Blessed for a Purpose ”We are all blessed for a purpose…”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 13 – 15; Galatians 1

Scripture: ‘‘Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.’’ Deuteronomy 15:10

Observation: Giving was to become one of the communal lifestyle of Israel. The rich were to care for the needs of the poor without grumbling. As stated by God, the poor would always be in their midst and so the rich were to care for them as God had blessed them for the sake of others. And as they gave, so were they to prosper.

Application: God detests selfish attitude among His children. Blessings come from God not for our sake only but for the good of the household of God…for the good of all who may be in need. ‘‘Thieves must quit stealing and, instead, they must work hard. They should do something good with their hands so that they’ll have something to share with those in need.’’ (Ephesians 4:28 GW). We are all blessed for a purpose, which is to meet the needs of others. Again, ‘‘Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.’’ (Romans 12:13 GW). ‘‘They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.’’ (1 Timothy 6:18 ESV). ‘‘So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.’’ (Galatians 6:10 ESV). As good works was part of the communal lifestyle of Israel, so is it with us the Church. We all must be involved for to this end are we blessed. God entrusted His riches into our hands that we may in turn distribute to others. And our attitude must be right…a word of caution…

‘‘When you are living in the land the LORD your God is giving you, there might be some poor people living among you. You must not be selfish. You must not refuse to give help to them. You must be willing to share with them. You must lend them whatever they need. ‘Don’t ever refuse to help someone simply because the seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near. Don’t let any evil thought like that enter your mind.  You must never have bad thoughts about someone who needs help. You must not refuse to help them. If you don’t help the poor, they might complain to the LORD, and he will judge you guilty of sin.’ ’’ (Deuteronomy 15:7 – 9 ERV).

Prayer: How is your giving? Examine your attitude to giving against the above. Pray.

 

 

A Place Prepared ”God’s love for us makes His blessings available to us.”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 10 – 12; Mark 16

Scripture: ‘‘A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.’’ (Deuteronomy 11:12)

Observation: Pointedly, Moses told them that their inheritance as promised by God will be unlike Egypt where they toiled all night and day to survive. Rather, they were going to possess a place where God Himself had prepared in advance for their coming…they won’t need to work to eat…they won’t need to wet the grounds for God had prepared all for them and they were just to work into His blessings. ‘‘A land cared for by the Lord your God: the eyes of the Lord your God are on it at all times from one end of the year to the other.’’ (BBE). Canaan had been prepared in advance for their coming.

Application: In the material and spiritual lives of God’s children (believers), the story is the same. Jesus said, ‘‘There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you.’’ (John 14:2). As God went ahead of His people to prepare a physical place of inheritance, Jesus has also gone ahead of us to the Father to prepare a spiritual and final place of inheritance for those who believe. Then, this, ‘‘It is the LORD’s blessing that brings wealth, and no hard work can add to it.’’ (Proverbs 10:22 ERV). It was not their hard work that gave them Canaan; neither will our hard work give us rooms in heaven. God’s love for us makes His blessings available to us. And all that is required from us to tap into the blessings God has prepared in advance for His children is faith and obedience to His commands. ‘‘So then, obey the commands I have given you today; love the LORD your God and serve him with all your heart. If you do, he will send rain on your land when it is needed, in the autumn and in the spring, so that there will be grain, wine, and olive oil for you, and grass for your livestock. You will have all the food you want.’’ (Deuteronomy 11: 13 – 15 GNB).

Prayer: Are you blessed of the LORD or you are working hard to succeed? Reflect and pray about this.

 

 

Faith in the Word ”…life is more about trusting God and His word no matter the challenge.”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 7 – 9; Mark 15

Scripture:  ‘‘And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Observation: In the wilderness Israel murmured against Moses accusing him of deliberately starving them while expressing their preference for Egypt. God in response to their murmur gave them food, though this was not His purpose. God’s desire for His children is to trust His word even in the most difficult situation and see Him work things out His way.

Application: God humbles us by allowing us go through difficult situations so that we may trust Him in all situations. Israel became impatient and complained against God and Moses even after they had witnessed so many miracles. God expressed His anger and displeasure at their lack of faith in Him…their inability to trust Him to do things His way. Life is not about food and drink. Life is not about the things we see. But life is more about trusting God and His word no matter the challenge. Whenever we become impatient with God, we cut short God’s plan for our lives. For the 40 years they remained in the wilderness, their cloths did not wear out neither did their feet sweet all because God’s word kept them. Trust God for all; you have nothing to lose…God’s word will keep you.

Prayer: Pray God to help your unbelief.

 

Loving God. ”…every part of us and our possessions must respond to God and His word…”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 5 – 6; Psalm 34; Mark 14

Scripture: ‘‘And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’’ (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Observation: Israel had just been delivered from Egypt, a nation with many gods. This was not to be their pattern in worship. He told them that their God unlike the gods of Egypt is one God. And they in turn were to give Him everything in them…spirit, soul and body. The Egyptians with many gods were not faithful to their numerous gods…you cannot serve two masters…this was not to be heard among them…they were to be totally committed to God and God alone.

Application: What does it mean to love God with all of our heart, soul and body? This is what the Bible says:  ‘‘To love God means that we obey His commandments. Obeying his commandments isn’t difficult.’’ (1 John 5:3 GW). This means that every part of us and our possessions must respond to God and His word and by this you demonstrate your love for God.

Prayer: How much of you love God?

The Key to Life. ”Obedience to His commands is a precondition for inheritance.”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 3 – 4; Mark 13

Scripture: ‘‘Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgements, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.’’ Deuteronomy 4:1

Observation: Moses continues his rehearsal of God’s laws to Israel, which in simple terms were to regulate their social and spiritual lives as they entered Canaan. Their relationships with one another and towards God were anchored on these laws. Obedience to these laws determined their well-being.

Application: The Church is God’s community today as Israel was in the wilderness. We must come to terms with the fact that our prosperity is not anchored so much on our hard work but more on our obedience and faith in God. God’s command yesterday is still valid today. ‘‘You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do.’’ (John 15:14 ERV). As God’s community on earth, His promise to us is not a physical inheritance but spiritual.  Obedience to His commands is a precondition for inheritance.

Prayer: Inheritance of God’s promise is based on obedience. How close are you to God’s promised inheritance?  Pray about this.

 

 

Blessings of Obedience ” When we learn to obey God and take His word as it is, we will see less of difficulties, realities and challenges. ”

 

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 1 – 2; Mark 12

Scripture: ‘‘Surely there shall not one of these men of this generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers.’’ Deuteronomy 1:35

Observation: The people complained against God and Moses hearing the report of the spies sent out to search out the land. This got God angry and to this end He vowed that none of the men of that generation will enter the land He had promised to give them.

Application: Obedience has always been better than sacrifice. God commanded His people to go and possess the land. Instead of obeying God, they chose to send out spies to verify where God had promised them. The report demoralised them. Like we all do, we wish to confirm God’s word instead of swinging into obedience. God knew that giants lived there; nonetheless, He promised them the land. When we learn to obey God and take His word as it is, we will see less of difficulties, realities and challenges. Even when these exist, they will mean nothing to us because God’s word is sure. But whenever we chose to do things our way, our hearts will fail us as the heart of Israel failed hearing the report of the spies.

Prayer: How often we doubt God! Blessings come through obedience. Why not pray that you may have the faith to believe God for all things even when situations around you say otherwise.

Keep it Clean ”holiness was expected from His people and this was the emblem that was to mark them out from other nations around them.”

 

Bible Reading: Numbers 34 – 36; Mark 11

Scripture: ‘‘Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.’’ Numbers 35:34

Observation: As Israel moved towards Canaan, the land God had pledge as their possession, God gave rules to them deliberately to guide their lifestyle. As the God of all holiness, holiness was expected from His people and this was the emblem that was to mark them out from other nations around them. More to this, as God dwelled in the midst of His children, holiness was to be their hallmark.

Application: God dwelled in the midst of Israel; as such they were to uphold holiness as a lifestyle. In his letter to the Church in Corinth, Paul said: ‘‘Do you not see that you are God’s holy house, and that the Spirit of God has his place in you?’’ (1 Corinthians 3:16 BBE). Because God dwelled in the midst of His children, He demanded absolute holiness from them. God no more dwells in houses built by hands, rather He has his place right inside of us…we are God’s holy house! If we are indeed His holy house, how clean are we for Him to have His place in us? ‘‘…Or are you not conscious that your body is a house for the Holy Spirit which is in you, and which has been given to you by God? and you are not the owners of yourselves…’’ (1 Corinthians 6:19 BBE). ‘‘And what agreement has the house of God with images? For we are a house of the living God; even as God has said, I will be living among them, and walking with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’’ (2 Corinthians 6:16 BBE). Our body is a house for the living God…we are not ourselves…we, therefore, have no business with unholy living…we have no right to defile God’s house…let’s keep God’s house clean…He dwells in us.

Prayer: Think about this and pray.