March 03

Read Deuteronomy 5 -- 7

In Today's Reading:

The Ten Commandments are repeated to the younger Israelites who were born after leaving Egypt or were younger than 20 at that time. Israel's purpose was to love the Word of God and to love the God of the Word. Meeting these two requirements assures us of His blessings.

Verse for Today:

Why should we die? For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die (Deuteronomy 5:25).

Highlights:

Review of the Covenant made on Horeb (Mount Sinai); Ten Commandments; importance of teaching the Word of God; association with unbelievers who serve other gods forbidden; chosen to be a holy people; command to destroy the idol-worshiping nations because of their sins.

The awesome power demonstrated as the Lord spoke . . . out of th midst of the fire, of the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a great voice frightened the Israelites at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:22). They urged Moses to go near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say (5:27). In contrast, this incident points out how calm Moses was because he had confidence that God was in control of their destiny. It is still true today that people who truly trust the Lord enjoy the peace of God, which passes all (human) understanding (Philippians 4:7). Others become depressed and unable to cope with their circumstances, and afraid of what tomorrow may hold. They fail to seek guidance and comfort from the Lord but rush to the psychiatrist's couch for therapy sessions.

The Law given at Mount Sinai was holy and written on stone. While it could reveal the perfect will of God and expose sin, it could not forgive sin nor impart the desire or the strength to obey His Word.

Christians praise the Lord for the New Covenant provided through Christ's blood written, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. . . . not of the letter; but of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3). This is made possible through the new birth whereby we are given the nature of God that dwells within all who receive Christ as Savior and Lord (see John 3:3; Romans 8:9-11; 1 John 4:13; also 2 Peter 1:4).

As we read His Word with a desire to please the Lord, it becomes "written in our hearts." The living, indwelling Word of God then becomes our way of life (see Galatians 2:20). No one except Jesus is perfect.

But, whoever loves God will desire to live according to His Word. He that says, I know Him, and keeps not His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected (accomplishing what He wants) (1 John 2:4-5).

When we love the Lord, we are enabled by Him to suffer, sacrifice, or surrender whatever is necessary to please Him (see Philippians 3:8). All of us should be able to say: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I , but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

A Thought from Proverbs: As righteousness tends to life: so he that pursues evil pursues it to his own death (11:19).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Israelite's victory over the Canaanites and inheritance of the land flowing with milk and honey (Deuteronomy 6:3). The defeat of the Canaanites and the possession of their land illustrates how, through Christ, we can have victory over satanic evils. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Word Studies:

5:17 kill = murder; 6:22 sore = severe; unbearable; destructive; 7:13 fruit of thy womb = your children; kine = cattle; 7:25 graven images = idols; objects of worship.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Tibet (population unknown) (province of China) in eastern Asia · Major language: Tibetan · The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism, while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) · No religious statistics are available, but at one time all were Lamaists · Lamaism was all but exterminated by Chinese invaders in the 1950s, but it is now permitted under strict control · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His love (Psalms 63:3).

Optional Reading: Luke 18

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:13