Monday, July 02, 2012
Heavenly Father, Faithful God, You know the plans You have for each one of us, even if we do not always understand all the details. Give us the faith we need to understand and live Your Plan because Your plan is good for us. Grant us to understand that as Your children, we are strangers and foreigners on this earth. Remind us that we are on a journey that will lead us to heaven and glory with YOU for all eternity. Enable us to share in Your joy, worship and fellowship along the way, inviting others to join us in this quest, for our true and real treasures are all in an eternal location, heaven, and not on this world. Let us then follow our Lord Jesus Christ, the guide you sent to show us the way HOME! It is in His name that we pray and ask these things. Amen!
Monday, July 02, 2012
MOSES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Jul 2, 2012
LESSONS LEARNED AT LIFE'S BITTER POOLS, Lesson 10b
THEY LEARNED SOME LESSONS ABOUT THEMSELVES
Life is like a giant laboratory. Every experience, whether good or bad, x-rays our heart and reveals us exactly as we are. This bitter time at Marah revealed certain characteristics about the Israelites that they probably would rather have not known. However, I am afraid that we are just as guilty of some of these same things. Let's face it, you can learn a lot about yourself when the bottom falls out of your life! They learned:
They Were Living For Self - They were only concerned with their bodily satisfaction. Forgotten were the great things God had just recently done in their lives. Instead of being caught up in His wonder, glory and worship, they were totally consumed with their personal needs! Does this sound familiar to you? When we get into a tight spot, we seem to forget the greatness of God and our world suddenly gets very small. We tighten the boundaries of our lives until we are the centerpiece and the focus of every thought and motive. We must remember that God doesn't want us living for self and selfish needs. He wants us to live for Him! When we do, He has promised to take care of life's trials - (Matt. 6:33)!
They Were Walking By Sight - Israel was guilty of looking for satisfaction in the world around them, instead of the God who bought them out of it. Then, when their expectations failed them, they became disappointed with God. How many times have we been guilty of the same thing? We expect some thing, some job, someone to make us happy and all the time, we never look for joy in the one place where it will always be found - even in the bitter times of life, (Neh. 8:10; Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:4). Our duty as believers is to learn to depend on the Lord, completely and totally, for every situation in life. We are to be a people of faith, (Rom. 1:17). When we step outside of faith and walk by sight, we have left God's best and have entered sin ( Rom. 14:23).
They Were Never Satisfied - These people, just 3 days before, had seen the Lord destroy the greatest army in the world! They had seen God part a great sea and deliver them. Then they had seen Him take that same sea and use it to defeat their enemies. When these things happened, they opened their mouths and praised the Lord in song. Now they are standing by a pool of bitter water, complaining because the Lord didn't do it their way, in their time!
How like us! When we are up on the mountain, we can be so quick to glorify God and even stand publicly and give Him thanks. However, just let a little trial come our way and we whine, gripe and complain about the terrible time we are having to go through. Isn't that silly? Sure it is! God's plan for our lives is that we learn to give Him glory in every situation life throws at us. If we are on the mountain, then praise Him for His blessings! If we are in the valley, then praise Him for His faithfulness. Whatever we face in life, we are to praise His Name - ( Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18; Phil. 4:6); Job and his attitude - (Job 1:21); David ( Psa. 34:1). A lady I knew had a serious bout with cancer. God healed her and all she said about it was, "Thank God, for several months, I didn't have to shave my legs at all!" Now, what does that tell you?
“Living By Faith” By James Wells (1918)
I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return for His loved ones some day,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
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Sunday, July 01, 2012
Lord God Almighty, who loves us and cares for us, You are the God of the universe and Lord of our lives. We worship You daily ad give You all glory and praise and honor to Your name. You are Holy and awesome, amazing and wonderful. We thank You for all You have done for us this week: Your blessings, Your grace, Your mercy, Your forgiveness, For Christ Jesus, and for the Gift of eternal life in Him. Because Your Word says You can do beyond all what we can think to ask, we call on You to bless us in ways more wonderful than we can imagine. Bless our families, our friends, our neighbors, the stranger we meet, and our enemies. This we pray and ask in Jesus' precious name. Amen!
Sunday, July 01, 2012
MOSES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Jul 1, 2012
LESSONS LEARNED AT LIFE'S BITTER POOLS, Lesson 10a
Very often learning lessons is a bitter experience. Yet, while this is true, it is also true that experience is the best teacher. You can tell a child repeatedly that fire, the stove, etc is hot, but they never really get it until they have been burned. When this happens, they can relate to what hot means. It is a lesson they will never forget as long as they live, but it was a bitter lesson to have to learn. Unfortunately, we all seem to possess this same characteristic. We have to be burned before we can learn!
In this passage, Israel is fresh from a great spiritual victory. They have been delivered from slavery, they have been given a new life and they have witnessed God destroying their enemies in the depths of the Red Sea. Now, 3 days later, they are faced with a trial. After 3 days with no water, they come to a place called Marah. While they were there, they learned 3 valuable lessons. It is these three lessons that I want to focus in on today.
It may be that someone here is going through a time of trial. If so, in these verses, you will learn some good lessons if you will allow the Lord the teach them to you. If everything in your life is sailing along smoothly, then look out! One day soon, you will come to your own Marah. When this happens, you may need the lessons we can learn right here.
Let's step back in time and join Israel at Marah, and let's think together on the subject, “Lessons Learned At Life's Bitter Pools“.
THEY LEARNED SOME LESSONS ABOUT LIFE
Life Is A Mixture - Israel had just experienced the blessing, but they must face the bitter as well. Then, as son as this bitter time was past, they enjoyed a time of blessing, v. 22-23, 27. I suppose they, like a lot of people in our day assume that once you sign up to follow the Lord, everything is going to be perfect and that there will be no bumps in the road. Unfortunately, this is just faulty thinking! According to God's Word, life is a mixture of good and bad -( Job 14:1; Job 5:7; Eccl. 2:17; 23). While this outlook may seem depressing, we are also aware that life has it's wonderful moments as well: like the birth of a child, falling in love, etc. This is a lesson worth remembering! When you are aware that life can go either way, then you are prepared for either.
Life Has A Master - When Israel arrived at Marah, they seemed to forget all the wonderful things God had done for them. They forgot about the plagues, their deliverance, the miracle at the Red Sea. They forgot that up until that time, the Lord had been in absolute control. They forgot that God is Master of life. Both of the good times and the bad. Sounds a lot like us doesn't it? We will cruise through life enjoying the Lord's blessings and many time we will take them for granted! But, just let a difficulty come and we wring our hands, hang our heads in defeat and worry about what to do! We forget that the same God who was in control in the good day is still on the throne in the bad day! He is in charge of all of life -( Rom. 8:28), for example, the Disciples on the boat, (John 6:1-21). They rejoiced in His miracles, but when the storm came, they forgot what they had just seen Him do. Sounds just like us, doesn't it?
Life Has A Ministry - God used these times, both good and bad, to minister to the Israelites. What they learned about God in both of these times of life, shaped their perception of who God was and what He could do for them. The same is true for us. Every situation in life serves as ministry of the Lord to us. He uses all the times of life to shape us in His image. Just as a child is the product of his/her environment, so the Christian is a product of the situations he faces in his life. In all of life, God is simply trying to make us more like Him - (Eph. 4:13).
“More Holiness Give Me” By Philip P. Bliss (1873)
More holiness give me,
More sweetness within,
More patience in suff'ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of His care,
More joy in His service,
More freedom in prayer
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More zeal for His glory,
More hope in His Word,
More tears for His sorrows,
More pain at His grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
More victory give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More quest for the throne,
More fit for the kingdom,
More useful I'd be,
More blessed and holy,
More, Savior, like Thee.
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Saturday, June 30, 2012
Almighty God, Creator of all things in heaven and on earth, It's before You that we bow with thanksgiving in our hearts. Help us to have a faith enough to believe You answer our prayers. Give us the patience to wait for an answer from You. Keep us from giving up and taking matters into our own hands. Instead, enable us to trust that You have heard our prayers, You know our needs, and You will answer our prayers in Your perfect way and time. Grant us to rest in Your peace during these times of waiting. Be our shield and our great reward. Bless us in Jesus for it is in His name we pray. Amen!
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