March 14, Thursday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“A Meal that Nourishes Faith”

Exodus 12:23-27

For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. 24 And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 25 When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 26 And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped.

The Lent season has already started, and we are about five weeks away from Easter Sunday. This is a great time in the year to consider ways to prepare our hearts to remember the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry before His death and the victory He won for us through the resurrection. Before we consider how we will make room in our schedules to recount the victory Jesus won for us, let’s look at how the Lord in the Old Testament taught the Israelites to remember His works through the Passover meal.

After they had prepared the Passover lamb for their deliverance and before the deliverance actually took place, God instituted the Passover meal as an ordinance that Israel should keep every year as a remembrance of God’s salvation. It would also serve to teach the future generations about God’s salvation for His covenant people. The key spiritual principle to draw out in this passage is from the phrase, “When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.” What is already apparent is that God will give Israel His promise. Israel can look forward to enjoying God’s promise and blessing, but obedience to God’s law, which in this case is the law to observe the Passover, will enable them to continuously live in God’s promise. For them to remain in the promised land for the long haul, they must hold fast to God’s rule and what He requires of them. Where there is grace, there is also a response of obedience required.

God requires His people to commit to observing the Passover, and “re-enacting” the night of their deliverance, because it will lead them to worship God and remember that He is the source of their salvation and the fountain of life. Observing this ordinance regularly will protect them from the temptation to trust in other gods, as they will see other powerful, successful nations worship their gods and be enticed to draw security from their gods instead of from God of Israel. Obeying the Passover ordinance will ascribe to God the worship that is worthy of Him, but the benefit is for the Israelites, for it will keep them steady and faithful to trust in God in their future battles.

How will you make room in your schedule in these next several weeks to remember the victory Jesus won for you? What are new blessings or promises that God is leading you to possess this year? In preparing for these new seasons, what habits do you want to build to regularly recount God’s goodness and making thanksgiving a regular part of your worship to Him?

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You are the God of my salvation! Thank You that You place spiritual habits in my life because they lead me back to you and remind me of how You have led me from the beginning until now. Preserve me from my own forgetfulness and tendency to wander. As You lead me to walk into Your plans and promises, teach me to obey what You command so that I can continuously remain in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 4


Lunch Break Study

Read Joshua 1:3-7: Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

Questions to Consider

  1. When and where is God saying these words to Joshua?
  2. What is God promising to Joshua?
  3. What is the most important task for Joshua?

Notes

  1. God is speaking to Joshua after Moses died and when the right time came for Joshua, as the appointed one, to lead the Israelites to possess the promised Land. The Israelites are on one side of the Jordan River and are preparing to cross over to the land.
  2. God is promising that the land which He has promised to give to the children of Abraham indeed belongs to them, even before they go in to physically possess the land. He not only promises the land but His presence and protection as well.
  3. Besides conquering the land, the most important task for Joshua is to keep God’s word close to him and to obey all that he has been taught through the Law. By holding onto God’s word, he will not only be able to conquer the land, but will also be able to continuously possess God’s promise and live in God’s promise.

Evening Reflection

Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

What key events and breakthroughs in your life could you give thanks for today? In what way would it breed hope for you regarding the future?

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