Feb 28-(Deuteronomy 5:17, 19; Exodus 21:12-25; Numbers 35:9-32; Exodus 22:1-4; Deuteronomy 19:1-14, 24:7, 22:25-29, 25:11-12) "The Innocent Offender" What do you do when you've made an honest mistake? You didn't do it on purpose; it was an accident. But whether it's unintentional or not, the damage has been done. What do you do? You need a place of refuge. A safe haven where you can go and find mercy and justice. This was the purpose for the Cities of Refuge. These cities were scattered throughout Israel to provide a place for those who committed a crime accidentally. Today, you have a place to go when you have blown it. It's not a city, it's a savior! It's Jesus! He understands when you do something bad without thinking. He understands the difference between premeditated and accidental. His church provides grace and mercy to those who blow it. Do you need a place of refuge? In light of what Christ has done for you, will you be a place of refuge for other sinners? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 27-(Deuteronomy 17:14-20) "The Leader" Though Old Testament law is no longer in effect, the principles of good leadership are timeless. You want your leaders to be men and women of good character. You want leaders of your church, courts, and country to be godly. Here in today's passage, God gives good guidelines for leadership. A good leader will not use their position for personal gain. A good leader is fair and focused in justice. A good leader respects the word of God. Otherwise you end up with a 'circus'. Today, pray for your leaders! Pray for your city, state, and country. Pray that your leaders serve with integrity, and honor God's word! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 26-(Deuteronomy 23:1) "The Eunuch" He cannot enter the assembly of God's people. He can only watch from a distance. Why? No one really knows. It could be that Eunuchs were used in pagan rituals and therefore considered 'unclean'. What's interesting is that this restriction didn't last forever. For, God promised He would give Eunuchs a name that would insure they would never be cut off from His presence ever again (Isaiah 56:6). This is confirmed in Acts 8 as a Eunuch from Ethiopia is reading this promise, and meets Philip. Redemption is not a matter of luck, but of love. God's promise to love you is as powerful today as it was on a desert road between Jerusalem and Gaza 2000 years ago. Today, praise your God for the love and mercy He gives to Eunuchs, and to you! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 25-(Leviticus 12:1-8, 14:1-32, 15:13-15, 28-30; Numbers 19:1-22) "The Unclean" Let's admit it. The world is a dirty place, and everyone gets dirty. You can't live a single minute without picking up some filth of some kind. It makes you wonder why God made the world this way in the first place. Could it be that human beings need to be reminded of their need to be cleansed? It's possible. Just read today's passages and you get the impression that cleanliness matters to God so much that he incorporated specific laws to address filth. Maybe cleanliness IS next to godliness! By the way, these laws were unique to Israel. No other culture observed these cleansing practices, and they protected the Jews from all kinds of disease for generations. Now, Old Testament passages have a New Testament message. What these passages tell you is that God wants you clean. He doesn't just want you clean on the outside, He wants you clean on the inside too. That's what the cross was all about. Amen?! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 24-(Leviticus 21-22, 25) "The Priest" Have you ever thought of yourself as a priest? It may, at first, sound silly; but you should see yourself this way! As a believer and follower of God, you are called His priest (1 Peter 2:9). That's why passages like the ones today, in your Daily Bible, should get your attention. Of course, you are not a Jewish priest; but it's important to live in the holiness and service of your priesthood. Like a priest, God calls you to live a sacred lifestyle. He calls you to be His servant. How are you serving God? Are you keeping yourself pure and holy? Are you living in a way that honors God's name? Today, take up your role as a priest in God's Kingdom… and serve The Lord! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 23-(Leviticus 5:14-19) "The Ignorant" Have you ever broken a law you were not aware of? Maybe you burned your leaves on the wrong day and violated a city ordinance. Maybe you made an innocent mistake on your taxes. Maybe you made a passing comment that deeply hurt a friend or colleague. Do these violations, as innocent as they are, make you guilty? According to God, they do. This is not unfair or unjust, but a sobering reminder that no one is perfect. Everyone sins, whether intentional or unintentional; and it's important to know that these unintentional sins can have the same consequences as those done on purpose. This passage encourages you to take ownership of your violations, and make restitution. The passage today also lets you know that God provides mercy and atonement for ALL sin. Praise God! Today, take inventory of your recent words and actions. Have you innocently said or done something that violated God's will? Have you broken one of His laws without knowing it? If so, look to God for His mercy, and go make it right. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 22-(Leviticus 3:1-17, 7:1-38, 17:1-7, 4:1-5:19, 6:1-30; Numbers 15:29-31)
"The Sinner" If you take the time to read today's passages, you are going to notice something: Everyone sins! It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or where you live, everyone blows it. But this is not the main point in today's passages. The main point is this: Everyone needs forgiveness! As you read these passages, do you notice all the different kinds of sacrifices? There are bulls and goats, sheep and grain being offered for atonement. There is much sacrifice for man's sin. All these sacrifices point to one great sacrifice for all mankind... that means for you too! For, Jesus is THE sacrifice for your sin. Today, appreciate the greatest sacrifice of all. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 21-(Leviticus 6:8:23) "The Fireman" Normally when you think of a fireman, you imagine a man working vigorously to put out a fire. But here in Leviticus, these men are in charge of the fire for the burnt offering. They were to make sure the fire continued to burn all night! Hmmm... Like everything in the Old Testament, there is some spiritual imagery here—a spiritual truth to consider. For, you are to keep the fires of sacrifice burning in your heart. You must never let God's fire die out in your life. You protect it from anything (sin) that will snuff it out. You keep it burning by fueling your faith with God's word and stoking it with lots of prayer. You fan your flame with worship. How is God's fire burning in you? Is it a lingering flicker, or is it ablaze with love? Today, do the kinds of things that will keep God's fire burning in your heart! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 20-(Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:1-17; Exodus 34:24; Numbers 9:13-14; Leviticus 23:4-44; Numbers 28:18-31, 29:1-6; Leviticus 16:1-34, 29:12-38) "The Offerer" As you read today's passages, you can't help but notice all the different kinds of offerings. God is clear: No one is to come before The Lord empty handed. The principle behind these Old Testament teachings is that God wants His people to bring Him something. This is a great principle to live by. For, it's important that when you come to God, you don't come to Him empty-handed. You try to offer Him something each day. "Like what?" Well, how about your love? What about dedicating your time? Why not bring to God your worries and sorrows? He will take them! You can offer Him your pride or selfishness; or better yet, you can offer yourself as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2). All that matters is that you bring Him something from yourself. What will you bring to The Lord today?
Feb 19-(Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:15-22) "The Prophet" People can be gullible! If you’re not careful, you can be led away from God. So who you listen to for spiritual counsel matters! For, not everyone who claims to be following God really is. That's why God is very specific with Israel about listening to "prophets". God wants you to make sure that you will always be following His will. That's why you must not 'worship' a person. Bible teachers today are as human as you are. They can never be a substitute for your own quest and search of godly convictions. So how do you know if the people you are listening to are legit? You have to test what they say against God's word (Acts 17:11). You must look closely at their lives. Jesus said look at their fruit (Matt 7:18, 20). In short, are those you listen to becoming more and more like Jesus? If so, they are a tremendous blessing in your life. If not, they will eventually lead you away from God. So...who are you listening to?
Feb 18-( Deuteronomy 14:2) "Treasured Possession" Why all the rules? Why is the bar set so high for Israel? It's because they are God's treasured possession. There is No one else on the earth that God loves and cherishes more than His children. Like any father, He expects and wants the best of his sons and daughters. Think about it...how much would God love Israel, if He let them do whatever they wanted? It would be a disaster!! Their recklessness would ruin their lives! You are God's treasured possession! You, like everyone else, were full of recklessness and sin. In a way, you were stolen from God. You were taken from God. So God used all His resources to get you back! It cost God everything! But to Him, it was worth it; because you are His treasured possession! So when He asks you to obey Him, is it too much to ask? If He went to the trouble of buying you back with His own son, can you honor His love with a life dedicated to Him?
Feb 17-(Deuteronomy 9) "The Anakites" They were giants compared to most people. The Anakites were a powerful nation, and they stood in the way of Israel getting the Promised Land. What is Israel to do? All they could do was rely on the power of their God. For, God promised that He will drive the Anakites out of the land. What stands in your way? What are the giants that frighten you and keep you from getting to what God has planned for you? Whatever represents your giant, remember to keep trusting in The Lord!! For, God promises to get rid of any person or situation that gets in your way. Today, trust God!! Trust that God will fight for you! Believe God will supply you with everything you need. He will help you overcome whatever you are facing… and ultimately give victory! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 16-(Deuteronomy 4:44-8:20) "The Egyptians" Moses recalls the long journey of God's people, and urges Israel to stay humble before The Lord. Why? He is afraid, as they are blessed, they will eventually grow arrogant and forget The Lord. So he warns them of losing their appreciation of God's goodness, and encourages them to remember the horrible life they had with the Egyptians. Every once in a while, it does you good to consider what your life would be like today if it weren't for your Lord. It does you good to remember what life was like with your Egyptians! Your Egyptians may include the people in your past. Your Egyptians can also be an old habit or an old way of life. Your Egyptians can represent an empty and meaningless life. Your Egyptians can represent how difficult life was before God came into the picture. Soooooo... how ‘bout it? Do you appreciate how far God has brought you? Do you ever wonder what your life would be like without Jesus? It's worth some consideration. As God blesses your life, never forget what He has brought you out of. Always appreciate the goodness of God in your life… and count your blessings! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 15-(Deuteronomy 1) "Sons" Deuteronomy is a review of the history of Israel. It was written to remind the children of the wilderness wanderings that God was with them. This book would remind Israel that God carries them like a father carrying his own son. This is a powerful image: God loved Israel like a father loves his son. God provided and guided them. He also disciplined them for their own good. Things haven't changed. For, God loves you like a son too. In His deep love, He protects and directs; guides and provides; giving you all you need as you journey through life. You benefit the most when you obey Him like a good son obeys his dad. Today, be grateful that your Heavenly Father cares deeply about you. Appreciate the fatherly love He has toward you. Like a good son, try to please Him. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 14-(Numbers 32) "The Reubenites and Gadites" Just before Israel is to cross the Jordan, another 'hiccup' occurs. The Reubenites and Gadites want to stay on the east side of the Jordan. They like the land they are already in, and ask Moses if it would be okay to settle in Gilead instead of crossing over with the rest of Israel. Moses is furious! Why? The Reubenites and the Gadites are being selfish! They are content with the advantages of temporal gain over God's way for their lives. Besides, they will break their promise to help Israel conquer Canaan by sending only half of their army. This selfish act would weaken Israel's ability to conquer Canaan and lead to a tragic downfall. Their reluctance to help would also come back to bite them too; for, the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, would be the first to fall to Assyria and go into captivity! When you seek your own interests over God’s, you are sure to fall short of reaching what God promises. Have you sold out? Have you settled for less? Are you content with having what you want now, over what God wants you to have in the future? Today, trust God with everything! For, when you do, you will receive your full reward.
Feb 13-(Numbers 26) "Joshua and Caleb" Out of all the adults who left Egypt, there are only two left when it's time to enter the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb have survived 40 years of wandering. Why are they still standing? In a nutshell, you could say it's their faithfulness and their friendship. They simply kept trusting God. They supported each other too! It goes to show you that it isn't easy following God for a lifetime; it takes courage and determination. Most of all, it takes a growing faith that is nurtured and cared for personally and through godly friends. What are you doing to ensure that you will still be trusting and following God when it's time to enter your Promised Land?
Feb 12-(Numbers 25,31) "Zimri" After wandering in the wilderness for years, Israel would find itself around the influence of the pagan world for the first time. It was a serious moment for God's people. For, Israel faced a greater threat than a curse from Balaam. This threat had to do with Israel's confidence in God's commands. You see, if Israel starts second-guessing God's word, they are doomed! This is what Zimri is doing when he takes a pagan woman for his wife, and worships her god. He is doubting the source of the high moral code set before him. Zimri believes the commands of God are really from Moses, not heaven. That's why Moses had to do something. If this is not addressed, Zimri's rebellion would spread throughout Israel. By the way, as you read the O.T., you learn that this is the Achilles Heel of God's people. This can be yours too. Your faith... your confidence... your trust in God's word is crucial if you are going to make it to the Promised Land. Are you quick to blow off a godly challenge as nothing more than a mere opinion? How confident are you in the commands of God? Is there a command you are ignoring? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 11-(Numbers 22-24) "Balaam" He owns a talking donkey! But the thing that really stands out about Balaam is his commitment to say only what God tells him to say. No matter what he's offered, Balaam refuses to curse Israel. All he is willing to do is bless God's people. This infuriates King Balak! Try to imagine the discipline it takes to stick to your guns and do such a thing. It's not only impressive, it's challenging too! Do you think you can do that? What do you think would happen if you made it your goal to curb your conversation in a way that would please God? How would godly dialogue improve your relationships? Today, closely watch what you say. Choose the best words you can. Choose the kind of words that would please God.
Feb 10-(Numbers 20-21; 33) "Inhabitants" If you think the Promised Land was uninhabited, you'd be wrong. Strong nations lived in the land long before Israel arrived. These nations were totally pagan, and the people were ruthless. You may find it difficult to understand that God commanded His people to rid the land of these godless people. But God also added a warning: If they failed to rid the land of these vermin, and began to live among them, they'd lose everything! You live in a world filled with 'inhabitants'. It doesn't take you long to notice godless influence and evil values all around you. While you live in the world, it's important to keep yourself from becoming like the world (Rom 12:1-3). Compromise on this principle, and you will lose everything! How much would you say the world is rubbing off on you? How hard are you resisting the influence of this broken world? Today, change this world! Keep your focus on Jesus as much as possible, and avoid being polluted by this world. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Most people believe that grumbling and complaining about God's leaders is
nothing more than harmless banter. They couldn't be further from
the truth!! No matter how hard you try to justify your attack, it’s still
sinful to do... period!! Korah's rebellion is a warning to those who show
disrespect to people in authority, and oppose God's leaders. The New
Testament teaches that you must bring 2 or 3 witnesses with you when you have
an accusation against an elder in the church (1 Tim 5:19-20). Are you grumbling
against godly leaders? Are you opposing the people God has placed in authority?
Today, think carefully before you criticize others... especially your leaders.
Today, guard your heart against a critical attitude, and choose to support the
men and women God puts in front of you to follow. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 8-(Numbers 12) "Miriam" Have you been complaining about your leaders? Are you critical of those in authority? Miriam and Aaron start to criticize and complain about Moses. It's a bad move!! For, God overhears them, and is not happy. He strikes Miriam with leprosy! Yikes!! Let's face it, leaders are easy to criticize. That's because they aren't perfect. Their flaws are easy to spot because they are human, just like you, and criticizing them doesn't accomplish anything good. Maybe that's why God takes a critical attitude toward leaders so seriously. The next time you feel the urge to point out a flaw in one of your leaders, just remember… there are 3 fingers pointing back at you! Remember that your leaders are not perfect. They fall short, just like you. Today, learn a lesson from Miriam and try to appreciate the leaders around you. Today, resist the temptation to complain about them. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 7-(Number 11) "Eldad and Medad" They are only mentioned once in the Bible. All we know about these two, is they were called to special service in God's Kingdom. But Eldad and Medad failed to be present at the Tabernacle when they were supposed to. They weren't in the cloud of God like the others. Where were these two? They were at home when Moses laid his hands on the rest. Yet, these two were filled with God's Holy Spirit, just as the others, and began to prophecy. Hmmm… You don't have to jump through all the hoops to be used by God. Service in God's Kingdom is not restricted to the 'professionals' or to those with 'degrees'. His work extends to anyone He chooses. He works through those He has called to serve. God wants to use you too. Today, remember your calling. Look for the opportunities when God's Spirit nudges you to serve…
and do it! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 6-(Numbers 3:14-4:49) "Eleazar" As preparations for setting up, tearing down, and transporting the Tabernacle are under way, God delegates this responsibility to 3 groups of Levites. God selects the Gershonites, Merarites, and Kohathites with Eleazar overseeing all operations. Eleazar was one of the sons of Aaron. With Nadab and Abihu out of the picture, Eleazar was next in line for the job. This was a huge responsibility. For, Eleazar (who was a very young man) had to make sure all the articles were adequately prepared to be used for worship as well as preparing the tabernacle to be transported properly. In a way, you are involved in some kind of preparation. Whether it's in your workplace, home, or church, you can prepare these places for God's presence. You can help make them places of worship. You do this by promoting Christ, and lifting up God in a way that creates a spiritual environment. Today, be a catalyst that promotes a godly atmosphere. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 5-(Numbers 9:1-12, 1:1-2:34) "Levi" Out of all the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi is singled out for a special responsibility. They are to take care of the tabernacle—the place where God dwelled among the people. The Levites were the priestly tribe. Moses and Aaron were Levites too. In a way, you share the responsibility of the Levites. For, you are a 'priest'. Look what Peter says: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”(1 Peter 2:9). As a priest, you have a special responsibility. God is counting on you to declare Him to the world. Today, let this purpose shape how you speak and treat others.
Feb 4-(Numbers 7) "Nahshon" He represents the rest of his tribe (Judah). Nahshon is first in line to bring offerings for the dedication of the altar. What does he bring? Lots of gold and silver, along with grain and incense. He brings bulls, rams, sheep, and goats to be sacrificed to God. As Nahshon does his part, eleven others will follow. It's interesting that, generations later, a member from the tribe of Judah would lead the way to sacrifice. Jesus would be first in line to lay down His life for you. He's hoping you will follow in his steps and be a living sacrifice today. Will you? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 3-(Lev 10) "Nadab & Abihu" They are carried out of the Tabernacle by their two brothers. You can smell the mixture of charred clothing and flesh. Nadab and Abihu are dead! Why? In their carelessness, they offer something unauthorized. This may not seem to be such a big deal to you. After all, fire is fire, right? WRONG!! Disregarding what God wants can be a fatal blunder. For, Nadab and Abihu did not take God seriously. How serious would you say you are taking God? How important is it for you to please God? Are you devoted to God's word? Today, decide you are going to obey God, no matter what! For, God says what He means, and means what He says!
Feb 2-(Exodus 39-40) "The Israelites" Everyone is pitching in to build the Tabernacle and all its furnishings until it's finally complete. It's amazing what can be done when everyone does their part. 1 Peter 2:5 says you and everyone else in God's Kingdom are 'living stones' fitted together to build a 'spiritual house' filled with priests (servants) that offer acceptable sacrifices. You are a part of something much bigger than yourself. When you do your part, you make God's Kingdom better. Today, think about how you can do your part to make your church a special place that brings God and people together. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Feb 1-(Exodus 35:4-38:31) "Oholiab" He is mentioned only 7 times in the Bible. All the references are found in the book of Exodus. It's also interesting that the man appointed by God, to help build the Tabernacle, bears a name that means 'Father's Tent'. For, Oholiab would dedicated his life to building a special place where God would dwell among His people. How dedicated are you about building a special place where people can come to God? How much are you trying to build a great church in your community? Don't you think God wants a great place for people to come to Him? Today, make a commitment to God that you will use your talents and resources to build up His church. Today, allow God to use you to make His church a special place!