Numbers 27–The Dawn of Women’s Rights

The people of Israel were coming to the end of their marching through the desert.  As Moses and the people sat across the Jordan, some daughters of the Israelites came before Moses and asked to receive the property of their father who died.  Up to that point, the inheritance went to the 1st born son and then to each of the sons.  So when the daughters approached Moses; there was no provision in place. 

So Moses took it to the Lord.  The Lord was clear. If a person died without sons, daughters would inherit. if no children then brothers. If no brothers, then closest family in the clan.  Thus, the beginning of estate law was passed from God to Israel.The greatest message here was that God held all people in high regard. He cared that people were treated properly no matter the age, race, gender or family.  He has, and always will act on our behalf, because God loves us unconditionally.

Then and now, God does not play favorites.  The Lord simply asks that we trust and follow Him.  God wants the best for all people.  God saw men’s greed, and knew that He would be somehow blamed for their desire to steal. So God set out a plan for all people to be treated fairly.  

It is critical  even today, that we remember that God is at the center of human rights.  He does not manipulate of politicize them–no, He simply reminds us that we are to live as He has and treat people with respect and dignity no matter their race, age, gender, nationality or financial status. If we would do that, the chaos which is our culture would be stable; and people would see life as God always intended us to live it.  

God Bless You

The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward and stood before Moses,Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meetingand said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Protecting the Chosen–John 17 continued. 

  • Jesus’ plan was never to redeem us and immediately take us out of the world. Salvation had three components. Justification, sanctification and glorification. His sacrifice brought justification. Our return to heaven will bring glorification. But, the act of being transformed into the image of God–sanctification, that is a process. 

Jesus knew that the disciples would have to face the world and all the ickiness it holds. So his prayer was simply that the father protect them from the enemy. The spiritual war they were engaged in was fierce. They gave up life, family and prosperity to follow the Lord. But, in the midst, the Lord walked with them and worked through them to change the world. 

Today, it is no different. The battle rages, the chosen are being sanctified and God through his spirit still protects, guides and prepares us for what lies ahead. Even in these dark hours, we can cling to the prayers of our Lord. We need not give up, nor lose hope that he is with us and will guide us. 

We are loved and chosen to remain with God for eternity. Let’s follow him humbly and graciously as he gets us there. 

God Bless Youj

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited

Frozen–a great Disney flick! The Part that grips us all is the scene where Elsa sings Let it Go.  She has lived a life in fear and finds that her worst fears are realized.  She runs away to the hills and in a moment of clarity drops all the baggage Continue reading “Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited”

Only the sick need a Doctor–Matt 2 part 2

Jesus knew what he was getting when he came to earth.  He came to show the world the true face of the Father. The miracles he did were to show His father’s nature and Love.  When Jesus called Matthew, he did so to show the world he takes us as we are.  He did not want teachers or royalty, he wanted just folks, in their sinful condition-to save and to lead in a right relationship to God.  Thousands of years of reading and teaching the law had not given the Jewish people how the Lord loved and wanted to have a relationship with us.  So, God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost…(the sick).  Jesus surrounded himself with people that were lost, hurting and hopeless.  He then met them where they were and gave them what they were missing—health hope and love.

It is still the same today.  God still looks to love the loveless, heal the sick and give hope to the hopeless.  There is still only one answer to men’s condition.  The answer is Jesus.  He died to give us salvation.  He lived to show us the Father’s love.  The word’s he spoke, the miracles he performed and the sacrifice he made were all to help those who were hopeless to gain hope.  We only need to accept that love and follow him. We do not need to earn it nor can we.  The harder we try to earn it the farther from his love we move.  The most we could do is to simply surrender to his love and leadership.  He then will fill the void we never could.  Help me Lord, to simply trust, follow and experience the life he gives.

God Bless You

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Preparation is Key–Mark 1 part 1

The Gospels tell the story of salvation from many different perspectives.  Mark’s version is most famous because it seems to take the Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” approach.  The famous Dragnet line was always, “Just the facts ma’am.  Just the facts.”  And as you read Mark, that is what you get. 

God planned Jesus entrance from the dawn of time and knew that preparation was critical.  He sent John the Baptist ahead to lead the people of the time to a place of personal responsibility for their sin.  Once they saw their sin as personal they could begin to see their salvation as personal.  Once they saw their salvation as personal, they could see their relationship with God as personal and that is where Jesus comes in.

In our lives, we have the same issue even today.  It is easy to rely on our checklist for salvation.  We think if we are good enough, at church enough or at least not as bad as others, then we will be fine.  But as John told the Jews—we have to repent of our sin, turn and go the other way. Agree that we cannot earn our salvation by deed or promise; and simply accept that he sent Christ to redeem us from our sin and restore us to a right relationship with God.  God prepared for our redemption and his plan was flawless.  Help me Lord, to accept the plan you made and not try to do things my way.

God Bless You

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”

Legacy–I Samuel 25 part 1

I Samuel 25 opens with a very direct and poignant Statement—“Samuel Died and all Israel gathered for his funeral”  On its face, it seems a little understated for the last Judge of Israel, but upon a closer look there is a volume of a message.  Samuel’s death was neither missed or ignored.  The entire nation of Israel turned out for his funeral.  From his conception, Samuel was destined to spend his life serving the Lord-and he did.  As God’s servant he carried Israel through a difficult transition and the beginning of the fulfillment of Prophecy.  As he went home to be with the Lord, Saul’s reign was ending and the messianic reign was to begin with David.  The entire nation was shaped and moved by the life of this great and last Judge of Israel

 

In our lives, we will serve the Lord and see little of the legacy we leave behind.  But, we can trust the Lord when he promises that if we submit and follow him he will guide us through the journey and allow us the ability to leave a timeless legacy behind. As we serve the Lord, we will see his influence in the lives of those we touch.  We have no assurances of what that legacy will be or if we will know the impact we have on others, but, we can be assured that God’s plan is flawless and if we trust him, we will live a life that impacts the world beyond our own lives.

In our power, we can do nothing, in his power we can change a nation.  Thanks Lord for Samuel and the kind of impact a person sold out to you can have.

 

God Bless You

Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.

Matthew 19 Final–With God all things are Possible

With God all things are possible.  It seems often that life is impossible.  Trials and temptations leave us stressed and feeling hopeless.  The great thing about God is that in the midst of the trials he is still in charge and executing his plan for our lives.  He is intimately concerned for us.  He is also amazingly generous in our lives.  We can never out give or out serve him.

God sees our hearts and is thrilled to prepare rewards for the efforts we have expended in our following him.  Like any dad, he does not love us based upon our efforts, but, he is thrilled to bless, direct and reward us for our faithfulness.  The distinction is understanding our behavior is not what saves us, but it is simply our faith that he is Lord and God has raised him from the dead that saves us.  Once saved, we cannot help but behave in a way that honors him.  We do it out of Love–not to obtain his Love.  None the less, he joyfully rewards our faithfulness and prepares for us an incredible inheritance in the kingdom to come.

Help me Lord to follow you knowing that I can never out give or out serve you.

God Bless You

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 19 part 2–Then Who in the World can be Saved

The rich young ruler came to Jesus with an absolutely sincere question—sadly, it was the wrong question.  Too often in our journey we ask the same wrong question—What can I DO to be saved.  The answer is and will always be the same.  Surrender and follow.  The young ruler was trying hard to do it right.  He came to the right person, he addressed the right issue BUT, he came unwilling to DO the one thing necessary for salvation.  SURRENDER. So many are willing to do church, do good deeds, avoid bad deeds and even seek the truth.  The problem lies in the fact that simple knowledge of the truth is not sufficient.  Jesus told the rich young ruler that he would be saved if he would walk away from the only thing he loved more than God—his wealth.

In our lives, Salvation will never come down to the list of things we do and avoid.  It will simply be a function of our faith that Jesus is Lord and our willingness to follow him.  For us to follow him, however, means we have to quit following the other God’s in our lives.  In Israel, God always became furious when the Israelites worshipped Him AND Baal, Him and Golden Calves, Him and Money, Him and Power. Him and sex. God wants complete allegiance.  He will not be your part time Lord.  Only when you surrender and allow him to be the leader all the time—will you begin to experience the freedom of salvation. We can never earn the gift of salvation.  We can accept it, we can enjoy it and we can rest in it.  We simply are not capable of achieving the holiness we need to face God without the cleansing that comes from surrendering our lives to him. Thank you Lord, for your Gift of Salvation and allowing me to enjoy it.

God Bless You

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher,[f] what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep[g] the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’[h]

20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked