Monthly Archives: August, 2013

What Seemed Impossible

There are some promises we cannot even fathom. In Exodus 3:21, God promises to do something that Moses surely must have questioned at least a tiny bit. At this point in time the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. They were being abused. They were in no way looked at favorably. Why on earth would the Egyptians give anything of value to the Hebrew slaves?

Anyone in that situation would have found it hard to see something on a far different level. I am sure a homeless man living on a street corner would not believe someone who told them that in a few weeks they would be moving into a penthouse, or even that they would have a home at all. This seems as something impossible.

But we serve a God who does the impossible. God made this promise to Moses and later it would come true. The Egyptians wanted to be rid of the Israelites so badly. They gave them gifts. It happened just as God promised. Today, as things might look impossible—trust in the promises of God. Remember that He is a God of the impossible and if He has made a promise, He will see that it comes to be just as He said.

“And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.” – Exodus 3:21 [NLT]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Advertisements

You Must

We don’t often feel compelled to do things for God. Most people think that God is supposed to do something for them. How many people pray, Lord what can I do through You today? How many people pray, asking the Lord for things? There is most likely a big difference.

God doesn’t need us. God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him. We cannot help Him with things. But He does call us to do things in life. We shouldn’t think that these “things” we are called to do in life are optional. As a child of God, we should desire to do these things. We should be asking what we can do through Him, rather than delivering Him a grocery list type prayer every day.

In today’s verse, God tells Moses, “You must.”  It did not mean that God couldn’t do things another way. It did not mean that Moses was being forced into anything. This was God’s calling on Moses’ life. This was God’s plan coming to play—how God could shine through Moses. Today, what “must” you do?

“Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” – Exodus 3:10 [NLT]

 

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Children’s Ministry Lesson: Creation Cube

I am doing a lesson on Genesis 1 – Creation. I am going to start off showing the children the cross paper and discuss how God knew at the very beginning that we would need a Savior. Then I am going to transition into a discussion on Creation and we are going to cut out our crosses. I am going to read from Genesis 1 and review Creation. As we progress through each day, we will fill in a box on the cross by drawing something that represents what God created on that particular day. After the 6th day, we will fold our cross into a cube and tape it together. Then we will finish with Day 7. Finally, we will split into groups and take turns rolling our cube and sharing something amazing about that day of creation. Afterward, we will gather together and review.

Image

For the cross pattern, simply measure 8 inches by 2 inches rectangular on a vertical sheet of paper. Then draw a line every two inches so that the squares are 2″ x 2″. Then at the second square from the top, put a square (2″ x 2″) on both the left and right side.

When you cut out the cross, fold up the sides at the mid square section and then fold the extra square (the bottom square) up. Use tape to hold the sides together.

This lesson allows the children to use their creativity while learning about Creation.

 

Looking Around

In Exodus 2, we read about Moses committing murder. Verse 12 mentions how Moses looked around in all directions before acting. The NIV states: “Looking this way and that and seeing no one.” Moses knew what he was doing was wrong. In the same way, we sometimes look around to see if anyone is watching before we do something we know we shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

We cannot hide anything from God so why do we look around? Do we look around in hopes that no one else will see what we are about to do? Do we care what people think? Are we already feeling guilty for something we have prepared to do in our hearts? No matter the case, when we are looking around before we are doing something, perhaps we should not be doing it—perhaps we should consider doing something else.

If you catch yourself looking around today, take a step back and ask yourself why you are looking around. Ask yourself what is guiding your steps.

“After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.” – Exodus 2:12 [NLT]

 

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Ram in the Bush

We do not always know where God is leading us and we certainly cannot predict the future. We are to walk in faith, trusting that God is faithful. When Abraham was tested, he was told to sacrifice his son Isaac, and Abraham went forward guided by his faith. God had promised Abraham many descendents. God had promised Abraham blessing. Abraham trusted God and pressed forward.

When it was time to sacrifice Isaac, an angel of the Lord called out to Abraham, telling him not to go forward with the sacrifice. When Abraham looked up, he saw a ram in the bush. God had provided the sacrifice that Abraham needed. In verse 8, Abraham had told Isaac: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (NIV). God surely provided with this ram.

If you are going through something right now and you are wondering if things will be okay—remember that God always has a ram in the bush. You might be expecting something different. You might not know what to expect. You might be too exhausted to even look—but the ram is there. God always provides what we need to get done with what we are called to do for Him. Live expecting that ram.

“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.” – Genesis 22:13 [NLT]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

No Other Way

My neighbor recently got a dog who always wants to leave his designated area to come say hello to my dog. Each day he tries to walk off his master’s porch, walk down the pavement, and join Max. Since he was unable to find any success choosing the way of the stairs, he decided to sneak around another way. When Max and I approached, his master looked for his puppy in the usual area; however, he wasn’t there. He was already at some bushes making his way toward Max from another route.

We often think we can take another way to get to a destination. We have shortcuts and back roads. There are times when we can skip steps and save time. But when it comes to our relationship with God, there are no back roads, no shortcuts; there is no way to skip any steps.

I was reminded of John 10:1 when I saw the dog sneak around the gate. In this verse, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!” There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus, and there is only one way to receive Eternal Life, only one way to have a relationship with God—through Jesus.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6 [NIV]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Always Be Ready

When my daughter thought I was returning at one time, but I was returning a bit earlier, she decided to put her chores off till later in the day. To her surprise, she did not hear the correct time and since she put off her chores, I returned before she even started the work she was assigned. As I walked into the kitchen, she immediately said, “I didn’t know you were coming home already” and she began running to quickly do her chores.

If she would have not put off doing her chores, she might have had some or all of them accomplished before I returned. She was only off a few hours from the actual time I was going to return, which meant she was waiting till the last minute to prepare herself for my return.  This is so like those who are not prepared for the return of Jesus. We don’t know the time of His return, but we do know that He is coming. We have a task set before us and we should not be found pushing things off thinking he will be awhile.

In Matthew 25, the bridgegroom took a long time to arrive so people began to tire and fall asleep. Some of the virgins were wise and had oil, while others were foolish and had none. Eventually the bridegroom came and to the people who were not prepared came the punishment of not being allowed entrance to the wedding feast. It is so important to always be ready.

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” – Matthew 25:13 [NLT]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Both the Same

As I was reading Job, I could not help but stop on the phrase, but both are buried in the same dust” because I think it is something forgotten by so many people today. You do not have to look around much to see people who think that they are better than others. The world is full of people who think that they are better than other people. If we look at society, we will find that many people feel they deserve the world handed to them on a silver platter. The world owes them something. If the person gets something, it’s something they deserved or earned. If someone else gets something, they got lucky or were blessed.

Having the mindset that we deserve everything we get or a mindset that we are better than someone else, we fail to remember our true origin, Who is in control, nor the Truth of true prosperity and the true “good life.”

There will be people who are well off, people who have a lot of money and will die as a person who was considered successful and secure. There will also be people who are very poor, people who do not get to see the earthly “good life” and seem to suffer from one thing to the next. There are two important items to remember with this passage. Everyone dies. Not everyone will understand the true Good Life—the true meaning of prosperity. Today, consider how we are all the same and the true meaning of prosperity. No one is better than the other—and no one is saved from the grave except through the blood of Christ.

“One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same maggots.” – Job 21:23-26 [NLT]

 

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

That Kind of Thinking

As I have been reading Job, I am gleaning so much from the suffering and continuing speeches between Job and his friends. In Job 21, he says that he “will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking” (v. 16 NLT). Those words certainly peak my interest. Are there times in our lives when we should say that we will have nothing to do with a particular kind of thinking?

Job was suffering from the loss of his family, his land and possessions, and his health. He lost so much and yet he understood the importance of not letting particular things get into his head and cause him to be pulled into another area. We are to focus on what is pure, what is true, what is right—and so there are times when we would put our hands up and say we will have nothing to do with a particular kind of thinking.

If you accept a type of thinking, it will blossom and it will continue to spread and be more difficult to remove. Job reminds us how we must be mindful of our thoughts as well as our attitudes. In keeping ourselves from considering particular types of thinking, we will keep ourselves from walking readily into a bad situation and planting trouble. If there is something that pulls you from God or could possibly be against what God has commanded, tell that something that you “will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking” and move onward. God has so much more for you!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 [NIV]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Nothing But a Windbag

Eliphaz and his friends often got things wrong with what they said to Job in their speeches. They would say a lot of true things, but they did not adequately understand the entire situation and we therefore unable to realize what was truly going on with Job and his situation. As well, like us, they had a limited view of God. Even so, Eliphaz wasn’t always wrong. He had some wisdom to share.

When I read Job 15:2, I couldn’t help but chuckle. He said, “A wise man wouldn’t answer with such empty talk! You are nothing but a windbag.” When I heard that, I considered how we are all windbags from time to time. A windbag is someone who finds the need to use useless words or to ramble on for no reason, saying something that could not possibly result in any good.

We each can name a time when we used words when we should have been silent, when we ran our mouth when we should have spoke less. As we move forward, let us consider our words. Are they positive? Are they encouraging? Are they truthful? Are they beneficial? Are they good words? There’s no need to be a windbag. Let us choose our battles and our words carefully.

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: ‘would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind? Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value? But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.” – Job 15:1-6 [NIV]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo