Reading the Bible in Three Years

Deuteronomy 32 (July 4)

                                                                Painting the Heart

            “Take to heart all the words...”

            A good painting contractor was hired to paint an old building.  The first thing he did was to remove all the layers of old paint with a very potent water compressor.  Secondly he covered all the holes with new concrete, until the entire exterior surface was smooth again.

            Having done all this preparatory work, he began to apply a special paint called “sealer” for weather protection.  Finally, he applied several coats of paint, and the old building now looked brand new, and extremely beautiful.

            Our hearts can sometimes be like that old, ugly building.  The “walls” of our souls become tarnished by sin, and even after confession there are scars from our shortcomings and trespasses.

            Confession is the spiritual compressor that God uses to remove our daily impurities.  Even though we are positionally forgiven from all sins, the fact is that we still sin often; and that sin adheres so firmly to our hearts, that only true confession can get rid of it.

            After confession comes the application of God’s Word to our lives. The Holy Spirit, who is the seal of our eternal salvation (Ephesians 1:13) cleanses and restores us with the Word. As the Israelites were commanded to “take to heart all the words...” so must we, the true believers in Christ, allow God to “paint” or renew our hearts with the Word.  But remember that we must apply all the words of the Lord, not only those we like or prefer.

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Deuteronomy 31 (July 3)

                                                                           Explorers

            “It is the Lord who goes before you.”

            In the Movie “1492” we can learn a little bit about Christopher Columbus’s life.  This great Italian explorer crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered America, a feat that was thought to be impossible.

            This story, and the story of many of other explorers, illustrates the need for all Christians to cross new frontiers all the time.  These frontiers or barriers can be geographical, racial or spiritual. Perhaps not all of us can become overseas missionaries, but we can do mission work wherever we are. We can also strive to find ways to eliminate the scourge of racial discrimination from our world in the name of Christ.

            In the spiritual area, our duty is to continue seeking God as part of our lifelong commitment to seek his perfect will.  We even have an advantage over “Don” Christopher, for God has given to us a map (the Bible) for the journey, which includes specific directions and divine guidance.

            Furthermore, Jesus goes before us in the journey and this, my brethren, is an immeasurable benefit.  As we follow his steps in obedience to his Word, we are guided by the “footprints” that Jesus has left behind along the way.  Likewise, as we follow Jesus our road is clearer, because he has defeated all our enemies and helps us to avoid many dangerous pitfalls.

            Let us walk towards new frontiers today with boldness and confidence, trusting that Jesus is before, with, and in us.  He knows the way, so take his hand and become a spiritual explorer for the Lord.

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Deuteronomy 29 (July 1)

                                                                             Spiritual Cement

            “...in order that he may establish you today”

            “Riiiing...!”

            “Hello, who’s this?”

            “Good afternoon Mr. Thompson, I am calling to confirm your date tomorrow.”

            “Listen lady, I’m a married man!”

            “Mr. Thompson.”  Replied the operator very softly.  “You made an appointment to donate blood at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night.  Can we still count on you?”

            “Of course you can!”  Responded Mr. Thompson, and then he apologized for his misunderstanding.

            In our society everything is confirmed; from dates, to doctors appointments, to any other activity.  People also confirm hotel, car rental and events reservations.  This is a good practice, for it saves us from wasting time and money; and finding later on that the reservation or appointment has been canceled.

            God also practices confirmation in relation to Christians.  The word “confirm” can be also translated as to establish, ratify, validate, approve, etc.  A clear example of this is how God ratified or established every covenant with blood.  Even the New Covenant was validated by the blood of Jesus.

            Our salvation is sure, because we have been confirmed or “cemented” with the seal of the Holy Spirit.  Furthermore God is in complete control of our lives, holding every piece together and working everything for our good. Therefore, do not fret or worry about the future, because there is nothing more confirmed in the world than our salvation.

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Deuteronomy 30 (July 2)

                                                                              From the Valley to Victory

             “...from there the Lord your God will gather you,”

            Have you ever felt alone and abandoned?

            Do you think that no one understands you and your “friends” reject you?

            Do you think there is no solution for your problems?

            Are you running from your troubles?

            If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to be reminded that there is a friendly HAND that never closes in your times of need; caring EYES that are always watching over you and me every day; and loving ARMS that will never cease to embrace us with infinite love.

            Wherever you are today; from there God will gather you.  It matters not if you are in the “Swamp of Sadness;” in the “Desert of Despair;” in the “Valley of Vanities”; in an “Abyss of Abandonment”; or in a “Storm of Suffering.”

            From all these horrible places the powerful hand of the Lord can and will rescue us, if we only reach out and take hold of it.  Peter was rescued by Jesus as he was drowning in the angry sea.

            “But I am not Peter, and so far no one has rescued me!”  I can almost hear someone saying.

            I say to you in the name of the Lord that God will surely bring you out of your misery.  I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but He will rescue your soul from the “prison” of depression and defeat in which you have placed yourself.  Call on Jesus, and be ready to grab his hand!

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Deuteronomy 28 (June 30)

                                                                                Real Treasure

            “The Lord will open for you his rich store house...”

            During Nativity (also known as Christmas), we celebrate the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus and his advent as the Savior of the world.  This is not the way the world perceives this holy season, however.

            For example, our society has invented a vast array of substitutes to replace Jesus for all the Christian Holy Days.  There is the infamous Easter bunny, during Holy (or Passion) Week; there is also the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas tree and the now world-famous Santa Claus.

            According to history, there was a generous man called Saint Nicholas, but Santa Claus is just an illusion or a lie, whichever you prefer.  Only a fool can believe that an old and bearded man can fly in his magical, deer-powered sleigh.  It takes even more faith, to believe that he can bring toys to all the children on Christmas Eve, than to believe that our blessed Savior was born on stable.

            Great is the disappointment of many children, when they finally find out that Santa Claus is just a decorated lie.  Even if the “Ho Ho Ho-man” was real, he cannot ever compare with our Lord Jesus.  His once-a-year “toy drive” pales in comparison with the day by day treasures we receive from God. 

            Every day God opens his storehouse and pours treasures beyond measure to his children.  The air we breathe; the love we feel; and his promises of life, peace, joy and hope are the real treasures.

            Who do you prefer, Santa or the SON?

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