2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families…”
53 “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names.”
55 “Be sure that the land is distributed by lot.”
5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord.
7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right……”
It is census time again. This time the counting is to determine how much land is to be allotted to each family as an inheritance. God wanted the new land to be divided fairly, according to his plan. The daughters of Zelophehad where left out since their father had died crossing the dessert. They petitioned Moses to do what was right and fair. Moses talked to God and God provided an answer by agreeing with the sisters.
Numbers is not an easy book to read. As its name implies there are a bunch of numbers. However I found a some very basic truths that I need to live by daily. The first is that God is fair. He wants what is good for me. He wants me to have my fair share. My fair share may not be the exact same as others around me but if I trust in God as my lot is pulled it will be my portion of what he has in store for me. The second is the importance of talking to God to find the answers. So often I stumble around looking for the answers to all of my troubles, just to realize that I have never even asked God to help me with them. When God is involved in my life, I no longer have to know all of the answers. He is waiting for me to ask. The third basic truth found in numbers 26,27 is that God has a plan. So often I forget that God is working his plan. He uses all things to keep his plan on course.
Why do I question so much that happens in my life? If God uses all things to further His plan and He wants good things for me, why am I not in constant communication with Him, so that I can maximize my life and bring greater Glory to Him?
Father may you help me to communicate with you more. Help me to develop my prayer to make it timely, meaningful, and effective. Help me to seek You constantly. Continue to show me your love, grace, and mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
How do you define yourself? Who are you? If you were a Hebrew marching through the wilderness, you were easily identified by your relationship to your tribe. A portrait of thousands, yet clearly divided in groups spread east, west, north and south, with God’s holy tabernacle and His priestly tribe dwelling in the center, learning obedience through His marching orders. Not only did they know who they were based on what tribe they were born into, they knew who they were based on where their tribe was placed in relation to the tabernacle.
I’m heading south today to visit my tribe and celebrate the matriarch’s birthday. (Ha, Mom would love this description of her importance!) I am keenly aware of my position in this family; though a middle child, I’m the oldest sibling who will attend the party. That usually means that I will be described by my ever increasing number of wrinkles and ailments. I have also been dubbed the leader in the family (does, Bossy, the Cow, sound like the head honcho?!), so there is an expectation that I can be depended on to get things done, advise, and organize, and collaborate with outside resources, if need be. Regardless of the years that have passed, my identity has remained the same in this, my family of origin.
There is, however, another identity that Christ has given me which is separate from my family and based solely on my relationship to His presence dwelling in the center of my being. The change in my soul when I accepted Christ as my Savior was dramatic and immediate. I now walk alongside new brothers and sisters in this spiritual family on earth. As joyful as this can be, I look forward with anticipation to the resurrection when I will receive a new identity. Revelation 2:17 says that Christ will even give me a new name, indicating a new relationship with Him in the resurrection. This concept is fascinating to me. To be like the angels in heaven; to see Jesus face to face; to truly know how I am known by Him (I love how He changed the names of the apostles.) My earthly identity is changing slowly, like that of the Hebrews in their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. But in the twinkling of an eye, I will hear that familiar Voice calling me by my new name. Wow!
Mark 10 (NIV)
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.
15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Jesus once again sets the bar a little higher. He explains that the law is less restrictive than what God actually intended for us because our hearts were hard and we can’t live up to the high standards of God. He shows that no one is worthy of being called Good except God alone. People need to die to self, become child like, to receive God’s Kingdom. Jesus once again pointed out the difficulty of finding God’s Kingdom when you are chasing after wealth and material things. It left his disciples (Jesus referred to them as children) feeling like it was probably impossible to find access to the Kingdom. Jesus points out that it would be impossible for us but God can make it work. It’s good to know that God has a plan.
I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to get ahead, trying to make more money, trying to collect more stuff. I’ve been so caught up in what I could accomplish, that I pushed God into the periphery of my life. My heart was hard. I didn’t even try to involve God in my daily living. The Kingdom was far away from me. Life got difficult, God lead me back to the one who is Good. I work daily on becoming child like. The Kingdom no longer feels so far away. Praise God that he has a plan for us! Praise God that he made a way for us to be saved! Praise God for JESUS!
Father thank you for the wonderful works you do in my life. Thank you for the plan you have for my life. Thank you for providing a way for me to have access to your Kingdom. Thank you for allowing me to know your Son. Help me to seek You constantly. Continue to show me your love, grace, and mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
21 When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
Jesus was driving out demons, performing miracles on the sabbath, hanging out with sinners, and teaching others about God. He was gathering great crowds of people because He spoke as someone with authority. His family thought that “He was out of his mind.” The so called experts of the time thought that He was the prince of demons. Why is it that we routinely try to assign the credit due to God to someone or something else? Why can we not see the actions of God as His alone. Why can we not recognize him for His actions and offer up the appropriate praise. Would we really rather assign a good work to Satan than give the credit to God, as the teachers of the law did?
My God is a God of action. He is constantly working. I should be able to easily see the signs of this action in my life. I must focus on seeing these signs and assign the praise to the one who is worthy! I need to stop looking for other sources. Jesus is the source of life and is worthy of all praise, I need look no further.
Father may you help me to recognize the wonderful works you do in my life. Help me to praise you in all things and guide me to stop seeking other answers for events in my life. Help me to seek You constantly. Continue to show me your love, grace, and mercy, in Jesus name, Amen.
3 …. “Tell us,” They said, “when will this happen,and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.”
I’m sure that the Israelites had a difficult time seeing the favor of God’s hand in the misery of their daily lives of being slaves. Yet God was watching and He was concerned with their suffering. God wanted to give Moses a sign that proved He had been involved in the rescue of His people. Jesus shared various signs of things to come, in response to the needs of his disciples, to have visual indications that God was working an active plan in their lives. Two thousand years later we are still comparing the things we are witnessing, to the list that Jesus gave, to see if we are at the end of the age that he spoke of. I think God loves to leave His stamp on the stories of our lives.
I’m always looking around the landscape of my life for signs that God is active in it. At times the signs can be difficult to spot. I’m too close to the trees to see the forest. On really bad days, I may even wonder if he cares about my particular story at all. When this happens, I find myself praying for a sign. Something small, anything will do, just something that lets me know that God is listening and that he cares about my personal story. He always finds a way to show me a sign. God is wanting us to see the evidence of his glorious presence working in our lives. The signs are always there we just have to be open to seeing them.
Father may you help me to always find you, in the story of my life. Help me to turn to you in all things and guide me away from my doubts and fears that keep me from seeing the signs of your magnificent presence in my life. Continue to show me your love, grace, and mercy, in Jesus name, Amen.