September 9 – Lord of Lords


“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” ” – Genesis 15:1-2 (ESV)

Have you ever been promised something that seemed impossible that you would see come true? Abram (not yet Abraham) was in that fix. God had promised descendants, children, and so many that they would be impossible to count. To Abram, God’s promise had stalled and he believed he had an answer. Abram suggested adoption of a servant as the male heir—a well-known contemporary custom of the time and culture. Abram considered it a done deal as it was the best official arrangement to make it come to pass⸺humanly speaking. God said No! It will not be ‘this man’ for it will be your very own son who will be your heir. Now eighty-six years old, time was running out for Abram and Sarai (not yet Sarah). In this exchange Abram address God by the name ‘Adonai’ which was a common name meaning lord, master and God. Abram also addressed God by the name YHWH. This is the name God revealed to Moses when He said “I AM WHO I AM.” While many titles are given for God, the name Yahweh is the true name for God. Most translations render the name as LORD – using all capitals.

197

September 8 – The Name Is Important

“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “This is what you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ” – Exodus 3:14 (NASB)

Our verse today is from a conversation God had with Moses. Moses, divinely protected from death when he was born had an amazing upbringing being trained up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter in Egypt. The best education and training possible in the day. But he had fled from Egypt after defending one of his own people and killing an Egyptian oppressor. After 40 years in the wilderness Moses thinks he is safe but God comes and tells him to return to Egypt. You are to confront Pharaoh and lead the people out of Egypt and slavery. Moses is reluctant for several reasons and asks who he should tell his people has sent him. God reveals His name to Moses. A name that declares that He is eternally present. He has always been, He is now and He will always be. This is also a promise of God’s eternal presence with His people. He is present to help us, comfort us, guide us, and so much more. His presence never leaves us, and He will always be with us. That is the greatest comfort we can ever find, and we learn it from the very name of God: I AM.

200

September 7 – Total Blessings

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” – Ephesians 1:3-4 (ESV)

Whenever we attend a memorial service at a funeral, one part is almost always included is a eulogy. It may be given by a minister, a family member, or friend. The eulogy’s purpose is to speak well and to bless the one being memorialized. The first word in our verses today is “Blessed” and it is derived from the same Greek word we get “eulogy.” It means to praise or commend. Every human has a supreme duty to bless God by thought, word and deed. Not all do. As faith believers we have already been fully blessed in Christ. When the Apostle Paul writes “blessed be” he is using the meaning to give praise to God. When the Apostle writes “has blessed” he is saying that all who are in Christ have already received from Him every spiritual blessing possible. God has already given believers total blessings. And, this He did when God chose us to be in Christ before the world was made by Him. This promise of being holy and blameless before God became ours before the worlds foundations were set. It was God’s choice to promise this for His creatures and its for His praise and glory.

200

September 6 – Heir of All Things

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” – Hebrews 1:1–2 (NASB)

The promises we consider each day come from the Word of God and are God’s inspired words. The Bible is trustworthy as the God’s word to us. While the literary form and style of the Bible varies as it was scribed by different people, it was and is always God’s revelation of what He wanted us to know. The Old Testament was written over a span of as many as 1,800 years.* Many portions: there are 39 different books during different historical times, locations, cultures, and situations. Many ways: included visions, symbols, and parables using both poetry and prose styles. Last days: Jews in the first century understood the reference to “last days” to mean the time when Messiah (Christ) would come. The messianic prophecies fulfillment began with the arrival of the Messiah in Bethlehem and was revealed by Jesus during his ministry on the earth. Since then, that is since He came until this day, it has been the “last days.” God’s message of redemption was spoken through the Messiah, His Son who is heir of all things. So, everything that exists will eventually come under the control of the Son of God.

194

*(from Job to Nehemiah, circa 2200 – 400 B.C.)

September 5 – Our Promised Portion


“The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words.” – Psalm 119:57” – (NASB)

In the original language, verse 57 may be a broken sentence. The translators mended it by insertions, but even as it is without the fix it makes good sense. It would appear as an exclamation,—“My portion, O Lord!” As one nearly overcome with God’s goodness, the psalmist (likely David) is lost in wonder while he sees that the great and glorious God is all his own! This is understandable, for there is no possession we might have like the LORD himself. The sentence expresses joyous recognition and assumption,—“My portion, O LORD!” The idea of “a portion” springs from the lawful practice of the Levites when they were sacrificing animals brought to the Temple as offerings. They were given a portion of the meat that they might eat. In this way the priests were sustained since their work was fully within the compound of the Temple when they served. For the psalmist and for us, God is a great and permanent portion, our heritage. It includes all, and more than all; it outlasts all; and yet no one chooses it for themselves until God has chosen and renewed their life by being born of God.

196

September 4 – Remember, Remember, Remember,


“Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. – Psalm 119:49 (NASB)
I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O LORD, And comfort myself. – Psalm 119:52 (NASB)
O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, And keep Your law. – Psalm 119:55 (NASB)

Can you consider for a moment what life would be like if you were unable to remember? Memory is critical part of our lives and when we know someone in their later life whose memory is failing them, we understand the critical factor of danger. Perhaps they no longer remember what might hurt them such as a hot pot on the stove. Perhaps they no longer remember their way home. Perhaps even they no longer remember their family or even their own selves. It is tragic. The Psalmist affirms three remembrances in his life and we’ve selected the verses that declare what he remembers. He remembers the word God has given him and from that He has acquired hope. He remembers the ordinances he learned in the past and he is comforted by them. And, perhaps most important and valuable, he remembers God’s name in the night which helps him keep God’s law. Those afflicted with the diseases that rob them of their memory often struggle most at the end of the day as the sun sets. Let us rejoice for it is a blessing when we can remember God’s Word all through each day.

195

September 3 – He Provides Our Answer


“May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.” – Psalm 119:41-42 (NASB)

There is an increase in the resistance of our world to the Word of God. There is also a significant decrease in the number who hold the Bible to be absolute truth. Within this battle, those who oppose the teachings in the Bible are becoming more active in demonstrating their hostility. The psalmist called on God to deliver him through His love and His Word and He will for us based on the promise God has given to us. He sought and trusted that he would have an answer for his enemy. He prayed and affirmed that the Word would continue to be his pattern of life. That is the way God has prepared for us to enjoy victory over the obstructions they set to the spreading of His Word. When opposition comes we frequently take it very personally but here we can know that it is God that the non-believer is rejecting and fighting against. We can like this passage teaches learn to delight in God’s commandments grow to love them for they are life to our soul. Next time we meet resistance, lets remember, God’s Word has an answer for us to give in return.

197

September 2 – Turning from Worthless Ways

“Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways. – Psalm 119:36-37 (ESV)

There is no room for doubt when we reflect on our shortcomings and the ways we fail to live up to the standards set for us in the Bible. We all need help and there is only one source that can actually help us. We first need to learn from God how He commands us to live. Psalm 119:33 tells us how if the LORD teaches us the way of his statutes, we will keep it to the end of days. We need understanding and guidance. The psalmist declared his loyalty to the Word, and he observed it with his whole heart. He prayed that the LORD would turn him away from dishonest gain and vanity. Vanity, the way it is used here means emptiness, nothingness, useless. When we commit ourselves, our resources, and out time to what is worthless we are in pursuit of vain things. This is the most common usage of this word in the Old Testament. We have an option and it is what we should desire. Our search should be for God to confirm His ordinances to us that we may enjoy the way of life God gives to us – His way.

197

September 1 – He Stores Up For Us


“For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,” – Proverbs 2:6-7 (NASB)

True and Godly wisdom comes only by revelation. The words of the LORD’s mouth are contained in inspired Scripture. It is there that we can hear God speak. That is the promise we are given in the Bible, the Word of God. Through yielding to our awesome Lord God, we gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Wisdom promises us positive and moral benefits that become a shield for us. Wisdom keeps one from evil and contributes to holiness. Wisdom is a matter of our heart, and of our moral conduct, for it is not simply the acquisition of intelligence. Another promise beyond giving us wisdom, knowledge and understanding is that the LORD stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He has it in abundance and available for us when we need it and ask Him for it (James 1:5-8). The ‘upright’ identifies those who are true faith believers, who seek to know, love, and obey God. It identifies us as those who seek wisdom and instruction in order to live righteously. One verse more teaches that the only ones who can know this wisdom and experience God’s protection (Proverbs 2:8), are keepers of the covenant and promises of God.

198

August 31 –Not Our Understanding But His


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV, NASB)

We look again today at a verse we have considered in the past. It is a favorite verse for many and for many reasons. It is simple, straight to the point and a verse we can’t easily disregard. To trust in the LORD means what He has said to us is better than any conclusion from our own understanding. That’s where we start. We put our trust in God with all our heart. We turn away from our understanding as a guide when it misdirects us. What does “lean on our own understanding” mean? It’s what we do when we learn God’s will from His Word. We take it in and then refine it and revise it until we think we understand it. But we really don’t because our own understanding most times leads us astray from obedience and trust in what God wants. God’s promises can be trusted. God’s word can be acknowledged even when our own means to understand is not in agreement. God promises to make, direct and guide us on straight paths – paths to His way. They are the best and better than anything we come up with using our understanding.

195