“Come back to the Lord so that you may receive your comeback.”
The narrow path is long and solitary in that you must build your relationship with Christ in the quiet times where no one is watching you. Add to the fact that we instinctively compare our faith to that of our peers, seasons of fatigue and weariness do happen. But friends, when we fall short or burn out, the call of repentance and direction are a few words with God away.
God offers us refuge and comfort in our time of need. We must be humble and disciplined enough to seek it. Remember that God does not leave us in difficult times, but rather we leave Him to seek some dumb human solution. Friends, let’s aspire to suit up and play the game of life as God intended. When we rely on His power and not our own, He enables our comeback.
Where do you turn when you need a comeback?
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1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. 2 Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.) 4 Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. 5 All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. 6 Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. 7 But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. 8 All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh. 9 Now the LORD had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.
“Be careful where you plant yourself, like seedlings we can grow quickly in the soil of good or evil.”
We are like seedlings, and our growth is our lifespan. You’re basically a plant that is allowed to grow in whatever environment you choose. We don’t start out in Good soil, that is something we must accept and decide. Because God is fair and just, He will allow you to replant yourself in the Good Soil. If you choose to plant yourself in evil soil, well, that’s an option too. But ultimately, it’s your choice to decide who you want to be your gardener.
When you choose the devil to be your gardener– which requires you to turn away from Christ (which is your right)– your growth is wicked and invasive. And your offering come harvest time will be rejected. When you choose God to be your gardener, there will be a lot of pruning, but you will find yourself to be an acceptable offering come harvest time. Friends, choose your gardener wisely because harvest season is always among us.
Did you plant yourself in the Good soil so that God finds you acceptable?
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1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. 2 I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the LORD .” 3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. 4 If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. 5 They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. 6 They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. 7 Pharaoh’s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. “How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the LORD their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?” 8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the LORD your God. But who exactly will be going with you?” 9 Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the LORD .” 10 Pharaoh retorted, “The LORD will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. 11 Never! Only the men may go and worship the LORD, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace. 12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.” 13 So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the LORD caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. 15 For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt. 16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you,” he confessed. 17 “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the LORD your God to take away this death from me.” 18 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the LORD . 19 The LORD responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go. 21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” 22 So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived. 24 Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the LORD,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” 25 “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the LORD our God. 26 All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the LORD until we get there.” 27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. 28 “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” 29 “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.”
“Learn to use God’s lesson of love to work harmoniously within your village.”
God designed us to work together. Because we are the Body of Christ, when we empower and encourage one another to answer the call, it is amazing what God will do through us. Friends, sow generously in love and deeds within your respective villages.
Because we are human, every person and every village will have its challenges. You can spend forever village-hopping, or you can love people the way God loves you. To put it simply, we’re all dumb, imperfect, annoying, and hard to be around at times. But thank God that He helps us improve through our obedience.
So instead of leaving your village, ask God how you can do your part. Unconditional love requires continual progress. No, we will never be perfect in how we interact with each other. But, if we study each day, opening our hearts to the love and teachings of Christ, we can improve our respective villages for generations to come.
Are you impacting your group with Christ’s teachings, or are you the village idiot?
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1 “Go back to Pharaoh,” the LORD commanded Moses. “Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, 3 the hand of the LORD will strike all your livestock—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats—with a deadly plague. 4 But the LORD will again make a distinction between the livestock of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel’s animals will die! 5 The LORD has already set the time for the plague to begin. He has declared that he will strike the land tomorrow.’” 6 And the LORD did just as he had said. The next morning all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites didn’t lose a single animal. 7 Pharaoh sent his officials to investigate, and they discovered that the Israelites had not lost a single animal! But even so, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he still refused to let the people go. 8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. 9 The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.” 10 So they took soot from a brick kiln and went and stood before Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses threw the soot into the air, and boils broke out on people and animals alike. 11 Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. 12 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the LORD had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen. 13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 14 If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. 16 But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. 17 But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. 18 So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. 19 Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’” 20 Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the LORD had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. 21 But those who paid no attention to the word of the LORD left theirs out in the open. 22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the livestock, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth. The LORD sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. 24 Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. 25 It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed. 26 The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived. 27 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “The LORD is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. 28 Please beg the LORD to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.” 29 “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the LORD . Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the LORD . 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the LORD God.” 31 (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. 32 But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.) 33 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the LORD, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. 35 Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the LORD had predicted through Moses.Exodus 8Exodus 10ParallelCompare
“Understand the implications when you choose the easy button by living by your flesh”
We are the way we are because Adam and Eve failed to follow instructions. Imagine living your best life in Eden, only to derail it because your flesh overrode your obedience. We’re very much like that today. While God’s love for us is everlasting and His instructions simple, the battle of our flesh and untamed discipline is a lifelong struggle.
We choose the easy button when we sin. When we decide to give in to temptation, rather than referring back to the Truth, we refer to our flesh. Then, we have to go back to God, hat in hand, asking for forgiveness. Friends, while we may never be perfect, we can develop the discipline to override our flesh. This starts with refraining to push the easy button and turning to Christ.
How many times are you going to hit the easy button before you realize that God has everything you need?
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1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” 5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” 6 So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! 7 But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. 8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the LORD .” 9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 12 So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the LORD about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did just what Moses had predicted. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died. 14 The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted. 16 So the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’” 17 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats. 18 Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. 19 “This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted. 20 Then the LORD told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 21 If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. 22 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I am present even in the heart of your land. 23 I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’” 24 And the LORD did just as he had said. A thick swarm of flies filled Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was thrown into chaos by the flies. 25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.” 26 But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. 27 We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, just as he has commanded us.” 28 “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.” 29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD .” 30 So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the LORD to remove all the flies. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go.
“When you do things in honest pure Christ-like love, let it cut off from there.
God knows the motives of our hearts, so there is no need for us to placate or broadcasts our good deeds. Love others the way God loves us, expecting nothing in return. If you need a receipt for your love, surely it is not love at all.
Forgiveness does not require acknowledgment from the other party, nor does it result in a perfect resolution every time. However, when we do our part, cutting off our egos and pride, God does His part and forgives us of our debts.
Is your fake love cutting you off from God’s real love?
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1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. 2 Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. 3 But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. 5 When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD .” 6 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh. 8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent. ’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the LORD had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! 11 Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. 12 They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the LORD had predicted. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, and he still refuses to let the people go. 15 So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Be sure to take along the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Then announce to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him. 17 So this is what the LORD says: “I will show you that I am the LORD .” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. 18 The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.’” 19 Then the LORD said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt—all its rivers, canals, ponds, and all the reservoirs. Turn all the water to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots.’” 20 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! 21 The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt. 22 But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted. 23 Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind. 24 Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile. 25 Seven days passed from the time the LORD struck the Nile.
“When you get the memo that God is good, all things fall into place “
Whatever your thoughts are focused on lives rent-free in your head. If you’re beholden to the need of approval from others, it overrides the honest reality of how God views you. When you know that God thinks you’re cool, you get the memo that all other opinions/ideas don’t really matter.
Christ is already victorious. The war has been fought, battles won. The test for us now is to put down as much of our foolishness and follow Christ so that we too get the memo. Friends, do not entertain the ruler of this world, which leads to death. Instead, download God’s memo so that the Truth falls into place.
Did you get the memo, or are you a slave to the fallen world?
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1 Then the LORD told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!” 2 And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the LORD .’ 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’ —but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. 4 And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. 5 You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. 6 “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the LORD . I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. 8 I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the LORD !’” 9 So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. 10 Then the LORD said to Moses, 11 “Go back to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave his country.” 12 “But LORD !” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m such a clumsy speaker! ” 13 But the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders for the Israelites and for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. 14 These are the ancestors of some of the clans of Israel: The sons of Reuben, Israel’s oldest son, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. Their descendants became the clans of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul’s mother was a Canaanite woman.) Their descendants became the clans of Simeon. 16 These are the descendants of Levi, as listed in their family records: The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (Levi lived to be 137 years old.) 17 The descendants of Gershon included Libni and Shimei, each of whom became the ancestor of a clan. 18 The descendants of Kohath included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. (Kohath lived to be 133 years old.) 19 The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites, as listed in their family records. 20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she gave birth to his sons, Aaron and Moses. (Amram lived to be 137 years old.) 21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri. 22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she gave birth to his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. Their descendants became the clans of Korah. 25 Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she gave birth to his son, Phinehas. These are the ancestors of the Levite families, listed according to their clans. 26 The Aaron and Moses named in this list are the same ones to whom the LORD said, “Lead the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army.” 27 It was Moses and Aaron who spoke to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, about leading the people of Israel out of Egypt. 28 When the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the LORD ! Tell Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, everything I am telling you.” 30 But Moses argued with the LORD, saying, “I can’t do it! I’m such a clumsy speaker! Why should Pharaoh listen to me?”
“You can either hide from the world and seek God; or hide from God and seek the world.”
There will always be the struggle and choice between following our wicked desires and putting down our ways to follow Christ. It’s in our nature to be wayward. It’s also in our nature to long for a deeper, real connection that can only come from Christ.
Because we are fickle in nature, we have to make the concerted effort of stealing away and talking with God, so that He may give us the daily grace required to run our race. God will never impose His Will on you. You must ask to know the Truth.
Are you hiding and seeking for righteousness or wickedness?
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1 After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.” 2 “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the LORD ? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.” 3 But Aaron and Moses persisted. “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they declared. “So let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. If we don’t, he will kill us with a plague or with the sword.” 4 Pharaoh replied, “Moses and Aaron, why are you distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work! 5 Look, there are many of your people in the land, and you are stopping them from their work.” 6 That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen: 7 “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves! 8 But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9 Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!” 10 So the slave drivers and foremen went out and told the people: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not provide any more straw for you. 11 Go and get it yourselves. Find it wherever you can. But you must produce just as many bricks as before!” 12 So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt in search of stubble to use as straw. 13 Meanwhile, the Egyptian slave drivers continued to push hard. “Meet your daily quota of bricks, just as you did when we provided you with straw!” they demanded. 14 Then they whipped the Israelite foremen they had put in charge of the work crews. “Why haven’t you met your quotas either yesterday or today?” they demanded. 15 So the Israelite foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. “Please don’t treat your servants like this,” they begged. 16 “We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault! Your own people are to blame!” 17 But Pharaoh shouted, “You’re just lazy! Lazy! That’s why you’re saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the LORD .’ 18 Now get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you must still produce the full quota of bricks.” 19 The Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce the number of bricks you make each day.” 20 As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. 21 The foremen said to them, “May the LORD judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!” 22 Then Moses went back to the LORD and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
Knowing the Truth and acting on it are two very different things. What’s worse, if you pretend to live by the Truth in public and act like a heathen in private, you’re only confusing yourself. Soon the conflict between flesh and spirit will spiral out of control, leaving you in a land of confusion if you don’t wise up and change your ways.
Heads or Tails
A life lead in duplicity and demented acts begets an ending that a corrupt mind cannot process. Friends, understand there are implications of following Christ and more aptly, there are implications for not following Christ. Whether you choose to accept or acknowledge that is irrelevant, as the Hand of God still turns.
Are you spiritually cognitive or has an unrepentant life lead to spiritual dementia?
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1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’?” 2 Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. 3 “Throw it down on the ground,” the LORD told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. 4 Then the LORD told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. 5 “Perform this sign,” the LORD told him. “Then they will believe that the LORD, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.” 6 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with a severe skin disease. 7 “Now put your hand back into your cloak,” the LORD said. So Moses put his hand back in, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body. 8 The LORD said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign. 9 And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.” 10 But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” 13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 14 Then the LORD became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.” 18 So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.” “Go in peace,” Jethro replied. 19 Before Moses left Midian, the LORD said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God. 21 And the LORD told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go. 22 Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23 I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’” 24 On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the LORD confronted him and was about to kill him. 25 But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feet with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the LORD left him alone. 27 Now the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him. 28 Moses then told Aaron everything the LORD had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the LORD had commanded him to perform. 29 Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. 30 Aaron told them everything the LORD had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. 31 Then the people of Israel were convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
“Be a good steward of the things God places under your care.”
Cultivate within your mind the change to view the people, places, and things that are assigned to you. Too easily we fall under the alluring spell of bigger and better that we fail to see the gifts that God has graciously given to us. When God sees that you are obedient and responsible in the granular assignments, He will entrust you with more.
Being a good steward requires time, care, and the resolve to see things through. As you build your relationship with Christ, understand that those three things are vital as walking the path of Christ is not easy. When you Trust God for the Truth, He will acknowledge your good stewardship by revealing more to you, so shepherd accordingly.
Are you diligent and wise with what God has given you?
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1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. 5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “ I AM WHO I AM . Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. 16 “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. 17 I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ 18 “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD, our God.’ 19 “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. 20 So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. 21 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. 22 Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”
“Don’t get too caught up in this world because the truth sounds like gibberish to fools.”
One of the challenges of walking the narrow path is that few honestly walk it! As such, you must avert your gaze, focusing on Christ if you truly desire to run your race successfully. It can be difficult when you see your peer gladly digest foolishness as it were gospel from the heavens! Friends, don’t get caught up in the babble.
If you have heard the message of Christ, then cling to it because it’s the only thing that brings life. To hear loud and clear, you must tune out the gibberish of a fallen world, mute the temptations of your flesh, and hold on for dear life. While there is a secular price to pay by following Christ, the reward is eternal and infinitely valuable.
Can you hear God’s message, or are you fluent in nonsense?
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1 About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. 4 The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him. 5 Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. 6 When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said. 7 Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked. 8 “Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother. 9 “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him. 10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.” 11 Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand. 13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight. 14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” 15 And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. 17 But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks. 18 When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?” 19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.” 20 “Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.” 21 Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. 22 Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” 23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.