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

Monday, December 4, 2023

December 4, 2023

Did you know that God loves to see us happy? So much so that when we come before him with an offering, he wants us to cover the altar with gladness rather than tears. Look at this verse:

And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Malachi 2:13


We have much to be grateful for because God gives us everything we need, so when it comes time to make an offering of praise and worship him, we should be happy and not ruin our offering by complaining before him because of all our woes. Bringing sorrow before him shows him our lack of faith. Remember, his plan will succeed no matter what your emotions are. Today, if you are feeling down, do your best to turn your heart toward God, reach down within, and find a bit of joy to refresh your soul and show God how grateful you are for all he has given you. 


Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Psalms 100:2


And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee. Deuteronomy 12:7

Sunday, December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

In Egypt, they had to irrigate the land to grow crops. They dug trenches from the Nile River during the seasons that it overflowed. However, in Canaan, now Israel, God cared for the land himself by watering it with rain. It has various soil types, making it ideal for growing crops like corn, grapes, and olive trees, but he also watered the fields for grass for the cattle. All they had to do to obtain and retain possession of the land was keep God’s Commandments. If they turned away from Him to serve other gods and worship them, the rain would stop. Israel lost possession of God’s land a couple of times; He warned them before they even entered. 

The current government of Israel is no better than the one we have and may even be more corrupt than the U.S. if that’s possible. Was it God who gave Israel back their land in 1948 or someone whose motives were not good? I don’t know enough about history to be sure; those who do know have to rely on someone else’s account, which may or may not be accurate. They had to fight to get it back, which goes against what God says about possessing it initially. When they were released from Babylon, they walked back in with little resistance because they had begun to follow God’s commands again. I can assure you that we don’t know all there is to know about the current conflict, but we should keep praying for the innocent people who continue to follow God’s commands and have been caught up in a war they didn’t create. 


For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Deuteronomy 11:22-23

Saturday, December 2, 2023

December 2, 2023

Deuteronomy was a history lesson for the Israelites. Moses recounted the past to help them avoid making the same mistakes. One thing brought to light was that when he came down the mountain, everyone was worshipping the golden calf except the Levites. So, when every other tribe was given land as an inheritance, rather than an earthly inheritance, God gave the Levites himself, which shows that the spiritual inheritance is much more valuable. They were offered employment as ministers to him and were his representatives as spokespersons to the other tribes. All the other tribes provided them with towns, grazing land for their herds, and plots for their crops. They ministered to God, and because of that, God had the other tribe cater to them. 

Sometimes, we miss the point. Our salvation is not about pursuing an earthly inheritance; we already have the best this life offers; we have Jesus. Our connection to him through the Holy Spirit is more precious than gold. We are the bridge between God and the lost, shedding his light on the stranger so they can see Him, much like the Levites, except we have the real deal, the promise kept, and the prophecy revealed, which is Jesus. When you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances and life becomes challenging, count yourself blessed because you are a priest catering to God and blessing him through Jesus, the most extraordinary position available in all the world.


At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him. Deuteronomy 10:8-9


Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:19

Friday, December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023

God intended to destroy idolaters by sending the Israelites into Canaan. So it wasn’t as if they were going to go in and conquer good people; they were evil. However, Israel was not righteous, and they would not defeat the people because they were good, but only because of God. We must be careful not to boast in our righteousness because we are not, though we try; we are only good because of our salvation in Jesus. 

I’ve been working on my spring garden, preparing it to plant. We’ve killed the grass, tilled it up, and now I’m making the beds. I’m as concerned about aesthetics as the food, so I tend to go a little overboard. It’s a lot of work, and my arms feel like they are about to fall off! There is a pesky kind of grass that can come back from the dead, so not only am I dealing with how to lay out the garden, but I must try to get those deep-rooted grasses out or I will have to deal with them again. Those weeds are like the idolaters in the promised land; if they are not eradicated, and a few are left out of kindness, their deep-rooted idolatry will creep back in and destroy everything that God was trying to cultivate. 


Do not hang on to a particular sin that makes you feel comfy; it must be rooted out and obliterated! It will only open the door for the enemy to creep in and draw you into deeper sin. Let it go! It’s not worth dealing with God’s anger against you because you are too weak to relinquish it. Ask God to help you give up the sin that is keeping you imprisoned. The main point of this chapter of Deuteronomy 9 is to not boast in your righteousness.


As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10


Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 9:4

Thursday, November 30, 2023

November 30, 2023

Everybody has to work in some capacity during their lifetime. If you don’t work, it’s safe to say that you may not know where your next meal is coming from. God gave us the ability to work; we must not forget that and give him recognition. The wilderness was training for the Israelites, so they would humble themselves, learn to appreciate God, and always give him glory. Did you know that as they wandered for forty years, their clothes never wore out, and their feet didn’t swell? They were never hungry because he fed them manna or lacked water. He made water come out of the fire starter, flint!

As any good father disciplines his child, God also disciplines us if our hearts become haughty or we sin purposefully and reject his commands. You’ll know when this happens if you genuinely carry the Holy Spirit in your heart; you will be overcome with sorrow for disappointing the Lord, not just out of self-pity; you will beg for his forgiveness and be completely remorseful. 


As we look forward to the good land of a new heaven and earth, learn what God is teaching, and be grateful that he loves us enough to discipline us when needed and feed us when we are hungry. Never become arrogant by taking all the credit for his blessings. The entire point of this chapter of Deuteronomy is to give God all the glory and never forget what he has done for you. Praise him as often as you can.


Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Deuteronomy 8:11


And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:17-18


Thank you, Lord, for every person pictured in this photo and the ones that are not. I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

November 29, 2023

As God prepared the Israelites to take possession of the land of promise, he gave them warnings. They must destroy everyone, leaving no people for marriage or even as servants. He didn’t want them to get drawn away from worshipping only him. This warning reminds us of the New Testament verse that tells us not to be equally yoked with unbelievers. They were to destroy all their idols, including the gold and silver that covered them. He also warned them not to take the whole land all at once because there weren’t enough of them to maintain it to keep the wild beast from taking it over. They must follow his commands and not turn away from him. These were not fighting people, so he wanted to make sure they knew that it was he who would make them successful. 

We can learn a couple of things from this chapter in Deuteronomy because we are adopted or grafted into the family of God through our salvation in Jesus: if we love him and keep his commandments, he will have mercy on us. “And in vain do we pretend to love him if we do not make conscience of his commandments.” Matthew Henry Commentary. Though we may not always keep his commandments as we should, we are forgiven because of Jesus. However, those who hate God only hurt themselves because he will repay those who hate him. It may seem slow, but God’s plan will not fail. Keep your eyes open for what he is doing now in this extremely evil world. 


Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14


Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Deuteronomy 7:9-10

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

November 28, 2023

As the holiday season begins, we must remember why we celebrate. Give all due respect to the Lord our God and honor him for all he is. One of the most beloved verses is: 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5

But how do we love him? By acknowledging him in every aspect of our lives. Start your day with prayer. Let him know you are thinking about him. Remember him throughout your day, thanking him for the little things as well as the big things. Sometimes, we forget that we made it back home in one piece after fighting traffic; thank him for that. Yes, we should thank him for the things that didn’t happen. We all get those calls that throw us into a panic, but when God gives us peace, knowing that he is in the midst of it, we can’t help but give him all the praise and glory. Remember Him always, love him, and keep him in the forefront of your mind, and he will provide you with a long life.

Monday, November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses revisits the Ten Commandments to confirm the Israelite's commitment to follow them as they prepare for a new way of life in the promised land. They would not be altogether like they were in the wilderness but scattered to their own land; Moses repeated the commands to keep them fresh in their minds. You can see how God's plans fall into place; he had already instituted the feasts, so there would be a gathering of the congregation periodically. When we are away from other believers for an extended time, the likelihood of us falling away from our commitment to God and going our own way is more probable. We need other believers, and they need us. If you are still sitting at home and not in communion with other Christ-followers, it's time to get off the couch, put on some clothes, and return to church. My pastor mentioned this in his sermon on Sunday because he also live-streams our services; many people are still in the pandemic pattern and haven't returned to church since. I've had prayers answered because of my fellow Christians praying in the flesh upon my request; I think being in the same room made the difference. Do not forsake the assembly. 

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25


O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Deuteronomy 5:29

Sunday, November 26, 2023

November 26, 2023

As I was weeding my garden, I was reminded of the parable Jesus taught about the wheat growing among the tares. It got me thinking about those weeds. No matter what I do, I cannot make those weeds become the crop that I planted. I can witness to that weed all I want, and it will never become my crop. However, we, who are the crop, must live with the tares among us until Jesus gathers us into his barn and sets the tares on fire. What is also apparent is that the wheat cannot become a tare. You are chosen and are safe from eternal damnation. 

Don’t get discouraged if you are diligently trying to bring someone to Jesus and they continually reject him. If it is God’s will, they will turn and follow Jesus. Though this is a hard lesson, and we may not know what’s included in God’s plan, we do know that we have a role to play; Jesus told us to go and tell the world about him, and we must do as we are told whether the world listens or not. 


Moses spoke these words to Israel before they entered the promised land, reminding them of what God had done for them. I believe we can take these verses for ourselves and count them as promises to us. Even though these two situations don't quite mesh, we need to hear God's promise to us, his wheat.


But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:29-31


Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:30

Saturday, November 25, 2023

November 25, 2023

Israel had conquered two countries east of the Jordan, where the 2 1/2 tribes decided to settle rather than take their portion of Canaan. Moses was so excited about what God had done for them that he wanted to see more, so he prayed that he would let him go into the promised land. God said no but allowed him to see it from the top of Mt. Pisgah. There are consequences for our actions, especially when it goes against God. Moses had hit the rock for water more than God told him and was punished by not allowing him to go into Canaan, the promised land. God was merciful for letting him be a part of the conquering of the two countries east of the Jordan and for giving him a view of what was to be given to the children of Israel. However, he was also punished for his sin against God for not following his instructions and making it about him rather than God. 

God will have mercy on you for sinning, but you may have to pay a price, but that price will not be as costly as it is for someone who completely rejects Jesus. Moses is such an excellent example of God’s mercy and anger. We are as dear to God as Moses was, yet even he was punished for his indiscretions. Listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his lead to avoid sin.


I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Deuteronomy 3:25-26

Friday, November 24, 2023

November 24, 2023

We had such a wonderful gathering for Thanksgiving. Richard and I hosted both our families and had nearly forty people; if everyone had been able to attend, it would have been well over fifty. What an incredible feeling to be surrounded by people you love dearly, with all your heart. Of those people, only nine are related to me by blood. Love comes from your heart, not blood. Then, if you are connected by the blood of Christ, the power of that love rests on Jesus, and no one can break that tie, including anger or fighting. That’s why I believe we are reborn into the family of God, to create a blood tie that binds us together that’s unbreakable. 

I met someone recently who knew me from my posts, and she immediately embraced me as her sister in Christ. I felt like I already knew her even though I didn’t know her at all. Jesus is the key to heartfelt love that is overwhelming and fulfilling. He brings immense joy that is unmatched. The greatest command is to love God, but the next is to love people. You cannot break a tie filled with Jesus’s love. 


Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40


Some had already left before we took the picture.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

November 23, 2023

The book of Deuteronomy is Moses recapping what Israel went through while wandering in the wilderness. He had to teach the young people who hadn’t experienced it.

The Israelites were great in number, and the countries they passed through were frightened. God told them not to meddle with the countries belonging to the children of Esau or Lot. The lesson is this: though we have the upper hand, we must be careful not to take advantage of our power. “Wrong not others, and God shall right thee.” Matthew Henry. We will not lose if we follow God’s word. 


Sometimes, we must go into battle to retrieve what God gives us. God told Israel he would give Heshbon into their hands, but they had to work to get it, and He would fight for them. “What God gives we must endeavour to get.” Matthew Henry. Here’s why God told them that: Moses sent a messenger of peace to King Shion, the king of Heshbon, asking him to allow them to pass through his land, offering to buy food and water from them as they passed, but he refused their offer. So, God told Moses that because they were obstinate, he would deliver them into his hands, and they could inherit their land. “Those that meddle with the people of God meddle to their own hurt, and God sometimes ruins his enemies by their own resolves.” Matthew Henry. When we follow God’s word, he will stay faithful to us; His enemies had better watch out! 


Today, if you are dealing with pain caused by others, God will avenge you; he may require you to take steps to get it, but you can count on Him to fight on your behalf.


And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. Deuteronomy 2:33

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

November 22, 2023

How can God be so permitting? It's because when He looks at us, He only sees Jesus. I must admit that I feel like I'm only now beginning to understand grace. A switch seems to have just clicked on. Hearing and thinking you understand grace and believing it's true are entirely different. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to live sinlessly because it's better for our earthly situation and mental health if we refrain, but it's impossible not to; a mere bad thought could cause unintentional sin. According to the law of Moses, just being near a corpse of any kind could cause you to be unclean. Since there is no temple and no animal sacrifices, there is no way to purify yourself, and if you don't have Jesus, you are still under Mosaic Law, making it impossible to be clean. I believe God may have sent me to the Old Testament to learn this, not just for me, but to share it with you. I may have been a pharisaical perfectionist for far too long, and God needed to straighten me out! Hopefully, I haven't come across that way for all these years. Trying to be perfect on your own, without Jesus, is works, and pretending you are perfect is boasting. Do your best to try and understand God's grace; it will alleviate a lot of pressure and give you peace. Does this make sense? 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

November 21, 2023

Just as many of you, we are having family over for Thanksgiving. The rush is already on! I was at the grocery store yesterday, and it was packed. We are excited to celebrate this holiday and thank the Lord for all he has done and will do for our sake. Use this week as a memorial and thank God for his guidance through our treacherous wandering throughout this earthly realm. We cannot forget that he chose us as his own and has set us on the path of righteousness, though we are not righteous of our own account; we owe that to Jesus and have much to be grateful for. Remember, He is enough. Once that notion is placed firmly in our minds, everything else will fall nicely into place. The Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting.

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we arehis people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalms 100

Monday, November 20, 2023

November 20, 2023

The princes of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the sons of Joseph, were concerned about the inheritance of Zelophehad, who had no sons, and the daughters were to receive his portion as commanded by God. They worried that his daughter's portion of land might be passed on to another tribe if they married into a tribe other than Manasseh's. It was a valid concern, so Moses commanded that the daughter should only marry men from their own tribe and that no land would pass to another if daughters were to inherit their father's land. 

The good news is that when God promises something, we can count on him fulfilling that promise, just as Israel expected. Do you see their faith in this? It is extraordinary! They were making plans and laws before they had even conquered the land. These plans were based on God's promises, and they didn't sit idly by but were proactive in sorting out the details. 


We know tribulation is approaching because God's word has told us about it. Are you prepared in case we must survive through a portion of it? Hard times may be waiting on the horizon, so listen when the Holy Spirit nudges you to get ready. Don't just sit there waiting on God to drop manna; you need to make a plan. What are you going to do if the grid goes down? Do you have a way to cook or a water source you can get to without electricity? Do you have nonperishable food stored? How are you going to protect what you have? Why would he tell us about tribulation if he didn't want us to ready ourselves; we wouldn't need to know these things if he planned to yank us out before it started. We have nothing to fear, but please think ahead like the Israelites, trusting that God's promises were trustworthy and true. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.


And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well. This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry. Numbers 36:5-6

Sunday, November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

Before the Israelites had even entered the promised land, God had given them a plan, expecting them to care for the Levites and give them forty-eight cities and suburbs. Six were to be cities of refuge where accidental murderers could escape until the due process of the law or until the high priest died. They could stay in the city of refuge, safe from the avenger, but if they left and the avenger saw them outside of the city's boundaries, they were at risk of being killed. They couldn't go home. However, they could return to their land once the high priest died. The scripture doesn't give any detail as to why, so my thoughts are that when the priest died, he carried the murderer's guilt with him. I'm not sure if that's true, but if you look at what Jesus did by dying on the cross for us, it's similar; he took on the guilt of our sin, freeing us from the consequences. Jesus is our city of refuge; we must stay within his boundaries. If we venture outside his gates, we risk receiving compensation for our sins. I'll bet that living among the Levites taught the murderers a lot about what God expected of them and probably helped comfort them for their guilty conscience. Learn from Jesus while seeking refuge, follow his teachings, love God, and love people, and it will be easy to stay in His city until the day he calls us home or returns. 

Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. Numbers 35:11

Saturday, November 18, 2023

November 18, 2023

We are headed home from the beach today. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Rejoice and thank the Lord for all he has done for us. It may seem like the world is falling apart, but it is falling into place, just as God planned, so don’t fret over what you see and hear; much of it is only stories that cause anxiety. Be at peace, and do not fear. 

Imagine how the Israelites felt as they approached the day God had planned for them to conquer the inhabitants of the promised land. They must have been so anxious and afraid, but they knew God was with them and continued their quest in obedience to him. As you set out to conquer your day, know that God goes before you and is also your rear guard. The task at hand may seem daunting, but God makes everything possible. 


In Numbers 34, God told Moses the boundaries of Israel and allotted each tribe their land. God knows in advance the boundaries of your dwelling place and expects you to be content with all he gives you; when it is time for you to expand, he will make it known. Continue to praise and worship him until his plan unfolds.


And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, Acts 17:26


“Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), Numbers 34:2

Friday, November 17, 2023

November 17, 2023

The place we are staying on the beach is adorable. The decor is on point! However, though I love the beach and the atmosphere, there are some things I don't like. We are on the second floor of a three-story wood building, which means there are people above us walking on wood trusses, and we can hear their every move, and they move a lot! Even though it's not ideal, it is still a nice getaway. I've spent most of my time relaxing; I can't seem to sit still at home, so this week has been a nice treat of soaking in the beauty of God's creation. We looked at a couple of condos while here, but nothing checks off our boxes for the most part. The truth is that we won't find perfection; I expect that to happen when Jesus returns to rule and reign and a new Heaven and Earth are created. Until then, we have to live with imperfection. 

In chapter 33 of Numbers, Moses kept a journal and recalled the Israelite’s stops in the wilderness. Other than that, there is little information. One of their stops had seventy palm trees and twelve fountains of water; another stop had no water. Like Moses and Israel, you will not find perfection during your search in this lifetime, but that's a good thing; we shouldn't be comfortable with the way things are and should long for the perfect life of eternity with Jesus. Enjoy your time, but realize there is something worthy waiting for us in eternity: the perfection of Jesus.


And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there. Numbers 33:9

Thursday, November 16, 2023

November 16, 2023

As I sit and enjoy the waves crashing against the shoreline, it would be easy to settle by the sea and never go home again; I find it exceedingly peaceful. I can understand why there were two and a half tribes that wanted to stay on the east side of the Jordan River. The vast open pasture land made it easy to feed their cattle, of which they had many. They must have found it to be as beautiful as I’ve found the sea. God had appointed that the two-and-a-half tribes should have a portion of the land of Canaan, so they had to convince Moses of their desire to stay. Moses made a good point that if they wanted to stay, they must first help the other tribes conquer the land God promised them. They agreed and began to prepare the land so their families could stay there unharmed by the current inhabitants. Sometimes, God leaves us to our own desires, but we eventually pay the price for not following his direction. We find in 2 Kings that they were the first to be taken into captivity by the Assyrians. If left to make our own decisions, some of us would make a mess of our lives; that’s why we must learn to hear and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When you stay wrapped in God’s Word, study daily, offer praise, stay prayerful, and worship Him, hearing his voice becomes easy. If those tribes had followed what God had appointed for them, much of the heartache they experienced later on might have lessened. 

The point of today’s lesson is to stay in tune with God by studying His Word. It’s the only way to know what he expects of you. 


Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. Numbers 32:4-5



Wednesday, November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023

Have you destroyed the things that cause you to stumble? As a final task before God gathered Moses to his people, he had him assemble an army to fight against Midian because they had drawn the Israelites into idolatry. God had purged Israel of those who had worshipped idols, but it was now time to seek vengeance on those who had caused their crime. God wanted total annihilation; however, they captured and kept the women and children to the chagrin of God. The women were the ones who drew them into idolatry! Moses had them kill all the adult women and the male children; they were only allowed to keep the girls. I know what you’re thinking; it disturbs me, too, but they are of a different culture than we are. 

You can see by this story that God is angered over our worship of other gods and goes to great lengths to purge us of such. If you are harboring any sinful practice from your past before you accepted Jesus as your savior, get rid of it! It needs to go. Until you make it a point to worship and honor only God, you will continue to stumble and fall. God will not be mocked.


And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. Numbers 31:1-3