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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB March 22

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are 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 23
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Numbers

33:55 Unless we fully drive out our enemies-unbelief, addictions (idols), fear, pride, willful sins—whatever it is keeping us from spiritual freedom and "prosperity," they will torment us. The promise will not look so promising.

34:2 When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries. There are always boundaries in God's perfect will. Of importance regarding these boundary lines, this is the special possession God gave to Israel (vs. 35:2) and, "O our God...did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?" 2 Chronicles 20:7 They were not to give it away, hence despising God's gift to them. Mark Biltz (El Shaddai) said (if I remember correctly) that the Israelites never fully occupied all of this land (because of their disobedience) and it is part of the promise yet to be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom.

35:31-33 See today's questions for reflection...

35:33 And no sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from murder. What does this say about what Jesus became for us? Yes, Jesus became a murderer to purify us from murder, among other things...

35:34 You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel." This is a powerful verse, both for Israel then, and for us today. God lives among His people. Do we really live as if God lives among us? He does!

Luke

5:13: Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be healed!" Jesus wants to heal, everyone who will come, of their sin-sickness.

5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Prayer is often lonely, desolate, and survival.

5:18-26 Again: Jesus doing the most impossible and permanent miracle first, spiritual healing, and the temporary physical healing second. He set them up. Anyone can say, "your sins are forgiven," but only God could have then healed him physically.

28: Jesus asks us all to give up whatever is standing in the way of being His disciple. He could have approached Levi at home, but his collection booth was his downfall (tax collectors were notoriously corrupt). Later, Levi even offered to pay back anyone he had cheated.

Psalm 65 What a beautiful Millennial Kingdom prophecy!

65:1-5 Could anyone read this and not burst with joy? Imagine living with Jesus during the Millennial reign (everyone who is steadfast and single-hearted for Jesus to the end, and may I add, living in the beauty and freedom of our Living Torah!)

What mighty praise, O God,

      belongs to you in Zion (Jerusalem).

   We will fulfill our vows to you,

    for you answer our prayers.

      All of us must come to you.

 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,

      you forgive them all.

 What joy for those you choose to bring near,

      those who live in your holy courts.

   What festivities await us

      inside your holy Temple.

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,

      O God our YESHUA.

   You are the hope of everyone on earth,

      even those who sail on distant seas.

Questions for reflection:

  • Should we still put murderers to death? Why or why not? Why do you think Jesus said (NT) that if anyone hates a brother he/she has already committed murder in his/her heart? Have you ever "murdered"? What is your due punishment (OT)? What is the reality for you today in Christ, who fulfilled the Torah for you?

  • In the spiritual application of Numbers 35:34, in what ways does God want us to keep our lives free from defilement? What is defilement?

  • What is your "collection booth"? Is anything standing in the way of your being a completely devoted follower of Jesus? Will you and I be like Levi?