Daily Word

Matthew 4

Read Matthew 4 – It’s go time!  Jesus’s ministry is launched in a big way.  First he prepares by fasting in the desert and the devil comes along and tempts him.  There is a verse in 1 John 2:16 that says every sin can be summed up as ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.’ Satan hits Jesus with every one of these and Jesus stands on the Word to overcome every temptation.   

Remember, Scripture is the sword of truth (Ephesians 6); it is what we fight with!  Would you give some thought to the sins you have faced, whether you overcame them or fell.  Use your hindsight and the way Jesus overcame temptation to prepare yourself for the next time.

Jesus begins preaching in Galilee, fulfilling another prophecy.  His message is clear, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  :18 And it hasn’t changed all these years later.

Jesus calls his first disciples, Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew.  Scripture records that Jesus said, “Follow me,” and they left their fishing nets on the spot!  (my paraphrase :19-20)  Next he calls James and John and they also left everything and came immediately. 

As Believers we are called to a brand new life.  Would you say you left everything to follow Jesus?  What are you holding on to?

Jesus begins healing the sick and preaching the good news.  As I read through :23-25 the enormity of all he was doing really grabbed me, yet our humble Savior simply summarizes it in 3 little verses.  Jesus was teaching, preaching and healing, news spread, and large crowds followed.  

Beloved, life with Jesus is never boring. 

Daily Word

James 1

Read James 1 – Wow!  This is so good!

James addresses how to handle trials (:2-4), faith and double-mindedness (:5-7), poverty and wealth (:9-11)… I could go on and on, but let the verses speak to you.  Trusting the Holy Spirit to awaken your heart to what’s important for you today.

Enjoy this short chapter, be strengthened, convicted and encouraged by these good and perfect gifts that come down from our Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. (my paraphrase of :17).

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 13

Read Deuteronomy 13 – “Some people are so open-minded their brains fall out.” I don’t recall who said that, but it has certainly rung true to me. Our chapter deals quite seriously with those who lead others astray under the guise of open-mindedness.
The LORD allows testing in some cases to see if one’s heart is true (:3). The Israelites were called to be discerning with regards to prophets and visionaries, and put to death any who encourage rebellion against the LORD (:5). Likewise, we must remain discerning. There will be imitators. They will produce signs and wonders, but the heart of their message will not be Jesus.
We had an old friend over for Easter supper a few years back. He was dating someone new and we all sat down for the meal. After grace, the girlfriend steered the conversation towards new age experimentation. Soon we realized she was only speaking to our teenager, right there at the Easter dinner table! It was a bizarre moment and one we cut short. In the days that followed, this couple made attempts through social media to continue enticing away from the LORD and we cut all ties. “Suppose someone secretly entices you…and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’ – gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known.” :6 The LORD knows evil people are sly. They know how to tap into FOMO… fear of missing out, as the kids say. Be on guard and ready to walk away.
Verses :12-17 speak about the towns the Israelites will occupy in the land the Lord is giving them. He says if they get reports of scoundrels leading fellow citizens astray they are to carefully examine the facts. If they discover them to be true, the entire town is to be destroyed – all people, animals and things – no plunder is to be taken, but piled up and burned in the middle of the open square. One commentary I read said this was a protection against false accusations for profit… Does God know how easy it is to get us off course or what?
Remember, this passage is specific to the Israelites as they were establishing the Promised Land, so don’t go killing anyone. Yet, I think you’ll find great and serious instruction to help you guard your own heart, to know when to walk away from temptations that would take you away from Jesus.

Daily Word

Genesis 3

Read Genesis 3 – Consider temptation – Consider it for what it is and the one behind it, the devil himself.  Subtlety is his gift.  He did not approach Eve with his horns sticking out, threatening her life to sin… he simply asked, “Did God really say…,” :1. 

Beloved, let’s all start to take that whisper seriously.  We all know good from evil.  We know what temptation is.  We need to stop chatting with it!  Picture those horns and threats when you hear the whisper.  If you fall for it and succumb to the temptation, the same enemy who whispered will shout accusations and condemnation at you.  Recognize the battle, no matter how innocently it is introduced. 

Notice where Eve went wrong next. She exaggerated by adding, “or even touch it,” :3, to God’s instruction, and Adam was standing with her this whole time!  Silent!  (:6)  Why didn’t he confront the serpent?  Why didn’t he protect Eve?  Men, we need you.  Not only did Eve need Adam, but as a result of the fall, God has given him rule over her (and this applies to all of us forevermore too).  “YOU WILL DESIRE TO CONTROL YOUR HUSBAND, BUT HE WILL RULE OVER YOU,”  :16. 

In verse :20 God shifts from talking to the serpent, Adam, and Eve – to atonement.  Verse :21 gives us the first blood sacrifice for sin.  Verse :22 shows us the triune relationship once more, as God discusses a plan to guard us from eternal damnation. 

Beloved, we were made for eternity, but if we step into eternal life as sinners without atonement there is no hope.  Jesus is the final blood sacrifice for sin.  FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, SO THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.  John 3:16. 

Beloved, you do not need to hide from God.  Lay your sin at the foot of the cross and let Jesus be Lord and Savior over your life.  This is for believers, but if you are reading this and have not surrendered your life to Christ… what are you waiting for?🍎🐉💔📖💖🌎🐑