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In Deuteronomy we see history as meaning rather than as bare fact. Here the stories rewire the souls of the people, preparing them for what lay ahead. As the OT progresses, the stories are told and retold, each time telling the meaning: the truth about God, his justice, grace, sovereignty, mercy, fierce jealousy.

So, if everything points back to Torah (the first five books), how should we understand the OT?

If Torah is the story of God's gracious covenant with Israel--and not law as is often assumed--could it be the the OT is also about God's grace?

I believe this is true and this year, I'm reading to see if it is so. It has certainly been the case so far.

Re: Gods grace as seen in the old testament journeys, I feel like I have just completed a long journey because I was a few days behind on my reading. I know we are supposed to skip those days, but I hate to miss anything. I can see why the journey took as long as it did because there were many cities, lands and people to conquor. I am having a struggle with these readings as I did with Leviticus and Numbers because of the long lists of names, animal sacrifices and counting of people that took place. It seems so much of these chapters are redundant too. I wonder if anyone else has had struggles with reading these chapters in the old testament as I have. I still try to look for God's grace and realize that he has those chapters in the bible for a good reason. I've been trying to give Him the glory.

On another thought that may be all my own. Where were all the animal rights activists in those days? So many animals were sacrificed daily. God must of provided an enormous abundance of animals and probably dealt severly with those who stood in the way of the work of the sacrifices performed by the Levites. Scripture leaves that part out. Am I the only inquisitive one who thinks along these lines? I of course am thankful that Jesus was the final sacrifice and that we all have access to Him now and His saving grace.

I love the bible enough and God's word to maintain my focus and have a great respect to all my fellow brothers and sisters In Christ who have been faithfull to God and this blog and who post daily.

I am looking forward to this study of Deuteronomy and all the blessings it will offer to us.

Speaking of God's grace...I love the thought my husband, a pastor, has brought up about Moses being refused by God to enter the Promised Land: (and I don't know if it's an original thought with my husband): Moses represented the Law, and the law can never bring us into God's holy presence; it can only condemn us and show us the need for Jesus and His blood shed on the cross to bring us into "the Promised Land." So it was so symbolic that Moses couldn't deliver the people into the Land, but that Joshua (Jesus' name is really Joshua)-is the one God chose to bring the people into His chosen land, the place of blessing and prosperity.

Another thought that blesses me about Moses--in the story about the Transfiguration, Luke 9:30, we see Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus on the mountain, in the promised land. So God in His mercy brought His servant Moses into the land after all! He's the God of the living, not of the dead, isn't He? ;) His grace is greater than our sin and mistakes.

Blessings.

Today"s reading gave me a push. As I have been doing my bible study, I have had this tug on my heart that God wants me to be doing something more for Him. I have been praying everyday that He will reveal to me what it is. My nephew reminded me, "dont sit back and wait jump in and you will know God's will". Thank you for this reading. Believe you me I have been wandering in the dessert long enough. Have a Blessed day. Peggy

Luke 6:12-13 stood out today in our reading of the Scripture. Jesus prayed all night before choosing the 12 apostles. As our all-knowing Savior prayed all night before making His big decision, then He has set the example for us to pray earnestly and long before making big decisions in our lives.

God Bless,
Pat

Pat,

John 14:10
"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." NIV

I wonder if it was a big decision, or if Jesus was praying to the Father to reveal the names of the disciples to become apostles. Perhaps also he was praying for the protection of these apostles in the coming days, months, and years.

Luke

Blessings and Woes

One religious sect leader said - 'just follow the beatitudes and you will be in God's kingdom.' Implying that non-christians could get to heaven if they follow this teaching of Jesus. (Inclusive theology).

People concentrate on Matthew for the "Beatitudes", but here Luke provides a compare and contrast.

Blessed
- 'are the poor' - in spirit - those who recognize they have no standing on their own before God - that they depend on Him.

- if you are poor in spirit and hunger - for righteousness - God will satisfy you.

- 'are you who weep - over the state of your nature (sinful)- for you will laugh in heaven.

- 'are you when men hate you because of Jesus - for it shows you are not of the world but of Christ.

Woes
- to the rich - who think they are spiritually rich - that they can earn their way to heaven - your comfort is here on earth.

- 'to the well fed' - who have no hunger for righteousness in the Lord - for they will hunger for the Lord when it is too late.

- 'to those who laugh' - for they do not admit their sinful nature and weep over their condition - for you will mourn and weep in the afterlife.

- to those who get along with the world - because you have no clue. It is a false sense of comfort.

Pretty hard to follow Jesus' teaching here without accepting and receiving him as your Savior.
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Love for Enemies

Maybe this is hard for some, and maybe it is easy for others.

If it is hard for you to do - a suggestion: start with people in your assembly (church). Quit hanging out with people you are comfortable with and who are like you. Instead find someone, a family, or various persons who you would never hang out with before you became a Christian. Start being a factor in their lives.

This happened to me - not by choice, but by God thrusting these people in my life - and it has truly been a blessing.
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Luke 6:37
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

One of the most quoted by secularists, and most understood by Christians - verses in the Bible.

Judged (Krino) and condemn have to do with God's judgment. We do not know people's hearts. We cannot judge their standing before God.

" It becomes clear that from looking at the usage of usage of the Greek words KRINO and KRISIS, it is God who does this when it comes to judging the individual. It is not man’s place to KRINO another person. We may KRINO fruit, works, holidays, festivals or foods for ourselves but not others. The Bible makes it very clear that the job of judging man does not belong to mortals but to an infinite, eternal, righteous and just God." - from link below

We can and should be discerning, but judging and condemning - it is not our job.

The below link is one of the best I have found in the last year. It discusses all the verses that talk about judging and discernment - the Greek - and how it should be understood and applied.
http://www.christianarsenal.com/Apologetics/Discernment.htm


Great blog today, as always, very powerful! I love it! There is so much good stuff, I can tell this is gonna be a long comment! :p

Deut. has lots of great gems! I love the dialog between God and Moses, I wonder if God’s voice was audible to Moses…I know we have dialog with God now, but I wonder what it was like for Moses…
I like this verse, I can relate to this!: Deut 2:7 “He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These…years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing”
In v.25 is very interesting…sounds like the nation of Israel today, hm? “I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you”

The Beatitudes I know we have discussed a lot in other gospels, I’ll just touch on a couple. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”. This isn’t referring to mourning in everyday life, like the death of a loved one, I sure don’t feel blessed! This is in reference to when we mourn over our sin, our initial conversion to Christ and every time we mourn over sin, we should! It’s a sign we are truly His child! When we mourn, there are two responses though, we can be sorry for our sins, but make the wrong choice. One example, Peter mourned after the rooster crowed and he realized he had denied the Lord. He did the right thing; he wept bitterly, mourned and repented. He turned from his sin and continued after Jesus. Then there is anther example, Judas Iscariot who mourned and wept after he betrayed Jesus. But his mourning didn’t lead to repentance, but the taking of his own life…he gave up!

I definitely think we all suffer from judging ppl, not just Christians either. It seems like a natural human tendency…you see someone and instantly make a judgment. My study Bible says this:
“This forbids hypocrisy and a condemning spirit rising from self-righteousness. It does not condemn true discernment”.
There are certain judgments we are to make! God gave us this, like for women, we make judgments and we have to. If I see a strange man hanging around, I’m gonna make a judgment! If, particularly a man, gives me a bad feeling, I listen to that! That’s not wrong. One reason God gave us judgment is to keep us safe!

I am a huge advocate for forgiveness!! Theres just no way around it, we MUST forgive!

Regarding v 29 “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also”…I just heard a radio sermon on this and wanted to mention it. This is referring to revenge. Not to take revenge on a person…this doesnt mean we are to be wimpy, ‘easily taken advantage of’ ppl who get pushed around. When Jesus was slapped in the face after His arrest, He didn’t say, ‘hey slap the other one!’ He said, “why did you strike me?” Lets not mistake forgiveness and humility for being wimps. This is the point the pastor was making.

‘Love your enemies…pray for them.’ This is huge…remember Christians, nonbelievers are watching us, whether we realize it or not. When we profess His name...this is a distinguishing factor. this shows God in our lives, that we can love those that do us wrong and that we forgive. We have a responsibility to bring glory to God’s name.

Regarding that book you mentioned, ha, at least the author referred to ages 25-35 as young adults! I like being called young. :p
Of course I’ve heard a lot about what a danger us evangelical, Christian fundamentalists are. Ha! Well, we ARE a threat!! A threat to satan’s kingdom! Praise God! These authors are under the authority of the enemy. (my spell-check wants me to capitalize satan’s name, I refuse! Haha.)

Proverbs is awesome! “If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!”…Wow, that’s sooo true!! I love it!
Great readings…I could continue with my tangents and thoughts but I better stop…haha.

I feel like the person jumping in the picture today just because it is my birthday...that is all i have to say for today !!!

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