Monday, September 22, 2014

Deuteronomy 11 - Remember, Observe, and Be Careful

In this chapter God outlines a means for demonstrating love to Him.  Here are the three steps to demonstrating love for God:

Step 1:  Remember (Deut 11:2-7)
Remember the many ways God has provided in the past. God reminds the Isrealites that they have seen Him do mighty things. If you belong to God you have seen him keep you through trials and encourage you when you were overwhelmed. We should cling to those memories of God's acts in our lives to carry us through the next trial and to remind us of God's constant care. 

Step 2 - Observe (Deut 11:8-15)
God says, "love the Lord your God and keep his laws and his commands always". When we love, we honor the person by doing as they ask. God doesn't give commands just to see his people jump through hoops like a circus animal; he loves his people and sets boundaries to keep them protected and so they can have joy in living. Like any good parent, God give rules for us to  give us joy in living.  

Step 3 - Be Careful (Deut 11:16-32)
We need to be aware of the forces that are at work on the world that keep us from living out our faith. There are idols that promise good living, pleasure and ease. They may even offer a temporary sense of euphoria, but it isn't lasting. God hawlf will come against idols in our lives and the result will be hardship and curses. He shows us that idols are no substitute for a relationship with the Almigjty and if we will be careful to avoid the traps here are blessings built in. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Deuteronomy 10 - Gifts to One Who Has Everything

What do you give to someone who has everything?  No gift can ever measure up to the things they already own. Everything in comparison seems like a Dollar Store trinket.  In reality, gifts are meant as a demonstration of our love for an individual. Our love is something that has no real economic equivalent. 

At our core our greatest desire in life is to be loved and valued. Our life is built upon having people affirm, love and support us through our trials and share in our joys. We have the image of God stamped on us and we long for connection. Not the false and superficial connections of trinkets, but a deep and personal connection to stay with us always. 

God longs for that kind of connection with his people and He shares in this chapter what that connection looks like. God set his affection on the Fathers of our faith; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Because the nation of Israel was descended from these men of faith, God blesses the descendants and honors His promise to give a special parcel of land to the people. His love is deep and abiding. He is faithful, powerful, wealthy, and generous. He provides for every need of Israel and as His people He asks them to demonstrate a love for the aliens in the land and for God Himself. 

We too are called to walk in God's ways, to serve Him with all our heart and soul, knowing that He is Master of the Universe and has a deep love for His people. Our fate is secure in His hands if we will but trust Him and honor Him with our lives. 

There are precious promises we can cling to in this chapter. Our calling is to live in connection with our Maker. "Fear The Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths on his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes."

Let's rise to the challenge of living as God's people and praise Him for his mercies extend down through the generations even to this day. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him.