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Quiet Time in Deuteronomy 23


EXPAND TO READ: DEUTERONOMY 23 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 23): This verse is speaking loudly to me this morning as I remember the years of my life since coming to faith where I would say something to You when I was at a low point, You blessed me with something, and then I rarely followed through. I did this quite a bit since coming to faith up until recently. In this verse, You tell us that we should be careful of what comes from our lips towards You, because if we have freely vowed something to You then we need to follow through with it. Please forgive me for my lack of follow through on my vows to You in the past, Father. Help me to always remember that if I make a promise to You, that I need to be able and willing to quickly follow through with that promise.

 

PROMISE (verse 14): Your promise here is actually two-fold. The first promise is that You are always present amongst us. This is a powerful reminder to me that nothing I say or do is hidden from You, even if sometimes I’d REALLY like it to be. The second promise is that if we do anything detestable to desecrate your land, then You will turn away from us. I know this is not a permanent turning away as You are a merciful and grace-driven God. I like to think of this more as a parent expressing their disappointment in their child. We still love them with all that we are, but we are disappointed in the decisions they made in the moment. Disappointment is only temporary, but Your love endures all things and lasts forever!

 

ATTITUDE (verses 21-23): This is an attitude adjustment I really need to get better at, so I am grateful to You for convicting me of this today, Father. You tell us in these verses, that if we are to make a vow/promise to You, that we are to stick with it because we gave that vow/promise freely. This part makes perfect sense to me and I’ve already confessed from my heart my issues on it. The part that I need to get better at from an attitude adjustment is the part where You tell us not to be slow to keep the vow/promise. If I make a vow and do not keep it, then it’s counted as a sin against me. If I don’t make the vow in the first place, then it will not be held against me as a sin. I think the reason why I have not kept my promises to You in the past is because of this very reason—I am slow to keep it. For me, if I say I’m going to do something I typically try to do it immediately because I know how I am. If I sit on something too long I’ll either forget about it or it will no longer be relevant enough to bother taking on anymore. You want me to tackle my promises to You as quickly as viable for that promise, however, and I need to be better at living in the attitude of quick fulfillment of my promises. Continue to remind me about the promises I’ve made to You, Father, so that I can begin to become a quick to action follower of You in those promises.

 

COMMAND (verses 19-20): Lending, loaning, helping, etc. are all things that You expect of me, especially towards my fellow followers of Christ. In these verses, Your command is to ensure when I do help my brothers and sisters in Christ, that I do so on a 1 to 1 basis, not charging interest or expecting a greater return from them than what I gave. I feel I’m usually pretty good at following through with this command, but I know I do still struggle. Oftentimes, I give with the expectation of zero return even the original I gave. I do have a giving heart, but sometimes I succumb to my flesh and expect something, anything in return and that is not what You’ve called me to do. Help me to be better at loving on, caring for, and being a helper to my brothers and sisters in Christ, Father. Help me to do so with a heart that simply wants to help where I can without an expectation of a return of interest on my “investment” so that I may abide in this command and Your will for my life.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 24-25): This example is an interesting one. Although You’ve given several examples throughout today’s scripture, this one seems to stand out the most to me. If I enter someone else’s dwelling, I should be grateful for anything they bless me with, which I already am. The second part of this example is what is speaking to me. I should not lead with a selfish or greedy heart while being a guest of theirs. You say that when someone enters their neighbor’s vineyard, to freely eat of the fruits of their vineyard while there, but not to pack up a container for the taking. If I enter into someone else’s home, I am freely welcome to enjoy any of the fruits of their home as they wish me to, but I should never go into their home with the expectation that I should leave with more than I entered with. This is a powerful reminder to not be a selfish and greedy person in this life with expectations of a “profit” at all times and in all situations. I need to be satisfied with what I receive in the moment and not be greedy by expecting to take something with me as I depart. The time spent with them in fellowship and anything I received while in their presence is more than enough for me, Father.

 

*DAILY NOTE: There’s a lot of visual examples You’ve given today, Father. You spoke of inclusion, cleanliness, vows, interest, greed, and selfishness. All of these are definitely things I am not perfect at, but I am getting better as I lean more on Your guidance and wisdom throughout my life. I do need to work more heavily on following through quickly with any/all promises I make to You. This has been a bad habit of mine over the years since coming to faith, especially early on in my faith. This is not who I am nor who You made me to be. I try to be a man of my word the best I can in the world but seem to lack this same conviction in the spiritual side of me, Father. Maybe I make too many promises instead of thinking them through to truly commit my heart to them. Maybe I am just still rather immature in my faith. I don’t know why I am like this, but I know that You will continue to work in my heart, mind, and soul to make me a better, more righteous man in this world than I was the day before so that I may better glorify and honor Your kingdom.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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