Three things that stood out to me from last week’s Bible Readings
Deuteronomy 20 – talks a lot about whittling down the size of the army. It rings a similar tune to another Bible story. But these are God’s rules for battle. He dismisses the newly married, the new house owners, the new parents (all incredible evidences of a gracious God). And then, he dismisses those who are scared and worrying about the battle ahead. Why? In verse 8 it explains, ‘so that the others are not disheartened too’!
All this spoke to me, and reminded me of my passion to encourage others to pursue God’s heart. It made me assess my current lifestyle, words and attitude: Do I bring encouragement to others in their pursuit of God’s heart, or do I discourage?
Luke 16 – contains one of the most curious parables about a shrewd manager, who uses his masters wealth to buy friends just before he is fired. Jesus seems to be commending this shrewdness. I was challenged this week, to consider how I use money. Am I shrewd with it, using it to further the Kingdom of God, or am I just following the path of least resistance. One of the calls of this story is to be strategic with what we own.
Luke 19:40 – will always be a verse close to my heart. The religious people are moaning about the crowds loud worship of Jesus. Jesus responds by declaring ‘if they did not praise, the rocks would cry out!’. Over the last few months I’ve been trying to dedicate a portion of my evenings to sung worship times. Interestingly, this last week was hard for me, and I kept missing the sessions. When I read this reading on the last day of the week, I was convicted about my slackness towards my worship times. I will not be replaced by a rock!