Victories and Defeats: Numbers 18-34

We go through victories and defeats in life. May it please the Lord always that we become closer to Him to fulfil His will for our lives.

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A tumultuous mixture of highs and lows buffeted the Israelites as they finished their desert wanderings and prepared to enter the Promised Land. The older generation passed away as exemplified by the deaths of Miriam and Aaron (Ch. 20). Moses himself was disqualified from entering Canaan because of his disobedience in striking the rock at Meribah. Joshua was appointed as Moses’ replacement (Ch. 27).

There are several important early victories on the east of the Jordan River. Arad is defeated, followed by Sihon of the Amorites and Og of Bashan. But before these battles even begin the Israelites are defeated again by their old complaining spirit and God sent poisonous snakes among them to discipline them. God does not remove the poison, the consequence of their sin, but gives them an antidote instead: they are saved by their faith in…

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God's Fail-Safe Plan–Justification

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

This summary phrase has the “list” of what God does when He causes one of the sinful sons or daughters of Adam to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). We will not ever grasp the fullness of the omnipotent and omniscient Father in heaven who draws us to Him (John 6:44).

We do need reminding from time to time that our justification is based on our calling, which came about because we were “predestinated” to be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Those heavenly decisions were made since God had foreknowledge of our “members . . . which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

Yes! I am saved to “the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). I was “rendered righteous” when the great Creator God the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, was made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Therefore, “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” the triune Godhead remains “just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24, 26). HMM III

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Reviewing the Plans for Your Perfection

Immortality Road

Our minds are finite, poorly attuned to the Infinite One’s thought. Our Father said as much. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…” (Isa. 55: 8).

Even when a heart yearns for the truth, when new light dawns, often that heart refuses to believe. And even if the new truth is not rejected by us, it can fade in the darkness of trials and temptations. Such is the word about God’s purpose and His plan to fulfill it. We all need a review of what matters the most to our Father, according to His own thoughts.

His purpose for His creation is to reproduce Himself. You have heard it here before, but until it becomes the lyrics to the song our heart sings, we must hear it again. God is in the process of reproducing agape Love—in us. He will use the human being…

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God's Fail-Safe Plan–Calling

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

God has “called” those whom He has predestined. The Greek term is kaleo, widely used to convey a specific invitation. Note how the Scriptures use kaleo with the formal identification of the name Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. . . . Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21, 23).

Just so, Jesus is “called” a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). The lord in the parable of the vineyard “calls” the laborers (Matthew 20:8), and the king in the parable of the marriage feast “bids” those in the “highways, and as many as you find” to the feast (Matthew 22:9).

This same invitation (a specific and identifiable calling) is issued to believers when we “were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). It should come as no unusual matter, therefore, that because God foreknew how we would respond to His invitation, He could then “pre-order” the end product of that calling, having “saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

May we never tire of the precious knowledge that God’s “calling” was an invitation that had an eternity behind and ahead of it—merely executed in time and space. HMM III

From Days of Praise

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ATB 51 The Road Less Traveled

Being a child from what today’s generation would call the dark ages I can recall many a road trip that our family took as we went to visit relatives. There was on the part of my sister and I a sense of excitement as we awoke on the morning of leaving. Truth
be told the previous night neither one of us could hardly sleep.

I can recall us leaving early those mornings on our trips. My father it seemed had a real passion about leaving around 430 to 500 in the mornings for our trips. The trips usually started out well. My sister and I were excited as we started down the road on the way to finally get to see our relatives. But as is the case with many a child we both would
invariably being to grow restless.

First of all we wondered why was the road that we were traveling on so empty? We felt like we were the only ones on the road. I must admit it seemed like forever before we saw other cars traveling the same road that we were. I remember one time asking my father why it was that there was nobody but us on that road. I recall him saying that from the point of us leaving so early in the morning that for a major part of our journey we would be pretty much alone. He mentioned ours would be a road less traveled.

I also remember my father and I discussing the road that we would travel. On more than one occasion it felt like when others were taking a more popular route we would take a road that was almost empty. Upon asking him why I will never forget his response. He said just because a road is traveled by many does not mean that it is always the right road.

In looking back over my life I am going to assume that I am just like other people. Each of us have moments from our lives where an event or something will stick with us throughout our time. But one of the most amazing aspects about such things is the essence of God bringing them back to our remembrance for a time and season when we need them the most.

The Road Less Traveled. Four words spoken more than a generation ago that now come full circle. Very often what would at first glance appear to be something insignificant turns out to be a moment in time that God will use to bring to each of us a deeper and more intimate meaning.

The Road Less Traveled. As Christians on this road of life we are going to be challenged on a daily basis to follow a road. What will determine the road that each of us travel will be the choices that we make.

The roads traveled by many in this world are ones of great congestion. Roads that at times seem to be bumper to bumper. Road signs along these paths that perhaps have a mile marker that reads being popular. Being about that life that keeps you in the
mix for all that is happening within said popular culture. Or maybe along that same road some will be drawn to a mile marker that says it’s all about me. A mile marker that for some will be the essence of what life means and is for them all that really matters. And perhaps that mile marker called material possessions as such will be where more and more of the world will seek as their defining destination.

Indeed the road traveled by the many will be crowded. It will more often than not be a road that while it appears to be the right road will in fact turn out to be the wrong road.
Proverbs 14:12 reminds us of the fact that there is a way that appears to be right. But as I have learned at times the hard way in my Christian journey, appearances can be deceiving. As my mother used to say, don’t believe everything you see.

The world would have us to believe that the road it follows is the correct one. And these days it seems that the world would insist that the road well traveled is in fact the only road.

One thing that I have found in life that is 100% true is this; the road traveled by those who have Christ as the head of their lives will be truly the road less traveled. With each passing day it seems that this particular road is becoming less and less traveled. It will be a road that at times will cause us to wonder is there anybody else besides us traveling that road?

This road that we will choose to follow will find us being viewed as peculiar. We will certainly hear questions as to what we are doing and more importantly why we are following the road that we do. And as well there will be times when we will be mocked for doing so.

But in response I am reminded of the words from Isaiah 35:8 declaring that the road that we will travel is called the Highway of Holiness. It is not a road that everyone will travel. It will also be a road that is hard to follow. But we know that though the road will be rough and at times cause us to wonder if it is worth it we must keep to heart the fact that we are not alone. The promise of our Savior is that we will not be forsaken. Nor will we find that in the end that our commitment will go unrewarded.

The Road Less Traveled. Yes indeed we will find fewer on this road of holiness. Yes we will find ourselves being the exception rather than the rule. But for those whose decide that this is the highway at they will remain true to, we are assured that at the end of the
road of holiness, at the conclusion of life itself great is our faithfulness and great will be our reward.

To God Be the Glory
Alan T. Black

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God's Fail-Safe Plan–Predestination

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

God “predestinates” all whom He has foreknown. The Greek term is proorizo. It is similar to proginosko (the word used for “foreknowledge”). The basic meaning is “to predetermine, decide beforehand” as opposed to having had knowledge about beforehand.

It is used in five other Scriptures in the New Testament. Acts 4:28 indicates that the crucifixion happened as “thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Paul told the Corinthian church that “the wisdom of God” was “ordained before the world” (1 Corinthians 2:7).

Although God’s omniscience would indicate that He is aware of all “the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12), His predestination seems to be more specifically focused. Our text insists that the predestination (decision made ahead of time) is “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Paul also confirms this in his letter to the Ephesian church, where we are told we are predestinated to adoption as children (Ephesians 1:5) and that this adoption is “according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11).

God surely knows the details of our lives (Matthew 10:30Luke 12:7), but the “liberty” God has granted to His children on Earth is not predestined (Galatians 5:1, 11). God grants us choice in much (Exodus 17:91 Chronicles 21:10Proverbs 1:29Philippians 1:22)—at least as it seems to be so to us. HMM III

From Days of Praise

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If You Don’t Get Flowers Today | Sarah Geringer

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Repost @Proverbs31ministries

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.” Psalm 118:8 (NLT)

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: God's Fail-Safe Plan–Foreknowledge

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

God “foreknew” everyone who would become His children. The Greek term is proginosko and is used only four other times in the New Testament. It means precisely as conveyed: “to know ahead of time.”

Paul used it in Acts 26:5 when he told Agrippa that the Jews “knew [him] from the beginning.” In Romans 11:2, Paul spoke of Israel whom God “foreknew,” and Peter insisted that the Lord Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20).

The common use, however, is illustrated in 2 Peter 3:17, where the twice-born are told: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”

The foreknowledge of God is very specific of every living creature. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth), it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger” (Romans 9:11-12).

Is it not affirming to know that “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4)? HMM III

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: Confirming God's Purpose to Us

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

This power-packed promise is sometimes misquoted, failing to complete the qualifiers that secure the good for which all things work together. Frequently overlooked is the context upon which “all things” are based.

  • “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22).
  • “All things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22).
  • “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).
  • “Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

The “all things” are promised to those who “love God.” That is defined by obedience to His commandments (1 John 5:3). Further, those who love God are “the called.” That definite article demands all that follows in Romans 8:29-30.

And finally, those who love God and who are “the” called are absolutely and consciously aware that God has “made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. . . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:9, 11-12). HMM III

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Nuggets – The Holy Spirit's Ministry: Searching Our Hearts

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)

One of the great axioms of Scripture is that the triune Godhead is not three gods, but rather “the LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Having just given the wonderful insight in the previous verse that the Holy Spirit helps our “infirmities” by transmitting our inexpressible prayers directly to God, the Creator now responds that the inseparable and omniscient triune Godhead already knows that the indwelling Holy Spirit communicates for the “saints according to the will of God.”

This is no new truth. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Bible abounds with this fact. “The LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9). “Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21). “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 John 3:20).

It is no wonder that God knows the “mind of the Spirit.” The core ministry of He who is “the Spirit of truth” is that He will “guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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