Wait On The LORD? What!


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 9

Oh. So. Cool!

The Israelities go to Moses asking if they can worship God and participate in the Passover. See here in verses 6-7, “But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day and said to Moses, ‘We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the LORD’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?'”

Moses doesn’t say, “Oh, sure, of course. That should be fine. It doesn’t matter that you have been deemed unclean. Since you’re going to worship God, why wouldn’t God want that. Go ahead, worship away.” Instead Moses says, “8 Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you.”


I manage people and occasionally someone on my team will ask me for something and I quickly weigh the positives and negatives. If the good outweigh the bad, I proceed to approve their request. If my team came to me and said I want to do something that will glorify God, I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of their relationship with God, an opportunity to serve Him or their own spiritual growth. The last thing I think I would do is tell them to wait until I hear from the LORD, so I could make a decision.

Today, God is reminding me (and you, if you’re reading this) that we DO need to wait on His decisions, answers and commands. Even those that seem ‘right’ at the time, still need God’s guidance. I’m honestly in awe of this today. Perhaps I have become very comfortable in speaking for God in certain circumstances and this is my remember to go to God first to hear what He wants to say, tells me how to lead and guides me in His ways – not mine.

I’m thankful today for this lesson and this perspective and I pray God will give us the ability to stop ourselves from speaking on behalf of the LORD, patience to wait for His answers and wisdom to know how to make Godly decisions, not our own decisions independent of Him.

Get In YOUR Place


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 2

Numbers 2:1 – 2 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

What is your standard and if you had a banner for your family, what would it say?

God has Moses gather all the families to surround the tabernacle in a specific order and each of them is allowed to represent themselves according to how they want to be represented. This is God’s army of people who He gathered. I’m so fascinated by the order and even more fascinated by God’s logic. God really has things all figured out.

It makes me realize that God has each of us in a specific place in the world, at a specific time and for a specific purpose. We need to be who were are. Have you given up on trying to be what everyone else wants you to be? I became a Christian about 10 years ago and I learned that my life wasn’t created to be molded into what the world wanted me to be, I was created for a specific purpose that God created me to be.

That was the day I stopped taking anti-depressants. I didn’t need them anymore. When I was working hard to fit in and be what I thought the world wanted me to be, I was burdened so heavily that it was actually doing me harm. Once I came to accept who I was, in Christ, and focus on doing what God created me to be and do, I was set free from that bondage of pain, suffering, depression, anxiety and stress.

Not sure how all of that came out of my reading of Numbers chapter 2, but I was prompted to write it. Perhaps to encourage you today? For whatever reason God laid that on my heart, I hope you can be encouraged that God is with us and it’s such a beautiful picture to know we are exactly where he wants us and it is our turn to create our standard and hold our banner that best represents who we are.

Christian Pedigree


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 1

We did it! Another milestone. Yesterday concluded our study through the book of Leviticus and today begins our new journey through the book of Numbers.

Right away God is teaching us how amazing He is. He’s counting Israelities to form an army. Can you image, as the census is taking place, men are asked, “Are you an Israelite?” What if they said they were not sure, maybe, think so, live like an Israelite and so by association should qualify to become an Israelite, or worse, are working really hard at becoming an Israelite?

Do you think if they are NOT born Israelites that God will give them a pass? NO! These are His people – God’s chosen – that Moses led out of Egypt. If they are not children of God, they will not be given the right to be a part of God’s army.

And so it is with us. I talk to people who give similar answers about their citizenship in heaven. If you asked them if they were going to heaven they would give similar responses…. “I’m not sure, maybe, I think so, I go to church or most common of these, I am a good person, I work hard at it.”

These are not enough and that’s not my Words, it’s God’s (Ephesians 2:8-9). The sad thing is that we can have absolute assurance that we will be in heaven and are children of God, but it takes re-birth. What is re-birth? It’s surrendering our lives to Jesus. It’s giving God headship of our lives. It’s believing, by faith, that we can’t get to heaven on our own and that we need a savior. Then we are given the Holy Spirit, our counselor, and our lives are transformed.

Like the Israelities, you can’t be an Israelite [Christian] by association, you must be born [re-born] to it (John 3:5-8). If you’re not there, you are someone who is not sure or working hard to get into heaven, please stop working on your Christian pedigree and cross the line, by faith, into the kingdom of God.  All you have to do pray. Confess that you can’t get their on your own and ask God to be LORD of your life.

If you did that welcome in and congratulations for making the greatest decision of your life! Mark this, the day after Thanksgiving, as your birthday into the kingdom of God. If you need guidance on where to go from here, please email me. If you are already there, I would love to hear your testimony in the comments below. How and when did you receive Christ and how has your life changed?

Thanksgiving Day Perspective


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 27

What is better?

  • When someone does something for you out of obligation or does something for you out of generosity?
  • When someone does something because you tell them to or because they want to?
  • When someone does the bare minimum or goes above and beyond?
  • When someone does something and brags about it or something that has been done and is a mystery as to how it happened?
  • When someone gives you something because you asked for it or someone who gives you something because they want you to have it?

I think you will make the same choices as I would – they seem obvious. As I was reading the 27th Chapter of Leviticus it seemed as though this chapter was out of place. Then I realized that in all of the preceding chapters of this book, God had mandated laws, while in chapter 27 the laws given are voluntary – It’s like an addendum that God is saying, “Not because you have to, but if you want to.”

It’s Thanksgiving morning and I am reflecting on all of the blessings that I have in my life. Then I take all of my blessings and correlate what God is trying to teach me in Chapter 27. Here is my conclusion…

We aren’t bound by those same laws because we live Leviticus Chapter 27 kind of lives.

  • God gave us His son to die on the cross for our sin; not because we we told him too, but Jesus is God’s gift to us.
  • We do not nor should we live our lives out of obligation, but because we love Him.
  • We live by the law, not because He commands us to, but because we want to honor Him for what He has done for us.
  • We can go through the motions of living a Christian life or we can live humbly, as if we don’t deserve what Jesus did for us on the cross.
  • We can surrender our lives as an act of worship and live each day in gratitude and thanksgiving or we can work hard at living a perfect life, only to fall short and grow defeated.

On this Thanksgiving day, as you are taking an inventory of all of your blessings, please don’t neglect to recognize that loving God and how we love God is voluntarily. He doesn’t command it – it’s optional, just like the laws in chapter 27 are optional. We do it because we want to, choose to, and desire to.

May God bless you and your family abundantly on this day of Thanksgiving.

If, Then… It’s All On You


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 26

In this chapter there are nine “if’s” and twenty-four “I will’s.” What does that say about our part and God’s part? For example: When God says in verses 3-4, “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”

It looks to me like we have the choice and He has the promises.

I have always been interested in understanding whether or not we [people] are given free will. I learned from one of my biblical mentors, early in my Christian walk, that there is no such thing as free will. The argument stands that if we are sinners and can’t help ourselves, so we are slaves to sin and therefore, have no free will.

The counter argument is the opposite. We have free will because we are conscious of our sin and therefore, we have the liberty to make the right choices on how to live so we do have free will.

This chapter, in my opinion, supports the latter. God is making it very clear that He will respond to the choices we make. If we sin, He will punish. If we obey, He will reward. I suppose we could get really petty over the causes and effects of decisions we make the the way God responds, but for today, I’m good with knowing that making the right choice will always work out in my favor. If I rebel, disobey, or try to live outside of God’s will, God may take me through a time of pruning, character building, personal growth, desert… whatever you want to call it.

And of course, in Romans 8:28 we know God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him AND we also know that because of Jesus our sins are covered; past, present and future. But, that certainly doesn’t mean we get a free ticket to sin. It means we have choices and I appreciate that Leviticus 26 is reminding me that making Godly choices ultimately rests on you and me.

God’s Kind Of Party


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 23

This is a remarkable chapter of God’s festivals. The holy holidays were times of joy. There was mourning on the great Day of Atonement, but all of the others were about times of joy and rejoicing. God never wanted a weeping people to come before Him; He wanted a rejoicing people. These festivals provide God’s calendar for all time.

Like most of our old testament teachings, they lead to Jesus and symbolize a future that is to come. To summarize all the the festivals for example:
Passover—the crucifixion and death of Christ
Unleavened Bread—the fellowship we have with Christ because of His death
First fruits—the resurrection of Christ
Pentecost—the beginning of the church
Trumpets—Israel brought back into the land (future)
Great Day of Atonement—the work of Christ upon the cross for us
Tabernacles—the time when Israel is in the land (future)

In a bigger, broader perspective, I appreciate that God is not some big, old fuddy-duddy. He’s a hip, cool cat. Think about it. God put all of these festivals together that have great significance and He is giving the Isrealities a calendar that they can recognize His handy work in all of it. In addition, there continues to be a great emphasis on the Sabbath, which started in the very beginning with Adam and Eve and reminds everyone of the importance of rest.

This is one of those chapters that make me want to be more of a bible scholar. I can only imagine what incredibly deep meanings and origins this chapter would unveil. As a simple-minded God-loving blogger, who is benefiting from the daily discipline of reading and summarizing God’s Word everyday, I am thankful for a God who beings festivals into our lives to celebrate Him.

Thanksgiving is next week. I know we shouldn’t need a day or a date to be thankful, but I see how God’s festivals and our holiday of thankfulness have parallel meanings. God truly deserves all of our thankfulness, joy and rejoicing.

Holy Welcoming Committee


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 22

The lesson for us is that we are not to treat the sacred and holy things of God as if they were commonplace. What do you think of when you think of the Holy things of God? I might need a little help on this one, because I might be thinking of this too simplistically. But I’m going to think of the most Holy place of God that I know… my church.

When I go to church I go because it is an act of worship. I love being somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of “the world” and having a place that is centered fully on God. One of the many things I love about church is that everyone is welcome. We are all equal at the foot of the cross. Meaning we, the church, should not judge according to social status, martial status, appearance, net worth, etc. We should welcome everyone with open arms and show the love of Christ to all who enter. Not in a phony way either, in a sincere and heart-warming manner.

I used to be the volunteer coordinator for the greeters, users, and parking attendants at our church. I begged them to NOT use the phrase, “How are you,” as they welcomed people at the entrance. I have 2 philosophies on this. 1 – Is that the phrase itself is so frequently used that it is cliche and isn’t a sincere enough, honest enough, greeting at the doors of the church. 2 – Some people arrive at church broken and we, the greeters, may cause our brother to stumble causing them to lie and say, “I’m fine.” They may not be fine and certainly the door of the church is no place they want to vomit their problems. The best thing we can do is make them feel welcome, safe and accepted.

Sure, I may be over thinking it, but is that one of the ways we can treat the sacred common? At the fundamental point of how we welcome people to join our church services? I appreciate that God is holy and His church is a place that I never want to treat commonly.

God Said It – Good Enough


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 19

We are in that section of Leviticus where the Ten Commandments are explained in terms of the social life of the nation. This chapter is very practical because God’s Law is to tell us this one thing: “… ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). This was fundamental and basic to all facets of the life of Israel. It explained everything which God commanded or demanded. It entered into and addressed every aspect of their daily routine. Holiness in daily life, with all of its relationships, was paramount in the everyday living of God’s people. It sure doesn’t hurt to read it and have it be reemphasized today. This is not just theory – God intended it to be brought right into our lives.

The Law can not produce the holiness which it demands. It demanded, but it did not and can not supply. It reveals the righteousness of the Law, but it simply cannot be attained by human effort. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” (Rom. 3:19–20).

How wonderful it is that God has given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us. This is the dynamic that is needed for Christian living. The reason given in this chapter, “I am the Lord your God” or “I am the Lord” occurs sixteen times in this chapter. God draws the line between right and wrong. He alone makes the sharp distinction between the holy and unholy. No other reason needs to be given.

I remember a little saying that we were taught when I was growing up, it goes like this. “If God said it, I believe it and that’s good enough for me.” As I read these laws today, I am reminded that laws can’t get us into heaven, but God did say it, I do believe it will help me live a better life and that truly IS good enough for me.

You’re Sick! Get To The Doctor


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 13

Before the invention of remote controls, I would fight my way for that television dial every day after school to watch Little House on the Prairie. There was something about Laura Ingalls Wilder (Melissa Gilbert) and those braids that made me nuts – I loved that show. I used to imagine what it would be like to get sick back in those Little House days. Poor Doc would pull up in his fancy carriage and wrap a wet, white cloth over their foreheads and pray. He was limited in what he could do without a modern-day, high tech, super sterilized surgical practice.

Going back hundreds of years to the days of Moses. Reading Leviticus 13 reminded me of Doc, but in this chapter the mighty physician was the Priest. Wow! Talk about wearing many hats. The thing is that the book of Leviticus is a book about sin and God is showing us that Leprosy and running issues of the flesh shows the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the effect of sin in action.

No man ever went wrong overnight. Leprosy did not kill in a day—it is not like a heart attack. The leper’s life was a walking death. Just so, the sinner is also dead even while he lives. It is obvious from these passages that the raw flesh is the old nature which was judged on the cross. When it manifests itself in a believer, God must judge it. The flesh can never please God; only that which the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the believer is acceptable to God.

Two things jump out at me in Levitius 13. The number of times you read the word “Isolation or Isolated” and the phrase, “The priest will pronounce him clean.” This is sin! Sin isolates us from God and is a growing, disease that corrupts our lives. While Christ covers that sin and pronounces us “Clean!”

Oh Friends. What a glorious story of hope buried between the ‘not so obvious’ message hidden in Leviticus chapter 13. It’s a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for us and the gruesome hopeless, loneliness, isolated, withdrawn, lost place we will be without Him. It’s a perfect day to check your spiritual temperature and recognize who your Holy healer is.

“Food” For Thought

Food for Thought

Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 11

WOW! My mind is spinning from what this chapter means in its literal sense while seeing the spiritual side and huge underlying message that God wants us to read, hear, and apply.

First, let me say that I am impressed (and relieved) that my diet actually fits God’s criteria. I am not even remotely interested in eating reptiles, insects with jointed legs, things that slither along the ground or camels. Even the thought of it makes me uncomfortable, so if the Old Testament list of forbidden foods were applicable today, I would be just fine – Yay!

But its not that easy. What God is really trying to teach us in this chapter is that a Christian cannot mingle with the world and play with sin without becoming contaminated. There are numerous examples in this chapter of how an unclean animal cannot be cleaned and will make those who touch it, look at it, or the canister that it dies in unclean.

This is one of my struggles as a Christian. I think this is one of those things that makes us realize we need to put ourselves into this nice little bubble. Go to church, hang out with other nice Christians, send our kids to Christian schools, and not associate or participate in that ‘worldly’ stuff like those heathens. We guard our hearts against “R” rated movies, we don’t drink, swear, lie, cheat, steal, etc. I once heard the phrase, “Those Christians squeak when we walk.” YIKES!

Then there is the opposite of that over-the-top Christian life. Those who participate in everything that the world participates and there is no evidence of Christ, fruit of the Spirit, or repentant heart. To the extent that you tell people that you’re going to church and they respond with, “Really?!” As if they are in pure shock that someone “like you” has a moral side. Clearly the extreme, but do you know people like that? Sadly I do and even more sad – I have had my seasons where I’m no exception. My admission sends me right back to the foot of the cross right here and now.

I teach kids of my Sunday School class, “Christians are called to be in the world, not of the world.” In other words, we live here and we are members of our communities, neighborhoods, workplaces, etc., but we are the examples of who Jesus is as we interact in them. Jesus didn’t hide himself behind the walls of a nice, safe Christian home in a nice, safe Christian crowd. He hung out with the sinners. Difference is… He didn’t sin. He stood up for what was right, had compassion on the lost, orphaned, widowed, sick, defeated, discouraged, and broken, but didn’t compromise His heavenly calling to “fit in.”

This chapter is a reminder that God knows that sin contaminates our lives and the more we sin, the less likely we are or have the ability to be associated with Him. He’s protecting us. Even though sin is inevitable – there are those things that we just know to avoid and verse 45 says it best, “I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.”