Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Rememberance the road to Wisdom" Deut 4

[Moses speaks] “Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today? (Deut 4:5-8).
Israel today–Overlooking the land of Promise, remember Him to live a life of wisdom in the land
What is wisdom? Wisdom is seeing the world through God's eyes and living according to this worldview. Wisdom leads a man not only to desire to know about Truth but to apply this Truth to every day life. The Bible clearly says if anyone lacks wisdom, ask God who gives out wisdom generously to those who desire it (James 1:5).  It is also said that, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Fearing Him means, acknowledging Him as king, creator and master of all the earth and my life, and then allowing this to influence the way I live (Prov 1:7).

So as Israel is at the verge of entering the Promise land of Canaan, Moses speaks to them with a long remembrance speech found in Deuteronomy 4. He calls them to wisdom through the road of remembrance (4:1-2). He Reminds them about where they came from–slaves in Egypt, and reminds them of who they are now–Children of the most high God, chosen by God as His very own possession (4:20). He reminds them in Deut 4 of how they have heard God's voice and yet are still alive and recounts what happened to those who were rebellious among them (4:3). He reminds them of how they heard God's commandments from Mount Sinai and their promise to obey, passing on God's laws to their children (4:10). 

The purpose of this history lesson was to solicit Israel's loyalty and obedience to their God. Now how will their obedience affect other nations around them? Well in Deut 4:6, the Lord speaking through Moses says that if they obey God, they will display wisdom on earth above what other nations are used to, "...Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!". This godly wisdom displayed will draw others nations to desire to know the God of Israel well this was the plan.

Present day Israel
However did Israel obey? Was Israel a light to their neighbors? The answer to these questions will become evident as we continue looking into this book in the weeks to come. however if we had to camp here for a few minutes, what can we learn from this remembrance speech and how does it apply today in the way we live our lives?

It is a simple but profound lesson. Know who God is and seek to apply this knowledge of Him to every decision of your life–this is called wisdom–this is called being a Christian. When you operate under the wisdom of God others around you will be drawn or convicted by your ways. That is why 2 Cor 2:15-16 says,

 ...Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.
Homes in Present day Israel, tell the story of a time of remembrance over 2000 years ago

One may ask, "How do we practically get to know God, in order to live out the victorious life of wisdom?". It begins with first being a part of God's family which comes by believing in jesus Christ as the one who came to die to pay the penalty for your sin (Rom 5:8). In so doing Christ swapped His life for yours and this makes you a new creation in Him (2 Cor 5:17). Born not of flesh but of the Spirit (John 3:3, 6-7). 

In this new life, sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), you have the grace needed to read the Bible and grow in the understanding of God's heart and His ways. His Spirit coupled with your willingness to submit to His authority provides the melting pot necessary for wisdom to be lived out in your life. Obedience to His word does not only provide a personal blessing, but showers blessings to others around you. That is why as Christians we are known to be light to our world, pointing to the way of Truth. We are salt in our world, helping to season other lives with love and compassion (Matt 5:13-14). 

So like Moses gave the remembrance speech to Israel, today we are also reminded, to live a life according to God's standard and enjoy the beautiful impact such a life has on this world and in that to come. May this remembrance today lead you to the road of wisdom, out of which flows rivers of a fruitful life (Prov 14:26-27)now this is true comfort for the soul.

Until next time, Read His word, Share His Truth and Be comforted by it. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving ( Ps 106:1-2)

(We interrupt our normal devotional just to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving Day, for those in the US).
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?
Who can ever praise him enough?….Save us, O Lord our God!
Gather us back from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
    and rejoice and praise you. Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord! (Ps 106:1-2, 47-48)
Dallas fall tress-We thank our God for He is good, deep in the heart of Texas.

Today in the US we celebrate a beautiful holiday called Thanksgiving. When we stop in the midst of our usually crazy schedule, and give thanks to God for all His benefits through the year. With family and friends and a table full of food, we all take the time to sing like Israel did, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His faithful love endures forever".

One thing that hit me this year with this Psalm is that, it ask us to give thanks not because things are good but because God is good. So since God is good all the time–even when life is a bit horrible and for some, very painful–our God ask us to give thanks regardless because he is Good and He is in control of our life. 
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".– (1Thes 5:16-18)

How do we give thanks when life hands us a nasty plate? We look at our God in prayer and ask for strength to see the silver lining even in the overcast skies. We remember the past, and how good He has been, we remember our other darkest moments and how God took us through. We read about how God has taken others through and glean support and strength from their story of perseverance, even when it seems so far fetched. Yes weeping may come in the night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5). Remember God is faithful till the end, he is good till the end. So command your soul to rejoice, do not stay alone, meet some friends, seek the company of laughter, it might be the medicine you need to get your soul's jump start into the Thanksgiving spirit.

So I encourage you who might not seem to have anything to praise God for, to praise Him anyway...For those whom giving thanks is a lot easier this year, I ask you to stop, reflect and speak out loud the goodness of the Lord. So that you will remember and it will be a milestone of encouragement when hard times come, and when thanksgiving does not come so easy.

Happy Thanksgiving Comfortnotes family, although we celebrate this here in the US, thanksgiving should be a discipline to practice every day of our lives. Enjoy this day, be safe this day and be comforted this day. Amen.

My Testimony