Sunday, December 31, 2023

December 31, 2023

In all my years of hearing the story of Joshua and the city of Jericho, I thought that all of Israel went out and walked around the city once each day for six days, returning on the seventh day and walking around it seven times, but it was only the army, not the women and children. The procession started with the armed soldiers, then the trumpeters, followed by the priests carrying the ark, and the rest of the men prepared for battle. When the walls fell, they had to go in and kill all the people who were still alive, including women, children, and the elderly.

The army walked around Jericho daily without speaking so only the trumpets would be heard. On the seventh day, after the seventh round, they all shouted, and the walls fell. It's possible that only a portion of the wall fell because Rahab's home was on the wall, and she was rescued with all her family still secure in the home. 

Here is the comparison for today: Some of us in God's army are quietly praying and doing our part to sound the alarm about the pending trouble going on throughout the world with all the upheaval we are seeing. Those participating in these evil practices see our efforts in prayer as uneventful, sluggish, and passive, like the first thirteen marches around Jericho. They don't know God or how he works. At some point, he is going to let us shout, and the whole evil empire will be crushed under the weight of the wall, and anyone part of this evil faction who is left standing will be removed. I'm not sure what that will look like in today's society, but I think we are about to find out. Stay vigilant in prayer, and try to open the eyes of your friends and loved ones; stock up on food and provisions in case the grid goes down as most stores and the people running them will also be panicking, and because everything is connected to the internet, most businesses, if they wanted to open, may be unable to function without it. I hope everything I'm hearing is a big lie, and nothing happens, but if it is true, we must be ready. Keep praying and preparing.

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20

Saturday, December 30, 2023

December 30, 2023

In Israel’s forty years of wondering, they didn’t circumcise their babies on the eighth day. Once they came into the plains of Jericho, the land of promise, the Lord told them to do it now. After they complied, they celebrated Passover on the fourteenth day of the month. The manna stopped because they could eat the old corn of the land. Then suddenly, the captain of the host of the LORD, with a drawn sword, stood before Joshua. 

Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. Joshua 5:13b-14a

They cleansed themselves of sin before crossing the Jordan; they circumcised the reproach of Egypt from upon them, and then Jesus showed up! We know it was Jesus because he made Joshua remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. 

Two things to take away from this: 1) Jesus wasn’t for or against Israel. That’s good news for those who aren’t Israelites, which is most of us. He is for righteousness! If those countries hadn’t worshipped other gods, they wouldn’t have been overtaken. 2) When you cleanse yourself of unrighteousness by repenting and asking forgiveness, Jesus will show up. Cleansing yourself of sin should be a daily thing. Be remorseful, and sincerely ask that He forgive you. I always want Jesus brandishing his weapon before me as he did for Israel. Don’t you?

Friday, December 29, 2023

December 29, 2023

There must be some significance for the timing of delivery from Egypt to the crossing of the Jordan into the promised land. It was five days less than forty years that they crossed over, most likely to give them time to prepare for their very first feast in the new land: Passover. I can’t help but compare it to our deliverance and all the years it takes us to learn how good and perfect God is. Is it a significant comparison? We receive our salvation, but then we have to learn to walk in it, and sometimes that can take a long time. 

When they crossed the Jordan, God had Joshua select 12 men to gather a large stone from the river for their tribe and make a stack before God released the water. It was to be a memorial of their entry into the land he promised so that they could educate their children in the future. 

I was saved at nine years old, but it took me many years to truly come to know Jesus through studying my Bible and beginning to walk in his way of life. I did a study called Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and a couple of others on how to hear God’s voice, and that was the beginning of an amazing change; I think that’s when I entered the Promised Land. Like the Israelites, we have to continue fighting the enemy, but when you keep your focus on Jesus, the fight becomes his, and he gives us strength to endure. We must set up memorial stones as we pass through the river where God held back the force of the waters so we can always recall how good he was to us by making a way where it seemed there was no way. 

Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Isaiah 43:16

And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. Joshua 4:21-22

Thursday, December 28, 2023

December 28, 2023

Are you waiting for a move of God in your life? Joshua moved the camp of Israel to the banks of the Jordan River to prepare to pass over to Jericho. They were about to take their first steps into the promised land. Joshua instructed them to sanctify themselves because they were about to watch God bless them with miracles, just as he did when they exited Egypt. Joshua probably didn’t want their initial entry into the new land contaminated with sin. As soon as the priests stepped into the Jordan, they were on dry land; the water heaped up on their right side, and every Israelite crossed without getting their feet wet.

Unusual things are happening throughout the earth, in every country. Is God about to make a move and show us his glory? The way looks complicated, but we are different, because we have nothing to fear since God is for us and will help us as difficulties presents themselves. The banks of the Jordan were overflowing its boundaries, so the way looked impossible. That’s when God stepped in and showed them that he is the one who makes a way when there is no way. We must all sanctify ourselves as we wait for God to make his move, whether for us individually or all mankind. Fear no evil because God is with us.

And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you. Joshua 3:5

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

The story of Rahab the harlot is one of intrigue. She opened her door to the spies sent to look at Jericho before Israel overtook it. She knew their country was doomed to destruction because of what she had heard, and the whole country was fearful. Rahab believed that their God was the God of Heaven. Because she helped them, she asked that they deal with her and her family kindly when they came to take over. They told her to hang the scarlet fabric in her window and make sure her family was in her home during the raid, and they would all be protected, but if they were caught outside, they would die like everyone else. She had to keep it a secret. Isn't it interesting that the ribbon was red, like the blood of Jesus that protects us from destruction, and that it was all they needed to be saved? Side note: Rahab is in the lineage of Jesus. I can't help but wonder if one of those spies became her husband. Salmon and Rahab were the parents of Boaz, who then married Ruth and gave birth to Obed, Jessie's father, and Jessie was the father of King David! Can you believe it? There was a Canaanite woman in the lineage of Jesus! What a picture of God's mercy showing that someone outside his chosen people could become the catalyst to bring our Savior into the world. That gives us hope that even someone with a checkered past could receive salvation because of their belief in the name of Jesus. There is hope for all of us.

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. Joshua 2:18

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

December 26, 2023

We are pressing closer to the new year, which is only a few days away. This time of year, I begin praying for God to give me a word to ponder for the following year. I spent this entire year with the word “persevere.” Unsure what God had intended, I was fretful of the trouble I may endure because of that specific word. However, God is so good and means no harm in his impressions. I was challenged to persevere in my writing and go in a slightly different direction by commenting chapter by chapter on the books of the Bible of my study. It has been the most eye-opening experience of my entire life, and if I had not persevered through it, I may have abandoned it and preceded to return to my old way of writing. Thankfully, I heard God loud and clear and persevered. 

God told Joshua that Moses died, and Israel mourned his death for a month. But it was time for them to prepare to go into the land of promise. This first chapter of Joshua is replete with words of encouragement. God told Joshua to take courage, be strong, not be afraid, and not be dismayed because he was with them wherever they went. Joshua is the image of perseverance. As we venture into the next chapter of our lives, we may face challenges, especially in this upcoming new year. We would do well to heed God’s words to Joshua and accept them as our own. Take courage; God is with us wherever we go. 

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

Monday, December 25, 2023

December 25, 2023

After admonishing the children of Israel for the wicked direction they would eventually go, he didn’t want to leave them discouraged, so he set a blessing over each tribe. 

And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. Deuteronomy 33:1

Moses was not feeble and still had vision in his eyes and strength in his body, but God had told him he was going to die soon but promised him he could see the land of Canaan before being gathered to his family. He climbed to the top of the mountain alone, where he saw the land and then passed away and was buried. Who buried him? God. It was an angelic burial, but no one knows where his sepulcher is located except God and the heavenly beings.

So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. Deuteronomy 34:5-6

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Jude 1:9

Who wrote the last chapter of Deuteronomy? Some think Joshua, but others believe Ezra. Was this chapter put into the Ark of the Covenant, which only Moses could access? If so, how did it get there? Your guess is as good as mine. Some mysterious things are only meant to be answered by God; therefore, we may never know this side of Heaven.

Take courage; God is in control, and everything happens for a reason. God is good; therefore, all things he allows are pleasing in his eyes, whether you think they are good or bad. You may not like it, but God’s plans will succeed and be favorable. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

December 24, 2023

We are reaching the conclusion of the days of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy; God tells him his days are nearing the end. In chapter 31, he appoints Joshua to take over and replace Moses after his death and encourages him to fear not nor be afraid. Then, in chapter 32, Moses writes a song that God gave him for the people and teaches it to them. God knows the sandwich method! Good news first, lots of bad stuff, then end with good. When I read this song, I immediately thought it was terrible; it’s not uplifting at all! It’s more of a prediction or prophecy. God knows his people and realizes that even though he is wonderful, people go their own direction without regard for him, forgetting how amazing he is.

Sometimes, God shows his glory. Friday morning, I threw out some bird seeds. Shortly after, I noticed my all-time favorite bird, the Painted Bunting, came up for a bite. It is the most beautiful bird that comes to Florida for the winter and is wrapped in colorful feathers. I get excited every time I see them, but Richard has never seen one. The bird stayed around for a few minutes and was coming in closer, so Richard came to see. Amazingly, the bird came right up to the window and gave us both a closeup. Many try to dismiss that God is among us, but sometimes he gives us a show. Make a point to remember all that God has done for you; teach your children to remember so that everything goes well with you. 

My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:2-4

Saturday, December 23, 2023

December 23, 2023

Does anyone else feel like time has sped up? I put up my Christmas decor before Thanksgiving and have barely had time to enjoy it, and now it’s almost time to take it down. With the economy on shaky ground and our freedom at stake, it seems like our outlook is bleak. Whatever God has in store for us, we must be courageous and brave. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but as Christ-followers, we have much to be thankful for and a future with our King and Savior to look forward to. Enjoy your moments, and be grateful for what you have because our relationship with Jesus is truly more important than anything this world has to offer. What is going to live on once your body gives up? Your soul and spirit. Work on your relationship with God, listen to the Holy Spirit, and revere our Savior for the work he finished on the cross for us. And remember, do not be afraid; God goes before us and is our rear guard. I’m grateful and honored that God chose me for such a time as this; how about you? 

 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6

Friday, December 22, 2023

December 22, 2023

I had resigned to abandon a portion of my vegetable garden because it was too shady. I had decided to fill that particular section with bromeliads because they love the shade, and it would bring beauty to that portion of the garden. However, to my surprise, my husband saw what I was doing and decided to cut down the trees blocking the sun so that the area would again become useful for vegetables and other food-bearing plants. Don’t get me wrong, I love a shade tree, especially here in Florida, where the heat can be atrocious, but some things will not grow or prosper in the shade.

God calls on us to circumcise our hearts by cutting out the sinful things that block his light. We cannot grow in him or prosper in life if we continue in the evil ways of society. We must renounce such behavior and turn to him for abundant life. If we don’t change and continue in the ways of the world, we will stagnate like the puny plants I was trying to grow in the shade. By the way, before Richard cut down the trees, I had moved those tiny plants into one of the new sections of my garden, which is in full sun, and those plants are beginning to thrive. It’s time to cut down the trees in the garden of your soul so the Lord can shine through to help you grow and prosper. “We must return to God from all that which stands in opposition to him or competition with him.” Matthew Henry

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. Deuteronomy 30:15-16

Thursday, December 21, 2023

December 21, 2023

Our family comprises many adults and children who are not related by blood but still fall under the family category. We even have people not related by marriage that we consider ours. They live among our family; we love them dearly and embrace them as our own. Similarly, God’s chosen people, the Israelites, were and are comprised of many different ethnicities. I found a nice little tidbit of information to clear my understanding. For my entire salvation in Jesus, I have believed that God only made a covenant with the Israelites and didn’t extend it to the Gentiles until Jesus in the New Testament. Gentiles living amongst the Israelites were also brought under God’s covenant if they relinquished their idolatry and trusted in him.

Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day: Deuteronomy 29:11-12

We are the stranger in the camp! Paul clarified that Gentiles are also a party to the transaction of salvation, our covenant through Jesus, but it was initially brought up in the Old Testament here in Deuteronomy. I love when the puzzle pieces fit nicely into place and the Old and New Testaments work together to confirm and verify our beliefs. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

December 20, 2023

Last week, my husband and I had appointments for the optometrist to have our vision corrected. My husband hadn’t been in years and needed corrective lenses. I just need an adjustment in my current prescription. Needless to say, when our lenses come in, we will both see more clearly. I am receiving the same kind of correction by studying the Old Testament, but especially Deuteronomy! The vision is becoming clearer, especially the attributes of God. It’s a little scary, but it’s a holy fear, not like fearing the enemy.

Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy is very long, but every eye opening. Written for the Israelites before they entered the promised land, there is a short section of blessings, but a very long section of curses; it’s very depressing. The blessing for obedience are extraordinary, but the curses for disobedience are harsh and unrelenting. I’m learning some of the best lessons of my life traipsing through the chapters of this book, but somehow, I can’t wait for it to be over with. One thing is sure, I’ve never appreciated Jesus as much I do now. I feel ashamed that I’ve taken my salvation for granted for all these years by not realizing the torment that he has saved me from having to endure, not only in this life, but for eternity. After you have studied the New Testament in depth and feel confident you can make comparative analysis, I recommend you dive into the Old Testament. It is so good!

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

December 19, 2023

We all do our best to try and follow God's Commands, but certain ones make me think I need to clean out my house. Idols or images. I have metal and ceramic statues and paintings of animals and art that I find very lovely. Most of these were inherited. Not only those replicas and images but also nativity scenes set up in my home during this season, which depict both people and animals. Should they stay, or should they go? I've never felt the pressure of the Holy Spirit on that point of the law until yesterday when I thought I had found the missing piece, the angel, of a nativity set that I bought at the Goodwill last year; but before I got it in my car, I broke the wing off. We don't worship these images; they are just artwork. Does that count? Hmm.

When Jesus went to the cross to bear our sins, he bore the law's curses. Even though Jesus covered that law with his blood, is it still a sin to have these images? Am I heaping more sin on the back of Jesus by not trying to follow every jot and tittle of the law? Is it works to even try and follow the law? Then there's the verse that says, "Faith without works is dead." Ugh! This question may be for my very knowledgeable pastor. I won't fret over it right now because of Jesus, but still, I want to do my best to please God with my actions. What are your thoughts?

Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen. Deuteronomy 27:15

Monday, December 18, 2023

December 18, 2023

Our sermon in church yesterday was about glorifying God as the angels did at the birth of Christ.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14

In the 26th chapter of Deuteronomy, God lays out the schedule of the tithe, particularly the third-year tithe, which was to be given to the Levites, widows, and orphans at the gate of their community. They were to set aside their first fruits just as we are with our money. If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, you may understand this idea; the anticipation of the first taste of the seasonal fruit is mouthwatering, and we patiently wait for them to ripen. These are the fruits God wants us to tithe because they encourage us to glorify God over our own desires and put him first. 

The birth of Jesus was like the first fruits, and he became the offering to God for our salvation. The angels came and filled the sky and glorified God over his condescending to the lowly form of a human so there would be an acceptable sacrifice for us. The angels offered him the glory he deserved! He gave us what we have; like him, he wants us to be willing to part with a portion to bring him glory. If God was willing to sacrifice his Son for us, shouldn’t we be ready to glorify him by giving up our first fruits to him? Worship God with your tithe, honor, and glorify him with your willingness to put him first.  

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; Deuteronomy 26:11-12

Sunday, December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

It was a long drive, but we safely made it home from the wedding. Today, the wind is gusting and drying up all the rain that fell yesterday. It reminded me of the Frank Sinatra song, “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.” only my version would be, “Let it Blow! Let it Blow! Let it Blow!” None of that has anything to do with today’s devotional; I’m just stalling. 

Things aren’t looking great for the American dollar. If we return to the gold standard, will we also have to wrangle with gold coins? I’m not sure how that would work, but I know the Bible clearly says that we should not have different sets of weights for buying than we do for selling. We must always be fair in our dealings, which means our weight for measure should be exact. God is so adamant about us being righteous in our dealings that he calls it an abomination if we aren’t. Wouldn’t it be wild to have to learn a new payment system? Many things are happening out of the public eye, so I hope they consider our ignorance when or if a new system is established. Worldwide changes are happening rapidly, so we must pray for an easy transition if necessary. 

But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 25:15-16

The photo was from a couple of days back. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

December 16, 2023

My nephew is getting married today, and we are traveling to North Florida for the ceremony. Watching these young lovebirds come together in holy matrimony should be a joyful occasion and a delight to witness; my nephew is strikingly handsome, and his bride-to-be is quite lovely.

Did you know that part of God's commandments, through Moses, took into consideration newly married couples? It was prohibited to send a man off to war within their first year of marriage. The husband was to stay home and make his wife happy. God wants new couples to bond so their hearts grow strong and longingly and to prevent the possibility of them going astray while the man is at war. Never forget that God cares about all of us, so we should make it our joy to praise, worship, and elevate him as highly as our minds can lift him. God bless this new couple in our family. May they put God first in everything they do.

I lifted the picture from his mom's page. Thanks, Julie!

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. Deuteronomy 24:5

Friday, December 15, 2023

December 15, 2023

God will eventually set us free so we can speak His word without censorship. There are uncomfortable things discussed in the Old Testament, yet God put them there for our training. To have such things covered up by social media only proves that our ability to speak freely has been severely hindered. Does God care about hurting our feelings? No, I don’t think he does. However, he wants us to try to live up to his expectations and follow his commands as best we can. My post from yesterday was seemingly excluded from the newsfeed because it was barely seen. Why was it suppressed? Because the words I used would hurt the feelings of those people who have been trained to believe they can change their gen#er by merely dressing differently. Deuteronomy 23 goes deeper and prevents anyone who has manipulated or cut off their body parts from entering the congregation! Some commentators believe this means they couldn’t hold a position of authority. Certainly, the New Testament church would never prohibit a person missing such body parts from entering the church. We are here to bring them all to Christ, regardless of their prior affiliation. We are all damaged somehow; Jesus came for all of us. However, we must make an about-face, turn away from our prior ways, and live for Him. 

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1

Thursday, December 14, 2023

December 14, 2023

Men should not dress in women's clothes, nor women dress in men's clothes; it's an abomination to the Lord. This law was not repealed in the New Testament.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5

I'm pretty tired of people appearing to be someone they are not. It's confusing. It's to the point that I'm not even sure if many of the beautiful women portrayed in the movies and on television are actually women. I'm constantly looking for the Adam's apple. The enemy has tainted their minds into believing that they can be the opposite sex. These people are mentally challenged and are unaccepting of the person God created them to be. I think that their entire lives will change when and if they realize that Jesus came to save them, too, and that their sins are not so egregious that they can't be saved. What should we do? Pity them, pray for them, and reach out to them in love. Their minds are controlled and held strong by the enemy; tiny seeds of God's love gently planted could lead to their eventual salvation. It is our duty to share Jesus whenever the opportunity arises. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

December 13, 2023

We tend to think about Jesus the most during the celebration of his birth and his resurrection after crucifixion. One with jubilation because a new era gave way to our eventual redemption, but the other with great sorrow because we were riddled with so much sin that we should have been stoned at the gate of the city as the Law of Moses recommended for a rebellious child. I couldn’t believe what I read this morning because we love our children so much, but I guess there were parents who had tried everything they could to correct their child’s behavior to no avail, making their love grow cold. Look at this!

And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy 21:20-21

Yes, children can make you so angry that you want to tear them from limb to limb, but never a thought of dragging them to the city gate to be stoned to death! We are those rebellious children. Look at how we treat the Father, our God. We disrespect him daily, go against his commands, and fail to acknowledge his deity. Then there is Jesus, who came to us in human form as a baby, as he grew into a man, and taught us the truth of the law and commandments without ever sinning. He was crucified like a lamb for the remission of our sins, then hung on a tree, and the guilt of our sins was laid bare for all to see. Before knowing what Jesus would do for us, Moses wrote this:

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:22-23

We are not worthy of what Jesus did for us, but I’m so grateful that he thought enough of me to sacrifice his life on my behalf. Aren’t you?

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

December 12, 2023

We watch as the powers and principalities stir the world, trying to cause fear so the people run and hide like cowards. Their tactics are to propagandize the people into submission and confuse the information so we don't know what to believe. Much of what we hear is false; it's part of the enemy's scheme to try and catch us off guard. We must stay vigilant! Our enemy is not regular everyday people; it is those trained to overpower us by force, possibly our current federal government's cronies. So much on television creates fear, but it is just a tactic to keep us submissive. However, they forgot one thing: God! His power is behind us every step of the way. Nothing is happening that wasn't part of His plan, but we must stay strong and not fear. Much of what I've been hearing in the back channels is that the loss of power and communications is part of the good guy's plan, so if those are gone, remember that God is in charge and he is standing with the good guys. Do your best to handle the situation, but don't panic out of fear, though that may be hard since we are so used to a cushy lifestyle. Remember, if it happens, it's only temporary. I don't know when or even if this will happen, but I want you to be prepared if it does; don't be caught off guard. 

God's timing is amazing because Deuteronomy 20 is about being fearless in war. Put on the whole armor of God and stand firm, mighty warriors! It is God who goes before us, and it is he that is our rear guard!

And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Monday, December 11, 2023

December 11, 2023

Part of God’s law through Moses required that the Israelites create cities of refuge for those who accidentally kill someone so they have a place to run to for safety from their avengers. It was not for willful murderers. The Bible gives the example of cutting down a tree with the neighbor, and the axe head flies off and hits the neighbor and kills him. That person can flee and go to one of the cities of refuge to avoid the neighbor’s avengers. They were to make roadways and paths to those cities, so it was easy to get there quickly. However, if a willful murderer fled there, the elders of the city could send to have them brought back so they could receive their punishment. It’s like being extradited from one state to another for legal action. Here is the comparison:

Jesus is our city of refuge. The pathway is a clean and easy road without stumps or tree branches to get there. We get to stay in Jesus without fear of extradition as long as we are not willfully sinning. According to Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” If you continue to sin, the protection you had in Jesus is gone, and you will have to face the consequences for your actions. That is certainly not a very good place to be. We all sin unintentionally; it’s nearly impossible to live sin-free, but if we sin intentionally, we lose the protective safety of Jesus’s refuge. 

Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it. Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither. And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; Deuteronomy 19:2-4

Sunday, December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

If you are awake or beginning to awaken, then you are aware that fame and fortune, as we've seen in Hollywood, are not what they're cracked up to be. Many have fallen for evil practices; even some celebrities who seem innocent have crossed the line and have become one with Satan. One of my biggest concerns is every girl's dream: Taylor Swift. If you are a parent whose child is head over hills and a full-on "swiftie," you need to do a little digging to see the truth about who she is—anyone who draws in huge crowds and manages to get the parents onboard must be scrutinized by Christ-followers. We are to separate ourselves from any evil or any appearance of evil. Though Taylor seems innocent, she has shown you who she is by her behavior and her long list of former boyfriends, and that barely scratches the surface of the truth. Would you want your little girl to follow that example? I'm not trying to yank the rug out from under you or your child, but as a parent, we need to know the spiritual implications of our actions and protect them from spells cast by demons or witches. I'm not trying to give you a hard time; she's not the only one we need to be aware of; some sit under pastors who are also guided by evil intentions. Ask God to give you discernment and show you the truth. You may be surprised at what you find. Teach your children to make Jesus their celebrity; he is the only one worthy of that honor.

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Saturday, December 9, 2023

December 9, 2023

God told the Israelites that if a person was evil, on the word of two or more witnesses, they were to be stoned. Imagine how peaceful our country would be if we had a few stonings. Evil has wrought our nation and spread like gangrene, and some of the most innocent-looking people are corrupt and have fallen to the enemy’s unholy intentions. This world will not be perfect until Jesus returns to rule and reign, but a semblance of peace might be had if justice was done and perpetrators were dealt with as they should be. God intended for the Israelites, as families, to take care of the evil among them and not allow an outsider to administer judgment. At this point, it seems like there is no going back, and we will not have real peace until God brings it to us and administers his justice.

Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:5

In this same chapter of Deuteronomy, God explains that he is the one who will choose the king. Remember, even evil kings or presidents are chosen by God to serve a purpose. We need to wait with anticipation to see the good that will come from the current treasonous traitor that occupies the White House. I guarantee you it will be good! Wait for it; it will surely come!

Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: onefrom among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. Deuteronomy 17:15

Friday, December 8, 2023

December 8, 2023

Deuteronomy 16 covers Passover and the yearly feasts. I find it unusual that God tells us through Moses that during the Feast of Weeks and Feast of Booths, the men were to bring their whole family plus their servants and the Levites, but he doesn’t mention their wives. Isn’t that interesting? I’m sure God included them because the husband and wife are considered one in his eyes. 

And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. Deuteronomy 16:11

At the end of the chapter, he tells them not to set up groves near the altar of the Lord. When they were in Egypt, the Egyptians would set up an altar with statues or images for worship and would plant trees or a grove, probably to hide the illicit things they were doing. Though we don’t have the altar of the Lord to go to, nor do we need it because we have Jesus, we shouldn’t be ashamed of our worship. Worship God in spirit and truth from the depth of your heart. 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

Thursday, December 7, 2023

December 7, 2023

Yesterday’s post reminded us to tithe, but it seems as though the sacrifice is no sacrifice at all except for the travel time, being you were to eat it in the place designated by the Lord. If the place he selected was too far away to herd or carry your sacrifice, then you were to sell it in exchange for money so that it was easy to carry. Then, when you arrive at your destination, you are to buy whatever your heart lusts after and eat or drink it there, remembering that it was dedicated to the Lord. A portion must be shared with the Levites. See Deuteronomy 14:23-26. The cow or sheep sacrificed to God had to be firstlings without spot or blemish; if it had issues, it could be eaten as regular food. 

For any animal they ate, their blood must be poured out on the ground before consumption. It reminds me of Jesus and his blood pouring onto the ground for us. In light of these passages, it makes sense why he said to eat his body and drink of the cup as his blood as he presented the bread and wine at Passover. He covered every type of offering that could be made, but most notably, he was our sin offering. He is why there is no worthy sacrifice. You cannot do works enough to pay to cover yourself because none is greater than what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. Deuteronomy 15:19-20

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

December 6, 2023

I had finished all my running around yesterday, not realizing that I had written our tithe check out of an empty account, which meant that I wasn’t done and had to return to the bank to correct my mistake. Thank goodness Richard noticed what I had done, so our check didn’t bounce. That would have been embarrassing. 

Deuteronomy 14 explains how the Israelites were to tithe; it’s like a three-step process, which I’m not entirely clear on; even after reading several commentaries, I don’t get it. However, I know that even as a gentile servant of Jesus, we must do our best to contribute to our church. One of the verses alludes to tithing out of fear. I can assure you that, from experience, if we mishandle our tithe, our finances seem to go wonky. During one season, we had our tithe automatically withdrawn from our account, and without noticing, it had stopped being taken out. We started having issues with our tenants not paying and our properties needing repairs, which was unusual. After we realized something was wrong, I started looking for the cause; that’s when I found the mistake in our tithing. Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so! We paid up, and things began to get better. 

If your finances are sketchy, try tithing and see if it improves. God says he will open the window of heaven and pour out blessings, so much that there won’t be room enough to receive it! It is worth a try! Plus, fear comes in when you rob God!

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:8-10

And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:23

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

December 5, 2023

Something that fascinates me is that the Israelites are right on the edge of the promised land, Canaan, so close that they could probably smell the fragrance from the fruit trees blooming, and yet God would not allow them to go in until he corrected their behavior. It may be a good idea to ask God if anything within you is keeping you from a blessing that he has waiting for you. 

Moses warns about false prophets in Deuteronomy 13; they were not to be tolerated, and if you were their victim, you were to be the one to strike the first blow in their execution. Anyone who tried to draw a person away or convince them to turn away from God to worship a false god was to be killed, even if they were your close friend! Life would be much easier if we didn’t have false teachers around. They are so cunning and persuasive that many fall for their lies. 

Remember when Peter tried to convince Jesus that he shouldn’t suffer and be killed? 

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Matthew 16:22

Jesus called him out as a spokesman for Satan! So, I believe he repealed this law in the New Testament. If he hadn't, we would probably all be in jail for killing a person trying to persuade us against God. However, we should still call out false prophets and reject anyone who tries to convince us to follow someone other than the one true God. 

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:3