Showing items filed under “January 2018”

January 20, Exodus 7-10

 

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God sent ten plagues to try to get Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go.  We read all but the final plague in today’s reading.  Pharaoh’s response to the nine plagues presents an interesting case study on the subject of authentic repentance. 

First, Pharaoh’s response after each of the plagues indicates the temporary nature of his commitment to God.  He is committed to obeying the request until the plague subsides.  When the plague is lifted, he hardens his heart.  Temporary repentance is not repentance.

Second, Pharaoh’s response after the plague of frogs is especially interesting.  When given the opportunity to name the timing of the lifting of the plague, Pharaoh responds, “Tomorrow.”  I wonder how many of us have ever told God, “Tomorrow.”  Interesting, isn’t it, that we would rather live “one more night with the frogs” than get things right with God?  Hesitant repentance is not repentance.

Third, after the eighth plague, the plague of hail, Pharaoh tries to bargain with God.  He relents to letting the men go, but will not let the women and children go.  The attempt to bargain with God is an example of partial repentance. 

Whether our repentance is temporary, hesitant, or partial, one thing that these forms are not is authentic.  What has God called you to do?  Do it—today, completely, and with a forever kind of commitment.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 19, Exodus 3-6

 

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Today we read one of the most important stories in the entire Old Testament.  God appears to Moses in a burning bush to reveal His plan to use Moses to lead Israel out ofEgypt.  You know well the exchange of excuses and answers.  God assures Moses at every excuse.  I am reminded that knowing the will of God is not the hard part.  The hard part is doing the will of God.  The scene moves from bad to worse when Moses’ actions lead to resistance rather than victory.  Instead of being a hero, Moses is a villain because his attempt to lead Israel out of Egypt leads only to more hard labor.  Our reading today ends with a question:  “Why would Pharaoh listen to me?”

What part of Moses’ saga does today bring in your life?  Are you struggling with doing what you know God has called you to do?  Have you launched out in doing God’s will only to find the going tough?  Are you wondering if you will ever see the benefit of doing God’s will?

Don’t give up!  What if God is about to part the Red Sea?  

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 18, Exodus 1-2

 

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Today’s reading sets the background for the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of slavery. Many generations have passed since Jacob’s sons had been invited to live in Egypt.  (Exodus 12:40 tells us that the length of stay in Egypt is 430 years.) During this time, the people of Israel have become numerous, but their life in Egypt has become miserable. The last verse of chapter 2 catches my eye. God looked on them and acknowledged them, so says the New King James Version. The New International Version says, “God was concerned about them.”   

God knows our situation. He sees our trouble and is concerned. If a friend says to us that he/she is concerned about us, we are comforted. How much more should we be comforted when God says He is concerned? 

I like the lyrics of the song by Tommy Walker entitled, “He Knows My Name.” The chorus goes like this:

            He knows my name
            He knows my every thought
            He sees each tear that falls
            And hears me when I call

 Amen!

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 17, Genesis 48-50

 

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You did it!  You are 1/66 of the way through reading the Bible. Don’t stop now. Go back and think through some of the exciting things you have learned.   

A few days ago, we considered the parallel between our waiting on God and His waiting on us. In today’s reading, we see an interesting parallel between the sovereignty of God and the free will choices of man. Notice how the sons of Jacob received a blessing “appropriate” to them (49:28). I am reminded of the New Testament verse that tells us that we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

The story of Joseph gives us a great illustration of the sovereignty of God accompanying the wise choices of Joseph. In God’s sovereignty, God had to get Joseph to Egypt. Why? In God’s sovereign plan, Joseph would be used to administer during a time of severe famine. In God’s sovereignty, the famine is what brings all of Israel to live in Egypt. Why does Israel need to live in Egypt?  Egypt would have such a disregard for Israel that Israel would not intermarry allowing them to grow into a great nation. I have a saying that goes like this: God’s will is more important than God’s will for your life. It can hardly seem like God’s will when Joseph is sold into slavery. It hardly seems like God’s will when Joseph is put into prison. Only in the end do we realize that God was always at work putting the pieces in place for Israel to grow into a mighty nation. Thank God today when something happens that you do not particularly like. Remind yourself that He is always at work! 

You can listen to additional messages by Steve on the book of Genesis at www.fbclaf.org/genesis.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 16, Genesis 45-47

 

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There’s something missing in our reading today. We read that Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers. We read that Jacob and the entire family come to live in Egypt. We read that Joseph presents his family to Pharaoh. We usually emphasize forgiveness in these chapters. I believe that Joseph truly forgave even though the words, “I forgive you” are absent. You know why I think that? It’s because of what is missing. What’s missing is any indication that Joseph told either his father or Pharaoh what the brothers had done to him. That is remarkable to me and the perfect example of forgiveness. A good definition of forgiveness is “not holding the wrong to a person’s account.” That’s what Joseph did.  He resisted the opportunity to tell how he had been wronged. Let’s do the same.   

You can listen to additional messages by Steve on the book of Genesis at www.fbclaf.org/genesis.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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