October 15 – A Marriage Covenant

“… I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” Jeremiah 3:14

God speaks of relationship with Him as a marriage…“I am married to you.” See how the marriage customs of the Jews of Jesus’ time closely parallel our Heavenly Father’s marriage plans for the Church.

The betrothal began with the Bridegroom approaching the Bride with a Covenant of Marriage, signed with a price (dowry) paid to the father. In the same way, Jesus has sealed your covenant (salvation) with the price of His blood.

A cup of wine was ceremoniously shared with the Bride, then the Bridegroom left to build a bridal chamber for the honeymoon. Jesus shared the Passover supper with His disciples (Matthew 26:26) before departing to heaven where He is presently preparing a place for us (John 14:3).

The Bride waited, not knowing exactly when the Bridegroom would return. It was up to the Bridegroom’s father to decide when, just as Father God alone decides when Christ will return (Matthew 24:36).

The Bridegroom would return with a shout and steal away his Bride to a seven-day celebration, ending with a great marriage feast. You also can expect your Lord’s return to be heralded by the trumpet sound and followed by a seven-year celebration and Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

PRAY: “Father, thank You for Your Covenant of Marriage through salvation. I am married forever! Amen.”

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October 14 – Seen Versus Unseen

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Scientists say all things “seen” spring forth from that which is “unseen.” Hebrews 11:3 (NIV) says: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” There was creative “substance” which could be seen only under a microscope.

Consider now your spiritual eyesight. Hebrews 11:27 (NIV) says: “By faith [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

Paul wrote, in Romans 4:17b(NIV), that it is “God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” Your faith is appropriated by an“unseen” spiritual eyesight.

John 20:19-29 tells how Jesus simply “appeared” following His resurrection in the room where the disciples were gathered fearfully behind “locked” doors. He was seen; yet, He was able to pass invisibly through doors. Why? Because His resurrected, glorified, immortal body had replaced His earthly, mortal body of flesh so that things “seen” by the disciples were “unseen” in a spiritual sense. Pray now that your spiritual senses will be increased.

PRAY: “Thank You, Father, that my body will become immortal someday. Increase my faith today so that my spiritual eyesight will be 20/20. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

 

October 13 – Guardian Angels

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10

Jesus had called a little child to Him and set him before the disciples as an example of how their hearts should be in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. A child is loving; a child is trusting; a child is humble; a child is forgiving. No one is to offend a tenderhearted child, or young-in-the-Lord believer, in any way. “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” Jesus said in Verse 6.

Of what kind of “offense” is this speaking? Could it be that, if you neglect fellowshipping with or discipling a new believer, you would be “offending” him? Also, in Paul’s day, there was a question of eating meat that had been offered to idols. He felt freedom to do so, but cautioned against offensive acts. (See I Corinthians 8.)

God has assigned guardian angels to watch over His flock of “little” children (babes in Christ, as well as babies). Many people have given testimonies of miraculous deliverances that could be explained only by “their angels” intervening at God’s command. Be tenderhearted toward God and receive His tender care.

PRAY: “O Lord, what a wonderful blessing to appreciate…my own guardian angel working Your will on my behalf. Thank you. Amen.”

October 12 – America, Listen

“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s wife, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:1

Christian Retreat videotaped a series of programs, called “America, Listen,” which were aired over many television stations throughout the nation. It brought biblical answers for America’s dilemmas and attempted to give people an “understanding of the times, to know what [America] ought to do,” much like the children of Issachar, as recorded in I Chronicles 12:32.

Over and over again, the message is broadcast: “Return again to me, saith the Lord.” There is a call to change, a call to maturity, a call to opening of spiritually blind eyes. America needs prayer for repentance and revival.

Today is Columbus Day, a national holiday commemorating the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus, who thought he could reach the East by sailing west. One encyclopedia says that “Columbus had a mystic belief that God intended him to make great discoveries in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily….” Would he today issue Jeremiah’s plea: “Return again to me, saith the Lord,” to America?

PRAY: “Father, I pray for my country and its leaders today. Send Your Spirit into the legislative bodies and courts everywhere, bringing wisdom and justice. Amen.”

October 11 – God’s Tabernacle

“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16

In Zechariah’s prophecy, we see that after the battle at Armageddon, all nations will be required to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem each year.

From the beginning of time, God has desired man’s fellowship. It was only through the obedience of Christ that the Holy Spirit was given, and now God can abide and “tabernacle” in the heart of every man who receives Him as Lord. Jesus said, “It is expedient [profitable] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)

Over this Feast of Tabernacles season, many Jewish people will construct temporary shelters outside their homes, called “succots,” or booths, to celebrate their historical deliverance from Egypt and the end of their wandering in the wilderness. You too can rejoice in the fact that God has brought YOUR wandering to an end. The Holy Spirit has made permanent residence in the tabernacle of YOUR heart and, though you presently live in a temporary “booth” of an earthly body, you have God’s promise of an eternal dwelling place that He is preparing for you. (See John 14:2.)

PRAY: “Father, I desire Your fellowship also. Come tabernacle with me through Your indwelling Holy Spirit. I celebrate the life You have given me and the hope of eternity! Amen.”

October 10 – Feast of Tabernacles

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.” ’ ” Leviticus 23:33-34 (NIV)

The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Festival of Booths (in Hebrew, “Succot”) and Feast of Ingathering, stems from the command to the children of Israel to commemorate God’s protection and provision as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. During the Feast, the people lived in booths or tents to remember what God had brought them through. Joshua finally led Israel into their Promised Land, a place of rest and peace, but God never wanted them to forget the wilderness experience.

This Feast still is kept today and is a time of joy, festivity, rejoicing, and celebration. As Jews and Christians from around the world pilgrimage to Israel to keep the Feast, remember to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” God promises that “they shall prosper that love [Jerusalem].” (Psalm 122:6)

Christian Retreat hosts a Feast here in the United States. Many people come to give thanks to Jehovah God for His bountiful blessings, to enjoy the pageantry of praise and worship in the Jewish tradition, and to learn more about their Judeo-Christian faith. It is important to celebrate the final ingathering, when Christ returns and every knee shall bow to the Lord.

PRAY: “Great Jehovah, I remember my wanderings before You became Lord of my life. Thank You for bringing me to my spiritual Promised Land. Bless Israel today in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

October 9 – God’s Messengers

“For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 2:7

God has always sent His messengers to give mankind good news and bad news, but the bad news always had a good result IF the people changed.

Messengers have come in the form of prophets, angels (heralding Christ’s birth), priests (those who administer the sacraments), teachers (those who impart God’s principles), or a fellow believer (who may give a word or a hug at just the right moment).

Malachi 3:1 foretold the coming of one of the greatest messengers of God of all time–John the Baptist. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” However, John knew that One even greater than he would come with an even greater message–the message of God’s marriage covenant with His creation. “And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Look and listen for God’s true messengers and honor their authority. Hebrews 13:17 says that “they watch for your soul” and must give an accounting to God. Hear the Word of the Lord and allow God to speak to you through His messengers.

PRAY: “Precious Father, thank You for sending Your messengers across my path They have taught me many truths about You and given me Your admonitions. I love You! Amen.”