Numbers 21:1-22:20 ~ Luke 1:26-56 ~ Psalm 57:1-11 ~ Proverbs 11:9-11
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Old Testament - Today in Numbers chapter 22 we read about Balak sending for Balaam - hoping Balaam will curse the Israelites. Balak sends messengers the 1st time and Balaam gets a message from God to not go with these messengers, as God has blessed the Israelites. What is interesting to me are verses 15-17: "Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time. They went to Balaam and gave him this message: "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don't let anything stop you from coming. I will pay you well and do anything you ask of me. Just come and curse these people for me!" For some reason these verses really reminded me of temptation in our lives today. Like Balaam with the messengers on their first visit, we may realize something is not what God would want us to do - and we send the temptation away. But... then the temptation can come back! In a bigger way - with more distinguished officials than before... with more allure than before... the temptation that we resisted once so valiantly can come back. And then, the question becomes - with the opportunity to be "paid well" by the temptation, will we still resist the temptation? Can we resist the temptation a 2nd time? Through Jesus, our mediator before our Heavenly Father, yes, I know we can. If temptation has visited you once - or twice - or even many times - will you pray to God today in the name of Jesus that temptation will never overcome you?
Bible.org's commentary on Balaam and Numbers chapter 22 is at this link.
New Testament - In Luke chapter 1 verses 46 through 55 we read an amazing hymn known as Mary’s Song or the Magnificat, which means “glorifies” in the Latin Vulgate translation. This is indeed a song from the mother of Jesus that glorifies God in a beautiful way. As you read through this song, below, please meditate upon its words. And maybe ask yourself this – are there ways in your life that you “sing songs” like this to God? Maybe it’s not through literal song – but maybe you praise God through loving others, through serving others, through art, through prayer, through your church, and this list could go on… What is your unique way of glorifying God? Do you want to glorify God with all you do in your life? Please take a few moments to mediate upon the glorious words of Mary’s Song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me–
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.”
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 1 titled "The Worship of Two Women" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 57 verse 8 is amazing - "Wake up, my soul!" What 4 great words. . . wake up my soul! Do you ever feel like you need to say this to your soul? I know that I have in my past. There have been times in my life where I have felt spiritually asleep. Just completely slumbering. . . and I have begged my soul to wake up! Fortunately, I finally learned that I could not wake up my soul on it's own. I needed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to wake up my soul. . . and the Spirit keeps it awake today. If you feel that you need your soul to wake up, will you prayer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to indwell your soul and to wake it up?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 11 verse 11 today teaches us: "Upright citizens bless a city and make it prosper." This is a great reminder to each of us to be good citizens and to bless our cities!
YouTube: Proverbs 11:11 today reminds me of fantastic Bluetree song "God of this City:"
Have you met the God of your city? Click here and meet Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart." Proverbs 11:11 NLT
Prayer Point: Pray for your city. Pray that you will be an upright citizen in your city. Pray against wicked talk. Pray that everyone in your city will come to know Jesus, and will enter the heavenly city of Jerusalem one day.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on our Proverb verse above, are you striving to be an upright citizen blessing your city and helping to make it prosper? What are some ways that you are doing so? Do you see spiritual issues in your city today? How are you helping to right those spiritual wrongs in your city? Do you pray for your city regularly? Do you think you should? Will you join me in praying for our cities? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Love, Trust and Obey Jesus,