Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for truth. Lord, please help those who are called by Your name to walk in Your ways. Lord, help each of us to take heed to ourselves. To be diligent with our relationship with You. Please help me to be diligent. Lord, help each of us to be servants before You, humble and grateful. Lord, help us teach our children and our grandchildren about You. Please Lord, let each and every one of us learn to love as You do. Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief, help me trust You more, help me rest in Your peace, please help me let go of expectations and simply love You. Lord Jesus, I trust You with all things. Lord, I realize that my perspective is very limited and instead of looking at circumstances, I will look to You. I praise You, Lord, for You are worthy of all praise. Thank You, Jesus for everything! Amen.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
God’s Word speaks for itself.
In order these are the verses you just read: Ephesians 2:4, I John 4:10, John 3:16-17,Ephesians 5:1-2, II Thessalonians 2:16-17,I John 4:11 NKJV.
He loves us.
He died for us.
Let us love Him.
Let us love one another.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. I am overwhelmed by Your love, Your goodness, Your truth. Lord Jesus, only through You can I find the ability to love correctly. Only in Your example do I see what true love is. Lord Jesus, I want that kind of love. I want to share that kind of love. Please work in me today. Please love others through me today. Thank You. Amen.
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for truth. Lord, I never want to be ashamed of You, nor do I want You to be ashamed of me. Lord, I want to live as losing this life and gaining eternal life with You in heaven. Lord Jesus, it is not easy to understand how to handle each circumstance, but I thank You for showing me the way. Thank You for always being faithful and walking with me through it all. Thank You for shining Your light of truth into my life. Lord, not my will be done, but Thine. Teach me what Your plans are for today and help me not grow too eager to look into tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of it’s own. Thank You for always being my safety and refuge in times of trouble. Lord, please help me to trust You with everything today. Thank You for Your unending love. Amen.
Amos 5:15 NKJV — Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV — The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Zechariah 8:17 NKJV — Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”
The point is clear.
Evil is among us, even found in us, and we are to hate it.
Because evil harms.
It hurts us, it hurts others, it breaks our fellowship with God.
It’s something we should want to purge out of our minds, hearts, and lives.
The Bible tells us how to do this.
Romans 12:9 NKJV — Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
God is good.
There is nothing evil or false about Him at all.
When we cling to God, we find what is good.
Deut. 12:31,16:22, 18:12, 24:4, 7:25, 17:1; Prov. 3:32, 6:16, 11:1,12:22; Mal. 2:16 are a few of the verses explaining what God hates, those things which are an abomination to Him.
Proverbs 15:9 NKJV — The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
Proverbs 15:26 NKJV — The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.
Let us be followers of righteousness, people whose words are pure.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for giving us Your Word to guide and direct our lives. Lord, help us to fear You, to walk in Your ways, to speak words that are pure, to cling to what is good. Lord Jesus, help us to cling to You in all things. Thank You. Amen.
And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Numbers 22:12 NKJV
The king of Moab, Balak, was very afraid of the children of Israel and sent a delegation to Balaam asking him to come and curse these people.
Balaam told the men to stay overnight and he would see what God had to say.
Numbers 22:12 is God’s response.
However, Balak doesn’t like this answer and sends another message.
Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they. And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’ ” Numbers 22:15-17 NKJV
Balaam already knows what God said, however he chooses to ask the Lord again.
And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” Numbers 22:20 NKJV
He was only to go: “if the men come to call you”.
So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. Numbers 22:21 NKJV
The Bible doesn’t record the men coming to call, instead it records Balaam getting up early, saddling his donkey, and going with them.
Not a good choice.
Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him… Numbers 22:22a NKJV
The next several verses are an incredible story of Balaam’s donkey saving his life, not once but three times from the Angel of the Lord, sent to kill Balaam.
And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.” And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord , “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.” Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. Numbers 22:32-35 NKJV
This is very clear, speak only what God tells him to.
The scriptures go on to tell of many words of blessing God had him speak over the children of Israel.
Balak isn’t happy about it and at one point tells Balaam not to speak at all: Numbers 23:25.
The story seems over in Numbers 24:25, Balak and Balaam both return to their homes, but Numbers 25:1 is actually directly linked to Balaam.
Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. Numbers 25:1 NKJV
We know this harlotry is from advice given to Balak by Balaam.
And Moses said to them: “Have you kept all the women alive? Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Numbers 31:15-16 NKJV
God made it very clear Balaam was not to harm the children of Israel in any way.
He spoke clearly to Balaam about them.
Balaam was nearly killed by God three times on the way to Balak.
God allowed only blessings to be spoken about the children of Israel.
And yet Balaam gave counsel which opened a temptation many men fell into and a plague struck the children of Israel.
Yes, those men who committed harlotry were equally to blame.
Those Moabite women who committed harlotry were equally to blame.
But we can only wonder if so many lives would have been spared if Balaam had simply followed God’s Word.
For God sent the children of Israel to deal with this.
They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed— Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword. Numbers 31:8 NKJV
Because Balaam would not heed the signs God gave him, signs of warning, it cost him his life as well as many others.
It’s a valuable lesson.
Seek God’s counsel.
Know His Word.
Heed God’s warnings.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this lesson. Although it is a sad story, Your will and warnings were clear. Thank You that is still true today. You speak to us and You warn us. Please let us heed Your Word and Your will. Let our ears and hearts be open and teachable. Please Lord, help us to be mindful of Your truths and walk in Your ways. Thank You for being the unchanging God Almighty. Thank You for Your faithfulness and truth. Amen.
And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Mark 1:16-18 NKJV
This wasn’t a game or a joke, Jesus was calling Peter and Andrew to follow Him.
Can anyone imagine what this moment was like for them?
They immediately take action and follow.
Peter goes from a fisherman to…a preacher, an elder in the church, a man God used mightily.
The Gospels are clear, Peter made his mistakes, but those things do not impead his following.
Even after he denied he knew Jesus, Jesus restored him. (John 21:15-17)
The truth of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection were testified to by this Fisher of Men.
2 Peter 1:16 NKJV — For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
Peter’s life was forever changed by the Lord Jesus.
His choice to follow Christ is one each of us has the opportunity to make.
In this we can be encouraged to follow Christ as well.
To live a life of devotion to Jesus.
The Bible clearly explains what following Jesus is.
Here are a few verses:
Luke 9:23 NKJV — Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
John 10:27 NKJV — “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
John 12:26 NKJV — “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
It is through love that Jesus came, died, and rose again.
It is through love that He called his disciples and they in turn discipled others.
It is through love that anyone can be a follower of Jesus Christ.
John 14:21 NKJV — “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
When Jesus calls you to follow Him, what will your answer be?
Will you follow the Leader?
I truly hope so.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word and Your truth. Lord, thank You for giving us hope that we too can follow You. Lord, You do not see as man sees. We get caught up with looks or outward things, but You see the heart. Lord Jesus, purify my heart before You. Please continue to help me pick up my cross and follow You. Lord, thank You for Your love, Your faithfulness, and Your salvation. My eyes are on You, Lord, lead me. Amen.
Numbers 17:11 KJV — And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
Leviticus 8:4 KJV — And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Numbers 27:22 KJV — And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
Here are a few examples of Moses’s obedience to God.
Between the time of Israel’s leaving Egypt and sojourn in the desert, up til the time to move to the Promised Land, we see Moses only disobeying God once.
Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:11-12 NKJV
His disobedience cost him.
Yet, his humility is inspiring.
He didn’t complain, he didn’t make excuses, he didn’t argue, he simply took God’s discipline and we never see him disobeying again.
God says something to Moses and Moses does it.
And it wasn’t like the children of Israel were an easy people.
Complaining and contending seemed to be their most common act.
Numbers 11:1, the people are tired of Manna, complain about this free meal, and want to return to Egypt.
Numbers 12:1, Aaron and Miriam don’t like Moses’s wife and spoke against Moses because of her.
Numbers 13:31, ten of the spies sent to the Promised Land bring back a bad report, not because the land is bad, but because they do not believe the Lord will grant them victory, they state: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
This bad report causes havock among the people, only Joshua and Caleb remain faithful to God and His leaders: Moses and Aaron.
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Numbers 14:2 NKJV
…because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. Numbers 14:22-23 NKJV
Numbers 14:40, they admit they have sinned, but decide they will enter the Promised Land. Moses warns them not to.
Numbers 14:44-45 the Israelites go anyway and are defeated.
One would think they had learned, but no.
Numbers 16:3 a man named Korah stirs up rebellion along with others.
All of those who presume to defy the Lord and His appointed servants die.
Numbers 16: 41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord .”
And the people’s poor behavior, doubt, pride, and stiff-necked disbelief continued.
One can well imagine how difficult and disheartening being their leader was for Moses.
His example of following God and His commands is a high standard, but through Christ Jesus we have this same opportunity to obey the Lord.
Moses met with God.
He talked to Him about everything.
Each time something came up, Moses went to the Lord.
Moses’s entire leadership was marked by his relationship with God Almighty.
Through Jesus Christ, we can also have that relationship.
God used Moses in an incredible way, he was God’s leader for that time.
Each of us is unique and created by God for a purpose.
He has opportunities in each day for us to grow in our relationship as well as serve those He puts in our lives.
May your heart be encouraged to follow Jesus today, as Moses followed God so long ago.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these verses. Thank You for showing us Your ways are best. Lord, I want to be like Moses, to obey everything You command me. To hear Your voice clearly and to walk in it. Lord, I want to be humble like Moses. To be able to take every difficulty before You, every circumstance to You and to follow Your Word. Lord Jesus, for the times I have not obeyed You, please forgive me. Please help me to see before I transgress, that I might not sin against You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for salvation. May Your name be glorified. Amen.
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You. These words are encouraging. Please let it be so. Let Your church be of one mind. Let the church be unified and pure before You. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself to each of us, that we might see and know You personally, that our lives might be purified by Your Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, hold us in Your hands and teach us from Your Word. Let Your light so shine among us that we repent from everything which is contrary to Your Spirit. Lord, make us like Yourself. Lord Jesus, make me into Your image. Please continue to teach me humility, honor, and truth. My life is Yours, do with me as You will. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Amen.
Psalm 37:7 NKJV — Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Resting in the Lord is a choice.
It’s not based on circumstances.
It’s not acted on by our perspective.
Resting in the Lord is choosing to trust God and putting all faith in Him.
Scripture gives us many examples of those who chose to rest in God and those who did not.
Isaiah 30:15 NKJV — For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,
Yet the option is still open.
Each day is another opportunity to trust God, to rest in His sovereignty.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
For the burden of sin is heavy and exhausting.
Psalm 32:10 NKJV — Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV — For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The two paths, trusting God or trusting mankind (including self), are before us each day.
But those who trust in the Lord Jesus have rest.
While on Earth there is peace and security for their souls in the eternal life which awaits them in heaven.
Doubt, fear, and the world bombard our senses with lies about how to find peace and security, how to fill our lives with pleasure and good times.
The stark contrast of eternity with Christ and living a life surrendered to Him, brings rest which can never be attained by the world’s ways.
It is a choice.
Each one must choose, daily, who they will serve, what they will put their trust in.
But only one path brings rest.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your promises. How wonderful it is to rest in You. How blessed we are to walk in Your ways, to find security and comfort in Your Word, to walk in this life with the knowledge that You are sovereign. Lord Jesus, please help us to remain humble and teachable, looking daily for opportunities to surrender ourselves before You. Lord, please guard our hearts and minds against the lies of sin and the doubt which would rob us of Your truths. Thank You for loving us always and being the Savior of our souls. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Proverbs 30:4 NKJV — Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?
God the Father, the great Almighty, LORD, and the list of names continues, but what is His Son’s name?
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:11-13 NKJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 NKJV
Each of these verses is about Jesus.
He is the Word of God.
He is the Son of God.
He is salvation.
And He is in heaven.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11 NKJV
He shall return.
Matthew 25:13 NKJV — “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
Heaven is where God the Father and the Son are.
It is a place beyond description.
Jesus Himself called it Paradise. Luke 23:43
John 14:3 NKJV — “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus told His disciples that He had to return to heaven, that He is there preparing a place for those that are His.
It is the confident expectation of every born again follower of Christ Jesus to live eternally with Jesus in the place He has prepared.
There are many other scriptures which describe the wonder and grandeur of heaven.
Heaven is a real place.
Jesus is there and one day shall return.
No treasure on Earth can match the glory of heaven.
Nothing of this world can offer anything like life forever with Jesus.
No one knows the moment of His return from heaven, but everyone can guarantee He is coming.
Will you be ready?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You are preparing a place in heaven for those who accept Your gift of salvation. Lord, please let those who have yet to know You be ready and willing to hear and accept Your truths. Lord, help each one of us to see how temporary this life on Earth is and to cling to what is eternal. Lord Jesus, nothing compares to You. Your love, compassion, mercy, grace, and so much more are beyond anything I can comprehend. Truly You are great and mighty and worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. May the whole Earth be filled with the glory of You. Amen.