things His way. In the beginning of the nation of Israel they had to go to the place that God had chosen. Any place else was not a place to worship God. They had moved to the promised land and they had to do what God told them to do.

When we become Christians and accept Jesus as our Lord, we too enter the promised land. We need to listen to God and go where He tells us for church. We need to listen to the sacrifices that He wants us to make for Him there. We are not to go any place that we want to go, we are to go where He guides us.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 11:1-13:18
Deuteronomy 14:1-16:22 for a daily reading too

Friday, March 14, 2008

Where does power come from

March 14, 2008

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV
(17) Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'
(18) You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Really not much to say about today's verse. How often do we think that we were the ones that did it all. When we do that we put a false god up in front of ourselves. That is the god of self.

You could not do anything if you had bad health so do not think that you have done anything. God gives it all to you. That does not mean you do not take pride in your work, but in the end, remember who is the one that gave you the ability to do it in the first place.

Give credit where credit is due.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 8:1-10:22
Deuteronomy 11:1-13:18 for a daily reading too

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wild animals

March 13, 2008

Deuteronomy 7:22 CEV
(22) As you attack these nations, the LORD will force them out little by little. He won't let you get rid of them all at once--if he did, there wouldn't be enough people living in the land to keep down the number of wild animals.

Recently I talked about how instant a society we live in. God how ever, does not do things in an instant. I often wonder why, for example, a particular problem that I am working on in my life is just not solved instantly.

The Israelites were told by God that He would not remove all the people at once. If He did then the land would be overrun with wild animals before they could occupy it. No, slow and steady is the better way to do it.

So what does that have to do with me and my problems (or you and yours for that matter)? Everything. If God was to get rid of them quickly for us, we might get into pride on how we were able to beat it. Or maybe we would think that God got us out of it once so fast He can do it again.

I do not know God's timing. I do know that I trust Him and I have to let Him work out things in His time and in His way.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 5:1-7:26
Deuteronomy 8:1-10:22 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Talk to your children

March 12, 2008

Deuteronomy 4:9 CEV
(9) You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well.

We ourselves should never forget what God has done for us. But if we do not pass it on to our children, they may not get the faith to live and walk it themselves. They are not to live by our faith, they are to live on their own. But as a father and mother help a baby to take its first steps, our faith can help them to walk their own first steps. And not only our children, but our children's children as well.

If you do not know what the Lord has done for you, take time to reflect upon it now.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 3:1-4:49
Deuteronomy 5:1-7:26 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Asking for directions

March 11, 2008

Deuteronomy 1:2-3 ASV
(2) It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.
(3) And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that Jehovah had given him in commandment unto them;

What a trip. Even if he took the scenic route, it would have been 40 years and 10 months too long. God was leading them. Why did God not take them on the direct path?

The answer would be in the people themselves. They were not ready. We get a taste of that when we realize that when they got to the promised land the first time they did not think they could win, even with God's help. God had to take them back out into the desert and burn Egypt out of them.

So often we want God to give us what we want when we want it. We live in an instant age and we expect instant answers from God as well. God very wisely does not always give us what we want until we are ready for it.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Deuteronomy 1:1-2:37
Deuteronomy 3:1-4:49 for a daily reading tool

Monday, March 10, 2008

City of Refuge

March 10, 2008

Numbers 35:11-12 BBE
(11) Then let certain towns be marked out as safe places to which anyone who takes the life of another in error may go in flight.
(12) In these towns you may be safe from him who has the right of punishment; so that death may not overtake the taker of life till he has been judged by the meeting of the people.

It is clear from today's readings that God wants someone who murders someone else dead. The scriptures clearly have a call for capital punishment in that respect. But there are cases where the line was not so clear cut. Yes someone died, but it was an accident. Since the surviving family members had a right to go after someone who had harmed their family members, God set up cities of refuge. When the person accidentally killed another, he could run to the city of refuge closest to him and there he could not be harmed by the deceased person's family.

Clearly God is a God of a second chance here. He wants to let people who are really innocent free. They had to pay a little for their crime. They were required to stay in the city till the High Priest died so they could not move about and conduct business the way they normally would. But a second chance is clearly shown here.

Do we give second chances to people? Do we hold grudges against people for something they said or did 10 years ago? If God has forgotten it why shouldn't we? Do we have a right to hang on to our unforgiving mentality for ever? God forgave us, and He is a God of a second chance. We should be also.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 35:1-36:13
Deuteronomy 1:1-2:37 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thorns in your side

March 9, 2008

As Christians we are called to go into all the world and bring Jesus to them. While we can talk to and befriend them, we must be careful in developing a full blown friendship with them. If we do not, trouble can come. The Israelites faced the same problem in moving into the promised land.

Numbers 33:55 NET
(55) But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those whom you allow to remain will be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your side, and will cause you trouble in the land where you will be living.

When we became Christians we had a need to get rid of all that would bring us back to sin. At times in our lives we need to look at what in our life may be causing us to sin and displease God. If we do not the things in our life that bring us to sin will keep doing so, be they human or not. If we do not want them to irritate us all the time we need to get rid of them. A few years ago, I was involved with Internet Chat rooms. I spent a lot of time in them, time that I could have been with my family. I realized that it was affecting my relationship with my wife and I basically got out of them. I did not look back, they were gone. The chat programs were off my machine. Could I go back to it? Yes I think I could without going crazy with it like I did before. But why do I want to try? They would be an irritant to me and I might just go over the edge. Why risk it?

There are things in your life that you need to give up. They are keeping you from God and/or your family. Examine your life now and see if they are there. If they are then it is time to get rid of them.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 33:1-34:29
Numbers 35:1-36:13 for a daily reading tool

Being used by God

March 8, 2008

A few months ago, my pastor in a sermon tried to say that someone could not be walking with the Lord but that the Lord could still use him. I was a little bit skeptical but I took what he said on faith and let it go. I knew that somehow God would reveal it to me one way or the other. Today's reading has two little sentences in it that seem to be there just as filler. Everything in the Bible is put there for a reason.

To start with, go back a few days readings and you will find the story of Balaam. I had always assumed that he was a man of God that had gotten away from the Israelites, or that God had revealed Himself to Balaam somehow. Anyway, Balaam is called to curse the Israelites but God will not let him. In fact the Spirit of God takes over and he blesses the people instead. At the end of the story he returns to Midian.

We do not hear from him for a few chapters, and even then, his mention is so brief.

Numbers 31:8-16 KJV
(8) And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
(9) And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
(10) And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
(11) And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
(12) And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
(13) And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
(14) And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
(15) And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
(16) Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Balaam gets mentioned twice here. Once in verse 8 as he is mentioned that he is killed with the 5 kings. The other is in verse 16. The people of Israel were lured to turn to a false god. Why? Because Balaam had given the Midianites council on how to get them not to follow God.

Balaam was not the God fearing man that I thought he was. He as just a person that was in the place that he was and was used by God. God can use anyone to get His will met. I am sure that He would prefer to use Christians. He does not have to. Jesus even pointed out to not stop those who were not from Him but teaching in His name. He knew that only good could result.

I guess my pastor was right. I know that if I fail in what God has called me to do, someone else can step in. I also know that I will face God in the end and have to justify it. How about you? Is some non-Christian doing your job?

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 31:1-32:42
Numbers 33:1-34:29 for a daily reading tool

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breaking a vow

March 7, 2008

Numbers 30:1-2 GNB
(1) Moses gave the following instructions to the leaders of the tribes of Israel.
(2) When a man makes a vow to give something to the LORD or takes an oath to abstain from something, he must not break his promise, but must do everything that he said he would.

We live in a society today when it is very easy to take a vow and then break it. We do it all the time. It used to be a handshake was enough to close any deal. Now it has to be in writing, and sometimes that is not enough. It is too easy to break any agreement or vow that we make.

I will give you an example. You go to the store and you buy a TV with your credit card. A few year later, you get into some financial trouble. It might be that you have overspent, or that you lost a job, it does not matter. So what do you do? Many would try to work it out and pay it out over time. That is the honorable thing to do. Many will declare bankruptcy and not pay it at all, even while still enjoying the TV. The thing is, you made a vow to pay it and it should be paid on time. People plan on that money coming in and paying their employees with it. They made a vow to them to get paid for work done. I am not saying that you and the company cannot be flexible. I am saying, in place of taking that vow in the first place, how about saving for it. We are too quick to take a vow and we do not know if we will keep it.

The thing is, once we learn how to break one vow, it becomes easy to break others. Once I learn I can get rid of my debt by declaring bankruptcy , how about dissolving the problem with my spouse by getting a divorce. When we learn to break one vow, others become easier to break as well.

God makes it clear in His word that a vow is an important thing. Do not make it if you can not keep it, especially if it is to Him.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 28:1-30:16
Numbers 31:1-32:42 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Praying from Leaders

March 6, 2008

Numbers 27:12-17 UPDV
(12) And Yahweh said to Moses, Get up into this mountain of Abarim, and look at the land which I have given to the sons of Israel.
(13) And when you have seen it, you also will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered;
(14) because you rebelled against my mouth in the wilderness of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the waters before their eyes. (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)
(15) And Moses spoke to Yahweh, saying,
(16) Let Yahweh, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation,
(17) who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of Yahweh not be as sheep which have no shepherd.

Moses did not have to be so gracious here. He could have been so angry at the people because they had provoked him so much he got mad and did not follow God. God even reminds Moses of this. I know that I would have most likely been mad enough to spit bricks. Moses, however, shows the signs of a leader.

When the time is coming to end, Moses says to God, look, I cannot go in, but give the people a leader. They need one. They will wander away. God, help them and give them a leader.

Men, when was the last time that you prayed for you wife when you were mad at her? Are you being the leader that you should be.

Workers, do you pray for the people above you or below you. They do not seem to have a clue of your needs some times, what about you praying for them.

I could go on and on here, but I think you get the message. Pray for others around you.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 26:1-27:23
Numbers 28:1-30:16 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blessings and Curses

March 5, 2008

Today's daily reading is a wonderful contrast if you take the time to read it all through. It is terribly ironic as well. Take some time if you can to read Numbers 23 through 25. The story actually starts in Numbers 22 but you will get a good feel for it.

Balak is the King of Moab. He gets together with the Midianites, and wants to get rid of the Israelites on their common border. Both of these groups are followers of Baal who was a local God. Balak calls for a local prophet, Balaam to come and curse the Israelites. We all know the story, God tells him not to go, he goes. Even his donkey was smart enough to tell him not to go, but he goes anyway. In the end,Balaam winds up blessing the people and cannot curse them if he wanted to. In fact, the curse gets put upon Balak and his country. Story over, Balaam goes back to his home country, Midian.

What a wonderful story. God blesses His people. No bad can come to them at all, right? Wrong. Read chapter 25. The King of Moab fails so he turns to his partner the King of Midian, yes the same country that Balaam goes back to. I do not know if they got inside information from him. I do know he gets killed later along with some bad people so there is a chance he did. What the Midianites do next is a contrast to the blessing the Israelite got though.

Numbers 25:1-4 LITV
(1) And Israel lived in Shittim. And the people began to fornicate with the daughters of Moab.
(2) And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods. And the people ate and bowed themselves to their gods.
(3) And Israel was joined to Baal-peor, and the anger of Jehovah burned against Israel.
(4) And Jehovah said to Moses, Take all the leaders of the people and hang them up to Jehovah before the sun, that the fierce anger of Jehovah may be turned away from Israel.

They did not know they were blessed, they only knew they had needs they felt were not getting met. And since Balak could not get them one way, his teammate did. They could not be destroyed from the outside, so they god destroyed from the inside.

That is just like the Devil in our lives. He would love to destroy us from outside. It is easy to get people to give bad reports about us. If he can not do it that way though, he will send someone into the camp to deceive us. It got so brazen that one of the people brought a Moabite woman into the camp and walked by the Tabernacle. Satan will do that. Make stuff look good to you and you will let it in. In the case of that woman however, she and her lover were killed by a man who was zealous for God. We need to be that way in our life. Something may look good but we need to make sure that if it is not Godly, it is gone.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 23:1-25:18
Numbers 26:1-27:23 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

You want me to look at a snake?

March 4, 2008

Numbers 21:4-9 NET
(4) Fiery Serpents

Then they traveled from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, but the people became impatient along the way.
(5) And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is no bread or water, and we detest this worthless food."
(6) So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit the people; many people of Israel died.
(7) Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD that he would take away the snakes from us." So Moses prayed for the people.
(8) The LORD said to Moses, "Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live."
(9) So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.

I am not sure that if I was in the desert, being attacked by snakes, that if someone told me to look at a snake on a pole, then I would live. That would take
a lot of faith. I mean it is not natural to do this.

Jesus talked about this event in the book of John. He said just like that snake was lifted up, so would the son of man. Today, we have the equivalent of that snake on the pole in the desert. It is not easy to understand how looking at Jesus on a cross,believing that He died for our sins will give us eternal life with Him and the Father in heaven. It is so much easier to say I can do something to get me in. I can go to a Bible study or I can write a devotional, or any number of other things. Jesus said none of them would do it.

It is not easy to look at that cross and accept the blood that was shed on it to make me whole. It takes faith. Just like looking at the snake in the desert took faith. Logic will tell you that it will not work. Logic will tell you to take life in your own hands. Logic will get you dead like those people who refused to look at the snake. Faith will make you whole. Faith will set you free.

So, do you look to yourself, or do you look to the cross.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 21:1-22:41
Numbers 23:1-25:18 for a daily reading tool

Monday, March 3, 2008

Speak to the rock...

March 3, 2008

Numbers 20:8-11 ASV
(8) Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.
(9) And Moses took the rod from before Jehovah, as he commanded him.
(10) And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; shall we bring you forth water out of this rock?
(11) And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle.

It is sad when you are told to do something by God and you do not do it. Moses was told to speak to the rock. For whatever reason, he chose not to speak to it but to strike it instead. God honored it and did not make Moses look foolish. God is good that way. He is a gentleman.

Moses however did not do as he was told to do and had to be punished. For his disobedience, he never got to go to the promised land. God did let him see it from a mountain overlooking it, but he never did get to go.

Always listen to what God wants you to do and do it. Your future may depend on it.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 18:1-20:29
Numbers 21:1-22:41 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Work of God

March 2, 2008

Numbers 16:8-10 GW
(8) Moses also said to Korah, "Listen, you Levites!
(9) Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the community of Israel? The LORD has brought you near himself to do the work for his tent and stand in front of the community to serve them.
(10) He has brought you and all the other Levites near himself, but now you demand to be priests.

Many who are called to ministry do not realize their place in the ministry. They think that if they are not the top dog, then they are not doing God's will. I know from my own life those statements not to be true. I have run sound in many churches over the years. If I had not made it easier for the people to hear, then the preaching would not be as effective. Does that make me important? Nope. Does that make me necessary? Yes. But I do not have to be saying 'everyone look at me, I run the sound'. In fact, if I was noticed, I was most likely doing a bad job. My job in life was to point to the speaker, not me. If I was grabbing attention, he could not be heard and tell others about Jesus.

In this time in the Bible, some of the Levites were rebelling. They felt that they were just as important as the Aaron and his descendants. They were wrong. They had a job to do, to help the priest, to point to them so the priest could point to God. God quickly put them in their place and the leaders were swallowed into the ground.

When you have a job to do for God, do not seek the limelight unless that is where God puts you.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 16:1-17:13
Numbers 18:1-20:29 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, March 1, 2008

How long is life?

March 1, 2008

Psalms 90:12 GNB
(12) Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.

What if I was to tell you that tomorrow you would die? Would it change your life? I am sure it would if you knew my words were true. OK then, you are going to die tomorrow! How do I know that? I say, how do you know that it will not happen? Moses says in this Psalm that we need to know just how short our life is so that we can become wise.

Wisdom here deals with the living a good life. If I knew today that tomorrow would be my last, I would deal with my children differently, try to tie up loose ends in all my relationships, well you get the picture. Why do I have to wait to know that the end is near? Why don't I live that way like it could happen any day? It could.

I have a son named Gabe who reads this list so I hope he does not mind me sharing this story. He felt the call of God to work in Children's ministry in Indonesia. Now from what I have read, if you convert a Muslim child to Christianity you are nor going to live very long in Indonesia. On top of that, the area is riddle with earthquakes and volcanoes. As a father it bothers me to see him in an area that he is in so much danger. We talked a while back and we realized that he could come back here to the states and get run over by a bus tomorrow. Neither he nor I know what is promised for either of us as a lifespan. So he lives his life each day, doing what he thinks God wants him to do. For that I am a proud father.

Our life is short. Our prayer should be as Moses' was, teach us just how short it is so we can be wise in what we do.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Numbers 14:1-15:41, Psalms 90:1-17
Numbers 16:1-17:13 for a daily reading tool