Deuteronomy 4-5; Luke 6

Deuteronomy 4

A call to diligence. A call to careful watching. A call to tend.

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ ESV

A warning not to be drawn away.

15 “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,16 beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.19 And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day. ESV

Deuteronomy 5

The Ten Commandments- still for today… and still I ponder, Sabbath.

12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave[g] in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. ESV


29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants[i] forever! ESV

Luke 6

Sabbath. Again. Speaking to my heart, and I ponder.

And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. ESV

I see Jesus, the manifest fulfillment of the Law- and the full embodiment of all that the Father is and intends.

In Deuteronomy 4, 5 – Moses is on the mountain- receiving instruction from the Lord. In Luke 6- Jesus goes out to the mountain to pray- then chose His disciples, healed the people, and proclaims the beatitudes.

So. So much. Truth. In Luke 6. I need to sit here longer. I read again. I whisper, quietly, out loud.

Two favorites:

38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” ESV

45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ESV


Lord, help me to live free and open in You that Your life may flow and operate in me.  Teach me to tend and keep watch. I rest in You. Thank You for the truth You provided in the mountains of these times; these Words that feed and nourish even to this day. You are kind, and good, and merciful.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)


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Deuteronomy 1-3; Psalm 36; Luke 5

I bet after forty years of circling that mountain, it was pretty familiar territory. The Lord was telling them to move on.

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on (Deuteronomy 1:6, NLT).

I consider these verses in light of change and challenge.

29 “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! 30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’ (Deuteronomy 1:29-31, NLT)

He looked for the best places to camp and guided with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.

If you need food to eat or water to drink, pay them for it. For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ (Deuteronomy 2:6-7, NLT)

David’s psalm touches on good and evil. And I know from Deuteronomy (and my own life), God goes before me. He fights for me. He is just. I find peace in his goodness.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
    letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
    the light by which we see. (Psalm 36:5-9, NLT)

I can trust him. Oh, if he is willing, will I not be healed?

 12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. (Luke 5:12-13, NLT)


22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[d] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!” (Luke 5:22-26, NLT)

If he says to go out deeper, will I not see his miracles?

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:5-11, NLT)

Lord, I live in wonder and delight of you. Thank you for your faithfulness, love, provision and protection. Thank you for fighting for me and loving me tenderly and deeply.

Courtney (66books365)


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Numbers 34-36; Luke 4

My wife and I are reintroducing ourselves to the television series starring the lawyer, Perry Mason. Reminds me how easy it is to judge and how critical it is for me not to.  I was always taught that my name was always a precious reputation but keeping that name is not always up to me. Just the idea that God knew I could be wrongfully accused and that He set up provision for these things makes me feel that my name nestled in the palm of His hand is the best place for me to be.

After you have crossed the Jordan River and are settled in Canaan,  choose Safe Towns, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection.  If the victim’s relatives think it was murder, they might try to take revenge.[c] Anyone accused of murder can run to one of these Safe Towns for protection and not be killed before a trial is held.  There are to be six of these Safe Towns,  three on each side of the Jordan River.  They will be places of protection for anyone who lives in Israel and accidentally kills someone. – Numbers 35:10-15  CEV

I grew up hearing stories of missionaries who shared stories of how angels came to the aid of those who were under attack.  Many quoted Psalm 91 and I am glad my mother made us kids memorize that Psalm at an early age. I have used it many times.  Satan tried to manipulate Jesus in the desert with the temptation of security and comfort in line with this whole idea.  Thankfully Jesus showed how to discern what real protection looked like.

The Scriptures say: ‘God will tell his angels to take care of you. They will catch you in their arms, and you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’” – Luke 4:10-11  CEV

I try not to put God to the test, but I have no fear when I walk a dark ally, or go across a vacant parking lot during the day or night.  Somehow I know it is not my time to go home and that God has a lot of work for me to do.  My wife says angels work on overtime when I leave the house.  I just preached a sermon on the Holy Spirit’s work as our Helper.  Fits right into this thought.  I believe our lives of peace come from leaving our hands in God’s – even when things are going terrible.  If I do not leave it in God’s hand, whose hand is big enough to hold it and keep it safe?

Father, I am thankful that You want to protect me and keep me safe.  I love the fact that You care for me very much.  Even so, there are days I start without You.  Forgive for those moments when I think my life is too important for You.


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Numbers 30-33; Psalms 35; Luke 3

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord. And these are their journeys according to the starting points: They departed from the Ramesus in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day of the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians” Numbers 33:1-3 NKJV

The Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land.  I imagine Moses writing about their struggles, hardships, faith or lack there of.  “They departed”…What old ways am I still holding onto that could be leaving me stuck? I think about times that I can get complacent. I read over my journal entries and my hope is renewed over God’s faithfulness. Sometimes I have to look back to be able to move forward.

“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Psalms 35:1-3 NKJV

David cried out to God to make right the wrongs committed against him. Things that could have hindered him, he gave to God instead and found freedom.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” Psalms 35:9&10 NKJV

As I prepare my heart for Easter, I pray that I would be filled with wonder over what Jesus did for me.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled. And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight. And the rough places smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke 3:4-6 NKJV

Dear Father, thank you for the victory I have in you. I pray for others who don’t know you, to know how much you love them. Enough to die on the cross for their sins. Thank you that you will complete the work you started in me. Amen.


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Numbers 26-29; Luke 2

For some reason I have been drawn to the New Testament passages in this year’s readings. This one is particularly touching and profound to me. And this passage in Luke’s Gospel not only speaks to the birth of Jesus, but also His crucifixion. Also we have a grandson Simeon and I do think his parents named him that with this passage in mind. And before he was even born this passage always has brought tears to my eyes. It’s a great passage for Christmas and for this Lenten season.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:25-35 [ESV])

Simeon had been told that he would not die till he saw the salvation of the Lord. Till he had seen the Messiah and here Jesus was. And Simeon said he could depart in peace because the greatest thing in the world had just happened to him. Wow! What an experience. He held and dedicated the God of the universe. What a privilege.

Then he mad a profound statement to Mary. That a sword would pierce Mary’s soul because of this little one. And 33 years later we see Mary standing at the foot of the cross and in torment she watches Jesus die for her and for us all.

What are you waiting for this Lenten season? Is Jesus on your list? You know that in Revelation 7 the Apostle John views heaven and sees people from ever tongue trip  and nation standing around the throne of God. There are presently 3,200 people groups that would have no representative in heave if Jesus came back today. So there is still much to do before He returns. What are you doing to hasten His return today?

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Numbers 22-25; Luke 1

And Moab was in great dread of the people [of Israel], because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. Numbers 22: 3 ESV

In Numbers 22, the Moabites are terrified of the Israelites coming towards their land. Through God’s will, the people had just defeated the Canaanites and the Amorites. Balak, the son of Moab’s king, decides to send men to Balaam with a message.

“Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” Numbers 22:5b-6 ESV

Balaam was a well-known prophet in the area and Balak knew that if he could get Balaam to curse the Israelites, he would be able to defeat them. However, Balaam was unable to carry out this curse due to the authority of God. God instead used Balaam to bless the Israelites four times, the fourth time prophesying about the rule of David and his offspring.

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.” Numbers 24: 17 ESV

This prophecy ultimately leads to the true King of Israel, Jesus. In Luke 1, an angel visits Mary to tell her that she will mother the Messiah. The angel tells her that she is favored by the Lord and that she will conceive and bear a son.

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1: 32-33 ESV

The angel tells Mary the child she will bear will be the ultimate king of Israel and will rule of the house of Jacob forever.  Mary believes what the angel tells her and goes to visit her relative Elizabeth.

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Luke 1: 46-49 ESV

Mary praises God for choosing her as the mother of Christ in a hymn. She thanks God working His will through her and praises His power and mighty works.

Dear God, thank You for sending Christ to be our ultimate King and for guiding us through Your Word. Please help us humbly accept Your calling and to trust in You. Amen.

Nathanael (nborger2017)

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Numbers 19-21; Colossians 4

She was a mom of three. She devoted herself to home tasks, which later left her feeling helpless after his trespass and abandonment. The home, a prison. Her children, shackles. Outside her window, a perceived freedom of women climbing corporate ladders–she faced having the electricity shut off; broke and broken. It was too much. She felt hopeless.


Another woman was recovering during a time that felt like a life sentence. The nurses were wardens and the rules were constricting, restricting punishments. She felt all freedoms had been stripped away. Every day was punctuated by offense, oppression, complaint. The days ticked past. She praised the Lord for what he’d done in the past, but she was unable to praise him in the present for the meal, the care, the provision. She felt trapped, like she was in prison.


I was tasked with duties without warning. A lifelong obligation. A tethering, and sometimes too heavy–the bombardment of negativity, of opposition, of uncertainty. I fought against my own complaint, but sometimes, and sometimes often, I still complained. I fought against bitterness, and when I felt its squeeze, I cried out–oh, not this heart, Lord.  I remembered Paul. I thought of his chains.

Remember my chains. (Colossians 4:18b, NLT)

If he could find understanding and purpose in the worst of circumstances, could I find them in mine?

If I let him, could God use my circumstance to speak the Gospel? Could he use this circumstance to demonstrate his glory and goodness and sovereignty? What the enemy uses to break and beat down, could my God use to build upon and make new? Where an enemy declares an end, could God pronounce a beginning?

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (Colossians 4:2-6, NLT)

Nothing is a surprise to my God, however it may surprise me. These things he knew before time. Tasks prepared in advance. Yes. Don’t let me miss it–that sometimes ministry is in the middle of mess and misery. For Paul, he was literally a prisoner in a prison, but for others, it’s circumstance that feels hopeless, punitive, imprisoning, endless.

17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” (Colossians 4:17, NLT)

Archippus, did you? Did you carry out the ministry the Lord gave you?

Lord Jesus, you have been with me every step of this journey, and you know how hard it’s been. You know how desperately I begged to quit from the pressure. And whether the job was heaped upon, handed over, appointed–you knew. And you intend(ed) it for my good and your glory. May it be so. Fixing my eyes on you, author and perfecter of faith. You can bring beauty from ashes.

May God’s grace be with you.

Courtney (66books365)

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