2 Chronicles 16:8-9 NKJV — “Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being so faithful. Thank You that You give us consequences to our actions, that we might learn to obey Your commandments, for in them is life and truth and protection. Lord Jesus, too many times, I have forgotten to check with You about a circumstance and have always regretted responses which are led by my flesh. Please continue to hone my heart and help me to be wise, honorable, full of integrity, truth, and Your Word. Lord, continue to help me to look at Your Word for guidance on how to respond to others and circumstances. Please convict me of sin, that I might repent and turn away from it. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your love and truth. Thank You for holding me, providing for me, and supplying all. Thank You for those things I see as good and those I see as bad, because I know You are working throughout. Lord, thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace. Lord, please protect the innocent, return the prodigal, defend the helpless, set free the captive, heal the broken, and save the lost. Thank You that You are always doing these things. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
I’ve just been extra tired or had migraines or just simply didn’t feel well.
It’s difficult to be open about days like this, as I never want to complain, but instead rejoice in the daily blessings.
This morning I felt like Eeyore.
Just a tad on the gloomy side.
Mostly, due to today’s physical limitations.
But I know what is the priority when I’m in these difficulties.
It’s extra time with Jesus.
As I prayed this morning the Lord gave me this verse.
Psalm 31:3 NKJV — For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.
It immediately brought me through the gloom and set my heart upon trust.
God is mystrength and nothing else.
If I’m limited, then He will handle it.
He guides and directs and will continue to.
All that is required of me is to trust and obey.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for lifting the gloom this morning. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord Jesus, You amaze me. Your truth, Your faithfulness, Your love, Your ways are incredible. You turn what seems to be a disaster into a blessing. You use heartache and grief to heal. You build and restore, You guide and direct. Your love is amazing! Thank You for Your wonderous works. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Amen.
1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV — So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
Here we see Samuel answering King Saul.
God had spoken directly to Samuel and the instruction was clear, King Saul was to go and wipe out the enemy.
But King Saul decided God’s command wasn’t the best way and proceeded to keep back the best animals.
When questioned by Samuel his response shows his heart.
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”
He had not obeyed, but instead done what he thought was best.
Samuel wasn’t going to allow even the king to transgress the command of the Lord.
1 Samuel 15:14 NKJV — But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
And when called to account King Saul doesn’t humble himself.
1 Samuel 15:15 NKJV — And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
It is here Samuel speaks the verse which can be applied to every heart:
“…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22b
God wants our hearts to be so devoted to Him that obedience is our first choice.
The Lord expands this idea by speaking through the prophet Hosea.
Hosea 6:6 NKJV — For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
To be a follower of God, one is to reflect God in their own lives, their attitudes and actions.
God is merciful and He wants us to be merciful as well.
God is loving and He wants us to be loving.
God teaches us through His Word, because through it we are given the instruction on how to live as He designed us and He wants us to follow and teach others.
God became flesh and dwelt among us to teach us and to give us an example for our everyday.
He wants us to follow Him.
Matthew 12:7 NKJV — “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Matthew 9:13 KJV — But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
May we each one be inspired to obedience and mercy as well as sacrifice.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your example to each one of us. Thank You for loving us so deeply that You paid the price for our sins. Lord Jesus, please help me to learn from Your Word each day. To understand the truths of scripture. Please help me to obey Your Word, to walk in mercy and knowledge of You. Lord, You do not want hollow service which has no substance. You want true devotion of the innermost. I want to give You that, every day. Please help me to do so, whatever it costs. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.
Scripture is full of the stark differences between those who obey God and those who do not.
Proverbs 14:16 KJV — A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
Scripture instructs us of our need for a Savior.
Romans 3:23 NKJV — for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
God shows us that it is through Him and only through Him that mankind can be saved.
John 14:6 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
And it also warns us some will choose to follow God and others will not.
Mark 10:22 NKJV — But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Although, following God seems to be a “some do” and “some don’t” it’s actually much more of a continual choice.
Each day the choice is there, and each day brings opportunity to either obey Him or turn away from Him.
Psalm 119:59 NKJV — I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
For God is a merciful God and His Word tells many times of the length He goes to reach out to us.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV — Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
With this knowledge, let us, each one, choose to follow Him today.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and for the truth of Your scripture. Lord, You know that I am a sinner living in a sin filled world and it is easy to fall into many temptations and snares. Please provide a way of escape, keep me from being tricked into those things which are not of You. Lord, please shine Your truth into each circumstance and help me to view all of life through Your Word. Lord, please help me to hide Your Word in my heart and to be mindful to think about Your truths through out my day. Lord, help me to make choices based upon Your Word and not fear or urgency. Lord, please help me to rest in You, and not be double minded. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for all Your love and Your unending care. How great and awesome You are! I love You. Amen.
You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments. Psalms 119:4-6 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You so much for these words. Lord, thank You for Your Word and the life that is within it. Lord Jesus, I want to obey all Your words, to walk in Your ways, to serve You diligently. Lord, I want my family, my friends, my neighbors to know You personally, to walk in Your ways and to find life everlasting in Your salvation. Lord, I want to humbly stand before You on behalf of others, especially those who have yet to know You. Lord, I want people to see the truth and to understand what wickedness and evil do. How there is only life, truth, joy, goodness, and peace in You. There is no other way. Lord Jesus, I know You want these things too. That’s why You came. That’s why You died. Lord, please continue to work in our lives, that we might know You more. Please hone our hearts that we might reflect You to those around us. Lord, I trust You to work through all things to bring about Your purposes. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus! 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.
The Bible is full of relationships; examples of healthy as well as unhealthy ones.
Ephesians spells out clearly how to handle some of the fundamental relationships, beginning with the institution God began all of society with: marriage.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22 NKJV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV
There is so much here, as well as the verses between, for how God intended marriage to be.
A solid Biblical marriage brings fruit in so many areas.
Respect is not blind to sin, nor does it bend to allow that which is an abomination to God, but it instead holds fast to what is right and encourages a right standing before God.
Wives need to be right before God if they are going to be able to respect and trust their husbands.
It is from trusting in God that a wife can trust her husband, it comes from a security in the Lord Jesus.
Loving a person as Christ loves the church seems to be crystal clear.
Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to be born in a stable, to flee from an insane king, to live in a foreign land, to return after a time, and finally to begin His ministry, where He was misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed, a ministry which the culmination was being beaten, mocked, and crucified, all for the sake of the church, all because of His love.
Truly, husbands have an incredibly high standard, but Jesus will guide and direct and provide the way for those who choose to love like this.
What if you’re not married?
The Bible speaks to those who have parents and those who are parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 NKJV
Obedience to parents is not always easy, nor does the nature like to obey anyone other than self, but learning to practice self-discipline is a valuable lesson.
As adults obedience to parents can become tricky, but honoring God and serving Him first will clarify how to honor and serve one’s parents.
These verses speak directly to the father, but other places in scripture bring attention to the mother’s role as well.
Parents are to teach their children.
Deut. 6:6-7, 31:12-13, Prov. 13:24, 19:18, 22:6, Col. 3:21 are just a few verses dealing with this.
The Lord Jesus is our example in all things and since He taught and corrected His disciples with love and patience we too should teach and correct our children in His ways.
What if you don’t have any children and your parents are no longer alive?
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV
Bondservants are not common in our society, but these verses can certainly be applied to the working world.
As an employee, we can work: “in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”.
But the chapter doesn’t end there, the verse is directed to the master, but it could easily be applied to the owner of a business, the boss, the supervisor, ect.
And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9 NKJV
Ephesians 6 continues to speak about relationships.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
For whatever relationship we may be in we can be guaranteed that God will give us direction in dealing with them.
When we walk in this world we will find trouble and often that trouble will come in the form of a broken relationship.
Therefore we must remain steadfast in God’s Word and remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
Our spiritual enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come to give life and that more abundantly.
Through Christ Jesus we can have healthy godly relationships.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the wealth of knowledge and examples You have given in scripture. Lord Jesus please help us to be steadfast in Your Word and to walk in Your ways, especially in our relationships. Lord, help us to seek You and Your Word in all circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the relationships we have in our lives. May Your name be glorified through us. Amen.