Week 15 Devo

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Yet the Lord has set His heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him and hold fast to Him, and by His name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.”
Deuteronomy 10:12-22

I had to print the whole passage, right? Which part could I have left out? The perfect requirements that only the perfect Son of God could fulfill? The fact that the One exacting those requirements just happens to be the Creator and Owner of the entire universe and everything in it, including those of whom those perfect requirements are being exacted? The shocking reality of the resounding YET? “Yet the Lord has set His heart IN LOVE on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, YOU above all peoples, AS YOU ARE today!” Can it really be?

And can one leave out or do less then the expected response that follows? “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no longer stubborn.” Well, we all do, right? I mean do less. That’s why the Great Exactor had to be the Great Fulfiller, right? It was Christ Himself who for the stubborn sheep, all gone astray, became the silent, submissive Lamb led to slaughter and was “CUT OFF from the land of the living (Isaiah 53).” Only the Perfect Circumciser of Hearts could cut out a heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh, fit for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our only hope and means of obedience (Ezekiel 36:26,27).

Is He not our praise! Has not this Creator and Possessor of the universe done great and terrifying things, not the least of which is the circumcision of our own rebellious, rock hard hearts? He is our praise indeed!

King David picks up this same theme when he prays for those assembled with offerings for the temple in 1 Chronicles 29:10-22.

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours… BUT…”

There we have it again. The shocking reality of another “YET.”

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer WILLINGLY? For all things come from you, and of your own we have given you.

David acknowledges that all they have given already belongs to God because everything in the heavens and the earth is His anyway. EVEN the willingness of their hearts to give is a gift given and sustained by God! That is why David continues his prayer interceding on behalf of his people and specifically, the heir to his throne who will continue the temple work.

“KEEP forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and DIRECT their hearts toward you. GRANT to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, and your testimonies, and your statutes.”

Not only is He our praise, He gives us a heart of flesh willing to worship!

“Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!” (Psalm 89:5)

Week 15

Memory Verse: Psalm 74:16

Reading #1: Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Questions: What reason are the Israelites given in verse 14 for fulfilling the requirements in the previous 2 verses? In verse 15, what shocking reality is juxtaposed against God’s rightful possession of the heavens and earth? According to verse 16 what response are the Israelite’s to have to this truth?

Reading #2: 1 Chronicles 29:10-22
Questions: What reason does David give in verse 11 for His benedictory praise to the Lord? In verses 14 and 15, what shocking reality is juxtaposed against God’s rightful possession of the heavens and the earth and everything in them? According to verses 17-18 what response are the Israelite’s to have to this truth?

Reading #3: Psalm 89:1-11
According to verses 1, 2, 5, 8, and 14, which eternal characteristic of God is prominently proclaimed in the heavens that He made and possesses?

Reading #4 Psalm 115
What do you think is meant in verse 16 by the heavens being the Lords but the earth being given to the children of man?

Psalms and Hymns
The Wonder of It All “There’s the wonder of of spring time and harvest, the sky the stars, the sun; But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is a wonder that’s only begun.”
In Tenderness He Sought Me “I’m sitting in His presence, the sunshine of His face, while with adoring wonder His blessings I retrace.”

Praying Under the Same Sky
Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, and Luxembourg

Devo 11

“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and flaming torch passed between these pieces.  On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your offspring I give this land.” Genesis 15:7-20

This is our third week in this passage.  Has it dawned on you yet?  Can you see the kind of covenant initiating-making-keeping-fulfilling God we serve?  God chooses a pagan moon worshipper to covenant with.  This guy sleeps through the whole covenant making process.  His descendants repeatedly break the covenant.  Finally they murder the One who came to fulfill it.  And yet.  God loves them.  And every single one of His promises to Abraham are fulfilled in Christ Jesus.  

He’s God and He became man.  He’s the heifer, the goat, the ram the dove, the pigeon, slain and cut in half.  He’s both sides of the animal pieces.  He’s the smoking fire pot and the flaming torch that passes between.  Jesus is the promise and the fulfillment.  Everything else is a shadow.  It’s all about Him.

In Exodus 12:1-28, when Moses prepares to lead Abraham’s offspring out of Egypt to the land God promised, even that was a shadow.  The slaughtered lamb, the blood on the doorposts, the feast of unleavened bread, the curse of death, the passing through, the passing over, the promised land, it was all a shadow of the perfect fulfillment to come.  

Do you know what word Peter uses to describe the hope of that fulfillment?  GRACE.  1 Peter 1:12-25 says “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  And with that grace in mind Peter continues, 

“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  

Before the earth was even hung in space, Jesus was the chosen Lamb for the sacrifice, made manifest for our sake, “who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”  And ONLY in God.  Not in our own ability to initiate, make, keep or fulfill any covenant.  Like Abraham, we sleep the sleep of the dead unless He awaken us.  

And how does God choose to awaken us?  “Through the living and abiding word of God… And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”  From the first book to the last, the message is clear and Revelation 5 gives us a beautiful glimpse of its heavenly proclamation: 

“Weep no more; behold, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered.”

“Worthy are You… for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God.”

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And just like the angelic beings around the throne of the Lamb, we can do nothing less than what we were made to do.  Let us fall down and worship.