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|Posted on March 8, 2011 at 5:41 AM|
The Bible readings for March 8 are Deuteronomy 4 – 6 and Mark 11:20 – 33. Although Deuteronomy is a bit repetitive, it is still good for us to hear what God wanted of His people again. Humans tend to forget things, so it is good for Moses to remind the people of Israel of what God has done for them, and how He expects them to live. Although these words may sound familiar to us, I am still amazed at what I am learning because God makes it fresh for me. Rather than being bored by God’s Word, I am excited as I pick it up each day and hear Him speak to me. Thinking of the preciousness of God’s Word, I was disappointed to see a New Testament ripped to shreds and its pages blowing in the wind. The Gideons would have handed out this Bible to a secondary school student in our local area. Moses was keen for God’s Word not to fall on the ground, or upon deaf ears. God had an important message for His people, and Moses was often the messenger to bring this message. Of course, sometimes God delivered the message Himself from fire or from heaven. The Israelites had God to themselves, and unlike the gods of the other people living in the area, the Israelite’s God is real! He is the creator, and therefore the Israelites were not to make a idols out of any materials, or in the image of anything He had created. In Deuteronomy 4, Moses urges Israel to obey God. He also warns them against idolatry. Following this, he tells them there is only one God. God is God. Idols are a waste of time. They will not do anything. Only God could bring the Israelites out of Egypt and to the land of Canaan, the land He promised Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The other day we read about the cities of refuge, and now Moses sets up three similar cities on the eastern side of the Jordan River. In Chapter 5, Moses reminds them of the Ten Commandments and in chapter 6, Moses issues a call for wholehearted commitment. Wholehearted commitment is something we could all put into practise. If every Christian was 100% on fire for God, and totally devoted to Him, just imagine the difference there would be in this world. These words of Moses, echoed by Jesus in the Gospels, are relevant for us today. “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” God’s love for us is amazing, and in response, He calls us to love Him, too. Wholehearted commitment – it sounds like a good place to start in a flourishing relationship with God. In Mark, do you remember how Jesus cursed the fig tree? The next day, as Jesus and His disciples walked towards Jerusalem, Peter noticed that the fig tree was withered from the roots. A healthy, leafy specimen of fig tree is now useless. Peter calls Jesus’ attention to it, and Jesus is able to use this as another teaching moment about faith, and how to pray in faith. Jesus is not saying that we can automatically obtain anything we want if we just think positively. In these words, Jesus means that anything is possible with faith because nothing is impossible for God. To be in a position for God to answer our prayers, we must be believers. We must not hold a grudge nor pray with selfish motives. Trust God. He is reliable. Walking through the Temple area in Jerusalem, Jesus is pounced upon by the leading priests, teachers of religious law and other leaders. Jesus cleansing the Temple did not go down well with these people, and they wondered by whose authority Jesus drove out the merchants from the Temple. Jesus would happily answer this question, if they could answer a question He has for them. “Did John’s baptism come from heaven or was it merely human? Answer me!” Put on the spot, they discussed this question among themselves. It turns out whatever answer they gave would undermine their authority in the Temple. They were caught between a rock and a hard place, so they declined to offer an answer. Instead, they said, “We don’t know.” Because they did not give an answer, neither did Jesus give an answer to their question. The Messiah is in their midst, and they are blind to His presence. Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus today and every day.
Categories: Read Your Bible In A Year