Daily Word

Deuteronomy 33

Read Deuteronomy 33 – A life of legacy. Moses blesses each tribe of Israel with purpose and words to lead them. He focuses on God’s love for them. “Yes. He loved his people, all his holy ones were in his hand; so they followed in your footsteps, receiving direction from you. ” :3

The words are just beautiful. Moses is not feeble, even in his old age. It makes me think of my legacy. Will I speak words that strengthen and encourage my children, and most importantly, assure them of Jesus’ love for them?

Moses’ words to Joseph moved me when he said, “Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above…. with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of everlasting hills…” (13,15) I found those words so grounding as they were faced with their patriarch’s demise, yet the ancient mountains always have and always will provide.

And he closes so perfectly, with focus back to the LORD, “Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you shall tread on their heights. ” :29

Beloved, this is one of the greatest things a person can know. In the New Testament we get, “If God is for us, who can stand against us? ” Romans 8:31

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 30

Read Deuteronomy 30 – Repentance and Forgiveness
God sees all of time at once. He is outside of time. When he sees a newborn baby, he also sees her going to prom, having her own babies, aging, walking with a cane, and dying. It is a big idea for us, and I want you to hold onto that as you think about our chapter.
God knows Israel will stray and he is already offering restoration. Verse one speaks of a future exile… isn’t that incredible? They are just entering the Promised Land and God leaves this word for the future generations who mess up. God says if they repent and obey, he will restore them. (:2)
Do you know this has already happened? God’s Word is incredible! It happened when they were brought back from Babylonian captivity – It’s recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament. And in our time it happened when Israel was restored as a nation in 1948! “The LORD your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!”
In 2019, I traveled to Israel. I saw this first hand. But there’s more to come. God says he will change their hearts so that they love him with all their heart and soul so they may live. (:6) Remember, God is outside of time. Beloved, we live in such an exciting time to see these things become reality. Keep watching!
God says his instructions are not too hard for them. He put them right in their hearts so they can obey. (:11-15) This is the choice between life and death, and the LORD longs for them to choose life. (:19) And this all goes back to the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the LORD God Almighty keeps his promises! (:20)

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 28

Read Deuteronomy 28 – Blessings and curses

Our chapter begins with blessings if the Israelites will obey the LORD.  It’s beautiful and wonderful how the LORD promises to give, and give, and give. 

Then the LORD announces the curses, if the people should reject his commandments.  

It’s heavy.   He leaves no stone unturned.   I found a dreariness falling over my heart as I pressed on in the reading, and you,  Beloved,  may too.  But keep reading.   This is justice and the LORD is a Righteous Judge. 

This may sound complicated for a person to live up to.  I think verses :47-48 sum up the LORD’s desire for us quite simply, “serve the LORD with joyfulness and gladness of heart.”  Isn’t that an expectation one could delight to fulfill? 

And, as much as it’s important to know the truth about mercy and grace, we should also understand the real penalties at stake for our loved ones and those we meet who reject Christ. 

As you read those blessings,  ask yourself who might delight to rest in the LORD’S favor like this?  Then as you read the curses, ask yourself who would you wish this upon?   (the answer should be not a living soul! ) And what about YOU? May these words inspire you to take an honest look at yourself. Complacency is a dangerous enemy.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 27

Read Deuteronomy 27 – Nothing fancy, just the facts –
First, the altar was to be nothing fancy. The Israelites were to build an altar to the LORD with large, natural stones. They were not to cut them, but they were to plaster them. Picture it – this humble altar dressed in plaster would not distract with proud craftsmanship as so many churches do. One would not get lost with thoughts of the builder and admiration for the structure. One would focus on the purity of the LORD they were standing before.
Second, they were to write all the commands the LORD had given them on the white stones, just the facts and nothing more. When I need to learn something, I read it, then I write it down. The act of writing solidifies the words in me as it would have for these leaders of Israel. And seeing these commandments written boldly on the white stones would draw generations to come to the seriousness of them.
Next we have instructions for half the tribes to go on one mountain top, Gerizim, and the other half to stand on Mount Ebal. Those on Gerizim were to call out the blessings of the LORD. Those on Mount Ebal were to call out the curses of the LORD. This setting creates a natural amphitheater, and hearing the spoken commands in this manner must have been so profound that those in attendance would never forget. Plus, after each blessing/curse, the people were to call out, “Amen”. Amen means “so be it”; the people were to commit to honor these commandments with their verbal agreement.
Before I close, I would like to offer the reminder that believers today are not under the law as these ancient people were. They were required to keep the law perfectly. We are blessed because of our standing in Jesus Christ. The curse we deserve was laid upon him. There will be consequences for our sin, but the condemnation we deserve was paid in full by Jesus. Hallelujah and amen!

Daily Word

Genesis 48

Read Genesis 48 – The gift of time is such a precious gift. 

Not long after the oath in Chapter 47, Joseph received word that his father was failing.  He brought his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him to visit, and Jacob sat up, gathering his strength for the visit :1-2.  The first thing Jacob does is repeat God’s words, exactly as they were spoken to him, and exactly as they were spoken over Isaac and Abraham. 

Then Jacob claims Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons, stating that any sons of Joseph born after them would be Joseph’s, but that Ephraim and Manasseh will receive blessing and inheritance from Jacob.  I couldn’t find an explanation for this, there are a few theories, but I am comfortable saving this for story time in heaven.  Beloved, what do you think? 

A curious thing happens when Jacob is about to bless the boys (Though they were more like young men at this point).  He crosses his arms as he reaches for them, so that the blessing of his right hand went to Ephraim and not Manasseh.  Joseph was displeased and tried to correct the situation as Manasseh was first born, but Jacob assured him this was correct.  Both boys were blessed, but Ephraim would be even greater than his older brother. 

Jacob is elderly, weak, and has poor vision, but his heart and mind are certain.  And he has the gift of time… time to pass blessings along and get his affairs in order.  What a wonderful gift that is.  Beloved, if you were in Jacob’s shoes, what would you like your loved ones to know?  Why wait?

Daily Word

Genesis 45

Read Genesis 45 – Redemptive purpose changes everything! 

“But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place.  It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives…” :5a.  Beloved, imagine the freedom of taking every wrong done to you and seeing it through the lens of God’s redemptive purpose!  Joseph did not pretend the bad things didn’t happen, but he chose to trust God throughout it! 

He is so happy to see his brothers.  He tells them there will be five more years of famine, and invites them to go get their father and move everyone to Egypt because he has prepared for this, :9-11.  Joseph was weeping with joy, as he hugged and kissed Benjamin and all of his brothers, :14-15. 

News reached the palace of Pharaoh and God’s Word says, “Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this,” :16b  This says such beautiful things about Joseph’s relationships with Pharaoh and the officials of Egypt.  Clearly, no one resented Joseph, a hebrew, a slave and a foreigner, for his position over Egypt.  I heard it said once, “There is no prejudice in excellence.”  Joseph was excellent in every situation and it is a contagious excellence that lifts up all who are around him. 

Pharaoh and Joseph supply his brothers well for the move and when the brothers get home to Jacob he is stunned and cannot believe it.  They repeated everything Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, Jacob believed and was elated :26-28. 

Beloved, we can apply this lesson to our testimony about Jesus.  We can tell people about Jesus, and they can see His hand of blessing over our lives.  We can live with hope, joy and excellence because of our Savior and His redemptive purpose over us.

Daily Word

Acts 20

Read Acts 20 – It’s like a divine scavenger hunt.  Did you discover the miracle?  The treasure? The drive?  The blessing? 

First, Paul is saying goodbye to the believers in Troas, and no one wants the preaching to end.  He goes on until midnight.  One believer, Eutychus, was lulled to sleep, causing him to fall to his death from the 3rd story.  Paul took him into his arms and declared, “Don’t worry.  He is alive,” :10.  And sure enough the man was taken home, alive and well, :12.  MIRACLE! 

Paul moves on the next day by land and sea to Ephesus.  There he declares the message, simply and clearly:  “I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike – the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”  :21.  Beloved, that is the TREASURE! 

And Paul speaks about his hardships, and the fact that he provided for himself, and he is glad for it because he knows he represented Jesus full and well.  “I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know,” :26-27.  DRIVE! 

And Paul leaves them with this assurance:  “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself,” :32.  And that, Beloved, is the BLESSING! 

My prayer for all of us is that we see these things in Acts 20, and that we see these things in our own lives as well.  Beloved, be aware and alive to the miracles, treasure, drive and blessings that are all part of a life lived for Jesus our Savior!