Deuteronomy 11 & 12
Don’t lose heart, cave in or give up!
Don’t Lose Heart
There is so much worth commenting on in these two chapters but let’s focus on 11.16 which says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” Maybe you’re feeling discouraged about something, maybe even thinking about giving up.
Maybe you have been trying to walk with the Lord, trying to read your Bible, trying to grow and be the husband or wife, father or mother God has called you to be. Maybe you have been waiting for your husband, your wife, or someone else to come to know the Lord. Maybe you have been waiting for God to answer some other prayer.
Please take special note of the second phrase in that verse, “lest your heart be deceived.” The devil is a deceiver. Not only does he deceive us, but Jeremiah 17.9 says our own hearts will deceive us.
Don’t be deceived into turning aside and going back where you came from. Don’t be deceived into giving up because “it” doesn’t seem to be working. God is faithful! Luke 18.1 says, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” One translation says, “… and not cave in.” Another says, “… not give up.”
Hebrews 10.23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
Hold fast, pray and wait on the Lord.
TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:
Takers & Givers
Verse 21, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.”
The wicked borrows irresponsibly or deceitfully, but the righteous is merciful. One is a taker, the other a giver.
Speech is Connected to the Heart
Verses 13 and 14 compare two kinds of speech: wicked speech and good speech. “The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips …” and “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth …”
But the things we say don’t start with the mouth; they start in the heart.
Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matt. 12.35).
The next time you find yourself making excuses for something you said, as in, “I shouldn’t have said that but … I was just tired … or he pushed me over the edge … or she made me … or if you had to live with him … ask yourself, “What was going on in my heart?”
The Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord …” (Ps. 51.10). Let that be our prayer, as well.
God’s Timing is Still Right
Here in chapter 2 God continues to fulfill the prophecies concerning His Son. In this case, He uses a pagan ruler (Caesar Augustus) and his census to bring Mary and Joseph to the right place at the right time, so Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
We understand that in hindsight, but what do you think it looked like to that young couple? Did it look like good timing to Mary as she bumped along on the back of a donkey at eight or nine months pregnant? Did it look like good timing to Joseph? But God’s timing was perfect.
And when we’re tempted to wonder, “Why me, Lord? Why now?,” it’s just as important for us to remember that God’s timing is just as right and just as perfect in our lives no matter how it looks to us.
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