March 22, 2019

March 22, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 33

“Of his father and mother he said, ‘I don’t know them’;

he didn’t acknowledge his brothers or children.

For he observed your word,

and he kept your covenant.” (Deuteronomy 33:9 CJSB)

With these words and others, Moses blesses the families of Israel.  Yet how can Moses bestow blessings upon families when he declares the family of Levi are those who, “Say of their father and mother, ‘I don’t know them.’”  Moses goes on to say Levi’s spiritual heritage did not acknowledge genealogical siblings, but chose to observe God’s word and keep the covenant.  For Levi, truly, the blood of the covenant was thicker than the water of birth.  Spirituality always ranks higher than heredity.  Do not let this surprise you.  When called to acknowledge His heredity, Jesus says, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21 NASB) John elevates spiritual birth over natural birth saying, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12, 13 NASB)  Jesus offers the coup de grâce to the flesh versus spirit debate, saying, “Do not call anyone on earth you father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9 NASB)  While we are to love and honor our dads and moms that it may go well with us in the land, it is loving devotion to God and God’s family that properly founds the individual to love his neighbor, be the neighbor heredity or not.

Today's Meditation:  Love God.  Love neighbor.

Look to the East,


March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 32

“[Moses] said to them, ‘Take to heart all the words of my testimony against you today, so that you can use them in charging your children to be careful to obey all the words of this Torah.  For this is not a trivial matter for you; on the contrary, it is your life!  Through it you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 32:46, 47 CJSB)

To hearken back to God’s past providence is not a trivial matter.  A life of present holiness can be fallen into, but it is far better to be propelled into sanctification by an acknowledgement of God’s résumé of guardianship.  To remember is not only personally beneficial, but also the means by which our children are to find the taste of God’s goodness never leaving their mouths.  It is an elementary lesson that declares God’s ever-present provision no one should ever take for granted, nor from which anyone should ever look away.  As we lie down at night, we thank God for the rest He desires to give.  When we rise—in the moment between the brain quickening to rise, and the eyes opening to receive dawn’s first light—we thank God for another day.  For our clothes, we give God thanks.  For our shelter, we give God thanks.  For our jobs, we give God thanks.  For this day’s bread, we give God thanks.  For our families and friends who receive God’s supply and hail God’s glory, we give God the honor due.  This is not a trivial matter for anyone; on the contrary, it is our life! 

Today's Meditation:  God provides.

Look to the East,


March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 31

“For when I have brought them into the land I swore to their ancestors, flowing with milk and honey; and they have eaten their fill, grown fat and turned to other gods, serving them and despising me, and broken my covenant; then, after many calamities and troubles have come upon them, this song will testify before them as a witness, because their descendants will still be reciting it and will not have forgotten it.  For I know how they think even now, even before I have brought them into the land bout which I swore.” (Deuteronomy 31:20, 21 CJSB)

God knows the children will slip deeper and deeper into rebellion, so God tells Moses to write them a song.  God explains to Moses the ballad will be one which finds no end.  Israel, even in her rebellion, will be required to forever sing the melodies of providential remembrance.  Repetition is certainly the mother of skill, but faithful echoes are also the mile markers of the road home.  No one can deny Israel’s God is One Who, with whirlwind force, answers the uneducated questioner, saying, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2 NASB)  Still, it is a restorative song God prefers.  Lyricist, Philip P. Bliss, in Moses-like fashion, receives the baton of Deuteronomy’s reminding hymnody, writing, “Sweetly echo the Gospel call / Wonderful words of life / Offer pardon and peace to all / Wonderful words of life / Jesus, only Savior / Sanctify us forever / Beautiful words, wonderful words / Wonderful words of life / Beautiful words, wonderful words / Wonderful words of life.”  Yes, sometimes a disappointed Father will thunder to His children an exiling dirge, but such an anthem is always followed by an aria possessing the loving forgiveness to call His little ones home.

Today's Meditation:  Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life.

Look to the East,


March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 30

“Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6 CJSB)

The prophet Jeremiah says there have been, will be, and are those among us, “Who have been circumcised in their uncircumcision.” (Jeremiah 9:25 CJSB) A fleshly circumcision may gain the praise of humanity, but only the circumcision of the heart is a work by the hands of God.  God is speaking to us when He speaks to Moses.  God says: “Start thinking.”  “Return.”  “Pay attention.”  “Do all with all your heart and being.”  When we live in such a way, God says we will love God exhaustively; and, as we love, we will experience life more abundant.  In Eden, God covered the tainted and mutilated  nakedness of humanity, and banished both to grace.  Since then, from the context of forgiveness and reconciliation, God desires to reveal the beauty of the surrendered, circumcised heart of each and all.  The truly circumcised never play hide-and-seek with God.  Those who are truly circumcised are enlightened, repentant, aware, and love God with all their hearts, all their souls, all their minds, and all their strengths.

Today's Meditation:  True circumcision

Look to the East,


March 18, 2019

March 18, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 29

“The purpose is that you should enter into the covenant of Adonai your God and into His oath which Adonai your God is making with you today, so that He can establish you today for Himself as a people, and so that for you He will be God—as He said to you and as He swore to your ancestors, to Abraham Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 29:12, 13 CJSB)

Are relationships contractual?  True love never is.  True love is never written in ink, but is held with a signature of life’s breath.  God spoke these words to Moses and called Moses to keep the centuries old covenant, but this legal bond was far more about Ruach Hakodesh in the nostrils of dusty Adam, than it was Levitical paperwork.  Nothing has changed.  God loves creation, and reconciliation is fully realized first through surrender to Messianic bridling, then to the removal of the bit from the mouths of God’s daughters and sons.  This is the entrance to and the marriage of Creator and creation.  Legality is always eclipsed by divine affection that is reciprocated by the surrendered soul.

Today's Meditation:  Love God.

Look to the East,


March 17, 2019

March 17, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 28

“Adonai will establish you as a people separated out for Himself, as He has sworn to you—if you will observe the commandments of Adonai your God and follow His ways.  Then all the peoples on earth will see that Adonai’s name, His presence, is with you; so that they will be afraid of you.” (Deuteronomy 28:9, 10 CJSB)

And, in seeing God’s name in you, you then must say to the world, “Do not be afraid.”  Many before you have said the same.  While walking on water amidst a deadly storm, Jesus says to His disciples, “Do not be afraid.” (John 6:20 NASB)  The angel Gabriel eases Mary’s virginal fears, saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30 NASB)  Solomon, in his greatest of wisdom, reassures all with ears to hear, saying, “Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:25, 26 NASB). The Messianic Community is an established people whom God has separated out for Himself.  When the Messianic Community stands unified in communion and reveals the face of God, the resulting natural response is fear by the world.  To spread the Gospel is to say to the fearful, “Do not be afraid.”  While the Lord generates fear, the Lord desires everyone to reside and live in perfect love.  All in the Messianic Community must be dedicated to bring this reassurance to the world.

Today's Meditation:  Be not afraid.

Look to the East,


March 16, 2019

March 16, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Deuteronomy 27

“Next Moses and the priests, who are Levites, spoke to all Israel.  They said, ‘Be quiet; and listen, Israel!  Today you have become the people of Adonai your God.  Therefore you are to listen to what Adonai your God says and obey his commandments and laws, which I am giving you today.” (Deuteronomy 27:9, 10 CJSB)

Be quiet and listen.  Modern institutional christianity prefers to talk and generate relevant and entertaining content and experiences.  When God descends upon Sinai and is preceded by fog, thick darkness, thunder bolts, and lightning, a divine mandate for replication with fog machines and lighting effects in our sanctuaries is not added as an addendum to the Ten Commandments.  Lighting and effects are all well and good, but not at the expense of true communion.  If God is Lord, then God must be permitted to lead the divine waltz, and God’s heavenly dance floor is only accessible through a quiet and listening heart and mind.  Until you are spiritually mature enough to be quiet in a crowd, simply venture to your prayer closet, breathe in deeply the Breath of Life, and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”  Then, in the quiet, listen.

Today's Meditation:  Be quiet and listen, God’s children.

Look to the East,