Wednesday, June 27, 2012
MOSES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 6/27/2012
Exodus 8:1; 25-32
LET’S MAKE A DEAL, Lesson 8a
Some people here probably remember the game show that was and still is on television called “Let’s Make A Deal“. The show debuted in December, 1963. The premise of the show involved guests, wearing crazy costumes, winning merchandise and being offered the opportunity to trade that merchandise for something else. If they wished to, they could take the items they had already won and trade them for items they could not see. Sometimes the items were hidden behind doors or in boxes and the contestant had to make a choice. If they chose to trade the prizes they had already won, they might get something better, or they might get a “Zonk.” That is, they might leave with something worthless. The show succeeded because there was always someone on there who was willing to make a deal.
You may wonder what that has to do with our text. Well, the answer is simple. The Lord sent a man named Moses down to a place called Egypt to speak to a king called Pharaoh. Pharaoh had enslaved the people of God, the children of Israel, and God wanted Pharaoh to let them go. When Pharaoh refused to let the people go, God sent awful judgment upon Pharaoh and his people in the form of ten devastating plagues. During the course of these plagues, Pharaoh offered to let God’s people go. But, he wanted them to go on his terms. Four times he offered to let them leave, but each time he attached a condition and a compromise to their leaving. He was saying to Moses, “I know God said to let His people go, and I will, but first, let’s make a deal.” He wanted Moses and Israel to trade that which God had promised them for something less.
Now you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with us?” Again, the answer is very simple. You see, in the Bible, there are many types and symbols, where one thing stands for another, (1 Cor. 10:6; 11). Pharaoh is a classic type of the Devil; Egypt is a type of the world; Israel is type of the church, those who are saved by grace. When the Lord sent the Spirit of God to convict us and save us; He also called us to leave the world and our old master, the Devil, behind, (2 Cor. 5:17; 6:17).
That sounds easy enough, but every time we try to make the break with Satan and the world, we will find that he wants us to make a deal with him. But, with the Devil, there are no upgrades, only “Zonks.”
My friends, God wants to lead you to a life that is Spirit-filled and blessed. The Devil wants to get you to trade the blessings of God for the rubbish of this world. He will offer you every compromise at his disposal to attempt to lead you astray. Sadly, many of the Lord's people fall for Satan’s tricks. Today, I want to point out the four offers Pharaoh made to Moses and Israel. These are a clear picture of the compromises Satan will offer you to trap you, if he can. The Devil is always looking for someone willing to make a deal. Learn the truth today that his desire is for you to trade gold for stones and glory for sorrow, as we look on the subject “Let’s Make A Deal“.
V. 8:25-27 Deal #1 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST SACRIFICE HERE?
Pharaoh is saying, “Let’s make a deal Moses, you can serve your God, but you don’t have to leave Egypt to do it. Serve the Lord, but do it here.” This is the same deal offered to many believers. The Devil comes by and he says, “Let’s make a deal. Go ahead and be a Christian if you want to, but don't change your lifestyle! You can be saved and still be just like everyone else.”
Moses refused Pharaoh’s deal for two reasons:
1. Their Sacrifices Would Have Offended The Egyptians. The Egyptians considered cattle to be sacred animals. The bull represented their god Apis and the cow their goddess Hathor. If the Israelites had sacrificed those animals in Egypt to Jehovah there would have been rioting and violence. The Egyptians would have never understood the worship of the Israelites.
Nothing has changed! The world cannot possible understand the worship of the Spirit-filled Christian. After all, they find the cross a symbol of scandal and foolishness, (1 Cor. 1:18). For believers to attempt to worship God in Spirit and truth before the world would cause problems like you cannot imagine. Why? The buzzword of the day is “tolerance.” We are supposed to accept people as they are and affirm their right to be who they are. We are not supposed to be narrow-minded and intolerant. However, the message of the cross is not a message of tolerance; it is a divisive message that the world does not want to hear.
Now, I realize that many are attempting to blend the sights, sounds and feel of the world with the message of the cross. They are attempting to do this to reach more people for Jesus. And, I am convinced that many do it out of a pure motive. But, the problem is this: the message of the cross and the music, methods and means of the world are like oil and water. They simply do not mix!
Satan will tell you that you can have Jesus and the world too. He is a liar! You will either embrace Jesus and Him alone or you will embrace the world. You cannot have it both ways, (Matt. 6:24). If you are really living for Jesus, then your commitment to Jesus will be offensive to the world. If you are committed to the world, then your lifestyle is offensive to Jesus. Sadly, we are living in a day when radical, sold out believers are not hard to find!
2. It Wasn't What God Had Commanded. The Lord told Moses to go to Egypt and bring His people out, (Exodus 3:10). Anything less would have been to compromise the commands of the Lord. Friends, it must be His way or else it‘s the Highway! The servants of God are to separate themselves from this sinful, wicked world, (2Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 7:1; Psa. 1:1). When God’s people continue to walk in lock step with the world, it says some things about how they see God!
1. Says God is not to be obeyed - (1 Sam. 15:22).
2. Says God is no better than any other god - (Mt. 22:36-38).
3. Says God will save us, but we can do as we please (Col. 3:5-9; 1 Sam. 15:23).
4. Says belonging to God makes no difference in the life of a believer - (2 Cor. 5:17).
The fact is, you cannot have God and the world too! But, the Devil will offer you that deal if you will take it. Don’t fall for his tricks, my friend, that apple has a worm! If Israel had taken that deal, they would have never made it to the Promised Land. If you take that deal, then you can forget, victory, power and the glory of God in your life.
“We Bring The Sacrifice Of Praise” By Kirk Dearman (1984)
We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.
We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.
And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of thanksgiving;
And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of joy.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Heavenly Father, Glorious God, if we are to be Your people in Christ, then we must show our Christianity to the world; if we are to follow Christ, it must be in the way You have proclaimed and in the way we spend each day. Help us, Lord, to be Your hands, your feet, and Your willing servants. Enable us to help a hurting world. Teach us to ask, “Lord, how may we serve Your children today?” Then equip us to do that which You have taught us and commanded us to do. Thank You for Jesus our heavenly example. This we pray in His glorious name. Amen!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
MOSES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 6/26/2012
THE BLESSINGS OF A REDEEMED PEOPLE, Lesson 7b
v. 7 THE “I WILL” OF UNEQUALED SATISFACTION
The Satisfaction Of His Adoption – God promises Israel that He will take those old slaves and transform them into His people. They will be His “peculiar treasure”, (Ex. 19:5; Duet. 14:2; 26:18; Psalm 135:4). That is, of all the people who lived upon the earth in that day, they alone would be His people. He would have a special relationship with them. There would be a closeness and a state of blessedness that no other people would know. Why this special standing? Why this choice of this people? Because, He chose them to follow His plan of redemption to the letter. They would have to trust their future to the blood of a little lamb. They would have to believe God by faith, and He had accepted them on those grounds! That is why they were special! That is why He adopted them as His people.
By the way, that is still how it works today! If a person wants to be in a relationship with God, it will not come to pass through joining a church or doing some religious calisthenics. The plan of salvation has never changed. Heb. 9:22 says, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.” Old sinners are made into saints of God by placing faith in the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The sinner comes into contact with that blood in Baptism (Rom 6;3-7; 1 Pet 3:21). When a person trusts and obeys the Word and blood of Jesus, that person enters into a special relationship with God. Just as Israel is called a “peculiar” people in the Old Testament, the redeemed are called a “peculiar” people in the New Testament (Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9). Are you part of the chosen people? Are you involved in a special relationship with God the Father through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Satisfaction Of His Approval – Not only did He promise to accept these people in Himself, He also promised to prove His acceptance of them by demonstrating His power on their behalf. As they journeyed toward the Promised Land, they received blessings that could have only come to them from the hand of God, pillar of cloud and fire, Red Sea, Manna, water from the Rock, victory over all their enemies, etc. His approval of Israel as a people was demonstrated to them every day!
Such is the experience of those who have trusted Jesus as well. Every single day of our lives, we enjoy the manifestation of His approval in the blessings we enjoy as His children, this is His promise, (2 Cor. 6:16) and this is what He does, (Psa. 68:19). That is why those who know Him and walk in close communion with Him are a happy, satisfied people. God is so good to us every day of our lives! The needs He meets, the prayers He answers, the burdens He lifts, the glory He bestows, the gifts He extends, the grace He passes out, etc.
v. 8 THE “I WILL” OF UNENDING SECURITY
Promised A Habitation – Here were people that God had promised to deliver. He promised to free them from their burdens and to deliver them from their bondage. However, His promise extended way beyond the simple idea of bringing them out. His promise to them was to bring them in as well. He did not deliver them to leave them wandering in a wilderness forever. He delivered them from bondage that He might bring them into the place of blessing. He set them free in order to set them up! His promise carried the idea of keeping them safely as they journeyed and of delivering them safely to the land of promise. And, that which He promised He delivered!
Friend, we enjoy the same precious security today! God did not save a single one of us to lose us along the way! He saved us from this world to deliver us to that promised Home and He will see to it that it is done. He will not cast out a single one of His sheep along the way home, (John 6:37-40; John 10:28; 1 Pet. 1:5). If you are saved, you are going home! If you are not, then you need to give serious consideration to getting right with the Lord. If you started this journey through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, and have gone astray, then friend come back because He has prepared a place for you.
Promised A Heritage – God’s promise to Israel was of a land where they would enjoy the best of God’s blessings. They knew the Promised Land as a land that was “flowing with milk and honey”, (Ex. 3:8). His purpose in redeeming them was not finished with them being delivered from bondage. It was not finished when they left Egypt for the wilderness. It was not finished until they stood on the ground that He had promised to their fathers. God’s plan for them was not complete until they were safely home!
He saved us to take us to a place He was preparing in Heaven, (John 14:1-3). It is a place called Heaven, where He makes His home, (Rev. 22:1-5), and where we will enjoy an eternity of unending glory in His presence, (Rev. 21:4). He didn’t just save us so that we would miss Hell and enjoy victory over sin; He saved us so that one-day we would step out of this life and into His presence in a place called Heaven. He brought us out of a hopeless situation to bring us in to an eternal heritage! Just think about how good God is today as we enjoy the “earnest of the inheritance”, (Eph. 1:14). What will it be like to experience Him face to face (Rev. 4:1-11!)!
Conc: I thank God for the blessings of the redeemed today! How about you? Are you in a position to honestly say that you are enjoying the best God has to offer you today? Are you saved? Are you walking with Him like you know you should be? Are the shackles of sin firmly clasped around you life this morning? Jesus is the Key to getting them off! If you experience doesn’t line up with what I have been teaching today, then you need to get that thing settled with the Lord now. I know He is speaking to you if your heart is not where it should be. The question is, how will you respond to His call?
He Touched me” By William J. Gaither (1963)
Shackled by a heavy burden, 'Neath a load of guilt and shame. Then the hand of Jesus touched me, And now I am no longer the same.
He touched me, Oh He touched me, And oh the joy that floods my soul! Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole.
Since I met this blessed Savior, Since He cleansed and made me whole, I will never cease to praise Him, I'll shout it while eternity rolls.
He touched me, Oh He touched me, And oh the joy that floods my soul! Something happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole.
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Monday, June 25, 2012
We love You Father, for You are our God; the God that takes cares of us in everyway. Help us Father to develop a taste for the task You have sent before us to do, just like You did with Jesus. Enable us to have a taste for serving in ministries, helping others in need, developing the skills You have given us, and doing what is good and right to Your glory. Remind us of the love and the gift of eternal life that is ours in Christ Jesus. Increase our borders of faith and spirituality. Engraft Your Word upon our hearts and minds, Forgive us when we fall short of the task. This we ask and pray in Jesus' name. Amen!
Monday, June 25, 2012
MOSES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 6/25/2012
THE BLESSINGS OF A REDEEMED PEOPLE, Lesson 7a
The crack of the taskmaster’s whip told the whole story. The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. They had been slaves for 400 years and it looked as though they were going to stay that way forever. Tens of thousands of their forefathers had been born, lived and had died slaves in Egypt. Then, one day, a man named Moses shows up; a man who had been born into one of the poor slave families of Egypt. A slave that had even been adopted into Pharaoh’s house, but one who was still the offspring of slaves. One of their own! He came to them telling them stories of meeting the God of their Fathers. Moses claimed to have met God on one of the mountains of Sinai. His stories were of God’s love for them and of God’s great plans to deliver them from their present bondage.
At the first, it had been exciting for the people of Israel to think that they would be set free, but Pharaoh had not been amused. He had increased their work and had ordered the taskmasters to be more cruel than usual. Most of Israel had come to believe that Moses was just an old fool who was trying to get the people killed. They even shared their feeling with Moses, (Ex. 5:20-21). Moses, in turn, takes their complaint before the Lord. In response, God issues the people of Israel a splendid promise. As you read the Lord’s response to His people, you will find there are seven “I will” statements made by the Lord. These are things He intends to do on their behalf. As these promises are considered, it becomes clear that they must have gendered hope in the hearts of the people of God. They were being told all about “The Blessings Of A Redeemed People“.
I would like for us to look at those promises ourselves today. While we are not Israel, the promises made to them have application to those who are saved by grace today. So, while God gives me liberty I would like for us to look on the thought, “The Blessings Of A Redeemed People“.
The blessings that those who are saved enjoy can be seen in the “I wills” of God. If you are redeemed, these blessings should serve to encourage your heart and should challenge you to a closer walk with the Lord. If you are not saved, I pray they will help you see what you are missing by not coming to Jesus for salvation. Notice with me “The Blessings Of A Redeemed People“.
v. 6 THE “I WILL” OF UNCONDITIONAL SALVATION
Saved From The Burden Of Slavery – Israel’s cruel slavery in the land of Egypt, (Ex. 5:6-19). God knew all about it and promised deliverance from their burdens. Sin brings with it plenty of baggage. Sin brings with it guilt, conviction of heart, separation from God, it brings entrapment and slavery, ultimately sin brings with it an eternity in Hell. Jesus promised to intervene in the lives of all those who came to Him by faith. He promised that He would set them free from the entanglements of sin and make them a new creature ( 2 Cor. 5:17)! Everything that was against us is now forever taken away and we are free from it ( Col. 2:13-14)! There is no Hell, there is no judgment, and there is no condemnation for those who have come to Jesus by faith! There is only freedom and glory and communion with the Lord God! Sin is gone ( Psalm 103:12; Isa. 38:17; 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7)! Everything changes when you come to Him! This would correspond to the Penalty of Sin being broken!
Saved From The Bondage Of Slavery – Their salvation produced more than mere freedom from their heavy burdens. Their burdens could have been taken away or they could have remained there as slaves in Egypt. God not only changed their situation, He also changed their identification! He broke the bonds that held them and let them go! This is what He also does for every sinner who trusts Him by faith for the soul’s salvation. He doesn’t just take away the past and the guilt, but He breaks the chains of sin asunder and recreates the sinner in His image, a saint of God! Salvation sets the saved one free, (John 8:36; Rom. 6:6-18)! This is what Jesus said that He came to do anyway, Luke 4:18! We are set free because the King’s Son took my place! This would remind us that the Power of Sin has been broken as well!
Saved From The Barrier Of Slavery – God’s promise to them is that they will be redeemed (bought back) out of their slavery by the mighty power of God. For Israel, this redemption would take the form of the Passover Lamb, (Ex. 12). That blood marked them as a redeemed people and saved them from the power of the plague that broke the backbone of Egypt and Pharaoh: the death of the first-born. Symbolically, they were purchased back to God by the blood of the lamb and by the power of God. So it is for every person who will be saved in our day. There is but one method available for the saving of your soul! The remedy that sinners need is still be blood of the Lamb, (1 Pet. 1:18-19)! Of course, this Lamb was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who died on the cross that we might have life! If you are saved, or if you ever will be, it will come to pass through the blood of Jesus and the power of God, (Eph. 1:9). By the way, nowhere is God’s power more clearly visible than in the transforming of the sinner into a saint
Have you experienced the glory of salvation through the blood of Jesus?
“ The Lily Of The Valley” By Charles W, Fry (1881)
I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me, He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul; The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole. In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay ;He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne; In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r; I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn From my heart and now He keeps me by His pow’r. Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore, Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.
He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here, While I live by faith and do His blessed will; A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear, From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill. Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face, Where rivers of delight shall ever roll.
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