Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Permission’

Selecting the King

“When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’

you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.

But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’

Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.

And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,

that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 ~~ (NKJV)

God knows the hearts of men before they know themselves. He knew His people would look around at the other countries and want a king just like their neighbors. So he gave them some standards for the selection and conduct of a king.

They are not to choose independently. They are to choose the man whom God selects as king. This king is not to use his position for the acquisition of wealth. And he is most surely to remember that he serves under the law. He is to uphold the law as laid down by God.

We are in the process of choosing of a leader. We call this person president, not king or queen. But the function is much the same. The responsibility for all the people falls upon his or her shoulders.

He/she should not be using the office to acquire wealth for self. He/she is not to let his/her heart be led astray.  And he/she must be looking to the law as the ultimate authority under God.

This is a heavy burden for any one person. Because this office is held with the permission of God, we as citizens should spend much time in prayer for the person whom God has chosen to be president.

Father, God,

We ask your blessing on our nation and the person you have chosen to be president. Open our ears and hearts to hear Your voice and do as You would have us do. Keep us in prayer, always, for our country and its leaders.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Where God Is

It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there. ~~Ezekiel 48:35 (KJV)

This verse ends the passage where God has divided the land between the sons of Israel. If you read from verse 29 forward, you will see that He made provision for each of the twelve tribes. And He was very specific about it.

As we look at our society today, sometimes we wonder where God is and what He is doing. Doesn’t He know that as a nation we’re in terrible trouble? Can’t He see that we need leadership and direction?

In fact, He can and does see all that is going on in our lives and in our world. Read all of Psalm 139. It tells us that He is with us – each and every one of us individually – at all times and in all circumstances.

Verse 5 is particularly comforting.

Psalm 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (KJV)

Read it in The Voice translation.

Psalm 139:5  You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
    and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder. (The Voice)

It tells me that He goes before me like the point man in an army unit and follows me like a sheep dog herding the sheep. Nothing can get to me without His foreknowledge and permission. Nothing can happen to me that He will not bring me through.

Go to your bible and read the entire psalm. Let the words sink into your heart and mind. There is no place you can go where He is not there.  Wherever you are, there He is.

Listen to the words of this song.

Father, God,

Help us to see you at all times and in all circumstances. Let us feel your guiding, protecting hand on our lives. Grant that we may always be aware that where ever we are, You are there.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

Peace Fruit

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5: 19-23 – NIV)

In our harried and hectic world, peace seems to be in short supply.

There are

  • wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:4-14),
  • terrorist activities,
  • factions,
  • demonstrations, and
  • miscellaneous unrest.

So just what peace are we talking about?

Back to the dictionary:

1:  a state of tranquillity or quiet: as
a :  freedom from civil disturbance
b :  a state of security or order within a community
provided for by law or custom <a breach of
the peace>
2:  freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3:  harmony in personal relations
4
a :  a state or period of mutual concord between
governments
b :  a pact or agreement to end hostilities between
those who have been at war or in a state of
enmity
5           —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace
:  in a state of concord or tranquillity

Aha!  peace is “a state of being”.  A state of our being.
We have little or no control over the events of the world or the circumstances that surround us. But God is sovereign, and he does have control. Nothing that happens surprises him.
I have never taken something to God in prayer and had him reply “Oh, really?  I didn’t know that.” Whatever is going on in our lives is something for which he has made provision. He knew about it in advance.

Therefore, our peace lies in our relationship to the Lord. When we rely on him, disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions have no power over us because we know God is in control.

When we move in obedience to him, he is responsible for the consequences of our actions. He will never ask us to do something not according to his will and his plans for our lives.
 His plan is for us to love one another, so we will have harmony with interpersonal relationships.
Peace.
Father, God,
Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you have made plans for our lives, that nothing happens without your permission and provision. Help us to learn to lean quietly on you, no matter the circumstances around us. Help us to hear clearly and obey swiftly the promptings of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your peace.
In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The King

Focus verses: Deuteronomy 17:14-20

God knows the hearts of men before they know themselves. He knew His people would look around and the other countries and want a king just like their neighbors. So he gave them some standards for the selection and conduct of a king.

They are not to choose independently. They are to choose the man whom God selects as king. This king is not to use his position for the acquisition of wealth. And he is most surely to remember that he serves under the law. He is to uphold the law as laid down by God.

We have just been through the choosing of a leader. We call him president, not king. But the function is much the same. He has the responsibility of all the people upon his shoulders.

He should not be using the office to acquire wealth for himself. He is not to let his heart be led astray. (This doesn’t have to come from having multiple wives. He might be seduced by publicity and power.) And he must be looking to the law as the ultimate authority under God.

This is a heavy burden for any one man. Because he holds his office with the permission of God, we as citizens should spend much time in prayer for the man whom God has chosen as king/president.

Father, God,

We ask your blessing on the president. Open his ears and his heart to hear Your voice and do as You would have him do. Keep us in prayer, always, for our country and its leaders.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Blessing and Cursing

Focus verses: Numbers 24:10-25

Most of us are familiar with the story of Balaam’s donkey. The donkey could see the angel of the Lord when Balaam was totally oblivious. Why should the donkey be more sensitive than Balaam to the presence of the angel of the Lord?

Balaam was on his way to Balak with the Lord’s permission. But with the injunction to say only what the Lord told him to say. Balaam is not a follower of the Lord. He’s a soothsayer, not a prophet of God.

He’s aware that he cannot curse the Israelites. Yet he goes to Balak. And then he blesses the Israelites, not once but three times.The blessings and promises of God are sure. There is no changing them.

There are two lessons for us in this story. First we should cultivate an awareness of the presence of God. And second we should bless those whom God blesses. It isn’t profitable to set oneself at odds with God.

Father, God,

Keep us ever mindful and aware of Your presence. Help us to draw closer to You so that the only words we say are those You approve.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.