OYB March 24
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 24
2:7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing. Even during times of discipline, God takes care of His children with loving-kindness.
2:30 But King Sihon of Heshbon refused to allow us to pass through, because the Lord your God made Sihon stubborn and defiant so he could help you defeat him, as he has now done. Why do people resist you? Are they an obstacle or an opportunity?
3:23-27 David Guzik commentary: This may seem an excessively harsh punishment for Moses. It seemed that after only one slip-up, he then had to die short of the Promised Land. But Moses was being judged by a stricter standard because of his leadership position with the nation, and because he had a uniquely close relationship with God.
Worst of all, Moses defaced a beautiful picture of Jesus' redemptive work through the rock which provided water in the wilderness. The New Testament makes it clear this water-providing, life-giving rock was a picture of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus, being struck once, provided life for all who would drink of Him (John 7:37). But was unnecessary - and unrighteous - that Jesus would be struck again, much less again twice, because the Son of God needed only to suffer once (Hebrews 10:10-12). Jesus can now be come to with words of faith (Romans 10:8-10), as Moses should have only used words of faith to bring life-giving water to the nation of Israel. Moses "ruined" this picture of the work of Jesus God intended. ... Moses was a great man of intercession - perhaps one of the greatest in the Bible. Yet, God would say "no" even to Moses in prayer. God will sometimes say no even to His mightiest intercessors (Jeremiah 15:1).
Remember that even though Moses did not see the temporal Promised Land, he still got to enter the far better eternal Promised Land. So it was not all bad news for Moses. I guarantee he is happy with the long-term outcome! Also remember that Moses was a Christ type, and his dying on "this side" of the PL was part of the bigger picture of His-Story.
6:12-13: Jesus always prayed earnestly right before significant events. I have noticed that often times ministries and churches choose leaders/pastors without giving much time to fasting or praying, even though it is so monumental. Decisions are often made based on the job candidate's performance instead of God's divine direction. If Jesus needed guidance in prayer, how much more so we do!
6: 22-23 Have you ever been hated, excluded, mocked, or cursed because of your faith and witness for Jesus? If not, ask, why not? Remember, if Satan's not bothering you, it means you're not bothering him.
6:24-26 Contrast the life of delayed gratification for short-term pleasures (20-22). Do we want our treasure now? Do we crave the good life of prosperous ease now? Do we pursue the American Dream now? Here's the tradeoff.
What sorrow awaits you who are rich,
for you have your only happiness now.
What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,
for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,
for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
In short, live like this current world is not your home. Of course, this earth is your home, but this version of it is not. Give up now...gain later. Acquire now...lose out later. I don't know about you, but I'd rather get the hard part out of the way now. Just to make myself clear, I am not judging anyone for what they own or have. This is something to be worked out with God individually. I only know that the more He entrusts us with, the more He expects us to do with it to be His hands and feet to others and to invest in the Great Commission. It was Jesus who said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven" (some people think the word used for "camel" was very close to the word for "rope" which I think would make more sense, but either one is pretty hard to get through a needle). I think He meant it is so very hard for us to keep our hearts purely unattached from wealth and focused on His purposes.
Questions for reflection:
Is there a person in your life who seems to be an obstacle between you and your PL? Have you ever thought about the possibility of this person actually being an opportunity for God's display of power? How would this perspective improve your outlook?
Have you ever spent focused time praying before making a big decision? The easier thing is always to act first, pray ourselves out of the problems later. But how much might be accomplished if we prayed first?