“God Has a Plan and It includes You

God has a plan

Numbers 1-2 It has been two full years and still, the people are no closer to the Promised Land than the last experience of the Passover night or their exodus from Egypt. Yet, God’s plan is to bring the Israelites to the Promised Land. As part of that plan, He has Moses begin numbering the men twenty years and older to be His servants in peacetime and in war. What we lack in comprehension, the Holy Spirit reveals to us in our understanding. God wants us to know that He is a God of details. He knows when a sparrow falls; He knows each hair on your head. God has a plan, and your name was on it from eternity past.

God knew that Moses needed others to serve, and God devised a plan for His people. From every tribe, men were to be ready to serve in whatever capacity God had planned. That was then, and it is the same today. God cares for you, and He has chosen you for His kingdom’s work. He calls you His servant. A servant serves others even when inconvenient, whether he or she dislikes the duty.  The circumstances are unimportant. God is looking at our heart’s attitude towards His work.

 In eternity past, He chose you and me for His work, and God did all of that so men who are in spiritual darkness will hear the good news. He uses people like you and me. Amazingly God wants to be glorified through us. Stop and think about that today and praise God for His lovingkindness that He chose you for His work. It is called evangelism.

What work are you doing today that will glorify Him?

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“If…then…but”

Simple: obey and be blessed, disobey and be cursed

Lev 26 God desires that His people to be light among the nations. He desires that we obey Him and receive blessings but just like an errant child who has been warned, God will bring about cursings to correct His children. “Be sure your sins will find you out.” [Num 32:23] This is as true today as it was then: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” [Prov 22:15] Like the Israelites of old, today we too face fallow land and fallow hearts.

We foolishly say this was OT; not for us who live under grace and in the NT. A principle is a principle, and God is God. He is does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.” [1Sam 15:29] God desires that we obey Him now and forever so that He may bless us.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1Jn 1:9] Then He will return and heal our land and our people.

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Is Holiness a Puzzle? And If so, what is the missing piece?

Jesus is the missing piece to be holy

Leviticus 21 What does it mean to be holy in an unholy world? It means that we stand apart from that which is profane. It means that we see ourselves as saved by His grace and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It means we are to ask ourselves if we are partnering with those who do not believe. It means we are to come out from among them and be pure, which seems like a strict order as we move and live in a godless society, but so did Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, Ruth, and Jesus.

So back to our question: what does it mean to be holy?  It means that we are to remember that we are part of the priesthood of believers only because of the gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It means what God gave Aaron and the High Priest as a standard applies to us in our present age. We do it when we present Christ as His ambassadors and implore them to be reconciled to God in the same way we were. It means that we mirror Christ in our walk and talk, and we can only do that when we know God. We know His character, His motives for our holiness, His standards of purity and righteousness.

God has said over and over: you should be holy because I am holy. You are my people, and thus you stand before an unholy world. The question before us is; are we a holy separated people?  Only through Jesus can we have the missing puzzle pieces of purity, righteousness, and honor.

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“As the Lord Commanded, so he did.”

Do all that He commands

Exodus 39-40 Over and over, we read the words: As the Lord commanded. Moses’s obedience to the words of the Lord is significant. In the NT, we read, “if you love me, you will obey my commandments.” [Jn 14:15] Do we realize that just as the Israelites were in bondage to Egypt; we were in bondage to Satan’s ways before He chose us and called us out to be His people? No longer in bondage, now we are to obey what Jesus has commanded, for this is the way “everyone will know … that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” [Jn13:35]

How relevant these words are: “Moses did all that the Lord commanded.” We are to do the same for our Lord Jesus Christ. These three titles of Jesus are used by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians eleven times.

Lord – Jesus is God in the flesh. When the word “Lord” is added to Jesus Christ it means, you are declaring that He is Lord; He is God.

 Jesus – Jehovah is Salvation, the Son of God;

Christ– the Anointed One.   

Will you hear these words: Well done thou good and faithful servant when you leave this earth and meet He who is Lord; the author and finisher of your faith because you have done all that He commanded?

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Jesus’ Ultimate Sacrifice

Jesus sacrifice

Exodus 33 to 35 Prayer is the believer’s entrance into the Most Holy Place of God. The Tabernacle building held the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest passed through the Veil to the Most Holy Place only once a year – the Day of Atonement. The cry of Jesus, ‘it is finished’ tore that Veil from top to bottom so that all may enter. “He entered once for all into the Most Holy Place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption.” [Heb 9:12] The prayers of God’s people are now heard, not through an intermediary, but all are welcome into the most sacred place.

In this most sacred place, we are confronted with the character of God: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” [Ex 34:5-7] In our time of praise to the Most Holy Father, we are comforted and reminded that we are, as He said, “a stiff-necked people” in need of His sovereign grace.  

Spend time in prayer today thanking Him for the sacrifice of Jesus so that we may enter His presence, as a people who have been rescued from the coming wrath. [1Thess 1:10]

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How do you feel about rules?

Rules are given for a purpose

Exodus 22 to 24 God has set down the laws for a perfect society, and He starts with laws that men are to keep and the consequences for breaking those laws. The people had just said they would obey all that God has said, but that will be short-lived, and so this is why God wrote these. His attention to detail is so that they people have a benchmark to follow. Next, God institutes the three feasts that are to be held with directions for all males to be in attendance.

Two chapters entailed these directions that men may know how God will determine their integrity. Now God moves from the social justice theme to the promise of the angelic messenger to go before them in their travels. “Take heed and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my Names is in him.” [Exodus 23:20] Why is this important? It is because they had lived ‘under’ slave masters who determined all their rules and regulations. Now God will show them the difference between what is holy and unholy, what is sanctified, and what is impure. The purpose is to set them apart from the nations around them and be the guiding light of the gospel to the pagans they will encounter.

God has given us His “rule” book that ensures we will be blessed if we obey. How do you feel about God’s Rules and will you obey them?

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Are you ready to meet God?

Are we consecrated so we can meet God?

Exodus 19 to 21 It has been three months to the day since the Israelite children have left Egypt behind. A new life means a new way of walking. In Egypt, they had earthly masters; now, they have a heavenly master which is a picture of the believer in Christ. Before our master was Satan, now we belong to Jesus by faith in Him alone. Before we can meet Jesus, we must be cleansed, consecrated, sanctified to be a holy people. God told Moses the people must do just that, and the first step was to wash and put on new clothes. Believers are washed in the blood of the Lamb and put on the new robe of righteousness.

A new life also means a new way of living, and thus God directs Moses to share the Ten Commandments by which they are to live. Our new life is to mirror those same Ten Commandments in how we are to live before God and before man. The Lord is our God, and we have been ransomed from the kingdom of darkness and moved to the Kingdom of Light: “not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” [Titus 3:5]

Today choose whom you will serve, the gods of the past or the living and holy God.

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Jehovah Jireh…

God is our Provider

Exodus 16-18 God Provides

One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh–the God who provides no matter whether big or little, whether food or wisdom. As the Israelites leader, Moses had a mighty task not only had to lead them but guide them as God gave direction. Maybe you, too, have an enormous task just like Moses. You are overwhelmed and do not which way to turn. It is then that Isaiah’s counsel is wise: You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, “This is the correct way, walk in it,” whether you are heading to the right or the left,” Sometimes that word comes in the form of a prophecy “Do not treat prophecies with contempt.” [1 Thess 5:20] Perhaps it might come in the counsel of one who is wise as Jethro to Moses. It may not be in an earthquake or a mighty wind, but the still small voice just like Elijah heard. God is listening to His children; He hears your cry. God provides what we need when we come to Him humbly.

Today you may be among the many who are seeking help. Remember to come humbly before God, and He will hear your cry and answer from heaven through avenues we may least suspect. Keep your eyes on Him and your ear open to hear His voice. “The prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord. O Lord, hear my prayer! Pay attention to my cry for help!” [Ps 102:1]

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“Are you Standing Still or Murmuring?”

Are you standing still or grumbling?

Exodus 13-15 These chapters remind us of the old western movies. First, we have the villains who wake up to their loss and ask themselves: “What in the world have we done?” Mounting their horses (ok chariots 🙂 ), they take off after them. Were ten plagues not enough? Guess again. So, God sends them another taste of His power and majesty. End of story; Israel is victorious, walking on dry ground, and the Egyptians are defeated as the river bed becomes quicksand.

While this is happening, what do we hear? Murmuring and grumbling to Moses as they see the approaching Egyptians. “Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt? Leave us alone?” Moses reminds them to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”  Victories are momentary to reveal where we put our trust.

Fast forward to just a short three days later and now we hear murmuring—again! Finding only a well of bitter water, they begin to grumble: “What can we drink?”  They had seen ten plagues and defeated enemies and they grumble because they are thirsty! How like them we are. We fail to remember God’s power and presence in the past.  Secondly, we fail to trust that if God could defeat our enemy, he can provide sweet water in our present circumstances.  

Beloved, are you murmuring / grumbling OR standing still watching for God to work?

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“Christ is Our Passover”

Christ is our Passover Lamb

Exodus 10 to 12 The plagues sent by God awaken the Egyptian court, and they plead with Pharaoh. “Release the people so they may serve the LORD their God.” The weak magicians had said to Pharaoh, “It is the finger of God” yet Pharaoh continued in his stubbornness. Pharaoh’s words will haunt him later: “Who is the LORD that I should obey him…”  But now God will show Pharaoh that He is the LORD and that He alone is the God of the universe. Pharaoh had taken the male children, and now God will take his firstborn. Pharaoh’s gods cannot save him or his people because they are only idols. Pharaoh thinks he is God but this last plague will challenge his belief system.

In preparation, the Lord gives his children, the Israelites, the plan for the Passover. The shed blood of the unblemished lamb sprinkled upon the doorposts and top frame pictured the cross to come. It covered and separated the “believers” (Israelites) from the “nonbelievers” (Egyptians). 

Christ as our Passover separates us and sanctifies us that we too may be holy to the Lord. The lamb was slain just as Christ was slain for us. When the Destroyer came, those covered were protected, and it is Christ’s shed blood that protects each believer. Like the Passover, the Lord’s Supper was established BEFORE the deliverance was accomplished, for without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.  Chapter 12 closes with these words: “So all the Israelites did exactly as the LORD commanded…”

Have we done exactly as the LORD commands?

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