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Jealousy!

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

NUMBERS    11    IN FOCUS


There are different motives for the different actions we see each day, and people do what they do daily because of different reasons!

49“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” — Luke 9 : 49- 50

It is everywhere: at church, in the family, in friendship, at the work place, in competitions, in business, in schools, in governance, in leadership and administration … Jealousy is almost everywhere! It can be for good, and it can be for bad!

God said,

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”

Apostle Paul wrote, indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity[a] that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11)

Because of jealousy, Daniel, a man of prayer, was sent into a den, but God was with him!

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared[b] to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel ( Daniel 6)

Our jealousy today  must be for the very reason why we live on earth: to do our masters will and do it well and distinctively! We must pray for God to arm us with jealous care; caring for the dying and rescuing the perishing; encouraging the slumbering and correcting the erring; teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and protecting the flock with a true jealousy! It is written, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

” Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth” probably thought he was the best deserving person for the gift of God because he had served Moses for a long period of time, but the grace and gift of God is not limited to long service, appearance, stature or a mans wisdom, but whom God chooses!

The brothers of David thought David was not qualified ‘yet to do the job’

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  1 Samuel 17

You have a charge to keep! You have a soul to save; arm yourself with a Godly jealousy to seek, save and protect the flock, in truth and in spirit, with wisdom and understanding! The message of Jesus Christ and the second coming of the Kingdom of God must be our watch word! People are preaching the word because of different reasons “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice” Philippians 1:18 . Let the true workers arise, teaching the truth in truth and in spirit and falsehood will be ‘an expensive commodity’! Where there is light, darkness cannot shine brightly! Oh saints of God,  channel your jealousy to the right direction! Oh saints of God, know what spirit ye are of! Oh saints of God, control your emotions! Oh saints of God, get understanding! Fight a good fight!


HYMN

courage brother do not stumble

Nor­man Mac­le­od,

1857

Courage, brother, do not stumble,
Though thy path be dark as night;
There’s a star to guide the humble:
Trust in God and do the right.
Let the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely; strong or weary,

Refrain

Trust in God, trust in God,
Trust in God and do the right.

Perish policy and cunning,
Perish all that fears the light!
Whether losing, whether winning,
Trust in God and do the right,
Trust no party, sect or faction;
Trust no leaders in the fight;
Put in every word or action,

Refrain

Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above thee:
Trust in God and do the right.
Simple rule, and safest guiding,
Inward peace and inward might,
Star upon our path abiding,

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I am the Lord your God.”

The Lord said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out.

NUMBERS  10  IN FOCUS


“… the people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32)” Do you know your God? Do you know the God you have trusted? Whose work do you do daily? Whom do you assemble before? Who is your God? Which God are you serving?

Oh what a great commission He left for us: to know Him and to do His will! Oh what a privilege it is to serve in the army of God! Oh how wonderful it is for us to note that as mortal as we are, we have the noble opportunity to assemble before the ever living God Jehovah: I AM THAT I AM! Oh what an amazing grace it is the have the Lord Jesus Christ as a commanding officer!

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”                      (Matthew 28: 18-)

We are not on our way to Canaan, but Heaven; we must not go alone! We must go with somebody! We must understand our work as we journey to the end! Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Numbers 10.  They knew their God, and they assembled for a purpose! They were grouped for a purpose! They were dispatched for a purpose, and they listened to command for a purpose! Are you on the Lord’s side?

NUMBERS 10

11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law. 12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. 13 They set out, this first time, at the Lord’s command through Moses.

14 The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Amminadab was in command. 15 Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar, 16 and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun. 17 Then the tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, set out.

18 The divisions of the camp of Reuben went next, under their standard. Elizur son of Shedeur was in command. 19 Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon, 20 and Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad. 21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. The tabernacle was to be set up before they arrived.

22 The divisions of the camp of Ephraim went next, under their standard. Elishama son of Ammihud was in command. 23 Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh, 24 and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin.

They had been divided under various leaders just as we are under various leaderships; they were moved under one commanding officer: Moses, just as we are under a commanding officer: the Lord Jesus Christ! Know the God you are serving; know the commanding officer you need to please: the Lord Jesus Christ. Second Timothy 2: 4 says,  ‘No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer’! Obey your God and seek to please Him; do His will no matter what! You can’t do it on your own; obey commands just as Moses did! Jesus Christ, knowing that He had a Father to please said,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

A soldier needs to be armed to defend and rescue well, therefore, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities” (Ephesians 6)

The hymn writer,  Frances Ridley Havergal knowing that she could not do it on her own wrote,

 I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.

 I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy
Trusting now.

 I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.

 I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying
All my need.

 I am trusting Thee for power;
Thine can never fail.
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
Must prevail.

 I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall.
I am trusting Thee forever
And for all.

He is the Lord your God; know Him! He is the Lord your God; please Him! He is the Lord your God; obey Him! He is the Lord your God; work for Him! KNOW YOUR GOD! KNOW YOUR GOD! KNOW YOUR GOD!


WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE?

HYMN

 (1836-1879)

Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers,
Other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side?
Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who for Him will go?

By Thy grand redemption,
By Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side;
Savior, we are Thine

Not for weight of glory,
Not for crown and palm,
Enter we the army,
Raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth
Lives for whom He died;
He whom Jesus nameth
Must be on His side.

Jesus, Thou hast bought us,
Not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own life-blood,
For Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling
Each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing,
Thou hast made us free.

Fierce may be the conflict,
Strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army
None can overthrow.
Round His standard ranging
Victory is secure,
For His truth unchanging
Makes the triumph sure.

 

Chosen to be soldiers
In an alien land:
Chosen, called, and faithful,
For our Captain’s band;
In the service royal
Let us not grow cold;
Let us be right loyal,
Noble, true, and bold.

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Celebrate it at the appointed time!

 “The Lord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.”

Numbers  9 IN  FOCUS


There is joy after a diligent hard work! There is victory after a good and victorious fight! There is a crown after winning a competition! The Israelites had a reason to celebrate because they faced the ‘mountain’ and they conquered by the mighty hand of God Almighty!

So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses. (Numbers 9)

They celebrated, but for a reason; they had been through the ‘storms’ and they were delivered by the mighty hand of God! God asked them to celebrate, but “in accordance with all its rules and regulations.”  Obedience; a language God cherishes!

 The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses.

But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the Lord’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?”

Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you.”

  Though Moses was a strong man of God, he did not want to do anything according to his own   will; he inquired of the Lord first. Apostle Paul wrote,

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever   (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules  ( 2 Timothy 2:5)

There is a consequence for disobedience! God said to them,  “They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. 13 But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.” (Numbers 9)

His grace saved a woman caught in adultery, but He did not approve adultery: Jesus Christ! He did shed His blood for the atonement of our sins; we must not take His grace for granted. His mercies endures forever; His grace is sufficient for us, but, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?”… Obedience! God assures us: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

   Remember the warning Jesus Christ gave to the  man, “So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”  — John 5

Jesus Christ had appointed time for His work! “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

There is an hour coming when after we have journeyed through the ‘storm’, we shall rejoice on the ‘desert’. There is an appointed time coming when after we have competed in the race by the rules and regulations, we shall have the utmost reason to celebrate what the Lord has done! He makes all things beautiful in His time!

Obey; stay far from sin;  rely on God and you shall celebrate at the appointed time! You are a child of God; you shall always celebrate just as the Israelites  celebrated!

ISAIAH  35

Joy of the Redeemed

35 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
    nor any ravenous beast;
    they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.


HYMN

JOHN  H. SAMMIS

TRUST  AND OBEY

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
    • Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
      But His smile quickly drives it away;
      Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
      Can abide while we trust and obey.
    • Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
      But our toil He doth richly repay;
      Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
      But is blessed if we trust and obey.
    • But we never can prove the delights of His love
      Until all on the altar we lay;
      For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
      Are for them who will trust and obey.
    • Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
      Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
      What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
      Never fear, only trust and obey.
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Serve: do the work!

be ready to do the work of the Lord.

Numbers 8


Life is all about work and each day we do all things possible to do something.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day— Genesis 1

There are different kinds of work we do for life and living and we do the work we do for different reasons and with different understandings, however, our service to the Author of our life must never be undermined. We must let Him be known in all our services, at church and outside church.

23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting

Apostle Paul said, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. – — Colosians 3:23

In the end, we remain accountable to God! In the end our service to Him is what shall be the matter! In the end how we did all our daily endeavours’ and with what motive shall be a reason. We have a responsibility: a responsibility to do something for God while we live and pursue daily life endeavors; a responsibility to walk with Jesus Christ and to do His will! Let us do something whilst we live, not just for our earthly pleasures, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God as well!

Let us remember the sacrifices of the then workers of our Father who is in Heaven, for which reason Ananias and Sapphira had to die for not accounting well for their ‘own’ property they should have sacrificed for the Kingdom of God Almighty! Remember the services the Apostles rendered with joy to God even in the face of death!

Jesus Christ did not keep the flock to Himself: after a moment of ‘training’, he dispatched them to the field!

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Luke 10

WHAT CAN WE DO FOR GOD TODAY?

‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.’


HYMN

Fanny Jane Crosby

 (1820-1915)

To the work! to the work! we are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the might of His power our strength to renew,
Let us do by His grace what He calls us to do.

To the work! to the work! we are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the might of His power our strength to renew,
Let us do by His grace what He calls us to do.

Work for Him by His grace;
Work thru Him for His praise;
Work with Him all the days;
And work in Him in many ways.

To the work! to the work! let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life let the thirsty be led;
In the cross and its vict’ry our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings, “Salvation is free!”

To the work! to the work! in the strength of the Lord,
By the pow’r of His Name, with the light of His Word,
All the slaves of the darkness of Satan set free
And His riches of grace in His glory we’ll see.

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God is calling!

When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.

— Number 7 in focus


God did not use people He had not called! Think of Moses, “One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.” When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”He answered, “Yes, here I am.”God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God. — Exodus 3

Think of Samuel, “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3

Think of Jesus Christ and the disciples, “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. —Matthew 4

Think of Saul,  “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. 10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. ” — Acts 9

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-twoa others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” Luke 10

God is calling the world to repentance! Soon the world will see an end! An end that will begin eternal sorrow or eternal glorification! Jesus Christ said, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. The world can only give us what is in the world so as to keep us in the world! “ For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  God is calling!  We have just few years to live on earth, but…!

 ‘He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’. Where are the TRUE workers of our time? Where are the TRUE rescuers of our era? God is calling! God is calling! He is calling you! He is calling me! There is one thing having a television, and another thing plugging it to the power source, and another thing switching it on! An electric iron can do its work best when power flows through it! Get connected to God and do His work, in truth and in spirit! Jesus Christ said,  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”   

Rescue; judge not! Apostle Paul said,  “judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

God is calling; where are you? Souls are dying; what are you doing? Hear the voice of Jesus Calling! ‘Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.’ The world is teaching and giving so many reasons to people; awake oh saints of God and show the world the way, the truth and the life! Apostle Paul Admonished Timothy saying: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season;reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires.… 2 Timothy 2:4

And he stated further, “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!


HYMN

Daniel March

Hark, the voice of Jesus calling,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the master calls you;
Rich reward he offers free.
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I. Send me, send me”?

If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus;
You can say he died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the judgment’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior’s waiting arms.

If you cannot be a watchman,
Standing high on Zion’s wall,
Pointing out the path to heaven,
Offering life and peace to all,
With your prayers and with your bounties
You can do what God demands;
You can be life faithful Aaron,
Holding up the prophet’s hands.

Let none hear you idly saying,
“There is nothing I can do,”
While the multitudes are dying
And the master calls for you.
Take the task he gives you gladly;
Let his work your pleasure be.
Answer quickly when he calls you,
“Here am I. Send me, send me!”

 

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dedication to the Lord

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.’  

Numbers  6  IN FOCUS


The true essence of our walk to heaven is found in our total worship, in truth and in spirit! Jesus said, God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. Abstinence and dedication are great tools for pleasing the Sovereign Lord. Abstain from something and dedicate something to God; vow to yourself never to be defiled by something and see how closer and closer you shall get to your Father who is in heaven above.

Dedicate your body to God: mind your tongue and don’t just speak anything at all, mind your eyes and don’t  just watch anything at all, guard your ears do not just listen to anything! Let it be like Job who said,“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” Clean your heart, and let it be free for God only! Dedicate your business to God! Dedicate your steps to God! Dedicate something to God and abstain from something! Remember Joseph!

That Which Defiles ( MATTHEW 15)

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’a and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’b 5But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

8“ ‘These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

9They worship me in vain;

their teachings are merely human rules.’c

10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.d If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

16“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Apostle Paul wrote,

 Dear friends, my greatest wish and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know they love God, but they don’t understand what makes people acceptable to him. So they refuse to trust God, and they try to be acceptable by obeying the Law. But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary[a] for those who become acceptable to God by faith.

Anyone Can Be Saved

Moses said that a person could become acceptable to God by obeying the Law. He did this when he wrote, “If you want to live, you must do all that the Law commands.”

But people whose faith makes them acceptable to God will never ask, “Who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down?” Neither will they ask, “Who will go down into the world of the dead to raise him to life?”

All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, “The message is as near as your mouth or your heart.” And this is the same message we preach about faith. So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. 10 God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.

11 The Scriptures say that no one who has faith will be disappointed, 12 no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. 13 All who call out to the Lord will be saved.’ Romans  10

His grace is there for everyone, but we must not defile ourselves because of grace! We must abstain from something so as to see His anointing, glory, utmost grace and power in our lives! Paul said, ‘What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. – Romans 6


 

HYMN

Sebastien Besnault, 1736

The ancient law departs,
And all its terrors cease;
For Jesus makes with faithful hearts
A covenant of peace.

 

The light of light divine,
True brightness undefiled,

He bears for us the shame of sin,
A holy, spotless child.

His infant body now
Begins our pains to feel;
Those precious drops of blood that flow
For death the victim seal.

 

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Restitution for Wrongs

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way[b] and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.

— Numbers 5  IN FOCUS


Why must you cheat your neighbor? Why do you slander your brother? Why do you wrong others unconcern? Repent! Repent! Repent! What defiles you? ‘‘Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”  — Matthew 15

Whatever we do, directly or indirectly, help or harm somebody! True worshipers worship their Father in truth and in spirit. True worshipers understand  the difference between the flesh and the spirit! Knowing the word is important, but doing the word is more noble and solemn! Neither just be a hearer nor a reader, but a doer of the word!

Apostle Paul admonished the Galatians saying,

 ”…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateverc you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. — Galatians 5.

How have you wrong others? Find a way to repay! Have have you spoken ill-fully about others? Sincerely apologize! How have you taking advantage of others? Find a way to restore! Remember Zacchaues!  ‘Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” That is absolute repentance!

Zacchaeus knew he had to work earnestly on his salvation, and there was no time to waste! He knew that was his time, not to mind the masses but to think of his eternal salvation. Do you please the flesh or the spirit?

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19

How are you cheating your nation? How are you cheating your neighbors? How are you cheating your customers? How are you cheating God? Ponder and remember the words of Apostle Paul:

Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:8 (KJV)

Let us remember that it took the blood of Jesus Christ for us to be reconciled with our Father who is in heaven! It took  the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel for us to gain salvation! 

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

GO AND REPAY WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN! GO AND RECONCILE WITH WHOM YOU HAVE SLANDERED! SAFEGUARD YOUR SALVATION NOW!

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7


HYMN

Charles H. Gab­ri­el, 1889

God is calling the prodigal, come without delay,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee.
Tho’ you’ve wandered so far from His presence, come today,
Hear His loving voice calling still.

Refrain

Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come;
Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come.

Patient, loving and tenderly still the Father pleads,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Oh! return while the Spirit in mercy intercedes,
Hear His loving voice calling still.

Refrain

Come, there’s bread in the house of the Father, and to spare,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Lo! the table is spread and the feast is waiting there,
Hear His loving voice calling still.

Refrain

 

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Everlasting life

 17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. 19 So that they may live and not die…

NUMBERS  4  IN FOCUS

David wrote, I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done (Psalm 118:17). God is good and His faithfulness and love endures forever. He seeks not the death of His people, but their joy and good life. 17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. 19 So that they may live and not die… God gave them rules for living so that they may not do what will make them die. He who really knows what causes what, must never do what causes what. The pilgrims of old are gone, but we are here. We are here today to follow the rules and commands of God so we may not die. 

God loves us much in our days, ”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

We are assured of our eternal life if we live in Him. We are assured of a life of no condemnation we move with Him. We have an assurance of eternal life in our heavenly abode if we obey Him. He is the light of the world!  He is the first born of all creation. It is written, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1

If we think of denying Him our lives, we deny our own lives everlasting life. A woman met Him, and she thought she was having what was so profound: water! Yes water is life, but,

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. — John 4 : 10 – 14 (KJV)

We have no other way than the Way ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.. We have no other rule than His rules. He said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love…

May we go by His words, then we shall not die, but live to tell His goodness unto all nations! May we go by His words, then when He appears in His glory at the end of ages, we shall enjoy everlasting life with Him. Unto Jesus Christ be glory and honor!


HYMN

 Fanny  Crosby, 1820-1915

Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

2 Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love. [Refrain]

3 Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love. [Refrain]

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Dexterity and service

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle

NUMBERS   3  IN FOCUS


God demanded their service! God said to Moses, ‘They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the workof the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle’ .

 It is written, ‘every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ James 1:17 (NIV). God is the giver of gifts, talents and dexterity, but He gives for the purpose of His work! He gives to us so that we can use it to promote His Kingdom. If your gift is not promoting the Word, it is promoting the world! Let Him who has been given a gift work diligently with it to the service of the Most High God! What has God touched your heart to do? What has God equipped you to do? Oh mortal man, your Immortal God demands your service, talents and dexterity to proclaim the Word and the coming of His Kingdom! It is said, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected from’ 

Be mindful of whatever God has laid on your heart to do and don’t ever let fear, lack or comfort cripple you,

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c]You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

                                                                         — Matthew 25: 14 -30

God grants us wisdom for His purpose! He said to Moses, ‘Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest.

What are you doing with your skill? What are you doing with your purpose? How are you fulfilling your mission! What are you doing with that vision? Don’t stop because of oppositions! Don’t just surrender because of fear! Don’t give up because of lack! If only it will serve God and help humanity, do it! If only God approves it, go ahead! ‘10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (KJV)

”If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.


HYMN

A CHARGE TO KEEP I HAVE

CHARLES WESLEY

 

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!

Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die.


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Under the shepherds!

On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. His division numbers 74,600.

The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. His division numbers 54,400.

NUMBERS  2  IN  FOCUS


Jesus said,  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

He asked Peter,   “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21 (NIV)

Repetition they say is for emphasis! Jesus repeating His concern for His sheep shows how He cares much about the sheep! Oh how amazing it is for us to know that somebody truly cares about us!  Jesus said, ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. ‘ — John 15

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first. — Leviticus 2

God grouped them under leaders (shepherds).  ‘12 The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13 His division numbers 59,300.’ The leaders were to take care of them! Good leaders lead their followers to the right destination! Good shepherds guard and protect the flock! 

Saul undermined the strength of David as a good shepherd ‘But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear’  1 Samuel 17

Where are the shepherds of today? How are they feeding the flock? ‘The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep’ . 

God has grouped lives under the leadership of shepherds of today. There are so many churches all around the world with different numerical strength. God is watching how the shepherds are feeding the flock! God is watching how the shepherds are preparing the flock for the coming of Jesus Christ! God is watching how the shepherds are protecting the flock from the alluring ways of our world today with all their strength and might!

Are the shepherds exploiting the sheep?  Where are the bad shepherds? Let them listen and hear what the Lord says, “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord2Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord3“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

Concerning the prophets:

My heart is broken within me;

all my bones tremble.

I am like a drunken man,

like a strong man overcome by wine,

because of the Lord

and his holy words.

10The land is full of adulterers;

because of the curseb the land lies parched

and the pastures in the wilderness are withered.

The prophets follow an evil course

and use their power unjustly.

11“Both prophet and priest are godless;

even in my temple I find their wickedness,”

                           —  Jeremiah 23

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.  Numbers 2.   Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 

Shepherds, keep the flock!


HYMN

Savior, like a shepherd lead us

Author (attr.): Dorothy A. Thrupp (1836)

1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

2 We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
Be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray.

3 Thou hast promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse, and pow’r to free:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee.

4 Early let us seek Thy favor,
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.