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Dr. Johnson's Devotionals

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by jeremiah7, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. April 1

    The priests, who are Levites - indeed the whole tribe of Levi - are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance. (Deuteronomy 18:1)

    The Levites were chosen by God Almighty to minister in his name among all the tribes of Israel. God told them that they would have no inheritance as the other tribes. He was to be their inheritance. Food, of course would not be a problem for them as God instructed the other Israelite tribes to give them the best portions of the sacrifices; the offerings and the first fruits would also be theirs.

    Do you consider it a privilege to serve God Almighty? Remember he has chosen you to be a part of his heavenly kingdom. You are special to him. Serve him faithfully.
    ....You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
     
  2. April 2

    When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. (Deuteronomy 18:9)

    There were certain things that God forbade the Israelites from doing once they reached the land that the Lord had promised them. They were not to follow the abominable practices of those nations. They were not to use divination, observe times, consult enchanters or witches or wizards or necromancers. He told them that all that do these things were an abomination to him. Their relationship with God was to be perfect.
    Considering the great deliverance that God had given them from the cruel bondage of Pharoah, God's requirements were not harsh. It was for their own good.

    God desires that each one of us as believers stay true to him and his Word. Perfecting our relationship with God is not an easy task. But we can learn each day from his Word, the Bible and from the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)
     
  3. April 3

    The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. (Deuteronomy 18:15)

    Moses here prophesies about the Messiah, Jesus, whom God would raise up at God's appointed time and tells them that the people of God should listen to him. Though at that time, many of the Israelites would not have understood the significance of the prophecy, in the fullness of God's time, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and fulfilled God's purpose and plan. Because of his unflinching obedience to the Father, humbling and emptying himself, God the Father exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at his name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Jesus himself said, My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27). Are we listening carefully, is the question that we have to ask ourselves. Not only listening, but also obeying and following him faithfully.
    Jesus says, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." (John 12:26)
     
  4. April 4

    If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

    Even these days, there are many who go about prophesying this and that, but rarely do the things that they proclaim really happen. Of course, they have explanations for the things not happening as they said, but God here very clearly warns his people that there are so called prophets who speak presumptuosly in the name of the Lord. One has to be careful when dealing with prophets and prophesy.

    There are genuine prophets and servants of God who minister in the prophetic, but they are few. A piece of advice from the Apostle Paul to the Church in Thessalonica says,
    Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21)
    A word to exercise caution from Jesus too..
    "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." (Matthew 7:15-17)

    So let us be careful, for these things can make or break our lives.
     
  5. April 5

    When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. (Deuteronomy 20:1)

    God's deliverance for his own is so clearly portrayed in his Word. Time and again, in the most perilous situations, God has miraculously delivered them who stay true to him.
    Look at the life of David. He was hunted by King Saul continually, but God did not allow Saul to harm him. Instead, he gave Saul into David's hands who showed him mercy.
    Finally when God delivered David from all his enemies, including Saul, he sang to the Lord.
    He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

    The Apostle Paul writing to the Thessalonica Church said,
    But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
    Trust in Jesus for your protection and deliverance this day. He will not fail you.
     
  6. April 6

    Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. (Deuteronomy 24:17,18)

    Time and again God reminded the Israelites that they were not to forget their perilous state in Egypt from which they were redeemed by him. They were to be gentle and kindhearted to the aliens and fatherless living among them.

    Some believers become proud and haughty because of their spiritual status and show contempt towards those who are unsaved and to those who are not as spiritually mature as them.
    They do not realize that the first step towards being a good Christian is being a good human being.

    The Apostle Paul advises,
    Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

    Our lessons in spiritual maturity will continue as long as we live and everyday there will be new things to be learnt regarding clothing ourselves with virtues that the Lord desires in our lives.
     
    Rumely likes this.
  7. April 7

    For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. (Deuteronomy 20:4)

    Remember this verse when you are in a spiritual battle with the enemy. God is with you to fight for you against the spiritual forces of darkness. He is a warrior and he will win the battle for you.
    The above exhortation was what the priest was to tell the Israelites who were going to war against their enemies. Moses writes,
    When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.
    He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them." (Deuteronomy 20:2, 3)
    And then he would proclaim the promise that we read in the title verse.
    The prophet Jeremiah was strengthened by the Lord when he faced a rebelling nation. God gave him this promise....
    They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you....... (Jeremiah 1:19)

    Yes, the Lord is with you to fight your battles too. Trust in him.
     
  8. April 8

    Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:12, 13)

    A warning to the Israelites to keep their camp clean. And why would God be bothered about such things is a question that many may ask? Personal cleanliness and cleanliness of our homes seem relevant in context of these verses.
    The above verses and the verse that follows speak of God being particular about the matter.

    The reason that God adviced them the above is given in the verse that follows.
    For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14)

    Wow...God moved about in their camp to protect them and deliver them. Would he be not doing that in our lives too since we have trusted in him and accepted his Son as Saviour?
    If he is, he would expect us to keep our camp clean too.
     
  9. April 9

    Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. (Deuteronomy 24:17,18)

    Time and again God reminded the Israelites that they were not to forget their perilous state in Egypt from which they were redeemed by him. They were to be gentle and kindhearted to the aliens and fatherless living among them.

    Some believers become proud and haughty because of their spiritual status and show contempt towards those who are unsaved and to those who are not as spiritually mature as them.
    They do not realize that the first step towards being a good Christian is being a good human being.

    The Apostle Paul advises,
    Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

    Our lessons in spiritual maturity will continue as long as we live and everyday there will be new things to be learnt regarding clothing ourselves with virtues that the Lord desires in our lives.
     
    Rumely likes this.
  10. From The Doctor's Diary-52- Make yourself available to the Lord

    My audio messages are put up on a site called Podomatic and when I checked one day, the new audio messages were played 3 times from a place on the map which I couldn't identify easily. On placing the cursor on the place, the name " Magyarország" came up. Now that was some place that I had not heard of before. I googled the name and found it to be the Hungarian name of Hungary. Wow. I was amazed. I checked another site through which I can track my visitors and found someone from Szeged,Hungary had visited my site and downloaded 2 documents, one named Poison and the other, my daily devotional "365 Blessings." Praise the Lord.

    What immediately struck my mind was how the Lord uses our gifts and talents for his glory according to his desires. Wonder whether the visitor realized that all this was no coincidence. The fact that stands out clearly is that if we make ourselves available to the Lord, he will use us. Brings also to mind the story that Jesus once said, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money." (Matthew 25:14-18)

    The time is coming when we will have to give an account to the Master who is returning, regarding the talents that he has entrusted us with. Regardless of where we are, we must make ourselves and our Christian work available to the Lord for his use. He will use us and our work, if we are willing to make ourselves and our work available to him. He is not bound by time or space as we are. All glory be to the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Triune God.
     
  11. From The Doctor's Diary- 53- Unity

    There are three distinctive parts to the Prayer of Jesus found in John Chapter 17; Jesus praying for him to be glorified by the Father, Jesus praying for his disciples and Jesus praying for all who would believe in Him through the message of the disciples.

    One of the things that stands out in this prayer is Jesus praying for unity, first among his disciples and then among all who would believe in him.

    I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)

    My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20, 21)

    From the above verses, we can infer that, "If the world has to believe that God sent Jesus, there would have to be unity among the disciples and believers."

    Jesus wanted the Father to protect the disciples by the power of his name, so that they would be one. A difference in opinion among the first disciples would be disastrous and Jesus prayed specifically that, that may not happen. Because of Jesus' intercession, the disciples were able to take the good news to the nations even amidst persecution. Sadly, unity is one of the things that is lacking now among believers; this Jesus knew from the beginning, would happen and so he prayed. Even among Bible believing Christians there is so much of discord.

    Even now, Jesus expects and intercedes for all believers to be one. The enemy on the other hand is always working to divide the body of Christ. Whatever be the Bible adhering denominations that we attend or refrain from attending, the things that would matter in the end would be what Jesus once spoke to his disciples and the people who crowded to hear him....
    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

    The Apostle Paul's prayer for the believers in Philippi speaks how much he desired unity among them.
    If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1, 2)

    Christians Unite!, so that Christ may be known to the world and God be glorified.
     
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  12. Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is
    like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams
    rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it
    had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24,25)

    Great crowds followed Jesus when they saw him do miracles. Sicknesses were healed,
    demons were driven out, food and wine were provided miraculously. They wanted more.
    But when Jesus started preaching about God's requirements to enter the kingdom of
    heaven, there were few takers. We read in John Ch.6:
    From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not
    want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to
    whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are
    the Holy One of God." (John 6:66-69)

    Hearing God's Word is not enough; Jesus said, we must put them into practice. But some
    believer's do not really grow in the Lord. Of these the writer of Hebrews said,
    In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the
    elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
    Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about
    righteousness. (Hebrews 5:12,13)

    Is your spiritual life built on a rock solid foundation? If it is, then it will be stable when the
    wind blows against it.
    When the rain comes down, the streams rise, and the winds blow and beat against your
    life; you will not fall, because your life has its foundation on the rock called Jesus.
    The Bible exhorts us in this manner:
    Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)
    God will strengthen you and uphold you with his righteous right hand.
     
  13. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your
    righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
    (Psalm 37:5, 6)

    2 things: commit your way and then trust in him. Whatever the problem, first lay it at the
    Lord's feet and then trust in him that he will make a way where there seems no way.
    The Israelites often fell into the hands of their enemies because of a lack of commitment
    to the Lord. During the times of Samuel, the prophet, they suffered at the hands of the
    Philistines. Samuel advised them to commit themselves afresh to the Lord.
    And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning to the LORD with all
    your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit
    yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the
    Philistines." (1 Samuel 7:3)

    If you need continual deliverance from the enemy, you need to remain committed to the
    Lord. The Apostle Peter writes:
    Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1
    Peter 5:8)
    And to escape his snares every believer needs to remain committed to the Lord.
    Peter's advice to escape the devil's snare is this:
    Resist him, standing firm in the faith...... (1 Peter 5:9)

    And to stand firm in the faith, we need to remain committed to God and his Word.
    The promise for today states- commit and trust- and the result will be- he will make your
    righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
    Let that be a reality in your life.
     
  14. From The Doctor's Diary- 55

    I was invited to speak at a convention in Tiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India. The message that the Lord had given me to preach was the following:
    "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!" But his wife answered, "If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this." (Judges 13:22,23)

    This is a happening in the Old Testament of the Bible where a childless couple meet an angel of the Lord who gives them the message that they are going to be blessed with a child. When Manoah, the man realizes that they had seen the angel of the Lord, he felt they were going to die, but his wife corrected him saying that,"If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have ......... shown us all these things or now told us this."

    My message that day was about dreams and visions that the Lord gives his children. I said, "If the Lord shows a blessing coming to you, pray that it may come to pass, whereas if the Lord showed something calamitous was going to happen, pray fervently that it may not happen and the Lord will hear your prayer and the disaster will be averted." I stressed the point that....."If the Lord had meant to kill, he would not have shown......" and when I repeated it, a man in the crowd raised his hand and shouted, "Praise the Lord."

    Later, after the meeting was over, the same young man approached me, shook my hand and said, "Thank you, that message was definitely for me. I had seen a couple of dreams last week, in which I saw my wife die. I have been very sad and depressed because of the same since almost a week. I believe the Lord has spoken to me and heard my prayer and will bless my wife with a long life. I prayed with him briefly.

    Travelling back, that evening, I marvelled at how much the Lord cares for each of his children. The Holy Spirit had chosen just the perfect verses to speak to one of his, who was burdened and feeling low.
    God is good, all the time. Praise his Holy Name.
     

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