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