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March 14

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“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by” (Psalms 57:1 NKJV).

From: March 14, 2020

DO YOU FEEL LIKE HIDING IN A CAVE?

David wrote this psalm regarding the time he was hiding in a cave while fleeing from Saul. Even though the king of Israel sought to kill him, David trusted in the Lord. And even though he hid in a cave, he was confident that the day of calamity would soon pass by. In the meantime, rested in the shadow of the Lord’s wings as his refuge.
 
With all the worldwide fear concerning the pandemic, many of us may feel like hiding in a cave. Yet, we too can put our trust in the Lord. We can pray for God’s mercy on this who are already sick and for his mercy on us as we live to serve Him. We can pray for His protection and care. We do not have to be afraid because the Lord is our refuge until this calamity has passed by.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we cast our care upon You. We pray for those who are sick with the Coronavirus. Comfort and heal them, for You are the Great Physician. We pray for protection for our elderly and others at risk. We pray for our local, state, and national leaders, that You will give them wisdom to guide us through these days. We pray for Your Church that we will be the Body of Christ, offering both physical and spiritual help to those in need. May there be an increase of gospel receptivity during these days. And may we be strengthened to share the hope of Jesus with everyone. For it is in His precious name that we pray, amen.

“So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!” (Numbers 21:9 NLT).

From: March 14, 2019

LOOKING UPON THE SUFFERING SAVIOR WITH FAITH

This is one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible. The Israelites were once again grumbling against God and Moses because of the lack of water and variety of food in the wilderness, so God punished them with poisonous snakes. God hates grumbling. Grumbling is the opposite of thankfulness. Grumbling itself is like a venom that infects everyone that hears it with a spirit of ingratitude. When the people repented and cried out for forgiveness, God instructed Moses to make an image of a Bronze Serpent and to put it up on a pole for people to look upon and repent of their sin for healing.
 
Strange that the symbol of their suffering would be God’s provision for their forgiveness and healing. Yet, this is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to die in our place. For on the cross we see the image of what our own sin deserved. Jesus became the symbol of our suffering. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
 
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for sending Jesus as the provision for our sin. The cross is the picture of what it took to pay for our sin. It is the illustration of how great is your love for us. We are loved. We are forgiven. We are set free and choose to follow you for all our days. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey” (Psalms 57:4 NLT).

From: March 14, 2018

RESCUED FROM MAN-EATING LIONS
David wrote this psalm asking for the Lord’s protection and rescue from his enemies who were like “fierce,” man-eating lions. This reminds me of how the Lord rescued David and centuries later, Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den by King Darius the Mede (Dan. 6).

Lions are often used both literally (Daniel) and symbolically (David) in the Bible to describe the enemies of God and of His people. The apostle Peter described Satan as being like a lion, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). So, “stay alert” and don’t be afraid for though the lion may be the king of the jungle, Christ is the King of Kings! He has overcome sin, Satan, death and the grave!

‘Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people’ (Numbers 21:7 NKJV).

From: March 14, 2017

Have you been snake bit?

There are three types of snake venom: Hemotoxic, which acts on the heart and cardiovascular system; Neurotoxic, which acts on the nervous system and brain; and Cytotoxic, which has a localized action at the site of the bite.

But there’s another kind of venom that works on the spirit. It comes not from snakes, but from other people. It’s the venom of ingratitude. It’s the poison of grumbling. And it is more dangerous than most people realize.I think that the venomous nature of complaining must’ve been the reason the Lord sent serpents among the Israelites. He wanted to show them the dangers of ingratitude.

What is the anatomy of ingratitude?
– A heart that won’t wait on God.
– A mouth that speaks against God.

Why is grumbling against God?
– It questions God’s sovereignty (“Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” v.5)
– It denies God’s provision (“For there is no food and no water” v.5)
– It rejects God’s grace (“Our soul loathes this worthless bread” v.5)

What is the cure for ingratitude?
1) Confess it as sin. (“We have sinned” v.7)
2) Pray that God would remove the venom of ingratitude. (“pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents” v.7)
3) Focus on God’s provision and be thankful. (“if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived” v.9).

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 ESV)

From: March 14, 2016

Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel that she would bear the Christ child was a wonderful expression of submission to God’s will. Her faithful response stands in contrast to Zechariah’s doubtful one. Of course, Mary questioned the angel too, but her request was not for certification, but for clarification. Zachariah wanted proof that his barren wife would have a child. Mary wanted to understand the means of conception since she was a virgin. She asked for clarification, not confirmation. Mary’s response stemmed from her faith; Zachariah’s stemmed from his lack of faith.

“So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:9 NKJV)

From: March 14, 2015

This is one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible. The Israelites were once again grumbling against God and Moses because of the lack of water and variety of food in the wilderness, so God punished them with poisonous snakes. God hates grumbling. Grumbling is the opposite of thankfulness. Grumbling itself is like a venom that infects everyone that hears it with a spirit of ingratitude. When the people repented and cried out for forgiveness, God instructed Moses to make an image of a bronze serpent and to put it up on a pole for people to look upon and repent of their sin for healing. Strange that the symbol of their suffering would be God’s provision for their forgiveness and healing. Yet, this is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to die in our place. For on the cross we see the image of what our own sin deserved. Jesus became the symbol of our suffering. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

“So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!” (Numbers 21:9 NLT)

From: March 14, 2014

This is one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible. The Israelites were once again grumbling against God and Moses because of the lack of water and variety of food in the wilderness, so God punished them with poisonous snakes. God hates grumbling. Grumbling is the opposite of thankfulness. Grumbling itself is like a venom that infects everyone that hears it with a spirit of ingratitude. When the people repented and cried out for forgiveness, God instructed Moses to make an image of a Bronze Serpent and to put it up on a pole for people to look upon and repent of their sin for healing. Strange that the symbol of their suffering would be God’s provision for their forgiveness and healing. Yet, this is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to die in our place. For on the cross we see the image of what our own sin deserved. Jesus became the symbol of our suffering. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown” (Proverbs 11:11 ESV)

From: March 14, 2013

God calls us to be a blessing to the city in which we live. We are to bless and not curse. We are tempted to curse the darkness we see in the culture around us. But isn’t it better to light a candle, than to curse the dark? After all, aren’t we called to be salt and light? Where can you speak a word of blessing over your city today?

“The people came to Moses and cried out, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes'” (Numbers 21:7)

From: March 14, 2012

Grumbling is the opposite of gratitude. It is like poison, once bitten, it spreads throughout the body. Have you been “snake-bit” with an ungrateful attitude? Confess and be thankful, so God can heal.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me” (Psalm 57:2)

From: March 14, 2011

Rather than asking for God to help me with my plans, I’m crying out for His. Fulfill Your purpose in/for me.