Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20 ~ Luke 9:7-27 ~ Psalm 72:1-20 ~ Proverbs 12:8-9
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Old Testament - Deuteronomy chapter 16 verse 18 is of note today: "Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in all the towns the LORD your God is giving you. They will judge the people fairly throughout the land." After Deuteronomy comes the book of Joshua, which is followed by the book of Judges. And then... Israel won't be satisfied with just judges. Israel will want a king...
Below is an image for Deuteronomy chapter 17 verses 8 and 9 today: ""Suppose a case arises in a local court that is too hard for you to decide--for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder or only of manslaughter, or a difficult lawsuit, or a case involving different kinds of assault. Take such cases to the place the LORD your God will choose, where the Levitical priests and the judge on duty will hear the case and decide what to do."
New Testament - In the beginning of Luke chapter 9's readings today we read in verse 7 - "When reports of Jesus' miracles reached Herod Antipas, he was worried and puzzled..." This is of note. Herod was running the show in Jerusalem, and Jesus had made him worried and puzzled. Why? Maybe because in part Herod realized that he was not fully in "control" of everything as he thought he was... and I wonder about this today... Does Jesus maybe continue to make people worried and puzzled in our modern world today? Is it perhaps because, like Herod, we get worried and puzzled about Jesus when we start to realize we are not fully in "control" of things... that maybe there is something bigger going on around us. I pray that Jesus continues to make people worried and puzzled today - such that they realize that there is someone who is truly in Control and one to whom we can truly surrender our "control" to. For, in doing so, we will find true peace, joy & happiness for eternity. Have you given the control in your life over to Jesus? If not, is now perhaps a good time for you to hand the "remote control" of your life over to Jesus? Will you?
Verses 23 through 26 are so amazing and I cannot personally read and meditate upon these verses often enough. They are beautifully convicting me once again today... ""If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? If a person is ashamed of me and my message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels." Putting aside our selfish ambition... this is tough folks! I know I am still struggling to do this. I still have so much selfish ambition within me... but, I am thankful that through Christ and through learning to carry our cross each day - slowly though surely it may be - our ambition will be morphed from selfish into godly. We know we are arriving closer and closer to true life when we care about the things God cares about. When we think about the things God thinks about. When we are ambitious for the things God is ambitious about. How are you doing with selfish ambition in your life? Will you drop the things you are carrying so tightly due to your selfish ambition, so that you can instead take up your cross daily?
Verse 13 I found intriguing - "But Jesus said, "You feed them."" If Jesus said this to his followers 2,000 years ago, think he might say this to us today as well? You feed them. Who might Jesus be calling you to feed in your life? Maybe feeding someone spiritually, mentally, or literally? You feed them...
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 9's readings today titled "The Training of the Twelve" is at this link, and another commentary titled "The Cross and Christianity" is at this link.
Psalms - I'll admit. I pay attention every single time the Bible talks about serving the poor. And it is a lot. And I think it is for a reason. Here it is again in Psalm 72 verses 12 & 13, speaking about Israel's king - "He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them."
Verse 20 tells us - "This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse." And below is a painting of an older King David... perhaps playing a Psalm he wrote...?
Proverbs - Proverbs 12:8 today teaches us: "Everyone admires a person with good sense, but a warped mind is despised." Let us pray for consistent good sense in our lives! A warped mind is a sad state of affairs indeed...
YouTube: Our readings in Psalm 72 remind me of the fantastic Third Day song "Revelation:"
Do you need a Revelation from God? Click here for His Revelation!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: "Then Jesus said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self? " Luke 9:23-25 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you truly want to be a disciple of Jesus. Pray that you will deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. Pray that you will not lose your soul by seeking to gain the whole world.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on Psalm 72 verses 12 & 13, what about us today? Does this Psalm speak to us? Do we rescue the poor when they cry to us? (do we even listen for their cry?) Do we help the oppressed and those who have no one to defend them? Do we feel pity for the weak and needy? Do we rescue them? Do I? Do you? 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.
Today a phrase in the first verse of chapter sixteen caught my imagination, “for that was when the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night” Something exploded in my spirit, an understanding, a knowing and it gave me great peace.
It is in the deep, in the darkest part of the night when our deliverance comes. When there is false light, dim light, we struggle to make a our way using the five senses. Then when the dimly lit areas of our lives loose all light, it is then and only then that we turn and rely on something other than ourselves because we have exhausted all natural hope. We either turn to God or we continue to believe the lies of the devil and remain in our sin. It was in the darkness of the grave that Jesus secured victory over death and the grave and brought us into freedom. (I Corinthians 15:55-56). It is in the light of God’s Word that we relinquish our fear of death and darkness that is in the grave because Jesus has wrought for us such a great salvation.
Hebrews 2: 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
So when we find ourselves in the dark, when we see the death of our finances, death of relationships, as our lives and social structures we have carved out for ourselves slowly crumble and takes its last gasp of air, be of good cheer because deliverance is near. Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning light, and that morning light is Jesus.
When the things in my life are falling apart, God is up to something.
Picking up on Mike’s comments on being in “control,” I think humans feel comfortable and at ease when we think we are in control. It seems that controlling people are out of control in their personal lives and out of control people are controlling. Herod had his little kingdom and he exercised his “control” by taking off John the Baptist head. Now, as far as he knew John might be walking around again. Guilt and his out of control hedonistic behavior, as recorded by historians, tormented him and caused his confusion. This man Herod who could not keep his base appetites under control found out he wasn’t in control of everything in his little kingdom.
1 Give justice to the king, O God,
and righteousness to the king's son.
Since Solomon is listed as the writer of this Psalm, I wonder whom he was writing about? Inspired by the Holy Spirit did he know that this Psalm points to Jesus as the “king” that he wants God to give justice too?
8 Everyone admires a person with good sense,
O, to have good sense! I don’t think it is a bad thing to want to be admired as long as we use the model that used “good sense,” instead of the fleeting fame that comes with having a warped mind. Think dirty mouth comedians.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | March 30, 2014 at 07:51 PM