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Monday, March 24, 2008

Deuteronomy 2-3:29; Luke 6:12-38; Psalm 67:1-7; Proverbs 11:27 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. Remembering victories (2:14-3:20)

- In this review of history Moses honestly examined Israel's failures and time of discipline. There are more verses about the victories than the defeats. It was in the victories that the clearest evidence of God's love and presence was found.

- He is present all the time. But how we enjoy Him when the good days come!

2. Moses' sin (3:21-29)

- In most of this passage Moses speaks of "you," setting himself apart from the people that he led.

- But Moses too had failed.

- Go back to Numbers 20...Moses shouted at the people and struck the rocks for the water to flow. He did not trust enough to honor Him as holy. He also announced that, "We bring you water." taking some of the credit for himself and Aaron.

- A person who expects to lead other to trust God enough to obey Him must himself trust enough to obey- completely.

- Here we see how much punishment hurt Moses. He yearned to see all that God would do for His people.

- Moses, after much pleading, was allowed to climb a height across the Jordan River and look out at the land.

- God would appoint another leader who would lead the people across the Jordan.

- How good to know that you and I are not the only ones who carry out what God intends for His people. Even when we are set aside, as Moses was, God's work will not be hindered or destroyed.

- This is only a problem if we let our egos get in the way.

New Testament

3. Jesus, after a night of prayer, selected 12 men to be His special disciples; men who had chosen to follow Him.

- These men had few qualifications. They certainly weren't sin-free.

- What's the lesson?

- It is important that we take our place as sinners at the feet of Jesus, accept His forgiveness, and rise to follow Him.

4. The Beatitudes

- Jesus' Beatitudes pierce to the heart of human values, and force us to ask the basic questions we find so easy to ignore. What is life about for me? What moves me? What determines my choices? What makes me happy or sad? Am I controlled by my needs? Am I controlled by a desire for wealth? Am I controlled by the need to be liked and admired?

- Jesus said, "What sorrow awaits you ..."

- You might better be hungry, poor, weeping, and hated. For then you might turn from these empty things to Me, to find out what life is really about.

- Jesus, the Lifegiver knows the meaning of life. And He tells us plainly.

- Jesus tells us that the meaning of life for the believer is found in LOVE.

- People, not things, are central in the new life that Jesus calls us to live.

- Giving, not getting, is what life is about.

- We are to live a life of initiating love.

5. The beatitudes present in both Matthew and Luke are:

- The poor (Matthew has "poor in spirit"). The text says that theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

- Mourners (Luke has "those who are weeping"). The text says that they will be comforted (Luke has "will laugh").

- The hungry (Matthew has "hunger and thirst after righteousness"). The text says that they will be filled (Luke has "be satisfied").

- Those persecuted for seeking righteousness (rather than righteousness, Luke has "followers of the Son of Man). The text says that theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

- The beatitudes only present in Matthew are:

- The meek. The text says that they will "inherit the earth".

- The merciful. The text says that they will "obtain mercy".

- The pure of heart . The text says that they will "see God".

- The peacemakers. The text says that they will be called "the children of God".



6. "If you search for good, you will find favor"

7. "...but if you search for evil, it will find you"

See you next post...

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