THE HOLY BIBLE – New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-2 & 15 ~ 1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving -you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: …. 15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you: ….
THOUGHTS: I know, you looked at the title today and almost didn’t open this to read it, because you probably figured that this old man just lost his marbles (brains), otherwise why else would he possibly think that you would be interested in reading about ‘curses’? Of course you don’t want that, right? If you are one that is ‘fully obedient to the Lord’ and ‘carefully keeping His commands’, then I agree I am wasting your precious time by explain what you can expect in 2016 because of your disobedience. Oops, nothing is said in the text about 2016, right? But friend, why would God possibly bless us if we are disobedient? Do you suppose it was just the Israelites that He loved enough to discipline when they disobeyed? Perhaps I should remind you that it was us that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to the cross for our forgiveness, our salvation from sin, our peace about eternity with Him in glory. You see, through His servant Moses, God warned the Israelites that as they entered the Promised Land that He brought them to; that He cleared the path for; and that He prepared just for them; they had a choice to make. They could enter and choose: (1) To be obedient to God and keep His commands taught to them over the past 40 years – and this would result in blessings that it took the writer 13 verses to express to them. Otherwise, (2) To be disobedient and not keep the commands of God, and they could expect curses on every aspect of their lives. In fact, it took the writer the next 52 verses to detail all of the curses that would fall upon this chosen people. Friends, why would this be any different for us as we welcome another year in that God has led us to, and that He has prepared as a clean slate for us? In your wildest expectations, do you suppose that God would possibly bless a people that drag into a brand new year, all of the sin, disobedience and disregard that He absolutely deplores? If God tarries, we have at least a few days to think about this; to clean up our act; to spend time in prayer before the Father seeking His forgiveness and asking for His strength and boldness to obey under every circumstance of life. Without some obvious and intentional steps by us, and if God permits time to go on, we will enter 2016 under the same load of sin and punishment we have faced in 2015. I believe God is teaching us in this scripture today that it really doesn’t have to be that way. Our destiny can be changed, with God’s help, if we choose to be obedient children of God. Won’t you do that today friend? For the unbeliever reading this today, please know that God wants your heart first. Please read my ‘Footnote’ for tips on how to personally know my Savior. Only as His child, will He hear your cry for help, direction, and the promised blessings only He can offer you in 2016.
PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for providing the greatest gift ever, in the form of Your Precious Son – Jesus. You loved, protected and led the Israelites through 40 years of life-challenges, then You provided the wonders and the blessings of the Promised Land to them! You still love, protect and lead Your children today and You have promised an even greater Promised Land for those who truly know You personally. You had blessings in store for the Israelites who obeyed You and kept Your commands. I believe that 2016 can be a time period You are calling us into where blessings may abound for those who know and obey You, however You have promised us an even greater Promised Land – Heaven where we will meet with You and the Father eternally in worship, praise and adoration. Please bless us as we tarry on this old earth, so that one day soon we may advance to our ultimate Promised Land with You! Oh I long To See You, Look Upon Your Face, There to Sing forever of Your Saving Grace! Lord, please speak to the hearts of those needing discipline, even while still in 2015. May they receive a word from You today that will convince them of their sin and incent them to clean their act up and prepare to meet You in action in 2016 and be blessed by You in every way imaginable. May our blessings transform the lives of others as they gaze on Your goodness. I ask these things in faith, and in the strong name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!