January 24

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“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT).

From: January 24, 2019

HOW DO WE GUARD OUR HEARTS?

Solomon instructed his son to guard his heart. In other words, he wanted his son to be careful about where his passions and desires led him. Certainly Solomon was an example of a man who ultimately let his heart overrule his head. He started out well with God, leading his people with wisdom. But in his later years succumbed to the lust of the heart for foreign women and their false gods.
 
How do we guard our hearts? What our hearts love and go after seem almost too powerful for our minds to control. Yet, we can give our hearts to the Lord. Loving and pursuing Him with all our heart, our passions are brought into alignment with His passion. We love as He loves. We desire what He desires.
 
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to guard our hearts today, so that we only want what You want. Fill us with Your Spirit and let us walk under the Spirit’s leading today. Help us to love what You love and hate what You hate. Our hearts are Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob; I will disperse them throughout Israel” (Genesis 49:7 NLT).

From: January 24, 2018

Jacob spoke a word over each of his sons as he lay on his deathbed. Over Simeon and Levi, he spoke a word that may have been heard as a curse, yet there was grace in it. For the tribe of Simeon would come to have land within the boundaries of Judah, which actually lengthened their days. Levi would become the Lord’s priestly tribe and be given cities scattered throughout Israel. So, both Simeon and Levi were “dispersed throughout Israel” as Jacob said.
 
Sometimes what appears to be a curse is actually a blessing.

“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine” (Genesis 48:5 NKJV).

From: January 24, 2017

Jacob, who was called Israel, spoke a word over each of his sons from his death bed. He bestowed a double portion to Joseph, giving his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, equal standing to his other sons. And so, when the twelve tribes of Israel move out of Egypt 400 years later, two of the twelve tribes are called Ephraim and Manasseh. The last words of Jacob are explanatory and prophetic. They explain the origin of the twelve tribes of Israel, and they predict the coming of the Messiah to the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:8-12). Genesis is a book of beginnings. It describes the creation and the fall of humanity. It begins the story of God’s rescue.

‘Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”‘ (Matthew 16:6 ESV)

From: January 24, 2016

“Leaven” is the yeast that is added to bread dough to make it rise. It only takes a little to affect the whole. Although the disciples at first took the Lord literally and thought he spoke of bread, they finally realized he was warning against the teaching of the “Pharisees and Sadducees.” The teaching of the Pharisees was to be avoided because, although they believed the whole Hebrew Bible, they added to the law layer upon layer of tradition, until no one could keep it. Their “leaven” would lead to legalism. The Sadducees, on the other hand, denied much of the Hebrew Bible, affirming only the books of Moses. They were more interested in political power than in God’s power. Their “leaven” would lead to liberalism. Jesus warned his disciples to avoid both extremes.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes” (Genesis 49:10 NKJV)

From: January 24, 2015

On his deathbed, Israel (Jacob) blesses (prophesies over) each of his sons. This blessing over Judah is one of the clearest Messianic prophecies that the Christ would be born to the line of Judah. From that day forward the tribe of Judah took the image of the lion as its symbol, flying it on a banner above their camp. The “scepter” indeed came to the tribe of Judah when David became king. Yet, the description that it “shall not depart” speaks of an eternal king. “Shiloh” (Hebrew for “He whose it is”) is Jesus, the Lion of Judah, the Messiah, the Christ, Son of Man, Son of God and King over all, “and to him shall be the obedience of the people.”

“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor” (Genesis 49:10)

From: January 24, 2014

On his deathbed, Jacob (Israel) spoke a prophetic word over each of his sons. Over Judah he spoke a Messianic prophecy that described the eternal kingship and honor of the coming Christ. Centuries later David was born into the tribe of Judah and became the king of all Israel. And still more centuries later, Jesus was born to the house of David, the tribe of Judah. He is the Promised One that old Jacob saw coming.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet” (Genesis 49:10)

From: January 24, 2013

On his deathbed, Israel (Jacob) blesses (prophesies over) each of his sons. This blessing over Judah is one of the clearest Messianic prophecies that the Christ would be born to the line of Judah. From that day forward the tribe of Judah takes the image of the lion as its symbol, flying it on a banner above their camp. The lion is the king of the jungle. And the Lion of Judah is Jesus the Christ, Son of Man, Son of God and King over all, “and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”