Deut 30-31- jeez Israelites!!! God called you out of Egypt, he took you out of slavery and oppression – God is promising you a land that’s filled with milk 🥛 and 🍯 , embrace it people. But God predicted their rebellion and they were all rebellious!! 😩😮He said if you obey my laws and my decrees, if you plant the word on your heart and soul, I will give you a blessed and prosperous life. If not, I would give you a life of death and destruction. News flash🗞!! WE ARE JUST LIKE THE ISRAELITES! As a nation we continue to be a rebellious people, we continue to live apart from God and misrepresent him yet use His name when we see fit, we continue to do, to practice, to say things that bleeds and angers the heart of God! And I specifically speak on the violence and the racism that angers the heart of God, God is a God of justice. People may change, people may waiver in their ability to stand up and act justly but MAKE NO MISTAKE God is a God that hates evil and hates injustice and my friends He will rise up, he will fight for his people so be aware, God character does not change and he requires and calls his people to live out who we are in him. God can restore, we have to make the steps in the right direction.
Takeaway Highlights: The Israelites complained! God brought them out of oppression and they wanted to go back. They thought their bondage and captivity was better than the freedom of God right in front of them, the freedom that he offered them. Why? The blessing did not look like what they expected. How blind are we, when the blessing should always look like what we want!
They angered God! He was fed up and wanted to wipe them out because of their rebellion but Moses pleaded with God to uphold his character as a merciful God although his actions would have been justifiable. God reasoned with Moses, relented from his “Thanos effect” but their consequence is that they did not enter into the promised land, into the bigger blessing because of their rebellion.
How often do we rob ourselves by a thought, the slip of the tongue, by ever see in the never perceiving, always hearing and never understanding God’s big picture because we are so self absorbed and so impatient. We are of people that one’s self gratification we want it and we want it now. Who are we to make demands with the wrong attitudes and motives from someone who has all the power and control? Hummm
I wonder how things would be, how would we live differently, if we earnestly denied our selfishness and strived more towards patience and less grumbling and complaining, to realize how blessed we are at this very moment in our lives that if God gave us nothing more we would be absolutely content!
I often envision the disciples and their walk with Jesus in those days. I even tell myself that I would have been so faithful. I picture being one of those disciples that just stays by Jesus’s side and breath off every word that came out his mouth. We know Peter denied knowing Jesus 3 times even though it was prophesied to him. Humm, we could think that it was a warning for Peter for when it was happening to change the outcome, but Jesus already knew his heart, just like He knows ours now.
As I read Matthew 26, the final verse says, “immediately the rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept BITTERLY.
I can’t even begin to imagine how Peter must have felt at the very moment when everything started flooding through his mind, how feelings of desperation, loneliness, betrayal and much more must have overwhelmed his heart.
In as much as we would like to think we are different from Peter or would have acted differently in that situation we all are like Peter in our lives today.
Just like Peter, God called us
Just like Peter, we have made the choice and commitment to walk with Jesus
Just like Peter, we witness the miracles God have done and continues to do in our lives
Just like Peter, although we have seen the Hand of God in all we do, we question and doubt God when our faith and trust is put to the test
Just like Peter, How many times have we disowned God and walked in our own ways when God calls us to walk with him into the unknown? How many times have we disowned God when it challenges our self- servicing purposes, when our situation calls us to stand firm and back up what and who we believe in.
Although we tend to judge others in their walk and their choices, we fail to realize that we are humans and God knows this. He already sees our mess-ups before we do just like He foretold Peter. Even though we have the Bible as a guideline and examples of those who walked before us and their mistakes, we do repeat our own daily.
Today, I pray instead of saying “dang Peter how could you”, lets focus on being a better “me” in our faith so that when God calls us to get out the boat and walk on water, we are willing, ready and confident enough in the father and not our surroundings or circumstances to drown. Let’s perfect and strengthen our faith daily.
Dr. Rob Reimer states:
Spiritual authority is rooted in identity, expanded in intimacy, and activated by faith.
Spiritual authority is birthed in intimacy with God, not in the pursuit of God’s power.
Spiritual authority is the capacity to touch heaven and change the outcomes of earth. It’s the capacity to invite the presence of God to intervene and to move our mountains.
Spiritual authority is the ability to contend with the heavenly realities through spiritual leadership, and this affects the outcomes of the earthly realms and manifests the kingdom of God in our midst.
Spiritual authority gives us the ability to dismantle hell wherever we go.
Spiritual movements are birthed when a spiritual leader encounters the presence of God, his marked by the power of God, and learns to touch heaven and change the outcomes on earth.
Shame produced self-talk with self-doubt.
Shame makes us hide our face.
Secrets create shame.. wherever you go, there you are, and you carry your suitcase with you. There is no avoiding it, and whatever you are unpacking in the suitcase of your soul is impacting you… running from your past doesn’t keep your past from impacting your present.
Shame is an Identity issue that is manifest in community. We often hide when we carry shame because we feel bad about ourselves. We feel that if people actually knew us they wouldn’t accept us, so we hide from God and others . We Build self- protective walls to keep others from discovering what’s inside the suitcase of our souls…. shame makes us afraid to draw near others- especially God.
Shame always makes it too much about us. Shame is a head- down posture.
Shame never gives us an accurate view of ourselves even while making it too much about ourselves at the same time.shame is an eyes-on-me disease of the soul.
Shame takes our eyes off God, and limits our spiritual authority and capacity to move mountains.
Shame always makes us feel inadequate; it makes us feel unworthy.
Scripture of the day: Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matt 4:4
Today’s Devotional Read: Matthew chap. 20
We are all the same in God’s eye. God is fair and He is generous. He’s a God that sees us equal and our rewards are just the same. I’m thankful that I don’t get to heaven by the works that I do. In Matt 20: 1-16, The workers in the vineyard complained that they were receiving the same amount of pay as those who worked less hours. Naturally, that’s what we do. We think everyone should get what they deserve, what about we, us! We complain if we are at work and we see our co-workers slacking off all year and then receive the same bonus, we complain about our children, spouses and friends as well. We grumble just as the workers did, and if it was the workers call to open the gates of heaven to those that worked less, they probably wouldn’t have let them in.
Thoughts to consider:
We often look at the work of others and decide in our hearts what they deserve.
- Imagine if we were the ones at the judgement seat?
- What would we decide for the fate of others?
- Who are we that we formulate in our minds that one deserves something and the other does not?
- Are we self-serving in all we do?
Jesus desires heaven for us all, He died for all. I think it’s wise for us all to remember that not one of us is good or deserving.
Scripture of the day
Matt 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
TakeAway from Scripture
- “You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition”
- “Their teachings are merely human rules”
- “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth comes from the heart, and these defile them.
What traditions do I have that do not line up with the will or the word of God, whether its present, from past history or family traditions?
What rules do I partake in with society that are purely human and self serving that displeases the heart of God.
My Thoughts and Reflections
This passage took me all the way back to slavery. It made me think of all the ways, traditions and rules that were added to the scriptures to enhance the production of systematic slavery. They had the word of a God as a guide but like the Pharisees they added their own rules, laws and teachings to enslave groups and classes of people for generations. They adapted human rules and what came out of them came directly from their hearts. Scripture says, from out of the heart comes evil thoughts. We can love to the extreme and hate to the extreme. It’s scary if you really think about it, that our heart, an organ that beats, bleeds, loves, aches, and with every emotion under the sun can be so wicked from just one thought. Yet the flip side of that is, I’m baffled that its still Jesus desire that we are all saved and He died for all. A love so unconditional, a love so extreme.
Covid came, it took and it went
This made me think of my Jesus the heaven sent
It took lives, friends and ones I love
but I had to keep my focus on the things above
I felt pressure, stress, anguish, anxiety and fear
but the “I am” said come to me, I care
Who am I to wonder and stray from him in my despair
When every other time in my life He has proven to be there
I daydreamed the other day and I had to smile
Because although my living changed, Jesus said, come to me my child
He has showed me He is my Jehovah Jireh
as He continues to be my provider
Who am I to stand in the wilderness as if I don’t know my creator
Yes and although this may change my world
Jesus said I’m giving you a book, here, stand and remember my word
So, when I’m in my wilderness and I’m acting afraid – Jesus says Child I’ve not given you a spirit of fear
When I’m cast down and I feel burdened –
Jesus says Child come to me when you’re heavy laden
Who am I to think I can walk this journey alone – when Jesus said child I did that on my own
So when I feel cast down, defeated and broken – I will lift up my eyes because I am never forsaken
Jesus walked as a man and he showed me the way so that I can live through this mess today,
So yes, when the enemy comes just as he did back then, I will lift up my eyes to the hills once again.
After having some “intense fellowship” with the hubby yesterday, I woke up to this verse and quote this morning and I had to just smile. God sure has a sense of humor but I’m happy and grateful that He speaks and we all can still be open to listen.
Scripture of the day:1 Corn 13:4 says Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Meditation Quote: Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world, today I am wise so I am changing myself.
Matthew chapter 14
- John is beheaded
- Jesus withdraws himself
- Jesus preaches, teaches and does miracles
My Thoughts and Reflections
- The sins we are capable of: (A) As I read the scene leading to John’s beheading, I couldn’t help but think of how it all started in the beginning with Eve. (We all have a version of who’s fault it was and who’s to blame, but God knows). But I am amazed that although Herod felt distressed, knew it was wrong yet he still went through with it and gave the order. Why did He allow his word to outweigh justice, to outweigh what was morally right to satisfy the laws and man? (B). What pressure it must has been on the daughter and how young to partake, grow and become part of such evil. I’m sure all she wanted to do as a teen was dance, have fun, eat, get attention, it’s a party not a massacre! Then to be given the head of John to be carried- sheesh. (C). The mother!!, the lengths we go to to justify and cover up our sins. The things we do when we are told we cannot part-take in the things that bring us worldly pleasure, we go to the lengths of committing murder rather that owning up, walking away, or stopping the sin. We hate being told No!
- Stepping away yet stepping in: Jesus loved John and He praised Him (Matt 11: 11). Verse 13 says when he heard what happened He withdrew himself. Like anyone Jesus needed time and space to process the death of his Beloved Friend. Yet the people wanted more. Part of me was saying rebuke them away, take your time to grieve Jesus these are probably the same souls that will help condemn you to your death. But, He is divine.
- Denying ourselves: Thankfully Jesus is just who He is. Full of selflessness, unconditional love and never ending compassion. In the midst of his loss, Jesus still has the compassion within himself to deny how he felt and to reach out and heal the crowd. How many times do we deny ourselves and reach out to help someone. (Yes there are times that we just can’t) but how often in spite of what consumes us, we surrender ourselves and still serve others when the opportunity arises. That’s the kind of Jesus we serve.
- Our faith always needs work: his disciples walked with Him and didn’t see all the potential Jesus had. They limited him, much like we do. He challenged them to feed the people but He knew they had a long way to go still in their faith. He led them to the boat and challenged Peter’s faith again. Although he warned them it was Him, Peter still was afraid in the midst of the one who commands the sea, winds and the waves. I think what breaks my heart in this scene is not that Peter doubted on the water or they thought that Jesus couldn’t feed the people because we all struggle like Peter daily.
My struggle and heartache is simply this, knowing all that I know about Jesus, yet hearing Jesus say those very words to me “why did you doubt?’ After the struggle passes and things often work out, we often say ugh! I should have had more faith, I shouldn’t have doubted! Well, I want to get to that unwavering faith, I want to be that seed that is planted in good soil, be that house with the foundation solid. I want Jesus to look down on me and not feel a hint of worry about my faith in Him or His capabilities because I’m standing on His promises and I’m not shaken. I long to serve my Jesus so fully in every area of my life, but gosh it’s hard some days. Be my light and guide Jesus, till the end.
Matthew chapter 13
Scripture of the day: Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
• Jesus took the opportunity to preach to the crowd
• Jesus pointed out the different kinds of people that will hear the word and how it will register, rest, and be rewarded upon their hearts in and against this world
• The enemy is among us, but there is a harvest which means there’s hope for those that hear on that day
• Whoever has ears, let them hear! Prophecy fulfilled Isa 6:8-10
Hummm, I wonder why?
Why did Jesus speak in parables especially knowing that some might not understand, is it because he wanted some of us to actually think for ourselves, to search our hearts and minds, to have a choice? Is it a warning of what to come?
“And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” Although Jesus sat with them preached and spoke in love they still didn’t believe. I always wonder and sometimes wished I walked in those times and I often convince myself that I would have been a great follower, shouting Jesus from the roof tops, stuck to His hip and clinging to His every word. But in reality, would that have been me? Would I have been ever seeing and never perceiving, ever hearing and never understanding as well? It can be very easy to make an assumption when we are not actually in the situation until we are in it. For crying out loud we struggle to believe today and humans have no changed at all, if not have become even more desperately wicked. What I can say for my belief today is that I am Soul searching, pondering and reflecting what kind of seed am I internally? Praying that God help my unbelief for the things I struggle with daily. I am thankful that His mercies are new daily to cover the multitude of many sins.