March 5 Deuteronomy 1, 2; Mark 12

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Necessary Process | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadish-barnea going by way of Mount Seir.  But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai…  Deuteronomy 1:2,3 (NLT)

O~  My first thought as I read this today and when I have read it before was, ‘it didn’t have to take that long!  Discouragement set in and accusing thoughts were all over the place. 😦

The notes in my bible say:  The Israelites spend 40 years on a journey that should have lasted 11 days.  It wasn’t the distance between them and the Promised Land.  It was the condition of their hearts.  God’s purpose went deeper than simply transporting a huge group of people to a new land.  The journey was a painful but necessary part of their preparation.  Through it God taught the Israelites who he was: the living God, the Leader of their nation.  He also taught them who they were: people who were fallen, sinful, prone to rebellion and doubt.  Your spiritual pilgrimage may be lengthy, and you may face pain, discouragement, and difficulties.  But remember that God isn’t just trying to keep you alive.  He wants to prepare you to live in service and devotion to him.

A~  As much as I want to be at the end of the process, I do want to get there with a right heart.  I get impatient with myself and frustrated because I don’t feel like I am making progress.  But I think my focus needs to be on you.  When I keep my eyes on you and pay attention to what you say, that is the progress you are looking for. I think what I need is to be this strong, courageous person, who knows what to do and doesn’t doubt.  But I don’t have all the answers, I do have doubts, I am weak, and I don’t think I’m very courageous.  And you tell me that when I am weak, you are strong. You tell me when I lack wisdom to ask you and you will give me wisdom.  You call me to believe Jesus and trust you.  Maybe I think I need to be these things on my own…but I can’t…I’m not. I am nothing without you.

P~  Dear Father, please continue to change my heart.  Thank you for the process.  You see my heart and know exactly what to do to get my heart where it needs to be…resting in you. ❤

Church is Not a One Man Show | Robin Laney

S~ At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone.” Deuteronomy 1:9 (NIV)

O~ In the first few chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses is recounting the eleven day-turned forty year journey of the Israelites to the land promised to them by God. Around the first time they reached Canaan, Moses was feeling the tremendous burden of caring for about a million people. He was God’s spokesman to them, he led them as God directed, settled their disputes, made sure they knew God’s laws and commands and listened to all of their complaints.

He came to a point where he could no longer handle leading the whole of God’s people alone and he went to God when he was at his breaking point. God agreed to place the same spirit that was on Moses on to 70 elders so that Moses would have help in handling many of the people’s needs. Moses then had the people choose the most wise and respected men from each tribe and he gave them authority over the people – commanders over thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens and tribal officials. These men knew God’s laws and Moses directed them to judge large and small disputes fairly. Any problems that were too difficult for these leaders to handle were to be brought to Moses for direction.

A~ Moses felt the pressure so many of today’s church pastors feel. They are, many times, expected to prepare at least one message each week (some to be delivered at multiple services), lead a staff, cast vision for the church, counsel those who come to them as their pastors, manage property, approve ministry purchases, guide the board, settle disputes, marry people, bury people, visit sick people, disciple, lead Bible Studies, and do any other duties as needed. In addition to all of these things, they so often have families of their own to care for and lead as well as keeping their own relationship with Jesus strong.

God is so wise and He spread Moses’ responsibilities out among the respected leaders of His people. He still does that today. As followers of Christ, we each have His Spirit living in us. We have gifts meant to be used within the Body of Christ, the Church, to glorify God and grow His Kingdom. We are His ambassadors to the world and He sends us out to share the Good News of the Gospel, comfort the hurting, care for orphans and widows, provide for the poor, disciple those who choose to follow Jesus, love the imprisoned, pray for and encourage one another.

We are each equipped to minister to others and it takes all of us working together to grow the Kingdom. One plants, one waters, one harvests. Pastors and church leaders, do not think that you must do it alone or even that you can. Fellow church members, we should not expect our pastors and leaders to do the work we, ourselves, are commissioned by God to do. Let us love, respect and appreciate one another and work together to glorify God!

P~ Lord, thank You for the Church. What an amazing plan You have made for Your Kingdom! What amazing gifts You have given each of us, just the ones needed to accomplish Your will. Help us to recognize the genius of Your plan and give us the courage and drive to dig in and work together with those You have anointed to lead us. Make us humble servants willing to do whatever is needed for the sake of Your Kingdom.

Stubbornness will still glorify God | Nikki Metzger

S~ because the Lord your God made Sihon stubborn and defiant so He could help you defeat him. Deuteronomy 2:30 (NLT)

O~ Sihon was a king in the land the Israelites needed to pass through.  Moses asked him nicely to pass through the land, but because of the way that God made him (stubborn), he said no they couldn’t pass.  God made him stubborn on purpose, so His glory would be revealed later in battle.

A~ I’ve got a stubborn and defiant person in my life.  Maybe I’m the stubborn and defiant one in their life.  Perspective is a funny thing.  Regardless, God made us both.  He knew we would be in this tense, stressful relationship that leaves each of us frustrated.  Why?

It’s ultimately for His glory!  Whatever God is working in my heart (forgiveness, submission, grace, mercy?)….all of that is for Him.

P~ Thank You Lord for creating this person!  Please bless them!

He IS the Love in Me | Susan Aken

S~ ’The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’ Mark 12:29-31 (NIV)

O~ A teacher of the law asked Jesus which was the most important commandment and this was His answer.

A~ I am sure if I looked back over the past few years, I would see I have journaled on this verse multiple times. Every time I read this verse it challenges me because it is something I want to live but will always be reaching for. It is easy to focus on other commandments that seem achievable: Avoid sexual immorality, pray about everything, seek Him first and so on. But Jesus said, “There is no commandment greater than these.” To love God above all and love others as much as self, and that is where it gets difficult. Loving others this way means denying self and turning my eyes off of myself. It means dying to myself continually. I know I will fight this battle until the day I go to Him but I hope and pray I will make progress.

P~ Jesus, you know me. You know my heart and every thought I think. You know how often I am selfish and self-focused. Please help me grow in loving others as myself. Help me to love you with all my heart and soul. Please love through me.

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Posted on March 5, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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