Scripture: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided…” Exodus 14:21 NIV
Observation: The exodus of Israel from Egypt is recounted.
Application: As I read today I had to laugh. This passage gave me a very simple truth. Let me explain. When I was a young man I used to watch a program entitled “In Search Of.” Modern cable TV being what it is today there are numerous programs similar to “In Search Of.” All of these science programs try to explain life to the viewer. “In Search Of” was always trying to explain away biblical facts and these modern versions of that program do it with a vengeance. I remember seeing a program one time recently where the host went to meteorologists, geographers, historians, and “biblical scholars,” to try to explain how in the wide world of science the exodus through the sea could have possibly occurred. They had stars aligning, earthquakes occurring, and global warming (before it was cool) evaporating oceans, all as theories as to how it could have possibly happened but they over-looked the obvious. I just saw it today and it is a scientific answer to their question. “…the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” Exodus 14:21b NIV There you have it, plain and simple but they couldn’t see the truth. They were so busy looking for their version of truth that they didn’t trust what was right in front of them. God by his word created science to push the water back with air pressure. The ground dried out and Israel was able to pass through!
Prayer: Father, you are amazingly simple sometimes. You are so simple that we brilliant humans can’t believe it. Thank you Lord! Amen
Scripture: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Observation: The attacks brought on by Satan are subtle and constant. Only through our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of his shed blood at Calvary and his ability to conquer death do we as Christians have the power to push back and tear down Satan’s strongholds. Our salvation, self-control and freedom from sin is obtained and maintained through our conversations with God through prayer.
Application: Prayer is power. In his name we claim the promise made at the cross and found in his shed blood. We must pray without fear. Sometimes when I pray only a moan comes out; words are difficult and that’s okay. The Lord sees the inside, he knows our thoughts. We don’t have to be eloquent. I praise him that we are not graded on our grammar or expression. The Lord is a God of specifics…details. He wants our prayers to be full of confidence, believing that freedom, healing and salvation are already on their way. So lift your voice without fear and claim the destruction of Satan’s work. Pray with confidence! Pray to break down the thoughts and habits that keep you away from your Savior and the relationship he wants with you. “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.” Psalms 19:13
Prayer: Lord, I claim your authority over all things natural and supernatural. Through your power and word I take captive the thoughts and actions that keep me away from you. Satan I resist your temptations. Lord break down any strongholds the enemy has in my life. Lord I know you are working in my life and I pray that you bring my every thought and action into obedience to you. Amen
Scripture: Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her? Luke 13:14-16 NIV
Observation: The Church leaders, Pharisees, and people in the temple that day were quick to accuse Jesus of “breaking rules” or not doing things acoording to what they thought was right.
Application: This really saddens me. This truth is still one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the church and believers today. We spend way too much time being critical of what other Christians are doing. The way is narrow and scripture tells us that many will be left behind, read Luke 13. Only the Father has the authority to judge and correct us. Therefore set your sights on knowing and sharing all about our Savior; let the Father do the judging.
Prayer: Heavenly father look within me and show me the areas of my life where I am judgmental instead of encouraging. Lord teach me how I can affect your kingdom by loving and encouraging others to seek and know you. Amen
Scripture: For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV
Observation: Paul was charged with sharing the truth of Christ. I believe that he may not have been a well-spoken man. A stutter or slow speech may have been the thorn in his flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:7 says, “…or because of these surpassingly great revelations, [Paul’s revelations]. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, [and taking the focus off of Christ], I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” Paul was highly educated and well versed in the scriptures. I believe that he had exceeding wisdom and with that wisdom he knew that if he excelled verbally in preaching and teaching he could become the focus–not Jesus. So that he would not be the object of worship I believe God may have given him his “thorn.” Paul had one ministry and that was to preach the gospel of Christ and he excelled at doing that in his writings. Of course, this is just my opinion but given today’s scripture it makes perfect sense to me.
Application: When we share Christ we need to be certain that he remains the focus–not us!
Prayer: Father, help me to share Christ and make sure that he is the object of worship. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:9-13
Observation: The Song of Solomon is a guide to marriage. Throughout it’s chapters and verses it tells not only of the proper courtship between two people but it’s gives a daily account of their marriage, “until death do us part.” In the above scripture the Lord tells us how when we marry the proper man. He is our protector and as he loves the Lord and loves the woman that the Lord has blessed him with he builds a confidence in her that allows her to let the past go and look forward in Christ. She then becomes fruit bearing in her relationship with the Lord.
Application: Doug is the young stag my heart searched for most of my life. In our father’s mercy and grace he gave me a Christ-driven man. He’s full of integrity, passion for truth and love according to Christ’s values. Through Doug’s love for me, my winter is passing. The woman who was lost to sin has found the freedom to face her sin and ask forgiveness. The barren soil has seedlings growing which will burst forth with beautiful flowers and a sweet loving fragrance.
Prayer: Thank you Lord! You are the God of Mercy and Grace. Even a sinner like me can receive the love and forgiveness I never thought possible. Thank you for giving Doug the ability to see me through your eyes. Bless him Lord. Let me honor him with my love and friendship each and everyday! Amen
Have a great day! Thank you,
Scripture: They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ Mark 7:7 NIV
Observation: Jesus tells the Pharisees that their concern about his disciples eating without ceremonially washing first is hollow.
Application: Do I worship the Lord or do I try to follow the rules? My desire is to love the Lord with all of my heart but I fear that sometimes I settle for doing “A, B, C and D” instead. My Lord would prefer my deep love which leads to my following the rules as opposed to my following the rules to show the world that I’m a “Christian.” God deserves all of me not–just the surface.
Prayer: Father, help me to be completely yours. Your deserve that! I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. Psalms 119:25-32
Observation: Depression and sin go hand in hand for the believer. Recently I found myself in this state. David, who the Lord proclaimed to have a “Heart for God,” suffered from the same. The Lord loved David yet that didn’t keep him from sin. However, in this bit of scripture we see David finds and shares the answer to fighting depression and sin. God’s precepts, his ways, and God’s Word will keep sin at bay and bring us out of darkness. “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.” We must go to his Word continually seeking, learning, and asking allowing Him to set us free. Speaking freely with our Lord for he already knows our sin and pain. We must acknowledge it to him before he can begin to repair us.
Application: Get back to it! Read His Word everyday and listen to worship music each day, do whatever it take to keep the Lord in sight and out in front leading you. Take captive any thought or action that don’t line up with the Lord and his ways. Relief will come so don’t give up! Use church and other Christians as accountability in your life.
Prayer: Thank you for sharing David with me. His love for you and your love and forgiveness of him keeps me going. Thank you for putting so much honesty and truth in the Bible. Thank you for showing me my sin can be forgiven and I can receive your grace and a fresh start. Lord continue to guide me and help me overcome the darkness within me. Amen
The following blog entry is compliments of Pastor Leon Hiebert, Community Care Pastor of Generations Church, Andover, KS
Scripture: Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” (also verse 18)
Observation: 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. In the verse above, we see that God had the same desire in the Old Testament.
Instead of wanting to help the Israelites accomplish God’s will, the Egyptians were set on keeping them in slavery. They were working against God. Yet God wanted them to know Him. We know God loved the Israelites, but the truth is—God loved the Egyptians too!
Application: When people stand against me and what I believe God wants to do in my life, it is easy to write them off my list of friends. That may be my way, but it is not God’s way. He loves them too! He wants me to love them too.
Prayer: Lord, You love my enemies and You tell me to love them too, to bless them that curse me and to do good to them that hate me and pray for them who spitefully use and persecute me. (Mt 5:44) To do this, Lord, I need your help. Amen.
Scripture: ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ Matthew 20:12 NIV
Observation: Jesus tells a parable about workers in a vineyard.
Application: I have repeatedly compared myself to Christians whom I know and respect and I’ve always found myself lacking. As I think about this parable I believe that Jesus is telling me that my little contribution to Christianity is as important to God as Billy Graham’s. God doesn’t want two Billy Grahams. He wants one Billy Graham and he want me and he want us both to love him and he wants us to want others to find and know and love him too.
Prayer: Father, I pray that my efforts to share Christ are worthy. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Matthew 16:2,3 NIV
Observation: Jesus answered the Pharisees and Sadducees who had asked for a sign from heaven to prove he was who he claimed.
Application: I believe that people today are no better at seeing the truth than did the Pharisees and Sadducees. However, people keep searching for anything and everything except Jesus and his gospel. I believe that if we spent as much time concerning ourselves with finding Jesus and having a relationship with him as we do on any number of distractions we would all find the same truth, Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. He is the truth and I believe it. Amen