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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, October 14, 2016
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Today’s scripture reading:
David’s praise focused on God’s glorious deeds. It is easy to complain about life, but David’s list gives us plenty for which to praise God. He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems us from death, crowns us with love and compassion, satisfies our desires, and gives righteousness and justice. We receive all of these without deserving any of them. No matter how difficult your life’s journey, you can always count your blessings—past, present, and future. When you feel as though you have nothing for which to praise God, read David’s list.
God’s law was given first to Moses and the people of Israel. God’s law presents a clear picture of God’s nature and will. It was God’s training manual to prepare his people to serve him and to follow his ways. Review the Ten Commandments (https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/commandments-lifes-guidance/) and the history of how they were given (see below for Exodus 20:18-26), asking God to show you his will and his ways through them.
East and west can never meet. This is a symbolic portrait of God’s forgiveness. When he forgives our sin, he separates it from us and doesn’t even remember it. We need never wallow in the past, for God forgives and forgets. We tend to dredge up the ugly past, but God has wiped our record clean. If we are to follow God, we must model his forgiveness. When we forgive another, we must also forget the sin. Otherwise we have not truly forgiven. (NLT)
Psalm 103:1-12 – Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.
* Sometimes God speaks to his people with a majestic display of power, at other times he speaks quietly. Why the difference? God speaks in the way that best accomplishes his purposes. At Sinai, the awesome display of light and sound was necessary to show Israel God’s great power and authority. Only then would they listen to Moses and Aaron.
Throughout the Bible we find this phrase: “Don’t be afraid.” God wasn’t trying to scare the people. He was showing his mighty power so the Israelites would know he was the true God and would therefore obey him. If they would do this, he would make his power available to them. God wants us to follow him out of love rather than fear. To overcome fear, we must think more about his love. First John 4:18 says, “Perfect love expels all fear.”
Why were specific directions given for building altars? God’s people had no Bible and few religious traditions to learn from. God had to start from scratch and teach them how to worship him. God gave specific instructions about building altars because he wanted to control the way sacrifices were offered. To prevent idolatry from creeping into worship, God did not allow the altar stones to be cut or shaped into any form. Nor did God let the people build an altar just anywhere. This was designed to prevent them from starting their own religions or making changes in the way God wanted things done. God is not against creativity, but he is against us creating our own religion. (NLT)
Exodus 20:18-26 – When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the horn, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.
And they said to Moses, “You tell us what God says, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us. If he does, we will die!”
“Don’t be afraid,” Moses said, “for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!”
As the people stood in the distance, Moses entered into the deep darkness where God was.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: You are witnesses that I have spoken to you from heaven. Remember, you must not make or worship idols of silver or gold.
“The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me—your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there. If you build altars from stone, use only uncut stones. Do not chip or shape the stones with a tool, for that would make them unfit for holy use. And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness.