Day Twenty-three

Psalm 104, Leviticus 11, Isaiah 9:8‐10:34, 2 Corinthians 6:11‐7:16

Psalm 104

Ps. 104:33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. – It’s one thing to say the words of Psalm 104:33, it’s another thing to live those words. Wouldn’t it be great if you could be the type of person that lived out the words of Psalm 104:33? I’d love to be someone who would sing praises to God no matter the situation that I found myself in. Unfortunately too many times I let the discouragements of a day or a week get in the way of my praise to God. It’s easy to be a person who lets circumstances determine my attitude. But, that is as far from being a Spirit filled believer as I can be. If I allow the Spirit to control my life, my life’s circumstances are not what get to dictate my attitude. It’s instead my life’s aim — to please God. So, here’s to trying afresh to sing praise to God no matter the circumstances.

Leviticus 11

Lev. 11:44a44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. – I love this verse! Tucked towards the end of the Levitical law concerning clean and unclean animals is God’s admonition to us to be holy because He is holy. God has called us to be a set apart people, a peculiar people, aliens and strangers in this world. Throughout the pages of Scripture, from Old Testament to New Testament is seen the heartbeat of God for His people. We can be holy if we will allow God’s Spirit to rule our lives.

Isaiah 9:8-10:34

Is. 10:33-34Behold, the Lord God of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One. – In this part of Isaiah’s prophecy he shares the word of the Lord concerning the arrogant nations. There is judgement coming to those nations who don’t fear God. While it may look like they are prospering now, God warns of the impending punishment. The Assyrian army was cut down, and God did bring this punishment to a proud and arrogant nation that had mocked Him and His people.

2 Corinthians 6:11-7:16

2 Cor. 6:1414 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? – God is passionate that the closest relationships that Christians should have are with other Christians. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have non-Christian friends that are close, but our closest friendship should be with like-minded believers. Why? Because, we become like those we spend time with. If Christ is the most important part of our lives, we should be able to share Him with others. We ought to be in close relationships with people who are going to encourage us in our faith. We should be business partners with people who share our values, whose sense of right and wrong comes from God, not from their gut. Our life partners, our spouses, those we date, etc. should be Christians who share our values.

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Day Twenty-two

Psalm 103, Leviticus 10, Isaiah 9:1‐7, 2 Corinthians 5:11‐6:10

Psalm 103

Ps. 103:1Bless the Lord, O my soul,and all that is within me, bless his holy name! – David begins this psalm with words that reflect what the rest of the psalm will look like. David clearly wants to speak about the wonderful God that he loves in Psalm 103. This psalm is a psalm of blessing to God. When David speaks of blessing the Lord with all that is within him, I believe that he means it. He wanted his life to be a life that praised God.

Ps. 103:8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. – David had experienced this type of love from God. God had been merciful to David on multiple occasions. This verse doesn’t give us liberty to live however we want, because God does get angry with sin. There are consequences that come from our sin. David had felt those too.

Ps. 103:11-13For as high as the heavens are above the earth,so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. – I believe that this is one of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture concerning the love of our Lord. The description of God’s love here is one of a vast and a deep love. It is a tender love. It is a forgiving love.

Ps. 103:15-1815 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. – David puts the length of a man’s day in proper perspective. Our days are like the grass, that flourishes for awhile and then is gone. It is vital that we live our days to honor God. We should seek to know Him and make Him known to the next generation.

Leviticus 10

Lev. 10 – This is a sad chapter because it records for us what happened when Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu decided not to follow God’s regulations regarding offerings to the Lord. They offered a strange fire before God and God literally consumed them with fire from heaven. From the very beginning of the priesthood God wanted to show that His regulations were to be taken seriously. These men were to be holy men, set apart by God for His service. Aaron must have been stunned, for this was on the very day that His sacrifice was accepted. This is after the people had been blown away by God accepting the sacrifice with fire from heaven. What a difference a few hours would make for Aaron. Later in the day his next two sons also fail to follow God’s regulations and they receive a tongue lashing from Moses. May we be serious in our worship of God!

Isaiah 9:1-7

Is. 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah gave his people the wonderful message that there was hope coming. And, hope would come in the form of the Messiah. I love Isaiah’s names for Messiah in verses 6-7. Handel was so moved by Isaiah’s words that he penned one of the most beautiful pieces of music in history. What is your favorite title given for Messiah in these verses?

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:10

2 Cor. 5:14-15For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. – So why do you live? Is it for your glory or His? Throughout today’s readings we have been exposed to the fact that our lives are to be about Him. He wants us to be involved in the ministry of reconciliation. We are to help bring those who know nothing of God to the foot of the cross. What a privilege!

2 Cor. 5:20-2120 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.- We have a new President of the United States. Still in his first 100 days of office, President Obama has been busy with many appointments. Among the appointees are those who will serve as Ambassadors from the United States to foreign countries. These men and women have an important job. It is crucial that they act in the best interest of the United States, but also that they represent us well. We too should act in the best interest of God and make Him look good wherever we go.

2 Cor. 6:2bBehold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. – I will often times refer to this verse when I am sharing the Gospel with others. Last night I watched the late Easter service from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. I loved listening to their pastor, Mark Driscoll, as he challenged people to convert to Christianity. He said, “Some of you are like . . . What? Are you trying to convert me? Yes! I am trying to convert you! There is nothing better than being a Christian . . .” He is right. There is nothing better. This world pales in comparison. Today is the day. Now is the day of salvation. Have you committed your life to Christ? If you’d like more information on how to do that e-mail me at bschulenburg@wccmn.org, or call 1-800-NEED-HIM.