Scripture: I will exalt you, lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Psalm 30:1 NIV
Observation: I have to go to drill today. That’s periodically reoccurring school for firemen to hone our skills. I’m old fashioned and my glory days as a strapping young fireman with all of the answers have long-since passed. To put it bluntly, all of us firemen nearing retirement need to hurry up and get there and get out of all of the young guy’s way. As I left for work today, Laurie prayed for me that the Lord would protect my crew and me as we are put through our paces. Psalm 30:1 confirmed for me that God heard her plea and I am protected, “…and did not let my enemies gloat over me.” Psalm 30:1b NIV Thank you Lord!
Application: I must accept the truth and carry on. I’ve done my job for many years. I know my job and I must trust in the knowledge and training that I’ve accumulated over the years to complete today’s exercises. Thank you Lord!
Prayer: Thank you Lord for having my back. I pray that I honor you today. Amen
Scripture: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the lord. Proverbs 18:22 NIV
Observation: This proverb says it clearly. I can’t add to or take away from it.
Application: I must understand and appreciate the wife that God has given me. I sure don’t deserve her. One more evidence to me that God loves me unconditionally.
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me Laurie. Help me to be worthy of her. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:23 NIV
Observation: I remember having this piece of scripture given to me before. It must mean that God really wants me to understand this truth. It’s pretty powerful and comes with a lot of responsibility. Through the power of the Spirit, we can or cannot forgive sin.
Application: I’m not sure how to apply this truth. I know that it’s not to be taken lightly. If anyone can help me with this I’d appreciate it.
Prayer: Father, help me to know. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
Observation: This proverb instructs that the arrogant fail and fall.
Application: Take it from me, arrogant people get humbled. It’s not a source of pride for me to admit but I’ve dealt with this myself. I pray for humility from God so that he never has to humble me again.
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble and consider others before myself. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” Philippians 2:3 NIV
Observation: Consider the welfare of others more important than your own welfare.
Application: The observation is the application. We must consider others before ourselves.
Prayer: Father, help me to consider others first. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV
Observation: Jesus tells his disciples that he is the only way to gain access to God.
Application: Belief in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the key to heaven. He’s not only the door, he’s the key to the door.
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. Amen
Scripture: So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” Exodus 32:24 NIV
Observation: Aaron took all of the blame for the act that he had committed and laid it off on the fire of all things. “I just threw it in and ‘poof’ out popped this calf, it wasn’t my fault!” This lame excuse reminds me of Adam in the garden answering God, “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’” Genesis 3:12 NIV It’s like what I heard a prosecutor say once of an accused’s defense strategy in an up-coming trial, “he’s going to use the S.O.D.D.I. defense…some other dude did it.” I can almost understand Aaron using that excuse with Moses, but Adam trying it with God? Really? When you stop and think about it, Adam really laid it all off on God, “it is your fault God! You gave me that woman.” As my Jewish brothers say, “now that’s chutzpah!”
Application: As Christians we need to man-up and accept responsibility for our actions. “It wasn’t my fault” is a really poor epitaph. When we fail we need to accept it and ask for forgiveness. We need to not make excuses for our behavior.
Prayer: Father, help me to know when I fail and accept that the failure is mine alone. I know that acknowledging sin to you when it is committed and asking forgiveness is what you expect of me. I ask for the strength to accept my failures and humble myself before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O Lord. Psalm 69:6 NIV
Observation: The Psalmist is crying to the Lord to not be the cause of disgrace for him or other believers.
Application: That is my prayer, to not be the cause of disgrace for God or his church. I owe it to my God, my wife, my children, my church and my coworkers to be consistent in my words and my actions. If I fail that I bring shame upon myself for hypocrisy. That hypocrisy is transferred to all believers; the church is harmed and God’s commission is stymied. We have seen in the recent past how the sins of Christians, specifically famous church leaders, has translated into a “Christ-bashing fest.” I can think of no greater insult to the Lord than to bring shame upon him and his church because of my sin. I pray that I never bring shame to either the Lord or fellow believers.
Prayer: Father, help me to live out the truth that I proclaim. Don’t let me ever be the cause of shame for you or the church. I ask this in Jesus’ name. 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