Tag Archives: consequences

Leviticus 26-27; Numbers 1; Acts 13

In the beginning of Leviticus 26, God encouraged the people of Israel to obey Him by expressing the great rewards they would receive from their obedience. And then He said this:

Leviticus 26:13 (ESV)

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

He then shifted gears, and spent far more words warning of the consequences – the pain – they would experience if they disobeyed. The pain of acting in pride. The pain of acting in their own strength, in their own understanding, and in their own power.

The pain of forgetting God.

I think that’s why the transition between the promises of blessing to the promises of pain was a reminder of what God had done for the people to deliver them from bondage.

The single biggest factor in our obedience is remembering what God has done for us. If I could just remember how God has delivered me before, I’d have no trouble believing Him for this time. If I could remember how God answered my prayers before, I’d have no trouble asking Him for what I need now. If I remembered God’s faithfulness in the last trial, I’d find it easier to be faithful to Him in the current one.

But I forget. My fear takes over. Insecurity, pride, frustration, and the temptation to take matters into my own hands causes me to act like more like the Israelites than I’d like to admit. And it lasts longer than I’d like to admit, too. Because, while God offers so many promises and incentives for obedience, I find that I tend to respond far more to painful consequences than positive incentives.

I don’t think I’m alone in that. In fact, I think that’s why God spent more time talking about the painful consequences than the pleasurable ones. Because we tend to change only when the pain of staying the way we are becomes greater than the pain of change. That’s why pain is God’s biggest tool in our lives. He gets us out of the mess by pain.  And then, when we repent, as He promises in last section of the chapter, He can restore us and lavish on us the blessings of obedience that He’d promised in the first place.

If only I didn’t have to learn the hard way.

If only I could be faithful in seeking Him
before I find myself stressed out and overwhelmed.

If only I could decide to be kind
before my mouth gets me into trouble.

If only I could give forgiveness
before bitterness affects my other relationships.

If only I could learn to eat right
before I outgrow all my clothes.

Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. What’s the key? Remembering God.

Father, forgive me for trusting in myself and what makes sense to me instead of obeying your directions for my life. Help me to remember what You’ve done for me, how You’ve proven Yourself to me, and how You’ve proven your ways are better than mine. I want to be faithful to you just as you’ve been faithful to me. I want to be motivated by Your promises, not the by the pain of ignoring you. Help me to live in Your presence and in the light of Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

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Esther 1, 2, 3; Acts 5:1-16

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:1-4

Lying. There are out-right lies, lies of omission, white lies, etc. As a fallen human, I tend to give each of these types of lies a degree as to what is the worst and what is considered acceptable. But, God doesn’t judge it the same way…sin is sin.

Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount of money that they received from selling a piece of their land. As Peter explained, it was their property and their money to handle; the problem wasn’t that they kept some of the proceeds for themselves. The problem was that they lied about how much they received for the property and that they held a portion back. They were caught in their lie, and reaped the consequences in death.

Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. Esther 2:20

Esther lied too. It was a lie of omission, a failure to divulge her heritage to the king of Persia or his servants. Mordecai was afraid that she would be rejected and killed because she was a Jew, and advised her to keep the truth a secret. When the details of her heritage came to light, her life was in peril, but God saved her and used her, in spite of the lie, to save the people of Israel.

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.” Esther 3:8-9

Haman also lied. His lie was malicious and devious, his intention revenge, to wipe God’s people off the face of the planet. Only revealing partial truth about the Jewish people and their laws, he convinced the king to give him full power in delivering judgment…total annihilation. In the end though, he also paid the penalties for his actions, hanged with the noose intended for his ‘enemy’.

I think back throughout my history and remember times that I’ve lied. When I’ve told someone how great they look, when I really hated their new outfit. There have been more than a few occasions when I’ve failed to tell someone the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the hope to avoid a conflict or rejection. And, of course, there are countless times when, as a child, I lied to my parents, to attempt to escape punishment. Sometimes it seemed I got away with it, but more often than not, I got found out and had to deal with the fall-out and take my punishment.

When I became a believer, it became important to me to always tell the truth, in love, to the best of my ability. God always knew the truth anyway, so staying honest before Jesus has been the easiest part. I am grateful that God can handle my failures, He can handle the truth.

Striving to tell the truth has meant a shift in my thinking, and it has meant that there have been instances when I have told the truth, it has made people unhappy and upset with me. Sometimes it seems easier to lie, but the reality is that telling the truth is better in the long run; Truth keeps me right with God and there is a whole lot less that I have to remember.

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, always said: If someone asks you how your day has been, tell the truth (in a positive way). If your day has been great, tell them your day has been ‘incredible’; if it has been horrible, say your day has been ‘unbelievable.’

Do I get it right every time? No. There are times when I slip into white lies or purposely leave off some information when telling a story. I sometimes tell my kids that there is no electricity, so I can turn the TV off to get them out the door faster or ask them if they hear Hook’s crocodile when they won’t stay in their beds.

When I realize I slipped up, I go to God, tell Him the truth, and I am forgiven. I can start fresh, in that moment, telling the truth.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your Truth. Thank You for giving me strength to be honest, even when it is difficult, and for giving me revelation about how to tell the truth in love. Thank You for forgiving me when I make mistakes and fall into old habits. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Esther, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Kings 24-25, Acts16:1-21

Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive. 2 Kings 24:3-4 

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:10

 Both good and bad behaviors have consequences.

Repercussions don’t ask for our moral resume.

They just fan out,

like ripples in a pond. ) ) )

 

King Manasseh shed innocent blood… ) ) )

Foreign raiders came to destroy Judah.

King Jehoiachin did evil in the Lord’s sight. ) ) )

The temple treasures and 10,000 captives were carried away to Babylon.

Zedekiah did evil in the Lord’s sight.) ) )

The Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem.

The people remained captive and starving in their own city.

The walls of Jerusalem were torn down, the temple burned and looted.

The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon.

 

Paul and Barnabas disagreed over Mark. They split up. ) ) )

Paul enlisted Timothy. ) ) )

Churches grew in faith, strength and number.

The Holy Spirit prevented Paul from preaching in Asia) ) )

In Macedonia, Lydia and her household were baptized.

Paul cast out a prophesying spirit. ) ) )

… ( see Acts 16:22-40 tomorrow for the rest of the story)

 

Bad ripples

Gossip, Selfishness, Dishonesty, Idolatry, Pride : ( : ( : (

Good ripples

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-control : ) 🙂 : )
We affect everyone around us even when we are unaware.

Perfume drifts through the air.

Voices echo in the streets.

Music blasts from car windows.

Bumper stickers broadcast opinions.

Conversations influence those within earshot.

Smiles encourage and hugs comfort.

 

Ripples that begin with me set others adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Ripples that begin with God move in the direction of his will.

 

May I begin each day with the Master Rippler.

 

yicareggie

 

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Judges 6, Acts 10, Jeremiah 19, Mark 5

 And when He got into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him … and began to proclaim … all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. Mark 5:18

 Obeying God’s Word, “doubting nothing”, causes God to Change things Amazingly for His Magnificent Glory!!

 Found at: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judg.%206;%20Acts%2010;%20Jer.%2019;%20Mark%205&version=NKJV

 Judges 6                   “Then the children ofIsrael did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years,” leaving “ no sustenance forIsrael” So “the children ofIsrael cried out to the LORD.” Therefore “the LORD sent a prophet to the children ofIsrael”, “ …  Now “the Angel of the LORD came … and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor! …tear down the altar of Baal that your father has …and build an altar to the LORD your God …and offer a burnt sacrifice.'” and “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon”

                      One man or woman of God makes ALL the difference. The whole nation is turned around because one man believes what the Lord Jesus Christ says about him: “man of valor”. Gideon trusts God more than his breeding, circumstance, & personal propensity, SO he moves beyond his fear. Gideon acts out of love, which is obedience, to God. (1 John 4:18, 1 John 5:3, Christophany)

                         May I be that “one man”!  May You, O Lord, make many people that “one man” so that this nation is changed into fearing You, loving and serving You, and disbanding themselves from all idols and fearing enemies weaker than You! We need to be freed from our enemies within and without, and You, Lord Jesus, are our only Hope and Deliverer.

                        Please open my and my Christian sibling’s eyes and hearts to our bondage to the enemy surrounding us. We have false religions in our hearts. We offer sacrifices to the baals of our day, substituting time with You for TV, music, fashion, lust, anger and worse. We sacrifice our children who You gave to us for the godofpleasure. Enable and empower me and all of us to learn from You, lean on You, and obey You since we are to be the powerful army of the Lord of Hosts. Have me wait upon You, Lord God Almighty.

Obedience to the Word of God, a heart dedicated to serve the living God, incurs Holy Spirit empowerment.

 

Acts 10                      God gives instructions to the gentile Cornelius. Then God separately instructs Peter, telling him to “doubt nothing”. Both men do specifically as God commands. The Consequences? Gentiles are now brought into God’s flock by God’s Hand. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.”  Without God’s intervention and obedient people the Holy Spirit would not have fallen as it did – for Great Spiritual Fruit!!    

                   Lord, I need to keep the main thing the main thing – You, salvation of souls from hell, and being attentive to Your Heart and Voice in my attitude, action and word every moment!

 

Jeremiah 19             “Thus says the LORD: I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, … Because they have forsaken Me and” … worshipped  “other gods” and “with the blood of the innocents … I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies” and “shall drive them to despair.” … “Behold, I will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.”

                         Oh Lord! My nation, my people, my family, my self! May I not stiffen my neck to not turn toward You and Your Word!! May I and my people turn our heads toward You, away from our sins, in repentance to You!! 

                        I have seen in my life the repercussions of my own sins against You – and they last for decades! I am grateful that You burn a desire for Your Word in my heart that I would not sin against You, and that You heal my family, friends, and more! For me You have healed, changed, delivered and done so much more in my body, soul, mind and emotion ~ May I never stop praising You, the Unfathomable!!  

Consequences! Trust and Obey!!

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,  Acts 3:19

 

Mark 5                        “And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. …Jesus, Son of the Most High God…said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” …  Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand)…  they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. … Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.”   

                        “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,” … she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, … and said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’”

                       “One of the rulers of the synagogue came … he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.’ … some “came saying ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ (Jesus) “said, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’ And He permitted no one to follow Him except” … (others) “ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, … Immediately the girl arose and walked”

                 Am I afraid of the power and effect of God in my heart and life? Do I prefer money to the priceless Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the change He makes in my world? Should I disbelieve and mock what God has planned for Good? Should I discourage others from trusting the ALL Loving Jesus? God Forbid it!! Jesus fill me with Your Holy Spirit, that I would be Your instrument unashamed, fearless, and excellent in Your Hand my Master!! Alone for Your Glory!! Please protect, guard, fortify, and strengthen me and all Your servants Lord Jesus Christ!! I love You Lord Jesus!!

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized