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Posts tagged ‘Book of Deuteronomy’

Living Words.


For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Recommended Reading
Proverbs 4:20-22 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%204:20-22&version=NKJV )

Wildfires race up a mountainside like they are alive; the flames in our fireplace spread the same way. God compared His words to a fire (Jeremiah 23:29) and the disciples on the Emmaus road said Jesus’ words “burned” within them (Luke 24:32).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

What sets God’s words apart from any other? Moses gave the first clue, telling the Israelites that the word of the covenant “is your life” (Deuteronomy 32:47). Stephen, in his speech to Jewish leaders, describes the words Moses received on Mount Sinai as “living oracles” (Acts 7:38). Finally, the writer to the Hebrews expands the idea of “living” words, saying the “word of God” is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It’s not that God’s words seem to be alive like fire — they are alive. God is life, His words are life, and they create life in us as the Holy Spirit conforms us to  them.  Life begets life!

As you read the Word of God today, read it with expectancy and anticipation for the changes it will make in you.

The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.
J. H. Merle d’Aubigné

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Revelation 5-9

By David Jeremiah.

How to Claim Your Place as a King’s Daughter.


princessl
(© MikeLaptev iStockphoto.com)

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esth. 4:14).

When I stood at the front of Cornerstone Church, the church my husband pastors, and looked out at the 300 teenage girls who were attending our first Woman of God class, I was excited and frightened. This was one of the first times I had conducted a large teaching series, and I knew the Lord was counting on me to make a difference in these young girls’ lives.

The series was inspired by the book of Esther. In my study of this book, I realized that when God positioned Esther to become the queen of Persia, she had to prepare herself to fulfill His call. “Why do we not prepare ourselves to follow God’s call on our lives in the same way Esther did?” I wondered.

The result of this thought was a 12-class series at our church for young women 13 to 19 years old to equip them to become women of God. I expected 25 to 50 young women to register for the class. Instead, more than 300 girls flooded the registration tables.

During the series, mothers of the girls as well as other women began coming to the classes and sitting in the back of the room. So the next year I began a Woman of God class for women ages 21 to 100.

When I first faced this older group, I had the same queasy feeling I’d had with the younger women. I wanted these adults to grasp God’s love for them and come to know who they are as daughters of the King. I asked the Lord, “Help me to minister to these women as Your servant. Help me to show them Your plans for them as Your beloved daughters.”

The Lord answered my prayer. During the years these classes have been held, He has blessed the women in our church. Approximately 2,500 women have participated in the Woman of God teaching series.

What’s the attraction? Why do women of all ages benefit so much from these classes on becoming a woman of God? Because they are learning that they have a divine identity, a divine destiny and value in God’s eyes. Some of them are discovering their purpose and worth for the first time in their lives.

Divine Identity 

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become daughters of the King and obtain the privilege and responsibility of representing Him in every area of our lives. However, we must claim that position before we can walk in it. I learned this truth through an experience I had a number of years ago.

In 1981, my husband, John, and I were invited to meet with Prime Minister Menachem Begin because of my husband’s support of the nation of Israel. It was a special honor to meet the man God had used to form the Jewish state.

Naturally, I was very nervous. The devil took advantage of my condition by attacking my mind. “Who are you to meet with this head of state?” he demanded. “You are a hindrance to this meeting. You should not even be in the room.”

As I considered his assessment, I became overwhelmed by a wave of insecurity and had difficulty breathing. I began to walk toward my husband to ask to be excused from the meeting.

Suddenly, I heard a voice in my mind that was louder than that of my accuser: “Why are you leaving something I have ordained?”

“Because I am not worthy to meet with such an important person,” I told the Lord. “I am about to meet with the leader of Israel!”

Immediately that same strong voice made a statement that changed my life forever: “And he is about to meet the King’s daughter.”

The wave of insecurity receded. I squared my shoulders, walked over to the prime minister, shook his hand firmly and introduced myself.

If you didn’t know me at the time you can’t comprehend the miracle of that moment. I had been bound by insecurity and low self-esteem for years. But when the Lord clearly confirmed my identity in the Spirit, I knew I would never be the same again—because I had taken my rightful place in the society of the kingdom of heaven. I was, and always will be, the King’s daughter.

No matter what your age, it’s not too late for you to claim this position in God’s heart. We are all His daughters! And as a daughter of the King, you are:

  • A joint heir with Jesus (Rom. 8:17)
  • A fellow citizen with the saints (Eph. 2:19)
  • The apple of your Father’s eye (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8)
  • Beloved of God (Col. 3:12)
  • Blessed (Deut. 28:1-13; Gal. 3:9)
  • Qualified to share in Jesus’ inheritance (Col. 1:12).

Don’t allow the enemy to continue to hold you back from all God has for you. Accept your identity and begin to walk in it!

Divine Destiny 

When you do, you will be on the path to fulfilling your destiny. Ephesians 1:4 says that every believer has a divine destiny determined by God from the foundations of the world, “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

And in Ephesians 1:17-19, the apostle Paul identifies another aspect of your calling: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

But God also has a specific calling that you and you alone can fulfill. Esther is a good example.

Orphaned as a young girl, she became the ward of her relative Mordecai and was chosen along with many other beautiful young women to go to the palace and prepare to be considered by King Ahasuerus as his next queen. During the selection process, Esther obtained the king’s favor, and he “set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen” in place of the former female monarch, Vashti (Esth. 2:17).

After Esther’s coronation, Mordecai discovered a plot by the man next in power to the king to destroy their people, the Jews, and he encouraged Esther to appeal to the king in an attempt to save them. “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” he told her. Ultimately, Esther received the king’s favor once again and was able to convince him to repeal the decree sentencing the Jews to death. She truly had been called by God and placed in the palace at just the right time for just that purpose.

The Bible contains many other examples of how God uses women. God called Sarah to have Isaac when her womb was barren, to prove once and for all to humanity that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37) and to fulfill His promise to Abraham that he would be the “father of many nations” (Gen. 17:5; see also 12:2).

God called Ruth, a Gentile, to leave her country following the death of her husband and accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Naomi’s homeland. Ruth’s destiny was to marry Boaz, a wealthy man, and to be the mother of Obed, the great-great-grandfather of Jesus. God called Mary to submit her body, her life and her reputation to give birth to the Son of God, determining by her obedience the destiny of all mankind (Luke 1:31).

You, too, are an important person in the kingdom of God, and you were created for a purpose. This purpose will prevail in your life once you have surrendered yourself completely to His will (Prov. 19:21). When you are walking in it, your speech will bless those around you, your actions will strengthen your relationships, your prayers will move mountains, your character will influence others for Christ and you will bear much fruit as His disciple.

Writing out Scripture Can Be Good for the Soul.


While reading Deuteronomy 17 today, I came to the passage where God instructs future kings of Israel. In context he’s really telling the people, “If when you get to the Promised Land, you decide you want a king, make sure you get a good one. And here’s how to get a good one.” That’s a loose summary of Deuteronomy 17:14-20. After laying out certain qualifications in Deuteronomy 17:14-17, the Lord explains how the new king is to begin his reign:

When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.  It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

I had never noticed the first part of that passage before. The king has a huge writing assignment. He is to write for himself (his servants can’t do it for him) “a copy of this law.” Most commentators think it means the book of Deuteronomy, but some think it refers to the entire Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy). Either way it’s a lot of writing. Sort of like an Old Testament term paper.

And this was long before the days of personal computers.
Or typewriters (remember those?).
Or ballpoint pens.
Or Number 2 pencils.

Writing out the entire book of Deuteronomy would take days of work. Line by line, word by word, letter by letter, making sure he got it exactly right. And you can be sure the Levites would be double-checking his work.

Not an easy assignment.

Writing it down meant the king was forced to think about the law of God he was sworn to uphold. He would go through every part of it, painstakingly writing it on a scroll, thinking about what it meant. That tedious exercise would tattoo the truth on his soul. We can see a clear progression here:

Writing.
Reading.
Following.

Maybe we can gain something from this today. Pick a verse and write it down word for word. Or pick a whole chapter and write it down—that will take a lot longer. But the very act is likely to make you think more carefully about what it says. And that’s the whole point. Writing slows us down, and slowing down is the first step in hearing what God is actually saying.

    • By Ray Pritchard Keep Believing Ministries

Used by permission of Keep Believing Ministries.

4 Keys to How God Brings Transition.


woman climbing mountain
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

God has designed change to be a process, not an event. Getting to the next level does not happen quickly. Successful transition takes time.

Certainly God is interested in the end result of the changes He orchestrates in our lives, but the growth and maturity that accompany transition are also very important to Him. For this reason, He typically works diligently, deliberately and more slowly than you and I might want.

Nevertheless, His timing is perfect. And the entire transition process is part of a grand plan for your life that will bring you great joy and fulfillment as you patiently cooperate with it.

Little by Little

One Scripture that helps us understand God’s approach to change is Deuteronomy 7:22: “The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you” (NIV).

Moses spoke these words to the people of Israel concerning their journey into the Promised Land. When the people looked around, they could easily see that in order to get to the place God promised, they needed to subdue nations that were larger and stronger than they were. This caused them to be very nervous and afraid.

The people knew that intense battles lay ahead of them, and they were not sure they could win. But Moses knew that God’s heart was for them to triumph over their formidable enemies, and he knew that God had a strategy for victory and deliverance.

What was God’s plan? Basically, one step at a time, “little by little.” The Israelites could not expect God to reach down from heaven, wipe out their enemies in one mighty sweep of His hand and give them a clear path to the Promised Land. No, in His wisdom, God knew they needed to fight for the land because when they arrived in it, they would need the strength and confidence they had gained through having to overcome along the way.

I know that God has a land of promise for you. I believe He has put vision and desires in your heart, and in your inmost being you can hear His destiny calling.

Like the children of Israel, you are on a journey toward the full possession of His promises to you, and also like them, you will face opposition as you go. But God has the same strategy for victory in your life as He had for His people centuries ago: little by little. You will get where He wants you to go one step at a time. One day at a time. One victory at a time.

God will not eliminate all the opposition against you at one time, nor will He set you in your land of promise without taking you through the experiences necessary for you to learn the lessons and develop the strength you will need in the new place, in the place your transition is taking you. Rather, He will take out your enemies, eliminating them one by one. This will take time.

Remove and Replace

If God were suddenly to remove all the obstacles before you, you would find yourself facing a big void, and this could pose a danger for you. God told the Israelites through Moses, “You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you” (Deut. 7:22).

The New King James Version of this Scripture says, “Lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.” In other words, unless God drove out the enemies slowly, the wild animals would become more dangerous to them than the armies of other nations had been.

Instead of speedily eliminating the opposition, God wants to remove and replace. He will do this with attitudes, mind-sets, circumstances, relationships and anything else that would keep you from being fully prepared and equipped to possess the promises He has given you. For example, where you are afraid, He will orchestrate a situation that will help you overcome your fear and replace it with faith.

If you are in debt, and you need a breakthrough in finances, He may send you additional work so that your bondage to your bills can be replaced with financial freedom. If there is someone in your life who would be a liability to you in the future, He may remove that person and lead you to develop a relationship with someone who has the heart and ability to be a blessing at your next level.

Such significant changes in your life will require time and patience; so don’t get frustrated in the process. Remain thankful in the time of preparation, and stay positive about the great endeavors for which God is training you. As He removes the things that would hinder you and replaces them with things that will help you, He is developing you into a strong, wise, well-equipped warrior who is able to emerge from every battle victoriously.

Change and Your Relationships

One element of transition that certainly applies to everyone is the fact that change is not a private matter. Your moving to the next level will impact the other people in your life—your spouse, your children, your church staff and business or ministry team.

In the mid-1970s, I became senior pastor of Trinity Christian Centre in Singapore. It was a small church when I started, but over the years, it grew to become one of the largest churches in the nation.

After I had been pastoring for a few years, I began to realize that I needed to prepare for a transition in the church’s leadership. Although I was not planning for it to happen in the immediate future, I knew the day would come when I would step aside, and someone else would become the senior leader. I also realized it was going to take years for this to become a reality.

My transition took at least 10 years. Ideally, if you are in pastoral leadership, you want approximately five years to watch the potential new leader develop and to check his or her character and motives. Then for the next five years, you would want to prepare the person to handle the pressures and the scope of the position.

If you are pressured into a shorter time period, know that the transition might be bumpier than a well-planned shift in leadership. You may find it more difficult to groom the new leader in all the areas necessary for successful transition.

Those of you who are pressed for time should seek the help of someone from the outside who has made a successful transition. Look for an individual with a strong apostolic anointing in this area for spiritual guidance and wisdom.

In Singapore, by God’s grace, I understood that transition would take time. I started very early because I wanted to make sure that the leadership transition went smoothly and would result in greater blessings for the new leader and for the congregation. My approach has always been to develop leaders, so instead of resigning from the church and leaving them to search for a new pastor, I began to take note of various people on my staff who might be qualified for the position. I started doing this years before a new pastor would be needed.

Over a period of time, from a pool of possible candidates, I identified the man whom I believed to be God’s choice to lead the church. I worked with him and helped him learn the things he would need to know as the senior leader, although he was not aware that he had been chosen as the new leader, until the last three years before my departure.

I encouraged him to develop skills he had not needed before, and I made sure he had new opportunities for interaction with our large staff, the congregation and leaders. Everyone needed time to adjust to the coming change. And the church needed to get to know and love the new leader through personal contact with him, and familiarity with his preaching and leadership styles.

By the time the transition actually took place in 2005, the new leader was equipped for his new position, and the congregation was eager to embrace him. Under his leadership, the church is growing, thriving and impacting more lives for God than ever before. Along with God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit, a deliberate, strategic process allowed enough time for a successful transition.

You may be thinking, But I am not a pastor, so how can this help me? It can help you see the deliberate process involved in transitioning effectively. In my case, there were many others who needed time to prepare for a change in leadership: the board, pastoral staff members who had served with me for years, other levels of leaders who had served faithfully and the whole congregation.

For you, it may be your spouse, extended family members, your children, neighbors and friends. Remember, transition is never a private affair, and the preparation it requires for everyone involved cannot happen hurriedly.

Wait Patiently

In God, even the longest wait has meaning and purpose. He redeems time and restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). You can have confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, NIV). Not one minute of your seemingly protracted journey is a waste of time. See it instead as a priceless opportunity for learning and growth.

Anyone familiar with the human body knows that a woman cannot give birth to a child the week after she becomes pregnant. Her body needs time to stretch and adjust to the new life that is forming within her. Her mind needs to get used to the idea of being a mother, and she probably needs to prepare her home for the presence of a newborn.

At the same time, one week after conception, no one can tell whether an embryo is a boy or a girl. No matter how much the new parents would want to buy clothes and paint a nursery right then, it is best to give the baby time to develop so the parents can make the right choices about those things.

How To Use “The Bible’s Big Story”: Dads, Step Up and Play the Man.


Do you know what I’m trying to accomplish with The Bible’s Big Story?

I want you to win the hearts of your children.
I want you to win them through the time you spend with them.
I want you to start when they’re so small they can’t yet climb off your lap and crawl around.
I want you to read to them, and I want you to read to them about the highest and most important things: the Lord, the gospel, the true story of the world in the Bible.

So more than just winning their hearts, I want you to win your kids to the Lord. My prayer is that the big story of the Bible will capture their imagination, that the high King would lay claim to their allegiance, that they would trust him from deepest recess of soul.

I’m trying to help parents–and I really have dads in my crosshairs–obey Deuteronomy 6:7. The ESV translates that verse as follows: “You shall teach them [these words that I command you today, v. 6] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

That phrase “you shall teach them diligently” could also be rendered “you shall repeat them constantly.”

This verse calls fathers to do two things: 1) repeat the Bible constantly to their children, and 2) discuss it with them.

That’s your basic recipe for family discipleship, and I’m trying to help you do it by starting when your children are sitting there on your lap looking at picture books with you.

[Here’s a longer discussion of family discipleship interpreting Deuteronomy 6 and Proverbs: “That the Coming Generation Might Praise the Lord,”].

Make no mistake about it: Satan is prowling around like a lion wanting to devour your child. You can’t outsource their discipleship. They need you. Particularly you, Dad.

The other day my wife was telling me how it’s harder for my kids to get to sleep when something has me out of the house and I’m not part of the bedtime routine of family devotions. Without me there, she finds the kids to be more fussy and fearful. She said to me: “Don’t underestimate daddypower.”

Dad’s, I’m calling you to step up.
I’m calling you, fathers, to read to your kids.
I’m calling you to be a man, to take the responsibility God has placed at your feet in the Scriptures.

This is bigger than any free throw you ever shot, bigger than any at-bat with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run in scoring position. This is more important than twitter and blogs and books and news. We’re talking about your kids.

We’re talking about whether you will lay the foundation when they’re small that will put you in position to be heard and heeded when you start warning them against the snares of the devil–snares of porn and predators and pushers. How do you lay that foundation? By establishing yourself as their father in the formative years. Before they start walking, you’re holding them, teaching them what the world is–what it’s for, what life is about.

Step up, dads. For the sake of your children, for the respect of your wife, for your own Christlikeness, for the glory of God, for the church in the generations to come. By all that you love, by all that is holy, in the name of the Lord Jesus, let us take up the solemn charge to train our kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Disciple your children.

Play the man. Repeat the Bible constantly to your kids and discuss it everywhere you go, when they get out of bed in the morning, when they go to bed at night, when at home, when out and about (cf. Deut 6:7).

Their souls depend upon it, and if you’re in ministry, your qualification depends upon it.

So how can you use The Bible’s Big Story in your efforts to fulfill the role God has given to you and play the man? (cf. 1 Cor 16:13–14)

Here are some suggestions, following the basic outline of Deuteronomy 6:7, to 1) Repeat and 2) Discuss, and I’m adding the third step of 3) Do It Yourself to get at the idea that is clearly the goal of the repetition and discussion Moses prescribed in Deuteronomy 6:7–living out the Bible. Moses wasn’t calling for Hebrew households to become seminar rooms or discussion forums. He wanted fathers to repeat the Bible to their children and discuss its meaning with them so that they would live out faith and obedience for God’s glory.

Here’s how you can use The Bible’s Big Story to lay the foundation of you being the most influential person in your child’s life. Here are some steps you can take on the path of winning their hearts:

Repeat

1. Read the poem straight through. On each page there is a rhyming couplet and a Bible verse, and this first recommendation is to skip the Bible verses and just read the rhyming couplets of this book. These rhymes comprise one unified poem. By reading the whole poem over and over straight through, the idea is for both you and your little one to find that you have the thing memorized. The poem is intended to be a high-level overview of the whole story (thus its title, The Bible’s Big Story), and my hope is that it will serve as a roadmap for Bible reading.

So read the poem straight through. This is how you read most children’s books, and in this recommendation I’m encouraging you to read the poetry by itself and save the Bible verses on each page for other kinds of trips through the book.

2. Repeat. Maybe your experience is like mine, and you find yourself saying to your toddler: “we just read that book.” On those second and third readings, go more slowly through the pages, and these are the times to read the verses.

Discuss

3. Got a toddler and other kids under the age of 10? We do, and often the older ones gather round as we read to the younger. When this starts happening, don’t just read, discuss. Ask the older kids to tell you more about the pictures and the stories they depict.

4. Talk about what happens between the lines. This little book is only 24 pages. Most of the Bible’s events and teachings are not depicted. Ask your child if they know what happened before or after what’s on a particular page. Let the things depicted in this book be your landmarks, and more and more sketch in the details between the landmarks.

Do It Yourself

These suggestions can be adapted to the age and aptitude of your child.

5. Assuming that you have access to a photocopier (three in one printers are everywhere these days), photocopy a page in black and white and let your child use it as a coloring page.

6. Have your child reproduce the pictures in the book using tracing paper.

7. The next step after tracing paper is of course for your kids to draw their own versions of the pictures in the book, whether reproducing the book’s pictures or doing the scene a different way, or the previous event . . . you get the idea.

8. At our family gatherings, the cousins sometimes do drama presentations. Why not use The Bible’s Big Story for the family (or church) Christmas drama your kids produce. Have them memorize the lines and say them as they act out the story. Get costumes. Make it a yearly tradition at Christmas or easter. Go whole-hog (even if you’re an LSU fan).

9. Are there families of small children whose parents you’re shepherding or discipling? At $4.99, this is a pretty affordable discipleship tool, birthday gift, or party favor. Let me assure you: my goal is not selling more copies or making a name for myself. I want to love God and neighbor. I want God to be glorified as you win the hearts of your kids, as your friends win the hearts of their kids, as fathers establish themselves in the lives of their kids by obeying Deuteronomy 6:7, as families grow in their understanding of the Scriptures together, as disciples are made of all nations.

10. Are there unbelieving family members, friends, or others who sometimes read to your kids? Put this book on the top of the pile. Unbelievers who read this book will be exposed to the big story of the Bible and an exhortation to trust the Lord Christ. I hope and pray The Bible’s Big Story can be a natural evangelistic experience for your unbelieving neighbors, friends, or family members.

These are of course, merely suggestions, and they’re not exhaustive. Have some other ideas? Please do share them in the comments (or post them somewhere–I’d love to know to your thoughts. . .). The main thing is for us to know God by knowing the Bible, and helping you and your kids do that is what I’m after in The Bible’s Big Story.

Look around.
Darkness clouds the horizon.
The culture grows more and more hostile to Christians and Christianity.
Take action.
Redeem the time.
Disciple your kids.

Dads, your wife and children are yours to protect and lead. Play the man.

Jim Hamilton

Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Choice to Love God.


“That you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days” Deuteronomy 30:20 NKJV

You’ve certainly heard of the story of the prodigal son who in his rebellious mind took his part of the inheritance and went to squander it in the world.
You’ve also surely heard of how when he came back to his senses after loosing everything, he returned to his fathers’s house where his father welcomed him back with rejoicing.

This story though told many times is not such a big deal in the sense that it is just the story of man. Rebellious in nature, wanting to do things his way and waiting till he had come to end of himself before acknowledging that there is something better.

What is so surprising here is that the father listens to him gives him his share when he asks for it and let him have his way.
“And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.” (Luke 15:12)
Which earthly father would do that while he is still alive?

Now we understand that this story is more about our heavenly Father who loves us so much that He wouldn’t force us into obedience. He loves us so much that He wants us to love Him back the same way, by choice.

But didn’t the Father know that the son was going to waste all the money? That’s the heart of our heavenly Father. He will never force us to love Him, He is therefore willing to take the risk of seeing us get lost in order to win us.

God wants you and me to choose to love HIm. Let’s not wait till we’ve lost everything before we make that choice.

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NLT)

Wishing you a Blessed Week!


I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)


By Anita Antwi.

God’s Secrets.


Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
Daniel 12:8

Recommended Reading
Deuteronomy 29:29 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2029:29&version=NKJV)

In the eighteenth century it took months for news to travel from America to Europe and back — assuming the sailing ship was not sunk in a storm or boarded by enemies who threw anything not of immediate value overboard — including personal and political correspondence. Then months more would elapse before explanations arrived and the process of sending information would begin again. In the Internet age, we are used to getting questions answered immediately, at the speed of light. But there are some questions for which only God has answers. And He has not revealed them all.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

When Daniel received God’s final revelations about the end of the age, he wasn’t satisfied — he wanted to know more. But Daniel’s questions remained unanswered: “Go  your  way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:9). If Daniel had to live patiently with unanswered questions, we must as well.

The Bible says what is revealed belongs to us, and that the “secret things” belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). And we can trust Him with His secrets.

While we cannot comprehend God in His fullness, we can know enough about Him through His revelation to praise Him appropriately.
R. C. Sproul

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Psalms 120-133

By David Jeremiah.

How Do You Spell Father?.


Dan Rodgers
Deuteronomy 5:16

INTRODUCTION: Today is “father’s Day. It is a day we honor our fathers and our grandfathers. In Scripture we are commanded of the Lord to “honor” our fathers and or mothers. On May the 11th, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and today we celebrate and honor our dads.

ILLUS: Let me begin with a brief story:

This particular family had three small children who were determined to have a puppy. Mom protested because she knew that somehow or other, she would end up caring for the critter. True to form, the children solemnly promised that they would take care of it.

Eventually, she relented and they brought their little puppy home. The children named him Danny and cared for him diligently – at first. But, sure enough, as time passed, Mom found herself becoming more and more responsible for taking care of the dog.

Finally, she decided that the children were not living up to their promise so she began to search for a new home for Danny. When she found one and broke the news to the children, she was quite surprised that they had almost no reaction at all. One of them even said rather matter-of-factly, “We’ll miss him.”

“I’m sure we will,” Mom answered, “but he is too much work for one person and since I’m the one that has to do all the work, I say he goes.”

“But,” protested another child, “if he wouldn’t eat so much and wouldn’t be so messy, could we keep him?”

Mom held her ground, “It’s time to take Danny to his new home.” Suddenly, with one voice and with tears in their eyes, the children exclaimed, “Danny? We thought you said Daddy!”1

This morning I want to use the word “father” in the form of an acrostic. The title of the message is “How do you spell father?” We spell father in this way:

I. FAITH

A. A Saving Faith

1. Dad, let me begin by saying, you cannot be the best father possible unless you have a saving faith. Regardless of how much you love your children, and regardless what you do to care for them, if you have never trusted Christ, you fall woefully short of God‘s expectation for you as a father. The reason? Your children need a father who knows the Father. And if you ever expect your kids to know Him, you must first possess a saving faith in Christ.

B. A Living Faith

1. Praise God, dads, if you having a saving faith. But let me ask you a question: Are you living for God, does your faith stand as an emblem of security for your children? Do your kids see you pray on a daily basis? When they grow up, will they remember how you lived by faith? I might add; it will make all the difference in whether or not they learn to live by faith.

ILLUS: Listen to the following story of a father’s faith…

Many years ago, a farmer and his family, after a hard year of typical farm work, were rewarded with an unusually fine crop of grain. There were happy days ahead.

Just a few days before harvest, there came a terrible wind and hailstorm. Th …

How Do You Spell Father?.


Dan Rodgers
Deuteronomy 5:16

INTRODUCTION: Today is “father’s Day. It is a day we honor our fathers and our grandfathers. In Scripture we are commanded of the Lord to “honor” our fathers and or mothers. On May the 11th, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and today we celebrate and honor our dads.

ILLUS: Let me begin with a brief story:

This particular family had three small children who were determined to have a puppy. Mom protested because she knew that somehow or other, she would end up caring for the critter. True to form, the children solemnly promised that they would take care of it.

Eventually, she relented and they brought their little puppy home. The children named him Danny and cared for him diligently – at first. But, sure enough, as time passed, Mom found herself becoming more and more responsible for taking care of the dog.

Finally, she decided that the children were not living up to their promise so she began to search for a new home for Danny. When she found one and broke the news to the children, she was quite surprised that they had almost no reaction at all. One of them even said rather matter-of-factly, “We’ll miss him.”

“I’m sure we will,” Mom answered, “but he is too much work for one person and since I’m the one that has to do all the work, I say he goes.”

“But,” protested another child, “if he wouldn’t eat so much and wouldn’t be so messy, could we keep him?”

Mom held her ground, “It’s time to take Danny to his new home.” Suddenly, with one voice and with tears in their eyes, the children exclaimed, “Danny? We thought you said Daddy!”1

This morning I want to use the word “father” in the form of an acrostic. The title of the message is “How do you spell father?” We spell father in this way:

I. FAITH

A. A Saving Faith

1. Dad, let me begin by saying, you cannot be the best father possible unless you have a saving faith. Regardless of how much you love your children, and regardless what you do to care for them, if you have never trusted Christ, you fall woefully short of God‘s expectation for you as a father. The reason? Your children need a father who knows the Father. And if you ever expect your kids to know Him, you must first possess a saving faith in Christ.

B. A Living Faith

1. Praise God, dads, if you having a saving faith. But let me ask you a question: Are you living for God, does your faith stand as an emblem of security for your children? Do your kids see you pray on a daily basis? When they grow up, will they remember how you lived by faith? I might add; it will make all the difference in whether or not they learn to live by faith.

ILLUS: Listen to the following story of a father’s faith…

Many years ago, a farmer and his family, after a hard year of typical farm work, were rewarded with an unusually fine crop of grain. There were happy days ahead.

Just a few days before harvest, there came a terrible wind and hailstorm. Th …

The Bible Verse No Guy Enjoys Reading.


men's conference

I’d never heard a sermon on Deuteronomy 23:1 until last month, when my Puerto Rican friend Luis Roig had the courage to read the text out loud to a group of men in Florida. When he did, one guy gasped and fell on the floor. Several others laughed nervously, and we all drew our knees together and groaned.

The Holman translation says it this way: “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the Lord’s assembly.”

Ouch!

Please pardon the graphic language, but older translations just aren’t clear. The King James Version says, “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” That’s putting it mildly!

Most of us dismiss or ignore this odd passage, either because the subject matter is embarrassing or because the law seems unfair. After all, if a man’s private parts are damaged in an accident, why should he be considered an outcast?

But this verse is relevant to us today because we face a masculinity crisis. In our fatherless culture, many guys struggle with their identity as men, and as a result they feel alienated from God. Meanwhile the church offers little to help men find true healing. Our idea of men’s ministry is to provide food, sports or entertainment while we dance around men’s deepest problems without actually addressing them.

Yet everywhere I go today, I find men who suffer from crushed masculinity. They have been kicked in the groin, spiritually speaking. Their actual anatomy may be intact, but because of poor fathering, lack of affirmation, bullying, family rejection, inferiority or some form of abuse, their manhood did not develop properly. They are men on the outside, but inside they are wounded boys who are afraid to tell anyone how they feel.

Over the years I’ve identified several categories of crushed manhood:

1. Insecurity. Many guys become selfish, driven performers, out to prove their manhood through competition. Because they didn’t get healthy encouragement at home, they become self-absorbed and crave the spotlight. They can appear extremely successful, but inside they are afraid of failure. They find it hard to build healthy friendships, and their wives usually feel used and ignored. In the end, these guys end up in divorce, scandal, prison or worse.

2. Indecisiveness. Some men just don’t have the ability to make decisions. They may have never had a father to encourage them or a role model to learn from. As a result they flounder in their careers, struggle financially, fear the future and feel spineless. Many of these men find Christ, but they live in painful isolation and get trapped in addictions because they lack self-control.

3. Domination. Some men—especially if they were abused physically or even sexually as boys—believe the only way to prove their manhood is to wield power. Violent anger seethes below the surface. If they marry, their wives suffer the brunt of their dysfunction. These men are tormented by secrets, but they cannot take their armor off long enough to admit their problems to anyone.

4. Promiscuity. Sex is a selfish contest for many guys. They try to bed as many women as possible to prove they are “real men.” Ironically, it is their lack of manhood that drives them to hurt themselves and others. Some men who were abused sexually as boys seek to have sex with as many women as possible to prove they are not gay.

5. Homosexuality. It’s not popular today to suggest that homosexuality is sinful. So what if I rephrase the question and ask: “Is it healthy?” Many men today struggle with their core identity as men, and often it is not their fault. They may have never had a father to affirm them, or their father may have withheld affection. Others have gender confusion because of abuse. In many cases, guys experience same-sex attraction because they crave the healthy male attention they should have received from a dad. And they mistakenly think that sex with another man will restore the manhood they crave.

When my friend Luis read from Deuteronomy 23:1, he also shared his painful story: how he had been abused as a child, how he wrestled with his fears and lusts, and how his abuse pushed him to become violent in his marriage. Thankfully, Luis found more than a Band-Aid for his problems when he came to faith. Jesus delivered him from his anger, healed his emotional wounds and began restoring his manhood.

This healing is found in Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, Jesus pours His oil and wine on our wounds. Like the father of the prodigal son, He throws His arms around us and tells us He’s glad we belong to Him. The unconditional love of Jesus, which is both gentle and powerfully strong, is the perfect remedy for the fragmented masculine soul.

This supernatural healing is available to men today, but we cannot offer what we have not experienced ourselves. We must be willing to trade in our superficial “God bless you, brother!” back-slapping and get real. Men have been painfully emasculated, and they need surgery. Let’s quit denying the problem. It is time for a wave of healing to touch the wounded men all around us.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

J. LEE GRADY

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project(themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies Men Believe and other books.

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