THE WORD FOR TODAY
3 “And you shall say to them, ‘This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs in their first year without blemish, day by day, as a regular burnt offering.
When I was in college, my New Testament Professor was a man named, Gordon Dutile. Dr. Dutile was a no nonsense kind of guy whose knowledge of the Bible was simply incredible. God’s blessing was with him.
One day when I made my regular semester offering to him…a term paper…I told him, “You will not find ANY error in this paper. This is a perfect paper.” You know enough about my writing skills to know that was a big mistake.
When I got the paper back there was more red ink on the pages of that term paper than is recorded in the King James Version of the Bible. Dr. Dutile saw almost every grammatical and spelling error in that paper. And what made it worse…I didn’t even make an A on the paper. One of the few times I saw Dr. Dutile smile was when he returned that paper to me.
God knows the flaws in offerings made to Him. One of the requirements was that the offerings be “without blemish”. They had to be perfect. God is purest perfectionist I know.
God is such a perfectionist that we could really never satisfy His righteous demands. So, I am very grateful that we are under the New Covenant…that we don’t have to offer daily sacrifice for our sins. You see the good news is…the PERFECT Lamb without blemish was offered. He who knew no sin became sin for us. We are not able to offer a perfect sacrifice…but sent HIS one and only Son to be the sacrifice that would satisfy His righteous demands for justice.
Today we have to completely depend upon HIS perfect sacrifice for the cleansing and forgiveness of our sin.
Lord, forgive my sin because of the perfect sacrifice of Your Son Jesus my Lord…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel.
When I was younger…some years ago…a long time ago…I joined a CB club. I was already a member of Linn Baptist Church in Linn, MS. But this new thing…the CB club was “LOTS” of fun. We had a party every Saturday Night and of course it always lasted until wee hours of Sunday Morning. Needless to say it wasn’t long before I wasn’t attending church and all of my “off time” was spent talking on the CB Radio and going to every weekend party. Pretty soon the weeks turned into months where I didn’t even worship God.
The CB Club became my Baal of Peor…my dangerous distraction in life.
The Bible records, “So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor…” Now the idea here is not just gathering in a meeting but joined in an intimate way with the practices of this false god…a complete violation of God’s commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Let me submit that we all have our “Baal of Peor”, our dangerous distraction from God’s will and purpose from our life. So what are we to do?
We must remember HIS clear command, “You shall have no other god’s before me.”
We must remember to HONOR His name always. And if an activity doesn’t honor HIS name…you know the rest.
We must remember that with ANYTHING that detracts us from HIS Will for our life has disastrous consequences. Just as the people of Israel.
By the way, I am no longer a member of a CB Club…but in the yearSSSSSSS since then I have discovered that the devil is a master of distraction and that he is still doing everything in his power to distract me from God’s mission for my life. I know that I am not alone!
Lord, grant us the discernment of spirit to recognize the ungodly distractions that would cause us to turn from YOU…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”
Did you know that God keeps his eye on his people? Like a mother watching her child at the playground, God watches us as we walk, work, worship and witness.
Balak was a afraid of Israel…the sheer number of people made him “sick with dread”, so he devices a plan that involved Balaam.
Balaam was the local sorcerer for hire. He knew God existed but yet he was a freelance “prophet” used his “skill” for the highest bidder.
Balak supposed that if Balaam cursed the people of Israel then they would be ripe for defeat. So he sent an emissary to enlist Balaam’s help against Israel. But God saw what was happening. So he said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people for they are blessed.”
Israel was blessed! They were blessed with a great God that kept and protected HIS own.
We are blessed with a great God that keeps and protects us. Though surrounded on all sides by the enemy we can sleep at night with confident assurance that our God is watching over us. Scripture declares that our God never sleeps nor slumbers. The song says, “His eye is on the sparrow…and I know He watches me.” The ACLU, NCLU, BCLU and all CLU’s can rise up against God’s people but, “greater is HE that is in US that he that is in the world”.
Lord, thank You for watching me and guarding me with Your awesome power and presence…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”
Exasperation…frustration…anger…these are the emotions that filled Moses and Aaron as they dealt with yet another instance of grumbling from the Israelites. And it’s completely understandable and yet it is also very dangerous.
God gave them clear guidance and direction on what do…they were to speak to the rock and God would provide water. But listen closely to what was said, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”
You see one of the few instances when Moses seemed to focus on himself rather than God…and it was costly. As you read the rest of the story God confronts Moses and because he didn’t “hallow” God before the people, he, Moses would not enter the Promised Land.
Exasperation…frustration…anger…these are dangerous emotions that if not managed well can carry a high price tag. Each of us can remember a moment when our mouth wrote a check the bank couldn’t cash. We can all remember where we gave in to the moment and then the regret…well…it’s still with us.
Lord, help me guard my heart against frustration…exasperation…anger…protect me from myself LORD…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
You may have read that the new Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, the grandson of Billy Graham, Tullian Tchividjian survived a vote to fire him. The church voted to keep him as Pastor by a huge margin. A group rose up against him within just a few short weeks of his tenure because they didn’t like the direction of his leadership of the church.
Moses and Aaron had a group of a little over 250 men of renown confront them about their leadership in Israel. They said, “Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
Moses and Aaron had NOT exalted themselves above the assembly of the LORD. God has called them to lead the people of Israel. That call began at the burning bush and continued through many confrontations with Pharaoh, was solidified through God’s watch care over Israel because of Moses faithfulness to God. Moses and Aaron were God’s men for that moment in Israel’s life.
I find it interesting that men of renown stood up to Moses and Aaron…in effect they stood up against God. Why? Perhaps it’s because their “power” status was threatened by the legitimate and critical leadership of Moses and Aaron. Maybe they just didn’t like the fact that now because of their rebellion they were sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. We may never know…but this we do know…they paid a great price for their rebellion.
Why do we get caught up in “power” struggles and demand things go our way? Is the power struggle worth the price we pay?
Lord, help me to humble myself under YOUR divine will and help me not to stand against YOU Lord…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
Every Pastor has heard these words from his church, “We can’t…”
“We can’t…”, is what Moses heard from 10 of the 12 spies sent into the Promised Land. Their exact words, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
“We can’t”, shows that we are looking at circumstances as if they are bigger than God. There is nothing in this world bigger than God.
“We can’t”, indicates a weak faith in a powerful God. Oh…how we must believe that our God can do the impossible.
“We can’t”, weakens the community “resolve” to be obedient to God. The word of these 10 spies would spoil the “resolve” of a VAST majority of people to enter the land. The moment, “We can’t…”, enters the conversation there is the beginning of a dramatic erosion of a resolve to be obedient to God.
“We can’t”, is costly. Just read the rest of the story. A generation of “We can’t-er’s” (I am sure that isn’t a word.), is not able to enter the Promised Land. They would wander in circles in the desert for 40 years.
“We can’t”, is costly.
Lord, I can do all things through YOU because YOU strengthen me…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
1 Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.
I struck up a conversation with a waitress one day. I asked her about the most wearisome part of her job. Without hesitation she said, “The chronic complaints from unhappy customers.”
Complaining to a waitress about a meal is one thing. Complaining about God…now that’s another story. Just ask the people of Israel. God heard some of them complaining…and the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.
It doesn’t take long to see that Israel had a huge contentment problem. They complained about everything and seemed that everyday Moses was dealing one complaint after the other. It had to be wearisome. It cost them more that they could really afford.
Let’s bring it close to home. Am I a complainer? Am I a chronic complainer?
I am going to take the 5th on those two questions. I think you know that at some point all of us are guilty of complaining…about how long the worship service goes…how long we sing a certain song…that we didn’t like the sermon the preacher preached…the food was too hot…the steak wasn’t cooked properly…the waiter ignored us and the complaints go on and on and on.
It would be really interesting reading to receive an email at the end of the day…perhaps an email from God that listed “all the complaints” that came from our lips during the day. Now…I don’t know about you…but I sure hope God doesn’t have email…OH wait He does…its called conviction of the Holy Spirit every time we complain. So…
Let’s be careful about complaining…the price is too high.
Lord, it’s so easy to complain…to become bitter…especially about things that are unimportant to the mission of reaching lost men, women, boys and girls…help me learn to be content…no matter what…In Jesus Name…Amen!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
18 I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the children of Israel. 19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the work for the children of Israel in the tabernacle of meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, that there be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come near the sanctuary.”
Each Sunday I walk into a very clean sanctuary. Carpets vacuumed…windows, pews and furnishings dusted and cleaned and loose trash thrown away. As people arrive the children’s teachers and helpers move to their rooms to greet the children and teach them God’s Word during Sunday School. Adults move to their respective classes where their teacher has prepared all week for that very special moment of teaching God’s Word. Then we enter the sanctuary after a time of Bible Study to Worship God. The Pastor, Minister of Music, Choir and the people have prepared themselves for worship. The sound tech is making sure that all aspects of the sound system are working properly…the people of God are prepared for worship………
A lot of work and effort is involved in just a simple Sunday Morning at the average Church.
I love that the Levites had been set aside for service to God. Their work was to tend the issues surrounding the tabernacle of meeting. They were considered a gift to Aaron and his sons in the responsibility for the worship life of Israel. Their work was indeed very special to God and to the people of Israel.
So is your WORK for Him in your local church. I thank God for the volunteers who are willing to be used in all kinds of service points in God’s church. Just the other day I taught one of my deacons to run the sound system during a funeral where I needed help. Thank God that he took the time to learn how to make sure we had quality sound for that very special service.
I could go on and on about the servants in my church. I could write testimony about how over the years men and women, boys and girls said they wanted to be servants for God.
Here is the CHALLENGE: God has given every believer the unique opportunity to minister as His “LEVITES” in the work of the Kingdom. I think you would agree with me that we must continue this GOOD work.
Lord Jesus, You are Lord of the harvest send forth laborers to work in Your kingdom…let there be no shortfall of servants committed to ministering in YOUR Holy Name…In Jesus Name...AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
6 “Speak to the children of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the LORD, and that person is guilty,
W. S. Plumer in “The Pursuit of Holiness” said, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God...All sin is against God in this sense: that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught...Pharaoh and Balaam, Saul and Judas each said, ‘I have sinned;’ but the returning prodigal said, ‘I have sinned against heaven and before thee;’ and David said, ‘Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned.’”
Moses, inspired by God wrote, “When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the Lord, and that person is guilty…”
After reading this text I went to the mirror and saw, “Guilty” written across my forehead. All of us have guilty written across our forehead.
Don’t fear…because scripture declares, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession is simply agreeing with God about our sin…agreeing with God that our sin has offended the heart of God and then when we agree with Him about our sin HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. We don’t have to live under the guilt and burden of our sin…because He has made a way to freedom. I was reading about man who “turned his back on God” because he said that the Baptist Church had instilled guilt in him so he concluded that he didn’t need God. You can only be guilty because you are guilty and it’s what you do with guilt.
I lay my guilt before a loving and merciful God and KNOW with full assurance that HE forgives my sin.
Lord Jesus, thank YOU for forgiving my sin…In Jesus Name...AMEN!!!
THE WORD FOR TODAY
BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Leviticus 26-28
Leviticus 26:18 And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
I learned at an early age that if my Mama said, “One more time and I am going whip you.”, that she meant every word of it. I probably am not the only one that has been on the receiving end of immediate punishment for disobedience. Mama never said it twice and believe me there was never a third time.
In the closing chapters of Leviticus God is laying out what He will do should His people disobey Him. In verses 16-17 of chapter 26 He makes if very clear that He will not tolerate their disobedience. And then He says, “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
I distinctly remember some of my whippings as a kid. I remember some more vividly than others. Like the one where I threw a live mouse on my sister. I thought it was funny…my step dad felt differently. The whippings that were really bad…I really deserved. It seemed that they hurt the most because I had really blown it. If that hurt…I wouldn’t want to see God’s punishment seven times over what I am already getting.
History shows us that Israel did not heed the voice of God. The Father had to punish His children. History also shows that punishment to be very, very severe. Our sins deserve punishment. God knew that when He inspired the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53.
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Pay attention to the bold print. Jesus received the seven fold punishment for the sins of humanity. I can only say, “Thank you Father.”
Father, when we needed punishment…you sent your Son…when needed a lashing…you sent your Son…when we were continually disobedient…you placed your only Son on the Cross…when we needed hope…you gave us hope through Jesus your Son…thank you Father…thank you…In Jesus Name…AMEN!!!
Pastor William Milam takes you through the Word of God with this Daily devotional