Numbers 10:1-11:23; Mark 14:1-21; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 10:31-32
Today, we see the dangers of being a complainer. God showed Israel his unfailing love. He rescued them from Egypt. He provided resources to them because they had nothing. God gave them favor and the Egyptians gave them linen clothes and gold. But, it didn’t stop there.
God performed the miracle of parting the Red Sea and taking them through on dry ground. He provided food, water, shelter and protection. In light of all this, you would think they would be full of gratitude. But, Israel complained. They complained about Moses, God, and God’s provision. Israel even wanted to return to Egypt. God became very angry. Complaining does not please God.
What causes us to complain? It’s real simple: we forget all God’s blessings. Today, don’t look at the prayers that you are still waiting for God to manifest. Don’t focus on the challenges that you face. Don’t allow your deficiencies to overshadow God’s sufficiency. God’s unfailing love will always sustain you. Look at today with a heart of gratitude and you will fill your mouth with praise and not complaining.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 11:24-13:33; Mark 14:22-52; Psalm 52:1-9; Proverbs 11:1-3
Numbers 8:1-9:23; Mark 13:14-37; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 10:29-30
The Israelites had a unique opportunity. They were visibly guided by God’s presence. In the hot, arid dessert of Sinai, God’s presence was a Cloud which shielded them from the rays of the sun. In the cool nights, when animals and wild beasts would attack, His presence was a fiery pillar to light the way and protect them.
When the Cloud lifted, the people simply moved with the Cloud. When it stopped, they set up camp. They never had a guarantee of how long God’s presence would remain in one place. So, they always had to be ready to move when the Cloud moved. They did not have permission to move before God moved or remain after God had moved.
The Bible says of Israel: “So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.” (Numbers 9:23) This created a safe and secure environment for Israel.
Today, you don’t have a Cloud or Fire but you have God’s Spirit and a pastor. In the same way God led and provided for the Israelites, He desires to lead and provide for you. Start each day sensing where His Spirit is leading and commit to follow that direction. Listen to the teachings of your pastor. Before you make any moves in life, see where God is moving first. Let God’s Spirit and God’s servant lead you everyday just like the Israelites and you will live each day in peace!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 10:1-11:23; Mark 14:1-21; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 10:31-32
Numbers 6:1-7:89; Mark 12:38-13:13; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 10:27-28
As they dedicated the Tabernacle, God gives more instructions about what the tribes are to bring as dedicatory offerings. In addition, he gives Moses a special blessing to pronounce over the people.
This declaration revealed God’s passion for His people and His desire to see them walk in the fullness of all His blessings. It also foreshadowed what God had already planned for us in Jesus Christ. Let these Words be a prophesy of your future:
‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’
The Man of God speaks blessings on God’s creation. He also professes God’s protection for us. He then says God will smile on us! What a thought, God is smiling at you and sending grace towards you. The Blessing ends by requesting that God show His favor (raising up someone, somewhere to use their ability, influence and power to help you). Lastly, He declares peace over us.
All of this was fulfilled in Jesus. If you are ever wondering what God desires to do in your life, this is it. Memorize this and speak it over your life. God even said that once Aaron spoke this, He would personally bless His people! This blessing has been spoken and God has affirmed it. It’s already yours. Believe it and receive it! Today!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 8:1-9:23; Mark 13:14-37; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 10:29-30
Numbers 4:1-5:31; Mark 12:18-37; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 10:26
God is Holy! As you read through all these passages about the Tabernacle and how careful people had to be around the sacred objects, it re-enforces the Holiness of God. You see, God’s Holiness cannot allow any impurity around it.
Many people will read the Old Testament and not understand how a loving God can have such strict rules and extreme punishments. God can neither deny His holiness nor His love! He is both. All these Old Testament rules were put in place to protect the priests and people from crossing His holiness and incurring His wrath. Remember this was NOT the way God wanted it. He desired for us to be as He is: holy. But, through Adam and Eve, sin entered humanity and made us impure. We could no longer enjoy that close fellowship with God in our sinful state.
All through the Old Testament, God came as close to us as He could, through still small voices, pillars of cloud and fire, prophets, and angels. He even set up his Tabernacle in the center of the tribes. But, God could get no closer in the Old Testament because it would violate His Holiness and the Israelites would die!
Thank God for Jesus! Jesus was God’s way to get us back to Him. If someone died to satisfy (pay the price for) our sins, then we would be in right standing with God (Righteous), then we could be back in fellowship with God. No one was qualified because they needed to be a perfect sacrifice. So, God sent His only Son, who was tempted just like we are yet He never sinned. When He died on that cross, He paid all of our sin debts (past, present and future) so we can enjoy close fellowship with God every moment of every day.
Praise God today for Jesus and the fact that we can have a real relationship with our Heavenly Father! Oh, how He loves us!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 6:1-7:89; Mark 12:38-13:13; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 10:27-28
Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:24-25
God is orderly in everything He does. Once the Tabernacle was erected for all the Israelites to see, He told each tribe on what side they were to camp. They were to proudly display their family banner. On each side of the Tabernacle there were 3 families. Over 600,000 people were around the Tabernacle.
When God signaled that it was time to move, they had to disassemble every part of the Tabernacle and prepare it for travel. Then all 600,000 people had to pack and follow. When they arrived at their new location, they had to unpack and get settled again in the same positions around the Tabernacle.
You can imagine how much work this was. But, the Israelites did not see it as work. Because as long as they were in the vicinity of the Tabernacle, which represented God’s presence, they knew they were safe. They knew nothing could harm them or overtake them as long as the presence of God was in their midst (the center of their camp).
How about you? Do you have that confidence? You should! The God of all Gods, the King of All Kings, the Lord of all Lords (Jesus) lives within you!! It may seem like “work” to read through the Bible or dedicate time to pray every day but this is what keeps God at the center of our lives! And, this is where we gain our hope for the future. Acknowledge Him as the center of your life and be secure that nothing can shake you because “the hopes of the godly will be granted” and “when the storms of life come, …the godly have a lasting foundation.”
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 4:1-5:31; Mark 12:18-37; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 10:26
Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54; Mark 11:1-26; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 10:23
In Mark 11, Jesus teaches us a powerful lesson of faith. In fact, it is THE lesson of faith. He sees an unproductive fruit tree. Jesus speaks to the tree and commands it to cease growing and producing. Once Jesus spoke, He kept moving. The next morning, as they walked by the tree the Disciples noticed a startling thing, the tree was dried up at the roots.
The Disciples were astonished. Peter, trying to draw Jesus’ attention to the dead tree, realizes that the dead tree does not move Jesus. Jesus merely responds, “Have Faith in God.” In the actual Greek, it says, “Have the faith of God.” In other words operate the way God does.
How does God operate? It’s so simple: God speaks and expects it to occur! How about you? Do you expect everything you say to happen? This is why Jesus did not need to look at the tree to verify that it was dead. He knew that whatever He spoke had to come to pass. Your words have creative power. Rather than complain about your situation, speak the Word over your situation. It must obey. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen.
Create a new reality in your life by choosing quality words to speak daily. You future depends on it.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:24-25
Leviticus 25:47-27:13; Mark 10:32-52; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 10:22
Jesus’ disciples were a part of making history. They saw Jesus’ determination to establish a Kingdom. However, they mistakenly thought Jesus was coming to establish an earthly kingdom. They knew that if Jesus was sitting on the throne, He would need assistants.
So, James and John thought they would get the inside track and put their request in for one of those prime seats in His new government. They had their eyes opened. Jesus informed them that their request came at a high price. They had to drink from a bitter cup of suffering and be baptized in suffering before they would be qualified to sit in one of those seats.
I don’t know about you, but that would have made me think twice about those seats. Not James and John! They pushed forward and said we are ready! Jesus finally tells them that God could only give what they requested. Yet, they would still suffer!!
You see, these disciples had their eyes on the prize without counting the real cost. The real cost to be great in Jesus’ eyes is not titles, positions and prestige! Greatness in Jesus’ eyes is our willingness to pay the price to serve someone else. Have you ever noticed that helping people is not easy? Have you ever noticed that trying to move someone from one level to another takes real work? Most will become discouraged and walk away. But, this is what it takes to be great!
Today, commit your life to serving Jesus by helping others! It will not always be easy or fun but it will make you great in Jesus’ eyes!!! After all, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54; Mark 11:1-26; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 10:23
Leviticus 24:1-25:46; Mark 10:13-31; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 10:20-21
Every 50 years, Israel observed a Jubilee. It was a time when people cancelled debts, reclaimed property, repatriated families and everyone received a fresh start! Most people only experienced one Jubilee in their lifetime. It was a joyous time of true freedom. (When Jesus came, he ushered in a new time of Jubilee for us. We do not need to wait 50 years. The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, our Jubilee begins and never ends!)
In the middle of God giving instructions to Israel how they are to honor this Jubilee, he says, “Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 25:17)
When we have power to do good for someone, do we do it? When we have the ability to help someone, do we do it? When we have the apparent upper hand, do we take advantage of it? How we treat others does clearly show what we think of God. You see, we were made in God’s image and in God’s likeness. So, every person bears a resemblance to God! How we treat each other will either show we honor God or not. Too often we separate our relationship with God from how we treat one another. However, they are linked in God’s eyes.
How we treat people, even those who mistreat us, is a reflection of our respect for God! Let’s commit to do good to others– even those with whom we do not agree. Let’s use the power and influence that God has given us to help and bless people not take advantage of them.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 25:47-27:13; Mark 10:32-52; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 10:22