Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Power of God

Num. 11:23  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Is there any limit to my power?  Now you will see whether or not my word comes true.”

What do you think, is there any limit to the Lord’s power?  Think about it.  We say the Lord has power to save us.  Does He have power to save everyone?  Is there anyone you know who needs to be saved?  Do you believe the Lord can do it?  Are you asking Him to do it?  Are you trusting Him to do it?  Do you really believe He is going to do it?  Is your faith strong enough to wait for Him to do it?  Either He has the power to do it or He doesn’t.  The Lord will not exercise His power unless it is bathed in prayer.  The Lord wants to use you to reach your unsaved family and friends.  It begins on your knees.

Does the Lord have the power to mend the broken body?  Is there anything broken beyond His power to mend?  Are you believing and trusting Him to do it?  You will never know whether or not God will heal you unless you ask.  Do you first consult your doctors or do you first consult the Lord?  The Lord may know that it is best for you not to be healed, but you will never know that if you don’t turn to Him.  There is no physical, mental or emotional need beyond the power of God to heal you.

Does the Lord have the power to help you in the situation you are in?  Do you really believe that the Lord is greater than your problems?  Are you letting Him deal with them?  How much are you praying in faith over them?  Are you standing firm on the promises of God?  Are you willing to follow His way out of your difficulties?  Are you willing to accept His solutions?  Either He has the power to help you or He doesn’t.  Which is it?

Does the Lord have the power to revive the church and His people?  We all know that there is a tremendous battle going on in the church today.  The church is plagued by complacency and political correctness.  We have compromised the authoritative voice of the Scriptures.  We have lost our zeal for holy living.  Can the tide of the church be changed?  Are we praying and believing that it will change?  Do we really believe the Lord has the power to change us?  Are we praying with repentant hearts?

The display of His power can be seen everywhere.  Look at what He has created.  Look at the changes in lives He makes.  Look at the miracles He performs amongst His people. 

There may be no limit to God’s power, but we often limit it by our unbelief or reluctance to tap into it.  The Lord is able.  All we have to do is believe and let Him release His power in and through us. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let The Light Shine

Num. 8:1-2 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron that when he sets up the seven lamps in the lamp stand, he is to place them so their light shines forward.”

What strikes me here is that God gave specific instructions to Aaron about the position of the lamps. They were to be placed so that their lights would shine forward. As we walk with the Lord, we should always be in a position whereby our light is shining forward. Several things come to mind.

When our light is shining forward we can see where we are going. We don’t benefit much by always looking behind us. What matters is what is before us. Looking forward keeps us from stumbling over those things we might stumble over if we were in the dark. Looking forward gives us a clear sense of confidence in where we are going. Looking forward enables us to not miss opportunities that are ahead of us. It also helps us to understand the danger of straying from the path we are on. It keeps us from letting what is behind us or around us from captivating us and hindering our progress. Looking forward enables us to move much faster that we would if we were to always be looking behind us.  Looking forward enables us to be more aware of those before us who need light to be shown on their paths as well. We can’t help those behind us, but we may be able to help those ahead or around us.

Looking forward is also where Jesus is at. As the Apostle Paul put it, “….Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Phil. 3:14). We can clearly see Jesus when we are looking ahead of us.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation. Let Him lighten your pathway. Let Him keep you moving forward with purpose and zeal. Let Him keep you from stumbling and falling. Let Him help you make it safely home to heaven.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Holiness and Obedience


Lev. 22:31-32  “You must faithfully keep all my commands by obeying them, for I am the LORD.  Do not treat my holy name as common and ordinary.  I must be treated as holy by the people of Israel.”

How might one treat the Lord’s name as common and ordinary?  Aside from the obvious way we use His name in daily conversation, let me suggest to you today another way.  When we fail to live holy lives and still call ourselves by His name, we are bringing dishonor to Him. 

God is holy and His children are to be holy too.  Like Father, like son.  We treat those whom we love with respect by honoring them by the way we live in their presence.  Anytime we act in an unholy way we are bringing dishonor to His name.  If you truly love the Lord, you will strive to faithfully obey Him in all you do.

Notice the Word says we are to faithfully keep ALL of God’s commandments.  We can’t pick and choose which ones we want to keep.  We can’t dismiss any of His commandments because we think they are no longer relevant.  We must always strive to see how His Word applies to how we live and think.  Application varies with time and culture, but the truth remains the same and we must learn how to live in obedience to God’s Word. 

God has given us His Word to guide and instruct us in holy living.  He is holy and cannot have fellowship with an unholy people.  He has made a way for us to be holy through His written and living Word.  We have no excuse for not becoming a holy people.

The Lord our God is not common or ordinary.  He is holy and we must treat Him accordingly.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Lord's Day

Lev. 23:3 You may work for six days each week, but on the seventh day all work must come to a complete stop. It is the LORD’s day of complete rest, a holy day to assemble for worship. It must be observed wherever you live.

Has God changed his mind? He declared it from the beginning of time that a day was to be set aside for rest and worship. He commanded the Israelites to keep the day of rest holy unto the Lord. On the Sabbath no work was to be done. None. It was a day of complete rest set apart as holy by God for worship. My point is not that we must be legalistic about the Lord’s Day. What you do on the Lord’s Day is between you and Him. What concerns me is that we so often treat it like any other day of the week. We think nothing of doing on His day what we don’t get done the rest of the week. We often consider it a day to finish up tasks. It is rarely deemed to be a “do nothing” day. If the demands of job and living are such that you can’t devote the day to the Lord in rest and worship, are you setting aside another day of the week to do it?

The discussion as to which day of the week is the day we ought to set aside unto the Lord is for you to decide before Him. Most of the church today sets aside Sunday because it is the day in which Jesus rose from the dead. It is looked upon as a day of celebration, admiration, and dedication to the Lord. There are some who continue to set aside Saturday as the day of worship because that was the day set aside by the Lord in the Old Testament. The day of the week is not the issue. What matters to me is what are you doing about setting aside a day to rest and worship.

The world does not care if you do it or not. It will not stop its mad rush in the pursuit of things that don’t really matter at all instead of what God commands us to do. Only you can make the decision to obey the Lord in this. I believe it’s still true that in our country you still cannot be forced to work on the Lord’s Day if you make it clear that it is because of your spiritual convictions. If your life backs up it up, your motives won’t be questioned, even if it is not liked.

If you disobey God and do not honor him with a day of rest and worship, you will not only hinder, you will damage, your relationship with Him. It is willful disobedience to ignore God’s command to rest and worship; it is sin.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Lev. 19:2  “Each of you must show respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest, for I, the LORD, am your God.”

Although we are living in grace and not under the law, I believe there are two very important truths here we need to pay heed to. It is always a good thing to show respect to our parents, and it’s always good to observe the Lord’s Day.

Now, I know that there are many parents who have not left their children much, if anything, to respect them for. This is a general guiding principle that can be applied to those children who have had good parents. How might we respect our parents? We can ask ourselves, “Do we bring shame or favor on the family name? Are we living in such a way that it would make them proud? Do we treat them well? As they get older and no longer are able to take care of themselves, do we stay involved in their lives? Do we visit and pay attention to them, no matter how much or little they may know or appreciate it?” Respecting one’s parents means that we treat them as people worthy of our love and affections.

Observing the Lord’s Day is going to vary in application, but I still believe that we need to set aside a day in our week whereby we can focus our attention and energy on the Lord. I don’t believe that we need to be legalistic about it, but certainly there has to be more that we can do than what is being done in most Christians’ lives these days. It seems to me like we no longer consider the Lord’s Day sacred. We have gotten the idea that as long as we attend church, we can do whatever we want with the rest of the day, no matter how strenuous it may be on us. The Lord calls his day a day of rest for a reason. It is no wonder why so many of us are so stressed out and have health problems.  

Also, I believe that the Lord withholds the blessings he wants to bestow on us when we treat his day as just another ordinary day. How we act on the Lord’s Day is a good indicator of how much we respect the Lord.  It is good to do good on the Lord’s Day, but it is not good to do good to the point where our bodies, minds and souls do not get refreshed and prepared for the new week.

The Lord does not give us his Word just to hear himself talk. It is for our benefit and the honor of His name that he gives us his Word. Wise is he who hears and listens to what the Lord is saying. We must learn how to respect our parents and the Lord’s Day. To do anything less is sin.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Life in the Blood

Lev. 17:11 “¦..for the life of any creature is in its blood. I have given you the blood so you can make atonement for your sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement.”

This declaration from God is the key to understanding why blood sacrifices had to be made for sin. When God created physical life, He instilled blood as the carrier of life of every living creature. Blood is the one thing that no life can do without. There are ways in which life can happen without other parts of the body, but no life can happen without the blood. Blood represents life.

God gave people before Christ specific instructions regarding how their sins were to be atoned for, and it always required the shedding of blood. In order for life to continue with God, life had to be sacrificed. Without the shedding of blood, there could be no forgiveness. And since the blood shed was the blood of animals, it was not sufficient enough to take care of man’s sin problems. It would cover up man’s sin for awhile, but it had to be offered repeatedly. Man’s inherent sin problem did not go away as long as there was a need for animals to be sacrificed.  The blood of animals was a temporary fix for an eternal problem.

When Jesus came and offered his life as the sacrifice for sin, it was good enough. He is eternal God. He became man for a season and lived a sinless life.  He was qualified to die a sinner’s death. He was able to take all of our sins upon himself and wash them away with His blood. His shed blood was an eternal fix for man’s sin problem. He provided a buffer between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. He is what God sees when He looks  oh heart of His children. God can accept us as his own because he accepts the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins as sufficient.  Jesus becomes our righteousness and holiness before God.

God has always provided a way for man to be forgiven, for his sins to be atoned for. What the blood of animal sacrifices could not do, making our hearts righteous and holy before God, Jesus did for us at Calvary. Praise the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Holy Offering

Lev. 10:1-2   Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it.  In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him a different kind of fire than he had commanded.  So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD.

Abraham had four sons who served alongside of him as priests before the Lord, Eleazar, Ithamar, Nadab and Abihu. We are told in Exodus 24:9-11 that they had gone up the mountain with Moses and had seen God. They were given enough of a glimpse of God to recognize Him. Can you imagine what that moment must have been like for them? As amazing as this experience was for them, Nadab and Abihu didn’t let it change the rest of their lives. Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to offer incense before God that was forbidden. They did not treat God as holy, nor did they fear Him.

Scripture records that they put together incense that they offered up to God that was contrary to what God had instructed them to do. God made it very clear what was and what wasn’t acceptable to Him. Nadab and Abihu got the notion that either God didn’t mean what He said or it didn’t matter what God said. They tried to offer an incense of their own making and paid the ultimate price for it. They did not treat God as holy. They treated with contempt their sacred office as priests. They became arrogant in the presence of God. The Lord sent a fire from heaven that consumed them on the spot.

We must be careful that we don’t become like Nadab and Abihu. We must always strive to be holy before God. We must never disrespect Him by disobeying His commandments. We must consider it serious business to enter into the presence of the Lord. There is a price to pay for treating the Lord with anything but our highest respect. Don’t profane that which is holy. And most of all, don’t profane He who is holy.

We must not treat lightly what it means to be in the presence of the Lord. We must allow the Lord to change us so we will be and do that which is pleasing in His eyes. It is important for us to seize the opportunities the Lord gives us to be transformed by his Word and Spirit. It is not a trivial thing for us to gather together before God in worship.  Only those made holy in Christ are fit to enter into God’s presence. 

Letting Jesus make us holy should be every believer’s number one priority in life.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Covenant of Love

Lev. 2:13 Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.

It is a good thing for us to be constantly reminded of God’s covenant to us. We dare not forget or neglect what God has promised. God’s covenant is a covenant of love. He declared it and carried it out. Before He created, he declared His love for us by providing a way for our sins to be forgiven. He knew that we would abuse our freedom of choice and sin against Him. He knew that we would never be able to have a relationship with Him on our own. He knew that the only way that sin could be taken from us would be for Him to come and do it for us. The only way for sin to be forgiven was through the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. Slowly and steadily throughout history God revealed these truths to us. God made a covenant with us that he would make a way for us to be forgiven that we might have a relationship with Him.

God’s covenant with us is a covenant of love as displayed at Calvary.  God has declared His love for us and His desire to forgive us of our sins if we would but turn our lives over to Him.  God’s covenant is that He would eternally love us and show it by never leaving or forsaking us.  When we are saved, we enter into a similar covenant of love with God.

We dare not ever forget what Jesus has done for us. It is so easy to take our salvation for granted and lose our sense of gratitude for Him and his love for us. It is so easy to get so caught up in this life that we forget about what God has promised is yet to come. It is so easy to neglect this great salvation which God has provided for us.

We must do all that we can to remember God’s covenant with us. We must constantly be reminded of our debt of love to Him. We must never lose our sense of gratitude and admiration. We must seize every opportunity we have in life to think about our great salvation. The more we remember what God has promised and done, the closer we are drawn to Him. We must not be casual observers, but constant observers of these things. Don’t neglect this great salvation we have in Christ Jesus!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Giving to the Lord

Ex. 35:20-21  So all the people left Moses and went to their tents to prepare their gifts.  If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the LORD their offerings of materials for the Tabernacle and its furnishings and for the holy garments.

What strikes me about these verses is that the Lord doesn’t ask for what we don’t have and He doesn’t force anyone to give.  The Lord does not want his children to give with anything but a cheerful heart.  A gift given without love is not an acceptable gift to the Lord.  Regardless of the gift, don’t bother if it’s given begrudgingly.

Also, notice that the people went home and prepared their gifts that they were going to give.  I wonder how much thought and preparation we do when we give our gifts to the Lord.  Do we think about the Lord at all before we give of ourselves and our resources to Him?  Do we pause long enough to realize just how good the Lord is to us all the time?  Do we realize that if it were not for the Lord and His faithful love for us, we would be dead in our sins without hope or life?  Each gift we bring to the Lord ought to be a gift of love and gratitude.

The people gave with a purpose.  They saw the bigger picture of what the Lord was doing and bought into it.  We too, need to look at the bigger picture.  We give in response to God’s purposes and not for ourselves.   Whether we are sharing financially, our talents, our time or our hearts, we do it as unto the Lord.  We make ourselves available to the Lord in love and gratitude.

The people gave with an attitude.  Those who gave had a real desire to give.  They gave so much that Moses had to tell them to stop giving!  Oh, but that we would have such a desire to give!

The Lord invites us to give.  It is our choice as to whether or not we will accept His invitation.  He blesses those who give with a cheerful heart.  When God’s people give as they should, there is never a lack of resources to get done what the Lord wants to do in the church and world.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Slow to Anger

Ex. 34:5-7  Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and called out his own name, “the LORD” as Moses stood there in his presence.  He passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God.  I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness.  I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion….”

Hear what the Lord has to say about himself.  He is merciful and gracious.  He is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness.  He forgives every kind of sin and rebellion.  Here are just a couple of thoughts to ponder. 

It takes a lot to get the Lord angry with us.  Oh, He does get angry, but it takes a lot.  He doesn’t treat us with an iron hand, but with mercy and grace.  God is love and He never fails to love us.  Everything that He does He does because of His love for us.  We may not understand how what comes our way is an act of love, but it is. God knows what lies before us and allows us to go through situations today that prepare us for our tomorrows.  He knows us better than we do and is always striving to help us to get to where we need to be.  Also, there is no sin that is greater than God’s ability or desire to forgive.  We may spurn His love and prevent Him from forgiving us, but if we turn to Him for repentance, he can and will forgive us.

God is the Lord, the ruler over all that is.  He is ruler over heaven and earth.  He is ruler over all the heavens and everything therein.  No one or anything can take away His lordship from Him.  He forever has been and always will be Lord.  He is the giver and sustainer of all life.  Every knee that has ever graced this world shall bow before Him.  Every knee in heaven bows before Him.  He is the one and only exalted one.  The Lord is His name, merciful, patient, forgiving and gracious, both now and forever.

Are you doing anything that might stir up God’s anger against you?   Do your actions and thoughts betray your profession of faith in Him?  Do you have unconfessed sin that is eating away at your righteousness?  Do you speak hurtful words to others that demean, damage or destroy them?  Let us examine our hearts today and see if there is anything there that might be stirring up God’s anger against us.  He is rich in unfailing love and is faithful to us, but we can make Him angry with us.  Only the pure in heart shall see God.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Worshiping God

Ex. 34:8 Moses immediately fell to the ground and worshiped.

How do you worship God? Do you stand, sit, or bow down before Him? Most of us sit most of the time, whether it is in church or at home. We like it that way. It is most comfortable for us. Sometimes it is too comfortable and we find ourselves dozing off. We are easily distracted in our comfort. We even complain sometimes because we aren’t comfortable enough. It’s too hot, too cold, the seats aren’t soft enough, or they are too soft. The music is too loud or not loud enough. It’s too modern or not modern enough. The pastor speaks too loud and long or not loud enough or long enough. We like our comfort and have grown to expect it. But, is comfort conducive to worship?

Moses was so overpowered by being in the presence of God that he immediately fell to the ground and worshiped him. When was the last time you were so struck by being in the presence of God that you were driven to your knees? Does it strike you like it does me that rarely do we fall on our knees anymore before God? I remember with fondness those times in worship when you couldn’t do anything else but fall on your knees because God was in the house. What has happened? Has God changed to the point where we no longer need to be awestruck and humbled before Him, or have we changed?

How many churches today even have an altar in which we can come and bow before God? When was the last time a call was given for people to gather together in humility before God? Can we honestly say that we have worshipped if we have not been humbled before God? Isn’t it about time that we return to our knees before God? What will it take for us to be overcome by the knowledge we are in the presence of a holy God? Will we ever see the days again in which we see ourselves as the sinners we are and fall before God in repentance?

When we return to our knees, we will then see a mighty revival sweep over our churches and our land. Revival is not a relic of the past; it is the greatest need of the church today.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Lord's Day

Ex. 31:12-13  The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses:  “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

We have come a long ways since the Lord gave these instructions to Moses.  And….I don’t think we have helped ourselves at all.  It is no longer widely accepted that there is a need to set aside a day of the week to restore our bodies and souls.  Sunday is treated like any other day of the week.  Somehow we have gotten the idea that as long as we crowd the Lord somewhere into our busy schedules we are alright.  We don’t regard the Lord’s Day as a sign of the covenant between us and God.

God made a covenant with man, that if we acknowledge Him and embrace Him as our God that He would be with us and make us holy.  He would make known to us our sin, convict us of it, forgive us for them when we repent of them, forget they existed, and take up residence in our hearts.  His promise to us is that if we repent of our sins and let Him be our Savior and Lord He would never leave us or forsake us.  God promises us that if we submit to His authority over us that He would take care of us and get us safely home to heaven.

When we observe the Lord’s Day, we are acknowledging these things.  We are declaring that God is our God and we love and respect Him enough to set aside a day in our week when we will focus on Him and all He has done, is doing, and shall do in our lives.  It is a day of soul refreshment.  It is a day of worship first and foremost.

The Lord gives us a day of rest and restoration so that we do not lose sight of Him and our need for Him to have control of our lives.  He desires to make us holy, but before He can do it we have to get away from the rush of life and let Him.  We reap what we sow and our lack of concern to obey God in setting aside a day for Him makes us shallow and an unholy people.  The Lord takes our need to be holy before Him seriously, and so should we.  Observing the Lord’s Day is one way in which we show the Lord that we do.  We can only be at our best when we rest in Him.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fear the Lord

Ex. 20:20  “Don’t be afraid,” Moses said, “for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power.  From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!”

Do you fear God? A proper fear of God helps to keep us from sinning. Most of us don’t fear God as we should. To fear God means we respect Him, revere Him, and respond accordingly. By the way most professing Christians live, I don’t believe there is much respect for God. We have brought God down to our level. He has become not much more than a superman to us. Because God took on flesh and blood, we have humanized Him. We befriend Him to the point where we no longer understand the majesty and mystery of God. God has revealed Himself to us in the personhood of Jesus, but God is far more than what we know about Him. There is a mysterious aura about God that is impossible to grasp this side of heaven. He is greater than creation in His power, and glory. He is the one who designed creation and made it happen by the mere utterance of His word. He is the one who has given mankind the ability to reason and think. He is the one who knows what He has created, why He has created it, and what He is going to do with what He has created. God knows the mind and heart of man and holds us up to His holy standard. He will hold us accountable for what we do with what we know about Him.  He is the one before whom we will stand to give an account for what we have done with Jesus. We must learn to appreciate just who God is and how to respect Him.

We also must revere Him. We must not go through the motions of worship, but truly worship Him. We must strive to focus on Him. We must look to him as our God. We must seek Him with hearts intent on connecting to Him. We must not let others distract us from being still before God and reveling in His presence. We have confused worship with entertainment. We pep up our services and messages thinking that they are worship. While it is good to be excited about our God, excitement cannot replace reverence. In the stillness of the soul we connect with God. We need to rediscover the value of waiting on the Lord. We need to learn how to be quiet and listen for God to speak.

When was the last time you were still enough to hear God in worship or even in your private devotions?  Is all the chatter and busyness before our worship services conducive to reverence before God?  Do we even think about God before we begin to worship Him?

It is only when we learn to fear God that we will know His power and gain victory over sin. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Helping Hand

Ex. 17:12-13 Moses’ arms finally became too tired to hold up the staff any longer. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset. As a result, Joshua and his troops were able to crush the army of Amalek.

I have always liked these verses. They speak to me about my need for others in my life. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to want to do things on my own. I don’t like to admit I need help. I don’t like to call on others to come to my aid. Yet, I do need help. I am not superman. I cannot do all that needs to be done. I cannot do all things.

I have discovered it is okay to admit I am sometimes helpless to help myself. Whether it’s in the church or in my personal life, I am much better off and find I can do much better in life, if I simply humble myself and asked for help. Wisdom tells us that many hands make for light work. It also enables far more work to get done.

At the root of why we sometimes are so independent is our lack of trust in the ability of others to do things like we think they should be done. We think we are the only ones capable of getting things right. It’s much easier to just do it ourselves. Yet, experience teaches us that it’s just not true.

Pride also gets in the way.  When we get the idea that we are just fine and don’t need anyone’s help, we have a false impression of our worth, let alone our capabilities.  No one is beyond the need for a helping hand.  There are simply many things others can do better than we can.  It is good for us to rely on others to help us get through whatever we are dealing with in life.

Sometimes we need help from others, and sometimes we need to be the ones doing the helping. It is good when we reach out and help someone in need. It not only helps them, it helps us as well. 

If you have a problem with trusting in the abilities and integrity of others or are to proud to let others help you, perhaps you need to take it to the Lord and ask him to help you overcome your mistrust and pride. We hinder what God wants to do through us when we try to go it alone.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Stay in the Light


Ex. 14:19-20 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to a position behind them and the pillar of cloud also moved around behind them. The cloud settled between the Israelite and Egyptian camps. As night came, the pillar of cloud turned into a pillar of fire, lighting the Israelite camp. But the cloud became darkness to the Egyptians and they couldn’t find the Israelites.

What a difference there is in being in Christ’s protective care and not being in Christ! When we live in Christ, he is there to show us the way to Him. When we are not in Christ, we live in darkness and cannot see our way to God. God does not leave his children in the dark. What may appear to be darkness to the world is indeed light to God’s children.

Also, what may appear to be darkness to us who are in Christ is really no darkness at all. It is an opportunity to see what the Lord can do and what we can do in Him. It is good for us to go through times of darkness so that we can grow in our confidence in God’s love and ability to help us.

We live in a world surrounded by darkness. Those who are a part of the world are groping around trying to find their way. They have no idea where they are going. They are clueless as to why they are here or even who they are. They are grasping for something that makes sense of the life they live. They are troubled by us who are not like them. They cannot see what we see. They don’t understand what we understand about life and eternity. They reject us and rebel against us because misery loves company and we do not keep them company. Those in the darkness don’t come into the light because they don’t want their deeds to be exposed. Deep down they understand that God is and they fall short of the glory of God. They know that He is holy and they are not. They are driven to justify themselves and thus they reject God.

Stay in the Light and you will never have to wonder where you are at or where you are going.  He is the Way and He will show you the way.  He is the Truth and He will make it known to you.  He is the Life and as long as you stay in Him you shall live.  Christ is our pillar of cloud and fire and no one will ever find their way to God apart from Him. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Shedding of Blood

Ex. 12:13   “Then the blood you have smeared on your doorposts will serve as a sign. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. The plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

“When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.” Growing up as a kid, we used to sing that song a lot. It still ministers to me. God in his mercy and love for his people provided a way out of certain death. God had had enough of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart. He had had enough of the suffering of his people at the hand of the Egyptians. The day of judgment had come. All of the first born sons in Egypt would die. Only those who were covered by the blood would be spared.

It is the shedding of blood that saves us. God instilled life in the blood of all living creatures. It was in the shedding of Christ’s blood that eternal life could be given. His blood was not tainted by sin so his death was accepted by God as sufficient for our salvation. Only those whose souls are washed in the blood of Christ can be saved. When God looks upon our souls, he looks no deeper than the righteousness and holiness of Christ. Jesus is our shield from God’s wrath. For our protection, we must never step out from behind our Shield. If we do, our sins are exposed and we become objects of His wrath.

Notice that in order for the blood to protect the Israelites from certain death it had to be applied in God’s prescribed way.  In order for the blood of Christ to save us, it must be applied to our hearts in the way God prescribed.  We must confess our sins, seek Christ’s forgiveness, give Him permission to change us any way we need to be changed and then live for Him. 

“Thank you, Lord, for your life-giving blood. Thank You for giving up your life on earth on the cross that we might be saved. Thank you, for shielding us from God’s wrath with your righteousness and holiness. And, thank You for never stopping to be our Protector and Savior.”

Saturday, July 13, 2013

An Angry God

I am going to post my devotionals here for awhile and see how it goes.  I welcome your comments.
Ex. 4:14a Then the LORD became angry with Moses.

This short statement causes me to pause and think. God became angry with Moses. Why? Moses kept making excuses as to why he couldn’t obey God’s call on his life. God had prepared Moses for this moment of service. He had 80 years of life under his belt. He was ready to step up to the plate and lead the Israelites out of Egypt because God had made him ready. But, Moses tried to convince God that he was not the man. Instead of trusting God, he let his fears control him. I wonder if we too make God angry when we try to find excuses for not obeying him.

What do we do to make God angry? God makes it clear that he gets angry over sin. Do we make Him angry when we chose to delve into sin? Do we make Him angry when we take him for granted? Does He get angry when we show him so little respect? Is He angry over our futile attempts to “worship” him? Does He get angry when we so freely toss His name around, like He was one of us? Does He get angry over our lack of interest in pursuing holy lives? Does He get angry when we let the allurements of sin captivate us instead of Him?  I wonder to what extent we make God angry.

Living in relationship with God requires much from us. We have to work hard to keep ourselves properly connected to Him. God is with us, but He is not one of us. We must never forget that. God is holy, Jesus is holiness personified, and the Spirit is holiness empowered. We must fight the tendency to lose respect for God. We must fight the tendency to not revere Him. We must fight the urge to sin against Him.  We must fight the fears that would cause us to not obey and serve Him.  Let us resolve to give the Lord the best of our hearts and lives. Don’t give God just cause to be angry with you.