Friday, January 31, 2014

Fri.’s Devo- Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread

Read Ex. 12:14-13:16, Matt. 20:29-21:22, Ps. 25:16-22, Pr. 6:12-15 Today, God institutes a new feast called the Feast of Passover. The word “feast” means a holy appointment and a rehearsal. These feasts were to be pictures of some big event God was planning for the future. They were to rehearse it year after year so they wouldn’t miss it when it was fulfilled. The Passover represented Jesus’ death. We learned yesterday that the lamb was to be brought into the house on the tenth to be examined to be sure it was spotless - Jesus was arrested on the tenth and examined by the rulers of the land who could find no fault in him. The lamb was to be slaughtered on the 14th - the same day Jesus was crucified. It’s blood was to be put on the doorposts of their house to save all inside. Jesus blood was shed for the world, but only those in God’s house will live. The lamb had to be roasted over fire, eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Jesus was totally consumed on the cross, beat and ridiculed by bitter men though he was totally sinless. No foreigner could eat the lamb, unless they were circumcised - only those who God calls can be saved. It was to be slain and the blood applied to the doorposts. Jesus’ blood applied to the door of our hearts saves us eternally. The next feast God spoke of was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It began the day they killed their lambs and lasted a week. During this week, they were to have no yeast in their house or they would die. Yeast is synonymous with the doctrine of the Pharisees and wickedness and malice according to Jesus. The week stands for the Biblical week that will end in Millennium - the seventh day. What God was trying to tell them was once you partake of the blood and body of Jesus, you can not partake in sin. The people of the Old Testament tried to do this by obeying the law to the “T”. We do it by appropriating the grace God gave us through Jesus. The Feast of Unleavened Bread has to do with sanctification. By the end of the week, we will have no yeast. In Matthew, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and a large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and other cut palm branches and spread them on the road. What had drawn this crowd? It was there because it was the same road the temple lamb came down each year as a part of the feast. They yelled the same “Hosannah” for the lamb. So when Jesus came after him, they were compelled to do the same. Lord, thank you for being our passover lamb. We are so thankful for Your blood.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The Last Three Plagues

Read: Ex. 10:1-12:13, Matt. 20:1-28, Ps. 25:1-15, Pr. 6:6-11 We are down to the last three plagues and Pharaoh started negotiating. When he was threatened with locusts, he wanted to know who Moses wanted to take with him. Learning Moses wanted to take everything and everybody, he put his foot down and told him only the men could go. He got the locusts. He repented and when the locusts were gone he refused to release them. So, God sent the darkness for three days. Pharaoh tried to bargain again with Moses again and said they had to leave their cattle. He wanted some guarantee they would come back. Moses had no intention on coming back. God promised one last plague and then, he said, they would drive them out, men, cattle, and all their possessions. The last plague was the death angel that would pass over and kill the first born of every house that didn’t have the blood on the lintels of the door. Every preparation for this night was specific and foreshadowed the cross. The Lord told Moses and Aaron that this month was to be to them the first month of the year. He was instituting a new calendar. It was actually the 7th month, Nisan, but God was calling it the first month. The Jews, to this day have two calendars. One is the civil calendar where the first month is Tishri and the 7th month - Nisan. Their spiritual calendar has the first month as Nisan and the 7th month as Tishri. So what does all this mean to us? I have a natural birthday - Sept. 23 and I have a spiritual birthday, May 28, when I was born again. God was showing them that when they appropriate Jesus as their lamb and apply His blood on the doorposts of their hearts they will get a new birthday also. Doing this is the only way to get delivered from the bondage of your past. For the Israelites, their past was Egypt. In Matthew, Jesus explained that you can enter into the kingdom of God at anytime during your life and get the full benefit of the kingdom. Lord, thank you that no one who puts their hope in you will be put to shame.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Plagues of Egypt

Read Ex. 7:25-9:35, Matt. 19:13-30, Ps. 24:1-10, Pr. 6:1-5 Truly the earth is the Lords, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. We see a perfect example of that in the plagues of Egypt. Notice how the plagues corresponded with the days of creation. The first two days of creation have to do with the waters and the first two plagues also. The third day God created the tree with fruit and in the third plague God told Moses to strike the ground so that instead of producing fruit, it produced lice. This was the first time the magicians couldn’t fabricate the miracle. That is because Satan cannot create life. He could work with what was already there but he can’t take something that is dead like dust and cause life to come from it. On the forth day of creation, God created the sun, moon, and stars and on the forth plague God sent flies to swarm down upon them all having to do with what is in the air. This time he made a distinction between the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived and the land where the Egyptians lived. This was the day he was calling out his people and treating them with grace, and not judgment. The forth day in Biblical days was the millennium that God sent Jesus to earth to bring grace instead of judgment. (A year is as a thousand days. 2 Peter 3:8) The fifth day of creation God created the cattle and in the fifth plague, he killed all the cattle. On the sixth day of creation, God created man and in the sixth plague, God put boils on man. On the seventh day of creation God rested and the seventh plague was judgment from the heavens. It was a picture of end time judgment. Through the plagues, God was waging war against the gods of Egypt. Every plague represented one of their gods and God proved that he was Lord over all. While God was bringing judgment on Egypt in the Old Testament, Jesus was demonstrating how easy it was to approach him if you had the heart of a little child, but how impossible it was if you were trying to impress him with your works. You are the Lord strong and mighty, the King of glory! Let us love you with the heart of a child today.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The First Plague

Read Ex. 5:22-7:24, Matt. 18:23-19:12, Ps. 23:1-6, Pr. 5:22-23 It was hard for Moses to see the big picture. The Israelites, who he came to deliver hated him because all he brought them was more oppression. God was patient with Moses and kept encouraging him with knowledge about Himself. He gave him the entire game plan how he was going to bring the Israelites out of bondage into a land of their own. God was going to be their God and they were going to be his people. He told Moses and Aaron that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart and then by signs and wonders He would destroy the Egyptians. Moses did his three signs God had given him and just like God said, Pharaoh hardened his hearts. I find it interesting that God gave him signs that He knew the Egyptian magicians would be able to duplicate. They should have saw the writing on the wall when Moses’ snake ate theirs. God was settling his account with Egypt. First, He gave the Pharaoh a chance to repent and when he didn’t he brought him the judgment he deserved like the servant in Matthew. The servant in the New Testament refused to have a compassionate heart so he was turned over to the jailers to be tortured. Pharaoh is going to experience this same punishment. While Moses and his people are going through great tribulation we read in Psalms that God is our Shepard and that we will never be in want. His rod and His staff will comfort us. Lord, in you we will not fear evil because your goodness and love follows us all the days of our lives.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Moses Get’s the Plan

Read Ex. 4:1-5:21, Matt. 18:1-22, Ps. 22:19-31 Pr. 5:15-21 I find it easy to get a little frustrated with Moses’ lack of faith in God because I know the outcome and I have the whole Bible at my disposal. But Moses knows very little about the Lord and what He can do. I guess a voice speaking out of heaven is one thing, but to deliver a whole nation of people is another. God gives Moses three aces up his sleeve and sends him home. I always want to know more than the Bible tells us, like, how did Aaron know to go meet Moses. Did God appear to him also? But somehow he did know and they did meet and they recognized one another and agreed to do this brave thing together. Study as I might, I can’t get the part about Zipporah and the circumcision of Gerhom. If anyone has some insight I would love to hear it. I don’t know if this was something God had been dealing with her about and she finally gave in or what, but since it is in the Bible, it is important. Notice how excited the people were when Moses first told them he was there to deliver them. Then, notice how quickly they lost that excitement when they met some opposition. What a picture of us when God gives us a great promise, then we have to walk through it and actually go through the battle to obtain it. Every promise comes with a battle. We want the victory without having to fight the battle. So what is holding us back from our victory? If it is some kind of sin, then we must do what Matthew taught us today, gouge it out and throw it away. Usually, this sin comes in our thought patterns. If it is jealousy and we covet another person’s gifts or things, then we need to learn to drink waters out of our own cisterns….which interprets - bloom where God plants you and be grateful for what He has given you. Lord, our ways are before you; examine our paths and lead us in Your’s.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

n.’s Devo -Moses’ Beginning

Su Read Ex. 2:11-3:22, Matt. 17:10-27, Ps. 22:1-18, Pr. 5:7-14 Yesterday, we began reading about Moses and his birth and how he ended up in the house of the Pharaoh. His life reminds me a little of Joseph’s. Moses definitely had his ups and downs. He was born at the most dangerous time to be born. God saved him from imminent death . All looked good in the palace till he went out walking one day. He couldn’t take the cruelty of the Egyptian guard toward his own people, so he took matters into his own hands and killed him. Once more the need to be rescued from death drove him from home. This time, into the land of Midian where he befriended Jethro, married Zipporah his daughter, and together they had Gershom, their son. All was fine till Moses saw a burning bush in the wilderness and went to see why it is not being consumed by the flames. Brush fires in the desert were not uncommon, but one that continually blazes was. God spoke from the flame and told him to go back to Egypt and deliver his people, but that the Pharaoh wouldn’t let them go. That must have been encouraging. The disciples had just been on the mountain top with Jesus seeing Elijah and Moses and they came down to be faced with a demon that made the boy a lunatic. The disciples tried to cast the demon out of him out and couldn’t. Jesus cast it out but rebuked them for their unbelief. Both Moses and the disciples were struggling with unbelief. Moses doubted he could be the one to deliver the Jewish people from Egypt. The disciples doubted that they had authority over the devil. What is our unbelief? Is it that God can’t provide for us in this upside down world? He can! Is it that we don’t believe He can bring us our ministry, or position, or love. He can do all of these things and will if we will faithfully walk in His spirit. David felt forsaken and Jesus quoted his prayer on the cross. But they came to the conclusion that he who trusts in the Lord will be reused and delivered because God delights in us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Jacob and Joseph’s Burial Plans

Read Gen. 50:1-Ex. 2:10, Matt. 16:13-17:9, Ps. 21:1-13, Pr. 5:1-6 Jacob died and was first embalmed by the Egyptians, which was what they did for important people. Then, he was buried according to his tradition. Jacob had been asked to be buried in the cave that Abraham and many of the patriarchs were buried in - the threshing floor of Atad in the field of Machpelah. Joseph asked permission to leave the palace and go bury him there and was accompanied by an entourage of Pharoah’s servants. Machpelah means “a fold, like a sheep fold” which was the fold of the patriarchs. It was where they would spend their afterlife till Jesus came and rescued them. It was important to their family to be buried together for that reason. Joseph asked that his bones be carried there when his people left and went back to Canaan. Joseph was acting out a picture. His grave would be emptied and he would be taken to the promised land just as Jesus would empty another Joseph’s (of Arimethea) grave and go to heaven. Joseph had no idea how his life would parallel Jesus’ life just as the disciples had no clue to the supernatural ways of Jesus. One minute Jesus’ disciples were beginning to understand and the next, they were being rebuked for not understanding. They understood that Jesus was the Christ, they just didn’t understand that as Christ, he would have to die for the sins of the people. When Jesus was transfigured before them and they saw Moses and Elijah talking to him, they wanted to build them an earthly tabernacle. They didn’t see that these men were not staying here, and neither was Jesus. They were instructed to listen to Jesus. Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Jacob Blesses His Children

Read Gen. 48:1-49:33, Matt. 15:29-16:12, Ps. 20:1-9, Pr. 4:20-27 Before Jacob died, Joseph wanted Jacob to give a special blessing to his sons. Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh as his own, thus making them named with the tribes of Israel. He blessed the second born above the first which is a picture of our second birth. The first time we are born of the flesh which would be Manasseh. Manasseh means “causing to forget”. But the second time we are born of the spirit into a brand new life which was represented by Ephraim which means “double fruitful”. God will cause us to forget that first life once we have become born again, and then we will become doubly fruitful. Manasseh was prophesied to be a people, but Ephraim - a group of nations. Then Jacob called all his sons in to tell them what would happen to them in the last days. I wouldn’t begin to try to decipher each one of these prophesies….I’ll leave that to you, but when he got to Joseph’s it was like he opened a new book. Joseph was the picture of Jesus and his word was full of wonderful blessings. The last was Benjamin who was the picture of the Church. We will prey like a wolf in the morning and divide the spoil at night. Which means to me that we will crush Satan under our feet and get back everything he steals from us. In Matthew, the disciples are taught a lesson about not receiving false doctrine which was the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. God, we bless and praise you! You are the God who gives us the desire of our heart and makes all our plans succeed.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Jacob Moves to Goshen

Read Gen. 46:1-47:31, Matt. 15:1-28, Ps. 19:1-14. Pr. 4:14-19 What a reunion Jacob and Joseph had. His favorite son was now back in his life.. alive. Jacob packed up his family and brought all sixty-six of them to Goshen - the best of the land. Jacob and five of his brothers went with Joseph to see the pharaoh in Egypt. While they were there, Jacob spoke a blessing over the pharaoh. Joseph had instructed them to explain that they were farmers. If not, the pharaoh would have put them in the city of Egypt, probably near the palace. But since they were shepherd’s they were not wanted in the city to they got their pick of the greatest land and could continue to live according to their traditions and their beliefs without being hindered. They were also give the privilege of tending the king’s cattle. So in a time when the people were selling their land and their lives for food, God’s people got the best land, provisions, and protection all for nothing. Joseph was there when Jacob was about to die. He made him promise to take his bones with them when they left Egypt and bury them where his ancestors were buried. Joseph made sure this promise was kept. Skipping over to Matthew…did you ever wonder why Jesus refused to cast the demon out of the Canaanite woman’s daughter at first? Jesus came to call the Jews to repentance. He knew that when he died, Paul would take his message to the world. It was the Jew’s chance first. But this woman’s response touched the heart of God and he decided to heal her. She got her prayer answered through faith before her time. She broke through and got her miracle. We can too! Lord, your Word is perfect. It revives our souls.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Joseph’s Revealing

Read Gen. 44:1-45:28, Matt. 14:13-36, Ps. 18:37-50, Pr. 4:11-13 Before Joseph can reveal himself to his brothers, he gives them one last test. He wants to see if they would sell out Benjamin to save themselves, but they pass this test. Now, Joseph feels free to reveal his identity to his brothers. He saw the big picture of why he had been sent to Egypt and why he had to go through all he did to get where he was today. He had a plan to preserve his family and move them to Goshen, while his brothers were still trying to process the fact that their dead brother was now standing before them as the surrogate father of the Pharaoh. I can imagine their fear that Joseph might use his powerful position to punish them or make them slaves, but that was not Joseph’s intent at all. He realized that God sent him ahead to prepare a place for them during this famine to preserve their posterity. After a tearful reunion he sends them home with carts loaded with gifts for them and his father. Once again, he gives Benjamin five times what he gives the others. This is a promise we can stand on when the economy looks bleak… which will only get worse. Our Jesus has gone ahead of us and prepared a Goshen for us that we might live and have the “good of the land”. They endured two years of the famine before they realized they had a very rich brother who would richly supply them with the king’s best. We have a Savior who has gone before us to prepare a place where we are supplied with God’s best. When Jesus fed the five thousand or the three thousand, there was always food left over. God’s supply is more than enough. It is overflowing. We just have to step out of our comfortable boat into the raging sea with God-sized faith. All praise to the king who gives great victories and shows unfailing kindness to his anointed! Lead us today along straight paths.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Joseph Receives His Brothers

Read Gen. 42:18-43:34, Matt. 13:47-14:12, Ps. 18:16-36, Pr. 4:7-10 Joseph let his bothers out of jail after three days, but kept Simeon. Simeon and Levi had be the masterminds behind killing all the men of Shechem in Chapter 34 and Simeon was mostly responsible for wanting to kill Joseph since he was the oldest of the group. Rueben being the oldest brother arrived later and talked them into selling him instead. So, it doesn’t surprise me that Simeon would be the one who needed to pay the higher price. It doesn’t tell us how long it took them to eat up the grain, but I would think at least a year. When Jacob didn’t want to send Benjamin, it was Rueben who stepped up and promised to protect him with his life. Jacob finally agreed. While Joseph had learned patience and humility in his prisons, his brothers had learned in their prisons. Their prisons were guilt and anguish as they witnessed their father’s grief over Joseph. I can’t imagine the emotion that Joseph must have had to finally see his own brother, Benjamin who he had only known as a baby. They receive instant forgiveness. They are brought into the palace, sat in their rightful positions, and fed from the king’s table. Isn’t that a picture of what God gives us when we are truly repentant and His. I would have loved to see Benjamin’s place. It must have been crowded with fruit plates and bowls of bread and meat because five times more is a lot of food. Benjamin stands for the Gentile church who wasn’t birthed until after the death of Jesus. That is our heritage - five times more! Five is the number of grace. Joseph’s brothers couldn’t imagine their brother amounting to anything worthy of his dreams, so because of jealousy, they tried to kill him and his dreams. Jesus had the same problem when he went back to his home town. They were affended that he would have become so great, when they knew him as an ordinary child. When we can’t honor God’s blessing and promotion on a family member, friend, or acquaintance it holds us back from allowing their gift to bless us. Because of their offense, Jesus couldn’t do many miracles. Lord, it is You that girds us with strength and makes our ways perfect. Teach us to war and enlarge our steps that we won’t slip.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Joseph is Delivered

Read Gen. 41:17-42:17, Matt. 13:24-46, Ps. 18:1-15, Pr. 4:1-6 Did you notice that in the end of yesterday’s reading, Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes when God delivered him from prison. It was against his tradition to shave and even considered shameful, but to honor the people that God had put over him, he made himself look like them. He was submitting himself to their authority and God honored his humility and gave Joseph authority over them. Joseph interpreted the pharaoh’s dream and was exalted to the second highest position in the land. Joseph followed God’s instructions to the letter so when the famine hit, he was the only place on the face of the earth that had bread. Everyone had to come to Egypt and bow before him to ask for bread. What a picture of what will happen in these end times we are in. When God brings disaster on the earth, the true Christians will have the provision and the answers - the bread of life. The world will come and beg us to tell them! When Joseph’s brothers came, he recognized them but they didn’t know him. Many people who once knew Jesus, won’t recognize what Jesus is doing in these last days…only those who have an intimate relationship with him and are willing to change with God’s seasons. Joseph had to test his brothers first to see what kind of seed they were. Were they wheat or tares? Had they repented of what they did to him or had they hardened their hearts? This will be the same test God will give to many that have walked away from him. Joseph’s brothers had to spend only three days in the same prison he spent years. God’s tests reveal what is in us. Ps. 18 is one of my favorite Psalms. I believe it is a picture of what happened when darkness fell on the face of the earth at the crucifixion. God clothed himself in darkness and came down to minister to Jesus. When it became light, Jesus cried out, “my God, why have you forsaken me.” God never forsook Jesus, just his tangible presence lifted. How can a God who is Omnipresent not be somewhere and how can God who promised never to leave us or forsake us do that? Lord, may we pay attention to your Word and gain understanding.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Butler and the Baker

Read Gen. 39:1-41:16, Matt. 12:46-13:23, Ps. 17:1-15, Pr. 3:33-35 Jesus taught in parables to the people because they were not going to understand spiritual things, but he explained the parables to his disciples because he told them that they were chosen to know the mysteries of God. Joseph was a living parable showing the life of Jesus. Both were hated by their own brothers: Joseph his blood brothers, and Jesus by the Jews. They were both put in a grave and assumed dead. They both rose out of that pit and went to prepare a place of provision for the very ones who wanted them dead. They both lived their lives with humility and grace. In today’s reading we have the story of the butler and the baker. The butler’s job was to serve the king wine. The baker’s job was to cook the king’s food. There must have been a plot to poison the king that was exposed, so they were put in prison until the truth could be determined. They stood for two different people groups - the righteous and the wicked. The butler was the righteous and given back his position. The baker was the wicked and condemned to death. This is a picture of end time judgment. The righteous will be restored to the kingdom and will minister before the throne. The evil will be condemned and the birds will eat their flesh. In Revelations 19:17-18, God calls all the birds to eat the flesh of the kings and captains and horses, etc. that fought against him in the last battle. Joseph’s plan was that when the butler was restored to his position, the butler would tell the king about him and get him pardoned. Instead, the butler forgot Joseph. Little did Joseph realize, God had a plan that was better if he would patiently endure the moment. Joseph had no other choice. I wonder how many times God has tried to tell us that same thing, when we have found ourselves in uncomfortable places that look like God has forgotten us. Man may forget about us, but God never does. Joseph could have used today’s Psalms. Lord, bless our homes today. Grant us grace and may we by your wisdom inherit honor.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Joseph Had a Dream

Read Gen. 37:1-38:30, Matt. 12:22-45, Ps. 16:1-11, Pr. 3:27-32 Today in Psalms we read that it is the Lord who assigns our lot in life and it is He that maintains it. We have all been given a good and pleasant heritage. And, we all have an enemy who wants to steal our inheritance. Joseph, who was a type of Jesus, had been given dreams to show him what his inheritance was. His brothers tried to steal his dream. But, since God was maintaining Joseph’s inheritance, what his brothers did ended up positioning Joseph to fulfill his dream. It just didn’t look like it to Joseph. He would spend years of suffering because of what his brothers did to him. Instead of being bitter and giving up, we’ll see that Joseph used all his trials to prepare his heart to become one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. Tamar knew she had an inheritance also and when it looked like it wasn’t going to happen, she persevered and waited till God gave her a plan to take what rightfully hers. God blessed her persistence and gave her twins. Jesus gives us much insight into this spiritual warfare we are in. Number one: we have to know our objective and not vacillate. In other words, know what God has promised you and don’t second guess it. If we are going to take our possession from the devil, we have to first bind the strongman. If the strongman is fear and intimidation then we need to find scriptures on fear and intimidation, put them to memory and use them every time we feel fear closing in. Eventually, the strong man will leave. The key is in our confession - our conversation. Our conversation will follow what we are putting into our minds and hearts. If we are putting in the Word, then faith will come from our lips. The devil can not stand in the face of faith. Thank you, Lord for your counsel and your instructions. Today we set you before us and we will not be shaken.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fri.’s Devo- Bethel - The House of God

Read Gen. 35:1-36:43, Matt. 12:1-21, Ps. 15:1-5, Pr. 3:21-26 God called Jacob back to Bethel which means “house of God”. It was the same place he had spoken to Jacob when he fled from Esau. Then he had had the vision of angels going from heaven to earth and back. Here Abraham had met with God on his way to and from Canaan. Now, Jacob is going back to the very thing he fled from with a word from God. It is true in life. Sometimes God calls us away from a place, a church, a friend, a ministry to protect us and teach us and equip us to go right back to the thing that once gave us much fear. Only this time, we are ready to face it and instead of it destroying us we bring life to it. We control it God’s way. Jesus was constantly having to retreat in the face of danger and minister in hiding or just go off by himself to a mountain and retreat with God. Jesus never retreated in fear, but in wisdom. But he always came back and went back to the temple and continued to heal on the Sabbath. I often wondered why it would say Jesus healed all who were present and then add….and it was the Sabbath. After studying the feasts I have a better understanding of this. The Sabbath stands for Millennium when we will rule and reign with Jesus for a thousand years. In that time all will be healed. Jesus was giving us a foretaste of that time. He was pointing ahead. He had to heal all on the Sabbath. Jesus explained today how the law didn’t apply on the Sabbath for the priests and it won’t apply for us. As priests of God because of the blood of Jesus, we are free from the law. Lord, may our walk be blameless and may we speak the truth from Your heart. You are our confidence for You will keep our foot from being snared.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Jacob Meets Esau and Dinah’s Defilement

Read Gen. 32:13-34:31, Matt. 11:7-30. Ps. 14:1-7, Pr. 3:19-20 Jacob devises a plan to win Esau over with presents to placate his anger. After he has separated the flock and put everyone in marching order, he tries to sleep. Instead of sleep he found himself wrestling with a man until sunrise. The angel agrees to bless him and changes his name to Israel which means “he shall be the prince of God.” The fear that Jacob had about meeting with Esau proved unwarranted as is most of our fears. Jacob and Esau have a tearful reunion. If only their forgiveness would have passed on to the next generations, then we would see a different picture in the Middle East today. They part and Jacob settles in his home land. His only daughter, Dinah goes out to make new friends, but is defiled by Shechem the son of one of the country’s prince. When Jacob and Dinah’s brothers find out about it they are enraged. Shechem wants to marry Dinah and his father comes to meet with Jacob and plea for her hand. He offers to be their ally and to pay any price Jacob asks. Behind Jacob’s back, Simeon and Levi devise a plan to get revenge on Shechem and his whole tribe of people. They end up killing them. When Jacob finds out he is upset, but he doesn’t discipline his sons. I wonder what would have happened if he had. They are the same masterminds behind Joseph’s kidnapping. And then there is Dinah. Did she want to marry Shechem - her only hope for a husband. No one is going to marry a defiled woman. She never got to give her say. Misunderstandings. The Bible is full of them. Jacob to Esau, Shechem to Dinah, and the people to John the Baptist. To see what God is doing you have to have spiritual eyes. Lord, we read in Ps. today that you look down from heaven to see if any of us understand and seek You. Please bring your salvation to your people and restore the fortunes of your people.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Jacob Flees Laban

Read Gen. 31:17-32:12, Matt. 10:26-11:6, Ps. 13:1-6, Pr. 3:16-18 Jacob flees Laban and set his face toward Mt. Gilead. I researched why he would set his face toward Mt. Gilead and I think I got my answer. Jacob had spent twenty years serving under the ruthless taskmaster, Laban, and finally got his walking orders from God. He was looking for a little time of refreshment. Gilead is know for its spices which are used in costly oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter and soothing healer. Jacob needed this. But, Laban wasn’t going to let him away so easily. Rachael had stolen his talisman which was a small human figure that was believed to bring good luck. It doesn’t tell us if Rachael believed in it’s power and wanted it for herself or if she was looking for a way to get back at her dad for abandoning her as a daughter. We don’t know, but I’ll bet it contributed to her death while birthing Benjamin. We read in Matthew that nothing goes unseen by God. We do reap what we sow and stealing is one of the Ten Commandments. Poor Jacob! No sooner is he done with Laban than he is met by Esau and a band of 400 of his men. I know we know the outcome, but it’s more exciting to try to forget and put yourself in his shoes. He does exactly what I would have done…. he goes to God and reminds Him that it was His idea to come back home. In Matthew, John the Baptist is feeling a lot like Jacob. Here he is in prison for the very one who it was prophesied was coming set the prisoner free. He must have been wondering why Jesus didn’t come and set him free because he sent word to Jesus to ask him if he was truly the Christ. Jesus sent him back word to look at his fruit: the blind see, the lame walk, etc. then he hit the nail on the head. He said, “and blessed is he, who shall not be offended in me.” He knew what John was thinking and he wanted to tell him to not let bitterness of what Jesus didn’t do for him cloud his thinking. Instead concentrate on all the things he did do for others. A good reminder for us too. Lord, we trust in Your unfailing love; we will sing to you, for You have been good to us.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tue.’s Devo, Twelve Tribes - Twelve Disciples

Read: Gen. 30:1-31:16, Matt. 10:1-25, Ps. 12:1-8, Ro. 3:13-15 In Genesis, we have the birth of eleven of the twelve tribes and in Matthew we have the list of the twelve disciples. If you research the meanings of the names and their children’s names of the twelve tribes you will find the history of mankind from Reuben when means, “see a son” which refers to Adam to Benjamin which means “Son of my right hand” which points to the time Jesus will rule the earth. The meaning of the twelve tribes seem to be a description of the Christian walk from Simon Peter which means “hearkening, a stone” which would translate “consider and understand the Word”. To Judas Iscarot which has a dual meaning: “he shall be praised, he shall be hired.” Judas was a type of antichrist, the great deceiver who wants the praise of all. The disciple that took his place was called Matthias which means “a gift”. The Holy Spirit was the gift. He takes the place of confusion and deception. He is the one who leads us into all truth. He has the final say. In Genesis, Jacob is tired of working for the devil, Laban who has continually cheated him. God has seen everything Laban has done to Jacob and tells Jacob to take his family and return to his people. Before he goes, God gives him a way to spoil Laban of his flock. Jacob and Laban agree that all the cattle that aren’t solid brown will be Jacob’s. So, Jacob takes rods that have been pealed and made them appear like the sheep he wanted them to produce and places them by the watering troughs. Then he would place only the strong cattle in front of the rods while they were mating. No matter what the color of the cow, they produced cattle that were ringstraked, speckled, and spotted. The spiritual lesson we learn from this is that you produce what you behold. Lord, today we ask for your wisdom which is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. May we produce fruit from your Word.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Jacob Takes a Wife(s)

Read Gen. 28:1-29:35, Matt. 9:18-38, Ps. 11:1-7. Pr. 3:11-12 Today in Proverbs we read that the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Jacob was the son that the Lord delighted in, but he did get Esau’s birthright and blessing by deceit so he is punished by an even craftier man named Laban. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah. It is all in God’s plan but just not in Jacob’s. He ends up working for Laban 14 years just to get Rachael. In the meantime, he hates Leah, the first born. Leah spends her whole life trying to win Jacob’s heart only to fail. She names her children names to describe how she feels. Her first baby is called Rueben which means “see a son”. Son’s were what every mother wanted to produce. Rueben would be the heir, the first born. She thought that having the first male would give her Jacob’s attention. It must not have done what she hoped, because she named the next son Simeon which means “hearkening”. She wanted to get God’s attention to see that she was not loved by her husband. She was still looking for some type of attachment with Jacob by her third son, Levi which means “attached”. Her last attempt, for a while, was Judah. With him she finally learned that God was her husband and she would praise Him no matter what happened between her and Jacob. In Matthew, we learn that faith is how we get God’s attention. It is also how we get his hand to move. Jesus was stopped in his tracks by a woman who touched the hem of his garment. She wasn’t looking for attention, but she got it. Her faith made her whole. Lord, You say that the upright men will see your face. We want to do that.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - Jacob and Esau

Read Gen. 26:17-27:46, Matt. 9:1-17, Ps. 10:16-18, Pr. 3:9-10 In the world of types and shadows, the firstborn represents the old man that is born of the flesh. The second born represents the new man, born of the spirit. The new man supplants the old just as Jacob’s name meant supplanter. Esau hated the things of God because the old man does, so he despised his birthright to feed his flesh. He only wanted the blessing. Jacob wanted both and got both. Rebekah played the part of the Holy Spirit who helped Jacob succeed even if it did seem unfair and crafty. Jesus was misunderstood in today’s reading by the scribe who thought he was being blasphemous when he forgave the man’s sins. He was so tripped by what Jesus said that he missed what Jesus did. Jesus made a man who had the palsy rise from his bed and walk. He further blew their religious minds when he passed the tax collector named Matthew and told him he was coming home to eat with him. God chooses who he will. God chose Jacob and hated Esau. He chose the tax collector and not the scribe. God doesn’t look on the outside of man, but on the heart. Jesus explained it this way: “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The scribes and Pharisees thought they were righteous and didn’t see their need to repent. The people that were drawn to Jesus knew they were sinners and wanted to be righteous. Jesus couldn’t put his new wine of salvation into vessels that were trying to get to him the old way - through sacrifices and works. Lord, help us to be new bottles that aren’t looking for you to do things like you did yesterday, but allow you to do a new thing in us and in the world.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The Birth of Jacob and Esau

Read: Gen. 24:52-26:16, Matt. 8:18-34, Ps. 10:1-15a, Pr. 3:7-8 I love how the people of the Old Testament knew that God was involved in everything. Rebekah couldn’t get pregnant, so Isaac interceded and God opened Rebehah’s womb. Rebekah could feel abnormal movement in her belly so she interceded about it. God told her that there were two nations in her womb. Two different kinds of people would come from her with two different amount of strength. The older one would serve the younger. This was before the age of ultrasounds. How specific God was. She did have twins, Jacob and Esau, and everything God said about them came to pass. God will go to any length he has to to see his will done. In Matthew, he needed to get across the lake to deliver a man possessed with demons. To deter him, the devil sent a severe storm. It didn’t upset Jesus, he just woke up and rebuked the storm. He knew he had a mission that no demon was going to stop. David found this out in today’s Psalms. He began by complaining that God hides himself in trouble just like the disciples did to Jesus in the boat. By the end of the Psalms, David relayed that God does see our troubles and our griefs. He helps the fatherless and breaks the power of the wicked and calls him to account. The disciples discovered this same thing when Jesus calmed the sea and delivered the demoniac. Lord, help us to acknowledge your power early in our distress. You are our deliverer!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Isaac Gets a Wife

Gen. 23:1-24:51. Matt. 8:1-17, Ps. 9:13-20, Pr 3:1-6 Sometimes I wonder why God chose certain stories to be in the Bible. For instant: why would it be important to record the land Abraham bought to bury Sarah in. Everything is significant and has meaning. Before Jesus resurrected, no one had. They all slept and hung out in a place called Sheol or Hell. I asked the Lord one day, where the righteous people went when they died and he told me, “cities of refuge”. After studying the cities of refuge it made perfect sense. If someone was accused of a crime and had no alibi or witness, then they would flee to these cities of refuge where their case would be heard. If they were accepted, they could live safely in the city of refuge until the death of the High Priest and then they would be set free. Abraham chose to buy the burying ground called Machpelah. It was later called Hebron which became a city of refuge. They lived in this underground city until the death of Jesus, our High Priest. Then they are resurrected. In the Old Testament, it was very important where you were buried. Many of the patriarchs were buried in this burial ground called Machpelah. Next we have the story of how the servant of Abraham who stood for the Holy Spirit, found a wife for Isaac. It happened just as he prayed it would. In Matthew we find another servant who needs healing for his son. Jesus does it just like he asked also. Our prayers are important. God will answer them many times just as we ask. Today, let’s ask God to do something specific and see how He answers us. Lord, we trust in you with all our heart, knowing that if we acknowledge you, you will make our paths straight.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Ishmael and Isaac

Read Gen 20:1-22:24, Matt. 7:15-29, Ps. 9:1-12, Pr. 2:16-22 In Matthew we read about good and bad trees. The good tree produces good fruit and the corrupt tree brings forth bad fruit. Good fruit is the result of doing the will of God. It goes on to say that if we heed the words of God, then we will be a like a man who builds his house on the rock. This house won’t fall when the storms of life blow on it because it is founded upon Jesus, THE Rock! In Genesis, God is looking for a good tree to become His family tree. Abraham fails when he tells Sarah to lie about being married, but is given another chance to redeem himself with Ishmael. Once Isaac is born, Sarah wants to send Ishmael away. Abraham is grieved, but God assures him that this is the plan, so he sadly sends Ishmael away. God has a plan for Ishmael also, so he rescues him and his mom, Hagar. God has another test for Abraham. This time the test is much harder. He is to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the promised heir. He climbs the same mountain that Jesus would climb 2,0000 years later and takes with him wood, fire, and a knife - the cross, the Holy Spirit, and the Word. Theses were the very things Jesus took with him. God rescues Isaac and the good tree begins. In fact, God promised that his seed would be spread all over the earth and be a blessing to all. He would also possess the gate of God’s enemies. God, we thank you that one day You will judge the world in righteousness; and govern the peoples with justice.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Destruction of Sodom

Read Gen. 18:20-19:38, Matt. 6:25- 7:14, Ps. 8:1-9, Pr. 2:6-15 We read in Matthew that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the gate that leads to life - few find it. Sodom and Gomorrah were the wide gates. Only Lot and his two daughters found the narrow gate. They were almost drug through it…. the mercy of God. I noticed that the angel ate unleavened bread with Abraham before destroying Sodom. Unleavened bread speaks of getting the sin out. I became a feast. Every time it is mentioned in a story, God is going to rid the world of some great wickedness. Right before Jesus died, he ate unleavened bread with his disciples. This was a picture of his body that is sinless. He was about to give his sinless body to rid the world of sin. This is available to all who believe - a sin free life. Sin is no longer charged against us. We are righteous through the blood of Jesus applied to the door of our hearts. At the end of our reading in Genesis, we see the daughters of Lot having sex with their father. I have so many questions about this. For one…it’s incest and that is wrong. Did they eventually tell Lot the babies were his or did they just try to deceive him into thinking they were pregnant by their husbands who died in the fire? The first son was named Moab which means “of what father?”….so someone was asking. His descendants grew up to hate the Israelites. The king of Moab, Balak hired Balaam to curse them. The other son was named Ben-Ammi which became the father of the Ammonites who partnered with the Moabites in harassing Israel. The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a picture of end time destruction. God promised he would destroy the earth by fire. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You guard and protect the way of your faithful ones.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Hagar’s Plight

Read Gen. 16:1-18:19, Matt. 6:1-24, Ps. 7:1-17, Pro. 2:1-5 Today, I was drawn to Hagar. It must have been hard enough to be Sarah’s maid, but now she must be Abraham’s sex slave and bear his child. When the child is born, he won’t even be considered Hagar’s child and she won’t get to make the decisions about his life. How devastating. No wonder she hated Sarah when she found out she was pregnant. Abraham chose Sarah’s side and Hagar was left to the cruel hands of Sarah. When it got too hard for Hagar, she ran…. right into God’s arms. He told her to go back and submit to their abuse because she was going to have a son named Ishmael. He would be wild and hated by all. For thirteen years, Abraham thought Ishmael would be the heir and treated him like the firstborn. Then God and three of his angels appeared to Abraham and told him that Ishmael would not be the heir, but that he and Sarah would have a son. Sarah heard his prophecy and laughed in her heart. The Lord commented on Sarah’s hidden reaction and asked her a great question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” When Sarah tried to denied that she laughed, the angels said, “No; but you did laugh.” In Matthew we read that things done in secret, are very important in heaven - good or bad. Little did Sarah know that her unbelief would be written about in a book called the Bible and that people for generations would know what she did. I wonder if we would change our reactions if we realized heaven was watching and recording. Actually, we do know that our good deeds are being written down in a book of remembrance. In spite of Abraham and Sarah’s shortcomings, they were both given a new name that was a promotion. In spite of our shortcomings, we have been given a new name that cleanses us from all our sins and makes us useful to the kingdom. God, you are our shield and Most High God; a righteous judge. We cry out for understanding and knowledge.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Abraham’s Belief

Read Gen 13:5-15:21, Matt. 5:27-48, Ps. 6:1-10, Pro. 1:29-33 Yesterday, we read where God called Abraham out of a Gentile nation and told him to blindly trust Him and just leave. God would guide him and make him and his descendants into a mighty nation that would bless the whole earth. Abraham obeyed and took Lot, his nephew, with him. He got side-tracked and went to Egypt when the famine came instead of looking to God to feed him, but now he is finally back on track. When Abraham and Lot became so rich that there was not enough room for both of them to travel together, Abraham gave Lot his pick of land. When Lot left, God gave Abraham all the land, even Lots. God told Abraham just to walk the land and it would be his. In the meantime, Lot has gone and gotten entangled with the wicked people of Sodom. They were attacked by their enemies and taken captive. When Abraham found out, he went after them to rescue Lot. God gave them a victory even though Abraham had to fight with the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. When they offered Abraham some of the spoils, Abraham refused. Instead, he gave Melchizedek his tithe and worshipped God with him. Melchizedek was a high priest and a shadow of Jesus, our High Priest. God came to Abraham again and promised him he would one day be a mighty nation. When Abraham whined about not having an heir, God promised him one and Abraham believed Him. His belief made him righteous just like it does for us. It has always been about our hearts, not our actions. Our actions follow and confirm our heart. Jesus tells us to love our enemies… what better way to show what is in our hearts. Lord, may we listen to You and live in safety, and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - Babel’s Kingdom Vs. God’s

Read Gen. 11:1-13:4, Matt. 5:1-26, Ps. 5:1-12, Pro. 1:24-28 Gen 11:1 says that the whole earth was of one language and one speech. It sounds like it is saying the same thing, but speech means “purpose, power, reason” and language means “talk or words”. They both mean more than what we think of when we think of “language”. They thought the same and had the same basic beliefs. This unity gave them power. Enough power to be able to build a portal into heaven. Jesus spoke about this in John 10:10 as being thieves and robbers that come into the sheepfold by some other means than the door which is Jesus. Notice what they use to get there - burning bricks and slime. These are pictures of the materials found in hell. Their reason was to raise themselves up to heaven and make a name for themselves. Satan has been trying to do that forever. That was his quest when he rebelled in heaven. In today’s reading he using his subjects to do his dirty work. They would have succeeded because of their unity which empowered them if God hadn’t confounded their language so they couldn’t understand one another. They were scattered which was the one thing they didn’t want to happen (verse 4). This place was called Babel which will one day be called Babylon, which means “confusion”. It is Satan’s capital on earth. When ever we feel confused about God’s plan or what is going on in our lives we know who is bringing it. 1Co. 14:33 says that God is not the author of confusion but of peace. In Matt we have Jesus explaining his kingdom. He states that it is the meek that will inherit the earth, not the powerful. His subjects are the persecuted, not the exalted. Our deeds should point others to heaven….not to us. Let all who take refuge in you be glad: let us ever sing for joy!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Life After the Flood

Read Gen. 8:1-10:32, Matt. 4:12-25, Ps. 4:1-8, Pr. 1:20-23 The ark finally rested and Noah sent out both a raven and a dove. The raven stood for the devil and the dove stood for the Holy Sprit. The raven did exactly what the devil does, he roamed to and fro over the earth, never tiring, waiting for something to dry up that he could devour. The dove was faithful to Noah and always coming back with clues so Noah will know what was going on on earth. God promised he would never do anything that he didn’t first tell his prophets. It is the job of the dove, the Holy Spirit to tell the prophets what to do. On the first day of the six hundred and first year, God called Noah out of the ark. In God’s 6,001st year, God is going to call us back to earth to replenish it after the great battle of Armageddon. The first thing Noah did was to make an altar and offer a sacrifice to God. For the first time in history, the animals were afraid of man, because now man was told to eat them. Remember what the food was at the Marriage feast in Revelation? It was the bodies of the sinners and demons. This makes me wonder if that isn’t the food we will eat then. God warned them they couldn’t eat anything that still had live blood in it. Sounds awful to me, but then our bodies aren’t going to be the same and eating will be of a totally different nature. If the devil’s job is to devour us now, it makes sense that we will devour him then. The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus when he came back in his resurrected body. I wonder if the men born after the flood were different than the ones before the flood? Food for thought. Another thing that stood out to me was in Gen. 9:20-27. Ham shamed his father, by not covering his nakedness, but Noah cursed Ham’s son, Canaan. What we do does affect the next generation. Lord, let the light of Your face shine upon us and fill our hearts with greater joy!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Noah and John

Read Gen. 5:1-7:24, Matt. 3:7-4:11, Ps. 3:1-8, Pro. 1:10-19 There are so many interesting nuggets to note in today’s reading. Did you notice that Cain and Abel are not mentioned in Adam’s bloodline. That is because Cain was not his blood. Cain was God’s blood. When Eve had Cain, she said she had a child from the Lord. Cain is the unrighteous seed. His twin, Abel, was from Adam’s blood only he was killed. Abel was a type of Jesus killed by an agent of the devil. So the only child Adam had left was Seth. When the “son’s of God” (6:1-3), the fallen angels, cohabited with the “daughter’s of man” their offspring were half-human, half-demons. This is the bloodline God had to destroy in the flood. So we have God waging a flood against these demonic forces. In Matthew, we have the same thing. John the Baptist is paving a way in the hearts of man for Jesus to walk right into their hearts and bring them salvation and transformation. The first thing John does is call out the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He calls them a brood of vipers. They are the ones who watched carefully as Noah built the boat and are now watching John’s ministry and will try to end Jesus’. John lets them know that just because they are a child of Abraham, that is not enough. God was laying the axe to the root and if you were bearing good fruit, you got to continue to live, but if you didn’t, then you were cut down and cast into the fire… or as in Noah’s time…into the water. Noah brought a baptism to the earth. John the Baptist brought a baptism to the heart of the individual. Noah and John came to call the world to repentance. In Noah’s day only one family was saved. In John’s day a new family was saved. That family was to be called the family of God. Lord, today be our shield and our glory, and the lifter or our head. Let your blessing be upon your people.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - God’s Plan Always Prevails

Read Gen. 3:1-4:26, Matt. 2:13-3:6, Ps. 2:1-12, Pro. 1:7-9 In Genesis we read about the fall of man. God warned them not to eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and the woman and man both did. So why did God put that tree right smack in the middle of the garden instead of hidden away so they wouldn’t be so easily tempted. I don’t know if it would have mattered, because the woman and the man seemed to be camped out right there at the tree. If they hadn’t have been close to the tree, the serpent couldn’t have tempted them. That is so true about sin. If we never go into a bar or buy a bottle of liquor, we will never be tempted to drink and get drunk. The devil pointed to the one thing in all the garden that God was withholding from them, instead of reminding them of all the wonderful things God had given them. That is his tactic. He makes us concentrate on the small details of want rather than be thankful for the abundant blessings we have. In Matthew we have the account of Joseph’s watchful care over Jesus. I love the way God led them - one step at a time. God first sentan angel to warn them to flee to Egypt. He doesn’t tell them where in Egypt - just Egypt. After 2 years, Joseph was told in a dream that it was safe to come back to the land of Israel. Not a specific place - just Israel. God had a specific place in mind but he wanted Joseph to figure it out. Joseph heard in another dream that Judea was not safe so he opted for Nazareth. When he did - he fulfilled the prophecy about Jesus that he would be a Nazarene. Sometimes the way God leads us seems random, only nothing God does is random. I am reminded of the Borne Supremacy movie where Julia Styles says about Matt Damon: “It’s not random. He doesn’t do random.” That would describe God - he always has a plan and he makes sure we fall into it. Thank you Lord, for your watchful care over our lives. May we do “purpose” today.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - A New Year - A New Word

Every year I ask God for a word for the year. Last year it was “blue skies” which is two words, but God explained to me that the year before had been full of deaths (or promotions) and some pretty hard things. He promised that this past year would be happy and bright like the blue skies on a cloudless sunny day. I was reminded of this word many times throughout this year. I saw my last son, Daniel, get married to Hannah and have their first son, Asher. I saw my oldest son, Josh, and his wife, Charm finally get pregnant after two miscarriages. Noah will be born next year. I was able to form a special bond with my second son and his wife, Katy and their two boys Abel and John. It has been a definite reprieve from the last year. So, about this next year….the Lord gave me the word “Revelation”. I know I just finished blogging Revelations and God has this principle of first the natural and then the spiritual. I feel like God is going to give us revelation in His Word like never before. He is going to unearth some hidden mysteries that we never knew were there. I also feel like we are going to actually experience angels and heavenly visitations. I know many have already had these experiences and written books about them, but I feel like these are going to become much more prevalent. I think that if we want to see angels, we just need to ask. To sum this up, I feel like we are going to see more of heaven coming down to earth. I think we are going to feel God empower us to do things we never thought we could do, just like Samson did when God’s spirit came over him and he picked up the city gates and carried them away. We are going to need to be more bold and daring. When God empresses us to do the impossible, we need to do it. We are going to have to kiss fear good-bye. Either God is on our side or he isn’t. We have to decide that. Fear is the opposite of faith and we are going to need great faith to appropriate heaven. The more we excersize this faith, the easier it will get. Now about the next Bible study… I want us to go through the Bible this year together. I have a One Year Bible and it tells me what to read. I’m just going to let God lead me about what to blog about. The only thing different is that we will have to read on the week-ends also. I started reading through the Bible in college and have now read it 40 times. It never gets old or boring- just more interesting and alive so here we go! I would love to get feed back from y'all. Feel free to comment or add to anything I say. I am thankful for all of you! Read Gen. 1:1-2:25, Matt. 1:1-2:12, Ps. 1:1-6, Pr.1:1-6 First the natural, and then the spiritual. In Genesis, we have the account of creation and the first man, Adam. In Matthew, we have the genealogy of Joseph, who was chosen to be Jesus, father and the miracle birth of Jesus. Joseph came from a kingly line just as Adam’s father was the King of all Kings. Both sons came into the world supernaturally of God’s seed. Both had a walk with God that no other man has had and both came with a mission. Adam brought the knowledge of sin into the world. Sin was in the world. The serpent was in the garden. Adam just opened our eyes to sin. Jesus took the shame of sin away. He opened our eyes to righteousness and that it is attainable on earth by allowing his blood to atone for our sin and walking with God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Both Adam and Jesus were given the earth as their responsibility. Adam was to tend it and keep it; Jesus was to redeem it and die for it. Both did their job. Both were given a bride who came forth from their bodies. Eve came from Adam’s rib and the church came from the side of Jesus that was pierced. Both were not ashamed to be stripped and naked. Lord, thank you once again for your plan for us. Open our eyes to see you more clearly this year.