Daily Devotion, Jewish law

Unclean foods

~~Deuteronomy 14: 1-21~~

This passage starts with a declaration that the people of God are “sons of the LORD your God” and what follows includes some rules for how they will set themselves apart from the rest of the world.

First, there is a prohibition against making a show of mourning that is like the pagans around them who cut themselves and shave their heads a certain way. The Matthew Henry commentary explains that “this as a law against immoderate grief for the death of our relations”, since we are people who have hope in a life eternal. We sorrow, but not as the world sorrows. As the commentary explains, if our father should die, we are sorrowful, but not to the point of despair because we still have an eternal Heavenly Father who provides for His children. What a wonderful truth for those who know God!

As for the prohibition against certain foods, both this commentary and the notes from my MacArthur Bible app explain that those prohibitions, following upon verse 2 ( “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God…chosen..out of all the peoples…on the face of the earth”) , are more rules that will set the  people of God apart from their ungodly neighbors. God had a good purpose in mind in His forbidding of certain foods. From the Henry commentary:

“…to be intended as a mark of peculiarity; for their observance of it would cause them to be taken notice of in all mixed companies as a separate people, and would preserve them from mingling themselves with, and conforming themselves to, their idolatrous neighbours.”

We are reminded in Henry’s commentary that “It is plain in the law itself that they belonged only to the Jews, and were not moral, nor of perpetual use, because not of universal obligation…” and he reminds us of  1 Timothy 4:4 which tells us “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving…”  Praise the Lord for the ability to enjoy all foods with thanksgiving!

patricia grace

Daily Devotion, Jobs

Seek Ye First…

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

I’m finding much comfort in these words today, and praying the Lord make the teaching go deep into my heart.

I’ve been feeling unsettled (anxious) about my school work. The Lord has granted me to have my classes and books paid for by a grant made to my college, the purpose of that grant being to get adults who are unemployed or underemployed into gainful employment. However, the program in which I’m currently taking part is an accelerated one, where semester long classes are condensed into just a few weeks. I am struggling against fear, doubt, and pride since I am not able to learn to the concepts as quickly as the other students.

I want to have my own place again and to have a job that allows me to pay my own bills without depending on others, and I know that working and supporting yourself is good and Biblical. We’re called to work. To be diligent. To not be slothful. To be thankful to God for the ability to work and make wealth. Wanting to work is a good desire, but I have succumbed to the temptation to leave off my devotions and plunge into schoolwork each day, fearing that opportunities for work will pass me by if I don’t learn enough and become skillful enough before our applications for internships begin in a few weeks. The results have been disastrous spiritually.

A retreat with the ladies from my church this past weekend, has set me back on firm footing. Well, not the retreat, but the Lord, of course, has done this kindness. I almost backed out of it, since when I had agreed to go weeks ago, I didn’t realize I’d have so much trouble with my schooling. For three days, I determined to spend time getting to know the ladies and being still before the Lord. I came away with a fresh sense of God’s forgiveness and mercy, but now I have a project due at school and am struggling against fear and anxiety.

But, the Lord says that He will provide for His children. I’m not presuming on His grace by trusting in His provision. I will work hard and be diligent in my studies, but by His grace, I will not leave off spending time with the Lord again! I will seek Him first, trusting in Him to direct my steps and to be my Provider. Lord, grant me to learn what I need to learn. May I not get into the snare of the fear of man and let my pride get the best of me. May I ask questions when I don’t understand, and not try to appear to know more than I do, but rather to trust You with all of the outcomes.

Daily Devotion

Deception and False Teaching

~~Today’s reading is in Deuteronomy 13~~

What first struck me about this passage is that when it speaks of “a prophet or a dreamer of dreams…[that] gives you a sign or a wonder…” and who entices you to follow other gods, I was expecting to read that the sign or the wonder did not occur and by that the people would know they were dealing with a false prophet; however, instead we read in verse 2 “…and the sign or wonder…comes to pass…”!!!

This reminds me of the verse that tells us that Satan comes as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14). What may appear to be good and godly may be altogether otherwise. Another passage of Scripture comes to mind: 2 Timothy 3. In this chapter, we receive warning from Paul that in the last days there will be people who have an appearance of godliness, but deny its power (2 Tim 3:5). This passage gives reference to “Jannes and Jambres”, which may refer to the sorcerers under Pharaoh in Egypt in the time of Moses, who were able to do some of the wonders that Moses had done. Even though they were able to repeat some of the signs and wonders, we certainly wouldn’t follow them as godly men! (See Exodus 7: 8-11)

***Important to note that after warning against people who practice ungodliness comes the blessed verse that reminds us that with the inspired Word, we have all we need for training in righteousness. Hallelujah! (See 2 Tim 3:16)***

This morning’s reading ties in nicely with the sermon last night, which was from Colossians 2:16-23. I’m thinking in particular of verse 18 from that passage, about those who advocate the worship of angels and who speak about visions they’ve had. We are warned again, that following such deception is of no value in keeping us from sin, even though the false teaching appears to have wisdom and godliness.

I would encourage you to read over the passages mentioned above and pray to the LORD with me, that He would keep us from being deceived by others and from being self-deceived.  There is a prayer of John Bunyan that he wrote in response to his reading some popular religious books of his day, which I’ve made my own:

“O Lord, I am a fool, and not able to know the truth from error. Lord, leave me not to my own blindness, either to approve of or condemn this doctrine; if it be of God, let me not despise it; if it be of the devil, let me not embrace it. Lord, I lay my soul in this matter only at Thy foot; let me not be deceived, I humbly beseech Thee.” Section 44 of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, by John Bunyan

Scriptures mentioned:

  • Deuteronomy 13
  • 2 Corinthians 11
  • 2 Timothy 3
  • Exodus 7
  • Colossians 2


patricia grace


Daily posts

In an attempt to get into the habit of daily postings, I’ve decided to post the insights I’ve learned from time in God’s Word. As I read through the Scriptures, I plan to write out here, what God has taught me (or reminded me) from the study of His Word. I add that bit about “or reminded me” because I seem to forget important concepts so quickly! My prayer is writing down the insights electronically will aid in remembering what I’ve learned, also, because it will be easier to search on those insights later by adding tags and categories to my postings, rather than trying to flip through pages of a notebook.

I’m not abandoning pen and paper, however. I love stationery in general, and love the look of a fresh new page in a pretty journal. I write down notes first, before coming here–there’s less distractions that way. As a computer science student, I get side-tracked very easily when turning to the computer, because there’s always something I need to learn how to do and I sometimes forget why I turned the computer on in the first place! There’s another benefit, too. I’m not only typing my insights here, but I’ve written them in a notebook, too, which will hopefully aid in memorizing what I’ve learned. And, if one thing is destroyed, I’ve got a copy elsewhere.

There’s something about that fresh, blank page in a notebook that is so refreshing and hopeful. Perhaps it’s a reminder that His mercies are new every morning (BibleGateway Lam 3:22-24) and that fresh page is a reminder that because of the steadfast love of the Lord, I am not utterly cut off. My fine has been paid; God has not overlooked my sin, as a corrupt judge, but as a Righteous Judge, He has made certain that my sins were punished–He paid the penalty Himself in His own Dear Son. And He is pleased to look on Him and pardon me.

Have you been forgiven? How do you know?

I hope that you enjoy connecting with me here. I plan to turn on comments for each daily posting on what I’ve learned from God’s Word, so please share your own insights with me. And, like a Berean (BibleGateway Acts 17:10-11), be sure to call me out if you think I’ve missed the mark!!


patricia grace