March 4

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“The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners” (Numbers 2:3 NLT).

From: March 4, 2019

THE LION OF JUDAH LEADS THE WAY

Of the 12 tribes, Judah was given first position in the tribal encampment. They were to camp under their “family banners” emblazoned with a lion. This image came from Jacob, the father of the tribes, who had spoken over his sons, saying that Judah was like a “lion” (Gen.49:9). He further prophesied over Judah saying,
 
“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” (Gen. 49:10).
 
This was a clear prophecy of the coming royal line of David that would arise in Judah, but more than that it was a Messianic prophecy predicting the coming of the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, whom all nations will one day honor.
 
The tribe of Judah was situated due east, so that they rose with the sun and led the way when the tribes broke camp. Yet, their first position is a foreshadowing of Jesus, who is “the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Col. 1:18).
 
PRAYER: Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to establish the way for our salvation. He is the Lion of Judah, the Author of our salvation and we are forever thankful and full of praise for His work on the cross for our redemption. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices as worship to You. Do what You want in and through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?” (Mark 12:10 NLT).

From: March 4, 2018

HAVE YOU NOT READ THE SCRIPTURES?
Jesus questioned whether the religious leaders and teachers had read a particular Scripture from Psalm 118 concerning the stone the builders rejected. Even as they rejected Jesus, His question pointed them to the biblical prophecy which predicted their rejection. Shouldn’t biblical evidence have changed their view of Him? It should have, but it didn’t. Their view of Jesus was not based on a study of the Scriptures, but on their own political interests.
 
Believers today, especially those that are called to be teachers and preachers of the Bible, must be careful to base their lives, teachings and sermons on the Bible itself. Human opinion has no authority or power. Only God’s Word can be trusted. But it must be read, studied and taught with the illumination of the Holy Spirit in order to be understood and applied.
 
In an age when most of us have a Bible in every room and access to dozens of translations online, what an embarrassing question it would be to hear from the lips of Jesus! “Have you not read the Scriptures?”

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! …Sing praises with understanding” (Psalm 47:6-7 NKJV).

From: March 4, 2017

Singing praises to God should engage both the heart and the mind. All kinds of singing is encouraged by God’s Word. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). Modern praise songs, with their simple repetitive phrases, help move the heart, but soon feel shallow without the rich theology found in many older hymns. Both are needed. A survey of the 150 Psalms of the Bible, reveals a wealth of songs and hymns that engage both heart and mind. We are to sing songs that stir our emotion, with an exclamation on the end! But we are also to sing songs that deepen our “understanding,” so that the Word “dwells richly” in our minds too.

‘And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country” (Mark 12:1 ESV)

From: March 4, 2016

What is a “parable?” The word parable is from the root word “paraballo” or in the Greek “parabole.” This compound word comes from “para” which means “to come along side or compare” and “ballo” which literally means “to throw.” So, a “parable” is a simple story that stands “alongside” another story and “throws” towards, or points towards, a deeper meaning.
To whom was this parable directed? The chief priests, scribes and elders who had come questioning His authority.
What was this parable’s meaning? The “vineyard” pointed to Israel and the “winepress,” to the temple. The “tenants” were those chief priests, scribes and elders that the owner had left in charge. The “servants” who the owner sent were the prophets. And of course, the son of the owner, that the tenants killed, was Jesus. With this parable, Jesus was actually answering their earlier question concerning by what authority he acted. He was telling them that He was the Son of God and predicting that they would reject and kill Him. And that because of this rejection they would suffer God’s judgment.
He answered them with a parable. But they didn’t understand.

“…And they marveled at Him” (Mark 12:17b NKJV)

From: March 4, 2015

Even Christ’s enemies “marveled at Him” when He answered their question about paying taxes. Jesus displayed amazing wisdom with such brevity and fulness (“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”). He wasted not a single word, yet fully responded to their complex question. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but realize the otherworldliness of Jesus. Both His humanity and divinity are on full display. There is no other like Jesus. Whether one believes or rejects Him, no one who encounters the Christ of the gospels can help but “marvel at Him.”

“God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne” (Psalm 47:8 NLT)

From: March 4, 2014

It’s easy to fret about the state of world affairs. The dictators, the warmongers, the kings and presidents who care only for their own fame and power… where is God in all this? The Bible says that He reigns above. In the chain of command, God is atop all. Why then the wars and chaos? According to Acts 4 God has a plan and a purpose even in the midst of this. Instead of fretting, we can entrust the destiny of nations to the Lord while at the same time asking Him to embolden us to share the gospel and to stretch forth His hand to move in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:29-31). God reigns.

“The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side” (Numbers 2:2 ESV)

From: March 4, 2013

The Lord instructed the Israelites to set up camp with the Tabernacle at the center. Their tents were to face inward toward the place of worship, not outward toward the world. Worship was to be the center of individual and community life. All of daily life was to revolve around worship of God. What’s at the center of your family’s life?