Morning Reading – I am Unworthy

Deuteronomy 28-30

Deuteronomy 29:6 “You have not eaten bread nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God”

This struck me this morning. Sometimes God gives material blessings to show His goodness and sometimes He reveals Himself by withholding them

Deuteronomy 29:19-20 The LORD is “never willing to forgive” a man who says “I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart”. It is a foolish thing to think you have peace with God if you are living in disobedience.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” – God has not revealed His word to us just so we can know it, He has revealed it to us so we can live it and obey it

Deuteronomy 30:9-11 The LORD will “prosper you abundantly” and “rejoice over you for good” if you obey His commands and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. And v11 says that this is not too difficult, it is not out of reach.

Deuteronomy 30:17-20 If you choose to disobey and turn away you will perish. Death and life are before you.

In Luke 7 the Roman Centurion sends some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal his slave. I love the contrast in how the Centurion views himself and how the Jewish elders view him. The elders say to Jesus “He is worthy for you to grant this to him” (v4). They speak in terms of merit, they think he deserves to have Jesus do this for him, he has earned it, he is worthy.

But in verse 6-7 the Centurion says this about himself “…Lord do not trouble yourself further, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you…”. The man did not consider himself worthy. Twice he calls himself unworthy. Think about the social setting, on the surface he was a Roman Centurion with lots of power and influence and Jesus was a lowly jewish carpenter/teacher. But somehow the Centurion knew better. He had a high view of Jesus and a low view of himself. God help me be like the Centurion!

Daily Reading 4.2.2014

PSALM 42

Great word picture – “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God” – I can see that in my mind, O God make this true for me!

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God”

The Psalmist twice poses the same question to his soul and preaches to himself – “Why are you in despair O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall praise Him for the help of His presence. ” – the Psalmist longs for, pants after, thirsts for the presence of God, does that describe me?

PROVERBS 8:30-32

Wisdom was beside God as a master workman. Blessed are those who walk in that same wisdom.

LUKE 6:20-49

“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man” – Jesus says you are blessed when people hate you, ostracize you, insult you, scorn you, and call you evil for His sake…that is such a radical thought. My life is spent trying to make people like me. I need to have the attitude of Paul in Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. When we share about Christ and the gospel people will try and shame us with shaming behavior. But we must not be ashamed, Jesus says we are blessed. Which will motivate us? The world’s shame or Jesus blessing?

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you…” – Do all men speak well of me? Do some speak ill of me because of my testimony for Christ? Am I any different?

Jesus is so radical – “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” – this is how a person who is born again behaves, it’s radical, it’s supernatural, it’s not normal! It seems impossible because it is….apart from Christ. But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13) and apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5).

No good tree produces bad fruit and no bad tree produces good fruit, each tree is know by it fruit. Men do not gather grapes from an orange tree or apples from an avocado tree. No you gather apples from an apple tree. In the same way my life must produce the fruit of what it really is. What kind of fruit is my life producing?

“The “mouth speaks from that which fills the heart” – how you speak reveals what’s in your heart. What is my speech telling me about my heart? Mouth problems are heart problems, the mouth is simply the megaphone for the heart.

“Why do you call me Lord Lord and do not do what I say?” – if you don’t do what He says then He is not your Lord.

DEUTERONOMY 5-6

The call to obedience is prefaced with what God has already done for them. Because God is the one who brought them out of Egypt out of the house of slavery they should do what He says. Because God has done something they must do something. This is a common formula in the Bible.

“Hear O Israel! The LORD us our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart with all soul and with all your might” – per Jesus this is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) does this describe me?

Parenting principle – “These words shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” – for me to talk about it with my children and others that info needs to first be in me, I need to digest and apply it in my own life first.
When their children ask why they do all of these statutes and commandments they are to use that opportunity to recount all that God had done for them. I need to do this more with my own children, look for every opportunity to exalt God and share all that He has done. I often don’t do this and I forget all that He has done. Psalm 103 says “bless the LORD O my soul and forget none of His benefits”, may it be so in my life.

PSALM 41:6-13

Though David is being hurt by enemies and false friends his joy and trust is ultimately in the LORD. He finishes this Psalm which speaks of evil speakers and traitors with “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.” Is my joy and praise tied to God or my circumstance? No matter my circumstance or situation, my joy and trust should always be in the LORD. The thing I should long for is to be in His presence forever (v12).

PROVERBS 8:27-29

Continues the description of how wisdom was with God in the acts of creation. If God used wisdom, shouldn’t I use it? If is was something that was useful to Him, wouldn’t it be useful for me? I want this wisdom.

LUKE 5:27-6:19

Just like the fishermen who caught the greatest catch of their lives and when they got to shore left everything and followed Jesus, so too with Matthew the tax collector. Jesus called Matthew and “he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him.” There is an immediate forsaking of old things for the sake of following Jesus. Have I done that? Am I still doing that?

Matthew then throws this huge party in honor of Jesus with all of his old friends. Matthew wasn’t scared of what anyone thought, he simply wanted his friends to meet Jesus, and Jesus goes. Matthew hadn’t developed a fear of mans opinion and Jesus didn’t turn down the invite. I need to be more like both of these examples.

If you are righteous and not a sin sick soul then Jesus didn’t come to die for you. Just like those who are well do not need a doctor, Jesus did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. The great Physician came to heal those who are sick, not those who are well. Oh how I need Him!

Jesus answers the Pharisees with “Have you not even read…” In this statement Jesus is implying that you can read the OT and understand and apply it to life, He’s looking at how they are misusing it and not saying “I know the Bible is tough to understand and I can see why you might be confused…” But that is not His response. His response is the exact opposite. “Have you not even read” actually implies that the Bible is so plain that the reason they are saying that is because they have not even read it. Let us never buy into the false argument that the Bible is too difficult to understand or that it us unclear. It is actually very clear and here Jesus affirms that, we simply need to take up and read.

Jesus snuck away to pray many times, in 16:12 He prayed all night. All. Night. That’s a shaming verse for me. I’ve never done anything even close to that. If Jesus, who was the perfect God-Man needed to pray how much more do I, a sin sick person, need to? LORD help me to see my need for you!

DEUTERONOMY 3-4 (Chapter 4 is loaded with goodies)

Moses continues recounting where they have come from. This section reminds me of Psalm 136 which is also a history in miniature and every line has the refrain “for His lovingkindness is everlasting”. But in that Psalm Og and Sihon are also specifically mentioned just like here in Deuteronomy 3.

As kings are falling to Israel, Moses tells Joshua “Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so the LORD shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the One fighting for you.” – What an encouraging word for Moses to give Joshua. Moses is already discipling and preparing Joshua to lead the people. Moses wants Joshua to remember what the LORD has done to help him trust in the LORD for the future. I must do the same, I need to remind myself of God’s faithfulness from the past to help me obey in the present.

Moses asks one more time if he can enter the land, the LORD gives a strong “No” but He did let Moses see the land with his eyes. Sin may be forgiven but that does not mean that the consequences are removed. Moses was forgiven but still had to live with the consequence.

4:2 “you shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments which I command you.” – the same is true for us today (Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18)

4:7 “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him” – God is near them, He is intimate with His people.

4:9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” – this is where Israel drops the ball, they forget the LORD. This is where we drop the ball too, we do not keep our own souls diligently and we depart from the LORD and so do our sons and grandsons. May the LORD always be before our eyes and may we never forget Him!

4:24 “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

4:29 “…you will seek the LORD your God and you will find Him if you search for Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”

4:31 “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which he swore to them.”

Israel at this point in history has seen and heard more about God than any other people at any time up and to this point. That is a great blessing and a great judgment upon them if they forget it.
4:39 “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; and there is no other”