Day Forty

Psalm 120, Leviticus 27, Isaiah 36‐37, Ephesians 5:1‐21

Psalm 120

Ps. 120:1In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. – Psalm 120 is a psalm of deliverance. The psalmist in this case is asking for deliverance from those who are lying about him, his God, etc. He lives amongst these liars. He know what to do with his distress. He takes it to God. Why? Because, God has proven faithful in the past to answer prayer, and he is sure that God will answer prayer in the future. God can be trusted with any problem that we face, no matter how daunting it may seem.

Leviticus 27

Lev. 27:34 These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. – The book of Leviticus ends with laws about vows. In this interesting book we’ve seen how seriously God took the law as He delivered it to Moses. The people took these laws seriously too. That doesn’t mean that they continually obeyed God. When they didn’t they paid the consequence. Aren’t you glad that we do not have to follow the letter of the law that was prescribed in Leviticus? Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law. He did not do away with the law, but He summed the law up for His followers. May we be a people who love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, soul, mind and strength, and may we love our neighbors as ourselves. According to Jesus, all the law and the prophets hang upon these two commands.

Isaiah 36-37

Is. 37:5-7 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’” – The odds against Israel were huge. King Hezekiah was about to enter a battle that he had no business being in. The mighty Assyrian army was mocking Israel. Even Hezekiah’s most trusted advisers told him that he would lose. But, Hezekiah went to Isaiah and to the Lord. He prayed. He sought God’s protection. I love his prayer. And God answered. In Isaiah 37:36 we read, “And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.” So, what are you having trouble trusting Jesus for today? I know for me it’s been a home selling. But, God is so much bigger than a housing market. He is the God who answers prayer. Let Him show you His wondrous works.

Ephesians 5:1-21

Eph. 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – These verses are some of the reasons that I love this book. Paul writes so plainly and simply to the Ephesians. We are to be imitators of Christ. When we do that, we walk in love esteeming others as more valuable than ourselves.

Eph. 5:15-17Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – The verses preceding this one are some of the most practical verses in all of the Bible in how to live the Christian life. I like Paul’s warning here. As Christians we should seek to know and understand what the will of the Lord is concerning us. On Sunday, I’ll be beginning a new series at Woodbury Community Church entitled, Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love. The sermon this Sunday deals with James 4:13-17, where James is very specific that we know and follow the will of God. We should not be so arrogant as to think that living outside of God’s will for our life will bring us to a better spot than being in His will.

Day Thirty-nine

Psalm 119:89‐176, Leviticus 26, Isaiah 35, Ephesians 4:17‐32

Psalm 119:89‐176

In 2007-08 I spent 176 days going through Psalm 119. I’d encourage you to look back on my blog, beginning in August of 2007 to that time period. I love this chapter. There are so many verses here that changed my life. It was during this period of time that God gave our family clarity that Woodbury Community Church was where He would have us spend the next chapter of our lives.

This Psalm celebrates the law of God. To the Jew, the law represented the way, the truth and the life. When Jesus came to earth and announced that He was the way, the truth and the life, He shook up the establishment. In a sense, Psalm 119 is as much about Jesus as it is the law. Take some time to reflect on these beautiful verses today.

Leviticus 26

Lev. 26:12 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. – Leviticus 26 records the blessings for obeying the Lord. God gives the people a grocery list of benefits to obedience. But, the best benefit in my opinion is that which is recorded in verse 12. God would walk amongst the people. He would be their God and they would be His people. There could be nothing more awesome than that!

Lev. 26:14-46 – Unfortunately, Leviticus 26 also includes the consequences for choosing to disobey God. The consequences aren’t pretty. Our God is a jealous God, and the heart of God towards those who would spurn Him is laid out in graphic detail here. His jealousy isn’t like a human jealousy. God doesn’t sin. His jealousy is motivated by love, and His desire to see His children walk in His ways, to walk in the truth, and to be shielded from Satan’s schemes.

Isaiah 35

This chapter records the final outcome for those who fear the Lord. They will experience salvation, while those around them experience desolation. Are you one who has experienced God’s salvation? Salvation can only come through Jesus Christ. It’ s important for us to recognize that Jesus came so that we might have life, and have it to the full. He came into a world of sinners as the sinless one. He died the most awful death imaginable on a cross so that we might find forgiveness. He wants you to experience that forgiveness that comes when we place our trust in Him. We must confess with out mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God has saved Him from the dead, and then we will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Ephesians 4:17-32

Eph. 4:17-3217 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Want to know how a Christ-follower lives? Look at these verses. Paul gives the Ephesian church a beautiful description of the new life that is in Christ. This type of living looks peculiar in the world in which we reside. And, that’s part of the point. Christians look different than the rest of the world. It’s a God thing. As God works in our lives, we are transformed into His image. We should be reflecting Him to the world around us.