Daily Reading: October 7th

#DailyDevotion Obtain The Righteousness That Stands Before God

Oct. 7th
Read Deut 6:10–25
Deu 6:20-25 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ (21) then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. (22) And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. (23) And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. (24) And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. (25) And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’

The Lord, Jesus, had brought the Israelites from Egypt and was about to usher them into the land he had promised the fathers of the Israelites. As he sends them into the promised land he gave them the commandments, the statutes and prescriptions as to how they should live in the land the Lord God was giving to them. It would be a land already cultivated and built upon. It wouldn’t be like when people came to the New World and had to start off from scratch. As they were living in the way of the Lord, their sons would ask them, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ and they would recount all the Lord had done for them.

These commandments, rules and regulations were there that they might fear the Lord (hate evil Pr. 8:13), which is for their good always. Jesus did not mean this Law for their harm but their good, always. If they lived in the Law, then He would preserve them in the land. Now verse 25 is the kicker though. Living the Law of Moses would be their righteousness. But we know, no one could live out that law as the Lord intended. So it brought them only death and destruction.

But even under the righteousness of the Law of Moses there was this concerning Abraham, “Gen 15:6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” David knew this and said, Psa 35:24 “Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me!” Jeremiah also said, “Jer 23:6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’” So even in the Old Testament we see there are two kinds of righteousness; a righteousness of obeying the Law of Moses and a righteousness which is not our own, but the Lord’s which is credited to us by faith.

St. Paul sees this when he says, “Rom 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— (22) the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe….” Again he writes, “Rom 3:26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” St. Paul particularly remembers Abraham when he writes, “Rom 4:5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,…” When St. Paul considered the righteousness which was his under the Law of Moses he wrote, “Php 3:8-11 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…(9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, …”

Lord Jesus, grant unto us the righteousness which is by faith in you that we may live out your righteousness in our lives. Amen.

Daily Readings: October 6th

#DailyDevotion Hear O Israel, The Lord Our God, The Lord Is One

October 6

Deut 5:22—6:9

Deu 6:4-7  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  (5)  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  (6)  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  (7)  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.


The Israelites were at once amazed they and Moses had heard the voice of God and lived and on the other hand didn’t think they could hear the voice of the Lord again and live. So they petitioned Moses to go and listen to God and bring back whatever the Lord wanted to tell them. The Lord thought this was a good idea. So the Israelites only heard from God’s mouth the Ten Commandments. The rest of the statutes, precepts and regulations the Lord instructed to Moses and Moses relayed them back to the people.


Now in chapter six we have the great Shema. Shema is the Hebrew word for listen or hear. That’s the first word of the verse, “Hear, O Israel!” Israel was to listen to the word of God, believe it and do it. But what was Israel to hear? The Lord our God, the Lord is one. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the Lord and he was the only living God. There were no other gods they were to worship because there were and are no other gods. All other things that claim to be gods are of man’s imagination and under demonic influences. To worship other gods as God is to deflate the almighty power of the Lord and to spit on his mercy.


The Lord is the sum and source of everything. Yet this Lord is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father is Lord. The Holy Spirit is Lord. Great is the mystery of faith that each person is Lord, the one Lord and yet distinct persons in the Godhead. For the Holy Scriptures declare, Joh 17:11 “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Again St. Paul teaches us, 1Co 8:6 “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” And again St. Paul teaches us, Eph 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— (5)  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  (6)  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” So the Spirit, the Father and the Son are one Lord yet distinct.


On top of this great mystery is our calling to be one in Christ and in Christ enter the on life of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for Jesus prays, Joh 17:21 “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” So all Christians are one in Spirit with our Lord Jesus Christ and in Christ we are one in God. Now as the Lord instructed Moses in the wilderness, he taught the apostles all that we were do believe, keep and do. These he has given us through their hands in the New Testament. We, like the Israelites before us not to have any other gods. There is nothing and no one else that is to get us through the night but our Fathers, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Put your trust in them and then live according to the Word.


Heavenly Father, you have revealed your oneness to the World in the revelation of your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Keep us ever faithful to the one true living God through faith in Jesus and the power of your Holy Spirit that we may be one in Christ and one in you for all eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: October 5th

#DailyDevotion The Ten Commandments Begin With Gospel

October 5th

Read Deut 5:1–21

Deu 5:6-10  “‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  (7)  “‘You shall have no other gods before me.  (8)  “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  (9)  You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  (10)  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.


You may have never realized this but the Ten Commandments start out with Gospel.  What Gospel? You may ask. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”  Really, being taken out of the land of misery, the house of slavery and bondage is pretty big Gospel.  It is only after the Gospel has been proclaimed to Israel that Jesus tells them how he wants the Israelites to live before him and with one another.


In the New Testament Jesus sums up these Ten Commandments with two: Mat 22:37-40  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  (38)  This is the great and first commandment.  (39)  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (40)  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  Note in the New Testament Gal 5:1  For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  We have been freed from sin, the fear of death and the power of the devil.  John then tells us: 1Jn 3:23  And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.


Lord Jesus Christ, by your death and resurrection you have freed us from sin, death and the devil.   Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may believe this, trust in you and love our neighbor.  Amen.

Daily Readings: October 4th

#DailyDevotion Does Any Other god Act like the God Of The Scriptures?

October 4th

Read Deut 4:21–40

Deu 4:23-32  Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the LORD your God has forbidden you.  (24)  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God…  (26)  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed.  (27)  And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you… (35)  To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.


God does some strange things sometimes from our point of view.  He creates man knowing he will sin against Him.  The Lord calls Israel out of the nations to serve Him knowing they will rebel against Him.  He even becomes one of us knowing that some will never hear of His salvation, some who hear will not believe, other will believe and rebel, some who rebel may turn back and other will remain hardened and some will remain faithful forever.


The Lord’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.


We see several other characteristics of the Lord.  He is a jealous god and a consuming fire.  The Lord lets all sorts of sins pass  by before him.  He is patient and kind and forgiving.  But he doesn’t put up with worshipping or trusting other gods.  He wants our hearts and souls devoted to him.  When we turn against him, he gives us over to the control of the gods we worship, inanimate objects and created things, whatever we have set our heart to trust for all good things.


But even as the Israelites had done this he calls them back to himself with repentance.  Jesus is calling us back to himself with repentance as well.  He had demonstrated he was Lord to the Israelites with many great signs and wonders.  No other god had done this with any other people.  Now he has come in the flesh to sacrifice himself not only for the Jews for the sin of the world.  Nothing else claiming to be god or which others claim to be god has ever done anything like this.  So we put our trust in Jesus.


Lord Jesus Christ, you called out the Israelites from the world with many signs and wonders.  You have come, sacrificed yourself for the world and have risen from the dead immortal.  Grant us such faith in you that we trust nothing in creation but only you for every good. Amen.

Daily Reading: October 2nd

#DailyDevotion We Have A Promise. God Will Fight Our Enemies For Us.

October 2nd
Read Deut 3:1–29
Deu 3:18-22 “And I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All your men of valor shall cross over armed before your brothers, the people of Israel. (19) Only your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in the cities that I have given you, (20) until the LORD gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also occupy the land that the LORD your God gives them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.’ (21) And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. So will the LORD do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. (22) You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.’

The Lord is giving directions to the Israelites on how they are to enter the promised-land. He assigns land to various tribes and the like. Some of the tribes have already settled on the West-Bank but they have pledged themselves to continue to fight with their brother Israelites till they take all the land.

The Israelites get their courage to fight against those who possess the land because Lord God has given his promise: The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. It is an old promise. The Lord made this promise some 450 years earlier to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now they are on the verge of receiving that which He had promised. He has built them up by having them defeat previous kings and armies along the way. Now the Lord promises as you have seen Me do to the previous kings, so the Lord will do to all the kingdoms into which they are crossing.

They have another promise as they cross the Jordan, “You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.” And so the Lord does fight for the Israelites and He fights for them through their hands and their weapons. Occasionally He may send a plague or angels to do His bidding, but the Lord normally uses the Israelites’ hands to accomplish His good will.

So too today, we need not fear our enemies. Eph 6:12 … we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. These are our enemies. They are trying to prevent us from entering into the promised-land which is above. But we don’t fight them with our own weapons but with the Word of God. We hear the Word of God. We study the Word of God. We pray the Word of God. We see to it the Word of God is proclaimed. Yes we are doing all these things to fight the enemies. But we must remember one thing, one thing we must not forget, it is the Lord who fights for us. In Ephesians it is God’s Armor which protects us and it is God’s Sword, which is the Word of God which attacks and defeats the enemy. Indeed, on the cross, Jesus has won for us the victory already. We’re in mop up operations like soldiers in foreign countries which have been defeated. They may be defeated but they haven’t given up. We too must remain vigilant, be in the Word and let it fight for us.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the little Word which defeats all our foes. Grant us faith in your victory that as you have enjoined us in the battle with you, we may not lose heart but hold to your promises. Amen.

Daily Readings: October 1st

#DailyDevotion God is Love. God Is Also A Consuming Fire.

October 1st
Read Deut 3:1–29
Deu 3:1-7 “Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. (2) But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ (3) So the LORD our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left. (4) And we took all his cities at that time—there was not a city that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. (5) All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. (6) And we devoted them to destruction, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children. (7) But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as our plunder.

It is reading like this from the Old Testament which oftentimes confuse them and make them turn away from the Holy Scriptures. “I thought God was a God of Love,” they say, “How can He be behind the killing of whole cultures, societies and peoples? Men, women and children it says He commanded the Israelites to slaughter.” Well, yes, it is true, God is love but is not only love. Our God is a God of wrath as well. The Lord had for 450 years after the witness of Abraham to them not laid a hand on them. They sinned and they sinned all the more. They sinned till their sins reached up to heaven itself. So the Lord sent the Israelites to destroy them and wipe them off the face of the map. It is a warning to us and the rest of the world.

You see, for the past 6000 years or so, the Lord has been proclaiming judgment and repentance, law and gospel. Every so often He wipes out a world, a civilization or two as a warning to the rest of us so that we would repent of our ways and trust in Him. Indeed, fairly specifically and systematically, He has messengers into the world for the past 2000 years calling us to repent of our sins and promising forgiveness to all who would trust that their sins are forgiven on account of the sacrificial death of His Son. Yes, this God of wrath so loves us and does not want to pour out His wrath on us that He pour His righteous wrath upon His own self, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus has indeed suffered the full brunt and wrath which we all deserve, man, women and yes even child.

He did this because He is a God of Love. We know His Love for us only in Christ Jesus. But you see there is this. We have a last day on earth. When we breath our last we are set for judgment. Did we trust in the promise of the Lord, i.e. the free forgiveness purchased and won for us on the cross of Christ or did we decide that we were just fine without Jesus. Then there is the very last day when we are brought to judgment. If you trusted in Christ, you are pleasing to God and nothing you ever did wrong will be brought up. Christ is your righteousness. If you trusted in your own works or other gods, philosophies, or nothing well you will be judged according to your works. I got some bad news. Your works won’t be good enough. In fact everything you did apart from faith in Christ is sin and not pleasing to God. So like the people who were wiped out by the Israelites with utter destruction, you too shall be cast into the Lake of fire, far away from the Love of God, because that is what you wanted. You didn’t want to be with God in Christ Jesus. But also like the Israelites, if you faith and trust is in Jesus, you will enter the new heavens and new earth even as the Israelites entered into the promised-land. There is nothing stopping you from entering it. The Father wants all men to be saved and enter this promised rest. The price of admission has already been paid by Jesus.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us faith to trust you are the Love of God toward us that we may escape the judgment of the world who refuses to trust in you. Amen.

ailyDevotion God Is Love. He Is Also A Consuming Fire


Daily Reading: September 30th

#DailyDevotion Do You Live Your Life As If God Keeps His Promises In Christ Jesus?

September 30th

Read Deut 1:37—2:15

Deu 1:37-43  Even with me the LORD was angry on your account and said, ‘You also shall not go in there.  (38)  Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.  (39)  And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.  (40)  But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.’  (41)  “Then you answered me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD. We ourselves will go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every one of you fastened on his weapons of war and thought it easy to go up into the hill country.  (42)  And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, Do not go up or fight, for I am not in your midst, lest you be defeated before your enemies.’  (43)  So I spoke to you, and you would not listen; but you rebelled against the command of the LORD and presumptuously went up into the hill country.


As the Israelites are about to enter into the promised land Moses is going back over their history so hopefully they may learn from it and not repeat the mistakes of the past.  But he also does this so they may remember how the Lord had fulfilled the promises He made in the past so they may the promises He made for their future.  In today’s reading we see where the Israelites in quick fashion don’t listen to the Lord.


First, they didn’t trust the Lord when He told them to go and take possession of the land the first time.  They were afraid of the people dwelling in it, all but Joshua.  Because of this the Lord said they would not enter the promised land.  The Israelites do something that looks like repentance.  They arm up to go and fight and take over the land.  However the Lord was resolute in His decision.  He told Moses to tell them not to go.  His mind was made up.  He wouldn’t go and fight for them.  And again, the Israelites didn’t listen to the Lord and had a stunning defeat.


We should take note and learn from this.  When the Lord Jesus has promised us something we should be timid and act as if He didn’t promise what He said or if He wouldn’t fulfill His promises.  Of course the biggest promise He has made to us is that on account of his innocent suffering and death the Father no longer holds our sins, trespasses, iniquities or guilt against us.  He has promise through His resurrection from the dead sin, death and the power of Satan no longer have a hold on us.  Jesus has won the victory and we will be raised to eternal glory into a new heavens and a new earth even as he is raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father.


So the only question is then, do you believe this?  Are you going to live your life according to this or are you going to continue to live your life as if God is still angry with you and you don’t have eternal life?  Are you going to live in fear or faith, hatred of God or in the love of God?


Lord Jesus Christ, you gave us the Israelites as an example of faith and unbelief.  May we learn our lesson from them and live in the light of your good news with faith and love. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 29th

#DailyDevotion Do You Trust The Lord’s Promises Or Do You Fear Life?

September 29

Deut 1:19–36

Deu 1:20-21  And I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us.  (21)  See, the LORD your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’

Deu 1:35-36  ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers,  (36)  except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the LORD!’


One would think that with all the Lord had done for the Israelites their faith and obedience would be stronger than it was. Here the Moses is recounting the Israelites faithlessness in the face of God’s promise and the World’s opposition to those promises. The Lord took them to the land he had promised and told them to go and take it. They had good reason to believe the Lord to not be afraid or dismayed. They had seen him defeat the Egyptians. They had defeated other enemies because the Lord was on their side fighting for them. Yet, they resisted the Lord’s promise.


They sent men to spy out the land and only Joshua and Caleb reported that while the land was good and it was inhabited by mighty peoples, they should go in and take the land as the Lord had promised. The other spies while reporting about the land frightened the people because they were frightened themselves. How badly fear spreads among people and removes them from faith.

Because of their lack of trust in the Lord to fight their battles for them and his promise to take the land, those Israelites all died in the wilderness. None of them entered the Promised Land. They made a feigned act of repentance and rebelled against the Lord’s judgment and they failed. They simply would not believe or take the Lord at his word.


Do we trust the Lord’s promises? When the world around us and even our own consciences tell us that God is against us can we believe the promise the Father no longer holds our trespasses against us? (2 Cor. 5:19) Do we believe Jesus’ promise that the Father sent him into the world to save the world and not to condemn it and you are included in that world? (John 3:17ff)


What about what you need to live on? Do you trust your Father to supply you daily bread? Jesus told us to pray for daily bread. Jesus only tells us what the Father has given him to say. If Jesus tells you to pray for daily bread it is certainly the Father’s intention and promise to provide you with such sustenance. Mat 6:32-33  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.


Heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may trust your promises and live our days without fear but in the love you have shown us in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: September 28th

#DailyDevotion Don’t Be Like The Unbelieving Israelites. Trust Jesus And Enter The Promised Land

September 28

Deut 1:1–18

Deu 1:3  In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him in commandment to them,…5 Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying,…8 See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’


It was the fortieth year. Fortieth year since what? Since the Israelites demonstrated their lack of faith in the Lord, the God of Israel to take the promised land after the spies reported all that they saw there. The Lord told them none of them would make into the promised land except Caleb and Joshua who tried to encourage the people to take it because the Lord was with them.


Now that generation had all died off. Moses was instructing the people into the way of the Lord. He was teaching them all that the Lord had revealed and taught to him. They would need to know these things if they were going to live peacefully in the land the Lord had promised their forefathers.


This land the Lord had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as they sojourned in the land.  The Lord initiated covenant with the three patriarchs that their descendents would inherit the land. And why was the Lord giving the land to them? Because the people there were very wicked. The three patriarchs were preachers of righteousness and they preached to the inhabitants concerning the Lord God. Yet the people there did not repent of their sins. They did not turn and worship the Lord. Neither did their descendents after them while Israel was in exile in the land of Egypt. No, they multiplied their sins. Now the Lord was going to use the Israelites to wipe these peoples off the face of the earth because of their sinfulness and was going to give the land to the Israelites as he promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was a foretelling of the last day, the day of judgment of the whole earth.


We who are Christians also stand in the place of Israel as we are joined to the true Israel, Jesus Christ. We are taught regularly by those who stand in the place of Christ, our parents and our pastors what God wants of us. He wants us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us to trust Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and is preparing a new Promised Land, the new heavens and the new earth. We shall not enter it until the fullness of sins has reached it tipping point and all the elect of God have come to faith in Jesus Christ. On that day, even as the Israelites came and conquered the land of Canaan the angels shall come and take out all those who have rebelled against the Lord Jesus Christ and did not come to faith in the Church’s teaching. The meek, i.e. Christians, shall inherit the earth and we will dwell with the Lord forever. The dead in Christ will rise from their graves and those standing there shall be changed. Jesus shall judge the nations and cast all who rejected him into outer darkness. Those who trusted in his message, even in his name shall live in his light forever.


Heavenly Father, even as you let those Israelites who were faithful to your name enter into the Promised Land, ever keep us faithful to your Son Jesus Christ, that we may enter the Promised Land, the new heavens and new earth on the day of Jesus’ return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.