OYB March 21
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Mar 20
32:5-19 But we do not claim any of the land on the other side of the Jordan. We would rather live here on the east side and accept this as our grant of land." This has been the goal of their journey for over 40 years, and now they are despising God's gift because they are content to settle just across the banks from His promise? They have become content with good enough, refusing best? David Guzik says:
If you want to press on with the things of the Lord, and go deeper and further with Him, there is a sure way to discourage that desire - start hanging around believers who are content with where they are, and who don't want to press on with the Lord. Their complacency will rub off on you!
What a terrible thing to be used of the devil to discourage other believers to walking deeper and further with the Lord! God guard us from ever discouraging the heart of another child of God!
What made Joshua and Caleb different was that they wholly followed the Lord (vs. 12), they did not bend to the discouraging report of the ten unfaithful spies. When we are not wholly following the Lord, we are much more likely to be influenced by the carnal and the discouraging around us. If a child of God is content to settle for less in their Christian life, there is little or nothing you can do. But when their complacency begins to effect their brothers and sisters, it must be confronted - and this is the basis of Moses' confrontation.
32:24 Go ahead and build towns for your families and pens for your flocks, but do everything you have promised. Compare with what God did for those who crossed the Jordan into the land He provided: "The LORD your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land filled with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant (Deuteronomy 6:10-11)." Whose plan was better? I believe this is also a Millennial Kingdom prophecy. When Jesus is reigning here on earth, there are many passages that indicate He will provide for our basic needs of homes, food, safety, etc. In one sense, it will be a time of rest from toil in providing for ourselves (hence, Sabbath Millennium). What a delight!
33:4 The Lord had defeated the gods of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment! In the past I would have skipped over this verse, but remember how the plagues were all an affront to specific Egyptian gods, and the night of Passover was the ultimate defeat of Egyptian gods, especially the ram-god Amon, when Yahweh struck the first-borns.
4:39 ...He rebuked the fever, and it left her. Have we tried this? For those of you joining, I shared a story of my trip to India in September and how I rebuked a fever in an orphan girl and it left immediately. It was such an awesome experience!
4:42 Early the next morning Jesus went into the wilderness. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. Sometimes we have to head into the wilderness to find Jesus. Most of us are afraid of the wilderness and we avoid it.
5:4 He said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish." I think sometimes God tells us to go where there's more risk, more faith required, and there we will find a harvest of that which we seek.
Questions for reflection:
I wonder how many times you and I have been a stone's throw from the promise, but refused to trust and follow God wholeheartedly, missing out? Instead of receiving God's promise and provision, we instead chose to fulfill our own desires.
How many times have you and I missed the blessing because of the sacrifice involved? I can't help but think of how many impossible circumstances God might have righted in our lives had we trusted Him instead of trying to avoid the hard thing?
In what circumstances of your life have you settled on the wrong side of the Jordan? Are you wholly (wholeheartedly) following the Lord?