Todays Bible Reading

Numbers 9-11
9 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

2 Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.

3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

4 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover.

5 And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

6 And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:

7 And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the Lord in his appointed season among the children of Israel?

8 And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.

9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the Lord.

11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

14 And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the Lord; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

15 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.

16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.

17 And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.

18 At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.

19 And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and journeyed not.

20 And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the Lord they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the Lord they journeyed.

21 And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.

22 Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.

23 At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

10 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

3 And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

5 When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

6 When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God.

11 And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.

12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

13 And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

14 In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

15 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.

16 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

17 And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.

18 And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.

19 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

20 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

21 And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.

22 And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.

23 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

24 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.

25 And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

26 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.

27 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.

28 Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.

29 And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.

30 And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

31 And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

32 And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.

33 And they departed from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

34 And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.

35 And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.

36 And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.

11 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.

3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.

4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

21 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.

22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?

23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.

28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’S people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.

34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain

Mark 5:1-20
5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain

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Girlfriends in GOD

How Much of Your Marriage Do You Want God to Change?
Sharon Jaynes

(My devotions will focus on marriage for the month of February. If you’re not married, I encourage you to read them anyway! This particular one applies to all areas of your life. Also, consider giving a special blessing by passing these devotions along to a married friend! Here we go…)

Today’s Truth
Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim, (John 2:7, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Shortly after Jesus was baptized, he attended a wedding reception in the town of Cana, in Galilee. Apparently Jesus felt very comfortable at such a party, and I imagine Him laughing, mingling, and having a good time with His friends. After a few days, Jesus’ mother, Mary, noticed the host was running low on wine. To run out of wine at a seven day Jewish wedding celebration was an embarrassment and disgrace to the hosting family. Mary turned to her Son and said, “They have no more wine,” as if she expected Him to do something about it (John 2:3 NIV). I can almost see her raised eyebrow and the mischievous twinkle in her eye.

Jesus said, “Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.”

Mary turned to the servants and said, “Do what ever He tells you.” Mary seemed to understand Jesus’ power before anyone else.

Jesus told the servants to fill six large thirty gallon stone pots with water. So they filled them “to the brim.” Then He told them to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.

When they did so, the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He then called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

I often wonder what would have happened if the servants had filled the stone water jars half full or three fourths full. I imagine Jesus would have transformed exactly what they put in. Likewise, God will transform just as much of our lives as we give Him. As for me, I want to “fill it to the brim,” give Him all of my life – every bit of it.

It is the same with my marriage. I want to give Jesus all of my marriage…to the brim. So in our winter years, my husband and I will agree…we have saved the best till now.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I pray that I will be like the servants who did exactly what you told them to do. My desire is to obey you fully…to the brim. Help me not to hold back anything, but give You all of me so that You can transform all of me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
How much of your life do you want Jesus to transform? How much of your life have you given Him?

How much of your marriage do you want Jesus to transform? How much of your marriage have you given Him?

How much of your attitude do you want Jesus to transform? How much of your attitude have you given Him?

How much of your __________ do you want Jesus to transform? (You fill in the blank.) How much have you given Him?

Click over to my blog page and tell me what you put in the blank.

More from the Girlfriends
14-Day Romancing Your Husband Challenge: How would you like to join your girlfriends in a 14-day Romancing Your Husband Challenge? Click over to http://www.sharonjaynes.com, click on the challenge sign-up button on the right column of the home page, and your 14-day challenge emails will begin. Come on girlfriend, February is the love month – it’s time to spice up your marriage.

Today’s devotion was taken from Becoming the Woman of His Dreams: Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. If there is one area of our lives that we need to give totally to Christ, it is our marriage. Perhaps that’s why Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding. If you’d like to learn more, click over to the book and take a look inside.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

info@girlfriendsingod.com
http://www.girlfriendsingod.com

Encouragement for Today

February 25, 2013

Fueled or Filled?
Glynnis Whitwer

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:9-10 (NIV)

As a mother of three little boys my life was full … full with tiny people loving me, following me, needing me. I was never alone … and yet on so many days I felt empty.

My schedule was full of responsibilities as I tried to manage a part-time job, church leadership, and clutter and laundry at home that seemed insurmountable. Yet in spite of an overflowing to-do list, I felt empty.

There was a hunger for significance that days filled with people and activity could never meet. Rather than turning to the One who could speak meaning and purpose into my heart, I desperately tried to reclaim the life I had before children … the me I was before children … but it was always outside my grasp.

I know others feel this way too. Our lives can be filled with people, projects, jobs, and fancy planners or apps to manage them all, and we can still be empty on the inside. Our hearts cry in quiet despair … is there more to life than this?

But this was NEVER God’s plan. God created us to be filled by Him. Without Him we can feel full but still be empty. Here’s an example of what I mean.

I drive a Suburban. It’s a workhorse of a vehicle, bought when we needed to carry three growing and athletic boys with all their equipment. Although it’s over 10 years old, it still works great when it’s got fuel.

But what would happen if one day I decided to fill my car up from the garden hose? It’s right by my driveway. I could just unwind the hose, open my gas tank and turn her on. Can you imagine how much money I would save? And I would save so much time!

If I filled my car with water, and just left it in the driveway, you’d think I was ready to go. Now what would happen if I tried to take a road trip?

Sometimes, we try to do as women, don’t we? We look really good on the outside. And we may even feel full. But what we are filled with will not sustain us. In fact, if we go very far, we will break down.

Here’s the problem we need to be aware of. We have an enemy who tries to convince us we are full. John 10:9-10 says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

This enemy has been convincing us for thousands of years that God can’t fully meet our heart cries. Rather than turning to God to access His unlimited storehouse of wisdom, direction, comfort, and provision, we turn to idols. We seek to fill our God-hunger with what’s tangible. Sight replaces faith and it’s easy to forget our personal God.

Although I loved and served God during those hard years, I forgot He was personal enough to fuel my empty heart with meaning and purpose. When a move across country stripped my life from all responsibilities outside my home, I was desperate enough to cry out to God rather than fill my days again with more to do.

When He finally had my attention, God stepped in to the gap to reveal Himself in a personal way. My heart was finally being fueled, and in a way that satisfied rather than left me hungry.

I’ve lived life both ways – filled but empty, and fueled and content. Interestingly my life is still full with people who need me, clutter and laundry that still need to be managed and work and church responsibilities. But the emptiness is gone. God is the source of true fullness that never leaves me wanting.

Related Resources:
Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog for more on the move that changed her life.

I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer is a unique combination of biblical encouragement and practical advice to help avoid the busyness that fills but not fuels.

If the clutter and laundry and everything else is overwhelming and pulling you away from God, Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst will encourage and spur you on.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can’t compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Reflect and Respond:
In what specific ways are you fueling from the “garden hose” and not from the God? Ask Him to forgive you for turning to other things to satisfy you.

Pause in this moment to connect with God. Pray for Him to fill you with His wisdom, direction, comfort, and provision.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 58:11, “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (NIV)

Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)

© 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
http://www.Proverbs31.org

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Personal Development: Values
READ PSALM 15:1-5

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. They are motivational-they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive-they place boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.

King David demonstrated value-driven behavior in Psalm 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart” (vv. 1-2). Because this person values truth in his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he “does his neighbor no wrong” (v. 3). Because he values honesty, he “keeps his oath even when it hurts” (v. 4). Because he values justice, he “does not accept a bribe against the innocent” (v. 5).

Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said they “will never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with full confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.

As you reflect on this psalm, consider what values drove the psalmist’s behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal, as you begin this two-week study on values, to more completely integrate godly values into your professional and personal life.

Values and Who God Is

God is accountable to no one, and there is no higher principle to which he must conform. He himself is the absolute of truth, beauty, goodness, love and justice. His perfect character is the essence of what the Bible calls “righteousness.” In a universe without God, what we call “good” would have no ultimate referent. Turn to Habakkuk 1:13 for a view of this prophet’s struggle with God’s goodness.

Values and Who I Am

If we look to the world for our moral values, we will be confused by self-interest, social conditioning and situational ethics. The values of our culture are shallow and subjective, but the moral standards of Scripture reflect God’s absolute and unchanging character. Turn to Exodus 20:1-17 for the clearest summary of God’s values for his people.

Values and How They Work

Values are interesting to discuss in the abstract, but sometimes “values” get in the way of valuable decisions. Maintaining one’s values can cost a leader dearly. So how do we decide what matters most when we’re weighing the bottom-line costs against our bottom-line convictions? Jesus teaches us how in Matthew 6:19-21. Read it carefully-it is extremely valuable advice.

Values and What I Do

The Apostle Paul possessed tremendous resolve because he was able to link his desires with his values. Hackman and Johnson, in their book Leadership, provide us with guidance that will help us identify our values and then translate them into a compelling vision.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize LUKE 12:32-34

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

verse for today

King James Version

 

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Matthew 22

Verse of Today

 

Jeremiah 29:11-13


King James Version

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Jeremiah 29

 

Discovering GOD’s design

Our Portion

Lamentations 3:1–24

The economic imagery in this passage demonstrates the critical connection that exists between faith and finances (cf. Mt 6:21). After reflecting on his own poverty in Lamentations 3:17, the poet turns his attention to God, his “portion” (La 3:24). The term portion in ancient Israel carried an economic significance easily lost on modern readers. The word has its origin in the distribution of the promised land among the 12 tribes as their inheritance from God. For an ancient Israelite, the totality of life, economic status and social security were tied to the land God had given him.

The priests received no inheritance of land. Instead, God said to Aaron, “I am your share [portion] and your inheritance” (Nu 18:20). This is the same share the writer of Lamentations claims for himself, depending absolutely on God for his safety and security. He does not overlook the fact that human beings find security in possessions. God, after all, gave us the desire to possess, and the writer is not ashamed to appeal to that desire. But instead of merely refusing to trust in resources and possessions as his refuge, the poet relocates his resources by clinging to God as his chosen portion.

How do we claim God as our portion and eternal security? According to Jesus, we can relocate our wealth by sharing with the needy. This is how we store up for ourselves lasting treasures in heaven (see Mt 6:19–21; Lk 12:32–34; 1Ti 6:17–19).

“Can you say with John Wesley, ‘I value all things only by the price they will bring in eternity?’” challenges National Christian Foundation cofounder Terry A. Parker. “Do you get excited about investing the time, talent, and resources God has given you this day, so on that day you will hear Him say, ‘Well done good and faithful servant?’”

In the words of John Nunes, a pastor, theologian and the president of a denominational relief agency, “As God’s redeemed people, we have the calling—and opportunity—to be openhanded and tenderhearted toward those in need, not hard-hearted and tightfisted …” Nunes continues, “David Belasic suggests that God is favorably biased toward the poor, toward those who are suffering, toward those who have been shattered by the vicissitudes of life. God cares. His people care too.”

“Many Christians are going to be ashamed to face the Lord and explain why they hoarded money while others went hungry,” predicts Christian financial stewardship leader Larry Burkett (1939–2003). “Once commitment has been made to a disciplined lifestyle, regardless of the available income, the danger of greed and its by-products is significantly reduced.”

Think About It

What changes in your life when you make God your portion (your security and inheritance)? How will you feel when you face God and think back about the times you had opportunity to give to others and didn’t? What can you do to share with others today?

Act on It

When you get to heaven, you’ll be accountable for your financial decisions. Do something today that will alleviate the pain of another person. And then know that heaven is rejoicing with you.

scripture reading

Numbers 3-4
3 These also are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the Lord spake with Moses in mount Sinai.

2 And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office.

4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father.

5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

6 Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.

7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.

8 And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.

9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.

10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;

13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.

14 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,

15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

16 And Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded.

17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.

18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei.

19 And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

20 And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.

21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites.

22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred.

23 The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward.

24 And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.

25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,

26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

27 And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.

28 In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary.

29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward.

30 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.

31 And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof.

32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.

33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari.

34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred.

35 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: these shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward.

36 And under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto,

37 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords.

38 But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

39 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.

40 And the Lord said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.

41 And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the Lord) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

42 And Moses numbered, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel.

43 And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.

44 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord.

46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites;

47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs:)

48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is to be redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons.

49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:

50 Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:

51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

4 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,

3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

4 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:

5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it:

6 And shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.

7 And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:

8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.

9 And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:

10 And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put it upon a bar.

11 And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put to the staves thereof:

12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put them on a bar:

13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon:

14 And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins, and put to the staves of it.

15 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.

16 And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron saying,

18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:

19 But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:

20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.

21 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

22 Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;

23 From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:

25 And they shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tabernacle of the congregation, his covering, and the covering of the badgers’ skins that is above upon it, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,

26 And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.

27 At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.

28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation: and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

29 As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;

30 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.

31 And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,

32 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.

33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

34 And Moses and Aaron and the chief of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites after their families, and after the house of their fathers,

35 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:

36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.

37 These were they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, which Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, throughout their families, and by the house of their fathers,

39 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,

40 Even those that were numbered of them, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.

41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord.

42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers,

43 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,

44 Even those that were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred.

45 These be those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

46 All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers,

47 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation.

48 Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore,

49 According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain

Mark 3:20-35
20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

King James Version (KJV)

morning and evening

Morning

“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”
Genesis 49:24

That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true–divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph–“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him. He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon the child’s hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it is ascribed to “the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob. Christians love to think of God’s covenant. All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. If there were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob’s God.

Evening

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.”
Nahum 1:3

Jehovah “is slow to anger.” When mercy cometh into the world she driveth winged steeds; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red hot with speed; but when wrath goeth forth, it toileth on with tardy footsteps, for God taketh no pleasure in the sinner’s death. God’s rod of mercy is ever in his hands outstretched; his sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men. “The Lord is slow to anger,” because he is great in power. He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When God’s power doth restrain himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted long, and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at a little: the strong mind bears it like a rock which moveth not, though a thousand breakers dash upon it, and cast their pitiful malice in spray upon its summit. God marketh his enemies, and yet he bestirs not himself, but holdeth in his anger. If he were less divine than he is, he would long ere this have sent forth the whole of his thunders, and emptied the magazines of heaven; he would long ere this have blasted the earth with the wondrous fires of its lower regions, and man would have been utterly destroyed; but the greatness of his power brings us mercy. Dear reader, what is your state this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus, and say, “My substitute, thou art my rock, my trust”? Then, beloved, be not afraid of God’s power; for by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you, than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that he who is “great in power” is your Father and Friend.

Wait Training

February 22, 2013

Wait Training 101
Karen Ehman

“… but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Ever feel like God signed you up for an intense “wait training” class?

You pray. You ask. You anticipate God’s answer, but like an Internet page taking a long time to load, you must wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

I had to wait years before I became pregnant. During that time I attended baby showers while choking back tears.

I had to wait nearly three years for our too-expensive-for-our-new-financial-situation home to sell. During that time, I pinched pennies and lost sleep.

And I’m still waiting on many prayer requests: for a spiritually lost loved one, a family friend in ICU, a plan for my high school son’s future. Waiting, waiting, waiting …

But just as physical weight training builds strength, so does spiritual “wait training.” We are promised this in Isaiah 40:31:

“… but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

How can waiting renew our strength? After all, doesn’t waiting seem to sap our strength as we worry and fret and drum our fingers impatiently? It’s exhausting playing the “What if?” game in our minds:

What if this doesn’t work out?
What if God’s answer is “No”?
What if the thing I fear the most actually happens … what then?

All of this worry-laden waiting drains rather than strengthens. How can we turn this around and actually find ourselves renewed?

I have found that to shift my perspective in the waiting times replenishes my strength. I try not to think of those times of seemingly silence from God as waiting in the sense of sitting and anxiously anticipating a response. But as in waiting like a butler, maid or restaurant server.

Those who “wait on the Lord”—as in serve Him, cater to Him, help Him accomplish His work; those who take His order and bring Him what He wants—they are the ones who renew their strength.

They mount up with wings as eagles.

They walk and do not faint.

As we serve, we become more aware of what the One we are waiting on desires. We become alert, attentive, and in tune with His wishes. We begin to take our eyes off of our problems and fix them on the Lord instead. As we do, we get a glimpse into His heart.

Then, instead of the wait sapping our spiritual strength, it is renewed as we seek to do the Lord’s will … to make Him famous … to give Him glory. Even in those long, hard times of waiting for an answer, we continue to serve Him.

Will you sign up with me for Wait Training 101?

You’ll grow stronger spiritual muscles if you do. But we must commit to this perspective: we won’t just “wait on the Lord,” we’ll wait on Him. Trust me, the tips He leaves are out of this world!

Dear Lord, teach me to shift my perspective during those times of waiting and doubt. May I stop fretting and worrying, and busy myself serving You instead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If you want to learn to stop trying to make things happen and trust God instead, check out Karen Ehman’s new book and DVD curriculum LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.

For more on this topic, including a Wait Training 101 giveaway, visit Karen’s blog.

Would you like to study LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith with a great group of friends? Click here to sign up.

Would you like to bring a life-changing message to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Karen as your next event or keynote speaker.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can’t compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Reflect and Respond:
Name a time in your life when you had to wait on God for an answer. Rate yourself from 1 to 10 on how you did in the waiting (10 is patiently worshipping and 1 is freaking out).

Now, think of something you are currently waiting on God for an answer. Write down two or three new actions you will take to “wait” on the Lord.

Memorize either today’s key verse, Isaiah 40:31, or one of the power verses below. During the times you are tempted to fuss and fret, quote the verses to yourself.

Power Verses:
Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” (ESV)

Psalm 100:1-3, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (ESV)

© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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