Deuteronomy 31:1-32:27 ~ Luke 12:8-34 ~ Psalm 78:32-55 ~ Proverbs 12:21-23
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Old Testament - "Be strong and courageous!" is the encouragement & exhortation we hear 3 times in chapter 31 today. It was said by Moses to the Israelites in verse 6, then by Moses to Joshua in verse 7, and finally by God to Joshua in verse 23. Why do you think this was said 3 times? Why would the Israelites and Joshua need to be reminded to be strong and courageous? And if these words were needed back then, do you think perhaps we might need to hear them still today? Do we need to be reminded oftentimes to be strong and courageous? Today, this side of the Cross, where does our strength and courage truly come from? Below is Joshua being commissioned by Moses in a Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Luigi Signorelli, circa 1481:
Today in Deuteronomy chapter 31 verses 10-12 we read – “Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people - men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns-so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.” Incredible verses! I like that Moses was setting up a way for God’s Word to continue to be taught & heard by God’s People every 7 years! I think this gets at a couple of things – 1. We humans are very forgetful. We may hear something once, but we need to hear it over and over again – particularly if it is God’s Word. 2. There is always a new generation of people coming up behind us. It is so important to educate this new generation about God’s Word. So – how do these verses above speak to you today? Are you hearing or reading God’s Word on a consistent basis? I know the answer is yes, for this year, as you’re in the One Year Bible! And I know that many of you have been reading the One Year Bible for many years now. However, I know not everyone will read the OYB every year. Here’s a suggestion – what about committing to reading the entire Bible – in the One Year Bible or Chronological or other format – once every 7 years? Thus, if you live to be 101, you’ll have read the Bible through atleast 10 times (not counting those early years :). Just a thought to keep in the back of your mind – please consider reading the entire Bible at least once every 7 years. Though, I would encourage you to at least read some portion of the Word each and every day, in each and every year. Next question – are you somehow involved in teaching others the Word? Are you encouraging your friends or family members to read God’s Word? Maybe consider inviting your family & friends to participate in the One Year Bible next year? Are you somehow involved in teaching the younger generation coming up behind you to learn God’s Word? Maybe through your church you can get involved in Sunday school ministries or maybe there is a younger person in your community that you can mentor and disciple?
New Testament - Today in Luke 12:25-26 we read: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" In regards to these verses I once heard someone say that worry is a form of "low-grade atheism." Which I think is brilliant! When we worry, we are in a sense doubting God. Doubting that God has the situation in control, no matter how dire it may seem. Do you worry much these days? Do you see how worry is in a sense a form of "low-grade atheism"?
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 12's readings today titled "Greed: The Affliction of the Affluent" is at this link and commentary titled "A Disciple's Perspective on Possessions" is at this link. Also, below is a brief commentary from Bible.org on the "Unpardonable Sin" from Luke 12:10, which can be found near the bottom of this link:
"At first appearance this text seems to be warning the disciple that he might lose his salvation by denying the Savior, by his hypocrisy. This is not the case, however. There are several reasons why this cannot be the case.
(1) Man’s salvation is not based upon his works, or his faithfulness, but on Christ’s shed blood and His faithfulness.
(2) The Scriptures consistently teach that man did not choose God but that He has chosen man, and that the one who is saved is eternally secure.
(3) In our text, there is a definite change from the second person (“you”) to the third person (“whoever,” “him,” “everyone”).
(4) The unpardonable sin, referred to in verse 10, is elsewhere clearly a sin which an unbeliever commits, which terminates any further opportunity to be saved."
Psalms - Psalm 78 verses 41 & 42 stood out to me today - "Again and again they tested God's patience and frustrated the Holy One of Israel. They forgot about his power and how he rescued them from their enemies." I am continually amazed at how similar we are today to the Israelites when they were wandering in the desert. I am sure that we can on occasion test God's patience and frustrate him. I would also venture a pretty good guess that many of us forget about God's power. And forget how God rescued us from our enemies - and continues to rescue us daily. How about you - do you ever forget about God's power? Do you ever forget about how he has rescued you? What can we do to help ourselves remember? How do we stop testing God's patience and forgetting about Him?
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 12:21 we are taught: "No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble." Do you believe this is true? Or does sometimes the opposite seem true? I think sometimes the opposite of this Proverb may seem true this side of heaven. (though not always - I think wickedness reaps much trouble on this earth as well...) But I think clearly from an eternal perspective, this Proverb is absolute Truth. Eternally, no harm comes to godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble... Let us not lose sight of our celestial horizons!
Worship God: Luke 12:25-26's "Don't worry" message reminded me of the JJ Heller song "Your Hands:"
Are you in God's Hands? Click here for His Hands!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Luke 12:25-26 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you won't worry. Pray that you will cast all of your cares upon the Lord, Jesus. Pray that you will recognize how worry is a form of "low-grade atheism." Pray that you will never doubt God's sovereignty in your life by worrying.
Comments from You: 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.
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