Archive for : March, 2020

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!  

03.20.20

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.”

03.14.20

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 …

03.11.20

03.11.20

Deuteronomy 28
Deuteronomy 29
Deuteronomy 30
Mark 16:1-20

Deuteronomy 30: When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunesand have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered youEven if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.

During our Thursday night study of an “overview of the Old Testament” we spent time looking at the reality of Moses’s prophecy.  For we will read of the exile of Judah into Babylon and Persia and, then, the Lord’s grace as they return to their land.

I find the fulfillment of Biblical promises very uplifting.  For the Lord does not change and just as the promises given to Moses were fulfilled so will the promise we have of eternal life in His presence.

03.10.20

03.10.20

Deuteronomy 25
Deuteronomy 26
Deuteronomy 27
Mark 15:1-47

Mark 15“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

There are times that I have hear people say that they have compassion for Pilate because he “tried” to have Jesus released as not being guilty of any crime.   

I offer a personal thought — what do you think of someone who knows the absolutely right thing to do and has the authority to do so … but then does otherwise?    Reflect a bit – this is Pilate.  And the circumstance can also be us …how often  do we know the right way to serve the Lord and, yet do not? 

03.09.20

03.09.20

Deuteronomy 22
Deuteronomy 23
Deuteronomy 24
Mark 14:32-72

In all of our readings we have seen the actions the Lord has taken to care for his people, the Israelites (even when they were disobedient.)  But did you notice today that the Lord’s mercy extends even further:

Deuteronomy 24: 19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

03.08.20

03.08.20

Deuteronomy 19
Deuteronomy 20
Deuteronomy 21
Mark 14:1-31

A question – review your interactions with other members of the Body.  Have you ever questioned their actions and thought “How could they be serving the Lord? All they do is …” 

In today’s reading I see a stark reminder that we are not to judge the value of any action taken to truly serve the Lord. 

Mark 14:  While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

03.04.20

03.04.20

Deuteronomy 10
Deuteronomy 11
Deuteronomy 12
Mark 12:1-27

In your lifetime (even if you are much younger than I am) you have probably seen some denominational churches change their positions on precepts such as the ordination of women preachers and elders; acceptance of gay and lesbian leaders, and the removal of the use of gender names (e.g., He, Father, etc.)  in their versions of the Bible and hymnals. Most of these changes were done to “conform the to acceptance of today’s societal morals.”  

As I read deeper into the words the Lord gave Moses to communicate to the Israelites I marvel at the foreshadowing of these events we saw thousands of years ago. For the Lord instructed Moses to write:

Deuteronomy 12: You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit …”

A caution for us – even when the Word of God may not appear to meet “societal morals” it is not within our authority to make changes.  The Word of the Lord is His, not ours and the Word does not change.  Read and strive to remain faithful. 

03.03.20

03.03.20

Deuteronomy 7
Deuteronomy 8
Deuteronomy 9
Mark 11

I think we have all heard the expression “there are no atheists in foxholes.”  Or how many people do you know (us included) who had not asked “Lord, I pray – help me get out of this situation …”  People do not hesitate to call upon the Lord when they are threatened, frightened or desperate. (churches are always full after a 9-11 type event)

Deuteronomy 8: 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

In today’s reading I think Moses directs the Israelites to remember something that was and remains extremely important – do not forget the Lord when everything is going well!  Or our pride may become a stumbling block in our relationship … 

03.02.20

03.02.20

Deuteronomy 4
Deuteronomy 5
Deuteronomy 6
Mark 10:23-52

Mark 10:  32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again, he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

I find the two highlighted words in this section, “astonished” and “afraid” very telling.  The Greek word for “astonished” is thambeo and per Strong’s means “I am amazed – almost terrified.”   While the word for “afraid” is more familiar phobeo meaning “fear, dread, terrified.”

At this point in His ministry the disciples and other followers knew that Jesus was heading into a city where the leaders had been looking for a way to kill Him.  So, their terror was real.  And what I find inspirational is that even though they were terrified they went

03.01.20

03.01.20

Deuteronomy 1
Deuteronomy 2
Deuteronomy 3
Mark 10:1-22

Mark 10:  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

A realization & warning struck me as I read this passage.  Did you note that Jesus quoted the last 5 commandments to the young man.  These all deal with human-to-human interactions.  And the young man had been faithful.

Then. Jesus gives the command to drop everything and follow him.  And we then see the young man who has kept the human-to-human commandments refuse to follow the very first commandment (unquoted in Mark) from Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.

He had placed his wealth before God.  A point of reflection – do we also have “things” or “actions” we place before the Lord who “loves us?”   If so, like the young man we may “go away sad.”