Daily Reading: May 30th

#DailyDevotion False Teachings Are Most Often Built On Perversions Of God’s Word

Easter Week 7 Tuesday

Read Num 16:1–22

Num 16:2-5  And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men.  (3)  They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”  (4)  When Moses heard it, he fell on his face,  (5)  and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the LORD will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him.


A little or a lot of false doctrine, false teaching is base on a truth at the expense of another truth. Such was case here. Now the truth of the matter is indeed all the Israelites were called to be holy. They were the Lord’s peculiar people out of all the people of the earth. The Lord had even put his Spirit on a number of the elders of Israel to help Moses judge the people.


But the Lord had chosen the Israelites to be the priest of the people. Of all the Levites though, the Lord had only chosen Aaron and his descendents to bring the incense and other sacrifices before the Lord. These men had gotten a covetous heart, stirred up the people against the Lord’s chosen leader of the people Moses, and were stirred up against the Lord himself for this was his chosen arraignment.


So we too in our life in the Church must guard against error, false teachings and the like. It starts with a lust in the heart for something that God has forbidden.  It seeks to justify itself by a truth of scripture. It looks and sounds biblical. In a proper context and setting it may even be biblical. But with false teachers, they set up this one biblical truth in opposition to other biblical truths that oppose the lust in their hearts. They refuse to look at these because these biblical truths in their context with their biblical truth cannot and will not give them what they covet. They then spread their error and many who are not wise and who have not given heed to all of the Lord’s teachings are carried away as in the rebellion of Korah./


Our Lord Jesus Christ instructed his disciples to keep everything he had taught them as he made disciples by baptizing and teaching. We too have an obligation to listen carefully, believe and do all the Lord has taught us so our desires and other men’s desires do not carry us away with false doctrine from an impure heart. But if we will keep ourselves humble under the hand of God and his Word we will not be deceived for long or at all. The Lord Jesus has promised us he will not lose any the Father has given him.


Heavenly Father, ever give us your grace that no lust or evil desire rises in our hearts that we might pervert your Word to fulfill a covetous heart and fall away from you and the teachings of your Son Jesus Christ but rather hold fast to them all our days. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: May 29th

#DailyDevotion Why Reading The Old Testament Is Important

Easter Week 7 Monday

Read Num 14:26–45

Num 14:27-32  “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.  (28)  Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the LORD, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you:  (29)  your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me,  (30)  not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.  (31)  But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected.  (32)  But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness.


St Paul writes, 1Co 10:9-12  We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,  (10)  nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.  (11)  Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.  (12)  Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.


The Old Testament is important to us because it gives us examples how those who preceded us either were pleasing to God or were not.  We can either use the wisdom taught us here and follow those who were pleasing or we can forget the lessons earned for us by those had fallen and repeat their mistakes.


Again we are shown the mistake of grumbling against God.  You may say, “I’m not grumbling against God.”  You probably grumble against God more than you know.  Whenever are complaining about this or that circumstance in our lives and we don’t look to God to be the solution of our problems trusting he will do something about it, then you are grumbling against God.  Some pretend not to grumble but are inwardly anyway.  They say, “No use complaining about it, can’t do anything about it anyway.”  But they are wrong, they can pray to the one who has all power and wishes to use on our behalf.


The Israelites grumbled against God by grumbling about their pastor Moses.  They didn’t trust the word he had preached to them that the Lord was giving them the land they had spied out.  Instead they believe the naysayers who did the spying but didn’t believe the word of the Lord.  It is unfortunate there are people like that in our churches.  They don’t believe the good news the pastor preaches or teachers so they sow discontent in the members and soon a ministry is destroyed.  But the Lord is not unawares.  He knows who trust and him and who is fighting against them.  How he will work that out in their midst we do not know but if we look to the Israelites, he let that whole generation die in the wilderness.  They did not enter the Promised Land.


Let us then turn to Christ and trust in the mercy of God he wants to give us.  Let us believe that Jesus will return for us and bring us mightily into that new heavens and new earth.  We should not live as if this world is our end and there isn’t anything left after it.  We are called to live a life of Life and not called to live a life of   Death.  We who belong to Christ live in his promise and what we can learn from the Old Testament is God keeps his promises.


Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith that we may not grumble at the circumstances of our life but rather call upon you and enlist others to call upon you to visit us in our distress.  Amen.

Daily Readings: May 28th

#DailyDevotion When In Doubt, Always Trust God’s Promises

7th Sunday of Easter

Read Num 14:1–25

Num 14:3-4  Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?”  (4)  And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”…11 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?  (12)  I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”…17 And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised,…20 Then the LORD said, “I have pardoned, according to your word…22  none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice,  (23)  shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.


The people having heard the report of the spies became afraid and despised the promises of the Lord. They even went so far as to demand a leader to take them back to Egypt! Now Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua seeing the situation fell down and repented for the people of Israel.


But the Lord’s anger raged against the people of Israel. He was angered that they did not trust his promises nor did they trust him. They did not trust him despite all the signs and wonders he did for them, ten times he said. Instead, the Lord was going to replace them with a people from the loins of Moses.


But Moses acts as an intercessor between the people and the Lord. He prays for the Lord to forgive them. He prays the Lord remember his promise and act according the name the Lord revealed to him. Because of his promise and for his name sake, the Lord pardons the Israelites and will allow their descendents enter into the Promised Land. But those Israelites who rebelled against the Lord and Moses would wander in the wilderness until they all died off.


Now we have someone greater than Moses, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the same Lord who spoke with Moses and pardoned the iniquity of Israel. Now in the flesh, he stands at the right hand of God interceding for us who sin so much. He has pardoned our iniquity with his own blood and paid our penalty with his own death. He continually presents these to the Father so God is reconciled to us and not only us to the whole world. He calls to us to be reconciled to God, that is, to believe he has done this. As a sign he has accomplished this reconciliation, he has risen from the dead. But like the Israelites who never entered the Promised Land, if you do not believe he has done this for you by your last breath, you shall not enter the Promised Land of the New Heavens and New Earth.


Heavenly Father, your mercy and grace know no bounds. You always act according to your promises and your name. Grant us faith and your Holy Spirit that we may always trust in your promises and enter into the land you have promised to us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: May 27th

#DailyDevotion Does Your Faith Believe God’s Promises Like Caleb and Joshua’s Does?

Easter Week 6 Saturday

Read Num 13:1–3, 17–33

Num 13:30-31  But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”  (31)  Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”


The people of Israel were on the border of the Promised Land. Moses had sent spies. One man from each tribe of Israel was chosen. And they spied out the land and the land was good. There was only one problem. The people of the land were many and many of them were giants. This was not going to be easy. It might seem impossible. Indeed, the people heard it and feared as well as most of the men who spied and reported back to the people what they had seen.


Caleb alone speaks out, though we know from other biblical reports Joshua, son of Nun also speaks with Caleb.  Both of these men are prepared to go and conquer the land and seize from the inhabitants were there. They were not afraid of their great number, their might, or their height. But why not?


Because these two men had heard the Word of the Lord and they believed his promises. But what promises could the Lord have given to make them have such courage in the face of overwhelming odds? The other day we read, Num 11:23 “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.” Perhaps they remembered, Gen 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Certainly they remember this promise: Lev 26:6-8 “I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land.  (7)  You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.  (8)  Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” With such promises Caleb and Joshua were certain of Israel’s victory over the people of Canaan.


And you have promises from the Lord Jesus Christ just as encouraging. Mat 28:18 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Luk 24:46-47 “and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Thus it is written… that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” John 14:2-3 “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”And finally, 2Pe 3:13 “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”


Heavenly Father, grant us such faith in all your promises that like Caleb and Joshua we may have courage to face all obstacles that try to prevent us from our inheritance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: May 26th

#DailyDevotion Honor And Respect Your Leaders For God Placed Them There

Easter Week 6 Friday

Read Num 11:24–29; 12:1–16

Num 12:6-9  And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.  (7)  Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.  (8)  With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”  (9)  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed.


Miriam, Moses’ sister, was upset Moses married a Cushite woman. In her anger, she enlisted her brother Aaron to speak against Moses. The both were attacking his station as the leader of the Israelites. While the Lord had put his spirit upon them and other elders of Israel, Moses never the less stood apart from all of them. They were attacking the order of things the Lord had put in place because of jealousy.


But Moses was like no other prophet. The Lord spoke to Moses, “mouth to mouth” “face to face”. He was also straightforward with Moses, like a friend. He did not speak in riddles to Moses, or visions or dreams. Moses was a meek man and faithful in all of the Lord’s house. He would speak back and defend himself against his siblings. The Lord knew his siblings were doing this with impure motives and his anger was turned against them. The Lord embarrassed the two of them before the people of Israel and made it clear who he had chosen to lead his people. Because Miriam was the main instigator, she was struck with leprosy. She would be cut off from the people of God. Moses though interceded for her. The Lord heard and made her have to suffer this temporal punishment so the people would be warned against following in her footsteps.


Now we too must recognize those whom the Lord has placed over us. Whether they be natural (parents) or appointed (government leaders or pastors) they stand as those head related to in the fourth commandment. As such, they stand in the place of God. So even in the New Testament we are told to give honor to such people, even if they are pagan. For St. Paul reminds us there is no authority except that which he himself has put there. It will be as a curse to us to abhor those placed in authority and speak against them without cause and from impure motives as Miriam and Aaron had done. Temporal punishments may indeed come our way if we despise them, but blessing to everyone who trusts God and honors those who stand in his place for the sake of peace and good order, for protection and instruction. At Pentecost, God had put his spirit upon all flesh, and Jesus taught as friends and even calls us such. Yet he has also given us pastors, teachers, elders and overseers for our benefit. We should honor them for the sake of God.


Heavenly Father, give to us such a spirit that we give honor and respect to all those you place over us for our good. Help us, if necessary, to criticize only from pure motives and not from selfish and impure motives that even when that is necessary we do so with love and respect so we may live long in the land you give us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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.