Embracing Easter: A Call to Busy Moms
By Tricia Goyer
Spring is knocking at the door, and I couldn’t be happier. Welcoming spring means welcoming Easter. And the truth is, I love the idea of Easter, yet too many times, I never get to the “reverence and joy” part of Easter because I’m caught up in the whirlwind of daily tasks. Maybe you feel like this, too?
It’s often hard to align our hearts with Easter’s true meaning when we’re focused on the meal, gathering, gifts, and new dresses.
Often, Easter can feel like adding another heavy stone to our load. Then, when Easter morning comes, we yearn to display both solemn reverence and radiant joy, but we often find ourselves reaching into an unfilled well.
To you, the tireless mom navigating the endless demands of life while yearning for a meaningful connection with Easter, I extend my hand. It’s a gesture filled with understanding and companionship.
The challenge of finding spiritual renewal amidst the hustle of everyday life is one I know well. For this reason, I encourage you to carve out intentional moments each day, from now until Easter, five minutes at a time. Small moments like these can help us to rekindle our faith and immerse ourselves in the thankfulness of Jesus’ sacrifice and glorious resurrection.
Dive Deep into the Easter Story.
First, begin by reading the Easter narrative with purpose and passion. This can be more than revisiting a familiar tale. Instead, see it as an invitation to let the profound reality of Jesus’ sacrifice and the victory of His resurrection deeply touch you. As you read, ask Jesus to spark transformation within.
For starters, I encourage you to meditate on these two Scripture passages: First, Isaiah 53:5 reminds us of the sacrifice made for us:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.”
Then, Luke 24:6-7 heralds in the triumph of the resurrection:
“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”
Between now and Easter, read those passages. Then spend in moment in prayer. Each day ask God to reveal more to your heart.
Seek Joy in the Mundane:
Even in the middle of an ordinary day, attempt to cultivate a heart of gratitude. There can be splendor in the ordinary and important lessons embedded in trials. Each day, as we seek joy, we have endless opportunities for love and growth in our interactions with our children and others.
Foster Daily Conversations with God:
Create space in your life for God to speak. Praying for our needs is good. Equally important is taking time to listen. Each day, allow God’s still, quiet Spirit to renew and prepare your heart for the full embrace of Easter’s joy and reverence. Together, let us move towards an Easter filled with deepened faith, hope, and love.
May we open our hearts to the awe-inspiring wonder that comes from engaging deeply with Jesus’ resurrection story. May this story inspire, reshape, and draw us closer to God’s heart. With each small step, may our hearts be filled with a profound sense of joy and reverence, ready to celebrate Easter morning with spirits brimming.
This year, I pray this Easter season draws you nearer to the essence of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. May your journey be filled with joy. May your challenges be overcome with peace.
In this journey, we shouldn’t aim for perfection or overwhelm ourselves with too many tasks. Instead, seek simplicity and authenticity. In just a few minutes each day, you will begin to prepare your heart, marveling at the wonder of the resurrection. By weaving these practices into our daily lives, we can transform ordinary moments into divine encounters… just in time for Easter.
Weekly readings for the Daily Bible Podcast with Tricia and Michelle
Leviticus 27, Numbers 1
Purify Your Life
Leviticus is God’s call for His people to be holy: “You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” This call to holiness is intricately tied to the acts of purification and the clear division between what is considered holy and unholy.
The final chapter, Leviticus 27, has detailed regulations on voluntary offerings, sanctuary taxes, vows, and dedications to God. It outlines the valuation and redemption of persons, animals, or property vowed to the Lord. The chapter revisits the principle of tithing, a practice of setting apart a tenth of one’s produce as holy unto the Lord, which began with Abram’s offering in Genesis 14:20.
Organization and Sacred Duties
While Leviticus focuses on internal purity and consecration, Numbers 1 shifts the organization of the Israelite community through a census ordered by God. This military census does not include The Levites and priests, showing their unique role within the community. Instead, they safeguard the Tabernacle and facilitate God’s worship. Their role around the Tabernacle not only signifies their separation for God’s service but also serves as a protective barrier, guarding the sanctity of the worship space and the community’s well-being.
The Power of Division in Our Lives
The concept of division extends to our daily lives. It’s important to set aside time for God to prioritize spiritual nourishment. My journey of allocating more time to God’s Word has opened unexpected doors and brought unforeseen blessings. As we read in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Overall, Leviticus and Numbers offer timeless lessons on purification, sacred division, and the dedication of certain aspects of our lives to God. For us, this can mean setting apart time and resources for God. As we read God’s Word, we find relevance and guidance for our modern lives. Time dedicated to understanding God’s Word is never in vain.
Engage further by tuning into our podcast for deeper discussions on Leviticus, Numbers, and the transformative power of God’s Word in our daily lives. Your journey through the Bible can illuminate historical and spiritual significance paths and personal growth and fulfillment.
Worry Less, Trust More
In God’s Word, some moments captivate us with their profound organization and the meticulous care that God takes in orchestrating every detail of existence. One such moment unfolds in the Book of Numbers, a name that at first glance might suggest a dry account of census data. However, as we delve deeper, we uncover a narrative brimming with divine intentionality and a personal message that resonates deeply with our modern lives.
Imagine the scene: a vast multitude of freed slaves recently escaped from the clutches of Egyptian tyranny. They find themselves at the foot of Mount Sinai. They are not merely a disorganized assembly of individuals but are meticulously organized into camps, each under the banner of their respective families. This is no random arrangement. Instead, it reflects a divine order that places each tribe precisely where it should be in relation to the Tabernacle, the dwelling place of God’s presence among His people.
The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun camped to the east of the Tabernacle, numbering 186,400. To the south lay the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad, with 151,450. Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin gathered on the west side, numbering 108,100, while Dan, Asher, and Naphtali settled to the north, reaching 157,600. This arrangement was not merely logistical. The people understood the symbolic significance, with the most honored positions given to the descendants of Jacob’s wives and lesser positions to the descendants of his concubines.
As we reflect on this divine orchestration, we are reminded of the importance of organization in our lives. Our precise God orders our steps and the details of our lives with meticulous care. The eastward positioning of Leah’s sons were towards the sunrise, the westward placement of Rachel’s sons towards the sunset, and the distribution of Bilhah’s and Zilpah’s sons across the north and south. Each detail reveals a God who is intimately involved in the arrangement of our lives.
Turning our attention to the Levites, we find another layer of divine order. The Levites were divided into four divisions, each with a specific role in serving at the Tabernacle, further underscoring the theme of organized service to God. This reminder that the Levites were substitutes for the firstborn livestock of Israel ties into a broader biblical theme: God’s provision and care for His people, down to the very last detail.
The word “Numbers” reflects the countless ways God orders our lives. From the numbering of the tribes to the counting of our sorrows and the naming of the stars, we see a God who is deeply invested in the details of our existence. The psalmists echo this sentiment, reminding us that our days are recorded in God’s book before we are even born, and that He is intimately aware of all our ways.
In a world where worry often threatens to overwhelm us, the message of Numbers serves as a powerful antidote. It reminds us that our lives are not left to chance or chaos. Instead, we are held in the hands of a God who numbers the hairs on our heads and orchestrates the events of our lives with precision and care. This realization has transformed my understanding of Numbers from a book of census data to a testament of God’s great numbering—a divine assurance that He has everything under control.
As we navigate the complexities of our lives, let us take comfort in the divine order that underpins our existence. May the organized camps of Israel inspire us to trust in the God who orders our days and our steps, reminding us that in every detail, we are profoundly known and deeply loved by the Creator of the universe. What a faith builder, indeed!
The Quest for Purity
As we journey through the Bible with our Daily Bible Podcast, we often encounter passages that challenge our understanding and deepen our faith. The Book of Numbers, with its intricate details about the Tabernacle and the duties of the Levites, is no exception. Yesterday, we discussed the importance of organization, a theme that continues to resonate as we delve into today’s focus on the Levites’ responsibilities and the purity required in the camp of Israel.
Moving with Purpose and Precision
Moving can be a chaotic experience, but it also teaches us the value of organization and preparation—lessons echoed in how the Levites were instructed to transport the Tabernacle. The Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites each had specific roles, emphasizing that every task, no matter how small, contributes to the greater purpose of serving God and maintaining the sanctity of His dwelling place.
Spiritual Maturity and Sacred Responsibilities
The Kohathites, tasked with carrying the most sacred objects, were not listed for service until age thirty, suggesting that spiritual maturity was crucial for their sacred duties. This detail reminds us of the importance of growth and preparation in our spiritual lives before undertaking the responsibilities God assigns to us.
The Seriousness of Purity
Numbers 5 shifts our attention to the purity within Israel’s camp, covering various laws meant to protect the community’s holiness. The ritual for determining a wife’s faithfulness might seem peculiar to us, but it underscores the seriousness with which God views purity and faithfulness—not just in marriage but in our relationship with Him. It’s a stark reminder that our actions, seen and unseen, have consequences and that God’s desire for purity among His people is as relevant today as it was then.
The Duty of Faithfulness
The concept of duty runs throughout these passages, whether it’s the Levites’ service or the call to purity and faithfulness in the camp. It reminds us that we all have roles to fulfill—duties not just to our families and communities but to God Himself. The intertwining of duties in Numbers 5, from the Levites’ sacred responsibilities to the intimate matters of marital faithfulness, is a powerful reminder of our covenant relationship with God, mirroring the commitments and faithfulness expected in marriage.
Today’s exploration of the Levites’ duties and the laws of purity in Numbers 5 enriches our understanding of God’s meticulous care for His people and the profound significance of our duties to Him and to each other. As we continue our journey through the Bible, let these lessons remind us of the depth of God’s love, the seriousness with which He regards purity and faithfulness, and the divine compassion that invites us into a closer relationship with Him.
Join us on the Daily Bible Podcast as we explore the richness of God’s Word, finding guidance, challenge, and encouragement for our faith journey in its pages.
Numbers 6, 10
God Wants Us to Pay Attention
In our latest journey through the Bible with the Daily Bible Podcast, we’ve ventured into the heart of the wilderness experience of the Israelites, discovering profound lessons in the rituals and organization God established for His people. As we read chronologically, the intricate details of their journey become even more meaningful, especially when we look at the significance of the Nazirite vow and the use of silver trumpets.
The Call to Attention with Silver Trumpets
The silver trumpets hold a special place in the orchestration of the Israelite community. Their sound was not just about gathering the people or signaling movement; it was about calling God’s people to attention, to concentration, to a state of readiness for what God was about to do among them. This multifaceted use of trumpets—from gathering to celebrating, from warning to worshipping—teaches us about the value of clear, distinct communication with God and with each other.
The crafting of these trumpets, made of hammered work, signifies the effort and precision that goes into creating tools for divine purposes. Just as the trumpets required a skilled craftsman to shape them, so too are we shaped by the impacts and influences in our lives, designed to serve a purpose in God’s grand design.
The Discipline of the Nazirite Vow
Moving to the Nazirite vow, we see a profound commitment to consecration. The Hebrew root “nazar” speaks to abstaining from and consecrating oneself to God—a principle that resonates deeply with the Christian calling to live a life set apart. This vow, with its strict stipulations, required careful attention to detail and a deep dedication to maintaining purity for the sake of closeness to God.
Modern Parallels: Living Sacrifices
Drawing a parallel to our contemporary lives, particularly in the context of managing an audio production company, the necessity of attention—to detail, to timing, to the quality of work—echoes the biblical call to live attentively and conscientiously. Just as the ancient Israelites listened for the sound of the trumpets to know when to move, to gather, or to prepare for battle, so too must we listen carefully to God’s directions in our lives, paying attention to the roles He has assigned us and the paths He is leading us on.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul echoes the essence of the Nazirite vow, urging believers to present their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This act of worship requires a transformation that comes from a renewed mind, attentive to discerning God’s will.
Applying the Lessons of Attention
As we navigate the complexities of our lives, the lessons from the Nazirite vow and the silver trumpets invite us to cultivate a practice of attention. Whether it’s managing different versions of a radio program or living out our daily callings, the need for precision, for clear communication, and for a consecrated life is ever-present.
The priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 serves as a powerful prayer for our journey, reminding us of the peace and protection that comes from living in attentive obedience to God. May we strive to be people who listen for God’s direction, who pay attention to the details of His call on our lives, and who live as consecrated, holy people in every aspect of our existence.
Join us on the Daily Bible Podcast as we continue to explore the richness of God’s Word, finding in its pages the guidance, challenge, and encouragement we need to live attentively and faithfully in our modern world.
Overcoming Grumbling with Grace
In our journey through the Bible, we often encounter narratives that mirror our own life experiences, teaching us timeless lessons about human nature and divine grace. Our recent exploration in the Daily Bible Podcast has brought us to a poignant moment in the wilderness where the Israelites, despite witnessing miraculous provisions and deliverance, fall into a pattern of grumbling and complaining. This episode reflects their struggles and offers us a mirror to examine our responses to challenges and God’s provisions.
The Echoes of Grumbling
The story begins with the Israelites’ dissatisfaction with manna, the very sustenance provided by God. Their longing for the “good things” of Egypt, despite its bondage, illustrates a common human tendency to romanticize the past when faced with present difficulties. The grumbling quickly spreads, highlighting how easily discontent can infect a community, leading even Moses to despair under the weight of his leadership.
Divine Intervention and Human Response
In response to the grumbling, God provides quail, but not without a reminder of His power and a warning against doubting His provision. The appointment of 70 leaders to share Moses’ burden signifies God’s understanding of human limits and His provision for communal support and leadership.
Yet, the story of Caleb amidst the exploration of Canaan stands out. Faced with the same challenges and giants as the others, Caleb’s response is markedly different. His faith in God’s promise leads him to declare, “We can certainly conquer it!” This contrasts sharply with the fear and defeatism that paralyzes the others.
The Contagion of Grumbling and the Cure of Community
Grumbling, as seen in this narrative, is not just a vocal expression of dissatisfaction but a contagion that can demoralize and derail a community’s progress. It stems from unrealistic expectations and a forgetfulness of past victories and divine faithfulness. Our personal story of attempting to live a year without grumbling in a household of 11 mirrors this biblical truth. Like the Israelites, we learned that our grumbling often lies in our unrealistic expectations and a lack of trust in God’s provision.
The Role of the Holy Spirit
The turning point for us, as for Moses and the Israelites, came with the recognition that overcoming grumbling and living in gratitude is impossible through sheer willpower or human effort. It requires a dependence on the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—are the antithesis of a grumbling spirit. These qualities are not self-generated but are the outpouring of God’s Spirit working within us.
Applying the Wilderness Lessons
This narrative invites us to reflect on our responses to God’s provisions and our challenges. Do we grumble, looking back to Egypt, or do we, like Caleb, move forward in faith, confident in God’s promises? The journey through the wilderness teaches us that overcoming grumbling is not about ignoring difficulties but about trusting in God’s provision and focusing on His faithfulness.
As we continue exploring the Bible, let these lessons remind us to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and trust, relying on the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds. Join us on the Daily Bible Podcast as we delve deeper into the riches of God’s Word, discovering how its ancient wisdom can guide us in our modern lives.
Grumbling may be a natural human reaction to uncertainty and challenges, but with faith, community, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome this tendency and live a life marked by gratitude and trust in God’s promises.
Trusting God Beyond the Giants
In our spiritual journey, just as in the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness, we are constantly faced with decisions that test our trust in God. Yesterday’s reading on the Daily Bible Podcast brought us to a pivotal moment: the report of the twelve spies sent to explore Canaan. Their return with a cluster of grapes so large it needed two men to carry it confirmed the land’s richness. However, the focus quickly shifted to the giants inhabiting the land, overshadowing God’s promise with fear and doubt.
The Decision to Focus on Giants
The Israelites’ reaction to the spies’ report is a stark reminder of how easy it is to focus on the obstacles in our path rather than on the God who guides us. Their cry to return to Egypt, a place of bondage, rather than face the challenges ahead, reflects a common human impulse to retreat to familiar grounds when faced with uncertainty.
Divine Decisions and Intercession
God’s response to the Israelites’ lack of faith is both severe and merciful. While He decides to punish the generation that doubted His promise with 40 years of wandering, He also shows grace through Moses’ intercession, sparing the nation from immediate destruction. This duality of justice and mercy is a theme that resonates throughout the Bible, reminding us of the consequences of our decisions and the power of intercessory prayer.
The Importance of Remembering
The instruction for the Israelites to wear tassels as a reminder to obey God’s commands highlights the human tendency to forget. Just as the Israelites needed a physical reminder of their covenant with God, we too need constant reminders of His faithfulness and promises. In a world filled with distractions, the call to remember is as relevant today as it was then.
Deciding to Trust
The narratives of Caleb and Joshua, who chose to trust in God’s promise despite the giants, contrast sharply with the fear that paralyzed their counterparts. Their decision to believe in God’s ability to deliver His people into the Promised Land is a powerful testament to the importance of faith over fear.
Learning from the Wilderness
The wilderness journey teaches us that our decisions—whether to focus on the giants in our path or to trust in God’s promises—have profound implications on our trajectory. Trusting God requires us to look beyond our immediate circumstances and to remember His past faithfulness.
As we navigate our own wildernesses, may we decide daily to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding. Let the story of the Israelites inspire us to fix our eyes on God, rather than the giants, and to walk in faith, believing in His promises.
Join us on the Daily Bible Podcast as we continue to explore these timeless lessons and how they apply to our lives today. Let’s journey together, learning to trust God more deeply and to live out His commands with faith and obedience.
The wilderness journey of the Israelites serves as a powerful metaphor for our spiritual journey, teaching us the importance of decision-making, trust, and remembrance. As we face our giants, may we choose to remember God’s past deliverances and to trust in His future promises.
Rebellion and Responsibility
The account of Korah’s rebellion against Moses stands out as a poignant reminder of the dangers of pride, the virtue of humility, and the importance of honoring God’s chosen leaders. This episode, detailed in the book of Numbers, not only recounts a dramatic confrontation but also offers timeless lessons on leadership, divine justice, and the human tendency to grumble against God’s providential care.
The story begins with Korah, a Levite, along with Dathan, Abiram, and others, challenging Moses’ leadership and, by extension, God’s authority. They questioned why Moses and Aaron held special leadership positions, seemingly unaware or dismissive of the fact that God had appointed them. Moses’ response to this challenge was not anger or pride but a humble submission to God’s will, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him.”
As I reflect on Moses’ reaction, I’m struck by his patience and compassion towards those questioning his leadership. Despite the gravity of their rebellion, Moses still hoped for their understanding, reminding them of their special status as God’s chosen people. This moment highlights a critical lesson for us: in leadership and life, humility and patience in the face of criticism reflect a deep trust in God’s sovereignty.
The subsequent divine judgment was swift and severe, with the earth swallowing the rebels and a fire consuming the 250 men offering incense. This stark outcome is a vivid reminder of the seriousness with which God views rebellion against His ordained order. Yet, in the midst of judgment, Moses’ and Aaron’s intercession for the people showcases the heart of true leadership – a willingness to plead before God on behalf of those under their care, even when facing criticism and rebellion.
The aftermath of the rebellion and the miraculous sign of Aaron’s budding staff further cemented God’s leadership choice and served as a divine stop to the murmuring and discontent among the Israelites. Yet, the narrative also reveals a persistent human flaw: the tendency to grumble and rebel, often forgetting the blessings and provisions of God.
In today’s context, the story of Korah’s rebellion is a powerful call to honor and support those whom God has placed in leadership, particularly in our spiritual communities. It reminds us that criticism and rebellion against God’s appointed leaders dishonor God and can lead to division and distress within the community.
So, how can we support and honor our spiritual leaders? Like Moses and Aaron, many leaders serve with a heart for God and His people, often at great personal cost. My father-in-law’s dedication to sharing the gospel, despite financial hardships, exemplifies the sacrificial service many leaders undertake. It challenges us to ask how we might support those who have dedicated their lives to serving God and His people. Could we, perhaps, provide more generously to ensure their needs and those of their families are met?
The rebellion of Korah and its aftermath teach us valuable lessons about humility, divine authority, and the importance of honoring leadership. Let us remember to uphold and support our spiritual leaders, recognizing that in doing so, we honor God Himself. This act of honor, rooted in love and respect, not only strengthens our communities but also aligns our hearts with God’s will, reminding us of the profound truth that to serve and honor God’s servants is to serve and honor God.
Word of the day: Honor
Let us live it out by showing high respect and great esteem for those God has placed over us, recognizing their role in His divine plan, and responding with gratitude and support.