Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 30 June 2022:
Deuteronomy 26:2-9 – The first act God wants done is the act of worship which professes God publicly and often recounts the history of salvation.
Deuteronomy 26:13 – “I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.”
The tithe honors God by giving Him the first and best, and it is “given” to Him by giving it to others in need. Remember, we show our love for God primarily through obedience to His commands, and His greatest commandment is love – we love God by loving others. If you don’t love the brother you can see, you cannot love the God who you can’t see (1 John 4:20)
Deuteronomy 26:17 – You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice.
To profess God as your God is to commit yourself to obey Him. The demons believe in Jesus, but they don’t follow Him – they know He exists and who He is, but they don’t love Him. Do you have a saving faith that desires to love, trust, and obey?
Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Parents are also required to treat their children with dignity, patience, gentleness, and grace. Parents cannot abuse their authority.
Ephesians 6:5-9 – “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”
- Yes, we are to treat our bosses like we would treat Jesus, and we must do it with sincerity. Do you sincerely treat your employer like you would Jesus?
- We are called to serve both God and man, not in order to get credit but out of sincere love and to bring glory to God.
- “…knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord.” God will treat you the way you treat others.
- Who receives our service should not affect how we serve; how they respond to our service should not affect how we serve. If our service is not appreciated from people it matters little because we are serving the LORD, and He will treat us in the same way we treat others. He is gracious to the gracious, generous to the generous, forgiving to the forgiving, etc. God is in control of all things, not people.
Ephesians 6:10, 11 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
The devil will scheme against you, and you will not be prepared for his attacks against you without the strength that comes from God.
Ephesians 6:12 — “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
The sinner is not your real enemy, evil spiritual forces are the enemy. The sinner is your objective.
“In a battle, it is imperative to identify your enemy. If you are not aware of the point of your attack, you are vulnerable. Paul had many enemies. Some resented him, others hated him, and others wanted to kill him. Some, who were supposedly on his side, sought to harm him and his ministry (Acts 9:23; Phil. 1:17; 2 Tim. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:14). In spite of the persecution he faced, Paul never lost sight of his real enemy. Paul was wary of Satan. When people attacked him, he knew they were not his real opponents. They were simply unwitting instruments of the spiritual forces of darkness.
When you meet opposition to your faith, your first reaction may be anger toward your antagonist. This may divert your attention from the deeper, spiritual dimensions of your conflict. Your adversary may be hopelessly in to sin. Rather than retaliating, you should immediately and earnestly intercede for that person. Your opponent’s hostility is your invitation to become involved in God’s redemptive work to free him or her from spiritual bondage.
Be alert to the spiritual warfare around you. It is real and potentially destructive to you and those you care about. Knowing your real foe will protect you from bitterness and unforgiveness. Your hope lies in the reality that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Do not place your hope in humanity, but steadfastly trust in the One who has already defeated your enemy.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Ephesians 6:14-18 — Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, the confidence and freedom in salvation from God, the word of God, and prayer protect us day by day. How well equipped are you?
Ephesians 6:17 — “Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….”
Train with the sword every day so you are ready for the fight when it comes. No one gets really skilled at anything without daily commitment over time. “Forty years ago, in a paper in American Scientist, Herbert Simon and William Chase drew one of the most famous conclusions in the study of expertise: ‘There are no instant experts in chess—certainly no instant masters or grandmasters. There appears not to be on record any case (including Bobby Fischer) where a person reached grandmaster level with less than about a decade’s intense preoccupation with the game. We would estimate, very roughly, that a master has spent perhaps 10,000 to 50,000 hours staring at chess positions…’” How many hours have you spent studying God’s word?
- Deuteronomy 11:18-23 — “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.
- Proverbs 2:1-22 — My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. …
- Psalm 1:1-6 — Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
- 2 Timothy 2:15 — Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Ephesians 6:18 – “…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints….”
Effective prayer requires perseverance in prayer.
Ephesians 6:20 – “…for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
You can serve God powerfully in any position or condition.
Ephesians 6:22 — “I have sent him to you for this very purpose…. that he may encourage your hearts.”
Everyone can use an encouraging word; are you there to provide it to them?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 30 June 22: Re-commit today to a consistent study of God’s word, as well as consistent practice in God’s word. Also, only speak encouraging words today. (Ephesians 6:22)