Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 12 Mar 18:
1. Numbers 23:5 – “And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth.” Balaam’s job was to proclaim God’s word, not his own thoughts or opinions. The same applies to us today.
2. Numbers 23:9, 24 – “Behold him; behold, a people dwelling alone, and not counting itself among the nations…! Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up and as a lion it lifts itself; it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey and drunk the blood of the slain.” (Numbers 23:9, 24) We are a nation among the nations. We are the true “nation under God.” No nation can overcome the Kingdom of God. “And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion (Genesis 1:28).”
3. Numbers 23:11, 12 – “And Balak said to Balaam, ‘What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.’ And he answered and said, “Must I not take care to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?” Balak wanted Balaam to work for him, but Balaam could only work for God. As am ambassador or Christ, for whom are you working?
4. Numbers 23:27 – “And Balak said to Balaam, ‘Come now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.’” Changing your environment or your approach does not change God’s will for you. God’s plan stands. Denying God’s will is futile.
5. Numbers 24:17 – “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.” Balaam is given a glimpse of Jesus. Jesus is the goal of all God’s Revelation.
6. Proverbs 12:1 — “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Do not hate the Lord’s reproof — that is just stupid.
7. Proverbs 12:2 — “A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil devices he condemns.” Is this hard to understand? Even under grace, God cannot tolerate your sin. He will deal with it, in love but with firmness.
8. Proverbs 12:5 — “The thoughts of the righteous are just.” The Holy Spirit uses God’s word to transform your mind so that just thoughts produce righteous deeds, evidence of your faith.
9. Proverbs 12:10 — “The mercy of the wicked is cruel.” Your ability to be merciful is in direct proportion to your closeness to Jesus. The more you genuinely appreciate the mercies of God, the more you will be merciful. The more you are connected to Jesus (the Vine), the more you will embody mercy and the more mercy will flow through you to others.
10. Proverbs 12:11 — “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” God is Author of both the natural laws and the moral laws. One theme that is constantly repeated in the Bible is, “You reap what you sow.” God’s natural and moral laws are simple and produce obvious results. We complicate things and do pointless things when we attempt to work around God’s laws. Don’t waste your time, energy, and efforts by doing things God never intended.
11. Proverbs 12:16 — “The prudent ignores an insult.” Did you get that? Ignore insults and be prudent.
12. Proverbs 12:18 — “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Are all of your words healing? Remember your role as Christ’s Ambassador and your message of reconciliation. Every word that comes from your mouth should draw people closer to Jesus, not farther away.
13. Proverbs 12:20 — “Those who plan peace have joy.” You have to have a plan for peace.
14. Proverbs 12:25 — “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” You can help take a load off of others by giving them a good word to ease their anxiety.
15. Proverbs 12:26-28 — “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray…. In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” A good leader guides people to where they need to go. They know the way and show the way. The Bible says that Jesus IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Good leaders lead people to Jesus. Leading people anywhere else is to lead them astray, wickedness. So, all those secular gurus out there are, in fact, wicked.
16. Acts 23:1 – Paul was true to the revelation he knew both as a Jew and as a believer in Christ.
17. Acts 23:3 – The high priest violated the rules of a fair trial as he condemned Paul before the evidence was given.
18. Acts 23:5 – Paul respected the office, not the person.
19. Acts 23:17-35 – Paul had gained the trust of the officer in charge.
20. Acts 23:16 – “Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.” God can put the right people in the right place at the right time to assist you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 March: Today, do not offer your own advice or opinions on a matter but only speak as an Ambassador for Jesus Christ. What does God’s’ word say? If you are not certain, say nothing. (See today’s readings)