Saturday, June 19, 2021

Men Of God

The man that God is looking for is just what your family needs most.


Joshua 24:15 But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

The famous mandate that Joshua made to the people of God seems like a simple choice when you consider the alternatives. God's people had exposure to many different gods before this ultimatum was give, first the gods of Egypt and then the gods of the Canaanite people, they saw the failures of the gods so you would think that they would make the right choice.

God's people had witnessed the fact that the other gods had no power to save themselves or the people that believed in them. The God of Israel had brought victory to his people that no other gods could accomplish. He brought them out of Egypt with loads of gifts and then he gave them victories to fulfill the promise to give them land.

God's people found out that the victories of yesterday are not a guarantee for tomorrow, making the right choice isn't a one and done situation, deciding who we will serve is a daily decision. If we don't make a deliberate choice then we will be stuck with one of the default choices, anything that we love more than God. 

God Is Looking For: 

  • Men that will lead their family by making a stand similar to the one that Joshua made. 
  • Men that will exert influence on others without worry of what others may think.
  • Men that will say "You do what you want to do but as for me and my family." 
  • Men that will get rid of their idols and let God be God. 
  • Men that will serve Him in sincerity and faithfulness. 
The "Man of God" devotional by Charles Stanley tells us what your family is looking for that only you can provide with God's help.

Your family needs:

  • A man that will be the family’s spiritual leader. 
  • A man that will allow God to lead him. 
  • A man that is aware of the spiritual needs of his family.
  • A man that is alert to opportunities for service.
  • A man that is available to share himself with others.
  • A man that is willing to protect his family
God is looking for men that will live for him so that they can lead their family well. A man that will provide for their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. It's a lot to ask a man to be so much for his family but if we become the men that God is looking for then we will have his power to help us succeed even through our imperfections.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Promise Keeping God

God's promises are sure in the most difficult situations.


Exodus 1:5-8 In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there. 6 In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. 

7 But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land. 8 Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

The last few chapters of the book of Genesis seem like a story where the good guy and his family are rescued and you might think that they all live happily ever after. But if you keep on reading your Bible you will see in the very next book that this idea couldn't be further from the truth. 

It looks like God is blessing his people as they settle down in Egypt, they have political favor, the Egyptians are thankful for the contribution that Joseph has made to their country, they are living in the best part of the country, have plenty of food and they are making plenty of babies. What could go wrong?

It didn't take very long before they lost favor politically and then it was all down hill from there. The memory of the goodness of God to Egypt through Joseph eventually faded away and the good times and blessings that God's people enjoyed in Egypt had all disappeared. 

God's people will soon learn that when our lives are full of comfort and we feel like we are blessed with the things that the world has to offer it can make us willing to settle for lesser blessings when God is attempting to move us up to his best.

That's where Satan wants God's people to live, just short of the full promises of God, he doesn't want them to enjoy all of God's promises that he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The pleasures and comforts of Egypt were a sure way for God's people to be okay with living short of their full potential.
Genesis 3:15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
The promises of God have been attacked by Satan since the original promise back in Genesis 3:15. Throughout the rest of Genesis there was always opposition to the promise but it became worse after God committed himself to one person's descendants, after God chose Abraham's family to be his people, Satan knew where to focus his efforts. In the book of Exodus we see the attack continue.

As soon as God's people multiply enough to become a great nation they become persecuted. But Pharaoh doesn't realize who is in charge and he certainly doesn't believe that his actions are being used for God's purposes. Pharaoh doesn't know that he is going to be used by God to accomplish God's promises to his people.

As life in Egypt becomes uncomfortable the people will long for God's promised land where they would be delivered from their oppression. As we study the book of Exodus we will see that their wait will last for hundreds of years without a word from God. 

What if you waited your whole life for God to do something? What if your children and grandchildren passed away and God still hasn't spoken and things continue to get worse? It reminds me the words of the prophet in my post "Why Doesn't God Do Something?":
Habakkuk 1:2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 
More often that we want, God's people must wait for him to keep his promises in his timing and through the means that he wants to use. It has been 400 years since God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan and it would be 80 more years until Moses led them out of Egypt. But after all of that they still wouldn't get to the land on the express route.

We want God to work on our timetable, the only time we like God to be slow is when we want him to be "slow to anger" when we sin. It is very difficult for those of us that are stuck in a finite world to deal with the perceived slowness of an infinite God. From our point of view, his promises seem to be failing in so many different areas that we begin to lose hope.
Psalms 33:10-12  The LORD frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.  11  But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.  12  What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
Satan has used circumstances, things and people (even Godly people) throughout the ages in a failed attempt to outdo God. A famine, an evil government and the false gods of Egypt will not be enough to stop our promise keeping God. God's people that were stuck in Egypt could count on the covenant promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We have no reason to doubt the promises of God for our future as well. God's word is very clear that he is in charge, he has a plan and his plan will not fail despite all of Satan's efforts.
Hebrews 10:23,35 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!
Since God protected his promise to redeem us by protecting the lineage of our Savior, I can be sure that he will also come again to take me to my eternal home.
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The Slowness Of God's Ways (christianstudylibrary.org)

Friday, April 30, 2021

American Gospel

Too many want to embrace God's promises after death without obeying him in this life.


1 John 2:4-5  If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.  But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.

1 John 3:4-8  Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.  And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.  Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. 

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.  But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

American citizens are prone to think of themselves as God's people and future residents of Heaven but way too many of us are not basing their beliefs on what God and Jesus said about the people that will be in Heaven.

The idea that you can know about Jesus and what he did without allowing it to have an affect on how you live is a very American way of viewing the gospel but it is not the gospel that the Bible tells us about. It doesn't take a Bible degree to see the truth that so many are missing.

The fact that so many believe the wrong thing about their eternal future proves that way to many of us haven't examined the Bible to see that their thinking is obviously wrong. The Bible never teaches us to believe without being changed into someone new that looks obviously different from the rest of the world.

Jesus Tells Us:

Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

Matthew 18:3  Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Luke 6:46  “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

John 14:15  “If you love me, obey my commandments.

John 14:23-24  Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.  Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

John 15:14  You are my friends if you do what I command.

The First Church Leaders Tell Us:

Romans 12:1-2  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15  Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

1 Peter 1:13-15 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Titus 1:16  Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
Too many people want to embrace God's promises after death without doing what he told us to do in this life. God has made it clear that his people that love him will also want to please him just like we want to please the people around us that we love.

Too many of us are working to gain all of the pleasures and satisfaction that the world has to offer without considering the end result. We can gain the whole world and enjoy every pleasure that it has to offer but what eternal value does it have?
1 John 2:17  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
The Bible makes it clear that I am not saved because I live the right way but it is equally clear that if I truly love God and believe in the work of Jesus through his death and resurrection then I will not be able to live a life that displeases God. The character traits of Jesus will gradually become a greater part of who I am.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Exalted By God

God's favorite people to use are usually the most unlikely.


Genesis 41:37-40 Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. 40 You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.”

Most of us can relate to the story of Joseph, we have all been loved and yet also hated and just like Joseph it seems like hate is winning most of the time. When Joseph's story begins he is the favorite son and he has prophecies from God predicting his great destiny but then his brothers hatred for him begins a long downward spiral.

Everything looks good until he is betrayed by his brothers, first they want to kill him but then they decide to sell him for the price of a slave, it is the first of three times that Joseph is betrayed, after his brothers it would be Potiphar's wife and then the cup bearer.  They all seemed to have their own agenda and Joseph wasn't included. 

This story bothers us but it is a great lesson for us to remember in our life story. We like to think that good things happen to good people but from the very first book of the Bible God shows us that it doesn't work that way. The Bible proves to us that when things don't go as easy as we want them too, that is a good thing that God has sent your way, the school of faith has opened and you have been enrolled. 

Joseph is just as blind as Job was to the reasons for his miserable suffering, the Book of Job tells us that Job is "blameless— a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil" but that isn't enough to ensure that Job would live without trouble and as good as Joseph is he also had his share of problems.

Just like Job, Joseph probably wasn't aware that God was using him to bring him glory even when it looked like he didn't even have the favor of God. Joseph was down and out without any explanation from God for 22 years, he could have assumed by his circumstances that God didn't like him and his visions of greatness were just crazy dreams. (Genesis 37:1-11)
God brings his own promise to the brink of failure, only to show that he has been in charge all along.
It is easy to forget that God's favorite people to use are the ones that seem to be the least likely. The world will tear you down and remind you of why you can't be used by God but his normal way of doing things is usually to allow things to look impossible so that when he steps in we are reminded that he is in control. God is looking past your hurts, habits and hang-ups to surprise everybody for his glory.
Genesis 50:19-20 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Joseph gives us a glimpse of Jesus thousands of years before the prophecy of his birth was fulfilled. They both forgave those that wronged them, they were exalted after suffering and their suffering was the vehicle that God used to save his people.

God was not surprised by the evil that happened in Joseph's life, God wasn't caught off guard and think to himself "how can I use that for good," God is in control of everything and it is all being used by God for his purpose. 

God may leave me in the dark about what he is doing but that's okay. I know that he can be trusted with every detail of my life knowing that it will all be used for his glory and for my good. Part of him receiving glory is found in the work of making me into a new, exalted creation that looks more like him as I study his word and apply it to my life. (Romans 8:29-30)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Betrayed By Man

Through Joseph's story we get a glimpse of Jesus.


Genesis 37:2-4 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. 

3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph— a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 

We have learned a lot about God in the recent post in the book of Genesis, we have seen through the life of Jacob that God is in control and that he takes care of his people. We have seen God promise, prepare, prosper and provide for his people despite the mistakes that they make.

The blessings of the birthright were taken from Reuben because he sinned against his father but instead of the next oldest, the son that received the rights was the second to the last born son. Maybe Joseph was chosen because he is the first born son of Rachel, the wife that Jacob thought that he married at his first wedding, or maybe it was just because Jacob liked him more.

You may come to the conclusion that Joseph is a spoiled brat because of the favoritism, it seems that the fancy coat may have been a symbol of Jacob's decision to give the birthright to Joseph, Jacob has put his son in a situation that is very similar to the situation in his parents home. 

Favoritism destroyed Jacob's family and he was forced to run away from home because of it. Jacob was forced to run from Esau but Joseph would have to leave by force because his brothers were ruthless. It seems that his brothers were as immoral as the Canaanites that were around them. (Genesis 37:1-4) Joseph's willingness to inform his father about his brothers may have been the motivation for sending him to check on them while they were away from home. (Genesis 37:12-14)

It seems that Joseph is headed for greatness, he has the birthright, instead of the clothing of a shepherd he has the fancy coat that a ruler would wear and to top it all off he has God given dreams predicting his rise to a powerful position. What could go wrong?

Betrayed By His Family

Genesis 37:18-36

Joseph’s older brothers are a bunch of rowdy guys who slaughtered a whole village because one guy raped their sister. The Canaanite moms in the household, the maids of Rachel and Leah, may have had a very negative influence on all of the brothers. The family tree can be seem here.

God's people have always had a difficult time being in this world but not of it. You could speculate that the slavery in Egypt was God's way of separating his people from the Canaanites until the day of judgment when the Canaanites would be destroyed. 

How could God use his people to judge the Canaanites if his people looked just like them?

Betrayed By The World

Genesis 39:1-23

What looks like the obvious conclusion may be the furthest from the truth. In this situation, Potiphar thought that he had been betrayed by Joseph when in fact it was his wife that betrayed both of them.

Joseph was about eleven years old when his sister was raped. This may have been part of the reason that he had such an intense reaction to the advances of Potiphar's wife. Joseph knew the devastating effects that sexual sin could have and he didn't want any part of it.

Betrayed By A Friend

Genesis 40:1-23

The only thing that Joseph asked the cupbearer to do when his dream came true was to put in a good word for him. This guys life was spared and he couldn't remember the guy that predicted that it would happen.

Joseph was always the favorite, it make me think that he really wasn't a spoiled brat, he went from being a favorite in his father's house to being a favorite in Potiphar's house and then he became a favorite with the prison warden. Spoiled brats don't usually have that much success at making friends and influencing people. 

But having man's favor doesn't last when you are living for God. If Joseph had shared the values of his brothers or Potiphar's wife things would have gone much better for him from man's perspective.
Genesis 39:2, 21 The Lord was with Joseph
But even if man turned against him, Joseph knew that he was in the presence of God which resulted in receiving the blessings of God. Living for God proves to be the best way even if it means living in a situation that looks like you are being punished. The difficulty we encounter may make us question God's presence and we may forget that his presence is always accompanied with his blessings.
2 Timothy 3:12  Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Through Joseph's story we get a glimpse of Jesus. The dearly loved son was a shepherd of his fathers flocks, he was sent to his brothers that hated him, they took his robe and sold him for the price of a slave. The father suffered the loss of his favorite son because the son was wrongly accused. The son was placed with two other prisoners which included one that was saved and the other one lost.
I know you may be disappointed where you are. I know you may be unhappy where you are, but I want you to look beyond where you are and thank God for where He's going to take you.
-Tony Evans
Joseph would overcome it all to become God's man that was prepared for God's purpose but for now he is still in prison. This story bothers us because we want good things to happen to good people but the reality is that God is using the good and the bad to shape us and most importantly to accomplish his purpose.

Thank you Lord for your interest in me and allowing me to be a part of your plans. Help me to realize that you are working all thing for my good and for your glory.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Help Us To Love

God help me to love the way that you love me.



Video: Tori Kelly - Help Us To Love

There's a love so high (that you cannot get over)
That same love's so wide (it'll take forever just to get 'round it)
But love died somewhere
Behind that cross you wear, you're afraid when you look at me
That ain't real love
Not the kind from above, hmm

But there's a friend of mine (that stays closer than a brother)
Oooh, love laid down his life (so why do we still fight one another?)
All this hate I see on the TV screen
In my country 'tis of thee
(God help us to love) to love the way that you love me
Hmmm, God help us to love the way that you love me, oh oh

This world is weeping, hurting, broken and begging for change
Oh yeah
But still we marching, praying, dying, and things stay the same
When will we see?
Till everyone's free
There'll never be peace between you and me

God, your love is the cure
For the rich and the poor
God, please will you open our eyes?
'Cause I want a love so high (that you cannot get over)
Ooh, I want a love so wide (it'll take forever just to get 'round it)
No, no, no, no, no
But it don't come cheap
It takes everything to make love more than a dream

God help us to love (God help us to love)
God help us to love (this world needs your love)
We need your love (what we need now is love)
Fill us with your love, Lord (unconditional love)
We need your love (rain down on us, your love)
Oh, we need your love (fill us please with your love)
God help me to love the way that you love me
God's Love Must Be Shared
2 Corinthians 5:14-15  Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.  15  He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

1 Peter 4:8  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Hebrews 6:10-11  For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.  11  Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

Friday, April 02, 2021

It Should Have Been Me

It should have been me in the darkness, that felt the pain, but I'm free!



Video: Jeremy Camp - It Should have Been Me

It should've been me
With arms open
It should've been me
That was torn
It should've been me
I was broken

It should've been me
It should've been me
Mercy mercy heard my cry
Mercy mercy saved my life

You carried all of my burdens
You took them all to that grave
I know You didn't deserve it
But You took my place

You traded hope for my hurting
You bore the weight of my shame
I know You didn't deserve it
And I know it should've been me
I can't believe it

It should've been me
In the darkness
It should've been me
That felt the pain

It should've been me
Brokenhearted
It should've been
It should've been me
But I'm free

You carried all of my burdens
You took them all to that grave
I know You didn't deserve it
But You took my place

You traded hope for my hurting
You bore the weight of my shame
I know You didn't deserve it
And I know it should've been me
I can't believe it
I can't believe it

No longer dirty
No longer afraid
I am no captive
I am no slave, no longer guilty
No longer in chains
Hallelujah
I'm free

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

1 Peter 2:22-25 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
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What does it mean that Jesus took our place? (gotquestions.org)

Monday, March 29, 2021

One Solitary Life

Have you ever considered the impact that this one person made in our world?



He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never traveled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born

He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress

All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Dr. James Allan Francis 1926

Our world is a messed up place but it would be so much worse if it wasn't for the influence of this one solitary life. Before Jesus stepped into our world the evil, barbaric condition of mankind was so much worse, we think it is bad now but injustice and hate were at much higher levels in society before Jesus than we have today.

He didn't have a blog or social media, he didn't have a talk show or become a star in Hollywood and he certainly wasn't a politician but his influence on our world is huge. Maybe you have never considered how much different the world would be without him.

It makes me wonder why we spend so much time listening to the people that have any of those things going for them. The people that read the news to us or sing songs or play games in sports or politics are nobody special.

So many of them think that they have the answers and we need to hear what they are because they are special and they are enlightened. We allow these people to elevate themselves and pretend to be relevant to the latest social issues that the media is focusing on. 

The problem with these enlightened people is they are here today and gone tomorrow and then they are replaced by a new group of enlightened people that are supposed to be more relevant than the previous ones. As Pastor Timothy Keller once said, todays wise people always think themselves to be wiser that the ones before the.

Wouldn't we be better off if we found out what this one man said and did? 

He made some outrageous claims that should not be ignored because if they are true then we will be in serious trouble. God wants us to dig into his word so we can understand who Jesus is and what he has done for those that believe.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I Am

Jesus claims to be everything that your heart is longing for.


John 8:28  So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM He. I do nothing on My own but say only what the Father taught Me.

John 10:30-33  The Father and I are one."  31  Once again the people picked up stones to kill Him.  32  Jesus said, "At My Father's direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone Me?"  33  They replied, "We're stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God."

John 18:4-6  Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward to meet them. "Who are you looking for?" He asked.  5  "Jesus the Nazarene," they replied. "I AM He," Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed Him, was standing with them.)  6  As Jesus said "I AM He," they all drew back and fell to the ground!

If your opinion of Jesus is that he is a good man and nothing more then you probably have not checked out the Bible for yourself. The Bible is crystal clear that Jesus is not just a mere man.

Jesus told us clearly who he is, in my study of the "I Am" statements made by Jesus it has became more clear to me than ever before, Jesus wasn't trying to hide his identity or his mission for being with us.
 
In all of the "I Am' statements Jesus is claiming to be everything that we have ever needed and everything that we will need for this world and for all of eternity. What an incredible thought, that the one that knows me, loves me and provides so abundantly for me!

You can have all this world just "Give Me Jesus!" I love that song, it sums it all up for me, while the world is begging me to find what I need in a thousand other places, I know that there is only one place to get it all.
I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life
Jesus answers important questions that have eternal consequences.

I Am The Gate
There is only one way to get to the safe place of rest that God offers his sheep.

I Am The Vine
God planted a new vine and he tends to it so it will be fruitful.

Light Of The World
The Bible proves that Jesus is the light that we need.

I Am The Good Shepherd
Jesus provides outstanding care and protection for his sheep.

I Am The Resurrection
Jesus predicted the events surrounding his death to make it obvious that he is the promised Messiah.

I Am The Real Bread
Jesus came to satisfy our soul not our body.
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Friday, March 19, 2021

God Provides For His People

Prayer helps us rely on God to take care of us.


Genesis 32:9-12 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac— O LORD, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ 

10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! 

11 O LORD, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. 12 But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”

The childhood and early adult life of Jacob was such a mess that it produced a young man that would have a difficult time overcoming his upbringing. We can see part of his personality before he was born as he struggled with his brother in the womb. It is too bad that his parents didn't mold him and help him use his aggressive, outgoing personality for good but instead their actions only made him worse.

Despite his dysfunctional upbringing and his lack of godly character he still inherited the promises of God that began with Abraham and Isaac. Jacob was forced to leave home empty handed and all alone as he dealt with the consequences of cheating his brother.

God would use this time away from home to shape Jacob and prepare him for his future role in God's plans. He would have success and he would fail but God still prospered Jacob as he promised.

In todays scripture we see some progress in Jacob's spiritual journey, he is on a journey back to his physical home because God told him to go back, we can see some small amount of growth in his reaction to the news that his brother is on the way to see him but he still has a long way to go.

Jacob's fear of his brother drove him to pray and then immediately into implementing a plan of action. It seems to be the prayer of a weak, unbelieving man with little faith in the outcome. This guy is familiar with God, he knows his character and he has his great promises for the future but he still seems to be praying in desperation.

Jacob Prayed For God's Help Based On:

God's Covenant

The promises given to Abraham have been reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob. Notice that Jacob approached God on the basis of the old covenant but we approach on the basis of the new covenant.

God's Command

When God told Jacob to go back home it probably wasn't so that he could be killed by his brother. The will of God will never lead us where the power of God can't protect and provide for us.

God's Care

There was a history now of God's protection and care for Jacob, God has been working on Jacob's character for twenty years now, I don't think that God will let that go to waste.

God's Purpose

Esau's anger could not hinder God's purpose and plan for Jacob and his descendants, especially for Judah (Jesus lineage), Levi (the lineage of the priest and the Apostle Paul (from the tribe of Benjamin).

God's Promise

Jacob needs to review the promises made by God at Bethel. He should know by now that God's promises will come to pass. (Genesis 28:12-15)

We need to know that we can't mess up God's plans and purposes in our lives even if our trust and faith in him is weak. God uses the consequences of our success and our failures to help us grow closer to him.

Our prayers are an indicator of the state of our heart, if we struggle in our own strength to overcome our problems after we prayed about something then we have trust issues with the only one that we can fully trust without any doubts.

Thank you Lord for hearing my prayers despite my little faith. Help me to rely on you to sustain and protect me from anything that comes my way.