The City Of Refuge

Deuteronomy 19:7, “Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.”

In our Scripture today we see God giving direction concerning the cities of refuge.  If you killed someone by accident then you could run to a city of refuge and be safe.  When the high priest died then you would be allowed to leave.  I love this concept.  It pictures such beauty to me.  Let me explain.

The concept of the cities of refuge remind me of so much.  If we have never put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ then we are guilty before God.  Think about that.  We are guilty of sin and no matter what we do we cannot pay the price for this sin.  If we were to die outside of Christ we would spend eternity in a literal place called hell.  God has provided a city of refuge so to speak for us.  We can run to the Lord and be saved.  So, God is like these cities of refuge.  If you run to Him and trust Him as your Lord and Saviour you are brought into the city of refuge.  If you choose to live in your sin the devil will run you around like a bull with a ring in it’s nose.

When I think of a city of refuge I think about heaven.  When we get to heaven there will be no sin, sorrow or suffering.  We can run in and be safe as we will no longer be molested by the devil.  We will be at rest!  Glory to God!  The choice is our choice to make.  Who will you choose?  Will you choose to trust Jesus Christ and be saved or will you continue to trust in whatever or whomever and live your life like a bull with a ring in it’s nose being led here, there and everywhere?  The choice is your choice to make for yourself.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 19, 20, 21; Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118, 148; Proverbs 28

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus I come to you today running.  I ask You to wash me, cleanse me and forgive me so that I may have entrance into Your city of refuge.  I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Seek Ye My Face

Psalm 27:8, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.”

Today we will attend worship services in our respective Churches.  What is your goal in attending Church?  I know some Churches, so-called that you would not know they are Churches.  I saw one such Church on TV a while back and they had a fast food establishment inside the Church with an entrance and exit to the outside of the building.  This way people could come in and purchase food no matter if the Church open or not.  How sad.  Of course those that were interviewed from the Church thought it was such a revolutionary idea.  I am sure the devil was laughing all the way to the bank.

As our Scripture for today states, when we got to Church our goal should be to seek God’s face.  We need to become so close to God that we can “see” Him.  It is like the illustration I shared with my Sunday School class last week.  If I only carry a picture of my wife in my wallet and tell people that we are married; but, I never engage her, take her out to dinner, talk to her or anything else that says I love her then we do not have much of a relationship.  If I truly love her  I will “seek” her.

My relationship with God is the same way.  I can carry my Bible to Church, sing all of the songs and even put some change into the offering plate; but, I am not truly seeking God then it is all in vain.  We need to cultivate a relationship with God like a miner digging diamonds out of a mine.  We must work at it.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 16, 17, 18; Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus, I want to know you even more intimately than I do now.  Help me to cultivate a relationship with You that is fresh and alive.  Help others to see You living in me and let them have strong desire to have You as their Saviour.  I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Purity in the Family

Deuteronomy 13:6, “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;”

Deuteronomy 13:9-10, “But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.  And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

As of this writing I am sitting here and thinking about so many of my family members.  I have been blessed beyond measure with wonderful relatives.  Many in my family know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and that makes for such a wonderful family relationship.  Unfortunately, there are some in my family who have never put their faith and trust in Christ for salvation.

Families are funny groups of people.  Each one is so different.  Families are like people in that they have vast differences.  There is one thing about some families that are close.  They don’t allow any “funny stuff” to go on.  If someone in the family is living contrary to the family’s values then the family will police their own so to speak.  It should be this way in God’s family also.

God takes purity very seriously.  Notice in our Scriptures for today that the Israelites are warned that if a close relative tries to lure them away from following Him that they are to stone them.  He further tells them that the person being enticed needs to be the first one to execute judgment upon whomever it is.  It does not matter if it is a child, their sibling or who.  They are commanded to stone them to death.  This is a strong penalty.  God is holy and will not tolerate sin, period.

I know the hardest thing I ever did was tell someone very close to me that their lifestyle did not line up with God’s Word.  This particular person has not really spoken to me since.  I think there is a chance for reconciliation though.  I know I pray that it will come about soon.  It is not a pleasant thing to talk with someone you love and tell them they are doing wrong.  However, it must be done in order to keep our families pure and to be pleasing to God.  I don’t mean beat them up with a big, black, King James Bible either.  We must love them and show them what God says and the rest is up to them.

Maybe you are the one that is living contrary to God’s established plan.  I beg you to repent (change your mind, heart and attitude) and run back to God.  I know He will be there waiting for you.  Just ask the prodigal son.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 13, 14, 15; Psalm 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive me for sinning against You.  I ask You to wash me and cleanse me from all sin.  Make me a clean, pure, empty vessel that You can use for Your glory.  I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

The God of Second Chances

Deuteronomy 10:3-4, “And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.  And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.”

I have been doing some study on this very subject.  I was so excited when I was reading our Scripture passage for today.  Our God is a God of second chances.  “Veggie Tales” has their DVD on Jonah.  What a great kid’s movie.  Our son watches it incessantly from time to time.  I can still hear the song while Jonah is in the belly of the great fish, “Our God is a God of second chances…”.

As I was reading the Word of God today I was brought to tears as I thought about the times in my life that God was my God of second chances.  It is not like when we were kids and all we had to do was yell, “Do over!”  It would be so nice to just yell, “Do over!” some days.  Life is not meant to be that way.  If that was all it would take we would know nothing of the mercy of God.  You see mercy is the taxi cab that takes God’s punishment away from us.  Grace is the taxi cab that brings to us that which we do not deserve.

In our text today we see that God has granted the Israelites a second chance.  Notice the words, “according to the first writing”.  This tells us that these Words had been written before.  We know the story how Moses broke the tablets of stone.  Now God is showing His mercy in writing His words again, a second time on tablets of stone.  Thank God for second chances.

Thank God for His mercy that gives you and I a second chance.  I would be lost and in hell if it were not for God’s overwhelming mercy and His overwhelming grace.  Glory to His name.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 10, 11, 12; Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus Christ I thank You for Your great mercy!  I cannot express in mere human terms how grateful I am.  Help me to share your great mercy with those around me so they might put their faith and trust in You for eternal salvation.  Merciful God, I praise You and thank You in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Wrong Turn

Deuteronomy 7:4, “For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”

As a photographer, I see many scenes that I would like to photograph.  One particular scene for me is a blacktop road with a double yellow line running down it.  I don’t know why; but, that is very appealing to me.  Just consider the source is all I can say.

I remember one time as my wife and I were traveling in Kentucky.  Neither one of us are very good with a map.  This is a bad combination to be traveling with.  She knows it and will admit it also.  Somehow we made a wrong turn and continued down the wrong road for thirty (30) minutes.  When we realized what we had done we had to turn around and go back thirty (30) minutes.  We wasted an hour and who knows how many miles.  Ouch!  I made a wrong turn.

In our passage of Scripture today we see God giving orders to Moses for the Israelites to not intermarry with other nations.  God knew if they did that their hearts would be drawn away to the pagan gods that these heathens worshiped.  Does this sound familiar to you?  You and I today must practice the same kind of separation.  We must keep ourselves from taking wrong turns by staying faithful to God’s Word, prayer and Church attendance.  We can be drawn away by so many things that in and of themselves are okay.  The rub comes in when we put them before God.  This is a problem.

One thing is for sure.  If you find that you have made a wrong turn you can always turn around and go back.  You might not be able to redo the situation.  You can say, “I am sorry.”  If you know Christ as your Saviour then when you turn to Him in repentance you can again enjoy  all the blessings of God.  Look at Deuteronomy 7:8, “But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

So how do we keep from making wrong turns?  Look at Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”  See also Exodus 16:2-3,12,14,35; Psalm 104:29; Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4.  There is our road map.  It is the Word of God.  The closer we get to God the more likely we will be to not make those wrong turns in life.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 7, 8, 9; Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus, I ask you to forgive me for making wrong turns in my life.  Give me a deep desire to read the Bible and to spend time with You in prayer and give me a love for the Church.  Help me to walk the path you have called me to.  Help me to not make wrong turns in my life.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Commandments of the LORD

Deuteronomy 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 5:1, “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.”

There were a few times in my youth that I was sent to the store with cash money (long before credit cards were the thing).  I do remember thinking that after I had purchased the requested items that if there was a surplus of cash that I might indulge myself in some the finer pleasures of a young man.  Things like “Suzie Q”, “Twinkie”,  “Chocola” and the list might go on and on from me.  Now, there were usually consequences upon arrival at the domicile.  Usually I would only purchase one or maybe two items and this would not bring on the fervent anger of the superior who had sent me on the mission.

In our Scripture passages today we see that God had spoken directly to Moses and given him commandments as to how the Israelites were to live.  It is the same with you and I today.  God has spoken to us in the Word of God and it is up to us to live in harmony with the contents.  The problem is that we twist what God says so that we can more easily agree with it.  This is a huge problem. There are so many “versions” so-called that God’s Word is being watered down to the point that people don’t even know what is God’s Word.  This is tragic!  If we are not careful we will be in the exact place that we are warned about in Deuteronomy 6:12, “Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”  If we do not rely on God’s Word as it is, God’s Word then we will find ourselves in bondage to the devil.  So, what is your attitude toward God’s Word?  I hope it is one of love, adoration and reverential respect.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 4, 5, 6; Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for the Word of God.  I thank You that Your Word is perfect, inerrant and complete.  I thank You that inside the Scriptures I can find the answers to all that I need.  Give me a passion for Your Word that will not diminish at all.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.”

Who Are You Following?

Deuteronomy 1:36, “Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.”

At the writing of today’s offering I am dealing with a very large family dispute.  It is so sad. A brother and his girlfriend against his sister.  It was so violent that the police were called and the brother ended up in jail for battery.  It really breaks my heart.  There is nothing that I can do for them.  If they would put their faith and trust in Christ this garbage would probably stop.  When Jesus moves in things change.

It is my prayer that these family members will one day come to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  They are unfortunately, following their flesh, feelings or whatever it is that particular moment. If I am not careful I will follow the same pattern.  I work double time to keep myself on the right path.  I am thankful that I have God, His Word and the Holy Spirit to help keep me on the straight and narrow path.  I would be a mess also, there is no doubt.

It is my desire to be like Caleb when the Bible says, “he hath wholly followed the LORD.”  So, who do you follow today?  Would it be what the popular magazines all say?  Maybe you follow the latest horoscope?  I would warn you against that as it is just a small step toward the devil and his kingdom.  Maybe you just follow whatever the popular trend is today.  I would strongly urge you to “Wholly follow the LORD.”

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 1, 2, 3; Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, 142; Proverbs 22

Today’s prayer:  “Dear Lord Jesus, I ask you today to guide me in the way that I should go.  Use the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide me as I walk the path of life that is mine.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Broken Bones

Psalm 51:8, “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

Recently I have come to realize that Psalm 23 is one of my most favorite passages of Scripture.  The more time I put into studying it the more I grow to love it.  The reason that I bring this up today is because I was reminded of it as I was reading our passage of Scripture.

A loving shepherd keeps a close eye on the flock and he knows where they all are.  If one is missing he goes in search of it.  If a sheep becomes a wanderer then the shepherd must do something to curb this bent to wander.  This sheep might wander to get grass that it believes is greener and many other reasons.  If this sheep continues to follow it’s wandering ways the loving shepherd will break one of it’s skinny little legs.

This hurts the shepherd as well as the sheep.  If you are a parent then you know what I am saying.  This sheep must be stopped from wandering away.  it ould get lost or even be killed or die of some other cause.

God is a perfect example of a shepherd because He is the Great Shepherd.  He loves us and cares for us like a shepherd.  Sometimes He even has to inflict pain in our lives in order to chasten us and bring us back to the fold.  He does this not out of hate or anger; but, out of a heart of deep love and care for the sheep.

We all go astray from time to time.  We must quit our wandering and run back to the Chief Shepherd.  Where are you at today?  Are you staying with the flock of God or are you on the run for greener pastures?  I hope you are sticking with the Great Shepherd.

So, friend how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Numbers 34, 35, 36; Psalm 21, 51, 81, 111, 141; Proverbs 21

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus, thank You for being the Great Shepherd of the sheep.  Thank You for loving me and caring for me.  Help me to be an obedient sheep that will bring you honor and glory from my life.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

On The Other Side Of Jordan

Numbers 32:5-7, “Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.  And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?  And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?”

Most of the time when Christians refer to “passing over Jordan” we are referring to someone who had died and gone to heaven.  It represents going over into the promised land.  Kind of like Squire Parsons’ song “Beulah Land” as it speaks in the second verse, “I’m looking now across the river where my faith will end in sight…”.  Those from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh wanted to set up shop before they even got to the river Jordan.  It would appear that they stopped short of the goal that God had for them.  This is sad; but, how many times have you and I done the same thing.  Oh, it might not have been in such grand fashion; but, we have done it.

Far too many people today are like the seed in the parable of the soils that falls on stony ground and springs up quickly; but, it quickly dies because it has no soil to get nutrition from.  It will wither and die.  When we stop short it is nearly the same thing.  God has a plan for our lives and if we don’t carry it out there will be far reaching consequences.  Look at Numbers 32:10-12, “And the LORD’S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:  Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.”  These that he speaks about were allowed to die on the other side of Jordan and not cross over into the promised land.

Today, as you go about serving God let me urge you, do not stop short.  Don’t settle on the other side of Jordan.  Keep going and keep doing for the glory of God.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Numbers 31, 32, 33; Psalm 20, 50, 80, 110, 140; Proverbs 20

Today’s prayer:  “Lord Jesus, I need Your help today.  I am tired and I want to quit.  Strengthen me to cross over Jordan into the promised land that You have provided.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”


Numbers 28:8, “And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

This passage of Scripture really spoke to me today.  As I was reading it I thought about communication.  Huh?  Yep, communication.  First of all God communicated to Moses what each offering would consist of and how it was to be offered.  Ask Nadab and Abihu about deviating from God’s instructions.  They offered “strange fire” before the Lord and died because of it.  God gave specific instructions as to how these offerings were to be carried out.

Next we see Moses communicated these instructions to Aaron and his sons.  This information was vital and had to be communicated exactly as given and received.  If Moses had made even one little mistake the Levites would have been misled and this could have resulted in their death.  It was vital communication.

Thirdly we see man communicating with God.  Moses spent time with God in the tabernacle and on the mountain.  What an awesome privilege!  Now, wait just a minute.  Think about this.  You and I have that same privilege.  Actually we have an even greater privilege.  Because of the finished work of Christ on the cross we now have direct access to God.  We can confidently approach our Heavenly Father now.  What a privilege!

The sad reality is that we often neglect such a wonderful privilege.  Today, did you go to the throne room of God on behalf of some sick friend or family member?  Did you go into the throne room and thank God for saving you from hell?  Friend, if you did not then you have missed a great opportunity to meet with the God of the universe.  The Creator of all things.  I hope you will go meet with Him today.  He longs to meet with you.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Numbers 28, 29, 30; Psalm 19, 49, 79, 109, 139; Proverbs 19

Today’s prayer:  “Father God, today as I enter Your throne room confidently; but, not arrogantly I thank you for the privilege.  I pray for the healing of the sick.  I pray for the strengthening of Your Churches and Your saints.  Give us Your abundant mercy and grace I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”