Monday, July 11, 2022

No Greater God

Our ultimate love and the greatest desire of our heart should be for God.


Exodus 20:3-5 You must not have any other god but me. 4 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 

5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.

Exodus 20:7 You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

Matthew 22:35-38 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Ever since they were saved by the Passover lamb God's children have become increasingly more familiar with him. The wilderness experience has been used to show them, and us, that God is holy and his chosen people have been redeemed to live a new way that is a reflection of his holiness so that the rest of the world will get to know him as well.

The first and most important rules that God gave his children in the ten commandments are the ones that tell us how God must be treated. If we fail at this then we are not going to be successful at the rest of the commands that tell us how to treat our neighbors.

The challenge to treat God properly has always been a struggle, man’s number one priority is to worship God but it is Satan's number one priority is to keep you from doing it, or at least to keep you from doing it correctly. The problem that started with Cain is still going on today.
Psalms 51:17 The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Satan doesn't need to stop you from worshiping God, all he needs to do is get you to do it your own way. Satan knows that worshipping God wrong is just as offensive to him as not worshipping him at all. 

After all of the miracles they have seen they will still struggle to be loyal, God's people adopted the polytheistic ways of the Egyptians, they were okay with the real God as long as they could have the fake ones as well.
Isaiah 44:6-7, 10 This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. 7 Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit?
When you look back at world history you cannot find another God but the one true God that has proven himself to be far greater than any of the imitations. The man made gods never had anything to offer their followers but somehow the creator of those gods seemed to think he had made something more powerful than himself.
The gods are worshipped for very pragmatic reasons. Almost never are the gods worshipped for their intrinsic beauty or goodness, but for what they control. Hostile, capricious gods are worshipped to appease their anger and to avert the outpouring of their wrath. Others are worshipped largely due to the powers which they possess and the benefits which they produce. In other words, the gods are viewed by their subjects as means to a desired end. It is no wonder that the worship of false gods is called harlotry in the Bible. The relationship between men and the gods is closely akin to prostitution. A price is paid and a service is rendered, but there is certainly no love between the two parties.
We can easily find fault in the people that God brought out of Egypt, we look at them and wonder why he wasn't God enough for them, but we are worse than they were. They didn't have the big picture that we have, the only information that they knew about God was what they learned personally or from stories passed down from the previous generations.

We have a much better perspective of God because of our Bibles, we have much more information about him and how to please him but we still have trouble with the commandments that teach us how he should be treated.
The sin against this commandment, which we are most in danger of, is giving that glory to any creature which is due to God only. Pride makes a God of ourselves, covetousness makes a God of money, sensuality makes a God of the belly. Whatever is loved, feared, delighted in, or depended on, more than God, that we make a god of.
Our ultimate love and the greatest desire of our heart should be for God but the world has so many other loves and so many other places to put our trust. We fall for the lie that we can use people and stuff to give us the security that can only be found in God.

We all have something that we trust that makes life work, something that we depend on instead of God, it can be power, approval, comfort, control, your achievements or even your religion. Whatever gives your life meaning and worth is where you will have difficulty keeping God in his rightful place.
1 John 5:21  Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
With so many options that the world makes available to us it is difficult to love God  exclusively, to find our greatest worth and love that satisfies us and helps us get through our trials. We must put our ultimate love and trust in the only one that will never fail us in this life and for eternity.
RELATED ARTICLES
Is God perfect? (gotquestions.org)

Monday, June 13, 2022

Spurgeon And The Psalms - Book Review

Spurgeon's thoughts on each Psalm in a great gift Bible.


If you are looking for a gift for someone else or for yourself that will encourage you each day then you should take a look at the new "Spurgeon and the Psalms" from Thomas Nelson Publishers. 

This new Bible is a great way for one of the most admired preachers in church history to be read each day along with a chapter from Psalms. Each chapter will come alive with new meaning as you read it with Spurgeon's thoughts about the chapter in mind.

There is so much excellent material available from Spurgeon that you can lose your focus. This book will help you focus more on the content of each chapter of Psalm. With the brief summary of his thoughts on each chapter in mind you will be drawn into the Psalms with greater insight.

With an elegant soft cover and thin pages it has a nice look that will make a great gift. 

Available At:

Amazon.com

This is an unpaid review for a Bible that was received for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. #BibleGatewayPartner

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Redeemed To Be Redeemers

Bring God's lost children back to the family.


Video: Ray Vander Laan

The word redeem means “to set free by paying a price.” It can refer to the releasing of a prisoner or the liberating of a slave. The Bible is a story of redemption, it starts with the reason we need to be redeemed in Genesis and continues until redemption is fully realized in the new kingdom.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Redeemed To Live A New Way

God's children obey their father's commands for their good and his glory.


Exodus 20:1 Then God gave the people all these instructions.

Exodus 20:20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”
 
Deuteronomy 8:5-6 Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good. 6 “So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.

1 Peter 1:15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

In the previous post God's people learned about his holiness which affects everything about him. It is the supreme quality that affects how that he does but it also affects us as well. And since God is holy he cannot have a personal relationship with people that are unholy. the people that want to have a peaceful relationship with him must be holy as well.

Our world doesn't like to hear about a God that makes demands, the gods that are popular today allow you to make your own rules, you get to be the "truth" police. That may work for you before you die but the real God and his version are truth will ultimately take over.

God is holy and he tells us to strive to live up to a higher standard, the "you be you" generation sounds kind and loving but you don't get the final say, we have been told to imitate our father in our attitudes and our lifestyle. Like it or not, we will submit to his rules and authority, it is your choice to do it now or later on after it is too late.

God's rules are for our benefit, he is just like any loving parent that sets boundaries, God wants the best for his children and he wants them to obey some basic instructions to keep them from trouble, he saves us from evil and doesn't want us to continue our lives in it. 

God gave us 10 basic commands:


How to love God:
1. Worship no god but the Lord.
2. Make no images to worship.
3. Do not use God’s name for evil purposes.
4. Observe God’s day of rest.

How to love your neighbor:
5. Respect your father and mother.
6. Do not commit murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not accuse anyone falsely.
10. Do not desire another man’s wife or what he owns.

We should love God and others extravagantly 

Looking at the theme of the Ten Commandments, it is clear that we were made for love, both giving love and receiving love to God and to the people we interact with. The first four commands tell us to relate to God and the other six tells us how to live with our neighbors.
1 John 4:9  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 

1 John 4:11  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
God didn't just demand love as a way of life for his children, he also gave us the ultimate example of how extreme we are too love. I was his enemy and with just cause, I was rotten to the core, the most unholy and undeserving of his affection but that didn't stop him from loving me extravagantly.

If I love God then it should show in how I live, Jesus told us that one of the ways to prove that we have experienced God's love is that we will love our neighbors, that's how the world will know who God's children really are and that's how he will get the glory he deserves.

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Friday, May 27, 2022

Redeemed And Learning About Holiness

God's children fail to live up to a higher standard than the rest of the world.


Exodus 19:10-11,14 the LORD told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes.

When God reveals himself to humanity it becomes very clear that we are not the same, we like to act like we are God but when you look at the examples in the Bible when God came close to man, the holiness of God is undeniable.

Moses already encountered God in a similarly spectacular event at the burning bush. That's where Moses got his first lesson about sacred things, God told him that even the dirt he was standing on was holy ground because of it's proximity to God. (Exodus 3:1-12)

God told Moses at the burning bush that he would return to this mountain with all of God's people some day. We can only imagine what Moses was thinking as they began traveling in this direction and how overwhelmed he was as they arrived in the same place.

Mount Sinai will be their home for a long time because God has some things to accomplish before he takes them to their promised land. They have just made a covenant to be God's chosen people and now they will learn about the holiness of God and how he must be respected as they approach him.

God needs his children to know that he is different from them, he is near them and wants to relate to them but he is also above them. He is a personal God that loves relationships but it cannot be the same as the way that we relate to each other. We are terrible at relating to each other so it will certainly be a challenge to relate to God.

Too often we show up at church to meet with God without any preparations. We don't expect the unsaved to come prepared for worship but too often God's people are just as unprepared, we show up looking to get something just the same way we show up at the grocery store.

God told his people to purify themselves and prepare their heart and mind. Being in his presence is a truly awesome experience, unlike the hundreds of times we use the word awesome everyday, this really is.
Psalm 24:3-4 Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
Access to God isn't given out to just anybody. There were thousands of God's people that were saved from Egypt, but there was only one man that had an incredible amount of access to God, through the ages there have been few people that have ever had such a personal relationship. 

It started with the burning bush but it didn't end there, Moses was a regular mountain climber as he interceded for his people for the rest of his life. Even Pharaoh knew that Moses was close to God and made prayer request to Moses four times to get relief from some of the plagues. (Exodus 33:11, 17; Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

The Bible makes it clear that God is holy and he wants us to be holy as well. The popular notion that you can believe the facts about the gospel without a change in your character is a wide road that leads to destruction. 

Why would your heavenly father want to allow you to stay in your sin? Is it even possible to agree with God that your sin was so ugly that his son had to pay a huge price to clear you of the charges and then you continue living that way?
2 Corinthians 7:1  Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

1 Peter 2:9  But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Thessalonians 4:7  God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.

Revelation 1:6  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Secularized religion wants you to believe that God loves you and he is okay with your lifestyle but a quick study of God's word will show you differently. "You be you" sounds nice but God's word tells us that you without his help is completely wicked. 

If God approves of your sinful lifestyle so much then Jesus was wasting his time when he left the glory of Heaven. If God is okay with the sins of his people then why did his son confront the religious leaders so harshly and so frequently?
Believers are enabled to grow in holiness on account of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, foreshadowed by the OT sacrificial system, and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
God is holy and he tells us to strive to live up to a higher standard, the "you be you" generation sounds kind and loving but you don't get the final say, we have been told to imitate God in our attitudes and our lifestyle. (Ephesians 5:1-33)

Thank you Lord for my rescue from the kingdom of darkness! Thank you for my gradual transformation to holiness which will be perfected on the day you take me home! Help me understand how easy it is to live for the unholy attitudes and desires of this world.
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Enemy Of God (gotquestions.org)
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Friday, May 13, 2022

Your Ways Are Higher Than Mine

I want mountains to move, You want me to climb.


Video: Your Ways Are Higher Than Mine  | The Collingsworth Family

It's not what I prayed for
It's not what I wanted
It's not something I understand
My circumstances seem so confusing
I'm placing it all in Your hands

Your ways are higher than mine
I want mountains to move
You want me to climb
So I'm gonna trust Your work, 
Your will, and Your time
Your ways are higher than mine

One day I'm sure
I will look back and marvel
At how You knew best all along
You see from Heaven
You know it's the hard times
That make my face steady and strong
Psalm 131:1-3 LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. 2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD— now and always.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Redeemed To Be God's People

God's people are at God's mountain to begin a new relationship with him.


Exodus 19:3-5,8 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 

4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the LORD.

So far the theme of Exodus has been the salvation of God's people, the first eighteen chapters shows us how God redeemed his people from the kingdom of darkness, and now it is time for his redeemed people to learn how to live for him.

God wants to transform his people from a bunch of beaten down former slaves into a Godly nation that will appreciate his blessings enough to worship him and show his goodness to the rest of the world.

Instead of the forced obedience at the hands of their harsh taskmasters in Egypt they needed to learn how to please their redeemer voluntarily. At Mount Sinai, God will make a new covenant that will replace the covenant made to Abraham.

You have seen and you know (Exodus 19:4)
God has done some amazing things to fulfill the promises that he made and to show his people that he loves them. 

They know that the promises made hundreds of years ago to Abraham came true. They know that he just released them from bondage and wiped out their enemy when they crossed the sea on dry ground and they know that God has provided for their physical needs out in the wilderness when there wasn't any natural resources.

God brought them to the place where he predicted, before they left Egypt, that they would come to worship him. (Exodus 3:12) God was true to his word every step of the way despite the attitude of his people.

If you will obey me (Exodus 19:5)
They have an amazing future ahead of them if they get it right, God's people will be here at the mountain for the next eleven months learning about him and how to please him, but with all of this close contact with God they will still struggle to trust and obey.

God's people will act like they are not, they will rebel against all that they have learned about him and behave just like the rest of the world, even with the huge miracles that God performed on their behalf.

You will be my (Exodus 19:5)
God reminds his people of how special they are, the whole earth belongs to him and he could have chosen anything, any place or anybody to be his most prized treasure. But you don't get to be God's people without having a relationship with him and you can't have a relationship with him if you are not pleasing to him.

As God promised Abraham, they have been blessed to be a blessing, their experience with God will be the main revelation of God to the world at that time. If they live by God's rules they will be a holy nation of priest that will be a testimony to the nations of God's goodness and his desire to redeem the entire world just as he redeemed Israel.

We will do everything the LORD has commanded
God's people agree to his covenant, they are officially God's children, as a nation anyway but individually they would each have to put it into practice daily, this is a personal decision they all had to decide for themselves.

We usually look at God's law as a burden but it is celebrated in the Bible, obeying God's law was seen as a source of delight and a blessing, (Psalm 19 and 119) the people enthusiastically committed to obey without complaining. But Moses knew that as good as it seemed at the moment they would fail to keep the the law just like all of us. (Deuteronomy 28:47-48, 31:29)

Moses was the mediator between God and his people, a mediator with many flaws, but thankfully Moses was a type for the perfect mediator that will came. 
1 Peter 2:5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 

1 Peter 2:9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
The ultimate redeemer and mediator has brought us into a place of great privilege, we are called to be holy priest that display God's goodness, but too many of us are living as disobedient children. 

We can be so far short of God's standards that the world has a warped view of God and how to spend eternity with him. If God is truly good then it should be easy to show it so that others will agree upon his goodness and want to get in on what you have. We must remember that we have not been blessed so that we can hide the blessings. 

God's blessings to me are to be used to glorify him and to bless the world around me. I need to live to please him so that the world can see how satisfying life is when it is lived according to God's rules. My life should be as a priest that shows God to the world and lets them know how to live with him for eternity.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Redeemed And Learning To Trust God

The wilderness will teach us to trust God on the way to our promised land.


Exodus 15:13 “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home."

Exodus 16:7-10 In the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?” 8 Then Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us.”

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Announce this to the entire community of Israel: ‘Present yourselves before the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.’” 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.

We recently learned that God's people went from the highest most joyful situation to the most extreme low. One moment the redeemed were rejoicing that they were out of Egypt and the next moment they are regretting that they left. It didn't take long for their memories of the past to look good compared to what they were dealing with at the moment.

God's main goal and purpose for our life is not what we focus on, he doesn't worry about how to provide for our physical necessities, we have the worst time trying to see that God is working and he usually has a good purpose behind our trials.

God was not surprised by any of these circumstances that his people encountered in the wilderness, he showed his power through the plagues and the release of his people from Egypt, he brought thousands of people across the sea on dry ground and had the sea swallow their enemy. 

Despite all of this, there are still questions about God's faithfulness, he should be trusted to continue to help them in the place that he has brought them, but his people have a long way to go in their spiritual journey. This section of the book of Exodus shows us five things that God does to teach us to trust him more. 

How does God provide for our journey home?


1. God test us
God will put you through test to show you what he already knows about you. He already knows what the spiritual MRI is going to show about your heart, he knows about the attitudes, the unbelief and the lack of faith, the test results are for your benefit.

Don't waste the opportunities when you are in the school of faith. It is important that you learn from your test so that you may avoid a retake. When his people grumbled for water the second time they didn't realize that it was a retake and they had failed the test again. (Exodus 15:22-27, 17:1-7)

2. God gives us daily bread 
The sweet bread from Heaven was a foretaste of what they could have when they get to the land of milk and honey. You would think that the promised future that they were reminded of would help them get through the wilderness experience with more finesse.

Having enough to eat today should have helped them trust God with their empty pantries every night. God's rule's stated that they were only allowed to have food in the pantry on the night before the Sabbath, on this one night the food would be preserved for the next day instead of spoiling. (Exodus 16:1-36)

3. God treats us better than we deserve
Praise God that we get what we don't deserve and we don't get what we do deserve! God's goodness to lowly, self righteous, prideful humans is extremely way beyond what we deserve!

The lack of trust started way back in the Garden of Eden and it hasn't gotten any better. It goes against our nature to trust God so each generation has to learn the same lessons that the previous struggled with.

4. God fights for us
The force that God used against their enemies was a foretaste of what he will do when they get to the Promised Land. God will give them victories against mighty forces that they shouldn't to able to defeat without his power. (Exodus 17:8-16, Exodus 14:13)

Anything or any person that weakens your trust in God is your enemy. If it fights against your ability to trust in God and find satisfaction in him then it is pulling you away from him toward something inferior. 

5. God gives wisdom 

An entire nation of selfish people were going to have their share of problems as they make their way to the Promised Land. A multitude of wise counselors would need to help them get along with each other along the way.

Without the wise advise of Jethro, Moses would have burned out and wouldn't have been able to minister to God's people. God's leader was taking on more things, even good things, than he could deal with on a long term basis. (Exodus 18:13-27)
We are too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand.
-Charles Spurgeon
God knows that his people need to learn to trust him on their way to the Promised Land so that they will trust him in the Promised Land for the new challenges they will face there. They would be so much better off when they arrive at the Jordan River if they would have learned to trust God before they got there.

Looking ahead in the story we know that God's people suffered extreme consequences because they didn't trust him to help them take possession of the land. It's a lesson that God's people still have difficulty with today.
Psalm 95:8-9 The LORD says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness. For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did.
Since God has redeemed us and brought us out of slavery to sin we should know that he will provide for us completely until he takes us home. We are concerned more about our daily bread but God wants to focus on growing our trust in him.

Help me Lord to focus on the awesome things that you have done for me and your promises for my future. You gave me an abundant amount of evidence in my past to prove that I should trust you completely until I am home in eternity with you.

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

Redeemed And Regretting

It must confuse the world when God's people lose their joy.


Exodus 15:22-24 Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. 23 When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). 24 Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded.

Exodus 16:1-3 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. 3 “If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”

In the previous post we saw that God's people were redeemed and rejoicing as they stood on the banks of the sea that had just swallowed up their enemies. After hundreds of years living in bondage they were redeemed from the kingdom of darkness! 

God's people just got out of church, it was the best worship service ever, they sang the first praise and worship songs ever and nobody complained that they didn't know the song or that the music was too loud. (Exodus 15:1-21) 

But the best worship service ever wasn't enough to stop them from complaining right after church was over. The amazing things that God did for his people were quickly put aside as they left the worship service. 

The people looked at their situation and quickly turned the amazing things that God did for them around so that it was a curse instead of a blessing. They failed to acknowledge that God's goodness is the reason they are out in the wilderness on their way to his next promise. 

The redeemed and rejoicing so quickly became the redeemed and regretting!

Exodus 16:3 “If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned.
Instead of continuing to praising him they turned into complainers that didn't appreciate what God did for them. They looked back and decided it would be better to be dead back in Egypt than to be dead in the wilderness. 

Say what!?! Either way they would be dead! The fact that they are in the wilderness meant they had experienced God in a bold new way and they should expect that they will see him work for them again. 

Our unmet physical needs are the quickest way to get distracted from what really matters. It is difficult to trust God spiritually when you are doubting that he will provide for you physically. It is easy to see that we need to grow up when our first thought is "What do I get out of this?" rather than "How can I please God in this?"
God Is Sufficient For Our Needs
1. God leads you into places of need so that you will look to Him to meet those needs.
2. When you look to the Lord, you’ll see His grace and glory to be your sufficiency.
3. The manna points to Jesus Christ, the true bread of life that comes down out of heaven to satisfy your soul.
4. You must daily make the effort to lay hold of Christ as bread for your soul.
-From "Raining Bread From Heaven" (bible.org)
God allows us to have unmet needs so that we will learn about him and so we can learn something about ourselves as well. God already knows our heart, so when the ultimate heart doctor gives us a test, it is for our benefit. The test result show us things about ourselves that can be shocking to learn.

The worship service shouldn't be an event that is done for a set amount of time, it should be a lifestyle that continues all week long, but God's people lose their joy so quickly that the rest of the world must get really confused. They can't see God's glory in us and long for what we have because most of the time we don't seem to have much that they should desire to have.

God's people often feel that if they just grumble to a close friend that will be discrete with the information then it's okay but they fail to acknowledge that God hears it all. The Bible tells us four times that while the children of God were whining in the wilderness God was listening to their ungrateful attitude and he wasn't pleased. (Exodus 16:7-12)
Exodus 16:7  In the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?”

Exodus 16:10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.
God used the wilderness experience of Moses to prepare him to lead his people and now the entire nation was going to be in God's wilderness classroom. They would see God's glory just as vividly as Moses did in the burning bush and they would also doubt God just as Moses did. They could see the awesome glory of God but they still couldn't take their eyes off of themselves. 

The people that met Jesus when he came to our world failed just the same. The true daily bread from Heaven miraculously fed thousands from a boy's lunch box and the same people respond to Jesus the next day by focusing on themselves so much that they missed the long awaited Messiah. (John 6:1-71)

We need to appreciate God's goodness toward us even after the emotional high of a big event begins to wear off. We have "crossing the Red Sea" moments in our lives that should change our relationship with God but too often we miss out on truly seeing him, experiencing him and learning from him.

Thank you Lord for your presence in my life! Help me to see your glory in the big moments so that I can learn that you are sufficient for all of my needs. I need to acknowledge that your goodness brought me to this place in life and my wilderness experience is a classroom that I shouldn't complain about.

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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Redeemed And Rejoicing

God's people should be the the most joyful so that the world will see God's glory.


Exodus 14:30-31 That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Exodus 15:1-2  Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

We saw in the previous post that God saved his people from the sting of death that Egypt experienced because of their hard hearts. The Egyptians were finally tired of fighting against God and suffering the consequences so they finally sent God's people away.

In no time Pharaoh was so convinced that he had done the wrong thing that he defied God's will and went after God's people to bring them back into bondage. All of the plagues that ruined the nation, and the death of their sons, did nothing to convince his hard heart that he was not in control.

Pharaoh is a picture of Satan, he has always been against God and God's children, no matter how much evidence is presented, he will never be changed. Satan will go all of the way to the pits of hell refusing to submit to God's authority.

But Pharaoh isn't the only one to think that it is all about him. God's people also needed to learn that they were saved for God's glory. It is hard to understand that Godis in control and he put his people in this situation when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and God was still in control when he moved his people into the land that would someday make them slaves for hundreds of years.

After all of the torture, the hard labor, the beatings and the infanticide of God's people they  have been redeemed from their bondage to a new life of freedom! No wonder they begin to sing!

Sing Because Of What God Has Done


Imagine the fear that is relieved as they see the enemy defeated by God without any effort! The same God that performed the miracles of the plagues back in Egypt has created a dry path through the sea for his people.
Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea.
The Egyptians saw the miracle of the water piling up and ignored it, instead of seeing this supernatural event and giving God the glory they kept moving forward with their plans and they perished. 

Pharaoh drowned the helpless babies of God's people but God drowned Pharaoh's mighty military men. It is a dangerous thing to ignore the evidence when God is at work.

Sing Because Of Who God Is


When God's character is revealed to us through his work in our lives we need to let it be known. How can we see such extreme holiness, goodness and love and be unwilling to sing about him?
Exodus 15:11 “Who is like you among the gods, O LORD— glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?
God's loving kindness to incredibly inferior beings is so amazing. If we have a proper perspective of God and ourselves then we will be so full of joy that we cannot stop singing and dancing. 

Sing Because Of What God Will Do


God has both the desire and the power to do exceedingly great things for us so we can count on him to be on our side no matter how rough life is. His love for us compels him to good works on our behalf despite our lack of faith and loyalty to him.
Exodus 15:13 “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home.
No matter what we do, no matter what the world does, God will guide his redeemed children to our sacred home! We long to get there soon but we don't get to go straight away to the promised land, we will also wonder around in the wilderness struggling to know why we are there.

As God's children learned more about him, they failed to put what they learned into practice, they didn't rely on him very well even though he was all that they had. They would be fearful as they looked at their circumstances and whined to God for help.
Revelation 15:1-4 Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion. 2 I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were all holding harps that God had given them.

3 And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”
The song of Moses will be sung again someday in a much better place. God's children have a glorious future as we look forward to the ultimate fulfillment of our redemption when we will live with him for eternity. All of the longings to be free from the effects of sin, all of the tears and sorrow will be gone forever as we live in his presence singing his praises! (Colossians 1:11-14, Revelation 21:3-4)

How can I resist breaking out in song as I rejoice about his incredible favor that I could never earn? The question is not, “Has God given me a voice?” but “Has God given me a song?” 

If God has redeemed you then you should be rejoicing as you look back toward the kingdom of darkness on the other side of the Red Sea. A song of victory should be your response as you stand there looking back at the sea that just swallowed up your enemies!

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