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Are We Living Sacrifices For His Glory?

SIH HALTAL ICONLeviticus 23:37 (KJV) –  “These [are] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4m9

“Our Companions In Old Age”

SIH STSTA ICON(The Lord’s Grace To Meet Our Physical Weaknesses As We Age)

 

 

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

Ecc 12:1-8 (KJV)

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

 

Isa 46:4 (KJV)

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

 

 

THE STUDY:

Folks, as we grow older we find ourselves changing and, in most cases, the change is not for the better. These changes take place due to mankind’s fallen condition and the effects of sin that touch each of our lives.

 

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say,

In Eccl 12:1-8, King Solomon reminds us of the need to always keep our Creator, and His desires for us, in the forefront of our minds, especially during our days of youth.

 

Solomon backs up his statement by explaining that as we progress in life it gradually becomes more difficult to serve the Lord. He gives this advancing time of life the description of “the evil days” (ie the days of adversity and distress).   He calls them evil days in the context of aging’s devastating effects on both our physical and mental health.

He goes further and explains the effects that aging brings upon us, He does this by using the symbolism of a vibrant city, and its individual citizens, that slowly become inactive and finally deserted…

I have no pleasure in them;

Physical aches and pains take the pleasure out of many of the activities that we used to find enjoyable.  As the aging process continues, for many of us, pleasurable days seem to become scarcer with each passing day.

 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened,

As we age, our eyesight grows dim, causing many sources of light to become darkened as we find it much harder to see.

nor the clouds return after the rain: 

Old age has a tendency to bring with it a series of health problems that return on a consistent basis.  Instead of having physical issues “every now and then”, they begin to appear more frequently, and in many cases become chronic.

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble,

Our immune system begins to struggle and we find ourselves becoming ill more frequently, and acquiring illnesses that we had previously resisted.

and the strong men shall bow themselves,

Our physical strength begins to wane, as we can no longer do the heavy manual labor that we were used to doing.  Our weakness progresses until we cannot hold ourselves erect and we begin to stoop.

and the grinders cease because they are few,

Our teeth decay and we lose them until only a few remain.

and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

We can no longer see clearly with our eyes.  Not only do we need more light to see (vs 2), but also our eyes become cloudy with cataracts and other eye ailments.

And the doors shall be shut in the streets,

The doors of our mouths and lips are closed (Psa 141:3, Micah 7:5), no longer able to receive or digest the nutrients we need to survive.  We are no longer able to eat the foods we enjoy due to digestive distresses and, eventually, we struggle to eat any food at all.

when the sound of the grinding is low,

Aging brings upon us gradual hearing loss (and deafness) that does not allow us to hear ourselves chewing our food.

and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird,

Arising early due to an inability to sleep due to worries and light sleeping that is awakened by any small noise are common as we grow older.

and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 

Our natural talents and abilities are gradually lost.  Those who could sing joyous songs can no longer praise their Lord and bring joy to the heart of their listeners, as their talent to sing is taken away from them.

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way,

Fear of accidents, falling, etc seem to dominate old age.  In our youth we could climb ladders to high places, now we are afraid of falling off a simple stepstool.  These fears have a tendency to stop us from attempting to perform activities to which we did not give a second thought.

and the almond tree shall flourish,

The almond tree has gray white blossoms.  This speaks of us losing our youthful hair color as gray hair replaces it.

and the grasshopper shall be a burden,

In our youth, we could easily deal with small pests by catching them and/or stepping upon them etc.  Now, as we get older, our reflexes are slowed.  These creatures evade our efforts to catch them and we have difficulty stepping upon them.

and desire shall fail:

As our age advances, we find our desire for activity and service reduced due to the pain and suffering that accompanies them.  Even our very “zest for life” is stolen by the aging process, stealing away our enjoyment of life itself.

 

These effects of aging come to dwell within our bodies like companions who move into our home and begin to reside with us.  With the passage of time, these companions increase in number and length of their stay, until they finally reside with us on a permanent basis.  They leave us only when, through their presence within us, they bring our life to an end…

because man goeth to his long home,

Our physical death

and the mourners go about the streets: 

Our funeral

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 

Our death described as:

  1. the silver cord binding our spirit to our body is broken, releasing our spirit to depart.
  2. the golden bowl of our body is broken taking away its usefulness and ability to perform the purposes of its creation, to glorify God in all we do.
  3. the pitcher of our body is no longer able to retain the spirit within it.
  4. the wheel of our body is no longer useful to anyone desiring water from the cistern. Once dead our ability to serve others come to a complete end.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 

As aging brings about physical death, the spirit departs from our physical body.  At that point in time, our body returns back to the ground and our spirit enters into the presence of God for its eventual judgment and consignment to its eternal dwelling place.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

The Hebrew word for vanity describes a air bubble in water. A bubble of air in the water that lasts only a short time then hits the top of the water, breaks apart, and totally disappears with no lasting worth.  As Solomon recalled what he had experienced during the aging process, he came to the conclusion that physical life was like this bubble…. LIFE IS SHORT-LIVED WITH NO PERMANENT VALUE.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Sounds depressing and hopeless doesn’t it?  Looking at things from a strictly human perspective, all that we have, looking forward, is future suffering and eventual death.  And all of this is endured for no lasting value.

But, as God’s people we know there is more to this story. We have much by which to be encouraged, we are not alone as aging comes upon us.  We are promised another, more intimate, Friend who will be with us through every step of the aging process…

Isa 46:4 (KJV)

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

 

Just as the Lord promises physical Israel, that He would be with them and meet their every need as they grew older; so too, as the spiritual nation of Israel we can claim this very same promise.

As we age and our physical life slowly draws to a close we can know, WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, our Lord will be with us.  He tells us that He will never “leave you nor forsake you.”    It is just as the Lord says, as our physical health fails us, the Lord will meet our needs… everytime.

 

And even to your old age I am he;

Our Lord does not change, the same Lord that has been so faithful to us during our youthful years, he will remain faithful to us as our age progresses…

and even to hoar hairs will I carry you:

When we can no longer walk, He will carry us…

 I have made, and I will bear;

As our Creator, He will be our support and bear our weight as we lean upon Him….

even I will carry, and will deliver you.

He will carry us during our times of physical weaknesses and will, at death, release us to enter eternity with Him.

 

What a wonderful Lord we serve!  What encouraging words for each one of us to take to heart as we struggle with the effects of aging that falls upon us all.

May the Lord allow His Word to comfort His people, taking away all their fears and increasing their faith as they continue to grow older and seek to serve Him throughout their remaining years.

 

_________________________________________________

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?  

Email me at:    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Leviticus 23:37 – “Offer An Offering”

 

(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.

You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…

1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.

2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.

By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.

 

(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Leviticus 23:37 (KJV) – “These [are] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:”

 

Leviticus 23:37 (ESV) – “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the LORD food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day,”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

“These [are] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:”

 

 

 

Each offering during the Feast of Tabernacles was to be performed on a specific day (see Num 29 for details). The four types of offerings include:

Type of Offering (Num 29) Christ Pictured As: Christ’s Example For Saints:
Burnt Offerings Total Surrender and Sacrifice Of Christ On Cross Total Surrender To Lord
Meat (Grain) A Living Sacrifice To His Father (In Life and Death) Sacrifice Of The Work Of Our Hands
Peace (Sacrifice) Christ Made Peace With God For His People Need Of Fellowship and Communion with God
Drink Christ Anointed Of God To Do His Bidding Need To Separate Ourselves To God

 

Please note not all of these above offerings are literally “made by fire”. This phrase could be speaking of the Burnt and Meat Offerings only. These were the ones that were placed upon an altar and consumed by fire.

However, it is also possible that the phrase “offering by fire” can also, by implication, refer to all four of the above offerings. In our last devotion we saw that the implications of a burnt offering was three fold, it was an offering to the Lord that:

1. The offering by fire was a picture of their service to the Lord, giving that offering over to the priest was a symbolic representation of their work being dedicated entirely to their Lord.

2. The offering by fire was a picture of their service to the Lord, causing them to suffer loss of the offering (giving up a lamb, bird, harvest first fruits etc) as it was totally consumed in the flames.

3. The offering by fire was a picture of their service to Christ, the smoke ascended into the clouds, representing their earthly service ascending into the heavens to the throne of God.

Although some of the above four offerings are not literally burned up, describing them as “offerings by fire” certainly applied based on all three of the above basic principles.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks in this section of Scripture there is much that can be learned concerning thankfulness for the Lord’s great blessings upon us. Some of these include:

1. Our appreciation to the Lord is not simply an inward attitude and emotion, but it is also to be shown in our lives and actions. One of the best ways to appreciate our God is to live out our appreciation by being living sacrifices for His glory, this includes:

a. total surrender to the Lord

b. separation from the sinful aspects of this world to the Lord

c. placing a premium on a personal relationship of close communion with the Lord

d. giving of our time, talents and labors to the Lord.

Romans 12:1-2 KJV – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

By planning ahead and setting an appointment for quiet time with the Lord and His Word, we can allocate the time necessary to truly be thankful to the Lord this holiday season.

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Are We Serious About Growing Closer To The Lord During Our Quiet Times With Him?

SIH HALTAL ICONLeviticus 23:36 (KJV) –  “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a solemn assembly; [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein].”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4m1

Leviticus 23:36 – “It Is A Solemn Assembly”

(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.

You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…

1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.

2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.

By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.

 

(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Leviticus 23:36 (KJV) – “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a solemn assembly; [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein].”

 

Leviticus 23:36 (ESV) – “For seven days you shall present food offerings to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD:

 

During the seven days of the observance offerings “made by fire” were to be made. When many different offerings were given to the Lord, some of them were required to be burnt by fire. These offerings were to be laid upon an altar and totally consumed by the flame. The act of burning the offering illustrated for the Jews three very important truths about their service to the Lord:

1. Their acts of service to the Lord were to be done in a spirit of total submission and dedication to the Lord.

The offering was a picture of their service to the Lord, giving that offering over to the priest was a symbolic representation of their work being dedicated entirely to their Lord. They were to give all to Him and hold back nothing for their own personal use.

2. Their acts of service to the Lord, many times, would result in earthly loss.

They would suffer loss of the offering (giving up a lamb, bird, harvest first fruits etc) as it was totally consumed in the flames.

This pictures our service to Christ which may hold little, or no earthly benefits for us … we may be mocked, ridiculed and shunned for our service to Him.

3. Their acts of service to the Lord, would be accepted in heaven and reap eternal rewards.

As the Jewish offerings were burned, the smoke ascended into the clouds, representing their earthly service ascending into the heavens to the throne of God. Although our acts of service many times suffer earthly loss, they will always receive for us eternal, heavenly, gain!

 

 

on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD:

 

On the day following this 7 day observance, God’s people were to hold another gathering that was dedicated to the Lord. During this holy convocation burnt offerings were to be made reminding them of the need for total surrender of their lives in appreciation for all the Lord has done for them.

 

 

it [is] a solemn assembly; [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein]

 

This eighth day was to be a “solemn assembly”, in other words, a “gathering of restraint” or “a meeting of detention”. In other words, the basic attitude during this assembly was to bring all motives, desires and thoughts into the captivity of the Lord as their hearts and minds entirely dwelled upon Him and His goodness to them.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in this devotional, we have clearly revealed to us several truths about our acts of service to Christ…

1. Our service to the Lord involves total dedication to the Lord.

2. Our service to the Lord may cause us to suffer earthly loss.

3. Our service to the Lord will reap eternal rewards for us.

4. Our service to the Lord is encouraged when we recognize His blessings and come to a freah appreciation of them.

5. Our service to the Lord (including our times of recognition and appreciation of His blessings) involved putting to death our fleshly desires and motives.

Satan will oppose our every effort to come to a greater appreciation of our Lord and he will use our minds and desires to do just that.  Satan will bring to our thoughts all of the responsibilities that we will face during the Thanksgiving holidays…  our need to prepare meals, traveling to relatives, spend time caring for our children, getting ahead at work to prepare for our time off etc etc.  All of these type of things he will try to place ahead of our quiet time of reflection.

Folks, may we being a new period of dedication and service to our Lord this holiday season by putting our flesh into submission to the Lord’s desires. Take time out to recognize and appreciate His blessings and then using this new-found appreciation to energize us to serve Him in greater ways using our calling, gifts and human talents He has so graciously given to us!

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Considering The Works Of The Lord Deserves Our Undivided Attention.

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Leviticus 23:35 (KJV) – “On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [therein].”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4lW

Thanksgiving Lessons and Devotionals From SIH Ministries…

ThanksgivingPosting

For other Bible Lessons on Thanksgiving please click on link:

A Christian’s Thanksgiving Day

Therefore, O God, We Thank Thee

Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So

The Three Great Benefits Of Thanksgiving

Saying Thanks Just Isn’t Enough  *NEW FOR 2015*

For Thanksgiving devotionals please click on links:

A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Part Devotional Series

“Remembering The Works Of God: The Feast Of Tabernacles” 12 Part Devotional Series

Leviticus 23:35 – “A Holy Convocation”

(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.

You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…

1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.

2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.

By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.

 

(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Leviticus 23:35 (KJV) – “On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [therein].”

 

Leviticus 23:35 (ESV) – “On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

“On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation:

 

The Feast of Tabernacles was a seven day feast (vs 34). On the first day of the feast observance, the Jews were to hold a “holy convocation” or a “sanctified assembly”. In other words, they were to come together and hold an assembly that is set apart for the use of their Lord.

What a wonderful way to start this period of remembrance, appreciation and service. They were to meet together with the Lord’s people rejoicing as we remember the wonderful workings of the Lord in their nation, families and individual lives.

Psalms 42:4 KJV – “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.”

 

 

 

ye shall do no servile work [therein].”

 

On the first day of this celebration, they were to dedicate the entire day to the Lord and remembering His blessings upon them. They were to do no manual labor or personal pursuits on that day, which allows for all of their attention to be placed upon the Lord and His past acts of goodness to them.

Psalms 105:1-6 KJV – “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks in our devotional text this morning we can learn two very important truths….

First, our Thanksgiving time of appreciation for the works of the Lord should not simple be a personal experience that changes us within. It should be an experience that affects the lives of others in at least two ways…

1. As the Lord develops an appreciative heart within us, we are to tell others of His wondrous works that He has done for us. Share with others the blessings of the Lord!

2. Also we should help others to recall His blessings as well. Share with them how you have seen the Lord bless in their life. Many times, Satan can blind us to the blessings of God in our own lives, perhaps we see a blessing in the lives of those around us that have never recognized as a blessing prior to our revealing it to them.

Secondly, taking time to remember the Lord’s many benefits is a very important task that requires, and deserves, all of our attention. Certainly, there are many times that we get bogged down with the concerns of this world and need to take care of the issues of this physical life.

However, we should always be willing to find some time to stop and reflect upon the Lord’s grace displayed in our lives.

May we all take time during this season to place our attention solely on the Lord and remember all His gracious works he has done for us throughout our lives and then share these blessings with others and help them to recognize His blessings in their lives as well!

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Jewish Feast Of Tabernacles And The Thanksgiving Holiday Season…. A Time To Remember All The Lord Has Done For Us!

SIH HALTAL ICONLeviticus 23:34 (KJV) – “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4lR

Leviticus 23:34 – “The Feast Of Tabernacles (Booths)”

 

(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.

You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…

1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.

2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.

By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.

 

(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Leviticus 23:34 (KJV) – “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD.”

 

Leviticus 23:34 (ESV) – “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,

As the Lord delivered His Word to Moses, He directed Moses to share this information with all the physical nation of Israel. This feast only applied to them, as it only referred to a series of past events that their nation had experienced.

This feast was created for them to remember a specific event from their history, recognize it as a blessing from their Lord, and appreciate Him for performing it on their behalf.

The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be]

This feast was to begin to be observed on the 15th day of the seventh month (the month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar…. This equates to the end of Sept – beginning of Oct on our calendar). This takes place 5 days after the Day of Atonement which follows the end of the harvest season.

 

 

the feast of tabernacles

 

This feast is called “the Feast of Tabernacles” in the Bible. This title simply means “the Feast of Booths” or “the Feast of Cottages”. This is because during this feast the Jews were to make, and live in booths made of branches…

Nehemiah 8:14 KJV – “And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:”

 

The title of this feast, and the specifics of its observance, reminded the Israelites of one of the most miraculous event that took place in the history of their nation… the wilderness wanderings when the Jews dwelled in booths as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land…

Leviticus 23:43 KJV – “That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

The remembrance and appreciation of this event was the purpose behind the observance of “the Feast of Tabernacles”. Every time the people observed this feast, it would bring back to their mind three basic miracles that were performed on behalf of the Israelites…

1. Their deliverance and liberation from the Egyptian bondage (the miracle beginning of their wilderness wanderings)

2. Their protection and sustenance during the wilderness wanderings (the miracles during their wilderness wanderings)

3. Their entrance into the Promised Land (the miracle that brought their wilderness wanderings to an end)

 

 

 

[for] seven days unto the LORD.”

This feast was to last one full week and was to be done “unto the Lord”. In other words, it was to be dedicated to the Lord’s glory and honor, and was to be done with His supervision, authority and approval.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, how many times has the Lord worked great blessings into our lives, only to be slowly forgotten over the years?

By giving us a record of the Jewish “Feast of Tabernacles” we are given a Scriptural reminder of the need for each one of us to periodically stop and recall His wondrous workings on our behalf that we have experienced throughout our life on earth.

Folks, the ideal time for us to stop and remember His blessings is during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Although it may be a busy time for all of us, we should always take the time to stop and remember all He has done for us in our personal lives, families, churches and nation. Then we are to allow these acts to enter our hearts and stir within us an attitude of appreciation and acts that praise and honor Him for all He has done.

Following this, we are to share accounts of His blessings with those around us, reminding them of His great grace in their lives.

By doing this, we are making this time of year truly a Thanksgiving experience for us all.

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The Word Is Handed Down From Our Lord…. Are We Listening?

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Leviticus 23:33 (KJV) –  “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4lN

Leviticus 23:33 – “And The Lord Spake”

(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.

You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…

1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.

2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.

By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.

(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)

TODAY’S TEXT:

Leviticus 23:33 (KJV) – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”

Leviticus 23:33 (ESV) – “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this beginning devotional, we have the source of this feast being clearly revealed to us…

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”

The LORD (Jehovah God) was the originator of this feast. All of the instructions for this feast were given directly from God to His prophet Moses, to be handed to the physical Jewish people.

Throughout their history, several times, the Jews were told to remember and appreciate all that the Lord had done on their behalf….

1. Prior to the Jews entrance into the promised land, in Deuteronomy 8:, the Lord commands the Israelites to remember their deliverance from Egyptian captivity and the Lord’s care given to them throughout the wilderness wanderings. This was to be done to encourage and strengthen their hearts as they warred against the many nations that inhabited the promised land. This is the very time frame of which the Lord sought to remind the Jews when He handed down the observance of the Feast of Booths to them.

2. This same event is what is being referred to when Asaph said, in Psalm 77:11, “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.”

3. And also this same event was included by David when he said in Psalm 105:5 “Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth”

Many references to similar instructions given to the Israelites can be found throughout the Old Testament scriptures.

Truly, the Feast of Booths, was given by the Lord and was meant to call to remembrance the Jewish deliverance from Egyptian captivity and the gracious watch care the Jews experienced during their wanderings in the wilderness. These blessings, and many others, are to be remembered and appreciated by the Jewish people throughout time.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The Lord gives us, as Christians, similar instructions concerning remembering and appreciating all that He has done for us.

1. Delivering us from the bondage of sin.

Ephesians 2:10-13 KJV – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

2. And graciously watching over us, caring for our every need.

Psalms 103:1-5 KJV – “A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

May we all take time this holiday season to stop and carefully consider the wonderful works that the Lord has performed on our behalf. And then, like David, seek to thank the Lord for all He has done by actively giving of our lives for Him …

Psalms 116:12 KJV – “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?”

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Isaiah’s Vision Of The New Heavens and New Earth (Part 3)

SIH STSTA ICON“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”  (2 Peter 3:10-13)

 

 

Isaiah 65:17-25 is one of the most encouraging prophecies given to God’s people.  It is a prophecy of the eternal state of God’s people as they enjoy the eternal blessings that are promised to them by God Himself.

For us to come to a fuller and more accurate understanding of this prophecy, we need to understand its relationship to the first five verses of a vision that John received in the book of Revelation that is found in chapter 21.

Please notice the table that follows.  In this table, we can see that the prophecy found in Isaiah 65: and the beginning of the vision received by John in Revelation are clearly parallel prophecies.  They both speak of the same time period (eternity), the same location (the New Heavens and New Earth) and the same blessings that will be received by the people of God…

 

The Basic Contents Of Both Passages:

 

Main Themes:   Daniel 65: Revelation 21:  
 
The Setting: New Heavens/New Earth 17a 1a
The Condition: All Things Are “New” 17b 5
The Location: The New Jerusalem 18 2
No Weeping, Crying 19 4a
Longevity Of Life 20 4b
No Mistreatment, Loss 21-23,25 4c,d,e
God Will Be Present 24 3

 

Let’s take a few moments of time to come to a better understanding of the wonderful blessings that await God’s people as we enter into eternity with our Lord.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

(Isaiah 65:17-25)

17) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18) But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19) And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

20) There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed.

21) And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22) They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23) They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

24) And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

 

(Revelation 21:1-5)

1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

THE STUDY:

Isaiah 65:17-25…

21) And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22) They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23) They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

 

In this section of our study, we are told that, throughout eternity, God’s people will enjoy the God’s hand of blessings upon His people.  They will no longer be concerned with attacks from their enemies, the curse of sin, injustice or the wrath of God being placed upon them.  In other words, all sin and its results will be done away.

This entire section of our study stands in direct contrast to the Lord’s promises to those who rebel against the Lord and His commands.…

Deuteronomy 28:15, 29-34 – KJV – But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee].

Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

Thine ox [shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass [shall be] violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep [shall be] given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them].

Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be] given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail [with longing] for them all the day long: and [there shall be] no might in thine hand.

The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: 

So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” 

 

(Please note: In the earlier verses of this chapter ( Deut 28:1-14) contains many of the same blessings upon the faithful that are mentioned in our Isaiah 65 text).

 

And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  hey shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat:

God’s people will enjoy the fruits of their labors, and not have to fear loss nor harm.  Throughout eternity we will be blessed of God for our faithful service.  None will be able to tarnish our service, nor will they be able to steal the rewards intended for us.

 

for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

God’s people will enjoy a long, flourishing, fruitful life of service throughout eternity, much like a fruit tree that bears fruit and lives from generation to generation.

 

They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD,

Why do these wonderful blessings come upon His people throughout eternity?  God’s grace being sent forth to them in the form of His many blessings.

 

and their offspring with them.

In the curse mentioned in Deut 28:  we read “Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be] given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail [with longing] for them all the day long: and [there shall be] no might in thine hand.

This part of the curse upon those who rebel against God is contrasted by the phrase “and their offspring with them”.  In other words, the rebellious would be forcibly separated from their offspring, whereas for the obedient, they would enjoy their life unified with their children. All of this symbolically describing the results of rebellion and sin being done away throughout eternity.

Once again, this section of our Isaiah 65: prophecy is simply revealing to us that, God’s people as the faithful of God, will enjoy an eternity where all injustice, harm, sorrow, and the curse of rebellion are taken away.

Also, remember earlier in our Isaiah 65: text we have this basic idea reaffirmed… “and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”

 

In Revelation 21: is it described in this way…

(4c,d,e) neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Here Revelation is telling us that sin, its affects, and curses involved with sin, are done away throughout eternity.  (Isa 35:10, Isa 60:19-22)

 

24) And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

During eternity the saints will enjoy PERFECT communion with the Lord, as no sin will place a division between us. He will be physically present with us and He will perfectly know our minds and hearts and will immediately act on our behalf.  This communion is much like what Daniel experienced during his time of prayer (Daniel 9:20-23) only to a much lesser degree than the communion in eternity.

 

In Revelation 21: is it described in this way…

3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

Here in Revelation, we are also promised a perfect, intimate relationship with the Lord allowing each one of us to enjoy perfect fellowship with God Himself.

 

25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat.

Here, we can see the perfect harmony and peace that will permeate throughout eternity.  The results of sin, specifically the fall of the created nature around us, will be totally undone.  There will be no bloodshed, no violence, no abuse, no persecution, nor death.

This basic principle is pictured through the use of a series of creatures that Isaiah was familiar with as a part of the first creation of God (the earth before its renovation).

The peaceful conditions in the New Earth are now pictured by:

  1. Wolves and Lambs – Wolves, who would normally feed upon lambs, are now seen as being at peace with the lambs. They are now feeding WITH the lambs, not feeding ON the lambs.
  2. Lion eating straw like an ox – Lions, who normally violently feeding on other animals are now shown to be feeding upon straw. This is like an ox who feeds upon straw as a part of their nature being fully satisfied with it.
  3. Serpent feeding upon dust – Serpents are known for cunningly attacking their prey, catching them off guard, poisoning them, and devouring them. Here, we see eternity pictured as a place of no danger or fear, as even the serpents feed on dust, hunting and hurting no one.

We can clearly see the symbolic nature being used here, as we realize that it is impossible for serpents to live off of dust.  Also keep in mind, there are no places in Scripture that clearly indicate that the same type of animals that God created to inhabit on the Old Earth will be remade and will inhabit the New Earth.

 

Please note a very similar passage in Isaiah 11:6-9…

Isa 11:6-9 KJV –

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Once, again in this passage we see the same basic principles concerning the New Earth begin described through the use of Old Earth creatures.  The New Earth will be a peaceful, violence free, persecution free existence.     As we have seen, detailed previously in vs 20 of our text, this set of verses can, in no way, be used to teach that babies and children will be in existence on the New Earth.

 

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

The Lord clearly states the basic principle behind the symbols being used in this example.  It is that the New Earth will be entirely free of harm and destruction.  “His holy mountain” is speaking of the renovated land of Israel on the New Earth which will be home to the New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of the saints throughout eternity.

 

In Revelation 21: is it described in this way…

(4)  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21: confirms for us that the New Earth will be filled with peace and harmony, no pain, suffering, or death.  All of these former sorrows will be done away with as all will be made new.

Please also see notes on verses 21-23 above for more concerning this principle.

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

As we have clearly seen in this study, we have such a wonderful eternity awaiting us.  May we all allow these truths to motivate us to serve our Lord out of thankful, appreciative hearts.  May we allow these truths to encourage us to remain faithful in the “dark times” of our lives.

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Are We Courageous In The Lord’s Strength?

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Psalms 31:23 KJV – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4lF

“Worthy One” … Our Lord Jesus Is The Worthy One!

Psalms 31:24 – David’s Exhortation (Part 2)

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Throughout the years, this Psalm, or portions of it, have been a great blessing to me in several difficult situations that I have faced in life. Although, the Psalm does not reveal to us the exact situation that David was facing, it is obvious he was facing a very difficult hardship that, from his perspective, appeared to be insurmountable.

Throughout our lives as Christians, most, if not all of us, have faced the same type of issues. This Psalm gives us many wonderful truths that will give us comfort, hope, and even joy in the midst of these hardships of life.

This is the basic outline we will be using… our devotional will be covering approximately one verse per day…

1. David’s Request (1-2)

2. David’s Recognition (3-4)

3. David’s Commitment (5-8)

4. David’s Sufferings (9-13) (Due to his sin 9-10; Due to other’s sin 11-13)

5. David’s Faith (14-16)

6. David’s Desire (17-18)

7. David’s Praise (19-22)

8. David’s Exhortation (23-24)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Psalms 31:23 KJV – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

 

Psalms 31:23 KJV – ​Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In our closing devotional in this series David shares with each of us to courageously serve the Lord, in whatever situation we may be facing in life…

 

 

Be of good courage,

Christian, no matter what opposition we may be facing, no matter what trials may come our way, no matter what temptations lie in our path, we are to be confident and bold in our service to Christ.

No matter what may be our lot in life, we can know with certainty our Lord is with us, enabling us and performing His will for our lives, which will ultimately bring about our victory.

1 John 2:14 KJV – “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

1 John 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

 

 

 

 

and he shall strengthen your heart,

Our courage in the midst of life’s difficulties is not our talents, abilities, or wisdom, it is based entirely on the Lord’s intervention in our life. It is what He does in us, enabling us, gracing us, blessing us, strengthening us, and intervening in our day to day walk.

It is not US but HIM!…

1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV – “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 8:37 KJV – “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Notice that David especially points to the Lord strengthening our “heart”. Throughout the Bible, the heart represents our inward being (especially the set of desires that lie within us).

When we are told that the Lord, “strengthens our heart”, David is describing the Lord giving us the courage and boldness we need to continue serving Him in the midst of life’s trials. In a sense, He is strengthening our desire to serve Him during times when opposition and discouragements would normally dampen our desires to please Him.

all ye that hope in the LORD.

As Christians, when we recognize our victory is found in Christ’s intervention and not ourselves, it causes us to always have hope no matter what life situation we are facing. Even if our life situation seems impossible for US to overcome, we know that the LORD can work miracles in our life and bring us through victoriously! This is the basis of the never-ending hope of God’s people. Christ in us the hope of glory!

Colossians 1:27-29 KJV – “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, as we come to the conclusion of this devotional series, may we all use this portion of the Word to give us strength and courage as we face the many difficulties our life holds.

If we remember that we are more than conquerors through Christ, we will see our difficulties as opportunities for the Lord to intervene, work miracles, and bring us forth victoriously. We will no longer see them as hindrances that make our lives more difficult, and threaten to snatch the ultimate victory from us.

Knowledge of these truths will allow us to see our trials as opportunities to grow stronger in Christ and bring glory and honor to Him. It will cause us to rely more upon Him and less upon ourselves and our carnal fleshly emotions, plans, and thoughts. Finally when we accept the truths we have seen in this Psalm and apply them to our lives, they will give us confidence of victory in the midst of the most seemingly impossible of life’s situations we may face.

By God’s grace, may we all apply these truths to our lives and boldly continue in our service for Christ!

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Do We Love The Lord For All He Has Done For Us?

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Psalms 31:23 KJV – O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4ly

Thanksgiving 2015 : “Saying Thanks Just Isn’t Enough”

(Thanksgiving Devotional 2015) 

SIH STSTA ICONIt is commonly believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621.  This feast was attended by both Pilgrims and Indians who joined together to thank God for their bountiful harvest of the previous year.  This celebration was continued by the first American colonies, and later by the United States, as a time of thanksgiving for the blessings that God had bestowed upon the American people.

The official Thanksgiving Day holiday was started in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, at the end of the Civil War, asked Americans to set aside the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving to God for the blessings He had shown to America (one of which was an end to the Civil War).

In 1939 FDR moved the holiday to the prior week.  He did this to help businesses by giving them a longer holiday shopping period.  Finally, in 1941 the fourth Thursday in November was declared by Congress to be the official holiday of Thanksgiving.

Please see:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-thanksgiving-day

 

Clearly, the Thanksgiving holiday began, and was continued, as a time to publically give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon our country and its individual citizens.

Even our government understood that simply talking about being thankful for what the Lord has done for us was not enough.  The Thanksgiving celebration is the way that our government has decided to allow its citizens to actively thank the Lord for His many blessings.  They did this by taking legislative action and declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday that gives time for all our citizens to stop, reflect upon the Lord’s blessings in their nation, families and personal life and then celebrating these wonderful blessings.

Sadly, some Christians believe that the verbal giving of thanks to the Lord is an adequate way to show their thanks to Him; but what does the Bible say?….

 

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

 

 

THE STUDY:

In the Word of God, the Apostle Paul has a lot to say about the outward manifestation of a Christian’s thankfulness for all that their Lord has done for them.  One of these texts is found in Romans 11:36 – 12:1.  This will be our text for this devotional time…

 

First, Paul explains the basis of our need to proper appreciate all the Lord has done for His people… 

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

 

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things:

of Him – all things, people and events in life come from Him.

through Him  – all things, people and events in life are sustained by Him.

to Him – all things, people, and events in life are used by Him for His glory and our benefit.

 

He is the Creator of all, He is the Sustainer of all, He is the One that controls all…

Colossians 1:14-17 KJV – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” 

All of our friends, loved ones and acquaintances; all of the precious events that take place in our life; and all of the blessings that we have received, including our physical life, talents, abilities and, most importantly, our spiritual life…. They all find their origin in Christ. 

Put very simply… the Lord is our All in All.  Without the Lord we could do absolutely nothing,  we would have no family or friends; no talents; no abilities; no physical life; and most importantly, no salvation.

 

“to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

Because of this, He is to be glorified and honored throughout our lifetimes…

 

Secondly, Paul explains our need to live lives that clearly displays our thankfulness by our actions…

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

“beseech” – to urgently encourage

Paul now speaks to us with urgent words of encouragement for us to actively show our appreciation to Christ in our lives.  Not only is our words of thanks important, but also our lives should display our thankfulness as well.

 

by the mercies of God,

Living lives that display our thankfulness to Christ can only be done through the merciful intervention and enabling of Christ.

1 Peter 2:10-12 KJV – “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

 

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

How can we show our thanks to Christ for all He has done for us?  By giving of ourselves for the cause of Christ.  We can do this by taking advantage of every opportunity that is opened to us to turn over our bodies (by bearing Spiritual fruits through our talents, intellect, speech, and actions) to Christ for His use.

Whenever we do this, motivated by a heart-felt appreciation of all He has done for us, we are displaying our thankfulness to Christ to the lost and saved who are around us.

 

holy,

When we live our lives as a living sacrifice for Christ, we are surrendering the lusts of our flesh to the will of Jesus Christ.

In doing so, we will find ourselves living lives that are separated FROM sin and the sins of this world and, at the same time, our lives will be lived TO fulfill Christ’s will.  This is what it means to live a holy life for Christ.

 

acceptable unto God,

Being a living sacrifice is making a sacrifice that is pleasing to our God. After all this is one of God’s great purposes in saving us from our sins…

Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

 

 

which is your reasonable service.”

When we recognize, consider, and appreciate all that our Lord has done for us… in humbling Himself as a man; coming to a sinful earth; being mocked, ridiculed, and scorned;  being falsely accused and tried;  and finally, dying on the cross for us…. it is only reasonable that we would give our entire lives to Him.

Philippians 2:5-10 KJV – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

During this Thanksgiving holiday celebration, the desire of our heart should be to come to… a greater recognition of the Lord’s many blessings in our lives; a greater appreciation of His love and grace that He has shown to us; a greater desire to submit to His desires; and finally, put our thankfulness in action by serving Him in greater ways.

When we consider all that He has done for us, may the Lord put a new song of praise in each of our mouths and actions, as we share the wonders of His grace with others and be the source of truth to those who so desperately need Christ…

Psalms 40:1-3 KJV – “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”

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Psalms 31:23 – David’s Exhortation (Part 1)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Throughout the years, this Psalm, or portions of it, have been a great blessing to me in several difficult situations that I have faced in life. Although, the Psalm does not reveal to us the exact situation that David was facing, it is obvious he was facing a very difficult hardship that, from his perspective, appeared to be insurmountable.

Throughout our lives as Christians, most, if not all of us, have faced the same type of issues. This Psalm gives us many wonderful truths that will give us comfort, hope, and even joy in the midst of these hardships of life.

This is the basic outline we will be using… our devotional will be covering approximately one verse per day…

1. David’s Request (1-2)

2. David’s Recognition (3-4)

3. David’s Commitment (5-8)

4. David’s Sufferings (9-13) (Due to his sin 9-10; Due to other’s sin 11-13)

5. David’s Faith (14-16)

6. David’s Desire (17-18)

7. David’s Praise (19-22)

8. David’s Exhortation (23-24)

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Psalms 31:23 KJV – O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

 

Psalms 31:23 KJV – Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this final section of Psalm 31:, David shares with each of us a parting exhortation to love, obey and remain courageous in spiritual warfare for the cause of Christ.

 

O love the LORD, all ye his saints:

 

For those who have been taken out of the kingdom of Satan and placed into the kingdom of God, love the Lord for He has done so much for you! How can we not love someone who gave their life for us and in so doing, adopted us into His family?

Deuteronomy 30:16 KJV – “In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”

 

In the above verse, we find the marks of those who truly love the Lord as they should…

1. to walk in his ways – They follow the the Lord as they walk down life’s pathway.

2. and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, – They actively seek to submit themselves to the Lord’s mandates, His callings, and His decisions for our lives.

 

3. that thou mayest live and multiply: – They enjoy earthly blessings.

 

4. and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” – They receive the inheritance promised and prepared for them by God Himself.

These are a few of the characteristics that are displayed in the lives of God’s physically (Israelites), and more importantly spiritually (Believers), chosen people…

1 Peter 2:9 KJV – “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

 

[for] the LORD preserveth the faithful,

 

We are to love our Lord because He protects and maintains those who have placed their faith in Him.

Jude 1:1 KJV – “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”

 

 

and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

We are to love the Lord, not only because He cares for those who love Him, but He also deals justly with those who oppose Him.

Here, David tells us that the Lord works overflowing retribution in the lives of those who pridefully disobey Him. We are to love Him for this because we can know with certainty that the abuse we face at the hands of the lost is always avenged by God. His vengeance is always an act that works justice and brings glory and honor to Him.

Psalms 94:2 KJV – “Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, as His chosen people, may we love our Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and being. May we always remember His preserving hand that is always at work in our lives, and His hand of justice that gives back to the proud what they always deserve.

Mark 12:30 KJV – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

May the Lord bless us as we think on his amazing unconditional love that He has placed upon us and use His love to motivate us to greater service for Him.

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The Lord Blesses Us In Spite Of Our Fears…

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Psalms 31:22 KJV – For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4ls