Archive for : March, 2020

03.31.20

03.31.20

Judges 19
Judges 20
Judges 21
Luke 11:1-32

Luke 11:  24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

I always find this verse to be very realistic and a bit “chilling.”  We may change our lives and remove habits and sin and maybe even some people who influence us badly.   But these verses tell me that even when they are removed unless we replace them with the Spirit of God and stay in His word we will return to our former way of life … and it may be even worse.

03.30.20

03.30.20

Judges 16
Judges 17
Judges 18
Luke 10:1-42

Luke 10: After this the Lord appointed seventy-twoothers and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

Among Jesus instruction to the seventy-two disciples he sent-out before Him was the direction to “not greet anyone on the road.”  Since their mission was to evangelize I thought this was an unusual command.  Then, I read several commentators who highlighted that the word for “greet” actually means “salutation” and the custom at that time (and even today in the Middle East) was that the “salutation” could go on for a lengthy period of time.  

So, the Lord was not telling them to be “unfriendly” but instead that their mission was so critical to not “linger” along the way.  And the urgency and timing of our mission today has not changed. 

03.29.20

03.29.20

Judges 13
Judges 14
Judges 15
Luke 9:28-62

Luke 9: 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Now, I thought that these were appropriate requests – taking care of a dead father and saying goodbye to their family.  But my “margin notes” highlight an important fact in these requests. Did you denote the use of the word “me.”  And of course, the word “me” implies a self-centered focus.  And before we “judge” the decision of these two men ask yourself – are there times when I give my own needs priority over mu service to the Lord?

03.28.20

03.28.20

Judges 10
Judges 11
Judges 12
Luke 9:1-27

Judges 10: 11 The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonitesoppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble.

A thought that struck me when I read this passage is do we ever give priorities to other “gods?”  This could be as simple as things like seeking wealth, our jobs, watching sports, etc.  And if so, can we call upon them when we are in need the same way we can call upon the Lord God, Almighty? He is always available – let us be faithful to Him and Him alone.

03.27.20

03.27.20

Judges 7
Judges 8
Judges 9
Luke 8:26-56

Luke 8: 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

Luke 8: 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Did you note the similar manner in which the woman and Jairus – both “fell at His feet.” And do you note the similar circumstance they were in – both were desperate and, seemingly, without hope.  But did you also note that at this absolute “rock bottom” moment in their lives they had the faith to seek Jesus?

We will often do the same – seek Jesus in moments of trouble.  But this should not be the only time – our goal and mission are to seek him with each moment of our lives. 

03.26.20

03.26.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read ...

03.25.20

03.25.20

Judges 4
Judges 5
Judges 6
Luke 8:1-25

Luke 8: “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

Coffman provides a commentary on this verse that helps me understand the expression “… how you listen…”  Listening does not just mean passively hearing – it also means actively doing and responding. 

Coffman Commentary:  The person who has the honest and good heart and responds by faithfully hearing and obeying the saving words of Christ shall be given the riches of the kingdom, even unto eternal life; but the person who has an evil heart, even though like the Pharisees glorying in the law of God, shall have what they think they have (the word of God) taken away from them.

03.24.20

03.24.20

Judges 1
Judges 2
Judges 3
Luke 7:36-50

Judges 2: 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands.

Judges 3: But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them

Judges 3: 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years. 15 Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

As we continue to read the book of Judges we will see the patience and love of the Lord expressed in the way that He sends deliverers (a total of 13 Judges) to care for Israel – even in their unfaithfulness. This same grace extends to believers today – the Lord is just and patient and we have received our “deliverer” in the Lord, Jesus Christ.    

However, as Christ promised, a time is coming when the final judgement will arrive and there will be no “second” opportunities.  Are we ready for that moment and are we reaching-out to prepare others to also be ready?

03.23.20

03.23.20

Joshua 22
Joshua 23
Joshua 24
Luke 7:1-35

Luke 7: 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosyare cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”

Did you note in Jesus response to this question how he replied?  He did not go into a long philosophical discussion or even teach a Bible class.  Jesus, knowing John’s heart and John’s knowledge of scripture responded with what was being achieved!  

03.22.20

03.22.20

Joshua 19
Joshua 20
Joshua 21
Luke 6:20-49

Luke 6:  47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Did you note – to build a strong foundation in the Lord we must not just “hear the words” we must also put them into practice?  Theoretical understanding is not sufficient – go and perform! 

03.21.20

03.21.20

Joshua 16
Joshua 17
Joshua 18
Luke 6:1-19

I marvel at Jesus teachings because so often in His wisdom he uses the technique of answering a question by asking a question.  And regardless of the response of those who He is questioning He leaves no option for what is correct.

Luke 6: Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

03.20.20

03.20.20

Joshua 13
Joshua 14
Joshua 15
Luke 5

Fellowship and sharing within the Body is a marvelous gift & we can surely rejoice that we are blessed with one another.  As I read today I was drawn to the reality that while we are blessed to be within the Body we also have another responsibility that is just as important – witnessing to those who are not followers of the Lord.

Luke 5 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

03.19.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …

And during this time of COVID-19 why not use the time to make a call, write a note, send a text of love and encouragement to one of your Christian Brothers or Sisters …

03.18.20

03.18.20

Joshua 10
Joshua 11
Joshua 12
Luke 4

Luke 4:  13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Be it a sin or an addiction have you ever “won” a battle with Satan when you withstood a temptation?  And then after a few days (or hours or minutes) you felted tempted again?  As we can see from this passage we are not alone – the Lord, Himself endured this reality. 

In his commentary Coffman writes: Chaplain Branham of the U.S. Army had a favorite sermon that he liked to preach from this text, entitled “The Devil’s Vacation.” Satan does not assail mortals with a state of constant, invariable pressure, but varies it in order to achieve advantage through surprise.

03.17.20

03.17.20

Joshua 7
Joshua 8
Joshua 9
Luke 3:1-38

Have you ever endured one of those times in your life when nothing seemed to be going right?  You became so depressed and frustrated all you wanted to do was just sit in your house and mope?  Perhaps during those times, you were blessed with a good friend or family member who came and challenged you to just get “back on your feet” and take actions to move forward with your life. 

We should all be blessed with such a friend/family member.   And today we see the Lord provide this support to Joshua:

Joshua 7:  Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”  10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? …

13 Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

03.16.20

03.16.20

Joshua 4
Joshua 5
Joshua 6
Luke 2:21-52

Luke 2:  48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

In his commentary Coffman highlighted what to me was a very subtle but significant reality about this statement of Jesus.  The “house” he referenced was the temple, recognized by the people as being the house of the Lord. 

So, per the Inspired Word we see that even at this very early age and at his first public appearance Jesus is clearly stating that He is the Son of God

03.15.20

03.15.20

Joshua 1
Joshua 2
Joshua 3
Luke 2:1-20

I saw another interesting parallel in the Old and New Testament verses we read today:

Joshua 1:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Luke 2: An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

In Joshua the people are reassured that the Lord will be with them as He fulfills His early promise of leading them into the promised land.  In Luke the shepherds are reassured as the Lord fulfills His greatest promise – the arrival of the Messiah, the Savior who is Christ, the Lord. 

The message to me is that neither should we “be afraid” as we await the fulfillment of the Lord’s final promise of spending an eternity with Him in His glory.

03.14.20

03.14.20

Deuteronomy 33
Deuteronomy 34
Luke 1:39-80

We have sometimes referred to the “thread of God’s plan” moving through the history of all mankind.  I found today’s readings interesting because we see that thread in both the Old and New Testament passages we read.  And keep in mind these verses are separated by roughly 1400 years

Deuteronomy 34Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

Luke 1: His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham
:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

03.13.20

03.13.20

Deuteronomy 31
Deuteronomy 32
Luke 1:1-38

Luke 1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilledamong us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Just as we have done with other books I think it is important to take a look at the background of the author to help us better understand the details of the writing and the manner in which the Holy Spirit guided the gifts of the writers.   As we will learn Luke was a physician and this gospel contains more details of some events than the others.  He was not an eyewitness of the facts he described and, therefore, inspired by the Holy Spirit examined and recorded the testimony of eyewitnesses.

Coffman writes:   Luke was probably the only non-Jew called of God to write a Bible book. The Gospel bearing his name is the longest of all. If we include the Acts of the Apostles Luke has written the greatest part of the NT after the Apostle Paul. More than any other evangelist Luke mentions the care of the Lord Jesus for special groups of people and individuals:

  • the despised ones (chap. 7:37; 19:1; 23:40),
  • the Samaritans (chapter 9:52; 10:33; 17:16),
  • women and children (Luke mentions over 10 women who are not mentioned anywhere else).

03.12.20

03.12.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …