Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - The Feasts

Read: Leviticus 22:17-23:44; Mark 9:30-10:12; Psalm 443:1-8; Proverbs 10:19
Every offering to the Lord was to be perfect even from foreigners. God was holy and he was teaching them to be holy.
God had sacred assemblies that he wanted them to observe every year at the same time of the year. They were called his feasts. Passover began on the fourteenth. The number 14 means to recreate. They were to practice these feasts year after year and one day Jesus would fulfill them. He fulfilled Passover when he because the Passover lamb and died for us. On the fifteenth they were to celebrate the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread. The number 15 means grace, freedom, and sin covered. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was last a week and only unleavened bread was to be eaten. Unleavened Bread was fulfilled when the Bread of Heaven went down to Hades and rescued those who were in captivity. The day after the next Sabbath was the Feast of First Fruits. This was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead. From that day, they were to count off 50 days and present an offering of new grain. This was fulfilled when God gave the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. The next three feasts have not been fulfilled yet. The Feast of Trumpets will be when Jesus comes back at the blast of a trumpet. The Day of Atonement will be the days of tribulation where people will be given time to repent and come into the kingdom. The last feast is the Feast of Tabernacles which will last a week. During this time the bride will tabernacle with the Lord in heaven. No work is done this whole week and first there is a harvest as God reaps all the souls into heaven. The books will be opened and judgement will be given to the unbelievers and awards will be given to the believers.
In Mark, the disciples were arguing about which one was the greatest. Jesus explained that the one who serves the best and is the most humble will be the greatest. He used a child as an example. The smallest deed we do will be rewarded. But, those that abuse the least will be judged the greatest.
Lord, give us humble hearts to love the least and worship the greatest which is You!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - Be Ye Holy!

Read: Leviticus 20:22-22:16; Mark 9:1-29; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 10:18
Moses warned them to keep all of God’s laws so that the land they were going to wouldn’t vomit them out like it would the ones who lived there then. God was calling the Israelites to be his holy nation. By being holy, that meant that they didn’t make idols to worship or participate in any of the idol worship of the people they were going to drive out. They were to stone any woman or man who had a familiar spirit or was a wizard. A person with a familiar spirit was a person who could talk to the dead or speak for someone else with them not present. One of the meanings to the word was “ventriloquist” which is just putting someone else’s personality or voice in your body. The Hebrew meaning of wizard was a person who knew things through the spirit and a person who could conjure up spirits or ghosts. In another version it calls them mediums and spiritualists. We see them everywhere. We call them palm readers, raki healers, shamens, mediums, etc.
So, are we suppose to picket these businesses and throw stones at their windows? NO! We are to live by the spirit and not the law. We stone them with words we pray. We read God’s Word over their businesses and we pray that they repent first. If they refuse to repent then we pray that their power will not have any affect and that their business will fail and leave our nation.
God gave the priests many laws concerning themselves. The priests were to be a representative of Jesus, the spotless, sinless lamb which is the reason for all the conditions for the priests. God was serious about holiness. He still is.
Jesus was holy and he allowed Peter, James, and John to see him in his glorified state. Elijah and Moses appeared with him because they stood for the law and the prophets which both pointed to Jesus. The disciples wanted to build a shelter for Elijah and Moses because it was the Feast of Tabernacles and everyone built shelters around Jerusalem. Then, God appeared in a cloud and spoke, “This is my Son, whom I love, Listen to him!” Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone.
Immediately when they got down from the mountain, a man brought him a son who was possessed by a spirit of dumbness. It had tormented and tried to kill him on many occasions. The disciples had tried to cast it out and couldn’t. Jesus first demanded faith of the father, then did the deliverance. When the disciples asked why they couldn’t do it, Jesus said that this kind can only come out by prayer (and fasting).
Lord, may we be people of prayer and fasting and may we not look to people but to You alone. Guide us by your light and truth.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Goodness of the Law

Read: Leviticus 19:1-20:21; Mark 8:11-38; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 10:17
Moses gave the people the Ten Commandments along with many others. God wanted the people to be holy…not good. It doesn’t take long to realize that personally we have some things to work on and as a nation we have some things terribly mixed up. God is trying to let us know how life is on heaven in His kingdom so we can live there one day.
Every law was to make His children happier and give them a better life. It was to protect them from diseases and heart ache and to keep their consciences clear to hear and love God and others. Too bad, many people looked at the law as a way to inhibit them from fun. God was trying to protect them from harm.
On the Jewish side of the lake and the Pharisees asked for a sign. Jesus had already given them so many signs and they had attributed his power to the devil so Jesus was through trying to convince them. He went to the other side of the lake to the Gentiles. On the way, Jesus and his disciples got into a conversation about bread and their lack of it. Jesus told them to be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees. Yeast is the ingredient in bread that caused it to rise. The bread is the Word of God. The Pharisees had added to the Word and made their additions more powerful than Jesus. Their pride caused them to make their laws rise above God’s law. That was what Jesus was talking about.
When they got to the other side, Jesus began creating new eyes out of dust for a blind man. The man only saw partially at first and men looked like trees walking. Trees represent men throughout the Bible (see Psalm 1).
Jesus did his miracles in secret and didn’t want his disciples telling people who he was because the Jews had rejected him and Jesus didn’t want to start a riot.
Jesus was nearing the end of his life so he started sharing with his disciples what was going to happen. God never does anything that he doesn’t first tell his friends. (Amos 3:7)
Lord, we are thirsty for You and your words of truth. We will put our trust in You, and you will never disappoint!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Life in the Blood

Read: Leviticus 16:29-18:30; Mark 7:24-8:10; Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 41:1-13
We are still talking about the day of atonement that was to take away Israel’s sin for the next year. Every year they would repeat the ceremony to atone for the next year. Over and over you read that the life was in the blood. Our spiritual eternal life is in the blood of Jesus which is why God put so much emphasis on blood.
In leviticus 18 we have all the laws concerning sexual relations. There is only one person that will it is legal to have sexual relations with and that is your spouse. Everyone else made you defiled and cut off from his people. Then they would be guilty of the sins of the nations around them. That is why God told them to destroy these people. He knew that their evil hearts and evil practices would rub off on Israel which was exactly what happened.
In the New Testament, Jesus was in the area of the Gentiles. He entered the house to have some privacy, but word spreads rapidly that Jesus is here. A woman brought her demon possessed daughter and begged Jesus to deliver her. Jesus told him that he came to bring his message first to the Jew. She told him that even the dogs got the bread crumbs that fell from the table. Jesus was amazed at her tenacity and faith. He healed her daughter. He went on to feed 4,000 mainly Gentiles. He did it with 7 loaves and a few fish. After feeding them, they picked up 7 baskets full of food. God always has more than enough.
Lord, you always bless those who have regard for the weak. May we have your heart and follow your ways.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fri.’s Devo -Be Made Clean

Read: Leviticus 15:1-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14
Leviticus 15 talks in length about the issue of blood and seman which gives us insight into the plight of the woman with the issue of blood that touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed. For 12 years she had been unable to go into the sanctuary and no one could get near her, sit where she had sat, slept where she had slept nor could she have married a man. She was isolated from social life. Jesus took away her uncleanness and made her clean. The nation of Israel had been unclean for longer than 12 years and Jesus came to touch their nation and make it clean yet many of them rejected him.
Not only is this a spiritual picture but it was also a lesson on hygiene. God was teaching them how germs spread.
Leviticus 16 teaches us about the Day of Atonement which God proclaimed as the only day the high priest could approach the mercy seat which was inside the Holy of Holies. Aaron had lost his two sons because they entered unlawfully so God was giving them instruction of how to do it right.
First, the priest had to bring sacrifices: two goats for sin and a bull for a burnt offering. He was to dress himself in the clothing God had specified - the priestly garments. Then, he was to take an offering of two goats and one ram from the people for their sins. He was to present the goats to the Lord to choose the scapegoat by lots. The other was to be the offering to the Lord and the scapegoat was to eventually go free.
He offered the bull to cover his own sin then the goat. He lit the incense altar which made a sweet aroma and produced a cloud of smoke which was a picture of God’s glory that followed them through the wilderness. He was to take the blood from the bull and sprinkle the mercy seat seven times to atone for him and his household. Then he was to do the same with the goat which was the sacrifice to atone for the nation.
Next, the priest would lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, transferring their sins to this goat and send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. Aaron would then shed his bloody garments, wash and put on fresh priestly garments. He was to offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and burn the fat.
The man who took the scape goat had to wash his clothes also and burn everything left of the sacrifice and take it outside the camp.
This whole ritual was a picture of Jesus. Both goats stood for Jesus. He not only died for us but he told our sins away as far as the east was from the west. After his death, Jesus shed his earthly flesh like a garment and put on the glory. When he got to heaven, he offered himself on the altar of heaven.
The Pharisees rebuked Jesus for not making his disciples go through their ritual of hand washing before they ate. Jesus explained to them that they had left the law of Moses and had made us their own laws that were not God’s laws. Then he explained that it was not eating with unwashed hands that was going to make a person unclean, but it was what came out of wicked hearts that would make a person unclean.
Lord, may your mercy cover us like a cloud and may your love and truth always protect us.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Cleansing

Read: Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12
God gave them a ceremony to use when someone was healed of an infectious skin disease. The priest was to take two live clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop brought by the person who was healed. The priest would order one of the birds to be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. The other live bird was to be dipped in the blood with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop. Then the person that was to be cleansed was to be sprinkled with the blood seven times. The live bird was then released in the open fields. The birds represented Jesus. The first bird was killed signifying His death. Along with the bird were all the symbols at the crucifixion. The cedar wood represented the cross. The scarlet yarn represented the scarlet thread that weaves itself through every book of the Bible. The hyssop was what was offered Jesus to lesson his pain. He chose not to take the hyssop so the hyssop represents the pain and suffering of the cross. The bird that went free represented Jesus resurrected body.
There is no record of this ritual ever being done but when Jesus healed the Jewish man of leprosy, he told him to go and present himself to the priests. They would have had to perform this ritual.
The person made clean represened a person who comes to Jesus and gives his sin to Jesus. He was to wash his clothes which represented putting away his past sinful habits. Then he was to shave off all his hair representing his change of coverings. He was no longer trying to be good apart from the grace of God. Jesus blood is our covering that makes us righteous, not our works. He was then invited to come back into the camp, but he was to spend his first 7 days outside his tent. On the 7th day, he had to shave off all his hair on his body, wash his clothes and bathe himself with water, and he would be clean.
When we become Christians we are invited into the camp of God. We spend our life on earth. On our “8th day” we enter heaven. We are completely rid of the power of death and sin before we enter heaven. This is our spiritual bath and shaving.
God also dealt with mildew in a house which represents bloodline sins. Anyone who comes into this family is affected by their curses or sins that they participate in. They must be cleansed the same way leprosy is cleansed. They have to be brought to the cross and have the blood of Jesus applied to their hurts and wombs.
In Mark, the disciples realized the people were as hungry as they were and wanted them to go home. Jesus told the disciples to feed them. They immediately looked at the natural and realized that was an impossibility. Jesus was trying to train them to see with spiritual eyes. Jesus fed the 5,000 and sent his disciples across the lake so he could go up on the mountain to pray. After Jesus spent time with his Father, he started walking across the water to join his disciples on the other side. His disciples were fighting angry waves of Satan who did not want them to make it to the other side. Jesus had already showed them what to do in a storm so he passed them on his way over. They recognized him and cried out in fear. Jesus calmed their fears and the sea calmed down as he entered the boat.
They came to Gennesaret where he had delivered the man of Legion and been kicked out. This time the people came from everywhere. They begged him to touch them. The man that had been delivered had done his job and spread the news of what Jesus had done for him. They were ready to hear this time.
Lord, help us to learn how to do the things that you did with great faith. Enlarge our hearts and our faith.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Offenses

Read: Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 10:10
The plague of leprosy is a picture of offense. Romans tells us all about the flesh. Romans 8:8 says that they that are in the flesh cannot please God. So the flesh is a picture of our sin nature. Leprosy is a disease of the flesh. It is the disease of unforgiveness. If we hold unforgiveness in our hearts it will eventually spread to our conversations and cause us to become bitter. This is leprosy that has gotten under our skin. Our leprosy will spread to those around us and cause them to take up our offense. On the seventh day, judgement day, we will all be judged for the condition of our hearts. We must be free of all unforgiveness before we can enter heaven. Our hearts must be pure and clean.
The person who had leprosy was to cry out “unclean” to anyone who came near. He was to live alone outside the camp. Bitterness does cause other people to not want to be around us and it causes us to close our hearts so we don’t open up and embrace people. It makes us afraid to be hurt again. Jesus never gave up on love, no matter how he was hurt. He continued to reach out with compassion and we have to do the same.
People who live in bitterness are very lonely people who are in need healing. Jesus came and healed many people of their leprosy.
Unforgiveness opens the door to so many other sins to enter. The man of the Gaderenes had a legion of demons that had entered him through the door of unforgiveness.
People fear what they cannot understand. The people didn’t understand Jesus so they tried to use reason. Reason will never help us understand God’s kingdom. It is a kingdom of faith and miracles, signs and wonders which defy human reasoning.
The people of Jesus’ home town did not understand who Jesus was because they could only see him in the natural. They were offended by him. They had leprosy of the heart. Herod was offended by the message that John the Baptist preached because it exposed his sin. Herod killed him in the natural, but he couldn’t kill his message. Jesus continued the message. Neither can we kill the message of repentance and forgiveness. We have to forgive others, no matter what they did to us just as Jesus has forgiven our sins.
Lord, help us to forgive those who have offended and used us. Cleanse our hearts so we can freely love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Walking in Maturity

Read: Leviticus 11:1-12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 10:8-9
The law is spiritual so it has meaning beyond the natural. In the natural they could only eat animals that had a split hoof completely divided and that chewed the cud. We are to eat the Word of God. We are to rightly divide it and meditate on it.
They could only eat fish that had fins and scales. The fins help the fish to swim straight and the scales cover their body and protect them. We are to stay balanced in our understanding of the Word and always be covered by our church and the blood of Jesus. People get in error when they isolate themselves and get out of a spiritual covering. Other people help us to stay balanced.
God told them not to make themselves unclean by any creature that moved about on the ground because He was the god who brought them out of Egypt. All of the Egyptian gods walked about on all four feet. God called us to walk upright, looking forward and up, not down on the ground. We are to be heavenly minded, not earthly minded.
In Mark, Jesus was speaking to mainly to the Gentiles when a Jewish leader, Jarius came and begged Jesus to come and heal his little 12 year old girl. Jesus started to leave the crowd to follow this man to his house. On the way, he was touched by a desperate woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Jesus was in a crowd of people, but when she touched him, he felt power leave him. She felt the power enter her body so when Jesus asked who had touched him, she knew it was her. Jesus told her that her faith had made her whole and she could walk in peace because her suffering was over.
Meanwhile, Jarius was told that his daughter was dead. Did he wonder if Jesus had just kept walking, she wouldn’t have died. Jesus knew that time was not an impossible barrier. He told the man not to be afraid, only to believe. When he got to the house, Jesus proclaimed that she was only sleeping and all the crowd laughed at him. Jesus got rid of the crowd and went in with the family. He spoke to the little girl and she woke up. Jesus told them not to tell anyone.
Lord, help us to walk securely in your path. May we be brave and courageous and mature in Your ways.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Seed

Read: Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7
Aaron preformed the sacrifices for the people exactly how God had instructed them and God answered with glory and fire. The fire consumed the offering and the people shouted for joy and worshipped the Lord. But, Nadab and Abihu took matters into their own hands and offered an offering different from what God had told them to. God answered them by fire but instead of consuming their offering, it consumed them. Their cousins had to carry their bodies out of the camp. Aaron was instructed not to mourn for his sons or he would die also. Only the people could mourn for them. As the high priest, Aaron could not mourn sin.
In Mark, Jesus explained how the kingdom was going to grow. Our job is to scatter the seed everywhere we go. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce life in the hearts of the people that received the Word or the seed.
The disciples were with Jesus crossing the sea of Galilee. On one side were the Jewish people and on the other side were the Gentiles. They were leaving the Jewish side and going across to the Gentiles and Satan didn’t want them to come to his territory. He had a man there that housed his principality over that region. So, Satan stirred up the storm to deter them. He underestimated the fact that Jesus was in that boat. Jesus rebuked the wind and caused peace which was a precursor of what he would do when he got on land. Satan’s man met them on the shore. He lived in the tombs and no one could bind him, even with a chain. Jesus bound his spirits and freed him with a word. His legion went into the pigs that were to be used for pagan sacrifice. The man was left sane and totally at peace. When he wanted to follow Jesus, Jesus sent him back to spread the seed to the Decapolis (the ten cities). This is how the kingdom spreads. Jesus planted his seed inside this man and we will see later that when Jesus comes back to this area, the people who wanted him to leave will be ready to receive him and his message because of the seed this delivered man will scatter.
Lord, may we be scatterers of the seed of the Word of God and your love.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Soil

Read: Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31-4:25; Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 10:5
The priest were dressed in their priestly garments and told to stay at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days and do what the Lord required of them or they would die. I’ve explained before that the seven days represent the span of our lives and the span of history. We are in God’s
“week”. According the the Hebrew we are in the year 5777 making us in the fifth day. On the fifth day of creation God created things that move on the earth. Since they came out of the water, it is showing how things move in the spirit. That is what we are learning to do during this millennium. We are learning to move in the spirit. So the lesson we learn from the priest is that we are to dwell in God’s presence day and night learning to do what God requires of us.
In Mark, Jesus mother and brothers came where Jesus was to talk to him. Yesterday we read that Jesus’ family came to take charge of him because they thought he was out of his mind. So, today, we see that happening. Jesus addressed the crowd and asked them who was his mother and brothers. He told them that anyone who does the will of God was his family. He was saying that anyone could have an audience with him if they accepted him for who he was. Then he taught them the most important parables that all the others hung on. If they didn’t understand this one, they wouldn’t understand the other parables.
The parable of the seed and the sower has to do with the soil. The soil determined what happened to the seed. The seed was the Word of truth, the Word of God. It could only grow in soil that was deep and rich. The soil is our heart. Our heart determines everything.
Lord, help us to carefully consider what we hear. May our hearts be soft and pliable to your Word and your Spirit. Speak to us today and give us grace to live an abundant life.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Atonement

Read: Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-30; Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4
The Lord gave instruction about how to right the wrongs done by one person against another. They were to restore what was stolen, with interest, anything they had extorted.
We are to do the same. We have to right our wrongs against other people. Then we can ask God to forgive us and he will.
The sin offering was about sinning against God and his commandments. The guilt offering was about sinning against another person. It was to bring peace between you and that person and God. The fellowship offering was to an expression of thankfulness. We call this praise and worship. It is a voluntary offering and very pleasing to the Lord.
In Mark, Jesus calls his twelve and sent them out to preach and gave them authority to drive out demons. Jesus, and other followers, went to a person’s house. So many people came to see him that he and didn’t have room to recline and eat. His family heard about this and said he was out of his mind. The teacher of the law said he was possessed by Beelzebub. What rejection!
Jesus’ response was a parable about Satan and his kingdom. He was referring to the religious kingdom which was opposing God’s kingdom through Him. Since they had rejected him as a nation, their sin would be eternally held against them. They attributed his power to the devil’s which was the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
The Lord tells us not to fret when evil men rise up but to trust in the Lord and do good.
Lord, we choose to delight ourselves in you and not fear the wicked. You give us the desires of our heart as we commit our way to You and trust in You.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - New Wineskins

Read: Leviticus 4:1-5:19; Mark 2:13-3:6; Psalm 36:1-12; Proverbs 10:1-2
Sin is sin and has to be atoned for whether you are ignorant of your trespass or not. In the Old Testament they had sacrifices to atone for their sin but they could only appropriate them when they realized they had sinned. In the New Testament, Jesus became our final sacrifice for all the sins we would ever commit. When we realize we have sinned all we have to do is confess it before God and apply the blood of Christ to that sin.
In the Old Testament, the offender was to lay their hand on the head of the animal passing his sin on to that animal. Then he was to burn it on the burnt altar which stood for the cross. The blood was to be poured out at the base of the altar. That blood was the proof that the sacrifice had atoned for the sin and the person offering it was forgiven. It is the blood that has the power to take our sins away.
In Mark, the teachers of the law could not get over the fact that Jesus seemed to be breaking all their laws. He ate with sinners and tax collectors making himself unclean. He didn’t fast which broke the law and he healed or “worked” on the Sabbath. Jesus answered their accusations with two parables. The first was about putting a new patch on an old garment and the other was about pouring new wine into old wineskins. He was referring to them and the law when he talked about the old and he was referring to himself and the new covenant when he talked about the new. He was looking for new wineskins to pour his new wine into and they couldn’t make the switch.
God is still looking for new wineskins to pour his new wine into. This wine is ever changing and recharging. We have to be pliable and teachable because God is revealing more and more of himself and his eternal plan to us. It is all hidden in the Word and remains hidden until the time God is ready to reveal it. He is opening these mysteries in our day more than ever. If we stay grounded in the Word and in Him we won’t be deceived by sensationalism or false doctrine.
Lord, May we find refuge in the shadow of your wings and feast on the abundance of your house. Give us water from your river of delights. In your light, we see light.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Christ’s Offering and Our Offering

Read: Leviticus 1:1-3:17; Mark 1:29-2:12; Psalm 35:17-28; Proverbs 9:13-18
Today we read about two kinds of offerings: the burnt offering and the peace offering. The burnt offering was required and the peace offering was voluntary. The burnt offering stands for Jesus death on the cross. If we offer this one for our lives then we are saying that Christ is our sacrifice and we are cleansed of sin. If we offer the peace offering or fellowship offering we are saying that we want to be sanctified and want to have fellowship with the Lord. This is our sacrifice to Him.
In Mark, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law which tells us that Peter was married. Jesus also healed many and cast out many demons. He refused to let the demons talk because they knew who he was and he wanted the people to figure it out for themselves. Next, Jesus healed a Jewish leper which was one of the Messianic signs that the Pharisees and leaders of the law had written as a miracle only the Messiah would do. Jesus told him to go and show the priests so they would have to be accountable. Jesus also healed the paralytic. These miracles had never been done by a man which shows us how much they had to harden their hearts not to see the truth. We are seeing this same hardness in our country right now. God is trying to heal America and bring his righteous rule in and people are completely blind to what is good and right. They are rebelling against common sense and righteousness but God’s rule will prevail!
Lord we rejoice with the Psalmist in saying, “may those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Jesus Enters His Ministry

Read: Exodus 39:1-40:38; Mark 1:1-28; Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 9:11-12
Today we see in detail about the high priest’s garments. Jesus is our high priest. He carries us next to his heart and carry us on his shoulder. We are all a member of one of the tribes of Israel. Everything in the law is spiritual according to Romans 7:14.
The tabernacle was set up the first day of the year which was Roshashana. One day, Jesus will come back on that day and the true bride will begin tabernacling with the Lord. The rest of the chosen will come in on the Feast of Tabernacles. Spiritually, we can tabernacle with the Lord right now. All it means is dwelling in His kingdom. Once the tabernacle was in place, the glory cloud of the Lord came down and filled the tabernacle. It was their guide, protection, light and constant reminder that God was watching over them.
In Mark, John the Baptist announced Jesus and who he was. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and remained and immediately drove him into the wilderness with the dangerous animals (demons) to be tempted of Satan.
Soon after John had completed his destiny of preparing the way for Jesus and announcing his arrival, he was put in prison. Jesus continued John’s message of repentance. The first disciples Jesus called out were Simon and Andrew. Simon’s name means “hearkening” and Andrew’s name means “manly”. Then Jesus
called James whose name means “grace”. These three were all fishermen. We who hear the message and realize our humanity and our sin will be saved by God’s grace that comes through what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. His teaching had so much authority it caused the demons to act out. Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit in the man and it came out. The people had never seen anything like this and word spread all throughout Galilee.
When we start walking in this authority, demons will be stirred up, but we will know what to do. This will help us to spread the gospel. We are to do the works of Jesus and greater.
Lord, help us to learn how to gain authority to speak the truth and see the power of God demonstrated on the earth.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Pattern

Read: Exodus 37:1-38:31; Matthew 28:1-20; Psalm 34:11-22; Proverbs 9:9-10
Every thing that was crafted in the tabernacle was specific to show us about God and how to approach him. He is the ark of the covenant. Moses was shown God’s priestly order and His throne and told to make a copy of it here on earth. He told him exactly what the measurements were to be which were in direct proportion to the ones in heaven. The only pieces that will not be in heaven will be the brazen altar and the laver. These pieces were outside the tabernacle in the courtyard. They won’t be needed in heaven since we won’t need the cross or sanctification.
The laver was made from the women’s mirrors because the laver is where we are constantly being cleansed from our sins. When we behold ourselves in a mirror we can see ourselves as we really are. When we are only seeing the faults in others our vision is clouded and we start judging. If we are constantly beholding our own face, we become humble and forgiving.
Here is a quick run through of the furniture in the tabernacle and what it represents. We are saved at the burnt altar which represents the cross and Jesus as our perfect sacrifice. We are sanctified at the laver which was a huge bowl of water that the priests used to wash their hands after doing the sacrifices. We move into maturity when we enter into the Holy Place. Here is where the eat the Word at the table of shewbread, receive revelation from the oil and illumination of the Menorah and offer our prayers at the altar of incense. We take that incense into the Holy of Holies where we commune with God in His presence. The first veil was the veil separating the natural and the spiritual. The second veil was to hide God’s glory. At the crucifixion that veil was torn and we can now enter through that veil boldly before God’s throne because our High Priest opened it up for us all. That is where we have intimacy with God.
In Matthew, it was the morning of the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. There was a great earthquake. God’s angel came down, rolled the stone away so everyone would be able to see that Jesus wasn’t there and sat on top of the stone. The angel was so glorious that the soldiers that were guarding the tomb shook and fell down like dead men. The two Mary’s had come to the tomb and saw the whole thing. The angel told them that Jesus had risen from the dead and was in Galilee waiting to see them and his disciples.
Meanwhile, the soldiers ran to report to the chief priests what had happened. They allowed the priests to bribe them not to tell anyone what they had seen.
The disciples went and met Jesus who gave them his commission to to and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the son, and of the Holy Spirit. He promised to be with them to the end of the age.
Thank you for your promises and your Word that never loses it power and significance.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God’s Beautiful Tabernacle

Read: Exodus 35:10-36:38; Matthew 27:32-66; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs 9:7-8
God loves beauty and the arts. Jesus was a master carpenter who crafted wood into usable objects. In the Bible, God refers people to trees many times. Jesus takes us as raw wood and crafts us into usable vessels for his use. God created all the beauty in the earth and he put his creativity in us to bless the world. It all reminds us of God’s glory and magnificence.
In Mathew, Jesus is led to the cross and it is dark for three hours. If you want to know what happens during that three hours you can read Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22. In these verses you will read how God wrapped himself in darkness and came down to earth. He ministered to Jesus as he hung on the cross. When the light came back no, Jesus gave them a verse to let them know what was being revealed at that moment. They named the Psalms by the first line of the Psalm. Jesus said, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me.” referring them to Psalm 22. In that Psalm it gives us the picture of Jesus on the cross. God NEVER forsook Jesus on the cross. God CAN look at sin which he does everyday. God NEVER turned away from his son. God is omnipotent and omnipresent. He can never not be in any place. It is not his nature to ever leave his own and especially his own son.
When Jesus died, the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was rent, inviting us into God’s presence.
Lord, thank you that you never leave us and when we look to you our faces will never be covered with shame.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Life or Death

Read: Exodus 34:1-35:9; Matthew 27:15-31; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 9:1-6
Yesterday we read where the people broke the law and Moses demonstrated this by throwing the tablets down and breaking them. Today, God called Moses back up and wrote the laws again on the tablets. When God met with Moses he shared with him His heart about sin. God promised that he was slow to get angry and full of love and faithfulness. He forgives wickedness and rebellion and sin get he will not let sin go unpunished. It will affect even the third and forth generation.
God told them that He would drive out their enemies before him but they were not to make any covenant of marry any of their people or they would be enticed into worshipping their gods and it would be a snare to them.
When Moses came back down the mountain, his face shone with God’s glory. We should shine with the presence of the Lord if we spend time in his presence. We should not be surprised if the world is repelled by us when we carry the presence of the Lord, because they were with Jesus.
In Matthew, Pilate was looking to release Jesus because he knew he was innocent and didn’t want Jesus’ blood on his hands. Pilate offered the people Jesus or Barabbas. Barabbas was a notorious rebel. Pilat though they would surely choose Jesus who only did good. He was so wrong. Their hearts were so twisted and jealous they chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. Pilate washed his hands and the Jews accepted the responsibility. Thus began the mock trial of Jesus. Know this for a fact: at any time, Jesus could have called on the host of heaven’s army and they would have been annihilated. The people didn’t take Jesus’ life, he laid it down for us.
Lord, we care so grateful for your faithful love to us. Jesus, thank you for laying down your life for us.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Boldness

Read: Exodus 32:1-33:23; Matthew 26:69-27:14; Psalm 33:1-11; Proverbs 8:33-36
Aaron and Peter both were tested in their faith and both were weak. They were both faced with peer pressure and caved. Aaron was pressured to take charge and do something since Moses didn’t seem to be coming down. Aaron hadn’t learned to ask God first. We have to learn to ask God and if God doesn’t answer then we need to wait till he does. God is never in a hurry or stressed out. He works in the unknown before he brings it into the seen. Patience is a hard lesson to learn.
Aaron moved out in fear of the people instead of fear of God. He collected gold earrings and with his own hands fashioned the calf and told them that this was the god that delivered them. Then he made a feast so they could all celebrate this new god.
Satan will always try to tempt us to make God’s plan happen through our own hands in our timing instead of God’s. It never works for our benefit when we do.
Peter fell under peer pressure and immediately regretted it. He had to learn that he could do nothing in his own strength. Once he was empowered with the Holy Spirit he was bold as a lion.
Three thousand people died because of their unbelief in God’s ways in the Old Testament. The giving of the law was the first Pentecost. The first Pentecost after Jesus died is recorded in Acts 2-3. On that day, Peter preached with boldness and power and three thousand were saved. The law brings death and the spirit brings life.
I want to bring your attention to one more important fact. While Moses’ right-hand man, Aaron, sinned by making the golden calf, Joshua remained faithful. Joshua never left the tent of meeting - he never left the presence of the Lord. He even slept in the tent. That is why Joshua was chosen to lead the people into the promised land. We will never reach our destiny and never live in the promises of God unless we choose to remain in His presence and in fellowship all day long.
God told the children of Israel that he would not go with them because they had rejected Him as their God. All these people died before they got to cross over into the promised land. But God told Moses he would go with him. When Moses asked to see God’s glory God told him that there was a place where he could stand on a rock. God would pass by and allow him to see his back. This rock was Jesus. If we stand on it we will not only see his back but like Jesus told the pure in heart - we will see God.
Thank you that you say that whoever finds you finds life and received favor from the Lord. We receive you and your favor.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - The Office of the Priest

Read: Exodus 30:11-31:18; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 8:27-32
God gave Moses instructions for counting the people. When they were counted they were to bring a ransom for every person that was the age of twenty and older. The ransom was the same for everyone rich or poor which was a half shekel. This money was required to pay for the service of the sanctuary. If they did not do it the way he commanded, a plague would come on the people. This is exactly what happened when David counted the people and didn’t collect this tax from the people. A plague came on the people and 70,000 were killed. This tax represented the ransom that Jesus paid for their souls. We are no longer are counted physically but our souls are accountable for paying this debt. If we are in Christ then he has forever paid our ransom. If we are not then the plague of death will fall on us.
Even though we walk in grace, to be priests we must choose to walk in holiness. The priests had to wash their feet before they could minister to the Lord for the people. Our walk has to be sanctified before we can be ministers before the Lord for the people. They were also to be anointed with a special oil made of sweet smelling spices. Ephesians 5:2 tells us that to walk in Christ’s love is like a sweet-smelling savour to the Lord.
The priest was to be sanctified for seven days. Seven days has to do with the lifespan of humanity. It means that as long as we walk on this earth, we are to walk in holiness to the Lord if we want the office of a priest.
Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that was a type of the Passover lamb. The passover lamb was to be inspected for 10 days before being killed as the sacrifice. In these 10 days they were to determine if he was spotless. Jesus was examined for 10 days also to see if he was sinless. Today we read the first of the 10 days. He is arrested and will be brought before the religious and political leaders of the day. They will be able to find no fault in him. Then Jesus will die for the sins of all mankind forever.
Lord thank you for forgiving our sins and taking away our shame. We rejoice in you!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thur.’s Devo - The Blood and the Oil

Read: Exodus 29:1-30:10; Matthew 26:14-46; Psalm 31:19-24; Proverbs 8:14-26
The priests were to be consecrated and anointed with oil. They were clothed with special garments. A priest is a person who brings other people before the Lord in prayer and atones for the sin of the people through sacrifices. If we want to be priests before the Lord we must be consecrate and filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. We must be clothed in humility and righteousness.
The blood of the lamb was to be put on the tip of the right ear of the high priest, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons and upon the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of their right foot and on the altar. Jesus is our high priest who became a man so he could identify with our sins. He overcame sin for us as the perfect lamb of God. His blood needs to be applied to all that we hear (our ears), everything we do (our thumb) and everywhere we go (our toe). Then the anointing oil was to be applied on the priests. We need the salvation bought by the precious blood of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Next, the priests were given a loaf of unleavened bread to wave before the Lord. This is a picture of us offering back to the Lord what his Word says. The loaf is the bread of life that we wave through prayer. We are to read the Word and use it in prayer and in proclaiming what it says into our lives. God’s promise to us was that he would dwell among us and be our God.
The altar of incense was to be made of wood and covered with gold and placed right outside of the veil that divided the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The high priest would take incense from that altar into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement to pray for the sins of the nation. Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us and we, as priests, are to offer prayers for our nation and others. Our prayers are as incense to the Lord. (Revelation 8:4)
In Matthew we read about Judas Iscariot. His name means “he will be hired”. He is a picture of Satan who was one of God’s main creatures in heaven until he betrayed God and rebelled against him taking a third of the angels with him. Judas also stands for all the anti-christs throughout history who sell the Lord out for honor, position, and money. Jesus said of Judas that it would have been better for him if he hadn’t been born. What a curse!
It was the night before the Passover and Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. They ate the Lord’s Supper and Jesus told them it would be the last meal they ate together until they came to his Father’s kingdom. He told them he would be smitten and then rise again and meet them in Galilee. I am sure they had no clue as to what he was talking about but they had learned to trust him. When Peter told him he would never be offended in Jesus, he told him he would deny him three times before the cock crowed. Peter had to learn that what Jesus said is always true. Peter was tested and had to learn his frailty.
Lord, we are frail and weak like Peter and need the power of your blood and your Holy Spirit. Wash us in your Word and fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - The Tabernacle

Read: Exodus 26:1-27:21; Matthew 25:1-30; Psalm 31:1-8; Proverbs 8:1-11
God gave Moses a blueprint for the tabernacle and everything about it was to be a picture of the spiritual man who was to be a tabernacle of the presence of the Lord. Today we read much about the curtain that went around the tabernacle. The number fifty is used over and over. Fifty has to do with release and freedom. We are to walk in freedom from our past and guilt. The tent was covered with rams skins dyed red which was a picture of the blood of Jesus. Over this was the hide of an animal which stands for our flesh. There was framework to hold the curtains up. They had crossbars that represent the cross. The cross is our foundation and what holds our lives together.
Another one of the curtains was suppose to be sewn with blue, purple and scarlet yarn twisted so that his looked like a cherubim. These represents the angels of God that always surround us and watch over us.
All the furniture was made of wood and covered with gold. The altar in the Holy of Holies represents our heart and the presence of the Lord in our heart. Beyond the Holy of Holies was the Holy Place. In that room was the altar of incense, the table of shewbread, the menorah. That room represents our soul. That is where we choose to fellowship with the Lord in reading his Bible (the table of shewbread), prayer (the altar of insence) and receiving revelation (the menorah). Outside the tabernacle was the burnt altar, and the basin. That place represents our body. That is our public ministry. We are to publicly confess Jesus (the burnt offering) and show by our sanctified life that we are saved (the basin). This is our testimony to the church and the world.
Aaron and his sons were to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning and forever as a testimony. In Matthew we see that five of the virgins did not keep their lamps burning because they ran out of oil. We have to keep the oil of the Holy Spirit alive in our lives or we will be unfruitful and unprepared when God needs to use us.
Lord, we choose your instruction over gold or silver. We trust in your knowledge and wisdom.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Feasts of the Lord

Read: Exodus 23:14-25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 7:24-27
God gave them instructions concerning his feasts. There are seven feasts happening three different times of the year. The first three are coupled together and occur in the spring at the wheat harvest. They are Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. The next occurs 50 days later and is called the feast of weeks or Pentecost. The next group happens in the fall during the fruit harvest and are the feast of trumpets, Yom Kippor, and feast of Tabernacles. They were called by different names but these are the seven feasts. They were to be rehearsals because God was going to move on these feast days throughout the years and one day fulfill them in a big way. God has fulfilled the first four and the last three are yet to be fulfilled. Jesus died on Passover, was buried on Unleavened Bread and rose of First Fruits. He sent his Spirit on Pentecost. He will come back for his bride on Trumpets. The tribulation will occur during Yom Kipor and he will return on Tabernacles.
On these days all the males were to appear in Jerusalem and participate in the feasts. They were not to offer a blood sacrifice with anything containing yeast. Yeast stands for sin and the Blood of Christ came to do away with sin. He gave them other commandments and told them that his angel would go before them. If they worship only the Lord, then no one would be sick and no one would be barren or miscarry. The fear of the Lord would go before them and scare away all their enemies until they had taken the land.
Moses sanctified the altar with blood and took his leaders and elders and went up on the mountain. These men saw the Lord and under his feet was the floor of heaven. God called Moses up to receive the stone tablets He had written. Only Joshua went further up the mountain with him. A cloud covered the mountain for six days then God called Moses out of the cloud to come up even further. The mountain was full of the glory of the Lord which looked like fire on top of the mountain. There Moses stayed forty days and nights. He gave him all the instructions for building the tabernacle.
Matthew continues with the signs of the end. These are all signs of the very end because that was what the disciples asked. I personally don’t believe the church will still be here but a remnant of new believers will. From the time the church is taken, it will not be a generation before the end. God is not coming as a thief to us, but he will to those in the end. They will not know when he is coming. Many will give up and lose faith but a remnant will be saved.
Thank you, Lord, that your anger only lasts a moment, but your favor lasts a lifetime. We will walk in your favor today.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Law and Grace

Read: Exodus 21:22-23:13; Matthew 24:1-28; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 7:6-23
In the Old Testament the law was “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for word, bruise for bruise.” Jesus came teaching a new covenant. He taught to love your friends and love your enemies and to do good to those who hurt you and despitefully use you or say all kinds of mean and slanderous things against you for the gospel’s sake. He taught forgiveness. The children of Israel were children and first they had to learn how to treat one another fairly. This is the law of the land. Jesus’ law was the law of the heart. Only those who had his heart could follow his law because it dealt with heart issues. The world does not have a changed heart so they must have laws to keep the world safe. God’s Mosaic law was teaching the people justice. This is how God will judge the world in the end. We will totally skip judgment because of the blood of Jesus but will be rewarded for our good deeds.
Romans 7:14 says that the law is spiritual which means that all the laws have spiritual meanings as well as natural. Let me show you how that works. Exodus 22:1-4 talks about the thief. We know that the thief is the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy. In these verses the thief steals, kills and sells an ox that belongs to someone else. An ox has to do with your strength to provide for your family in every way. The thief must restore to the person four to five times what he has stolen depending on the value of what he has stolen. If the thief is caught in the act and killed then no blood is to be shed for him. The blood of Jesus will never save the devil. He has made his choice. If he is caught with the goods and they are not harmed then he just has to restore double. The devil has stolen from us our wealth, our peace, our joy, our children’s hearts but God said that he would restore to us the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm with his great army that he sent among us. We will eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord. We will never be ashamed. We can demand that the devil pay us back at least double for what he has stolen from us. That is a promise.
When the disciples asked what would be the sign of his coming and of the end of the age. Jesus gave them a list: the deception of false prophets, unrest in the nations, famine and pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, and world-wide evangelism. He warned them when they saw the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place they were to flee to the mountains. Then great tribulation will take place and Jesus will come back. I think it is important for us to realize what time we are living in. We cannot think that this is talking about today or we will not live out our destiny. We are to rule and reign on the earth and do the greater works that Jesus talked about. We see many of these signs now but they have been going on for a while. We need to live like kingdom kids and bring heaven to earth first before Jesus is coming down to rescue his bride. We need to live like the bride first and let Jesus live through us.
What ever you believe…. do not live in fear. It is a win-win for the people of Christ.
Lord, thank you that you bless your people with peace.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The Third Day Miracles

Read: Exodus 19:16-21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 7:1-5
On the third day… In the Bible, many things happen on the third day. On the third day of creation the seed gave fruit that conformed to the seed. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. Joseph was brought out of prison and elevated to second in command on the third day. There are many more “third day” happenings but they are all times when God acted. On this third day, God came down from heaven wrapped in a cloud and spoke to the people. He gave them the Ten Commandments and this was the first Pentecost. A trumpet sounded louder and louder and there were thunderings and lighting and the mountain was smoking. From this loud and awesome display of power, God called Moses up into the smoke to ascend the mountain so he could further speak to him. God wanted to give the people a visible experience of his glory and power so they wouldn’t forget him and would always trust him.
There is so much we could talk about in the commandments but I want to focus on the altar of the Lord. God forbade them to make gods of silver or gold. Their altar was to be of earth. On this altar they were to offer their burnt offerings, peace offering, sheep, and oxen. In all the places that He put his name he would come and bless them. These altars are now the altars of our heart. When we put God’s name on the altar of our heart, we can offer him sacrifices of prayer and repentence. They were not to be of hewn stone or anything they built of their own. God was saying that our altar couldn’t be make of our works but only the cross that Jesus laid his life on. They were not to make steps that go up to the altar that their nakedness not be discovered on them. That meant that we don’t get saved by achieving a step-by-step program or regimen. That is a religion of works which only points out our sin. We don’t get cleaned up first to be righteous enough to come to Jesus. We come just as we are and he sanctifies us.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees for their hypocritical lives and told them that instead of adding laws that oppressed the people they should follow after justice, mercy and faithfulness.
Lord, may we not try to impress you with our works but with the humbleness of our hearts. May we follow after justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fri.’s Devo- Intercession

Read: Exodus 17:8-19:15; Matthew 22:34-23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 6:27-35
The Amelekites mean “the perverters”. They came out against the Israelites and God gave Moses the strategy to fight them. They realized that when Moses had his hands extended they would be winning but when he got tired and lowered them, the Amelekites were winning. This is a picture of intercession. When God’s people pray, we start winning, but when we stop, the enemies’ side starts winning. We need to remember this and pray for our families and nation every day. They won the battle so Moses built an altar and named it Jehovah-Nissi which means the Lord is my banner. The place of the battle was called Rephidim which means “supports; shrinking of hands” Moses couldn’t hold his hands up by himself. When his strength was shrinking, his friends came and were his support. That is what God is. When our strength is shrinking, God wants to be our support. We just need to raise our hands in praise and he will be the banner that is raised and we will be strengthened for the assignment. When others are praising with us, our strength is multiplied.
Moses met back up with his father-in-law and family. His father-in-law stayed long enough to watch how Moses led the people. He gave him a new model which made his leadership run much more smoothly and didn’t wear Moses out. God wants us to train people to do what we are gifted in so we can pass our wisdom down to the next generation.
God promised to wipe the Amelekites name from the face of the earth. He would later ask Saul to do this job and he would fail and lose the kingdom over it.
God told Moses to gather the people at the Mountain of Sinai and sanctify themselves because God was going to speak to them and give them his laws.
The Sadducees and Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus so they asked him which of the commandments was the greatest. Jesus told them to love the Lord with all their hearts and that the second commandment was to love their neighbor as they love themselves. Then he told them that all the laws hung on these two laws. The leaders of the law could not dispute this wisdom.
Then Jesus warned the people to not live as the Pharisees and the Sadducees because they don’t live what they teach.
Lord, thank you for friends and family that will pray with us and lighten our load. Remind us daily of the importance of praying for our family and our nation.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Walking in Gratefulness, Faith and Wisdom

Read: Exodus 15:19-17:7; Matthew 22:1-33; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 6:20-26
God had just done a tremendous miracle for the Israelites. Not only did he deliver them from their bondage and slavery but from ever seeing the Egyptians again. It didn’t take them very long to forget that great deliverance and start complaining. They came to Marah and were in need of water. The water was bitter and they couldn’t drink it so they complained against Moses. Moses cried out to the Lord who showed him a tree to throw into the water and it would make the waters sweet again. I looked up the word “tree”and in the Hebrew it means “carpenter”. God sent a carpenter to make our bitter lives sweet. There God proved that all they had to do was to listen to his voice and follow it and do what is right in God’s sight then they will be blessed and free from diseases. They then came to Elim where there were 12 wells and 70 palm trees. Jesus had 12 disciples and 70 close followers that he sent out. They were at Elim which means palm tree. A palm tree has a very bendable trunk that can withstand storms without breaking. It’s fruit is high and very nourishing. This is a picture of a mature Christian. God was giving them a picture of what maturity looked like. We are all invited to be one of God’s close followers, it is up to us to respond and stand faithful through the storms if life.
Their next trial was hunger. They had run out of bread. Once again, instead of crying out to God, they complained to Moses and Aaron and blamed them. The Lord spoke to Moses and told him that they would have manna every day except the 7th so they should gather on the 6th enough to last two days. They were to gather each day what they would need that day. This bread would rain down from heaven. Jesus was this bread that rains down from heaven and meets all our needs. Some couldn’t even get this right and gathered too much. They found out the next day when it rotted and stunk. I can relate to this. I want to have more than enough in my bank account, my closet, my pantry… just in case. It is smart to plan ahead and save but it is never ok to fear.
This manna was provided for forty years and then it stopped when they came to the promised land. When God stops a fountain of supply in our lives, it is because he is opening a new one and we just have to have the faith to wait and see.
Their next test was after they traveled through the wilderness of Sin and came to Rephidim. There was no water and the people complained against Moses again. God told Moses to strike a rock in Horeb and water would come out of it. Horeb means “desolate”. Moses did and water gushed out - enough for a million people. In our desolation, all we have to do is remember the rock that was struck for our sin. First Corinthians 10:4 tells us that that rock was Jesus.
On to Matthew. By this time in Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees and Sadducees had rejected him as being the Messiah so he only taught in parables to the public. The parable he told today had to do with the Jewish leaders. They had been invited to the marriage supper but they had refused to come because of their hard hearts. They refused to wear garments of humility and salvation so they would be cast out of God’s eternal kingdom.
Next, the Pharisees tried to trick him in his allegiance to Caesar. Jesus saw through their deception and nailed the answer. Jesus was constantly amazing them with his wisdom.
Lord, may we walk in your wisdom. May we be harmless as doves and wise as serpents. May we be always grateful of what you have done and unafraid of the future because you have already been there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Authority of God

Read: Exodus 13:17-15:18; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 6:16-19
Both of the passages we read today are about those who challenge the authority of the Lord. God always wins but it takes faith on our part because sometimes God leads us to face the enemy. It may look like suicide but it is to show the power of God.
Moses took Joseph’s bones with him into the promised land so that Joseph could sleep with his forefathers and family. The Lord led the people back to the sea where they were hemmed in by the sea. The people panicked when the Egyptians came after them…like God said they would… and God rebuked Moses. He told him that now was not the time to pray but to act. He was to stretch forth his rod over the sea. I’m sure that Moses had never even entertained the thought of going through the sea. Sometimes God’s deliverance is so far from our imagination we could never come up with it on our own. There are times when we just need to stand back and see the salvation God has prepared for us. He is the mighty God of deliverance. God parted the sea and they walked across the Red Sea with only a cloud between them and the Egyptian army. On one side of the cloud it was light and on the other side there was darkness. This cloud stands for God’s dividing line. If we are in him, we walk in the light even if it is night. If we are not in him we walk in darkness even during the day.
In the morning, the cloud lifted and the Egyptians could see to follow them into the sea. Then God confused their chariots and horses and they lost wheels and got sunk in the mud. It became obvious to them that they were fighting God himself and that God was on the Israelite’s side. I pray that that will happen this Friday for all who are opposing what God is doing in our country. I pray confusion in their camp so that they will recognize that they are fighting God. (I realize I write this two weeks before it happens so by the time you read this it will be past. I just need to write it.)
We have the same pillar of cloud that protects us from the darkness and we have the same fire that lights up our darkness. That is what the Holy Spirit is in our lives. He is the cloud of protection and the fire of light that shines in our darkest nights.
Jesus had his authority challenged by the chief priests and elders but Jesus refused to answer them since they hadn’t received the prophets and messengers he had sent before him. If they wouldn’t receive them, then they wouldn’t receive Him. He was the cornerstone that they had rejected.
Lord, our feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly we will praise you. May you be glorified on the earth!