Archive for the ‘Daily Motivation’ Category


Under Gods Command

2nd Samuel 5:13-25

David Conquers Jerusalem

        13After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.

    17When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19so David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

    The LORD answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

    20So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

    22Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeona to Gezer.

Although David sincerely sought after God, he had weaknesses like any other person. One of those weaknesses was his desire for many wives. Sadly, the children born to these wives caused David and the kingdom much grief. David also set an unhealthy pattern for his son Solomon.

The “stronghold” is the mountain stronghold in the Desert of Judah that David used when defending himself against Saul (see 23:14 and 1 Chronicles 12:8).

The Philistine oppression of Israel had begun in the days of Samson (Judges 13–16). The Philistines were still Israel’s most powerful enemy although David was once considered a friend and ally (1 Samuel 27; 29). Because they occupied much of Israel’s northern territory, they apparently did not bother David while he was king of Judah to the south. But when they learned that David was planning to unite all Israel, they tried to stop him.

How could David get such a clear message from God? He may have prayed and been urged to action by the Holy Spirit. He may have asked God through a prophet. Most likely, however, he went to the high priest, who consulted God through the Urim and Thummim, which God had told the Israelites to use for just such a purpose.

David fought his battles the way God instructed him. In each instance he

(1) asked if he should fight or not,

(2) followed instructions carefully, and

(3) gave God the glory.

 

We can err in our “battles” by ignoring these steps and instead:

(1) do what we want without considering God’s will,

(2) do things our way and ignore advice in the Bible or from other wise people, and (3) take the glory ourselves or give it to someone else without acknowledging the help we received from God.

All these responses are sinful.

5:25 After David became king, his first order of business was to subdue his enemies—a task the nation had failed to complete when they first entered the land (Judges 2:1-4). David knew this had to be done in order to

(1) protect the nation,

(2) unify the kingdom, and

(3) prepare for building the temple (which would unify religion under God and help abolish idolatrous influences).

The one thing that I truly admire about David is the fact that he prays to the LORD before making a military attack. In this case, when he prays to the LORD, the LORD tells David that He will give these Philistines to him. David will go against them and David will win. 

Lets Bring it Home: When we go into issues, spiritual battles or any other kind of adverse situations, do you go to God first, or do you wait until your plan fails, then seek God.  

We need to slow our roll and seek God first, even something that seems so small, because it’s always those small things that turn out to be the biggest problems.

 


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

The Day of Atonement

(The Day of Atonement was the greatest day of the year for Israel. The Hebrew word for atone means “to cover.” Old Testament sacrifices could not actually remove sins, only cover them. On this day, the people confessed their sins as a nation, and the high priest went into the Most Holy Place to make atonement for them. Sacrifices were made and blood was shed so that the people’s sins could be “covered” until Christ’s sacrifice on the cross would give people the opportunity to have their sin removed forever.

Aaron had to spend hours preparing himself to meet God. But we can approach God anytime (Hebrews 4:16). What a privilege! We are offered easier access to God than the high priests of Old Testament times! Still, we must never forget that God is holy nor let this privilege cause us to approach God carelessly.)

Lets Bring it Home: The way to God has been opened to us by Christ. But easy access to God does not eliminate our need to prepare our hearts as we draw near in prayer. 

16:1-34 The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the LORD. 2The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

    3“This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bath himself with water before he puts them on. 

5From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

    6“Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household. 7Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat 9Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. 10But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.

    11“Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 

12He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain.

(A censer was a dish or shallow bowl that hung by a chain or was carried with tongs. Inside the censer were placed incense (a combination of sweet-smelling resins and spices) and burning coals from the altar. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the Most Holy Place carrying a smoking censer. The smoke shielded him from the ark of the covenant and the presence of God—otherwise he would die. Incense may also have had a very practical purpose. The sweet smell drew the people’s attention to the morning and evening sacrifices and helped cover the sometimes foul smell of the sacrifices.) 

13He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die. 14He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.

    15“He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull’s blood: He shall sprinkl it on the atonement cover and in front of it. 16In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the tent of meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17No one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.

    18“Then he shall come out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it. He shall take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.

    20“When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.

    23“Then Aaron is to go into the tent of meeting and take off the linen garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. 24He shall bathe himself with water in the sanctuary area and put on his regular garments. Then he shall come out and sacrifice the burnt offering for himself and the burnt offering for the people, to make atonement for himself and for the people. 25He shall also burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar.

    26“The man who releases the goat as a scapegoat must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp. 27The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and intestines are to be burned up. 28The man who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp. 

(This event with the two goats occurred on the Day of Atonement. The two goats represented the two ways God was dealing with the Israelites’ sin: (1) He was forgiving their sin through the first goat, which was sacrificed, and (2) he was removing their guilt through the second goat, the scapegoat, which was sent into the wilderness. The same ritual had to be repeated every year. Jesus Christ’s death replaced this system once and for all.)

Lets Bring it Home: We can have our sins forgiven and guilt removed by placing our trust in Christ (Hebrews 10:1-18). 

 29“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-borne or a foreigner residing among you— 30because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. 31It is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance. 32The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen garments 33and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the tent of meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the members of the community.

    34“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a yearn for all the sins of the Israelites.”     And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

MEGATHEMES

Sacrifice/Offering

EXPLANATION: There are five kinds of offerings that fulfill two main purposes: one to show praise, thankfulness, and devotion; the other for atonement, the covering and removal of guilt and sin. Animal offerings demonstrated that the person was giving his or her life to God by means of the life of the animal.

IMPORTANCE: The sacrifices (offerings) were for worship and forgiveness of sin. Through them we learn about the cost of sin, for we see that we cannot forgive ourselves. God’s system says that a life must be given for a life. In the Old Testament, an animal’s life was given to save the life of a person. But this was only a temporary measure until Jesus’ death paid the penalty of sin for all people forever.

Worship

EXPLANATION: Seven festivals were designated as religious and national holidays. They were often celebrated in family settings. These events teach us much about worshiping God in both celebration and quiet dedication.

IMPORTANCE: God’s rules about worship set up an orderly, regular pattern of fellowship with him. They allowed times for celebration and thanksgiving as well as for reverence and rededication. Our worship should demonstrate our deep devotion.

Health

EXPLANATION: Civil rules for handling food, disease, and sex were taught. In these physical principles, many spiritual principles were suggested. Israel was to be different from the surrounding nations. God was preserving Israel from disease and community health problems.

IMPORTANCE: We are to be different morally and spiritually from the unbelievers around us. Principles for healthy living are as important today as in Moses’ time. A healthy environment and a healthy body make our service to God more effective.

Holiness

EXPLANATION: Holy means “separated” or “devoted.” God removed his people from Egypt; now he was removing Egypt from the people. He was showing them how to exchange Egyptian ways of living and thinking for his ways.

IMPORTANCE: We must devote every area of life to God. God desires absolute obedience in motives as well as practices. Though we do not observe all the worship practices of Israel, we are to have the same spirit of preparation and devotion.

Levites

EXPLANATION: The Levites and priests instructed the people in their worship. They were the ministers of their day. They also regulated the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws and supervised the health, justice, and welfare of the nation.

IMPORTANCE: The Levites were servants who showed Israel the way to God. They provide the historical backdrop for Christ, who is our High Priest and yet our Servant. God’s true servants care for all the needs of their people.


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power.

“Prophecy” does not just refer to predicting the future; it can also mean giving a message received from God to the community of believers: “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (14:3). The prophet Joel had written the words of the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Joel 2:28). As with the gift of faith, the ability to share one’s faith with power is available to everyone (see 14:1–5), but to some the Spirit gives a special measure of this gift. Paul wrote in Romans, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” (Romans 12:6). Some have interpreted “prophecy” to be fulfilled in various sermons throughout church history. Others, however, say that prophecy is not a sermon, but a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired message that is orally delivered in the congregation for the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Opinions differ over exactly what Paul meant by “tongues.” Some believe that this refers to speaking in earthly languages that a person did not say that this refers to an “ecstatic” language, a “heavenly” language. Most likely the second view is correct. Probably the only time that the word “tongues” refers to other earthly languages is when describing Pentecost. The rest of the time in the New Testament, the word refers to ecstatic languages unknown to anyone—languages of angels (13:1). Speaking in tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. The exercise of the gift demands some guidelines (as noted in chapter 14) so that the purpose of the gift—to help the body of Christ—is not lost. Those who speak in tongues should follow the guidelines; those who do not speak in tongues ought not seek the gift as a sign of salvation or of special closeness with God, for it is neither. It is a gift of God, given only to whomever God chooses. If a person has not experienced the gift of tongues, he or she ought not seek it but seek what gifts God has given. For more, see the notes in chapter 14.

Lets Bring it Home: No matter what gift(s) a person has, all spiritual gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each believer should have. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us. Note that discussions about spiritual gifts usually create difficulties when two central points are overlooked: (1) Properly used, spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ (12:7); (2) each gift becomes practically useless when used without love (chapter 13). As you seek to identify and utilize the gifts God has given you, make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives.


UNDER GODS COMMAND
LIVING IN UNITY! WAKE UP CHURCHES! WE ARE THE ONES RUNNING PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE CHURCH

I went to Church Sunday and the preacher told a story about a young man who had to go through a beat down in order to be accepted in the gang he joined. Well, sometime later the Preacher got the young man to turn away from the gang and to turn to the Church, well he did this and joined the Church. Sometime later, the young man stop coming to Church and no one knew why, and could not contact him. The Preacher finally caught up with him, and asked him why he stop coming to Church. The young man said, that when he joined the church he thought he would experience the same family love from Christians that he did with his gang, but he didn’t. So he went back to where he felt part of a family.

A good friend reminded me of this Scripture.

Psalm 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is life precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

David stated that unity is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, unity does not abound in the Church, as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Unity is important because

(1) it makes the church a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us;
(2) it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;
(3) it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy.


Under Gods Command
Jesus Rides into Jerusalem on a Young Donkey

John 12: 12-15 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

Jesus began his last week on earth by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey under a canopy of palm branches, with crowds hailing him as their king. To announce that he was indeed the Messiah, Jesus chose a time when all Israel would be gathered at Jerusalem, a place where huge crowds could see him, and a way of proclaiming his mission that was unmistakable. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as Lord of lords and King of Peace.

The people who were praising God for giving them a King had the wrong idea about Jesus. They were sure he would be a national leader who would restore their nation to its former glory, and thus they were deaf to the words of their prophets and blind to Jesus real mission. When it became apparent that Jesus was not going to fulfill their hopes, many people turned against him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 8:32-36 “Now then, my sons listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”

God approves of those who listen to wisdom’s counsel. Those who hate wisdom love death. Wisdom should affect every aspect of one’s life, from beginning to end. Be sure to open all corners of your life to God’s direction and guidance.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 5:3-10 – For the lips of an adulterous drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edge sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.  She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Now then, my sons listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.  Keep to a path far from her; do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house.   

This “adulteress” is a prostitute.  Proverbs includes many warnings against illicit sex for several reasons.  First, a prostitute’s charm is used as an example of any temptation to do wrong or to leave the pursuit of wisdom.  Second, sexual immorality of any kind was and still is extremely dangerous.  It destroys family life.  It erodes a person’s ability to love.  It degrades human beings and turns them into objects.  It can lead to disease.  It can result in unwanted children. Third, sexual immorality is against God’s law.

Any person should be on guard against those who use flattery and smooth speech (lips that drip honey) that would lead him or her into sin.  The best advice is to take a detour and even avoid conversation with such people.