Action

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 3:1-14; 4:1-15  (day three)

“I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”  If the universe had a beginning, something other than the universe must necessarily exist in order to have made that beginning possible.  And that “something other” must necessarily have the ability to decide to initiate the universe.  That ability is called will, which means the “something other” is a personal being.  If you’ll believe it, the Bible reveals the personal being is God.  There is nothing that inherently prevents the spiritual realm from continuing to interact with the physical realm.  God interacts with the world.  Regularly.  Moses saw it, paid attention, acted, led a people out of slavery, and built a nation from which came Jesus Christ.  God acts in history now.  The Bible tells you specifically how this goes.  So read.  Heed.  Act accordingly.

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Who Am I?

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 3:1-14; 4:1-15  (day two)
“Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you.” vs. 11-12a

Notice God’s reply to Moses? He doesn’t answer the question that was posed, does he? Perhaps in a nod to how Jesus will counter the seeming unending questions from believers and non-believers alike, God carefully focuses Moses attention on what really mattered. There is a tremendous amount of hope in these two verses. God unequivocally states that who you are makes no difference to him. It’s not about you. Alone, you will not accomplish this task. But…GOD WILL BE WITH YOU! The task he is assigning to you is one that will happen with God’s help. Not of your design, skill, or effort, but by his grace and power through you. Has he called you to action? Rest assured he will not leave you alone to see it through.

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Still looking

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 3:1-14; 4:1-15 (day one)
“When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from the [burning] bush.”–v 4.

It is a common and crushing condition of the human heart.  We get so defeated, we stop looking for God, for answers.  We grow cynical, negative.  Past disappointments seem larger than future hope.  We aren’t even curious anymore.  In Exodus 3, Moses is man who has experienced significant disappointment.  Some of it self-inflicted.  Even so, he retains a hope that God is alive and active in the world.  When he sees a burning-but-not-consumed bush, he goes to investigate.  God honors this resilient hope, this curiosity and speaks to him.  What about you, friend?  Are you still looking for answers for yourself and your family and your nation?  Or, has your heart grown calloused and unbelieving?  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for”Hebrews 11:1.  Did you wake today with hope?  Are you still looking for God?

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Bitter, not bitter

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day seven)
“They made their lives bitter. . . in all their hard labor, the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.”-v 14.

God comes to people in trouble.  This is the gospel, the good news.  Life is often not fair.  People can be cruel.  Know anyone who is bitter about life?  Only God offers a way out.  The book of Exodus is both history (Israel) and symbol (church) of God’s actions/principles that set people free from slavery and misery.  Reading it, our eyes should see His offer of grace to us.  THEY were slaves in Egypt.  WE were slaves to sin.  He sent THEM Moses.  He sends US Christ.  THEY wiped the blood of a lamb over their doors and were “passed over”.  WE trust the blood of Christ on the cross and we are “passed over” as well.  Make no mistake, this book is not only about Israel.  It is about us and God’s promise to lead us out of bitterness.

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Rejoicing in Hope

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day six)

If we had never read this book before we would immediately be unsettled by the injustice against the Hebrew people; the slavery and drowning of innocents. Yet, right from the beginning we would see a glimmer of hope. From the beginning we set our hopes on a baby. We don’t know what he will do or how he will do it, but we know somehow he will right the wrongs and set the captives free. Our hearts are drawn to hope. We need hope. It is hope that pulls us into the next chapter, and not just the book of Exodus, but in our own lives.

The birth of a baby boy in Exodus 2 gives us hope in the present. The announcement reminds us that God is not blind to injustice, or our spiritual condition, or our situation. Not only does He know, but He acts; He ignites movements of abolition in the most unlikely and extraordinary places. The birth of a baby boy sets our sights on a greater historical movement of restoration and freedom, the birth of His very own Son Jesus. So, wherever you find yourself today, take hope that God is on the move and has been from the beginning to lift you up out of brokenness and bondage, to lead you to a future hope of peace and reconciliation.

Rejoice with us!

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Pray/Pause

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day five)

Pause Front Logo

Today marks the beginning of Freedom Weekend.  Over a hundred teens from across the city will gather in homes for a weekend designed to gather them around God’s Word in study and community.

The theme/emphasis is “Pause”.  Research shows that with the flood of information, images, and messages that daily cross their eyes, ears, and minds, this younger generation has a tougher time focusing and attaining significant depth in their thinking and processing.  They are masters at multi-tasking.

The scripture prescribes a different kind of attention needed for spiritual thinking and growth.  “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Will you Pray for these teenagers this weekend?  Will you ask the Holy Spirit to give them a hunger to know God and to carve out moments where they set aside activity and distraction to learn and listen to the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures?

If it’s true for teens, it’s true for adults.  Will YOU Pause each day to listen, to learn, to know God ?

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Fear God

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day four)
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?  Shiphrah and Puah were in a bad predicament.  Pharoah had ordered them as Hebrew midwives to kill all of the Hebrew boys in birth.  The penalty for disobeying Pharoah would certainly be death, but scripture says in verse 1:17 that “the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them… “  Their plan was to tell Pharoah that because the Hebrew women were vigorous, they delivered before the midwives could get there.  God was good to them.  Verse 21 says, “because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.”  These ladies feared God more than man.  Do we?  How many times have we failed to share a witness with someone because we were afraid of what they might think of us?  We fear the persecution, scorn, or ridicule of man more than we fear God and His command to share the Gospel.  May we overcome our fear and be bold in our witness…I love it when a plan comes together!

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Big

Re: Verse reading—Exodus 1:8-2:10 (day three) 
“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do.”

The saving of the lives of babies in the midst of a campaign of genocide was dangerous work in the face of the absolute power of the Pharaoh.  But these women came to the task with courage and not a little savvy.  Did they make it up as they went?  They might have felt like it at times.  Here’s what we can know: Given the existence of two powers—God and Pharaoh—one of the powers had to give, and the midwives understood that it wouldn’t be God.  With that large thought firmly in mind, they proceeded to work out what that would mean for how they lived from day to day.  We would do well to think as big.

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Growing

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day two) But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread…1:12

Some of us do our best work when we face a deadline or some kind of pressure to finish. There is some kind of inborn fire that ignites when our back is to the wall and we must either succeed or fail. It is interesting that we don’t always use the same zeal when it comes to our faith. Consider the Israelites, brought from starvation to plenty through Joseph’s position and the Lord’s provision, they were now a large people group that caused Egyptian leadership to worry. As a result they were forced into slavery, forced labor. From plenty to hardship within a few generation. But rather than fade into obscurity, the people of Israel thrived and grew. Oppression brought courage, faith, and growth. They were a still a long way from the promised land, and had much to endure before their journey’s end, but they did not allow hardship to overcome them. May the same be said of us.

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In Season and Out

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 1:8-22, 2:1-10 (day one) 
“Then a new king, who did not know Joseph, came to power in Egypt.”1:8.

When Jacob’s family came to Egypt, they were in an advantageous position.  Joseph (son/brother/uncle to the clan) was in a place of power.  They enjoyed protection and favor.  200 years later, the situation rapidly changed.  With the rise of a new dynasty in Egypt, the Israelites fell from favor.  American Christians may feel a similar shift in play.  A few years ago, our faith was appreciated/protected, even by those who disagreed.  Today the winds of suspicion and criticism have blown in with chilling effect.  But God is not hindered.  Despite Egyptian opposition, He patiently and powerfully accomplishes His purposes.  Protects His people, plans the way forward, asks for their trust.  “Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season.”–2 Timothy 4:2.  Times change.  God doesn’t.  When it is popular, and when it isn’t, He calls us to trust  and obey Him.

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