Monday, March 17, 2014


“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.  You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God … The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain” (Deut. 28:1-2, 8 NLT).

When Moses told the people of Israel to honor and obey the Lord God, he told them that the Lord would bless them.  The principle of honoring and obeying the Lord and being blessed by Him is expressed in James 4:10 (NLT), Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.   If we’ll dig out the “how to” principles from Deuteronomy 28, we find some practical application for how humbleness brings honor.

What does it take to obey and be honored?  It takes:

Heart and soul
If you listen obediently to the voice of God, your God, and heartily obey … Deut. 28:1a (NLT)
Put your energy into it.

carefully follow … Deut. 28:1b
Get clear on God’s instructions so that you can follow them.

pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God … Deut. 28:13
Sometimes we listen but don’t pay attention and therefore it doesn’t make a difference in our lives.  We must pay attention to what God says in His Word with the objective of understanding what to do with what He says.

Don’t swerve an inch to the right or left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other gods. Deut. 28:14 (Mes)
Avoid detours and ditches.

… serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, Deut. 28:47 (NLT)
Count your blessings to prompt your enthusiasm to serve the Lord.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:7-10, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”.

Impediments and limits to our abilities and opportunities come in a thousand different forms.  Sometimes we complain about what limits us and impedes us from doing more for the Lord in serving people and serving Him.  Some of those hurdles and hindrances we cause ourselves from our sin and dumb choices.  Others are allowed by the Lord.  The goal is not to try to overcome them all.  The goal is to learn to trust God’s strength in the middle of them. 

Three things we can do:

1) Change what you can change.  For example Timothy had a stomach condition, and Paul told him to take some medicine (wine) for it in order to do what he could to make it better (1 Tim. 5:23). 

2) Pray that God would change the situation.
He may but then He may not, as in Paul’s case.

The point is that after doing your part to try to change the situation and having prayed about it and it doesn’t change, then realize God has entrusted to you whatever doesn’t change to cause you to trust in His strength and wisdom.  When we realize this, we can learn to accept it.  But there is more to be done with that limitation, that imperfection, whatever it is that causes you periodic frustration. 

3) Choose to be glad you’ve been entrusted with it.  Why?  Because it’s then that you surrender to the power of Christ.  It’s then that you truly place yourself under His provision and infinite wisdom and power.  It’s then that His power works through you and accomplishes His purpose in you and through you for His glory and your good (Rom. 8:28).  And there’s one other benefit:  Those limits and impediments let you know God is with you and is at work in you.  He’s not distant.  He is involved with you.  Let it be reassuring to you of His love and power and wisdom and presence. 

Every one of us has a tendency to exalt ourselves.  You can be the least known Christian in the world, and God will still entrust to you limits and impediments to keep you from exalting yourself so that you will learn to rely on God’s grace and exalt Him.  But it’s there that we learn how to live life to the fullest with God’s strength flowing through us.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Moses told the people what God wants.  He wants them to love Him completely.  Jesus reiterated this commandment for all of His followers.  God is one, not many, and He is to be the only God in our lives. 

How do we express that God is our only God?  We love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength.  We keep what He says on our hearts.  We teach His truths to our families.  Make God’s words visible around your home.  Place verses of Scripture on the refrigerator, on your desk, on the nightstand, on the mirror, wherever.  By doing this, God’s words stay on our minds and hearts so that we’ll be influenced by them to obey Him.  Our disposition will have a better chance at being guided towards the Lord’s ways. 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you … Write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3 NAS).   Make God’s Words noticeable to yourself and your family.  That’s how we can keep God’s Words in our hearts and in our everyday living, and love Him as our God.