April 1

Deuteronomy 10:9 (NIV) 9That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them.)

When the Promised Land was portioned out to the sons of Israel, the tribe of Levy did not get its own area. Instead, they had cities within the other tribes lands so that they could be the priests among them. It is a wonderful picture for us today. We are to be priests (1 Peter 2:5) in the world, but not of the world. We have here no continuing city. Like Abraham, we look for the city that has lasting foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

The failure of the tribe of Levi to really be priests was a factor in the downfall of some of the tribes. The tribe of Dan went into idolatry because the priest they chose was using idols. Our faithfulness in our relationship with God and worship of God will affect many lives. The call of God on our lives is not just for our own spiritual well being, but for many.

The LORD emphasized that the Levites were not to be attached to the land as their inheritance, but to the LORD himself. He would be their inheritance. Which would you rather have? The answer shows where your heart is. Priests of God (all redeemed believers) must set their heart and mind on things above. Our desire must be toward our relationship with God, to inherit the LORD Himself, not the things that He has made. That is the heart of faith that results in a life of faith. The Levites were only a twelfth of the nation. They had a high calling. So do you.

Consider: What do you desire to inherit?

April 1

Matthew 26:33-35 (NIV) 33Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." 34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." 35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

I think we would say the same. Those in the third world that are daily faced with suffering and death are not so quick to say the same. Like Peter, they have learned that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We can believe in our heart that we would die before denying our Lord, but the truth is that we will never know unless we are faced with the choice. In many parts of our world, people are making the choice. Let's remember to pray for them. There are more martyrs for Christ this century than in all previous ones combined.

We have one great resource that the disciples did not have. The Spirit has been poured out. If we are living in constant reliance upon the Spirit, when faced with a choice, we will follow our life pattern of depending on His strength. We will make the right choice. If we are live in the pattern of relying on our own strength and effort, we will certainly fail the test. Failing does not mean defeat. It is a revelation of our condition and the unreliability of the flesh. That revelation will bring us to the depths of despair, the depths to which Peter went when he went out and wept bitterly. Then we can turn and change the source of our strength.

The humility of failure made it possible for him to hear the Apostle Paul's correction. If early church history is accurate, Peter did change the source of his strength. When faced again with a choice of denying Jesus or death, he not only chose death, but death upside down on a cross. You probably stand before a great test in which you will fail, or have failed, or have been restored. Learn the lesson of failure, and let it teach you humility and dependence on the strength of the Spirit.

Remember: God does not love us any less when we fail. Get up! Depend on Him!