Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 8

Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:12, 13)

A warning to the Israelites to keep their camp clean. And why would God be bothered about such things is a question that many may ask? Personal cleanliness and cleanliness of our homes seem relevant in context of these verses.
The above verses and the verse that follows speak of God being particular about the matter.

The reason that God adviced them the above is given in the verse that follows.
For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14)

Wow...God moved about in their camp to protect them and deliver them. Would he be not doing that in our lives too since we have trusted in him and accepted his Son as Saviour?
If he is, he would expect us to keep our camp clean too.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 7

For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. (Deuteronomy 20:4)

Remember this verse when you are in a spiritual battle with the enemy. God is with you to fight for you against the spiritual forces of darkness. He is a warrior and he will win the battle for you.
The above exhortation was what the priest was to tell the Israelites who were going to war against their enemies. Moses writes,
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.
He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them." (Deuteronomy 20:2, 3)
And then he would proclaim the promise that we read in the title verse.
The prophet Jeremiah was strengthened by the Lord when he faced a rebelling nation. God gave him this promise....
They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you....... (Jeremiah 1:19)

Yes, the Lord is with you to fight your battles too. Trust in him.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 6

Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. (Deuteronomy 24:17,18)

Time and again God reminded the Israelites that they were not to forget their perilous state in Egypt from which they were redeemed by him. They were to be gentle and kindhearted to the aliens and fatherless living among them.

Some believers become proud and haughty because of their spiritual status and show contempt towards those who are unsaved and to those who are not as spiritually mature as them.
They do not realize that the first step towards being a good Christian is being a good human being.

The Apostle Paul advises,
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

Our lessons in spiritual maturity will continue as long as we live and everyday there will be new things to be learnt regarding clothing ourselves with virtues that the Lord desires in our lives.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 5

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. (Deuteronomy 20:1)

God's deliverance for his own is so clearly portrayed in his Word. Time and again, in the most perilous situations, God has miraculously delivered them who stay true to him.
Look at the life of David. He was hunted by King Saul continually, but God did not allow Saul to harm him. Instead, he gave Saul into David's hands who showed him mercy.
Finally when God delivered David from all his enemies, including Saul, he sang to the Lord.
He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

The Apostle Paul writing to the Thessalonica Church said,
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Trust in Jesus for your protection and deliverance this day. He will not fail you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 4

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

Even these days, there are many who go about prophesying this and that, but rarely do the things that they proclaim really happen. Of course, they have explanations for the things not happening as they said, but God here very clearly warns his people that there are so called prophets who speak presumptuosly in the name of the Lord. One has to be careful when dealing with prophets and prophesy.

There are genuine prophets and servants of God who minister in the prophetic, but they are few. A piece of advice from the Apostle Paul to the Church in Thessalonica says,
Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21)
A word to exercise caution from Jesus too..
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." (Matthew 7:15-17)

So let us be careful, for these things can make or break our lives.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 3

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. (Deuteronomy 18:15)

Moses here prophesies about the Messiah, Jesus, whom God would raise up at God's appointed time and tells them that the people of God should listen to him. Though at that time, many of the Israelites would not have understood the significance of the prophecy, in the fullness of God's time, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and fulfilled God's purpose and plan. Because of his unflinching obedience to the Father, humbling and emptying himself, God the Father exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at his name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus himself said, My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27). Are we listening carefully, is the question that we have to ask ourselves. Not only listening, but also obeying and following him faithfully.
Jesus says, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." (John 12:26)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 2

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. (Deuteronomy 18:9)

There were certain things that God forbade the Israelites from doing once they reached the land that the Lord had promised them. They were not to follow the abominable practices of those nations. They were not to use divination, observe times, consult enchanters or witches or wizards or necromancers. He told them that all that do these things were an abomination to him. Their relationship with God was to be perfect.
Considering the great deliverance that God had given them from the cruel bondage of Pharoah, God's requirements were not harsh. It was for their own good.

God desires that each one of us as believers stay true to him and his Word. Perfecting our relationship with God is not an easy task. But we can learn each day from his Word, the Bible and from the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dr. Johnson's Devotionals April 2012

April 1

The priests, who are Levites - indeed the whole tribe of Levi - are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance. (Deuteronomy 18:1)

The Levites were chosen by God Almighty to minister in his name among all the tribes of Israel. God told them that they would have no inheritance as the other tribes. He was to be their inheritance. Food, of course would not be a problem for them as God instructed the other Israelite tribes to give them the best portions of the sacrifices; the offerings and the first fruits would also be theirs.

Do you consider it a privilege to serve God Almighty? Remember he has chosen you to be a part of his heavenly kingdom. You are special to him. Serve him faithfully.
....You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)