November, 2016 “Relevant” Guide Chapters

• 1 – Leviticus 4-6
• 2 – Leviticus 7, 8
• 3 – Leviticus 9-11
• 4 – Leviticus 12, 13
• 5 – Leviticus 14, 15
• 6 – Leviticus 16-18
• 7 – Leviticus 19-21
• 8 – Leviticus 22, 23
• 9 – Leviticus 24, 25
• 10 – Leviticus 26, 27
• 11 – Numbers 1, 2
• 12 – Numbers 3, 4
• 13 – Numbers 5, 6
• 14 – Numbers 7, 8
• 15 – Numbers 9-11
• 16 – Numbers 12-14
• 17 – Numbers 15-17
• 18 – Numbers 18-20
• 19 – Numbers 21, 22
• 20 – Numbers 23-25
• 21 – Numbers 26-28
• 22 – Numbers 29-31
• 23 – Numbers 32, 33
• 24 – Numbers 34-36
• 25 – Deuteronomy 1, 2
• 26 – Deuteronomy 3, 4
• 27 – Deuteronomy 5-7
• 28 – Deuteronomy 8-10
• 29 – Deuteronomy 11-13
• 30 – Deuteronomy 14-16

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Favorite

How would you describe God showing his faithful love? Would you be rich? Living in a mansion? Have complete power and authority?

God is omnipresent. That means He is present everywhere from the highest heights to the deepest, darkest pits.

It doesn’t matter where you are today. God is with you, showing you His faithful love, and making you a favorite.

Genesis 39:21, “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.” New Living Translation

Joseph went from being the favorite son, (37:3), to being the favorite attendant of Potiphar, (39:34), – while he was a slave! He became the favorite in prison, while he was a prisoner! In Potiphar’s house, and in prison, God made him the one with complete power and authority!

It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. God offers you His faithful love. Repeat after me…

…I am a favorite of God!

Dear Father God,

Thank You for giving me Your faithful love. Thank You for making me a favorite. Help me to keep my eyes off of riches, power, or authority, but to keep my eyes on You.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Worked

Joseph was in training to become second in command of Egypt. He just didn’t know it. He was not a shepherd, like King David, but he often tended his father’s flocks.

Genesis 37:2, “…When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half-brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.” New Living Translation

Bilhah and Zilpah were slaves or servants. Their owners, Rachel and Leah, gave them to Jacob to become his wives, (30:3, 30:9). Their children were the sons of slaves. These sons were the shepherds.

Joseph, the favorite, (v. 3, 4), was willing to work for sons of slaves. It says he often tended the flocks.

10 Characteristics of a Leader

  1. A leader is not afraid of hard work and getting dirty, v. 2.
  2. A leader does not see any job as beneath him, v. 2.
  3. A leader can work for, and with, anyone, v. 2.
  4. A leader will work steadily or often, v. 2.
  5. A leader does not cover up dishonesty, v. 2.
  6. A leader reports and submits to authority, v. 2.
  7. A leader does not keep a list of all failures or wrongdoings, v. 2.
  8. A leader works when he doesn’t have to because of his position, v. 3, 4.
  9. A leader will do the work, even when it is someone else’s job, v. 2.
  10. A leader will seek answers, even when it makes him unpopular, v. 3, 4.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for the reminder that I am in training. I don’t know the plans You have in store for me. Help me to work like Joseph did, no matter where I am.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Wrestling

If you are looking for a fight, you will find one.

When Jacob camped the first night after Laban returned home, angels of God came to meet him, see 32:1. He exclaimed, “This is God’s camp.” He stayed in that camp the next night, see 32:13.

But he couldn’t sleep that second night. He woke up his family and took them across the Jabbok River. Then he sent over all his possessions, see 32:22, 23.

He was still in “God’s Camp.” When a man came into the camp in the middle of the night, he wrestled with him, see 32:24. The night before when angels came to meet him in the camp, he didn’t wrestle with them. But the second night he was looking for a fight. He was terrified that Esau would attack him, see 32:7, and he was getting himself ready.

This characteristic was in his sons as well. When they responded to Hamor’s request for Dinah to marry Shechem, they answered deceitfully because they were looking for a fight, see 34:13. They tricked the men of the town of Shechem to be circumcised, and then while they were recovering, Simeon and Levi murdered all of them, see 34:24-26.

The men of Shechem agreed to the circumcision because of greed. They thought they would eventually get all the wealth of Jacob, see 34:23.

The rest of Jacob’s sons were looking for a fight, too, see 34:27. When they found all the men dead, they took their wives, children, and everything of value, see 34:28-29.

Shechem, son of Hamor, prince of the town of Shechem, saw something he wanted, Dinah, and greedily took her. That act cost the entire town everything.

When we are looking for a fight, we can always justify it. Jacob’s sons justified murder, kidnapping, and theft, by reminding Jacob that Shechem raped Dinah, see 34:31. But they didn’t just punish Shechem, they annihilated the town.

When you are looking for a fight, take it to God. Wrestle with Him. Don’t take it out on the whole town!

Genesis 32:28, ” ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘From now on you will be called Israel because you have fought with God and with men and have won.’ ” New Living Translation

Dear Father God,

When I am angry at injustice, help me to not become combative. Help me to turn the other cheek, and do the right thing regardless of how I am treated. I’m grateful You are always with me because I could never do that on my own. 

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Sees

It’s hard to do the right thing when someone is taking advantage of you. You may feel like giving up. But God sees the abuse. He sees when you are yelled at, blamed for everything, taken advantage of, and ignored.

He also sees your hard work:

  1. He sees when you scrub the mess on the stove left from someone else cooking the day before.
  2. He sees you pulling the pop cans and recyclable material from the garbage as you gather it up.
  3. He sees you removing pop can tabs, and cutting out Box Tops and Campbell’s Labels for the school fundraiser.
  4. He sees you taking inventory of the refrigerator and planning dinner around the food that needs to be used up.
  5. He sees you freezing items to use later and giving away food you cannot use.
  6. He sees you mending instead of spending and repairing instead of replacing.
  7. He sees you cleaning the corners and cleaning out drawers.
  8. He sees the ever-present box for Good Will that you continually fill.
  9. He sees you washing windows, ironing, and doing other “old-fashioned” jobs that have fallen by the wayside in today’s modern world.

Genesis 31:42, “…But God has seen your abuse and my hard work….” New Living Translation

He is the God who sees and every blessing and reward comes from him.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for seeing me. Thank You for the rewards You have placed in my life. 

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Sit

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My eyes have been watery, itchy, and swollen for a week. My doctor is out-of-town for another week. This is my 8th day in the house and nothing seems to help.

Today, when I got up, my eyeballs had a layer of mucus on them. I am having trouble seeing. (Yesterday, I texted our band manager and told her I might not play today.) Before I started reading today’s chapters, I asked God to show me what to do today.

Genesis 27:1, “When Isaac was old and turning blind…” New Living Translation

Genesis 27:19, “…Now sit up and eat…” New Living Translation

Genesis 27:31, “…Sit up, my Father, and eat…” New Living Translation

When Isaac had trouble seeing he laid down, only sitting up to eat. After breakfast, I’m going to lay down or sit.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for giving me direction each day. I don’t know why I have been sidelined for a week, but I trust You. Help me to hear Your voice stronger every day.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Foreigner

When I read today’s verse, God reminded me that I am a foreigner on earth. This is not my permanent home; I am only here temporarily. I don’t own a vast amount of land, but God promises to bless me anyway.

Genesis 26:3, “Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you….” New Living Translation

Abraham and Isaac showed us how to live in a land as a foreigner.

  1. They improved the land by digging wells, 26:15, 18.
  2. They planted seeds and harvested a crop, 26:12.
  3. When there was a dispute they moved away from the place of hostility, 12:22.
  4. They made treaties with the locals, 12:30.

That is how we should live here.

1 Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” New Living Translation

Dear Father God,

Thank You for the reminder that I am only here for a little while. My real home is in heaven and I will spend eternity there. I pray that those who are unsure of their eternal home will turn to You. Show me how to improve my land.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Presence

I loved going to the youth camp at Country Mission Camp in Swaledale, Iowa. The expectation in the evening services was palpable. Pa and Ma Lamb and their extended family covered that week in prayer.

We spent the mornings in classes where they filled us up with as much Bible teaching as possible. They filled the afternoons in outdoor activities to help burn off our youthful enthusiasm.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we were all sent home and there were many tears. We exchanged addresses because long distance calls were too expensive. (This was before computers and cell phones.)

I thought it was my friends that I missed. I was wrong. It was the Presence of God. We spent a week living in the Presence – just as Abraham did.

Genesis 24:40, “He responded, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived…'” New Living Translation

This is why I reach for my Bible first thing in the morning. I’m seeking the Presence. I want to live in the Presence.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for inhabiting the praises of Your people. All we have to do is start praising You, and Your Presence comes. Thank You that we can live in Your Presence, just like Abraham. Help us to live in Your Presence all day long.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Yahweh-Yireh

She panicked when she read the letter. The first payment was due in a week and a second payment in a month. They had been working and saving for weeks but wouldn’t even have enough for the first payment.

She went to church and worked in the children’s department as usual. She greeted a friend and he told her she seemed stressed out. She explained her dilemma. He told her not to ever get stressed about money.

A few days passed and it was time for the midweek service. She ran into her friend on her way to her station. He handed her enough cash to cover the first payment.

She burst into tears.

Genesis 22:14, “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘The Lord will provide’). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'” New Living Translation

Yahweh-Yireh is spelled Jehovah-Jireh in other translations. God uses people to provide. May we always be alert to those around us with needs.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for meeting our needs. Thank You for using us to meet the needs of others. Help us to be aware of any we can help.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Yogurt

I decided to read my Bible today before having breakfast. David woke me up to tell me he was leaving for work. When I sleep this late, I usually eat first.

Since I am obviously hungry, my mind wandered a time or two thinking about what I would have for breakfast. I thought about cereal and milk, or yogurt and strawberries. I’m trying to get more protein in my diet. I thought having a glass of milk with a bowl of yogurt would be too much. Then I read today’s verse.

Genesis 18:6, 8, “So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, ‘Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.’…When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men….” New Living Translation

Now, I’m thinking toast, yogurt, strawberries, and a glass of milk. Too bad I don’t have any roasted meat. I’m really hungry now!

Dear Father God,

Thank You for providing my daily bread. Thank You for fresh strawberries to go with it! Help me to honor You in everything I do – even what I eat.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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