A Doorkeeper in the House of God

April 25, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [elsewhere]. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

When we meet someone, we often ask, “What do you do?” We may foolishly decide how much to value people by what occupation they hold. This psalm proclaims the blessedness of being a doorkeeper in the house of God.

Who of us does not feel awed unto unworthiness in the Presence of God? It is in His Presence that we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In His Presence our joy is full. When we gaze upon Him, we are not looking around at each other’s standing, but we are together beholding Him whom we love. What might be a lowly job for one might be an ideal job for another. If you love God’s Presence, how perfect would it be to have the job to open the door into His Presence?  Notice that the Psalmist does not compare being the doorkeeper with a more prestigious job or with the wealth of the rich, but juxtaposes the job against living in the tents of wickedness.

The godly have God’s Presence as their home. They carry His Presence everywhere, and they invite people into that Presence. They are like the folks who stay late after the party, saying goodbye first in the living room, then in the kitchen, then on the doorstep, then just outside the doorstep because they are having a wonderful time and do not want to leave. Such are those that love the Presence of God. They gate-keep themselves from going anywhere or doing anything that would quench that Presence. A life lived in God’s Presence is not one to be traded for all the money, riches, or prestige in the world. The opposite is a life lived in the tents of the wicked. You do not want to dwell there. 

We are able to welcome people into the Presence of God by a humble life, a hospitable spirit, and a clean heart. Many yearn for the refuge of the Presence of God but do not yet experience it. This is not a job just for “worship leaders” but for all of God’s people who live before Him and know His love.

You carry the fragrance of Jesus when you abide in Him and go forth into the world that smells of hate, and sin, and death.  Go forth and spread His Fragrance among the nations. People are dying to know Him and smell the fragrance of His beauty. It’s not a lowly place to hold the door open for people to come into God’s house; it is a privilege and an honor. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights?

“This day shall be for you a Memorial Day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.” Exodus 12:14

The question in the title is one of the four questions traditionally asked by the youngest child during a Passover Seder. The answer is in the biblical quote. It is to commemorate the deliverance the LORD GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob brought to the Jewish people through His servant Moses by bringing them out of Egyptian captivity where they were slaves into the Promised Land.

The Jewish people were brought out of slavery so that they could freely worship God. In Hebraic teaching worship means to live according to God’s ways; to honor God with one’s life and not to be bound up in idolatry. Exodus 20: 1-3 says, “God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.'” It took Israel many years to learn this, as it does us! If we are honest with ourselves it is something we are, or should be, continually learning and applying in our lives.

Regrettably, we often have short-term and long-term memory loss when it comes to God’s instructions and ways. This is why the LORD tells us to remember! Passover is the LORD’s Feast. It is not exclusively a “Jewish” Feast. Passover was celebrated by Jesus, His disciples and the early Church. Jesus’ “Last Supper” when he instituted communion was a Passover meal. Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose again during the week of Passover, also known as the days of Unleavened Bread. The Apostle Paul instructed the Church to keep it. (see 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

Sadly, the practice of commemorating Passover fell out of practice in the Church. The push to create a separate non-Jewish celebration of Jesus death, burial and resurrection began as early as the second century. In 325 it became official at the First Council of Nicaea which established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. Hence this year (2024) “Easter” was on March 31, while Passover which follows the biblical calendar begins at sundown on April 22. 

Passover is a remembrance of God’s deliverance in the past AND it points to what Jesus accomplished for us! As a Passover lamb had to be perfect and unblemished and it’s blood put over the doorposts of homes so that the death angel would pass over and not kill the firstborn, so Jesus is the perfect lamb without sin. He laid down His life and shed His blood for the remission of our sins so that we can have eternal life and are saved from eternal punishment and separation from God.

Should Christians commemorate Passover? Search the Scriptures and ask the LORD about it. Read Leviticus 23 about all the Feasts of the LORD and the story of Passover in Exodus Chapters 5 – 17, especially Chapter 12! Read Luke 22:7-20 to see Jesus celebrating Passover and instituting communion. He instructed His disciples to “do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) Do you see the parallels?

How should we commemorate Passover? A Passover Seder is certainly beautiful and instructive. However, the Seder (which means “order”) is something that developed as instructed by the Rabbis over many years and is traditional. Many of the elements, especially the matzah and wine point us to Jesus. May the LORD show you how to commemorate Passover in your home. It could be as simple as reading the story of Passover, how Jesus celebrated it and having communion with unleavened (matzah) bread. It could be by having a Seder meal and going through a Passover Celebration for Believers in Jesus like the one here which includes prayers for Israel at the end. Please also pray for the revelation of Jesus to come to many Jewish people as they have their seders and this year especially pray for the release of the hostages still held by Hamas.

Passover has been celebrated for about 3500 years by Jewish people. It is a remembrance of God’s deliverance and a feast that gives them hope that God remembers His promises to His people which He does! Gentiles who believe in Jesus are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel according to Ephesians 2:11-13 so why not join in?

Chag Pesach Sameach – Happy Passover Holiday!

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, a Christian women’s conference ministry which also offers online christian bible studies and online bible reading plans. Betsy has been traveling to Israel on a regular basis since 2005. She leads prayer and ministry trips as well as tours there. She can be reached via the Women of the Word website.

Abandoned Worship

April 16, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.” (2 Samuel 6:22a)

There are things we will do in the Presence of God, things that are also visible to men, that will be misunderstood, even disdained, by others. Perhaps they will be holy things that are really meant only for God to see but are viewed by others unaware to us. Perhaps even the holy thing we set our heart to do will inadvertently expose our flesh. How could this happen? It is not meant that one would be unclothed physically as here in David’s case, but it could mean that in our abandoned worship or utter obedience to God, our humanity, need, or weakness is exposed for others to see. 

People observing may not understand our motivations, they may not choose to see us in the best light, they may look on the outward appearance and mock us. It is wise not to judge another Man’s servant, especially when they are worshiping God. King David was giving all that he had to God in His worship before the ark. While Michal watched, she did not see David’s heart but merely saw his flesh exposed and mocked him. God judged her, and she became barren. There are lessons aplenty here. 

Be careful how you look at others. Do not bring a spirit of judgment too quickly to something you do not understand. Do not know others “after the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16). There are things that are meant to be covered and things that are meant to be exposed. Sometimes we get the two mixed up. When Noah became drunk, one of his sons dealt wrongly with his father’s nakedness, and the other two tried to protect their father’s dignity (Gen. 9:20-23). There is a time to cover, and yes, there is a time to uncover, but our hearts must be for honor and redemption.

Perhaps in our hour of humiliation, even embarrassment, our hearts, and the hearts of those around us, are being revealed. We do not need to defend ourselves; rather, as David did, we can choose humility. In our desire to abandon ourselves to God, it is alright to “become even more undignified.” God will judge our motivations. To lay all that we are at the altar is never a mistake, even if it is laid before God in a messy, broken, undignified state. The most abandoned worshippers in the Bible follow this pattern: Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, the Syro-Phoenician woman, Ezekiel, Hosea, Isaiah, and many more. They were not grandstanding; they were worshipping.

Obedience and utterness toward God can cost us our dignity. It is a well-spent embarrassment. God alone sorts the motives of our hearts. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Why Care About the Biblical Calendar?

Everyone keeps a calendar of sorts. It may be in your head, on your phone, or in some kind of written form. In the United States we follow the Gregorian calendar so we know what month and day it is. This system lets us know when to be at work, school, appointments and even Church. The date also marks when we traditionally celebrate certain holidays.

Did you know that God does not follow the Gregorian calendar? He set days, months and His holidays, known in the Bible as appointed times or feasts on a different time-table that do not fall on the same date each year on the Gregorian calendar. This may seem more laborious and confusing to us. However, it calls us to pay attention because if we don’t, we will miss God’s appointed times.

On the Gregorian calendar we celebrate New Year on January 1st. On God’s calendar the Biblical New year falls on “the first day of the first month”, the Hebrew month of Nisan (so named when the Israelites returned to Israel from the Babylonian captivity). Nisan (also known as Aviv) 1 falls on April 9th in 2024 on the Gregorian calendar. Next year it will be a different date on the Gregorian calendar. In the Bible a new month begins when the moon is new as evidenced by a sliver of moon appearing in the night sky. This too was an appointed time every month called Rosh Chodesh in Hebrew.

God also does not start a day at midnight like the world does. The day starts at evening (sundown). Genesis tells us “so the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5) and so on. Therefore “the first day of the first month” (New Year) begins at sundown on April 8th and ends at sundown on April 9th in 2024. God also calls the days first day, second day, third day, etc. He doesn’t call the days of the week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc which are names originally based on idol worship! So, we see how far we are from God’s design!

What are we as believers in Jesus to do? Well, we do live in the world and have to interact with it so we do follow the Gregorian calendar for every day life. However, we can have an awareness of God’s calendar to help us understand times and seasons and to commemorate important days on God’s calendar. Leviticus 23 tells us the days on God’s calendar that are HIS feasts. Please note they are not exclusively Jewish Feasts. They are the “feasts of the LORD” according to Leviticus 23:2.

In Exodus 12 God gives instructions about Passover. Notice that Passover begins at twilight on the 14th day of the first month of the year. Jesus kept Passover and instituted communion during a passover meal. His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection all occurred during the days of Unleavened Bread. More on Passover and its significance for disciples of Jesus in a future blog.

What else happened on the first day of the first month in the Bible? While Israel was wandering in the wilderness, “the Lord spoke to Moses, saying; ‘On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle (the dwelling place) of the tent of meeting.'” (Exodus 40:1-2) We know that we who believe in Jesus are now the dwelling place of God as He dwells within us by the Holy Spirit. Could this first day of the first month be a good day to take some time to inquire of the LORD as to the state of our tabernacle and do some house-cleaning if needed? May the Holy Spirit help us and Blessed Biblical New Year! Peace and Joy in believing!

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, a Christian women’s conference ministry which also offers online christian bible studies and online bible reading plans. Betsy has been traveling to Israel on a regular basis since 2005. She leads prayer and ministry trips as well as tours there. She can be reached via the Women of the Word website.

God’s Farmwork 

April 6, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek


“Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

There are things that we must do to seek the Lord, and there are things that only God can do for us. These two sides work together in harmony. Our spiritual lives are like a field in which a farmer sows seeds so that he may reap a harvest. God wants to reap a harvest from the field of our life. How will this occur? 

We will want to sow the seeds of righteous works so that we will not harvest the fruit of the flesh. How? By listening to God and only doing what He directs us to. These may be simple tasks done with an obedient heart. If we plant spoiled things, unholy things, in the ground of our life, we cannot expect a good harvest to grow. Unrighteous acts can actually pollute the ground of our lives. In one sense only Christ can impute righteousness to us, but in another sense, we are responsible for making right choices. 

We should not only sow good things; we need to reap mercifully. Do not take from another what they have need of. Don’t gather in such a way that causes others to have less. In Israel the edges of the field were supposed to be left for the poor to glean from. Be merciful. Leave margins of mercy for others, for you will also need their mercy at some point.  Love your neighbor as yourself. 

Break up your fallow ground. There are times when our lives are dormant. There are times when nothing is growing in our field. Perhaps we have gone through a stormy season and need rest. When we have rested the ground of our heart, it needs to be made ready for new growth. The soil needs to be broken up and overturned so that the new seed will not be wasted on hard soil where it will not grow. We prepare our hearts, God plants the seed, and the condition of the ground will determine how much of a crop will be produced.

It’s time to seek the Lord. It’s time to pray and turn our faces up to God, waiting for the rains of heaven to fall upon us. He rains right standing with Himself upon us. He rains refreshment and glory upon us. He rains all that is good down upon us as we seek Him and prepare to return to Him a crop 10-fold, 50-fold, or 100-fold.  He wants us to bear fruit for Him in the land of the living. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net