Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23 ~ Luke 8:40-9:6 ~ Psalm 71:1-24 ~ Proverbs 12:5-7
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Old Testament - Wow. Deuteronomy chapter 13 starts off with a strong warning today - ""Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, `Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,' do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul." Do you believe there are false prophets in our world today? Are there people in our world that tempt us to worship false gods? It is possible one of the false gods we can be tempted to worship today is even our own self? Will we reject worshiping false gods and love and worship the one true God with all of our soul and heart?
Verse 22 is powerful for us to meditate upon - ""You must set aside a tithe of your crops--one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored." What might "crops we harvest" be in our modern world today? Is there a place we can bring a tithe to God today? Do you believe that tithing honors God? On a side note, I generally try to practice giving 10% and saving 10%, and live on the remaining 80%. My 10% giving is spread among the local church, local and international ministries, and nonprofits.
Deuteronomy chapter 15 verses 4 and 10 & 11 stood out to me today - "There should be no poor among you, for the LORD your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession.... Give freely without begrudging it, and the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some among you who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share your resources freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need." How do these verses speak to you? I find it interesting that these verses say both - there should be no poor and that there will always be some poor among you. I wonder why this is? It seems kind of like a kingdom of heaven ultimate reality and our fallen world temporary reality perhaps... Do you think the command to share our resources freely with the poor and others in need is still valid today? How are you doing in giving freely to the poor?
In verses 16 & 17 we read - "But suppose your servant says, `I will not leave you,' because he loves you and your family, and he is well off with you. In that case, take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door. After that, he will be your servant for life."
New Testament - The structure of today's readings in Luke chapter 8 are amazing. The narrative starts with Jairus asking Jesus to heal his daughter who is about to die - but, then, in the middle of the narrative Jesus' journey is stopped by a woman who simply wants to touch Jesus' robe so that she will be healed from a 12-year suffering. And verse 48 in this portion is just so beautiful as Jesus says to the now healed woman - "Daughter," he said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace." You know what is really beautiful about this verse? This woman is the only individual in all of the Gospels that Jesus addresses as "daughter." What a beautiful Savior we have...
Then, the narrative cuts back to Jairus, but it sounds like it's too late for Jesus to come to the house. Messengers report that the little girl has died. Jesus simply tells Jairus in verse 50 - "Just trust me." (which is something so powerful that I believe Jesus says to you and me today too - "Just trust me." Don't worry about anything else in this passing life. "Just trust me.") And then in verses 54 & 55 we read - "Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, "Get up, my child!" And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up!"
Luke chapter 9 verses 1 & 2 are an awesome glimpse at Jesus empowering the twelve - "One day Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them power and authority to cast out demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the coming of the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick." Do you believe that the Kingdom of God has come / is coming? And then I love verse 12.... it's like the twelve are going on tour! Making the circuit! "So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick." The tour of the twelve is definitely one tour I'd want to go see... :)
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 8's readings today titled "The Interrupted Miracle or Two Touching Miracles" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 71 verses 6 through 8 we read - "Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother's womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long." So true that God has cared for each of us since we were in our mother's womb! This a beautiful thing to realize. There is an interesting thought in these verses - if our live is an example to many - and well, yes, it really is no matter what we actually do. Hopefully our life is a good example - but there could be seasons of bad example too. . . If our lives are good examples to many, why is this so? I agree w/ the Psalmist - it is simply because of God in our lives.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 12 verse 6 is a powerful little proverb... "words of the godly save lives." How might our words save lives? Are the words coming out of your mouth in some way saving lives?
Worship God: All of Jesus' healings in Luke today reminded me of the incredible song by Michael W. Smith called "Healing Rain." Here's a great video for this song:
Has Jesus healed you? Click here for healing!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year." Deuteronomy 14:22 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always give your firstfruits to the Lord. Pray that you will give generously from all that you produce to the Lord and His Kingdom purposes.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on our Psalm above, is God literally your strength and protection? Do you praise God unceasingly? Do you declare God's glory all day long? How do you do so? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
Mike your comments about this passage, Deut 4,10-11,
"There should be no poor among you, for the LORD your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession.... Give freely without begrudging it, and the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some among you who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share your resources freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need,” is addressed by Jesus in the Parable of the Talents. There will always be poor amongst God’s people because of failure to appropriate the blessings God has given us, we go out and bury what God has blessed us with. Like the man who buried his talent, we accuse God of being mean and demanding of us things that don’t belong to Him despite the fact that He has given everything to us because He created all things.
I know this is true because I was one of those people who said I had nothing and none was giving me anything, which was why I didn’t have anything. Poverty is not the lack of material or mental resources because God has given each and every person the gifts and abilities to function in the Market Place. We have been told by “false prophets” that we either are no good, we won’t amount to anything, we are useless and those prophets can be our parents, guardians, teachers and ourselves. Then we chose to believe the prophets. That is what happened to me for the first thirty-five years of my life.
I have been off of the “boards” for several days because I went to join my son in Boston who was attending a conference sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers. When my son was born I was warned by some and told outright by others, close family members that he wouldn’t amount to anything because I had severe complications while pregnant with him and he would be retarded. Small for his age, and he still is a small man in stature but not in heart, he was in musical theater from the age of eleven to the age of 17 right right up to his graduation from the “Fame” school, LaGuardia High School of Arts and Performing Arts. At seventeen he went into the Marines (that was a big shock to me) even though he had scholarship offers from schools he never applied to (Harvard; University of Texas which included a full scholarship, room and board included before he even put in an application). He went into the Marines and was tracked to become a Lance Corporal after Boot Camp because he scored two points short of a perfect score on the Armed Service (ASVAB-I think that’s the right acronym) although he weighed 15 pounds less than the minimum weight required (They gave him a weight waver).
After getting out of the Marines, he did four years, he began working for Disney, his first civilian job interview after his discharge) and two years latter he began college full time while continuing to work full time.
My son, the one who wouldn’t be anything, has been an inspiration to me and has taught me many lessons one being how to read the bible without the baggage of denominationalism. So those who love what I write about can thank my son and those who don’t like how I write, well, you can still thank my son.
Sorry I didn’t mean to follow after Mike and go off on a Tangent but Mike’s comments and the passage for today dovetailed nicely into what I’ve been thinking about ever sense I got back from Boston.
If this rant says anything to you please let it speak to you about not letting what others say about you determine your destiny. Allow the gifts, talents and abilities God has given you determine the paths preordained by God (Ephesians 2:10)
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | March 29, 2014 at 06:18 PM
May God bless your son.
Posted by: Cathy Wafo | March 30, 2014 at 09:40 PM