Deuteronomy 12:1-32 – There is Only One God

Read Deuteronomy 12:1-32

Worship is clearly a priority. To be in a right relationship with God is much more than merely obeying. Moses is making sure the people know the importance of worshiping God. They are going to encounter many other gods being worshiped by the people they will overtake. So that they don’t fall into the wrong habit or let curiosity get the best of them. Moses tells them to demolish the remnants of the other gods and “completely erase the names of their gods!”

I loved the discussion on worship. As a worship leader, I am especially inspired by Moses’ words, “Rather, you must seek the Lord your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored.” So many times, we associate worship with a place, a church building. For me, worship is a way of life, a mindset of constant praise. We do need to have a place set aside, too, but God will choose it. That is an especially timely promise for me.

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Deuteronomy 4:15-31 – What Are Your Idols?

Read Deuteronomy 4:15-31

Moses is pretty clear with his warning about idols. He knows the tendency of the people. It’s easier to have something visible to worship than to worship an unseen God. Easier but not smarter. A visible object is not God, can never be God. A tangible item cannot watch over you, provide for you, hear your prayers, or love you unconditionally.

When I think about God being a jealous God, the song, “Oh How He Loves Us” pops into my head. God doesn’t want us to focus on anyone or anything but him. He loves us that much. He wants only the best for us. Listen HERE.

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2 Corinthians 3:1-6 – Worthy of Praise

Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

How many times do we toot our own horns? We can often get so full of ourselves and our abilities we lose sight of where that gifting came from. We are who we are because God made us this way. We are also shaped by circumstance and the realities we face as inhabitants of this planet. We are given the ability to choose our path and live our lives on our terms.

What does that look like for you? Are you feeling fulfilled? Do you know without a doubt that you are living the life God intended for you? Do you even care? This may seem a bit harsh, but I am curious how many people are just going through the motions and how many are truly focused on being who God wants them to be.

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Matthew 21:12-17 – An Angry Jesus

Read Matthew 21:12-17

The steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Church, Charleston, SC

Have you ever arrived home only to find your dog had chewed up the couch or destroyed your favorite pair of shoes? We’ve all seen pictures of children covered in flour sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor or having made a clown face on their younger sibling with mom’s favorite lipstick. What would be your reaction to the unexpected?

Perhaps you could keep your cool. Perhaps you would blow up in anger. In today’s reading Jesus made his way to the temple. That’s nothing particularly surprising. However, when Jesus saw how the Temple had been transformed into something he was not expecting, he came unglued. Jesus got mad. You might say he had a bit of a tantrum.

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Hebrews 9:1-10 – Worship Traditions

Read Hebrews 9:1-10

It’s good to see where our worship practices began. It helps to understand why certain pieces of furniture are placed in churches where they are. But we also realize these are from the “first covenant.” We have been reading about the New Covenant God has with his people. The traditions ascribed to the first covenant can thereby be set aside.

Are you like me, asking, “Where is the Ark of the Covenant now?” After a brief discussion with Bible scholar husband, David, I learned there isn’t a concrete answer. One would assume that when the temple was demolished by the Babylons the Ark was also destroyed. One could also speculate that a high priest of the time had the Ark hidden and preserved. There is no mention of the Ark in Scripture after the temple was destroyed. As you know, the temple was rebuilt only to be destroyed again after the time of Jesus. It has never been rebuilt although some Jews hold on to that hope. Continue reading “Hebrews 9:1-10 – Worship Traditions”

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