Deuteronomy 2:30-31 Even In The Obstacles

Deuteronomy 2:30-31 (KJV)
But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.

Nowhere does the Bible shy away from the idea that God hardens hearts. I think the reason that is a problem to so many is because they tend to apply it to a Calvinistic view of God choosing some to be damned forever in hell.  It would be much better to view it as God choosing our roles in His plan. He chooses that:

  • All would be saved
  • The saved would be united together in a local church for service and that
  • Those who reject salvation are judged because of that rejection

Notice that God did not turn the heart of Sihon in Israel’s favor. God could have had He chosen. That was not His choice. God could make all our obstacles vanish before our eyes and before we see them as an obstacle. He doesn’t do that always. (Could we even know how many times He has done that if He has removed them before we recognized them?) Sometimes God allows the obstacle, even chooses the obstacle for some purpose greater than our ease.

God is still God, still capable and still wonderfully good to us. We must choose to glorify Him in all things, even the obstacles.

 

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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Deuteronomy 2:30-31 Even In The Obstacles

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Galatians 3:1-3 Love Isn’t Agreement

Galatians 3:1-3 (KJV)
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

It is a foolish thought that salvation would be through faith but perfection would come by works.

Christians, who become enamored with Judaism, repeat the foolishness of the Galatians constantly these days. No matter that they call it Messianic, it is still Judaism. It is an attempt to marry the Christian faith with the dead works of Jewish law. It is exactly the thing Acts 15 is meant to extinguish and Galatians was written to teach against.

These anti-Judaism sentiments should not be confused as anti-Semitism. Christians ought to love Jews:

  • Because we ought to be a loving people anyway
  • Because our faith springs from the Jews and
  • Because God continues to this day to love Jews

Love isn’t agreement. It doesn’t demand agreement. Love demands support, encouragement and friendship but not agreement; most of all, love demands truthfulness. I love Jews enough to be truthful and tell them to:

  • Come to Christ
  • Come out of Judaism and
  • Come into a local New Testament Baptist Church

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Galatians 3:1-3 Love Isn’t Agreement

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Galatians 2:2 Discussed In Private

Galatians 2:2 (KJV)
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

There are some things that should be discussed only in private and that, only with those of reputation and authority. There are:

  • Questions
  • Ideas
  • Information a person might possess

that, to bring it to an open floor merely gives service to disputes.

Our founding fathers understood this.
They met in closed sessions to discuss and hammer out the details of the Constitution. They knew to make public all of the ideas that might be debated could lead to wild speculation, mass anxiety and mob action that would derail their purpose. It’s why they developed a republic rather than a pure democracy. They understood that mob rule can’t reliably create laws good for the whole.

Something similar happens in a church. I was approached this week by one of our members. This member is in charge of a function we are about to hold. Experience has taught me this person has great ideas and can be trusted. But before moving forward with the idea they have for the function they ran it passed me in private. This avoids conflict if, for whatever reason, the idea wasn’t a good on. I was able to approve (or disapprove) without making it public and we are then able to get others onboard before bringing it to the floor.

The concept is not only prudent, it is Biblical.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Galatians 2:2 Discussed In Private

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Numbers 35:10-11 Cities of Refuge

Numbers 35:10-11 (KJV)
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.

I have a few thoughts about these refuge cities.

First, it is interesting that this is the exact term being used by modern cities in opposition to President Trump’s policies toward illegals in our country.
Those who are most resistant to Trump are the anti Christian crowds. They are using biblical terminology and ideology to resist Biblical principles.

Second, they are declaring themselves to be refuge cities
The Biblical model is that the people as a whole appointed such cities. Modern cities are falling on a Biblical principle but abusing the principle. God won’t bless it.

Third the Biblical cities of refuge had a specific purpose.
Modern cities of refuge attempt to hide out and protect illegal aliens. This is a concept clearly instructed against in God’s Word.

Using God’s Word to disobey God’s Word is a devilish practice as old as Genesis chapter three. America needs to get a clue who is behind the liberal mentality of refuge cities (and other concepts connected with it).

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 35:10-11 Cities of Refuge

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Numbers 34:13-15 Their Reward

Numbers 34:13-15 (KJV)
And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot, which the LORD commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe:
For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance:
The two tribes and the half tribe have received their inheritance on this side Jordan near Jericho eastward, toward the sunrising.

I am sadly reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:1-5
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

They have their reward.

  • Not that it is the best reward
  • Not that it is the reward God would have had for them
  • Not that they would forever be happy with this reward

but they now have it. There is no further reward available for them. They demanded their “inheritance” before it was due and now there is no more inheritance for them.

What a sad choice when we choose some seen, tangible but temporal thing and loose any hope of unseen, spiritual but eternal riches.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 34:13-15 Their Reward

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2 Corinthians 12:1 Bragger!

2 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV)
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

Paul had been plain and transparent about:

  • God’s call
  • God’s power in Paul
  • The work he had done in that power of God, and even in
  • The things he had suffered for Christ’ cause

But he changes course here and boldly proclaims, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory.” About his next subject he could not boast.

There is a difference between puffing up self and sharing testimonial anecdotes and illustrations. Every Christian ought to study to know that difference.

  • We ought to recognize it in others. More importantly
  • We ought to know it in self

To give testimony as to God’s hand and the lessons learned in one’s life can be a great help to others.

To brag about ourselves for the praise, approbation and acknowledgement of others is inappropriate and unbecoming a child of God.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 12:1 Bragger!

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Numbers 32:6-7 What If?

Numbers 32:6-7 (KJV)
And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?

History has turned out just as it has. Speculations about, “What if?” Can serve little productive purpose. We don’t know what would be different if people had behaved differently.

Nevertheless I would like to posit a, “What if?” I wonder what might have been different if all of the tribes had committed fully to dwell in the Promised Land?

We know that there were early misunderstandings between Israel and these two and a half tribes.

  • We know that Israel failed to conquer completely the people in the Promised Land and
  • We know that became a thorn in their flesh
  • What if the two and a half tribes had moved into the Promised Land?

What if they had been forced to fight for property good for cattle inside the Promised Land? What if Joshua would have needed to create lots inside the Promised Land to meet the needs of two and a half tribes more?

Moses was “pressured” in many respects, to allow this compromise. It wasn’t his first choice and I notice, in this passage anyway, God never signed off on it.

I think this happens a lot in Christianity. We see a lot of Christians who beg permission to stop just short of full submission to the Lord. And we see how that:

  • Stunts their spiritual growth
  • Leaves churches in need and
  • Prevents Christianity from having full impact in the world

What if Christians would give up their excuses and sell out whole-heartedly to the Lord?

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Numbers 32:6-7 What If?

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Numbers 31:1-2 Finish On Top

Numbers 31:1-2 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

Though Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land, he was permitted to end his tenor with a victory. He could have been the one to lead Israel into the Land. He came short of that. But he did not come short of victory.

There is no Christian so far backslidden and so out of God’s will that they cannot be victorious for Christ. There are certain sins that restrict the Christian walk.

  • Some things, for instance, are of such a nature that it is impossible to be around children.
  • Some things that might keep a Christian behind bars the rest of their natural lives. There are
  • Some things that disqualify a man from being a pastor or a deacon.

These are as real as God’s insistence that Moses would not go into the Promised Land. (Notice that Moses never contended that.) But never did this mean that Moses, or any believer for that matter, must go out a loser.

Every Christian, regardless of past, can:

  • Repent
  • Obey the Lord and
  • Finish his race on top

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Numbers 31:1-2 Finish On Top

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2 Corinthians 9:12-14 The Depths of Our Faith

2 Corinthians 9:12-14 (KJV)
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

The depths of our faith are so rich that, even in a subject so obvious as Christian giving, it is impossible for us to understand let alone express all that is accomplished through our giving.

  • God promises to meet all our needs as we give
  • The needs of others is supplied as we give

 

But so much more happens than that.

  • God is glorified in the gift
  • Prayer is offered for you because of the gift
  • Love is established by means of the gift and
  • Our minds are drawn to that unspeakable gift of Christ

Giving is one of the most spiritual, profitable and positive acts any believer can be a part of.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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2 Corinthians 9:12-14 The Depths of Our Faith

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2 Corinthians 8:13 This Is Not Socialism

2 Corinthians 8:13 (KJV)
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

Over the centuries various groups of Christians have attempted communal living, a sort of socialism, with mostly unsuccessful results.

  • I think it happened in the church at Jerusalem in Acts.
  • The Anabaptists attempted it throughout their history.
  • Jamestown attempted it almost to there extinction.

People simply do not perform at their best unless they have personal reasons to do so.

Paul makes it clear that his teaching here is not to be understood as socialist economics.

Those who have were encouraged to give voluntarily
It was not a tax. It was not a command. There was no law. The point was generosity.

Those who had enough were encouraged to give out of their plenty.

Those who have were not asked to give until they were burdened
Sacrificial giving is taught in the Word of God. But not sacrifice to the point of poverty or beyond the ability of recovery. True that does happen from time to time and there are those who have felt compelled of the Lord to give prosperity for the work of the ministry. That is not expected and certainly not expected of everyone.

It’s just a matter of caring. We do what we do because we are motivated by love and concern for our brethren.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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2 Corinthians 8:13 This Is Not Socialism

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.