Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - To God Be the Glory

Read: Ex. 4-6
When Moses was overwhelmed with the task the Lord was giving him, God gave him a lesson on perspective. He asked him what he had in his hand. When he threw it to the ground it became a serpent, which made him afraid. But when he overcame his fear and picked it up it became his greatest power. God is only asking us to use the gifts he has given us - our rod. When we get discouraged and let our faith fall to the ground then it will become our greatest fear. But when we apprehend our fear by faith it becomes our greatest weapon against the enemy.
Next God showed him that it wasn’t his own hand that was so clean but the power of God that was going to do this. Our state without God is a state of leprosy. We are of unclean flesh. But when God saves us by the blood of Jesus we are clean. Moses was not being asked to do this on his own strength or merit - it was going to be a super-natural move of God. He was just the vessel. The same is true of us and anything God asks us to do. It won’t be because we are so gifted but because He is so gifted and chooses to use us.
The greater the assignment God calls you to… the greater the commitment He will require. God had commanded Abraham in Genesis 17:12-14 to circumcise every man child in his generations when the child was eight days old. If they didn’t that person must be cut off from his people because he had broken God’s covenant. Moses had not circumcised one of his sons so God was going to kill Moses because of it. Zipporah, who apparently had been the cause of not wanting to circumcise her baby, realizes she has to obey the Lord to save her husband. So she takes a rock and circumcises him. She seems a little upset at Moses and calls him a bloody husband. I have to admit, this makes me laugh. The people in the Bible are so much like us.
It is encouraging to see that things didn’t just open up for Moses because God had told him to do something. The people loved Moses till it cost them something. Then they hated him. The Pharaoh thought he was crazy to ask him to let his whole work force take off work for three days to go sacrifice to a god he had never heard of. Needless to say, Moses was discouraged. God didn’t want Moses to be a superstar. He wanted to be the deliverer so the people could know Him. He had appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now he wanted to reveal himself to a whole nation and be a father to them.
Note: Both Levi and Kohath lived to be an hundred thirty three years which means that their priesthood was to be perfectly conformed to the image of the heavenly priesthood.
Lord, help us to see that just because things don’t go smoothly in the things we feel called to do, it doesn’t mean we aren’t called to do them. You are working a much deeper work in us and those around us in a way where You will be glorified.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Empower Us!

Read: Ex. 1-3
The children of Israel started with 70 people in Egypt and grew to a multitude and were blessed until a new king came to rule. He was afraid of their numbers so he started oppressing them and making them slaves. What a picture of what the devil has done to the Christian. When we experience revival, the devil gets really nervous and comes up with any way he can to put us in bondage and enslave us. He will use addictions, our past, the economy, circumstances…anything to discourage us and steal from us our strength and our joy. God raised up Moses and drew him out of the water - the spirit of the land and planted him in the enemies’ palace to deliver his people. We run from the world like they are going to rub off on us and make us dirty. Maybe we are suppose to be right in the midst of them to bring them light and pilfer their goods. We need to stop being afraid of a power that is so inferior to what we carry.
Moses ran in fear, but God prepared a place for him to refuel spiritually. There he got a helpmeet and had an encounter with God. Our helpmeet is the Holy Spirit and our encounter is our salvation experience. His marching orders were to go back to face his fear and deliver God’s people out of that same fear and bondage. If the people of Israel were so numerous, why didn’t they rise up and stand up against the Pharaoh before now? It was because they had no leader. God is looking for leaders who will not be afraid of death or loss of reputation or getting out of their comfort zone. We have one life to live so let’s make it count for the Lord. Moses sure didn’t feel special or qualified and he wasn’t, but the one who called him was. All we need is a calling from an All-Powerful God.
Lord, we will not be afraid of the devil and his taunts but we will be strong and courageous!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Blessings

Read: Gen. 48-50
We see the principle of the second born play out again in Jacob’s blessing for Ephraim and Manasseh. The first born represents our natural birth - born into sin. The second born represents our spiritual rebirth. Jacob crossed his arms making the symbol of the cross to show us that through Jesus our spiritual rebirth will be much more prosperous than our natural.
This principle is also seen in his prophecies to his own sons. Reuben, his first born is a picture of our unregenerated self: unstable, yet strong, dignified, powerful on the outside. Simeon and Levi stood for the scribes and the Pharisees. They knew the law but their jealousy led them to kill Jesus in the most cruel and inhumane way. Judah is the line that the Messiah would come, so he is blessed. From Judah would come the deliverer who would put an end to Satan’s power. Zebulun means a dwelling which stands for the place we can hide in Christ. This is the place of rest and refuge from the storms of life. Dan stands for the truth that will stop lies and reroute people’s plans. Gad stands for the army of God that will rise up in the last days and fight for the truth. Asher means happy and he stands for the person who lives in the prosperity of the Lord. Naphtali is the intercessor who wrestles with God and wins. He is the encourager. Joseph is the person who lives through persecution and perseveres till the end. He reaps the blessings of God. Benjamin is the tenacious warrior who contends against evil forces and wins.
Once again, Jacob charges them to bury him in the same burying place that Sarah and Abraham and Rebekah and Isaac were buried. Remember on the 19th we learned that this burying ground meant “city of four”? Jacob will be the third patriarch buried here. Jacob was “gathered unto his people”, which means he was reunited with them in Sheol in an underground city. If this seems “new-agey to you I would encourage you to dig deeper. It is really Bible and the new-agers stole it from truth. This land would one day be called the city of Hebron and become a city of refuge.
Lord, help us to understand the power of a blessing and give them more freely to our children and those we meet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - God’s Provision

Read: Gen. 46-47
God assures Jacob that he is doing the right thing by moving to Egypt. He promises to bring his people back to their land in Canaan one day.
After Joseph and Jacob’s touching reunion, Joseph took his father to meet the Pharaoh. Joseph asked the Pharaoh for the land of Goshen for his family to live in. He knew the king would give it to him since they looked down on shepherds and wouldn’t want to have them in the palace. It was perfect. In the midst of a famine, Joseph’s family was fed from the kings supply, lived in the best land and didn’t have to associate with the evils of Egypt. This is a picture of those who live as overcomers. It doesn’t matter what the economy is if you are in God’s economy. You will be well fed, provided for with the best and under God’s protection. The people of Egypt had to give their money, land, and lives as servants just to buy bread. Bread was free in Goshen.
As Jacob grew close to his death he made Joseph promise to bury him in the family burying place. He wanted to spend his afterlife with his family. Joseph promised to do it.
Lord, may we live in the land of Goshen totally trusting You.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tues.’s Devo- The Great Reveal

Read: Gen. 43-45
Secrets have a way of getting out and unrepented sins have a way of revisiting us. Jacob’s ten sons found this out the hard way. For years they had hidden the secret of what they did to Joseph. They even told Joseph (before they knew who he was) that their brother had been eaten by an animal. I bet it was hard for Joseph to keep silent on that one.
Joseph continued his tests to reveal their hearts. Joseph let them feel what it felt like to be accused of something they didn’t do. They didn’t steal the silver cup just like he didn’t rape the wife of Potipher. He wanted to see if they would abandon Benjamin like they abandoned him. Had they learned to accept their position in the family and support and protect each other? Would they honor their father’s heart? They passed all of his tests. They were repentant and humble so he could reveal his secret. They were speechless! I would have loved to have been there to see their faces and then their hugs as Joseph welcomed them into his arms. I have to know this is how many of us come to Jesus. Tentative at first, like it’s too good to be true. Then, total abandonment when we realize he loves and forgives us of everything we have ever done. What a picture of the Jewish nation waking up to see that their Messiah is the one they rejected all these years.
Benjamin stands for the church who was not part of Jesus crucifixion, yet he is a brother by blood - the blood of Jesus. Look at how much more he is blessed than his brothers. He got 5 times the food at lunch and 300 pieces of silver and 5 changes of clothes.
Lord, we are so thankful for what You have done for us. Thank you for carrying our sin to the cross and taking it upon yourself. You took what we deserved. Thank you for your goodness and grace.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mon.’s Devo -From Prison to Palace

Read: Gen. 41-42
It’s been two years since Joseph gave the butler the interpretation and it looks like there is a new Pharaoh. When the Pharaoh has a dream, the butler remembers Joseph. Joseph had a gift of interpreting dreams but he had to wait till his gift was needed before he was exalted. Many of us have gifts that may seem unused and unappreciated but when the time comes those gifts will be sought after so don’t be discouraged. Like Joseph, we are being fine-tuned and prepared for that moment.
Joseph must have spent much time in prison thinking and learning to interpret his own dreams and the dreams of his fellow inmates to be able to so aptly interpret the Pharaoh’s. In one day Joseph went from being a prisoner to being second in command of the whole land of Egypt. It was God’s timing and Joseph had allowed God to shape him into a humble leader. The Pharaoh gave him a new name which meant “treasury of the glorious rest”. His job was to store up the excess food during the good years so that the people could rest in the famine and be taken care of. The names Joseph chose for his sons show the condition of Joseph’s heart. The first one was Manasseh which means “causing to forget” because Joseph had chosen to forget and forgive his past and all the wrongs done to him. His second son, Ephraim means “double fruit” which shows his gratefulness to his blessings.
After seven years of fruitfulness they entered the seven years of famine which affected the land that Jacob lived. When he sent his sons, minus Benjamin, to Egypt, Joseph put them through a series of tests to see if they were repentant. They got a small taste of prison and had to face the consequence of what they had done to Joseph. They did acknowledge their sin which was the first step. That is our first step to coming to God. We have to believe that we are sinners first and that we need a saviour.
Lord, thank you for bringing us all to the place where we have to depend on You and repent.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Patience in Trials

Read: Gen. 38-40
Right in the middle of Joseph’s story we get this narrative about Judah and Tamar. Judah left his own people to get a woman from the Canaanites. Even though this was not acceptable behavior, God used it to bring Tamar into the line of Jesus. She and Ruth were both Gentile women who were privileged to become Jews by marriage. Tamar’s first son was Pharez which means “a breach” which he was a breach in the Jewish line. Zarah was the second twin whose name was Zarah. Zarah had the scarlet thread on his hand and his name means “a rising”. Most of us are part of this rising of Gentiles that have been branded with the blood of Jesus. Pharez went on to become a captain of thousands.
Joseph had to learn patience through the things he suffered. Everywhere Joseph went he did the right thing and when it looked like he was going to finally get ahead, he had the rug pulled out from under him. He was trusted by some, used by some and abused by others. I see this part of Joseph’s life as how Jesus wants to live through us. We have to choose to do the excellent thing even though we might not get the result we think we deserve. If we are faithful till the end, we will see the reward. Joseph’s end was far into the future. Because Joseph’s destiny was to be second in command of Egypt, he had to be purified by fire to be able to handle the responsibility. Everything he went through was to shape him into this leader.
In Chapter 40, the king must have found out about a plot to poison him because he was mad at his two food tasters. The cook would be in charge of the food he ate and the butler was always to taste his wine first for poison. They were both put in prison and the truth came out in the dream and retribution was served. Joseph was forgotten. Have you ever done some great thing for someone only to have the credit go to someone else? Then you know what Joseph was feeling. He sat in jail….waiting for two more years. I have found that God is more patient than we are!
Lord, help us to see our trials from Your perspective knowing that You work everything out for Your good.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - God’s Plan

Read: Gen. 35-37
God calls Jacob to Beth-el to renew his covenant with him and to repent of their worship of idols. They were to give up their idols, their earrings and change their garments. When we repent we have to do the same thing. We turn away from the things our heart was longing for, we take out the hinderances that keep us from hearing God’s voice and we strip off our self and put on Christ. When they did this their enemies were afraid of them. Satan is afraid of a person who is sold out to Jesus.
Why did God tell us that Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah died? She is not mentioned by name until here. In Gen. 24:59 we learn that when Rebekah left her home to go with Abraham’s servant to marry Isaac she took her nurse. If anyone has any revelation I would love to hear. I know that everything in scripture is there to teach us something. This is a mystery to me.
Moving along…God appeared to Jacob and gave him the same blessing and name-change that the angel had given him when they wrestled the night before he was going to meet Esau. But, now he actually starts going by that name.
So in chapter 35, Deborah dies and is buried in Beth-el, Rachael dies and is buried in Beth-lehem and Isaac dies and is buried in Hebron. And…Benjamin is born. Benjamin who stands for the church is born in the same town that Jesus would be born. We are a type of Jesus!
The chapter 36 is the genealogy of Esau. One of his sons names means “occult”. They were all dukes and princes.
In chapter 37 we begin the story of Joseph. We all know the story but I found it interesting that Reuben, who slept with his father’s concubine, which was so disrespectful would be the one who would want to make it up to his father by saving Joseph.
Joseph is such a picture of Jesus. Joseph was sold by his own brothers just like Jesus was sold to the Romans by his own nation. Joseph was given a glimpse of hope through his dreams just as Jesus had the dreams of his father to keep him going. Neither had the whole picture, they both walked by faith right into God’s perfect plan.
Lord, help us to trust that we are walking in Your perfect plan.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Feast of Tabernacles

Read: Gen. 32-34
Jacob had more encounters with angels than anyone else in the Bible. He had seen them in his dream and now he gets to see the host face to face. I wonder if he recognized them because of his dream or if it was obvious they were angels. I’m sure they gave him strength to go from his confrontation with Laban to his next one with Esau. In the meantime Jacob spends the night wrestling with another angel. When the day began to break, he wouldn’t let the angel leave till he blessed him. The angel, which I would assume was the Lord himself, changed his name from Jacob to Israel. Jacob named the place Peniel which means “face of God.”
When Jacob and Esau do meet, Jacob is pleasantly surprised at Esau’s response. Esau seems glad to see Jacob but he does accept Jacob’s generous peace offering. They part ways and Jacob finds a place to rest his cattle and the people in his household. That place is Succoth which means “booths”. There he builds a temporary house for himself and booths for his cattle. He is acting out the Feast of Tabernacles before it was put into place. The Feast of Tabernacles would also be know as the Feast of Booths. To celebrate the families would set up a temporary dwelling and stay in it during the week of the feast. The feast was a feast of rest. Their temporary booth was to remind them that our dwellings here on earth are temporary and one day we will live in an eternal one. Our bodies are our temporary dwellings but one day we will have a body that will be eternal. Then we will enter into the rest of the Lord.
Jacob only stayed in Succoth long enough to rest. (Moses will rest here when he first leads the children of Israel out of Egypt.) Jacob moves on to Shalem which would later become Jerusalem. When we leave our temporary lives we will move to a holy Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2). God uses the incident with Dinah to rid his holy city of its not-so-holy inhabitants.
Lord, help us to see that everything happens for a reason because we are called according to Your purpose.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - You Become What You Behold

Read: Gen. 30-31
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were irrational? Rachel was. She wanted a baby so bad she blamed Jacob even though it was obvious, it wasn’t Jacob’s fault. She and Leah were in a race to gain Jacob’s favor and love. Racheal had his love but Leah was bearing him children. She finally gave her maid as a substitute and had Dan and Naphtali. After four sons, Leah’s body takes a break from child bearing so she gives him her maid who has Gad and Asher.
If you wonder what all the fuss was over mandrakes, they were a type of aphrodisiac like a love potion. Leah’s son, Reuben found them and sold them to Rachel for one night with Jacob. You wonder what Jacob thought about all their rivalry or if he knew its extent. Leah was blessed with Issachar and then Zebulun. God had blessed the unloved Leah with six sons and to show her that justice had been paid, He gave her a daughter which she named Dinah which means “justice”. THEN God opened Rachel’s womb and she had Joseph. Jacob was then ready to take his eleven sons and one daughter and leave and find his place in the world.
Laban was not ready for the blessing that Jacob carried to leave so he begged Jacob to stay. Jacob agreed on the condition that he divided the flocks with him. Laban agreed to let Jacob have all the speckled and spotted goats and sheep. Jacob cunningly prepared a mating place that had speckled and spotted rods so that when they mated they would see these rods and produce cattle that were speckled and spotted. Sounds bizarre but the principle is that whatever you behold, you will reproduce. It worked with them and it works in our lives. If we behold the Lord and the Word, then we will walk in faith. If we behold the newspaper and the television set, then our lives will reproduce what we see.
Lord, help us to behold Your beauty and Your Word and reproduce Your promises.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Wells of Salvation

Read: Gen. 27-29
When Esau sold his birthright to Jacob it was a big deal in that day. It was Jacob who Isaac should have called in to bless since the blessing went to the first born and Esau had forfeited that right to Jacob. So what Isaac did by trying to give it to Esau was maybe worse than what Rebekah and Jacob did. What is so interesting is the power of that blessing. They knew that whatever Isaac proclaimed would happen. We have been given that same power in our tongues. We can bless and we can curse…it is our choice.
Esau never seemed to understand the things of God. He saw that his parents didn’t approve of the daughters of the land so he married the daughter of Ishmael because he was kin to Abraham. Jacob left and went to Padan-aram to marry someone from the blessed side of Abraham.
On the way, Jacob stopped at Beth-el and had a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder. God spoke to him and gave him the land he was in and blessed his seed. This was the same blessing God had given Abraham at that same place years before.
I love the fact that Isaac and Jacob both found their wives at a well. Rebekah earned her husband by watering the flocks of his servant’s sheep while Jacob took one look at Rachel and rolled the stone off the well and watered all her sheep himself. Rebekah was a picture of the Old Testament way to God through works and obedience. Rachel was a picture of the New Testament way to God which is total grace.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7) Jacob tricked his father into giving him the blessing and he was tricked by his father-in-law into marrying Leah. It was God’s plan that Jacob receive the blessing and it was God’s plan that Jacob marry Leah. Maybe the way they went around them was not God’s plan, but the outcome was. I wonder how many of our mistakes play right into God’s plan.
Lord, you met us at a place where the only way we could receive living water was that you give it to us….just like the woman you met at the well. Thank you for Your living water that is a spring that never runs dry or loses its power.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - There is Always Enough

Read: Gen. 25-26
Abraham took another wife, Keturah whose name means “perfumed”. But their son’s names meant: musical, insidious, strife, contention, he will leave and depression. Abraham was about to die so he gave out his inheritance. Everything went to Isaac - the son of promise; the other sons got gifts. Abraham died at the age of 175 and was buried in the cave he had bought for Sarah.
Ishmael’s sons did really well considered he was the son of a single mom who lived in the wild. They all became princes who lived in castles.
Isaac married Rebekah who was barren… just like Sarah and just like Rachael will be. We are all barren and unfruitful till we pray and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour. Everyone of these barren girls became fruitful when God touched them. Rebekah had twins who would become two different nations. They were total opposites. Jacob would be the one that Rebekah and God would love and Esau would be Isaac’s favorite. Esau came out first then Jacob. First Co.15:46 explains that the natural must come first and then the spiritual. Esau stood for the natural and God hated Esau (Ro. 9:13). Jacob came next and stood for the spiritual and God loved Jacob. God hates our old man but loves our new one.
We see this play out as they grow up. Esau is only concerned with the natural. He walks into the camp starving after a day of hunting and smells his brother’s stew. So he sells his birthright for a momentary fix for his appetite. Jacob is zealous for the things that are lasting like the right of the first born.
In Chapter 26 we have the second famine and Isaac does just what his father did during the first famine. He goes to Gerar and lies about his wife being his sister. He was not willing to die for his wife. God protected Rebekah just like God will always protect the bride.
Isaac was blessed and tried to reclaim the wells his father had dug. After much striving he finally finds a well he can keep and room for his people.
What I get from this story is that there are hard times coming but even in a famine, God will give us increase. Isaac reaped one hundred fold! That is amazing. There will always be enough for everyone if you trust in God.
Lord, help us to grow in our faith in Your provision.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Sacrifice and the Bride

Read: Gen. 22-24
The place that God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is the same place that David bought from Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam 24: 24, 25; 2 Chr 3: 1 to build a place to worship God. It is also the place of the temple mount where the Islamics have built the Dome of the Rock. It is probably the place where Jesus was sacrificed. Isaac was a type of Jesus who was suppose to die, but was resurrected by God.
Sarah dies and Abraham purchases a burying ground for his family in the land of Hebron. This land would one day become a city of refuge. Abraham knew that wherever you are buried you live in the underground so he chose this ground. Kirjath-arba means “city of four” and we will see that four great patriarchs will be buried in this field. He bought it for 400 shekels of silver. It was a cave surrounded by trees as a protection and hiding place. He bought the cave from the children of Heth which means “terror”. We are hidden with God under the shadow of His wings and we have been bought with the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 2:14-15 says that Jesus became a man of flesh and blood that he might die and through his death destroy the devil who had the power of death. He will deliver those that had all their lifetime been plagued with the fear of death.
The next thing Abraham does is look for a bride for his son. When Jesus died, the church, the bride was birthed. In the process of time, God has been maturing the bride so that when it is time she will be ready for his son. We can look at Rebekah and see what the bride is suppose to be: a virgin, a servant, and ready to go with the Holy Spirit to the Bridegroom.
Lord, help us to have no other lovers but You. May our lives be a service to You and may we be ready when you come for us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Sodom to Isaac

Read: Gen. 19-21
The fact that Lot sat at the gate of Sodom means that he was a leader and a judge in the city. He immediately recognized the two men as important because he bowed before them and called them lords. Lot knew the type of people he lived among so he compelled the men to stay with him. Lot lived in a very wicked city yet the angels had to almost force him and his wife and two daughters to leave it. Abraham had interceded for ten righteous people but there were only three because Lot’s wife turned back. It was not Lot’s righteousness that saved him but Abraham’s. Lot begged to go to a little city because he didn’t want to face the rough life of a sojourner. He ended up not staying there and going to the mountains. God’s command to Abraham was to sojourn the land but Lot seemed more interested in settling and putting down roots. I wonder if his daughters would have stooped to incest if they hadn’t learned perversion in Sodom. I wonder what God would have done to continue his seed if they had waited for Him. Instead, they took matters into their own hand and birthed the Amonites and the Moabites…the ones who hired Balaam to curse the children of Abraham.
Abraham came to Gerar and lied again about Sarah being his wife. His son, Isaac would bring Rebecca here and do the same thing. Gerar was in a valley which is where we are tempted. Both of them failed their temptation, but God rescued both of them out of it. When Abraham told the truth and repented, God opened the womb of the household of both Abimelech and Abraham and both bore children.
Abraham and Sarah had their promised child, Isaac. Ishmael had to go even though it seems so harsh to us. He was a sign of the counterfeit and the real had come.
Remember the conversation Abraham has with Abimelech about this well in Beer-sheba because Isaac will come back and claim this well when he is grown and have to fight for it. This well means “well of the oath”. There are promises that have been given to our mothers and fathers that we have to fight for ourselves. They struggled and obtained them in their generation and we have to reclaim them in ours. Isaac will have to reclaim this well.
Lord, help us to realize that we have been given so many promises in Your Word that we have to contend for. Help us not to give up.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Power in a Name

Read: Gen. 16-18
My heart always goes out to Hagar. She was a servant doing what she was told to do and reaped rejection and mistreatment. When it got too hard she ran, but God met her in her darkest hour, comforted her then sent her back. There are certainly times when I feel overwhelmed and want to run away, but God does comfort me in those times and gives me strength to return and continue on. I thought it was noteworthy to see that God gave Hagar the name of Ishmael. From Ishmael we have the Arab nation that dwell in the midst of the Jews and have forever been enemies.
Abram gets a name change. His name goes from Abram: “high father”, to Abraham: “father of a multitude”. God said that He would make Abraham exceedingly fruitful and from his many offspring would come kings. The covenant God made with Abraham was everlasting. The only thing he asked of Abraham was to circumcise his sons and slaves on the eighth day. Anyone who doesn’t get circumcised is considered to have broken the covenant with God. Every time someone called him by his name, they were agreeing with God’s promise over him.
Sarai also gets a name change. Her name went from Sarai which means chief captain to Sarah which means princess. It almost sounds like she got a demotion but I’ll bet a princess was above a captain. She got the same blessing that Abraham got. Sarah gets a bad rap for laughing but I don’t think the angels were rebuking her for laughing. I think they were building up her faith to believe because if they could know that she laughed in her heart, then they knew she would have a son. Sarah is mentioned in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11 as believing God was faithful to do what he had promised her.
When we are born again, we are a new creation and get a new name - spiritually. I think that during our walk, God changes our names to fit our promotions. It would be nice to know them. (Food for thought.)
Abraham interceded for Sodom for Lot’s sake. He knew that Lot and his family was righteous and was hoping that there were a few other righteous people.
Lord, thank you for the name of Jesus which is the only name by which we are saved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fri.’s Devo -Trials Lead to Great Blessings

Read: Genesis 12-15
Job was from the land of Uz which was Noah’s grandson. Abram came about four to six generations later according to 1 Chronicles 1:-20-28. I’m sure Abram knew the story of Job.
God called Abram out of his father’s land into a new land and promised to make a great nation from him. He was 75 years old and his wife, Sarai and his nephew, Lot and his servants went with him. Genesis 12:10 tells us that the very first famine hit the land. Famines were a sign of man’s sin. Because of the famine, Abram went to Egypt for food. Egypt means “double straits”. If they weren’t in bad enough straights as it was. Every time Abram went into Egypt Sarai was taken from him and it was not a good thing. Abraham had told Sarai to lie for him because of her beauty and because Abram wanted to save his own soul. Sure enough, she was taken for her beauty (at the age of 80!). God rescued her with a plague because Abram was too weak to do it himself. Abram was driven out of the country and goes back to where he started and this time makes an altar and calls out to the Lord. That is what he should have done the first time. We, like Abram, some times learn the hard way first before we cry out to God for help. We could save ourselves some time and heartache if we just prayed first.
Abram and Lot parted ways because their servants couldn’t share the land without arguing. Lot chose what looked the best and the easiest and once he was gone, God gave Abram all of the land, even Lot’s. He commanded Abram to walk through the land because one day Joshua was going to come and claim it all. Our job is to walk out our salvation and claim the land God has given us, because one day our Joshua, Jesus, is going to place the sole of his foot back on the earth (Rev. 10:2) and it is all going to be ours.
Abram receives a great promise from God and is immediately thrown into warfare. Five ungodly nations have come against four ungodly nations and Lot has been taken as spoil. Abram takes his measly 318 men and fights the five nations and recovers Lot and all the spoil. Abram knew God was with him and nothing was impossible for him. Afterwards he is blessed to meet one of the most controversial mystical people in the Bible…Melchizedek. Abram honored him with a tenth of all he had and had communion with him. Then Abram refused the temptation of receiving a reward from the king of Sodom because he stood for evil. Gifts from the Devil always come with strings attached.
God blessed Abram with a promise of a son and his belief made him righteous. It is our faith that makes us righteous, not our own goodness.
Lord, help us to have faith in every word you say because You are faithful. You never leave us and with You all things are possible.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The End of Job

Read: Job 40-42
Job’s response to God was total humility. He repented of questioning God’s wisdom and vowed to listen and wait on the Lord. God rebukes Job for accusing Him of being unjust. Then God compares Job’s weakness to the hippopotamus (behemoth) and the crocodile, dragon, or sea monster (Leviathan). Leviathan is a type of Satan who is afraid of nothing. If God can control them, then God can certainly control Job’s circumstances and ours.
Job has a new understanding of God because now he has experienced him. Before, he had knowledge and other’s opinions of God, but now he had a face-to-face encounter with God and everything has changed in his heart. Job experienced true repentance. Then God spoke to his friends and rebuked them for giving Job the wrong counsel. They were to offer up a sacrifice for Job and let Job pray for them. God stood up for Job and and called him righteous to his friends because Job had repented. God will always avenge the humble but humble the proud. When Job prayed for his friends who had become his enemies, God turned his captivity and blessed him with twice what he had lost. As a woman, I love the attention given to the three daughters of Job. Their names mean: Jemima - affectionate and warm; Kezia - cassia (which is an ornamental plant where we get cinnamon from); and Keren- happuch - which means the horn of cosmetic. They were beautiful woman who received the same inheritance as their brothers. All of Job’s past friends came and celebrated Job’s deliverance.
Job is a type of Jesus. He suffered here on earth beyond what any other man has ever suffered. He turned it into a blessing to all when he interceded for the world.
Jesus, thank you for your life here on earth and what it cost You to give us free grace and salvation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Wisdom of God

Read: Job 38-39
God comes to Job to answer his cry but first he has a few questions to ask Job. The first was: where was Job when he created the earth? Then God gives us valuable facts about creation that Genesis doesn’t. The stars put off sound or music. Creation scientists have discovered that the canopy around the earth’s atmosphere was made of crystal which would act as a radio to channel the song of the stars to earth. So Adam had his own piped-in music as he roamed the garden.
God spoke of the highest heights where the stars dwell to the lowest parts of the sea where there are hidden springs and gates into death and the shadow of death. Death and the shadow of death are two different entities. Death is concrete and speaks of violent death where shadow of death means a shade of death or the grave where everyone will be resurrected one day to face mercy or judgment/ reward or final death.
Next God spoke of the hidden mysteries of heaven like where snow and rain are made, and the deep that is frozen.
In Chapter 39, God calls Job’s attention to the things on earth that He created. They are all so diverse yet in His wisdom God created them to teach us about Him. God seems to be asking Job if he has stopped complaining enough to consider the greatness of creation and His wisdom.
Lord, this is such a sobering reminder that You are wisdom and everything You do is for reasons higher than we can fathom. We worship You!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Elihu’s Final Words

Read: Job: 35-37
Elihu doesn’t know when to stop. He accuses Job of thinking himself more righteous than God. He claims that God is so far removed from man that what is man that he thinks God cares. If man would just see the blessing in the midst of their affliction they would be thankful instead of complaining like Job. On judgment day all things will be brought out but until then Job should be thankful. Elihu believes God sent him to humble Job. Instead of magnifying his afflictions, Job should magnify God. Elihu got that right.
Elihu, like the other friends doesn’t believe that man can have a relationship with God. God to them was some higher being that could strike them down the moment they messed up. Sounds like the doctrine of many churches today which is one of the reasons people are leaving the church. Churches should set an environment that encourages intimacy with God. Worship is more than a list of the newest songs, it should invite us in to the heart of God.
Lord, I thank you that you want to fellowship with us and that you invite us into your presence.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Foolish Words of Elihu

Read: Job 32-34
Elihu is the young man who has listened to the whole conversation and because of his youth stayed silent. He should have kept silent. Elihu is mad at Job because he justified himself and his friends because they condemned Job. Elihu sounds like a hard person to please. He spends the first part of his speech convincing them of why they should listen to him (justifying himself). He had refrained from speaking all this time and is about to burst to give his opinion. He takes what the others have said and takes it further. Not only is Job a hypocrite but he is rebellious also. He accuses Job of calling God unjust.
This argument reminds me of the argument of grace. So many Christians have a hard time understanding the grace of God. He doesn’t punish us according to our works. We set in motion certain things when we get out of God’s protective will. We reap what we sow but God’s grace is free and undeserved. We get forgiveness and blessings when we repent and become his child. From that moment on we are righteous in God’s sight. He no longer punishes us or condemns us. It definitely sounds too good to be true, but it is true.
Job understood grace before the cross. He understood that man could have a relationship with God that few in the Old Testament understood. Job understood that man could live righteous before God if he feared him and lived his life for him.
Lord, help us to have the conviction Job had and not be swayed by the popular vote.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Higher Wealth

Read: Job 24-28
Job has noticed that the wicked often seem to go unpunished in this life. They shun God and the truth but they will face God’s judgment one day.
Bilhad changes the subject and addresses Job’s desire to have an audience with God to present his case. He asks how can man who is impure appear before a holy God who is pure? This is how the devil wants us to see ourselves. Now that we have the blood of Jesus to wash our sins away, we are holy and are invited to appear before God and present our case.
Job reproves Bihad and expounds on the power of God. He still holds to the fact that God has brought this on Job and that he is righteous before God. Job has an understanding that he is the Lord’s and His spirit dwells within him. It is the Lord’s Spirit that makes him righteous and he refuses to come down from that truth. As for the hypocrite…that is another story. Job concludes his speech on the subject of wisdom. Since his friends put such a high price on material wealth, he explains that there is something much higher and more costly and that is wisdom. Proverbs would agree that the fear of the Lord is where wisdom is found and to depart from evil is understanding.
Lord, help us to value Your wisdom and understanding above all the earth has to offer.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Condemnation or Conviction

Read: Job 21-23
Job contemplates the lives of the wicked. They seem to be happy and prosperous and then they die. Their lives mean nothing important here on the earth but to satisfy themselves. Others come to some destruction here on earth before they die, but all are judged in the end and if they are evil they are destroyed. Job argues that his lack of prosperity doesn’t mean that God is punishing him.
Eliphaz still holds to the fact that Job has done some horrible act that has landed him in this spot. He urges Job to repent and make peace with God. Then Job’s wealth will return and God’s favor will once again rest on his head.
Job answered that he would love to have an audience with God and plead his cause. He has searched for God with his whole heart and not found him.
This is an age old argument we have with God. When things go wrong we tend to be like Eliphaz and blame it on our sin. We allow the devil to put us in the prison house of condemnation. Job refuses to take the condemnation. Job knows he is not perfect, but he also knows that God is a loving God who knows the frailty of man and looks at his heart. Job knew that his heart was right. I love Job’s tenaciousness. He stood firm in his conviction. We need to do that when the devil condemns us and blames us for everything that goes wrong. We need to seek God like Job did and wait for Him to answer because God answered Job and He will answer us too.
Lord, help us to wear your salvation like a shield and not let the devil’s arrows of condemnation pierce our hearts. Help us to wait on You, for surely You will come.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - “Fixing” Our Friends

Read: Job 17-20
Job considers all his friends have said about him and talks to God about death. Death is bad for everyone but the one who has clean hands. He shall be stronger and stronger.
Bilhad, who had been encouraging in his first speech turns to condemnation in his second. I wonder if he is frustrated that Job’s condition has not changed and thinks that it’s got to be Job’s fault. He gives a great description of the evil man and his plight…insinuating this is Job’s plight also. Do we get frustrated when we see people in the same place they were last year and want to condemn them because they aren’t fixed yet? God works from the inside out and sometimes it takes a while before we see the fruits of what is happening inside.
Job complains of this friends unkind words and lack of encouragement. Shouldn’t they encourage a friend who is down instead of adding to his sorrow? He believed that God was the author of his trials. His hope lay in the resurrection of the dead.
Zophar has had an epiphany and wants to share it. He speaks of how sin is fun for a short season but the end will be destruction. He still believes Job to be a hypocrite.
What I learn from Job is that when someone is suffering you need to pray and ask God how to comfort. It is not our job to condemn or fix them. That is the job of the Holy Spirit and he is better at it than us.
Lord, help us to be encouragers to those who are cast down.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Comfort to the Weak

Read: Job 14-16
Job speaks on the brevity of life and man’s sin nature. Life is short and though his lot seems hard, he calls out to the Lord for help.
Eliphaz was a grandson of Esau which might have some bearing on his response. He rebukes Job for praying to God out of his heart. He mocks Job’s wisdom and careless words. It is obvious that Eliphaz doesn’t believe God loves the world much less has mercy on man’s frailty. He knows law and punishment.
Job calls them all miserable comforters and I would have to agree. Job tells them that if he were in their place that he would try to comfort them instead of condemning them. They have increased the enemy’s lies instead of giving him a promise of hope.
The book of Job is a great “how to” on comforting those that are down. We can know all the right answers but sometimes our right answers are more damaging than productive. When a person is down he needs encouragement, not a lesson on how he got there. The Holy Spirit can show him that. Jesus came to give hope to a people that didn’t deserve him. That is the message of grace and salvation.
Lord, help us to comfort those who are down and lift them up to walk a new life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Needless Arguments

Read: Job 10-13
Job stoops to complaining to God, accusing God of making him for misery. Job doesn’t deny that he is a sinner but feels like God is being particularly hard on him. Ever felt that way? It does seem some times that everything goes wrong all at once but we should never blame God. God always wants good and blessing for us. Trials prepare us for that.
Zophar is heartless in his speech to Job. He thinks Job loves to hear himself speak and if Job had gotten what he deserved it would have been much worse. Zophar stands for the people who want us to keep our shortcomings and sins ever before us so we can stay humbled. Jesus came to make us forget the past and start over with a new life in Him. Zophar also believed that the mark of the righteous was prosperity. If that were so then Jesus would not have made the cut with him.
Job comments on the high opinion his friends have on their wisdom. He brings out the fact that robbers and thieves are prosperous and their prosperity didn’t come from their righteousness. Job realizes that his friends are disdained by his poverty which makes them the hypocrite. Job comes to the conclusion that though he may not be highly esteemed by his friends God loves him just as he is. He resolves to put himself into the hands of God and trust in Him.
I find myself relating to Job and his friends. They are both trying to justify their beliefs and their opinions. I find myself doing that when I’m challenged rather than letting the Holy Spirit justify himself.
Lord, help us to love others even when they disagree with us and rest in Your justice.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Mercy

Read: Job 6-9
Job’s grief is more than he thinks he can bear. He finds no reason to live but is cursed to keep living. He is upset that his friends that should know him are trying to accuse him of something he is not guilty of. His friend, Eliphaz argues that if Job was righteous then things would not have gone as they did. Job argues that a man can not truly know God and understand him without seeing the frailty of man. Job realizes there is no way he can be clean before God. God is not a man that we can reason with or justify our actions. God is the mighty God who created everything. All Job could ask for is mercy.
This is the Old Testament thought in a nutshell. They were at God’s mercy and he was in control of their outcome. There was no relationship only a wholesome fear of who God was. Because of Jesus, we are invited to come near and know God. He is the same God who created the world and is awesomely wonderful and powerful, but we can know him. We can have a relationship with him. We have been given grace.
Lord, help us to see your invitation and come boldly before your throne of grace.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Our Authority

Read: Job 1-5
In Job we learn some principles of God. The first one is that Satan was once in heaven and had access to God. He was thrown from heaven when he and one third of the angels rebelled and were thrown to hell. (2 Peter 2:4 “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”) Satan was and is still under God’s control. He had to report to God when God had his heavenly meetings and was subject to God’s authority. When Jesus died he gave us authority over the devil. In Luke 9: 1-2, Jesus called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. We are Jesus’ disciples and have the same assignment. Adam was given authority over the earth. If we realized the power we have in the name of Jesus we would walk with much more victory. Job was used by God as an example to heaven and hell. His trial was paramount to God yet all he could see was his circumstances. I wonder if we knew how important our trials are on earth and in heaven. I think our attitudes about them would be different. What if Job had given up and cursed God. God was betting on the fact that he wouldn’t. Job was a type of Jesus in that he went through misunderstanding, persecution, lose, pain and heart-break to gain something really huge with God. All our trials are to make us perfect that we lack nothing. (James 1:4)
Eliphaz came to Job with spiritual insight that was good... only not for Job. We have to be careful that we measure every prophecy and counsel with the spirit of God in our hearts. God will speak to us about our future if we ask and listen.
Lord, teach us to walk in the authority you have given us through the name of Jesus.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Noah’s Journey

Read: Gen. 8-11
Creation scientists tell us that when the water shot forth from the deep it came with such power that it punched holes in the canopy that covered earths atmosphere. We call this the ozone layer. Before the flood, man lived hundreds of years but after the flood they died younger and younger. The atmosphere was changed. Adam could use 100% of his brain because the air was so full of nitrogen.

The ark rested in the seventh month just as God rested on the seventh day and he told the people to rest on the seventh day and the seventh year. The ark was to represent our covering and hiding place in the Lord. He is the one who hides us in the storm and brings us to a new land of safety and promise.
When they came from the ark God told them they could eat meat for the first time. Before that they only ate herbs and plants.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham looked at his father’s naked body when he had had too much wine. When Noah found out he cursed him and his offspring. Ham’s son, Cush had a son named Nimrod who traveled to the land of Shinar and built a city named Babel which means confusion. From there they tried to build a spiritual portal to heaven. Jesus warned of people who would try to do that in Luke 13:24. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” The people of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves. The people who enter through Jesus want to make Jesus famous instead.
Abram came from Shem’s line who Noah blessed.
Lord, may we make you famous with our lives.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fri.'s Devo - The Fruits of Sin

Read: Gen. 1:4-7 I said yesterday we would go back and talk about Adam and Eve. It was God that said it was not good that Adam be alone and it was God who brought Adam his bride. It was God who created this world to find a bride for Jesus and it is God who is going to bring forth that bride. The devil deceived the bride but Adam chose to eat the apple. (I Tim. 2:14) Sin entered through the first Adam and it was defeated through the second Adam, Jesus. Adam was a type of Jesus (I Co. 15:45-49) and Jesus chose to become sin for us. When they ate of the tree they knew both good and evil and when they produced children they produced both good and evil. Abel was good and offered a pleasing sacrifice just like Jesus was God’s son and he offered himself as a pleasing sacrifice. Both were accepted by God.
Cain was evil and offered an unpleasing sacrifice because his heart was evil. (1 John 3:12, Jude 1:11) Cain was the first murderer just as Satan was the first being to rebel in heaven. Adam’s third son was Seth which means “substitute”. He was a substitute for Abel who was killed. When Seth had his first son and named him Enos men began to call on the name of the Lord. Enos means “mortal man”. Finally a righteous line begins. All the other genealogies were from Cain, the unrighteous line. In chapter 5 it talks about Adam’s line and completely leaves out Cain because Cain was not of Adam’s line. If you look back at Genesis 4:1-2 it says that Adam knew Eve once but she produced two children. They were twins: one evil and one good. God only counted the good one from Adam. Of Cain it said he was gotten from the Lord. In Seth’s line we have Enoch who walked so close with God he just walked right off the earth into heaven. He is a picture of the raptured church. Noah is the grandson of Enoch.
Genesis six is key to understanding history. These demonic angels left their natural abode and came down and captured women and impregnated them. (Jude 1:6) Their offspring became giants that were half human/half demon. That was the reason God had to destroy the earth; the bloodline of man was becoming polluted with demonic blood. Noah’s blood was pure so God chose to save his family to repopulate the earth. The ark would be a replica of God’s first creation: three stories. They represented the sky, the earth, and the sea. He was only to save the things God had first created. The earth would begin again. What a picture of salvation.
Lord, help us to see Your saving grace in everything You do.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The Beginning; God's Word for 2015

Every year I ask the Lord what is my word for the year and this year it was “prosper”. Our first connotation of that word is financially but I know God is talking about spiritually which will roll over into the natural. The church is going to get a greater understanding of the principle that we are not of this kingdom… we are of God’s kingdom and it is higher. Not only that, but we are suppose to subdue the earth and rule. Instead of being intimidated by ignorant politicians and leaders who have no clue, we are to rise up with answers and raise our hands. It’s like we have been sitting in class with our hands folded in our laps and afraid to raise them. We have the answer and when we get that…God is going to give us solutions to problems that we thought were impossible and insurmountable and unfixable. This is our time to take the kingdom of darkness by force - not physical force- that’s the devil’s way. Ours is by spiritual force which is mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. All ages are going to line up in their place in the army and join arms and march. It is God who will fight this enemy. We just show up with faith in our hearts. Fear is not an option for us. Faith is our strength and our support. We will win! To everyone who followed me through the Bible last year I want to thank you. I enjoyed it so much I want to do it again only chronologically. I found a website that would send the reading to my e-mail so here is the address if you want to do the same. It will be what I use. (www.biblestudytools) I’m excited about what the Holy Spirit has to teach us this year!
Read: Gen. 1:1-3
If we look up the Hebrew meaning of the word “heaven” in the Strong’s Concordance it reads: to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve). So heaven has a dual meaning. It is the visible sky that we see and the higher spiritual dimension that we don’t see. The same time God was creating a place for us to dwell he created a place for his spiritual creatures to dwell. The first thing he did was to bring light to the darkness which is the first thing we do when we enter any situation. We carry the light of Jesus into the dark world. God calls the light Day which is from sunrise to sunset. Our spiritual “day” or journey starts when the Son of God rises in our hearts. It sets when when our journey on earth is over. Interestingly “darkness” means “misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness and obscurity”. First Thessalonians 5:5 says, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” So the first thing God does is make a distinction between what is His and what is not. This was the first day.
We could spend days going through the first chapter of Genesis because in it God sets up the laws for His kingdom in heaven and on the earth.
On day two God makes a visible line in the sky and separates waters from waters, spirits from spirits, good from evil. On day three God shows us that what ever we sow, we will reap. Day four is the heavenly heirachy.
God is the sun, the church is the moon, the stars are saints on day four.
Day five God taught us about spirits that fly in the heavens and those that dwell in the depths of hell.
Day six God creates things that dwell on the earth and gives us authority over everything on the earth and the spirits - good and bad.
On day seven, God teaches us to rest in Him. Since this is getting lengthy, we’ll talk about Adam and Eve tomorrow.
Lord, teach us the mysteries of who You are this year and may we walk in Your truth.