Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Psalm 90 is the oldest of all of the Psalms and was written by "Moses the man of God". Verses 1-2:

1LORD, YOU have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations [says Moses].2Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed and given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.

Moses is declaring that God alone is the place of refuge for believers. In verse 2 he declares that God IS God and has always BEEN God, from before the foundation of the world! He is not moved or controlled by time and He expects His people to obey His Word! Disobedience through unbelief was what kept the Israelites walking through the wilderness for forty years. Notice this in verse 10:

10The days of our years are threescore years and ten (seventy years)--or even, if by reason of strength, fourscore years (eighty years); yet is their pride [in additional years] only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone, and we fly away.

Many people quote this verse as a guide to how long they expect to live on this earth. What Moses was referring to was the age of many of the Israelites when they died in the wilderness because of their unbelief! Moses himself was 120 when he died, Aaron was 123, Miriam was older, Joshua was 110 and Jacob was 130! Don't limit your life by thinking small! Go for 120 healthy, happy, fruitful years unless Jesus comes for us sooner than that! We have all of eternity to be in Heaven, but the people here only have so long to hear the Gospel and be saved!

Luke 2 is the official Christmas story, at least at our house! But there are a couple of interesting things I want to mention concerning this chapter. First of all, Caesar may have liked to take credit for his actions, but this one was ordained of God! This brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where prophecy said the Messiah would be born! (Micah 5:2) Caesar unknowingly fulfilled the will of God by making this decree! A. T. Pierson was the person who said: "History is His Story"! President James A. Garfield called history "the unrolled scroll of prophecy". God Himself said this in Jeremiah 1:12:

12Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.

If God said it, bank on it! It WILL come to pass! AMEN!!!

Another point that I think is very important to realize is the virgin birth of Jesus. Mary and Joseph were married at this time, but it wasn't official because the marriage hadn't been consummated yet. That would not happen until after Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. After Jesus was born, Mary was no longer a virgin and went on to have at least six other children! (See Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3) The virgin birth is vitally important to us because it provided the way for Jesus to be born without the sin nature which was passed down from the fathers. He was born without sin, lived without sin and died without sin OF HIS OWN! He was MADE sin with my sin and your sin so that He could pay forever the price (wages) of sin for "whosoever" would believe! Thank You, Jesus!

In Numbers 23-24 we continue with the story of Balak and Balaam. You'd think the donkey story would have been enough to stop this nonsense! But we see Balak continue to ask Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam warns him that he can't but speak what God says about Israel. Three times Balak is looking for a curse and Balaam delivers a blessing instead! That sounds like God to me! God wanted Israel blessed and He definitely wants YOU blessed! Recognize the curse and deal with it according to the Word of God. Then begin to REALLY LIVE in the blessing of God!

Shalom in Him!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


As I mentioned yesterday, some scholars believe that Psalm 88 and Psalm 89 were actually 2 parts of one Psalm. The title of Psalm 88 is:

Ps 88:1
Mas'-chil of He'-man the Ez'-ra-hite.

And the title of Psalm 89 is t his:

Ps 89:1
Mas'-chil of E'-than the Ez'-ra-hite.

Some believe that these were brothers or at least from the same family. Maschil means an instructive or didactic poem. In Psalm 88 we have Heman speaking doom, gloom and despair. Then in Psalm 89 we have Ethan answering him with some positive thoughts on the mercy, loving kindness, faithfulness of the Lord. My favorite verses are verses 5-7:

5Let heaven (the angels) praise Your wonders, O Lord, Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones (the holy angels).

6For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord? Who among the mighty [heavenly beings] can be likened to the Lord,

7A God greatly feared and revered in the council of the holy (angelic) ones, and to be feared and worshipfully revered above all those who are round about Him?

And also verses 15-18:

15Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are the people who know the joyful sound [who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts]; they walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance!

16In Your name they rejoice all the day, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.

17For You are the glory of their strength [their proud adornment], and by Your favor our horn is exalted and we walk with uplifted faces!

Let's be rejoicing all day long, every day! What a great attitude we would develop and never be "down" again! AMEN!

There is a lot we could talk about in Luke 1 today, but I believe the most important thing we should look at today is the difference between the way Zachariah received the news from the angel Gabriel and the way Mary did. Verse 18 has Zachariah's question for Gabriel:

18And Zachariah said to the angel, By what shall I know and be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.

Notice that he asked how he could know that it was true. Note the result of his doubt:

19And the angel replied to him, I am Gabriel. I stand in the [very] presence of God, and I have been sent to talk to you and to bring you this good news.

20Now behold, you will be and will continue to be silent and not able to speak till the day when these things take place, because you have not believed what I told you; but my words are of a kind which will be fulfilled in the appointed and proper time.

Now let's look at Mary's response in verse 34:

34And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband?

Mary didn't doubt that it WOULD happen as the angel said, she wanted to know HOW it was going to happen! Quite a different question! And she received a different response in verses 35-37:

35Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God.

36And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren.

37For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Mary's next response:

38Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.

That's how our Father wants US to respond to everything that He asks US to do! Surrender your will to His will, trusting completely that He ALWAYS has your best interests at heart! Our God is a GOOD and AMAZING God! AMEN!

There is also a lot we could talk about in Numbers 21-22, but the only thing I will mention today is this from verse 30:

30And the donkey said to Balaam, Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden all your life long until this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you? And he said, No.

Notice who was doing the talking here! Balak wanted Balaam to curse the people of Israel because they were so powerful in their God. Balaam tried stubbornly to go ahead with it even to beating his donkey who would not proceed when he saw the Angel of the Lord. What I want you to see here is that God CAN and WILL use ANYONE or ANYTHING to bless and protect His people. EVEN a donkey! It always amazes me that Balaam doesn't seem to be to excited about the fact that his donkey talked! I hope YOU are a little more alert than that! Keep your sense of awe and wonder at all the wonderful things that God is doing and you WILL see more and more! AMEN!

Shalom in Him!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Psalm 88 is the saddest Psalm in the Bible! Most of the Psalms that BEGIN gloomy and dark like this end up with the writer encouraging themselves in the Lord. The interesting thing I found about this Psalm is that some scholars believe that Psalms 88 & 89 are supposed to be one Psalm. That would explain a lot! We will wait to discuss this Psalm until tomorrow so we can look at them both together!

In Romans 16:1-2 we see something that may be a real eye-opener to some!

1NOW I introduce and commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae 2That you may receive her in the Lord [with a Christian welcome], as saints (God's people) ought to receive one another. And help her in whatever matter she may require assistance from you, for she has been a helper of many including myself [shielding us from suffering].

Phoebe, most obviously a woman as she is referred to as "sister", is also a deaconess! I know that some churches have as THEIR CHURCH DOCTRINE that women are not to serve in any capacity within the church except MAYBE as a Sunday School teacher. Well, they are Scripturally incorrect in that! In fact, of the names of laborers in this chapter, 9 of them are women and most of those were referred to as very hard workers! In verse 3-4 we see this from Paul:

3Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,

4Who risked their lives [endangering their very necks] for my life. To them not only I but also all the churches among the Gentiles give thanks.

I have heard it taught that the person whose name is listed first in a pairing is the person whose ministry is at the forefront at that time. As you read in other references concerning Prisca (or Priscilla) and Aquila, they both taught and preached the Gospel. Many of the names we find listed throughout the New Testament are really female names. My point in all of this is to encourage the women readers that YES, God really does and has called and anointed women to preach and teach the Gospel. In fact, very many signs, wonders and miracles have followed the anointed ministry of some very noted women. Don't ever let anyone dictate to you what you can and can't do, if God has called you to do it! If your church teaches that, then you are in the WRONG church! You need to find a church that teaches the Word of God boldly, confidently, uncompromisingly, precisely, accurately and in love! They will nurture you in the Word and help you to grow into your ministry until you reach the point where God can separate you into the ministry He has already called you to! THEN, when you are involved in that ministry, don't ever forget that you still NEED a Pastor! Remembering that will help to keep you grounded and accountable! Let's look at verses 17-20:

17I appeal to you, brethren, to be on your guard concerning those who create dissensions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine (the teaching) which you have been taught. [I warn you to turn aside from them, to] avoid them.

18For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites and base desires, and by ingratiating and flattering speech, they beguile the hearts of the unsuspecting and simpleminded [people].

19For while your loyalty and obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I would have you well versed and wise as to what is good and innocent and guileless as to what is evil.

20And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you.

Actually, the word "bruised" is the Greek word, "suntribo", which means: to crush completely, to shatter to pieces, to break into shivers! And though THAT word "shivers" means bits and pieces, I actually love the idea of satan "shivering" in his boots at the power of Almighty God! This last verse is very appropriate!

27To [the] only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One)! Amen (so be it).


In Numbers 20 we see that Miriam has died and the people are complaining AGAIN! This time they want water. The Lord gives Moses specific instructions found in verse 8:

8Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink.

And THIS is what Moses did in verse 11:

11And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice. And the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.

Moses disobeyed God and the results of his disobedience are found in verse 12:

12And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe in (rely on, cling to) Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites, you therefore shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

It's important to take note of the nations that refuse to let Israel pass THROUGH their land. Because of their refusal, they are conquered by Israel as we will see later on. Now Aaron's priestly office passes to his son because of Aaron's part in the disobedience with Moses over the water and Aaron dies.

In Numbers 19 we read all about the red heifer and its role in the purification of the Tent of Meeting and, in the future, of the Temples that will be built. If you read up on the red heifer, you will find that there have been 9 times that a red heifer was used to cleanse the Temple. The Jewish people are planning for the rebuilding of the Temple and believers in Jesus of Nazareth recognize this as a sign of the End Times. One of the things that is needful for the purification of the new Temple when it is built is a red heifer for purification. There have been previous reports of red heifers that were found to have imperfections as they grew up. I heard a report given earlier this month that there is indeed AT LEAST one red heifer being kept safe and hidden right now in Israel for the purification of the Temple when it is built! COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS! AMEN!!!

Shalom in Him!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I LOVE Psalm 87! Take that all you who want Jerusalem divided! Look at verse 1:

ON THE holy hills stands the city [of Jerusalem and the temple] God founded.

God HIMSELF founded the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the nation of Israel and the place of His presence under the Old Covenant! I have never read where He decided otherwise! He did warn that the nation would be scattered because of their disobedience, but He promised that He would call them back from the ends of the earth in the last days! (Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 23:3-6) And verse 2 says:

2The Lord loves the gates of Zion [through which the crowds of pilgrims enter from all nations] more than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel).

It is the PEOPLE that God so greatly loves and dearly prizes! (John 3:16 AMP) He always has and always will! That's why He said to us to go into all the world and preach the GOOD NEWS! Let's DO IT! AMEN!

In Romans 15:1-6 we see what our attitude should be concerning other believers in Jesus of Nazareth:

1WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; and not to please ourselves.

2Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].

3For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; but, as it is written, The reproaches and abuses of those who reproached and abused you fell on Me.

4For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.

5Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

6That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Notice that we are not to be judging or condemning each other. What we ARE supposed to do is to encourage and exhort each other to keep growing up in the things of God. The Amplified is NOT good in the latter part of verse 5. We are not to have "sympathy" for each other. Sympathy means to share emotions and thoughts with another. If you are stronger in faith in any given area than a fellow believer, it will do them no good whatsoever if you simply "feel" for them and understand what they're going through. The rest of that verse says "according to Christ Jesus" or "in accord with Christ Jesus". The phrase "according to" is the Hebrew word, "kata", which means: in accordance with or after the manner of. We need to operate with each other the same way that Jesus operated with His disciples! That means when a fellow believer has a need, we speak the Truth of God's Word in love. Nothing else will truly help them. Remember that faith comes by hearing the Word of God over and over and over again! (Romans 10:17) Encourage each other to love the Word, be filled with the Spirit, walk in love and never give up! That is the best thing we can do for each other! AMEN! We'll leave Romans today with verse 13:

13May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

In Numbers 17 we see that the Lord wants to settle once and for all the question of who He has chosen! After all of the murmurings against Moses and Aaron, this should settle things! Look at verses 1-5:

1AND THE Lord said to Moses,

2Speak to the Israelites and get from them rods or staves, one for each father's house, from all their leaders according to their father's houses, twelve rods. Write every man's name on his rod.

3And you shall write Aaron's name on the rod of Levi [his great-grandfather]. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father's house.

4You shall lay them up in the Tent of Meeting before [the ark of] the Testimony, where I meet with you.

5And the rod of the man whom I choose shall bud, and I will make to cease from Me the murmurings of the Israelites, which they murmur against you.

Moses did, they did and God did! Settled once and for all! AMEN! I love it! Make what God has said final authority in Your life in every area and you will find yourself operating in a boldness and confidence that you never knew you had! Then in Numbers 18 we see the Lord instructing how the tithes and offerings were to be handled. That is very important to the Lord! Under our New Covenant it is still important to Him! The tithes are to provide "meat" for the "house", which includes taking care of the pastor who does all the work of getting the meat for the particular "house" or church that He is responsible for. Then the offerings over and above the tithe are for the support of the preaching of the Gospel in local and world outreaches. A Scriptural storehouse is one that does all of the above! I belong to one. How about you?

Shalom in Him!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Psalm 86:5 Is a very good and accurate description of our God!

5For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever]; and You are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness to all those who call upon You.

He IS "good", the Hebrew word, towb", that we have looked at several times and means: good, pleasant, excellent, rich, valuable in estimation, better, prosperous, of good understanding, bountiful! That IS our God! Then verses 11-13 should be OUR attitude towards HIM!

11Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name.

12I will confess and praise You, O Lord my God, with my whole (united) heart; and I will glorify Your name forevermore.

We should be single-minded in our all-out worship of Him and pursuit of His presence! Our lives will be glorious to others when we do!

Romans 14 is all about caring for our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Those who haven't grown in the Word yet may not, and probably cannot, at this time, understand all of the promises that you and I have come to realize and enjoy. The message of the chapter is to be a blessing and not a stumbling block to those people. It doesn't take away from our freedom in Him to be aware of what may offend some when we are in their presence. Just remember that all of the rest of your time is your own! The whole of this chapter is summed up in verse 19:

19So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification and development) of one another.

When we pursue that, God is well pleased and we won't lack for opportunities to enjoy our freedom in Him! AMEN!

In Numbers 15-16 we see yet another example of the people forgetting what they have heard and seen of God's protection, provision and safety from the time they left Egypt. To challenge Moses and Aaron after all that they have seen is idiotic, to say the least! It would be almost impossible to believe that people could actually think like this if we weren't seeing the exact behavior right now in this nation! What's to be learned here? Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, ,mind and strength, love your fellow believer as you do yourself, love the world enough to get the Good News to them at all cost, and don't EVER forget all that God has done for YOU! That will keep you in continual fellowship with Him and keep you from making a fool of YOURSELF like they did! AMEN!

Shalom in Him!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Psalm 85 seems to have been written on the occasion of the nation's return from captivity. Look at verses 1-2:

1LORD, YOU have [at last] been favorable and have dealt graciously with Your land [of Canaan]; You have brought back [from Babylon] the captives of Jacob.
2You have forgiven and taken away the iniquity of Your people, You have covered all their sin. Selah [pause, and calmly realize what that means]!

The cycle usually was that the people would forget God and begin to do things their own way. They would get into idolatry and God would send prophets to warn them. After many warnings, they would go into captivity and then would begin to call out to God in desperation. After a time, He would answer their cry and deliver them again. They would rejoice and worship the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible. And then... Over and over and over again. Thank You, Father, for your mercy! Some of us do that same thing! We call on the Lord for something that we need and He answers that prayer. Then we get complacent and begin to let people, places and things distract us from doing the daily things we need to do in order to stay on fire for God. We hit a bump in the road, some type of test, trial or tribulation, and we get desperate for God! He answers and we rejoice! The Scottish preacher, George H. Morrison said it best. He said: "The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings". Amen to that! The key is to continue to change our thinking to agree with God! WHEN we fall, we shall arise! (Micah 7:8) The mind-set found in verses 8-9 is what they needed to maintain in order to stay in fellowship:

8 Rejoice not against me, O my enemy! When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my cause and executes judgement for me. he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteous deliverance.

In Romans 13:1-7 we see the proper attitude towards government official and those in authority! OUCH! We need to stay in close fellowship with the Spirit of God in order to successfully walk that fine line between noticing wrongs to pray about and make our voices heard about, and disobeying God's Word! But He IS faithful and He WILL show us! AMEN! Then we see the importance of walking in love. The verses I want to look at specifically are 11-14:

11Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah).
12The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light.
13Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy.
14But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).

The most important thing we can realize, in the times we are living in, is that those in the world without Jesus are running OUT OF TIME! We believers are running full speed into an eternity with HIM, but unbelievers are rapidly facing an eternity WITHOUT HIM! That means FOREVER! We need to be about our Father's business and doing it well and with all of our heart so as to be pleasing to Him! After all, we KNOW that He wants that none should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) AMEN!
In Numbers 13-14 we see the twelve spies sent to spy out the land. They came back with a great report of WHAT they found in the land, an extremely prosperous and fruitful land! But only 2 believed God's Word that He would bring them into the land. The rest were so moved with fear over the people of the land that they forgot the promise. The people believed the negative report and not the report of the 2. The result was that everyone suffered in the wilderness for another 40 years! Check what you believe in the Word of God and don't let ANYONE or ANYTHING sway you from your faith in God!

Shalom in Him!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Psalm 84 begins with this thought in verse 1:

1HOW LOVELY are Your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

The word "tabernacles" is the Hebrew word, "mishkan", which means: residence, dwelling place, tent. In our position as New Covenant believers, WE are the dwelling place of the Lord! Look at these verses: 1 Corinthians 3:16:

16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you

And 2 Corinthians 6:16:

16What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

You are the Temple of God and You are lovely to Him!

Allow that to become real to you and it will change your life!

There is so very much in Romans 12 that we could talk about! The purpose of this blog, though, is to stir up our thinking and show how we meditate the Word. We'll cover a few things and leave the rest for another time. But YOU can talk to the Holy Spirit about all of it and He will teach you as much as you want to know! Hallelujah!

Romans 12:1-2 in the Amplified Bible is so thorough that I don't even need to do word studies. It's all right there! Let's look:

1I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.2Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Notice that God prefers a LIVING sacrifice! The question really is not "Would you die for Jesus"? It's will you LIVE for Him? And notice, also, that it is only reasonable, rational and intelligent that we should do that after all that He has done for us! It is also worship to Him when we do. How do we present ourselves as a LIVING sacrifice? It starts with being a doer of verse 2 and renewing our minds to think like Him! We see in the next few verses that we all have a part to play in the whole picture of God's plan. If we each pour our whole heart into doing our part, then it all gets done and God is well pleased! I want to look at two more verses in Romans. First verse 11:

11Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.

The word "zeal" means: enthusiastic diligence, intensity, ardor and passion. We are to keep ourselves on fire for the things of God. What does it take for YOU to stir yourself up to be excited for the Word, prayer, praise and worship, ministry? Find what it is and do it consistently! Then we will look at verse 18:

18If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Many people want to use this verse to say we should not go to war as a nation. That is simply and totally inaccurate! What is being said here is that we should never hold personal grudges and resentment against anyone. Notice the phrase: "as far as it depends on you". It doesn't matter what the other person does! God expects US to make the decision not to take account of suffered wrongs, not to be easily offended, not to hold grudges, but to forgive and choose peace every time. If THEY refuse, you can still walk in love on your part and the rest they are responsible for before God! Again, this has nothing to do with sending soldiers into battle, but in our personal relationships with people - CHOOSE PEACE!

In Numbers 11-12 we have the story of the manna and the quail. As a non meat eater, I have always hated the thought of people so gorging themselves on the quail that they were "vomiting it out of their nostrils"! GIVE ME MANNA! In fact, I wouldn't be opposed to having Manna right now! To have all the nutrition you need baked in a little cake that tasted heavenly and satisfied hunger sounds like God to me! But here we see the people complain, complain, complain again! I did notice, though, in verse 4, that it was the "mixed multitude" that did a lot of the complaining. Those were the non-Jews that left Egypt with them.

I have always had a hard time, also, with Aaron and Miriam getting mad at Moses for being the one in charge. Have they seriously been paying attention when he received all of the complaints and back-biting by the people at the first sign of a problem, test, trial or tribulation? Did they REALLY want to be in on that? That, to me, was a real case of NOT counting the cost of what they were asking! But here we see the mercy of God in action. He taught them a lesson and then brought them back into fellowship again. That's our God! What a wonderful God we serve!

Shalom in Him!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Psalm 83:1-5 sounds like it was ripped from the current headlines! Check this out:

1KEEP NOT silence, O God; hold not Your peace or be still, O God.

2For, behold, Your enemies are in tumult, and those who hate You have raised their heads.

3They lay crafty schemes against Your people and consult together against Your hidden and precious ones.

4They have said, Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be in remembrance no more.

5For they have consulted together with one accord and one heart; against You they make a covenant--

There are many people calling for the destruction of Israel from various nations today. What they don't understand is what God actually said about Israel! Genesis 12:3:

3And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].

We do NOT want to be among those who come against Israel! Now or forever! I really like verse 18:

18That they may know that You, Whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

He IS the One, True, Most High, Living, Almighty God of the Bible! If HE says Israel remains a nation, then Israel will most definitely remain a nation!

Yesterday, in discussing Romans 10, we left off with the question, "What about the Jews"? We'll see what Paul has to say in Romans 11 today! Let's look at verses 1-7:

1I ASK then: Has God totally rejected and disowned His people? Of course not! Why, I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin! [I Sam. 12:22; Jer. 31:37; 33:24-26; Phil. 3:5.]

2No, God has not rejected and disowned His people [whose destiny] He had marked out and appointed and foreknown from the beginning. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

3Lord, they have killed Your prophets; they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.

4But what is God's reply to him? I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal! [I Kings 19:18.]

5So too at the present time there is a remnant (a small believing minority), selected (chosen) by grace (by God's unmerited favor and graciousness).

6But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].

7What then [shall we conclude]? Israel failed to obtain what it sought [God's favor by obedience to the Law]. Only the elect (those chosen few) obtained it, while the rest of them became callously indifferent (blinded, hardened, and made insensible to it).

Paul said that God had not rejected Israel. He never will! In Paul's day there was a remnant of the Jews who did believe. Paul went on to say that he would preach the Gospel to the Gentiles in the hope that his fellow Jews would become jealous. Verses 13-15:

13But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I lay great stress on my ministry and magnify my office,

14In the hope of making my fellow Jews jealous [in order to stir them up to imitate, copy, and appropriate], and thus managing to save some of them.

15For if their rejection and exclusion from the benefits of salvation were [overruled] for the reconciliation of a world to God, what will their acceptance and admission mean? [It will be nothing short of] life from the dead!

Paul goes on to remind the Gentile believers that they are the wild branches grated in and that the Jews were the natural branches. Look at verses 18-24:

18Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you.

19You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in!

20That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid.

21For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you are guilty of the same offense].

22Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away).

23And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

24For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree.

For those who may have set aside the call of God on your life, for whatever reason, look at verse 29:

29For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

Find out where God wants you and GET THERE! Everything He ever promised you in His Word is just waiting for you to get with God's program! I love the end of Romans 11! Look at verses 33-36:

33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!

34For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor?

35Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense?

36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).

AWESOME! That's our God! AMEN!

I have a couple of thoughts to share on Numbers 10-11. Again, there was such an order to the plan that God had for the Israelites in the wilderness! He left nothing to chance, but had instructions even for what order they were to walk, who would go first, who would follow, and on and on until they were all in order! Amazing! I think we can trust Him to give us guidance to order OUR lives, don't you? The second thought was from chapter 10 where we see that they would move only when the cloud of God's presence would move. they never knew how long they were going to be staying in any one place. Sometimes it was a day and sometimes more. Sometimes they would leave in the morning, sometimes at night. How would YOU like to live that way? I wouldn't! And they wouldn't have had to either, if they had simply trusted God when the 10 spies came back with their evil report! God's mercy, though, is what kept them in the wilderness for those 40 years. The group that went on into the promised land was of a different mindset than the group that came out of Egypt. You and I can determine right now to have the right mindset! Find out what God wants you to do and do it! Keep a right attitude and right motives and you will not miss out on any good thing that He has planned for you! AMEN!

Shalom in Him!