Latest Thoughts of the Day
Numbers 3:16
So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord.

Statistics and averages and comparisons are used every day in America, to determine official responses, allotments and proposals. Things running smoothly require that we know how many of this or that we are dealing with. God regards this as important as He commands the counting of those that He has set aside to take religious responsibility in Israel. Recording their names will enable men to trace descent when such a thing is necessary in the future. God is putting in place the elements of His structuring of His nation so that it can pursue His purposes in the coming years. We are reminded that God has numbered us among those set apart to worship and serve Him. Our names are in the Book of Life. We are set apart to serve our Lord Jesus.
Leviticus 3:16
The priest shall burn them upon the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord's

There are several animals that may be offered to the Lord, but it is not a matter of casual slaughter. Particulars are given for the different animals, and the priest is given specific direction. Characteristic fat from the goat must be entirely offered up to God in the way food is cooked, but burnt up entirely. God is training priests and people to be specific and complete in what we offer to God from the inner person of the heart. A large part of the goat may be eaten and enjoyed by the priest, but there is a secret part that must be wholly rendered to God. What is the secret part in our lives, O Lord, that must be wholly rendered to Jesus?

Exodus 3:16
"Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'the Lord, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--appeared to me and said:I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt."

For 500 years the people of God have maintained their identity as a nation through their Ancestor, Abraham. They have grown sufficiently in numbers to constitute a nation, and God is providing leadership in Moses. Godís first message to them is that He sees their plight and feels their pain. That may well be the first message that we heard from God. We are not alone in our struggle. God cares what is happening in our lives. He has provided a Savior. We have heard from You, Lord, and we have come to want to be led out of bondage. Thank you for Jesus.
Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

Pain in childbearing and struggle with leadership seem to be the double curse that the daughters of Eve must bear for Eveís sin. What will give them the greatest joy will cost them dearly. What will give them the most security and peace will grate upon them. They will struggle with physical distress and live every day with a tension. Adamís curse will be hard fruitless work and the frustration of not being easily able to do what he must do to survive. The matrix is set for exhaustion and inter-personal stress until Manís spirit returns to the God who gave it. Lord, enable these struggles in our lives to urge us to Jesus.
Revelation 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

God chose to reveal Himself to John, not in simple straightforward words, but in mysterious pictures. John remained utterly dependent on God to reveal to him the meaning of the pictures. The most exalted picture John could get of the reality of heaven came in the form of fantastic pictures that only God could interpret. We are thankful for the solid truth that we can dissect and examine and categorize because it is given to us in a linear sort of way. But help us, Lord, as we ascend into Your presence to depend upon Your Holy Spirit to make clear what You have revealed to us in Jesus.
Jude 20
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

It is God only who can cause us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus, but when He does so it will be through our choosing to attend Godís word. In this sense we build ourselves up. We attend to the means the Holy Spirit desires to use in our lives, and we pray to Him that He will make prosperous our efforts to grow. Obedience to Godís commands activates His work in us and focuses our attention on what God is doing in our lives. The Holy Spirit empowers as we seek His help in our pressing on. God works and we work in the great work of God. Help us, Lord , to build ourselves up as we believe and trust in the Lord Jesus.
3 John 14
I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. the friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.

Brothers and sisters do not always consider themselves as friends, but we are to do so with brothers and sisters in Christ. We should go to church as to a gathering of friends with the determination to be happy to see one another and to encourage one another in Christ. John reminds us that we should actually know one another, urging us to greet others by name. Help us, Lord to reach out seriously and personally to others at church, and to make one another to feel welcome as friends. Help us to want to talk face to face. Help us extend friendship with whoever comes to church as a way of extending to them the Friendship of Jesus.
2 John 13
The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.

In our day do people use code words or allusions to communicate without incriminating themselves? Are we sometimes concerned that casual readers of our communications may pick up more information than we want them to get? If John is veiling a reference to the people of God, he has chosen words that reveal something about us all. We are brethren by Godís choice and by ours. God has chosen us to be part of a particular assembly, in association with particular people that He has chosen to hang out with us. They are not to be considered casual acquaintances, but members of the same family. And they are intended to be concerned to encourage one another with their greetings and prayers. Lord, help us to remember our family relationship, and to desire to encourage one another in Jesus.

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