Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 22 June 2022:
Deuteronomy 18:2 – “They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.”
The Bible says that we are all priests; so, we claim no inheritance on earth, but the Lord is our inheritance.
Deuteronomy 18:15 – The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen….
“The fact that most of us would not readily identify Moses as a prophet demonstrates our misunderstanding the role of the prophet. Many of us might think that prophets existed primarily, or even exclusively, to foretell the future.
It is true that the prophets foretold the future. Isaiah, for example, predicted that Cyrus would allow the nation of Israel to return from the Babylonian exile (Isa. 45:1–13). It would be a mistake, however, to think that foretelling the future was the primary, or exclusive, role of a prophet. Rather, the prophets were mainly sent by God to be His covenant prosecutors. They were sent to remind the covenant people of their covenant obligations that they had so often forgotten. They “forthtold” the will of God to the people in hopes that they would repent, trust in Yahweh, and fulfill their covenant obligations.
Jesus as a prophet performs two tasks. He foretells the future, most notably a future that will be centered around His judgment and reign (Matt. 25:31–46). He also forthtells the will of God by reminding the Pharisees that they have broken the covenant (Matt. 23:1–36). However, Jesus is also much greater than the prophets of old. For Jesus does not only preach God’s Word and Wisdom to the people, He is actually the very Word and the very Wisdom of God Almighty (John 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:24).
Jesus comes into the world as the covenant prosecutor par excellence. His exposition of the Law (Matt. 5–7) makes clear the extent to which we have violated the terms of the covenant. But this Prophet not only predicted judgment, He also took our judgment upon Himself. Rejoice that the One who tells us of our sin also saves us from it.
Jesus is the great Prophet that Moses himself had promised long ago in Deuteronomy 18:15: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers.”
Seeing these connections throughout the Old and New Testaments helps us understand the beauty and unity of the Scriptures. God really does have a plan. It is a plan that stretches down through the ages, and by His grace, it includes Christians such as you and me. His plan is redemption, and this redemption is accomplished by our triune God. The unity of the Scriptures highlights the person and work of Christ. So, we should read the Bible with eyes wide open, expecting the Savior. Before long, we will begin to see Jesus on every page. And if we are Christians, the more we know Jesus, the more deeply we will love and adore Him.” (Ligonier Ministries)
Deuteronomy 18:18-20 – “And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’”
True prophets only speak the word of God given by God. False prophets speak presumptuous words that God never intended.
Galatians 6:1 – “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
God wants us to work to restore sinners in gentleness.
Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
“When God places people in your life who are in need, He is aware of what they lack, and He knows He has given you the resources to meet those needs. You know God does nothing by accident. When a need surfaces around you, immediately go to the Father and say, ‘You put me here for a reason. You knew this was going to happen. What did You intend to do through me that would help this person become closer to You?’
Recognizing a need in someone’s life can be one of the greatest invitations from God you will ever experience. It’s easy to become frustrated by the problems of others. They can overwhelm you as you become aware of need after need. Rather than looking at each new problem as one more drain on your time, energy, or finances, ask God why He placed you in this situation. Allow God to help you see beyond the obvious needs of others to the things He wants to accomplish in their lives. Don’t miss God’s activity because you’re reluctant to carry the load of others.
Is God blessing you materially? It may be He is developing a “supply depot” in your life through which He can provide for others. Has God granted you a strong, healthy family life? It may be that He requires such a home to minister to the hurting families all around you. Has God released you from sinful habits? Has God’s peace comforted you in a time of great sorrow? Has God miraculously provided for your needs? It may be that He has been purposefully building things into your life so that you can now be the kind of person who will carry the burdens of others.” (Henry T. Blackbaby)
Galatians 6:1-4 — “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
Many Christians quote “Bear one another’s burdens” out of context, referring to ministering to a person’s physical needs, but it is really about responding to offenses or the sins of others. It involves bearing the burden of the offense without responding in personal defense, not countering boastfully but forgiving and “taking up your cross” in the situation, remembering that you too are a mere sinner and not subsequently sinning in your anger by failing to be soft, knowledgeable, gentle, timely, gracious, thoughtful, refreshing, instructional, yet humble.
Galatians 6:7 — “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
The Principle of the Farm: A man reaps what he sows. You cannot rush a crop. You cannot wake up one morning and say, “I need to grow corn in a week.” It takes time, daily discipline, hard work, and perseverance to grow a crop as it does to achieve all the things that matter most in life. Spiritual maturity, wisdom, knowledge, physical fitness, strong relationships, financial security, talents, etc, all take time and daily, consistent discipline ( as in disciple) to develop. After the seeds are planted, you have to be willing to water dirt with no apparent results for some time until eventually you start to see a small sprout; but even then, it is hard to tell what you are growing — you have to keep working. Also, if you love flowers, you have to hate weeds. You must protect what you are growing from that which corrupts — this too takes effort; it is not a passive defense but an active one. One thing is certain, at harvest time, the product of your labors, good or bad, will be revealed. What are you cultivating? What disciplines to you practice consistently well in order to produce a harvest in your life that will glorify and honor God?
The Chinese have a saying, “The best time to grow a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time to grow a tree is today.” Every day is a fresh start. Make the most of every opportunity. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Do not be motivated by pride or fear but rather love. Do not compare yourself with others or judge others compared to you — keep your eyes affixed on Jesus, guided by the Holy Spirit. Seek first the Kingdom, and be joyful in all things, even the trials which are strengthening your character. Also, take the time to help the farmer next to you. Having lived two years in Nebraska, I learned something about the farm culture — people are not only patient, but they are also very friendly and cooperative, having learned to depend on each other during hard times. We need each other’s support.
Galatians 6:9-10 — “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Doing good can be wearisome. Don’t give up. People in the church can be some of the hardest people to love and be patient with.
Galatians 6:10 – “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
To whom does God command us to do good?
Galatians 6:12 – “It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.”
People often make great religious sacrifices and place great demands on others for all the wrong reasons.
Galatians 6:14, 17 — “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world…. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”
The reality of the cross should kill worldly pressures in your life. Who can stress you out when Christ has declared you worthy, victorious, righteous, and unconditionally loved?
Galatians 6:15 – “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”
Religious activity is nothing; a heart for God and others is everything.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 22 June 22: Endeavor to do good to EVERYONE today, particularly to those who clearly don’t deserve it – that is called grace, a reflection of the grace that you have receive through Jesus. The grace you give others reveals your level of appreciation for the grace you have received. What could someone possibly do to you that would come close to being comparable to the offenses from which we have all been forgiven by our perfectly Holy God? (Galatians 6:10-17)