Day 91 – April 1, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 5-6, Proverbs 1
Bible Project Video on Proverbs and another
We begin a new book today, Proverbs! Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Talk about a good scripture on April fools day!
Deuteronomy is a book of instruction. In today’s Torah reading, we read the Shema, that is the Hebrew word for “Listen” or “hear.” “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Deuteronomy 5:6. A Jew would recite this throughout their day, reminding themselves of the Lord and his sovereignty.
Deuteronomy 5 and 6 share with us the commandments of God, and give instruction to remember the Lord’s faithfulness. This is wisdom, to fear the Lord, to know of him, to trust in him, to know that he is sovereign over all. As we take this in, and let it sink deeper into our hearts and minds, we will gain a wisdom the world simply cannot. Wisdom comes from our reverence for the Lord.
Fear the Lord, Trust in Him
Day 90 – March 31, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4, John 21
The Israelites forget all too often what God has done. This is the word of warning and counsel from Moses to the Israelites.
There will come a time, from one generation to the next, that they will be susceptible to forgetting God, what He has done to deliver them.
John’s Gospel is written that we would believe in Jesus as the Son of God. As we conclude this Gospel, we are called to examine our own beliefs and be challenged to remember Jesus.
We must reconcile with this man who is the Bread of Life and Living Water. We must recognize that He is the Light of the World, and the Word. Before Abraham, before Moses, Jesus is “I am.”
John tells us that the world couldn’t contain what all could be written about Jesus. Judging by how many sermons have been preached and books that have been written - we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of this Jesus. John was right. So much can be said!
Moses calls the Israelites to remember the Lord from generation to generation in Deuteronomy. For the Christian, there is still a call to remember the Lord. For us as Christians, who this Jesus is, and what he means to each of us is remembering what it is that we Believe.
We believe in Him, He is Lord and Savior. He is the Great I am.
Remember and Believe
Day 89 – March 30, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 3, Psalm 133, John 20
Jesus is our Salvation
The Bible is a long story of belief and disbelief. And following the book of Numbers, and now following along with the book of Deuteronomy, Moses challenges and encourages Joshua to believe in the Lord and trust that he goes with him into the promised Land. God will use Joshua to deliver the Israelites, finally from Egypt into the Promised Land.
About 1400 years later, there is a new Joshua – Yeshua – Jesus – and he is standing before Thomas, resurrected from the dead, “Stop doubting and believe.”
We are encouraged today to know that the Lord delivers us from more than Egypt, and more than our wanderings in the wilderness. Jesus delivers us from sin and death. The new Joshua is here, Jesus delivers us, He is our Salvation.
Stop doubting and Believe. He is Risen!
ay 88 – March 29, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 2, John 19, Psalm 22
“These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.”
It is difficult to write a brief devotion on the three chapters we read today. Israel’s story in Deuteronomy 2 is a call to remember the faithfulness of God. Moses reminds them, throughout Deuteronomy that God has been faithful. God is present and with them.
Today’s Gospel reading is the crucifixion of Jesus. There is no more important event in all of history than the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. The only greater event will be His Return.
What is happening in the text is a debate between Jesus, the Jews and Pilate. Will Jesus be their King? And while Pilate seems obviously nervous about how all this is going, the Jews blatantly proclaim, “We have no king but Cesar.”
God has been faithful. The Israelites, not so much. In this particular event it is painfully clear, they are rejecting Jesus as their Lord and King.
In what is a startingly comparison, Psalm 22 is fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus. John sees it that way, as do other Gospel writers, and they can’t help but see the details of the crucifixion as a fulfillment of what is written in Psalm 22. There’s just too much to connect for them to be mere coincidence.
This Jesus, who was crucified, is Lord and Messiah.
The Lord is faithful, we lack nothing. We have all we need in Him.
Day 87 – March 28, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 1, John 18
Bible Project video overview of Deuteronomy
Bible Project Torah Series Teaching
Deuteronomy 1 is the beginning of Moses’ last sermon to the Israelites. He will recount the faithlessness of the Israelites in their past and call them to obedience to the Law of God in their present and future. Despite their faithlessness, Moses reminds them that God remains faithful.
John 18 gives us the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus. There is yet another rejection of God. This time the betrayal is infinitely more personal. Jesus -God in human flesh- is betrayed.
Despite yet another faithless display by the Israelites, God remains faithful and offers us in Jesus a way forward in faithfulness, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Moses is standing on the side of a mountain, teaching the Israelites the truth about God. Will we look to Jesus for the truth about God, truth about ourselves and the truth of his Lordship?
Jesus is the Truth. Let us listen to him.
Day 86 – March 27, 2021
Scriptures: Numbers 35-36, John 17
As Jesus prays for unity, please take today to pray that we would be unified together in Christ. As we continue to see division among our country, family, friends and churches, we know that Jesus’ heart is that we would be unified with Him. We show ourselves to be disciples by our love and our unity.
His prayer for unity points to what he will accomplish on the cross. Forgiveness at the cross is the catalyst for unity, then and now. We are one with Him, because of the cross.
Pray Jesus’ prayer, for the unity of the church.
Day 84 – March 25, 2021
Scriptures: Numbers 33, John 15
As Numbers traces out the journey of the Israelites, we are encouraged to consider the work that God is doing in our own life. Jesus is the True Vine, we are branches. We are called to bear fruit.
Unfortunately, there is a pruning, that is often painful, but extremely necessary.
The Israelites journey through the wilderness was in fact, a pruning. They would learn in this long winding path through the desert, that God was removing what was going to bear bad fruit or no fruit. He was working the Egypt out of them.
I have an apple tree. I frequently forget to prune the tree at the appropriate time, and it has hindered its growth and fruit. It is to the benefit of the tree to prune it, this is the only way to bear a greater fruit.
Pruning our lives in the desert is a hard place to be, but it is really the best thing for us, when God prunes us, we will bear fruit for Christ and His glory.
Prune us God, to bear a good and beautiful fruit for your glory!
Day 83 – March 24, 2021
Scriptures: Numbers 32, John 14
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Stories of the failures of the previous generation are shared, yet again. Almost like God wants to remind the Israelites not to fall away, again! The story reminds us that the Israelites doubted in God's power to deliver them over the Jordan, and into the Promised Land.
Jesus offers us all the gift of new life. He offers us peace.
Will we trust him to take across the boundary of death into life, from evil into goodness, from brokenness to healing? The adversary might be great, but the Advocate is greater.
God is with you. May you enjoy His peace today.
He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus is the way to the Father.
Will our generation trust in the Lord?
Day 85 – March 26, 2021
Scriptures: Numbers 34, John 16
The boundaries of the Israelites are laid out in Numbers 34. This is an important step in the right direction. Things are looking up for the people of God, they are soon to enter into the Promised Land and this is the boundary details.
In a small way, I see an important connection to our John reading. We are told that Jesus has overcome the world. We are encouraged by Jesus in that the disciples of Christ can ask in Jesus’ name, and it would be theirs.
This has, for a long time, been of course abused and misunderstood. It’s not a blank check from Jesus. But perhaps we could get a better sense of it in our simultaneous reading of Numbers and John.
The Israelites were confined to the land between the river Jordan, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who follow the Lord Jesus, will not be contained. The world is overcome, and the hope of this Good News will be for all people, everywhere.
Therefore, we ought to seek the Lord and ask of Him to tear down the walls and barriers of this gospel, so it might go to the very ends of the earth.
Day 82 – March 23, 2021
Scriptures: Numbers 31, John 13
Numbers 31 is concerned about dedicating people and animals to the Lord.
John 13 closes with Peter looking to dedicate himself to Jesus, only to find out, he is going to fail, and deny Christ three times.
That’s a short connection, and I don’t really want to belabor that, because it is a bit of a stretch.
But John 13, for the Christian, stands as some of the most important of all of the Bible. We are called to follow Christ into service, to love one another. We have this as a our charge from Christ, love one another.
Go, Serve, Love!
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.