Daily Readings: May 25th

#DailyDevotion Don’t Despair Of God’s Grace And Mercy Towards You

Easter Week 6 Thursday of the Ascension

Read Num 11:1–23, 31–35

Num 11:4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!…10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased…9 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days,  (20)  but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”‘”…32 And the people rose all that day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail. Those who gathered least gathered ten homers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.  (33)  While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague.


Now it wasn’t the whole of the Israelites but a rabble among them that was complaining. They were crying for meat to eat and were getting resentful towards the Lord who had delivered them from the Egyptians. They had forgotten the Lord’s great mercy towards them and they were longing for the good old days back when they were enslaved. A craving, a lust developed in these people. So much so they despised the Lord’s provisions, forgot all they had seen the Lord do for them, and they had forgotten the Lord’s mercy towards them. Did they pray to the Lord? Did they bring their complaint in faith to the Lord? No. They complained about the Lord. The Lord was displeased towards them.


So the Lord planned to demonstrate to his people that he could provide for them more than they needed. He hoped I guess those who were not part of the rabble would a. be warned about complaining and losing faith in the Lord and b. be assured of his ability to take care of all their needs. So he fulfilled his promise to Moses and they had more than they could ever eat. And as a warning to those who did not complain, the rabble as the meat was just in their teeth, before they could enjoy it were struck with a plague and they died there.

Do we complain about what the Lord God has done for us in Jesus? Have we forgotten his mercy, kindness and forgiveness in Christ? Do we despair of his providence and his promises so that we complain about the Lord instead of bringing our concerns, desires and wants in faith? Jesus has taught us God knows what we need before we ask him but to seek his kingdom and righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us. He does not lie so let us not despair of this mercy towards us. Each day has enough trouble of its own and Jesus promises the Father is with us and he is with us throughout it all. The cross is ever a sign to us of his great love for us spiritually and physically.

Heavenly Father, grant us such faith and good spirits that we may never despair of your mercy but always by your grace bring all our request, supplications, worries and desires to the throne of your grace trusting that you are always taking care of us and meeting all our needs of the day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 24th

#DailyDevotion Moses Foretells the Resurrection and Return of Christ

Easter Week 6 Wednesday

Read Num 10:11–36

Num 10:33-36  So they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey. And the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them.  (34)  And the cloud of the LORD was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp.  (35)  And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.”  (36)  And when it rested, he said, “Return, O LORD, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”


The pillar of cloud by day led this procession of the people of God. It was followed by the ark with the appointed Levites carrying that. Leading the rest of the tribes of Israel was Judah, for the scepter would not depart from between his feet. The messiah, the prince of the peoples would come from him.


They traveled for three days this first time and then the Lord signaled their rest. And so it was that the Lord who led the Israelites in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night would be born of Judah and on the third day rise from the dead so that we all might enter into his rest. As the world was in darkness the days of our Lord Jesus’ rest in the tomb, his cloud covered the Israelites so they would be protected by the sun. Even so the apostles were kept safe the covering of his wings for he had a plan for them.


Moses cries out, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.”  And so, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same Lord who led the Israelites rises from the dead. He has scattered his enemies and brought them into confusion. Death, sin and the devil have no power over him. He has won the victory. Now his victory is our victory. We need not fear sin, death or the power of the devil. He has no power over us. Jesus has defeated him. He demonstrated this in his resurrection. Life, eternal life is now ours.


Moses also cries out, “Return, O LORD, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.” So too, our Lord Jesus Christ is returning for judgment day. He shall slay his enemies, raise up the dead and take his Israel, all who trusted in him and in his name into the promised land of the new heavens and the new earth. Those who rejected him as their savior, king and God won’t have to be with him. They he will cast into outer darkness, the Lake of Fire, to be tortured with Satan and all who believed and followed him.


So the only question is are you part of the Israel of God or are you outside the kingdom? If your faith is in Christ Jesus who was crucified, buried and risen from the dead, you are children of Abraham and Israel’s descendents. If that is not your faith, you are not currently part of Israel. But you still have breath, so turn to Jesus and be saved today.


Almighty God, Heavenly Father, ever give us faith in your son Jesus Christ, that we may be considered Israel and enter into the promised land as we are raised with Christ on the day of his coming. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 23rd

#DailyDevotion The Lord God Is Merciful

Easter Week 6 Tuesday

Read Num 9:1–23

Num 9:10-13  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the LORD.  (11)  In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  (12)  They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it.  (13)  But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the LORD’s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.


Oftentimes when we read the Old Testament we might get the idea that the Lord is a stickler for details. And the truth of the matter is that he is. The Lord demands his people live out the law according to what he has given them. But when the Lord revealed his name to Moses he also showed us that his primary characteristics are that he is merciful, kind, loving and forgiving. Today lesson shows us one such example.


The Passover must be kept or the persons who would not keep it would be cut off from the people of Israel. But certain persons would become unclean or be traveling and they would not be able to keep the Passover. Why should they be cut off for no fault of their own? So the Lord has mercy on them. He allows them to celebrate the following month. The Passover is for the Israelite you see not the Israelite for the Passover. But the exception does not make the rule. And the Lord wanted to see if the Israelites would obey him or not.


In Jesus’ ministry he faced similar problems with the people. They had made a number of rules that the Lord had not given so they would not break the Sabbath. But Jesus would not always keep the rules of men but he would always keep the Sabbath according to the commandment of God. His main offense was healing people on the Sabbath and on one occasion he allowed his disciples to pick grain in a field to eat. Was one to do good or evil on the Sabbath? Is healing a child of Abraham good or evil? Well of course it was good. Jesus would remind them the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. Mercy is what God wants, not sacrifice. But if we are able to do both, do both.


Ultimately, we see the mercy of Lord in Jesus. In the book of Acts, Peter would tell the early Church that neither they nor their fathers ever kept the Law of Moses so they shouldn’t lay that burden upon the Gentiles. Indeed, the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross in the body of Jesus. God had been reconciled and reconciled Jesus and Gentile on the cross. Now in the body of Jesus we see the mercy, love, kindness and forgiveness of the Lord God. We too should make mercy the overriding characteristic of our lives as well.


Heavenly Father, you showed mercy and kindness to your people Israel without removing your demands of the Law and more so you showed your mercy in the crucifixion of your son Jesus. Grant us faith in that mercy that we too may be merciful to our neighbors. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 22nd

#DailyDevotion The Old and New Priesthoods

Easter Week 6 Monday

Read Num 8:5–26

Num 8:10-13  When you bring the Levites before the LORD, the people of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites,  (11)  and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the LORD.  (12)  Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the LORD to make atonement for the Levites.  (13)  And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as a wave offering to the LORD.


There were different sorts of offerings and sacrifices at the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel. One of these offerings was a wave offering. A wave offering was just that. The priest took what was offered by the people and waved it above the altar. Then the offering was generally partaken by the person offering it and/or the priests. Here the Israelites are presenting the Levites as a wave offering. Their blood would not be spilt as a sacrifice. Instead they would be placed in service to the Lord and the people. The Levites would take the place of all the firstborn of Israel as previously mentioned.


But this offering did not take place without the spilling of blood. There were two bulls offered: One for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering. With these sacrifices the Levites were sanctified to serve the Lord and to serve his people. They were to be considered holy to the Lord. Now these bulls are a type that is they stand for Jesus.


Jesus is our sin offering and he is our burnt offering. Our sins have been laid upon Jesus by the Father. The spilling of his blood is our redemption from sin. Jesus is our burnt offering. He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” as he experiences the just punishment for our sins and unbelief. But who is Jesus sanctifying for the priesthood?


You are the priesthood Jesus has sanctified by the spilling of his blood and by his death on the cross. St. Peter writes, 1Pe 2:5 “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”


So with Jesus as our high priest at the right hand of God, we as his priest offer up our bodies as living sacrifices. We forgive, we have mercy and we speak the word of truth about Jesus to those who ask. We proclaim the excellencies of Jesus who has called us into his light.

Heavenly Father, with Jesus as our high priest, grant us ever your Holy Spirit that we may proclaim his praises to your honor and glory and may we forgive those who sin against us and give the forgiveness won for the world to those who do not know you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 21st

#DailyDevotion You Have Been Redeemed By the Firstborn of the Dead

6th Sunday of Easter

Read Num 3:1–16, 39–48

Num 3:12-13  “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine,  (13)  for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both of man and of beast. They shall be mine: I am the LORD.” 46 And as the redemption price for the 273 of the firstborn of the people of Israel, over and above the number of the male Levites,  (47)  you shall take five shekels per head; you shall take them according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel of twenty gerahs),


Ever since the Lord laid down the curse of the firstborn in Egypt, he had been preparing the Israelites for the rule of the redemption of the firstborn in Israel. If you remember on Passover, the angel of death would kill the firstborn, man or beast, in Egypt if there were not the blood of the lamb upon the door of the house. The blood of the lamb redeemed the firstborn of that house.


Now among the tribes of Israel the Lord was choosing the Levites to serve in the temple as priest before him. They would not have an inheritance of land in the promised land. The Lord was their inheritance and they would receive the offerings from the Israelites the Lord commanded. The Lord choose the Levites as a substitute for every firstborn Israelite of the people to serve him at the temple. Now there was to be a redemption price for the firstborn so they did not serve at the temple. In this instance it was to be five shekels but later there was to be a sacrifice for redemption.


Now there is another firstborn whose parents paid the redemption price but who would still be called up to serve, not in a temple made with hands but in the temple of God in the heavens above. He would first be a sacrifice himself, but having been raised from the dead, the firstborn among the dead, he has been raised to the right hand of God as our high priest forever. This one is Jesus. Jesus has become our redemption and our high priest. By the shedding of his blood he has redeemed us from death and given us life. Now he stands as high priest offering up intercession for us that we would come to faith and be sustained in that faith unto life everlasting.


As the firstborn and the firstfruits from the dead, he has opened paradise for us.  By his rising from the dead he has raised all human flesh from the dead. That is, all humanity will rise from the dead on the last day: Some to everlasting life—those who believed his message and some to everlasting punishment—those who rejected his message of forgiveness and life in his name.


By his being the first fruit of the grave he has proclaimed light to the world. That light is men no longer have to die the death of Adam. They no longer have to taste death. In his name, Jesus, there is life and salvation. That light is God is no longer holding our trespasses against us but has been reconciled by the blood of Jesus so be reconciled to God.


Heavenly Father, may the firstborn of the dead, Jesus, grant to us faith in his name and work that we may receive the benefits of his redemption to eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 18th

#DailyDevotion Thank God The Lord Is Impartial

Easter week 5 Thursday

Read Lev 24:1–23

Lev 24:16-22  Whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.  (17)  “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.  (18)  Whoever takes an animal’s life shall make it good, life for life.  (19)  If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him,  (20)  fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him.  (21)  Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death.  (22)  You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God.”


This doesn’t seem like a particularly gospel lesson for today.  A man who is half Israelite and half Egyptian curses the name of the Lord.  The Israelites didn’t know what to do with him.  After a brief discussion about various laws of the Israelites, the Lord says everybody plays by the same rules, whether Israelite or foreigner.  You shall have no partiality.  So we do have a sense of justice with God.  Paul recognizes this in Romans:

Rom 2:9-11  There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,  (10)  but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  (11)  For God shows no partiality.


God also shows no partiality when it comes to the Gospel.  In Acts Peter is called to the Gentile Cornelius’ home.  Act 10:34-36  “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,  (35)  but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.  (36)  As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),..,”  The good news of God’s reconciliation with the world, Jews and Gentiles through faith in Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed without partiality.  It is for everyone.


So the Law of God is impartial and so is the Gospel.  God will not excuse your sins by the Law, you and I are all equally guilty under it.  God also completely pardons your sins on account of the blood of Christ.  It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you have done, what you used to believe and practice, what nation you are from or what political party you last supported and voted for.  Jesus died and rose for you so that you can have peace with God the Father.  You are acceptable to the Father on account of faith in Jesus’ name and work.


Lord God, Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you that you are a God of impartiality and you have shown that to us particularly bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to us.  Continually grant us your Holy Spirit that we may persevere in this faith unto life everlasting and may we demonstrate your impartiality in our lives.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Daily Reading: May 17th

#DailyDevotion Help Us To Remember All Your Goodness And Respond Accordingly

Easter Week 5 Wednesday

Read Lev 23:23–44

Lev 23:37-38  “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the LORD food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day,  (38)  besides the LORD’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD…42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths,  (43)  that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”


The rest of this chapter also list and gives details for other feasts of the Lord for the Israelites so they may have times of rest and festive gatherings. Among those was also the Day of Atonement (which not quite so festive as a day of affliction). But we may want to take note of two other things in this chapter.


In verse 38, the Lord noted that these festivals were in addition to vow offerings, freewill offerings, gifts and Sabbaths. In other words, it was expected the Israelites were at other times going to be giving and making various and sundry gifts of thanksgiving to the Lord and making vows to the Lord with gifts and celebrating the Sabbaths throughout the year.


From this we may take as Christians that while we have no mandated festivals from the Lord, while we have made up several festivals to gather and remember certain aspects of our Lord Jesus Christ’s life i.e. Christmas and Easter, it is expected that we will regularly gather like the Israelites on certain days to rest and imbibe on the Word of God together. It is also expected that we will also make vows, freewill offerings, and thanksgiving offerings throughout the year also, to provide for the pastor and for the maintenance of where we choose to worship.


And then there is the Feasts of Booths God commanded the Israelites to observe so that they would remember what their ancestors did because the Lord had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians and brought them into the Promised Land. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in his Supper, has given us a feast which we can celebrate weekly or even daily to remember what he, the Lord has done for us—he delivered us from sin, death and the power of the devil on his cross and by is resurrection. There we have not only a remembrance but also the very power to deliver right now what he accomplished on the cross.


Heavenly Father, even as you have delivered your people the Israelites and gave them festivals for times of joy, merriment and the remembrance of your salvation, ever provide for us also times of joy and remembrance of all you have done for us in your Son Jesus Christ so his joy may always fill our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 16th

#DailyDevotion The Lord God Loves A Good Party

Easter Week 5 Tuesday

Read Lev 23:1–22

Lev 23:1-4  The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  (2)  “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.  (3)  “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.  (4)  “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.


The Lord God wants his people to rest and he wants his people to party.  To that end he gave them the day he rested from his work, the seventh day so they could rest from theirs.  He also gave them three feasts in which they would bring food and drink before him for several days of good times with good food to be shared with the priest, the poor, the widow, the orphan and the foreigner at the gate.


All these feasts were a foreshadowing  of the New Heavens and New Earth.  Jesus compares it to a wedding feasts several times: Mat 22:2  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son,” Luk 5:34  And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? Rev 21:2  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.


The Sabbath rest is still for us but not as the Old Testament has it.  Hebrews writes: Heb 4:9-10  “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,  (10)  for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”  The Christian Sabbath then is not that we don’t work on Sunday or Saturday.  It is that we no longer rely on our works to be pleasing to God.  If we are pleasing to God it is only because we trust in the work of Jesus Christ to make us justified, sanctified and pleasing to the Father.


It is only then when we trust in Jesus and his work that we actually get around to the fun of being “good.”  For without faith, Hebrews says, it is impossible to please God.  This is why so many do gooders are so worked up in Churches.  They are relying on their works to be pleasing to God.  But when they trust in Christ’s work, they can relax and have fun doing the will of God.  It is no longer a burden because they are no longer being judged.  Indeed, when we enter the rest of God, we probably do more good than we ever did when we were working hard to please him by “our” works.


And there is still the New Jerusalem Sabbath where we enter into the wedding feasts.  Now one works at a wedding feasts who are guests or the bride unless they are just fussbudgets, and they won’t be allowed anyway or at least they won’t be that way anymore in the resurrection.  It’s just dancing, singing, eating and drinking.  I’m looking forward to it.  The good news is you are invited to it today by Jesus.  Just tell the guy at the door Jesus sent you.


Lord God, Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending us Jesus, our Sabbath, that we may rest from our works, trusting in his work, that we might enter into the eternal Sabbath at his return.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Daily Reading: May 15th

#DailyDevotion Husbands and Wives A Type For Christ and His Church

Easter week 5 Monday

Read Lev 21:1–24

Lev 21:10-15  “The priest who is chief among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his clothes…: I am the LORD.  (13)  And he shall take a wife in her virginity.  (14)  A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people,  (15)  that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.”


The chief or high priest is to be a type or prophesy of Christ.  Note the type of wife he cannot take and the type of wife he can take.  He cannot take a widow, a divorced woman, a defiled woman or a prostitute as a wife.  This is because of the type of Bride the Lord Jesus is taking to himself.  Jesus’ bride is the Church. Rev 19:7-8  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;  (8)  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Rev 21:2  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21:10-21  (11)  having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.  (12)  It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed… (16)  The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia…(17)  He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.  (18)  The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.  (19)  The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,  (20)  the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.  (21)  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.


What a beautify bride Church is.  Now the bride of Christ is also a fulfillment of every man’s wife.  St. Paul says, Eph 5:25-28  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  (26)  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  (27)  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  (28)  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.


So the husband of a wife should look at his wife in this way because that is how Jesus views his bride, the Church and husbands are a type of Christ and Jesus is the fulfillment of the husband.  What a great honor has Christ Jesus visited upon both husbands and wives that they should be a type of Himself and His Church.


Lord Jesus Christ, ever give us such a view of our vocations as husbands and wives that we may not bring shame upon the institution of marriage but may our marriages be examples of you and your Church. Amen.