Grace in the Wilderness

Jeremiah 31:2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.

Wilderness. The very word seems ominous. Stark horizons, barren landscapes, and waterless wells mark this place. The traveler who trods this soil will remember the hopelessness of this habitat. Only cacti bloom here; the birds that fly here are predators. The trees are bereft of vegetation. There are no indicators of life; it is just as its described; it is a wilderness. 

The believer will sometimes find himself in the wilderness. Sometimes it is a wilderness of his own making. Other times it is a wilderness of God’s choosing. Yet wherever the wilderness or however you arrived there, know this: our wildernesses are not without God’s knowledge nor His grace. 

God had Israel, both northern and southern kingdoms, in a place of purification. God wanted a righteous spirit to replace their rebellious spirit. In the previous chapter, God made it clear He would rid them of their wickedness. Yet in the same prophecy, God stated that those who remained, after the purging by the Assyrian’s sword, found grace in the wilderness.

Your way may be in the wilderness at the moment. Lift up your head; redemption is near. There can be grace in your wilderness. You may think that this wilderness has just graves, but know this: this wilderness has grace too.

Whatever your wilderness, grace can be found in it.


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1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.    

You know there is nothing more frustrating than being hindered when you want to move forward. Have you ever had a day when everything you try to do seems like you are walking into a brick wall? You try to avoid the wall by navigating around it and you walk right back into the same wall. It seems as if every attempt to move forward is hindered.    

Yesterday, I had one of those days. I finally realized (after about five stubbed toes and squished noses) that it was time to step away and figure out what was hindering my forward motion. Clearly, the Lord wanted me to learn something from Him.   

After this experience, though unrelated to this verse, I began thinking about the hindrances that come in my walk with the Lord. As a husband of 14 years, I’ve seen a few times when disagreements arose with my wife. (Incidentally, I have learned now, that no matter what the issue, it is MY fault [smile]) Those kind of disagreements, if left unresolved, create a larger problem than the one in his earthly home.   

If a husband leaves these disagreements unresolved, he will run into a brick wall in his communication with God. God is looking out for my wife. He has her best interest in mind. God wants my wife’s husband to learn his wife’s ways, to honor her worth, to remember her status in the family of God. The penalty for not doing this is a brick wall in his prayer life. Oh, that he would learn!!!   



Who do you hate?

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

This verse seems hard to assimilate. We know the times that Christ instructed us to love each other as believers as well as our neighbors. However, here we have Christ issuing a warning to followers. If you are coming to Christ for service, your love for Him must be so fervent that all others loves will seem as hatred.

However, most people I have spoken to considering God’s call for the ministry have expressed a concern over how others around them may feel if they respond to God’s call. They say, “Well, I would go but my Dad and Mom…” Or “I would go but my Siblings…” Or “I would go but I wanted to do __________ with my life.” 

Your coming for His service is voluntary. However, there is one requirement: you must love Him more than anyone you know, anything you wanted to do, and anywhere you ever wanted to go! Does this describe your love of Christ? Are you amongst those that will claim your desire to serve him and yet will juggle their life’s loves to keep yourself, your friends, and family happy? Are you amongst those that seek to please your spouse as your chief priority only to abandon Christ?

Is your love for Christ so earnest that all other loves can only be valued as hatred? If not, adjust your relationships to people, places, and things so He is your chief love!

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To be Continued…

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

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"To be continued…" Those words have such a unique meaning for the regular reader of his favorite book series. Just when you get interested in the subject matter, the book ends and is promised to continue in the next release. It is always refreshing when you are able to pick up the next volume in the series and continue right where you left off in the last volume.  

Occasionally, you may pick up the next volume in the series and find it does not pick up exactly where it left off but skips a few major details. Then you find yourself disoriented while you have to read quite a few pages to figure out what is going on in the story. 

Much like the above situation, when we read the book of Christianity written on the pages of some Christian's lives, the chapters on "brotherly love" appear to be missing and it leaves us disoriented. You may know what I mean: you meet a believer and he is supposed to be full of brotherly love and he is not. When he walks away, the phrase, "Brotherly love is not continuing here" comes to your mind.

Our verse today speaks not of a continuation of a book but rather a command for the continuation of brotherly love. Our command is clear: brotherly love must continue. Our loving fellowship with others must leave the believer longing for other Christian fellowship. However, I have met a few believers with whom brotherly love did not continue! It is as if the brotherly love chapters have been removed and brotherly love stopped with them.

The pivotal word in this verse is let. It is been my experience that we seem to be our own obstacle in brotherly love. However, this verse is not merely a good suggestion but rather a command. 

Today, remove all the obstacles preventing brotherly love from continuing with you. Pursue restoring a broken relationship. Seek forgiveness for a wrong done. Build a bridge across a repented offense. By all means, bring your life into subjection to this verse and "Let brotherly love continue."

The Miracle of His Will

Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

At times, our heart yearns for a specific answer to prayer. We crave the answer it. We want it more than life itself.  We will view our latest impossibility as another difficulty in a series of life’s impossibilities. 

We look at our problem. We see the mountain is too high. We see the hole is too deep. We say the cavern is too wide. So, we do our best to assess the situation. 

We pull out our trusty checklist: What are my resources? Not enough! What are my abilities? Insufficient! What opportunities exist to implement my solution? None.

Have you ever been there? You know the place. It is standing at the precipice of your plans, resources, and abilities to manage this crisis. You see the dilemmas and disasters and conclude it is hopeless. You embrace this literal hopelessness.

God’s children are not strangers to this emotional location. God knows where this place is. He knows where it is because He let us arrived there. He comes to us. He lets us get to the place where we can see that our resources are inadequate. He lets us sense that our responses are insufficient. He permits us to discover that our attempts at fixing it are incomplete. We discover that what we need in this moment is not another plan or power solution. We simply need the miracle of His will. 

The miracle of God’s will is not bound to my planning, power, or potential. Often the miracle of God’s will is juxtaposed to these human attempts to solve life’s impossibilities. The miracle of His will demonstrates He has an outcome that He desires. The miracle of His will demonstrates He can do anything but fail. The miracle of His will shows nothing is too hard for God.

The Egyptians chased Israel to the Red Sea. When Israel ran out of desert and were against the Red Sea, they realized the miracle of God’s will. Israel's miracle was not manufactured by them. Their miracle was manifested by God. 

Joshua needed a bridge over the Jordan river. The miracle of God’s will did not require human involvement to cross that river. The miracle needed the Hand of God. Some could say, "Here is a place for a bridge." Yet bridges are not the only solution. When man needs a bridge, God replies, “You just need the miracle of My will.”

The five thousand needed food. The disciples were questioned on their plan to feed the 5000. Jesus’ question revealed they did not need another plan, program, or purchase. They needed the miracle of His will. (John 6:5-14)

Their resources were ineffective (200 pence and five loaves with two fish)

Their restructuring was incredible (too late in the day to get started)

Their responses were inadequate. (send them away)

When you arrive at your next crisis, look to your Redeemer, not your resources. Ask God to reveal the miracle of His will for you! The miracle of His will supersedes your abilities, actions, and awareness. 

Whatever your crisis today, the miracle of His will is the best solution! 

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When God Needs my Help

Genesis 16:1-3 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

The very words of the title of today's reading seem silly. He is God. He does not need my help. He does not need my manipulations. He does not need my interference in His plans. 

God gave Sarah a promise. He promised she would have a son. When Sarah saw what she thought was a delay in God's delivery on the promise, she helped God. Sarah suggested a plan that sounded right in her eyes. 

Sarah proposed to Abraham that their maid Hagar could help with God's promise. So, following the cultural model, Hagar became a surrogate for Sarah. Hagar was given a child by God. But this was not how God intended to give Sarah a son. God's plan was better. God's plan is always better. Sarah's plan did not help God. God did not need Sarah's help. God needed Sarah to wait on Him.

We look at this and think how silly Sarah was. Truly, God did not need Sarah’s help. The result of this decision to help God brought forth Ishmael. Our struggles in the Middle East today stem from this decision several thousand years ago.

What surprises me today is that we still do this as a people. When God’s answer seems delayed, we seek to help God. The result of our helping God is the same as Sarah's. We end up with Ishmael problems in our lives, families, and ministries. 

Look at your life today. Do you have Ishmael problems from your attempt to help God? Maybe it’s a purchase you made to help God. Maybe it's a problem that stems from when you helped God. Perhaps it is a person in your life that you brought into a relationship that you knew was wrong. It is likely that you cannot undo your decision; you can only make the decision not to end up here again. 

Remember this, God never needs our help. 

When I help, I get an Ishmael. When He does it, I get an Isaac.  May our prayer be, “God, I will wait on you. I will not try to help you, again.”

Remember His promises are sure. His ways are perfect.

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God is my Reward

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Have you noticed as a people we are desirous of rewards? 

Ladies pursue sales at department stores. They seek discounts and marked-down goods. Each purchase becomes their reward for their hunt. 

Men fish and hunt for hours on end. They seek reward for their efforts. These men find reward in their stories and on occasion, to have their catch mounted to hang on a wall.

Children play video games trying to beat “boss” to get to the next level. They look for the reward of bragging to their friends of their accomplishments. They want to beat the game.

How trivial the rewards are that this world offers in comparison to the reward the God offered his friend Abraham. The word of the Lord came to Abraham’s soul.  God said to Abraham, His friend, “I am your “exceeding great reward.”

What a reward! Not only can I have the Creator of the universe be my friend, but also He has given me a reward that exceeds all rewards. He says, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” 

The message from God to Abraham overshadows searching for bargains in a department store. It exceeds the reward of tromping through fields and streams for the one-that-got-away.

Have life’s tumultuous waves swept over you? Have you begun to feel that the world rewards may provide you the immediate gratification you desire? Raise your head! Square your shoulders! Set your mind on this one eternal truth: God is my exceeding great reward.

Is there anything greater than God being your reward?

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A Very Great Man

2 Samuel 19:32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.    

 When the names of the OT greats are listed, the list rarely includes Barzillai. He was a helper of King David when faced with adversity from his people, attacks from his family, and days of isolation. Our brother, Barzillai, sets a subtle theme for our devotional consideration today. 

King David, while pursued by Absalom and his men, was forced into running and hiding until God rectified the problem. Barzillai recognized the plight of God’s man and determined when David arrived at Mahanaim, he would not leave God’s man without supplies and encouragement. So Barzillai brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched corn, beans, lentils, and parched pulse to King David while he was on the run. Barzillai knew that God’s man should not be without provisions and encouragement.   

The Holy Spirit told the writer of our devotional verse today to write this: “He was a very great man.” The “church world” has determined that “the great men of the ministry today” are the ones with churches with large attendance, strategic locations, and TV ministries. However, the Holy Spirit once again confounds modern thinking into what really matters. Greatness comes by serving.   

Right now, there is a man of God you know. He daily faces adversity and attacks. He oft times is faced with the loneliness that comes from making the right stand. Every man of God needs a Barzillai to help him. Will you be a Barzillai for the Lord?   

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The Kindness of God

2 Samuel 9:1–3 And David said... Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?

Friendship. It is a word that soothes the soul and stirs the heart. It is a word evokes memories that are dear. It is a word that elicits emotions that run deep. It is the one word that offers unconditional acceptance, uncompromising affirmation, and affection.

Friendship was a word David knew. The word was personified in Jonathan, the son of the former king and his arch nemesis, Saul. While other monarchs sought to eliminate the family of the former royalty, it was not so with David. David loved Jonathan. David’s motivation was pure. He wanted to extend kindness to any of the family of Saul. David’s seeking Saul’s family was intended to be an act of mercy, not malice. 

David asked of his servants if there any left of Saul’s house to whom he could show kindness. Of the many word meanings of shew, one synonym stands out. It is the word accomplish. David wanted to accomplish kindness in memory of his friend, Jonathan. 

The average Bible reader knows this story well. It is the story of Mephibosheth. It is a story replete with divine nuances and types. The story is illustrative of God’s love, grace, and adoption in the course of His redemptive path and plan for mankind. 

Yet what captures my heart is not the primary nor secondary meanings in this passage. Rather, it is a simple statement in verse three.  “And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?”

David resolved in his heart that he would show the kindness of God to someone of the house of Saul. Yes, I know, the house of Saul. His mind could have been a file cabinet filled with folders of bitterness, bruises, blisters, and bad memories. Yet his heart was a vessel of compassion looking for another vessel into whom he could pour himself in the memory of his friendship with Jonathan. David saw himself as an agent of kindness working for God. He could have sought out someone who would have easily been on anyone’s enemy list, but he didn’t. Instead, in memory of his friend and in devotion to his God, he sought to show divine kindness to anyone of Saul’s house. David saw himself as God’s agent of kindness. 

Is there someone around you who needs to see the kindness of God today? Someone who needs you, on God’s behalf, to go the extra mile, invest no matter the cost, and sacrifice what’s dear, just to display the kindness of God?

The verse is clear. David showed God’s kindness that day. Will you show God’s kindness this day?

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Making a Choice

1 Samuel 23:26-28    And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them. But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.

Saul was an angry leader. He struggled with pride and stubbornness. These two sins made him “play the fool” in his kingly ministry. Saul hunted David like a dog would hunt for its desired object. He wanted David eliminated. Saul believed David was his greatest threat. However, David was not Saul’s greatest threat. Saul was his own greatest threat. Saul had become so consumed with his pursuit of pride and jealousy. He had abandoned his responsibility of the ministry to do other things. 

This is what is occurring in our text. David is in hiding. Saul is on one side of the mountain and David is on the other. Saul believes he is ready to capture David again. God intervenes and makes Saul face his real priority with the message of the messenger. “The Philistines have invaded the land.” However, Saul is so consumed with his stubbornness and pride that he actually struggles with the right action to take: do I try again to capture David? Or do I defend against the invasion of the Philistines? Saul’s heart was divided to go hither and thither; so the place was named Selahammahlekoth. (pronounced See-La-ha-ma’-le-koth)

God still sends us to places like Selahammahlekoth when we stray from His purpose. He will force us to choose. Our choice is the same: do we follow the “Pursuits of Pride?” Or do we get back to “Dealing with the enemy?” 

Why do we become so consumed with our selfish pursuits that we actually abandon our priority? The answer is clear we are driven away by the lust of the flesh. The lust of the flesh is a powerful force. It will drive us from our priority in ministry to do what we want. The lust of the flesh reveals our pride and stubbornness.

Are you fulfilling what God would call his priority for you? Has God sent a Selahammahlekoth to you to make you stop and reconsider? Please do not struggle; go home and deal with the invading enemy. The pursuit you are in may be your own pursuit and not His. You may have tried convincing your immediate circle of friends that what you are doing is ministry, but you know better. Linger not a moment longer; get back to His priority. 

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1 Sam 16:6-7   And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Have you ever considered that sometimes our evaluations of people are extremely superficial, prejudicial, and unfair? You know the routine. A family walks into church. They are wearing nice clothes. The children are well dressed. They pulled into the parking lot in a nice car. Instantly you make up your mind. These people are well off. You walk up to them putting on your best airs about you to make an impression. You are thinking, “These are quality people; we need to keep them.”

Why? Why would we do this? Why would we look exclusively at all the externals and change our behavior? We must realize that, yes, they may have their externals in order, but that must not be the single determining factor in our treatment and expectations of people.

Consider Samuel. In his search for the new man to be anointed king, the first man he encountered, he sized him up solely on the externals. “Oh, look at this one. He is tall. He carries himself so well. Look at the way he handles himself!” Yes, all extremely superficial, prejudicial and unfair. Verse 7 to me is like God snapping His fingers at Samuel and saying, “Don’t get swept up by the externals of people.” 

We too do this today. We accept and reject people based solely on their externals. Why not go back to accepting and rejecting people the way God would. He determines the quality and sincerity of person by his heart.

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Finishing the Assignment

1 Samuel 15:3, 9, 15 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.  Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all  that was  good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing  that was  vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD

Have you ever told a child exactly what you wanted him to do? You spell out for him the details of the assignment. You have him repeat back what you want him to do. You may even write it down for him to check off when it is completed. 

However, when you return, you discover that it was not done as you had required. Have you ever experienced this shock?

The child given the assignment then begins to offer creative reasons for his not completing it the way you instructed. You stand in utter amazement as you hear the weak and lame excuses for the rebellion or laziness. You wonder what happened between your command and his attempt to complete the command.  

Samuel gave Saul a “Things to do” list from God. It was clear. Destroy the enemy and his possessions. “Spare them not” was His direct command. However, when God sent His man to check on the progress of His “Things to do” list, he found that part of the command was followed but not all of it. Saul proudly proclaimed his interpretation of the command. He even stated he had done what God said and in his heart, he believed he had improved upon it. This was not acceptable to God. Saul paid dearly for his error in not following God’s command.  

However, before we jump on the “Anti-Saul” bandwagon, consider this. We have been commanded to evangelize the world, yet look at our interpretations of it in missions today. We have been commanded to preach the Word, yet look at our modern interpretations of it in our preaching today. We have been commanded to live holily and righteously, yet look at our standards and convictions in dress and disposition.   

Our day of reckoning is coming. We will face God and give account for how we fulfilled His commands. How are you coming on His “Things to do” list?  

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Two Different Animals

1 Samuel 9:3 And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses.

1 Chronicles 17:7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:

Here are two verses about two leaders. One who would follow the other in ministry. You instantly think of their similarities. They both were from simple families. A quiet lowly existence was theirs until the man of God showed up with a bottle of oil to anoint and a message from God. These young men who would be leaders both had their beginning in agriculture. Were they the Future Farmers of Israel? They were to be future farmers but guiding and leading God’s people. 

Yet these verses create their own contrast, do they not? Consider the animals David and Saul worked with. Saul – Keeper of the Donkeys. David – Keeper of Sheep. What we do growing up affects our philosophy in life later. For some, it is a positive change and yet for others, it is negative. No, all futures are not imprisoned by the deeds and duties of a youth. But they do have an impact. 

Sheep and Donkeys -  they are two totally different animals. You raise them differently. Neither is smart. However, where sheep are stupid, donkeys are stubborn. One requires a hard heart; the other, a gentle heart. One demands a hand that will beat; the other, a hand that will guide. 

Consider what happened to David and Saul’s ministries. You can see where their formative years in the school of leadership in the pastures could have influenced how they led God’s people. 

Yet the message rings clearest in my mind when I consider this last thought. God had to give Saul “another heart.” Yet David was a man “after God’s own heart.” 

Take heed; the influences of our yesterdays tend to affect our tomorrows. 

Remember When?

1 Samuel 15:17-19 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD

Have you ever known someone who made it to the “big time” and forgot his old friends, neighborhood, and even his upbringing? You know the routine. Your “Old Friend” strikes it good and forgets anything that may drag him back to the reality of his former relationships and routine. You almost wish you could see him and say, “Remember when?”

Samuel is God’s man and messenger. Samuel has a “Remember when?” message from God for Saul. Saul had made the “big time.” God had taken him from just a simple farmer and made him into a leader of his people. Yet Saul had begun to think that this newly found fame and fortune had been obtained on his own and without divine intervention. 

Samuel asks him a multipart question. The question reveals God’s view of this man. The questions are designed to deflate the super ego of this man intoxicated on the drink of pride. Clearly the verses reveal God’s dissatisfaction with Saul. The most telling part of the question is when God asks him to remember when he was little in his own sight.

God forced Saul to consider there was a day when he viewed himself as he really was: a farmer called by God to be a leader. God forced him to see that Saul saw himself now as big. “Too Big” to obey God’s rules. “Too Big” for God’s righteousness. “Too Big” for God routine. 

How do you see yourself? It takes great discipline, surrender, and yielding to remain little in our own eyes. Fight the temptation to think that the blessings of God come because you are so wonderful. God’s blessings come because He is so wonderful. The only thing our goodness has ever merited was filthy rags and Hell. Strive to remain little in your own eyes!

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His Peculiar Treasure

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

As children, my siblings and I needed frequent reminders of the importance of obedience. Many times, we knew what to do. We even knew when to do it. Yet we would choose a path that was not always best. 

Our parents wanted us to listen to them when they spoke. They wanted us to follow everything they asked us to do. They expected we would live the way they asked us to live. Our obedience strengthened our relationship with our parents. Our value as their obedient children increased.

Our focus verse today paints a picture in which we see the Father of Israel and a son named Moses. The Father’s words to his son are clear. Moses heard he was to obey God’s voice and keep my covenant. His obedience brought a result in his relationship with God. God told him, “When you do these things, you will be a peculiar treasure to Me.”

The expression peculiar treasure explains God’s high view of obedience. The word peculiar is also translated in other places in the Old Testament. It is see in English as proper, special, and as jewels. God’s high value on obedience should change my value on obedience. 

If you are a child of God, you must remember God is your Father. God desires obedience as do our earthly parents. He wants us to listen to Him when He speaks. He wants us to obey what He says. He wants us to live according to His ways.

The very thought that I could be perceived as a special treasure, a proper person, and a jewel to God makes me want to do what He asks. 

Will you be a peculiar treasure to Him today?

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His Word in my Heart

Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.

I can remember as a boy, I owned a toy box. Inside this toy box were treasures to be rediscovered on any given day when the whims of exploration swept across my young mind. On those days of exploration, I would discover Legos, GI Joe men and their uniforms, puzzle pieces, binoculars and much more. 

Each one had a way of evoking memories of the day I received them. I would then strive to recapture that same emotion in my playing with them again. My toy box was really a box of treasures. I knew I had these toys but I just had not been using them for a while. 

The Lord gave Moses His words. They were His statutes, laws, and commandments. Moses told them, “...these words shall be in your heart.” 

Consider this precious truth: His word in our heart. What a precious treasure to explore! His word is a lamp to our feet. His word is light to our paths. His word in our heart is the barrier between sin and us. Oh, that we would take the time to explore His word and deposit them in the treasure box of our hearts.

When last did you have a day of exploration in his word?


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All Things Beautiful

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also, he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end

Last week, I walked over to my neighbor’s house and viewed his rose garden. He was out of town and I wanted to send him a few pictures. I noted the beauty of this one bush and its white blossoms. 

I remember when he brought these bushes home and planted them. I recall the green leaves and thorns. I remember what they looked like this past winter: so bleak and even dead looking. I recall his trimming them as winter approached.

However, given the weather and the hand of God, the roses are radiant and glorious. It is amazing what happens when the seasons change and the clock of God moves. 

If dead wood and thorns can radiate this beauty in His time, how beautiful will you and I be in His time? Don’t concern yourself with how you look today! God has your beautiful moment in the works; it is in His time.

Who Lights Your Candle?

Psalms 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

The unlit room contained darkness you could feel. The oppressiveness of the darkness could hardly be described. It was as if you were crippled by its presence. Fear laid hold on the occupants of this darkness. 

Suddenly, a sound of a match against an abrasive surface was heard! In a brief moment, a candle’s flame chased away the darkness. Darkness’ chains dropped and liberty was found in the candle’s warm glow. The one who lit the candle was embraced and thanked for his effort. His light brought liberty and showed the way out of darkness.

In life, we have moments of crippling fear while in a place of darkness. We long for the liberty of light and specific direction out of the place we are held. 

In my studying the Word of God this morning, I came across this verse. It struck me as I read it. When faced with the uncertainty that is bred in darkness, realize this truth. The believer is never alone in this darkness. God will light your candle! He will turn darkness into light.  God alone has the direction and liberty we need.

Has darkness seized you for the moment? Do you long for light? Who lights your candle? Any attempt to light our own candle will lead to frustration. Ask God to light your candle and point the way out of this chamber to where He needs you.

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