Thursday, July 7, 2011

Deuteronomy: Chapter 26 and 27

I let my writing commitment slide yesterday as I embraced the opportunity to be outdoors working hard on the installation of a septic system at our church parsonage and raking my own yard!  The freedom of my summer schedule tempts me to be outdoors and away from my computer in powerful ways! However, the chapter spoke deeply to me and I hope this will bless you too!

The Spirit expanded my thinking on this chapter in some neat ways yesterday.  In the past, my mind had narrowed it to the 'legalistic' interpretation of 10% of our income.  Yesterday, I saw honoring God with the firstfruits of my harvest as bringing to Him thankfulness for the blessings of my entire earthly life.  This world gives us great blessings--by the grace of God.  Our homes, our families--all that we have and are--are gifts from God in this world.  We are to bring it all back to Him in praise and thankfulness and for His enjoyment as well!  The paycheck which supports us is a necessity but it is not the greatest blessing God gives.  Love, relationships and purpose are equal necessities on earth.  May we count our blessings as firstfruits and bring praise and glory to God moment by moment!

When we bring that praise to God, we are to remember how God has worked in our lives.  I loved the reminder that Abraham was a Syrian--not an Israel.  God changes lives and great is our God?!

Chapter 27

Blessings are accompanied by responsibility.  God gave Israel the Promised Land--but dwelling in the land is conditional.  The same is true for us.  We have received EVERY spiritual blessing; yet, we do not enjoy our possessions without obedience to the Lord.  The Israelites were commanded to have an altar to God and visible reminders of the Law....the Ten Commandments.  All of the curses outlined there relate to those Commandments.  Jesus told us that the greatest commandments were to love God with all our heart and love others as ourselves.  In fact, if we heed Jesus' words, we will honor the commandments.  The curses are fearsome; we love to talk of the blessings of obedience but God indicates that there is to be balance.  Some tribes were assigned the difficult duty of proclaiming the curses.  May we have humble, obedient hearts that hear the Spirit's instruction on how we are to speak to others.  God desires that none will perish; let us live in a way that points to the Giver of Life! 

Have a blessed day, friends.  I'm off to my garden, then to a teaching time for 'Seasoned Saints' at church (mostly those of us with gray hair :<) and then back to that septic plot to shovel some stones.  Praise the Lord for strength and health!

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