April 21, 2019

April 21, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Judges 5

“They chose new gods when war was at the gates.” (Judges 5:8a CJSB)

Too often we panic at the sight of the enemy, rather than pause to see the glory of the Lord.  When times are tough and circumstances are unfavorable, it is easy to deem God as being absent.  God is neither on vacation, nor truant from His providential responsibilities.  It is a foolish thing to turn to the gods of war when the gods of war are at the gates.  Such gods do not negotiate with the fearful; they simply make the fearful more subject than the fearful presently are.  When danger, hardship, and death are advancing, the child of God knows that it is best to hold, and hold he does.  God is the Great Deliverer.  None in the Messianic Community will ever have to raise a hand as long as their knees are bowed.  Who the temptation comes—and it will come—to choose new gods when hardship is pouring in like a flood, hold in surrender.  The one true God always arrives right on time.

Today's Meditation:  Do not sway from your choice of the one true God.

Look to the East,

Kevin

April 20, 2019

April 20, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Judges 4

“Now Deborah, a woman and a prophet, the wife of Lapidot, was judging Israel at the time.” (Judges 4:4 CJSB)

Glory to God for the women among us!  They are true sisters and equal in the struggle for the Gospel’s advancement.  God created humanity as male AND female.  The institutional church’s patriarchal system of oppression has nothing to do with the true Good News of our Lord.  It is Paul who reminds all of this fact, saying, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NASB)  As one in Christ Jesus, each is perfectly placed for the benefit of all and the glorification of God.  The only hierarchy that remains is God as the Head and the Messianic Community as Christ’s Body.  No one is better than any one.  God’s daughters and sons are all equal and are equally valued.  So, thank you, Deborah.  Thank you, Mary.  Thank you, Priscilla.  Thank you to all our spiritual mothers and sisters.

Today's Meditation:  Glory to God for the women among us!


Look to the East,

Kevin

April 19, 2019

April 19, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Judges 3

“They stayed there to test whether Israel would pay attention to the commandments of Adonai, which, through Moses, He had ordered their ancestors to obey.  So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; taking their daughters as their wives, giving their own daughters to their sos and serving their gods.” (Judges 3:4-6 CJSB)

The world and its systems will always be before the Messianic Community.  We must mourn for the sins of the people and lovingly share with them the Gospel, but, contrastingly, we must reject the world’s system of lifestyle, marriage, and religious practices and worship.  That which the world calls illusion is reality, and that which the world calls reality is illusion.  The world prefers to mine shiny rocks and call them valuable, rather than mine the depths of the soul where divine preciousness longingly waits to be unearthed.  The world’s ways are not all blatantly pornographic; so very many are tantalizingly subtle.  Purity always lies in the Godhead, so, when there is question, we must return to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, the Scriptures, worship, and fasting to discern the true arenas of ministry and blessing.  Only then will the woman and man of God remain within the nature and atmosphere of Adonai.  While we are sojourners among them, may we forever remain ministering spiritual nomads and not consumers of this world’s poison.

Today's Meditation:  Pay attention to the commandments of Adonai.

Look to the East,

Kevin

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Judges 2

“When Adonai raised up judges for them, Adonai was with the judge and delivered them from the hands of their enemies throughout the lifetime of the judge; for Adonai was moved to pity by their groaning under those oppressing and crushing them.” (Judges 2:18 CJSB)

How quickly we forget.  As long as there is a holy leader or community that pushes devotion to God, then those easily influenced, by way of spiritual osmosis, will passively worship the one true God.  Yet the moment the holy leader or community dissipates, then so does the faith of the spiritually lazy crowd.  This human frailty was true during the period of the Judges, and it is equally true today.  Still, God’s love for His creation produces offerings of grace.  Sometimes God’s grace is in the form of restorative justice.  God allows for enemies to rise up against those who claim faith in God, and God’s children are driven to desperate conditions.  The pain of desperation causes them to cry out, and, from God’s gracious heart, God chooses to answer.  God’s grace is a beautiful, holy article, but, even though God declares offerings of grace upon grace, the divine gift is not to be considered an expected right.  God is no fool and will not be taken for granted.  Many will say they know exactly how God deals with those who take Him for granted, but the humble will simply heed God’s warning to be sober, and ready, and watching, and faithful.  Within God’s love for each, God will be the sole determiner of how grace and justice are dispersed.  Until we come face-to-face, we are wise to live in faithful, humble submission.

Today's Meditation:  Never take God’s pity for granted

Look to the East,

Kevin

April 17, 2019

April 17, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Judges 1

“After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel asked Adonai, ‘Who will go up for us first to fight against the Canaanites?’” (Judges 1:1 CJSB)

At the time of Abraham’s death, there was not much question in the original patriarch’s household as to who was the town’s new sheriff.  All of Abraham’s sons looked to Isaac.  As Isaac ended his days of sojourning, the birthright and blessing rested upon Jacob.  As Jacob blessed his sons, drew his knees into his chest, breathed his last, and was gathered unto his people, it was now twelve tribes that were called to stand together as one to shine God’s light.  More than half a century passes, Moses is buried by God, and then Israel begins to worrisomely wonder.  Joshua is installed, and Israel breathes a sigh of relief.  Joshua leads Israel for a generation, then, on the day of Joshua’s funeral, Israel wonders again just who will be leading them.  Israel’s Leader was never to be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes, Moses, nor Joshua.  Israel’s leader was always to be God.  To lead theocratically has always been God’s intention for creation.  Adam and Eve rejected God’s desired theocratic government.  Israel rejected God by calling the prophetic priest, Samuel to give them a king, so they could live as everyone else.  Annas and Caiaphas said to Pilate they had no king but Caesar.  Rejecting God as the One Who will go up for all is a systemic problem that has flowed for all time from the human race.  Every generation is called to choose life, to choose God.  What’s your choice?

Today's Meditation:  Theocracy

Look to the East,

Kevin

April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Joshua 24

“As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai!” (Joshua 24:15b CJSB)

Jesus Messiah says to the 120 that they will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth (see Acts 1:8).  There is a spiritual progression to finding strength in the Body of Christ.  Spiritually strong individuals build strong marriages.  Spiritually strong marriages build strong households.  Spiritually strong households build strong local assemblies.  Spiritually strong local assemblies build a strong Body of Christ.  Each individual flows naturally into a more communal “one,” and with each maturing step the cry grows more resonant, singing, “As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai!”  So, as an individual, as a couple, as a household, as an assembly, as the Body of Christ communally cry what has been shouted for centuries, “We will serve Adonai!”

Today's Meditation:  As for…

Look to the East,

Kevin

April 15, 2019

April 15, 2019 Daily Devotional

Read:  Joshua 23

“Therefore take great care to love Adonai your God.  Otherwise, if you retreat and cling to the remnant of these other nations remaining among you, if you make marriages with them and have children with them and they with you, know for certain that Adonai your God will stop driving out these nations from your sight.  Instead, they will become a snare and a trap for you, whipping your sides and pricking your eyes, until you perish from this good land which Adonai your God has given you.” (Joshua 23:11-13 CJSB)

Everyone makes a conscious choice.  God will always go with you, but everyone must decide how closely he or she wants to go with God.  It is the happiest and saddest of love stories.  On bended knee before you, God lives your entire life.  When you receive God’s engagement ring, the Bridegroom rises and lives with you in spiritual marital bliss.  But when the individual rejects, turns away, or looks beyond, Jesus lives each of your days on one knee with engagement ring extended to you.  Each must take great care to love God…or not.  Your Suitor is the Righteous Judge.  He is courting.  He is calling.  He wants you to love Him.  In rejection, He will break your heart, but never your spirit.  He wants you to love Him.  Navigate the wayside, the rocks, the thorns, and find the Beloved calling you to love Him.

Today's Meditation:  Take great care to love Adonai your God.

Look to the East,

Kevin