Scripture: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV
Observation: Paul explains how God uses the weak to humble the strong.
Application: This is how Jesus conducted his ministry. He always went to the wretched. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” Mark 2:17a NIV Jesus made the point that the weak in spirit need the Lord just like the elites. By ministering to them as the “high and mighty” leadership looked on he illustrated God’s plan to be all inclusive and to bring all men to himself through Christ.
Prayer: Father, thank you for wanting me so much that you sent Jesus. I pray that I am worthy of you and of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Amen
Scripture: Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28,29 NIV
Observation: Jesus answers questions from a crowd of followers.
Application: Have you ever wondered what sort of “works” God requires? “Give to charity or volunteer your time and effort,” “do good to others.” Yes, but those are results of our changed lives through faith in Christ. The one “work” that God demands is simply “to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29b
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus. I believe in his sacrifice for me. Amen
Scripture: Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” Acts 15:5 NIV
Scripture: He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? Acts 15:9,10 NIV
Observation: Paul and Barnabas discuss with the Jewish leaders whether or not the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised. It is decided that by requiring the Gentiles to be circumcised they would be demanding them to fulfill a need that they, themselves, could not uphold.
Application: This is an interesting set of passages when read with Acts 16:3, “Paul wanted to take him (Timothy) along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” Acts 16:3 NIV Why? Why would Paul argue against circumcision in Acts 15 and then circumcise Timothy before they left on their missionary journey? I believe that he did it so that the uncircumcised Timothy wouldn’t be a “stumbling block” to the very people to whom they were going to minister. Certainly circumcision isn’t necessary for salvation but I really don’t think that circumcision was even the issue to Paul. The issue was winning souls. If the fact that Timothy wasn’t circumcised was going to close the ears of those to whom Paul was going to minister–then Timothy was going to be circumcised. We should learn from Paul. Our actions and inactions can and will affect people. We must take care to guard our speech, control our emotions and attitude, and be careful with our choices. We must care that what we think, say, and do can hinder our witness to others. Otherwise, we will become a “stumbling block.”
Prayer: Lord, don’t allow me to be a “stumbling block” to others. I know that my behavior and what I say can harm my witness to others. Amen
Scripture: Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3 NIV
Observation: Miriam and Aaron began complaining about Moses as the only one that God would communicate through.
Application: Moses was once a son of Pharoah; a ruler of Egypt. He was called by God to lead the Israelite nation out of slavery. This was a man destined for greatness in Egypt and yet when called by God he said, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10 NIV Moses was such a great man God told Miriam and Aaron after they were caught grumbling against him, “…When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face,clearly and not in riddles…” Numbers 12:6-8a NIV We should make an effort to humble ourselves and be like Moses. That humility just may make a difference to someone to whom we are sharing Christ.
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble in all that I do so that people see you when they look at me. Amen
Scripture: The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
Leviticus 19:1,2 NIV
Observation: God is Holy.
Application: I’ve read through Leviticus and I’ve not really been expecting to get any good instruction from the book. For the most part it’s a book of “dont’s.” Yesterday I had an occasion to sit and talk awhile with my lead pastor and his wife about our daily reading; we are all reading the same passages daily as a church. We laughed about some of the “silly” do’s and dont’s in Leviticus. I know that much of the book is written to keep the Israelites from harm but I’ve thought it’s a bunch of antiquated rules that no longer apply…or so I thought. After we had some light-hearted talk about the book my lead pastor became serious. He told us that because God is Holy, He cannot be in the presence of sin or imperfection. It’s impossible for Him and imperfection to exist together. It can’t happen. Leviticus is a book given by God to man to make it possible for us imperfect beings to fellowship with Him. Whoa, the boring, sometimes almost laughable book of the bible was written for a noble purpose, to bring King and subject together. The Levitical list is specific and detailed and it leaves no room for error. Unfortunately we, man, don’t have the ability to adhere to the vast list of regulations. God saw that and so He sent us Christ to bridge the gap between himself and us. Christ’s blood covers our inability to be perfect, it covers our sin. Now, we too can have fellowship with God. Today God verified my lead pastor’s words and showed me in the first two passages of verse 19 why Leviticus was written. It was written because we are sinful and God is Holy. It’s a book that is a reminder of how much God loves us. He sent Christ to accomplish the “unaccomplishable” and make it possible for us to be with God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for showing me how much you love me through the book of Leviticus. Thank you for Christ who covers my failings and allows me to come into fellowship with you. I love you. Amen
Scripture: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Observation: The attacks brought on by Satan are subtle and constant. Only through our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of his shed blood at Calvary and his ability to conquer death do we as Christians have the power to push back and tear down Satan’s strongholds. Our salvation, self-control and freedom from sin is obtained and maintained through our conversations with God through prayer.
Application: Prayer is power. In his name we claim the promise made at the cross and found in his shed blood. We must pray without fear. Sometimes when I pray only a moan comes out; words are difficult and that’s okay. The Lord sees the inside, he knows our thoughts. We don’t have to be eloquent. I praise him that we are not graded on our grammar or expression. The Lord is a God of specifics…details. He wants our prayers to be full of confidence, believing that freedom, healing and salvation are already on their way. So lift your voice without fear and claim the destruction of Satan’s work. Pray with confidence! Pray to break down the thoughts and habits that keep you away from your Savior and the relationship he wants with you. “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.” Psalms 19:13
Prayer: Lord, I claim your authority over all things natural and supernatural. Through your power and word I take captive the thoughts and actions that keep me away from you. Satan I resist your temptations. Lord break down any strongholds the enemy has in my life. Lord I know you are working in my life and I pray that you bring my every thought and action into obedience to you. Amen
The following blog entry is compliments of Pastor Leon Hiebert, Community Care Pastor of Generations Church, Andover, KS
Scripture: Numbers 28:23 Prepare these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering.
Observation: Nothing could replace the regular morning burnt offering. Those offerings offered on the special days were always in addition to the daily burnt offering. This verse is speaking of the Passover offerings. And as is repeated over and over in this chapter, the offerings for each special day were not to take the place of the daily offering.
How we need to understand that success lies in our daily habits. It is the daily routine that sets the priorities and pattern for our live. The special event should support the daily pattern, not take its place. Too often the opposite is true. We fashion our daily lives to support the special event rather than vice versa.
Application: I do not believe I can survive by eating only one meal each week; neither should I think I can get by on what I get on Sunday in church. It is being faithful in my daily prayer and Bible reading that brings growth and strength in my spiritual walk. I make time to feed my physical body each day, how much more should I make time to feed my spirit.
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for allowing me to live in a time and country in which the Bible is so readily available. Forgive me for the days I ignored You and Your Word. Amen.
Scripture: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:10 NIV
Observation: I’ve often wondered how a person can blaspheme the Holy Spirit and not be forgiven. I went searching in the “Notes” of my YouVersion bible and I found the following. I hope that it helps you understand too.
Application: “Unforgivable Sin” by karensigman
“I have never totally understood the unforgivable sin. When I read verse 10 I got out my life application bible and looked to see what it said. “Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. This has worried many sincere Christians, but it does not need to. The unforgivable sin means attributing to Satan the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes. Thus it is deliberate and ongoing rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work and even of God himself. A person who has committed this sin has shut himself or herself off from God so thoroughly that he or she is unaware of any sin at all. A person who fears having committed it shows, by his or her very concern, that he or she has not sinned in this way.” This helped me a lot. I hope it helps someone who is reading this.”
Prayer: Father, I pray that I never sin against any part of your character. Amen
Scripture: My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:9-13
Observation: The Song of Solomon is a guide to marriage. Throughout it’s chapters and verses it tells not only of the proper courtship between two people but it’s gives a daily account of their marriage, “until death do us part.” In the above scripture the Lord tells us how when we marry the proper man. He is our protector and as he loves the Lord and loves the woman that the Lord has blessed him with he builds a confidence in her that allows her to let the past go and look forward in Christ. She then becomes fruit bearing in her relationship with the Lord.
Application: Doug is the young stag my heart searched for most of my life. In our father’s mercy and grace he gave me a Christ-driven man. He’s full of integrity, passion for truth and love according to Christ’s values. Through Doug’s love for me, my winter is passing. The woman who was lost to sin has found the freedom to face her sin and ask forgiveness. The barren soil has seedlings growing which will burst forth with beautiful flowers and a sweet loving fragrance.
Prayer: Thank you Lord! You are the God of Mercy and Grace. Even a sinner like me can receive the love and forgiveness I never thought possible. Thank you for giving Doug the ability to see me through your eyes. Bless him Lord. Let me honor him with my love and friendship each and everyday! Amen
Have a great day! Thank you,
Scripture: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9&10 NIV
Observation: Paul states the truth about salvation.
Application: Believe in your heart, profess with your voice and be saved. It’s really that simple.
The Sinner’s Prayer: Father, I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I accept his sacrifice. I thank you for giving him to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen