Saturday, April 10, 2021

God's Laws 4: Keep the Sabbath

Exodus 20:6-11

God did not tell us to "choose a day that we want to rest". GOD chose "the seventh day".

Some people rationalize that "Well, as long as you take ONE day, it's okay." It IS okay if you are, with all integrity of your heart, doing it in honor of God. But, for those who KNOW the law and UNDERSTAND IT, it is NOT okay to just take ANY day. At that point, taking ANY day becomes willful disobedience.

God said take the 7th day. Keep it HOLY. REST. And, He even gave the reason for it:

11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

God has blessings and cursing for those who profane the Sabbath. Read Leviticus 26. Particularly verse 34>

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.

Read also Ezekial Chapter 20

If you have become convicted and cannot figure a way to honor the Sabbath the way it is stated in these verses, take comfort in the Chapter of Matthew 12, but I BEG you, do not use this to RATIONALIZE that dishonoring the Sabbath is okay.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Law #3: Honor Your Father and Mother

Exodus 20:12

What does it mean to "honor" your father and mother?

In today's world, there are many children who have been abused and neglected. When they hear this law, they ask God "why should I?", thinking that they are to condone and support what their parents did to them, without any validation of the pain they have been through because of it.

But, while this passage refers to obedience, it is also way deeper than that.

You should treat your parents in a way that is Godly and "upright". That is honor. Regardless of what your parents do to you, you should always be the loving and kind child of God that you are. Your parents didn't choose you.

God did.

He put you where you most needed to be in order to learn what HE wanted you to learn. He put you where you are so that you can best SERVE HIM with what your environment has taught you to be.

Honor God, your Father in Heaven, first. Learn to forgive, to pray for forgiveness, and to do right in spite of it all. Remember that Jesus suffered greatly, and He endured. And, He asks us to follow Him.

Here is a great article on how to Honor your parents:

A Biblical Command We Never Outgrow: "Honor Your Father and Mother"

Monday, March 15, 2021

God's Laws: 2. Don't MISUSE God's Name!

Exodus 20:7

How many times have you come across people who profess to be Christians, but act totally opposite of Christ-like? THAT is taking the title of Christianity in vain.

Are you a child of God? "Yes, I am a child of God!" Then, why do you encourage the things that God speaks against? Things like abortion, pornography, drugs...

How many times have you "joined the crowd" that belittles God's name or place in society, yet use God's name to uphold your status in the same society?

Sure, using God in a curse-word is vain, also.

According to Bing, the word "vain" means something that is useless, coming to no result, having no meaning, pointless. It can also mean narcissistic in nature. All of those meanings are at work in this one verse.

"With God as my witness, I WILL get revenge!" Vain.
"How dare you! I'm a CHRISTIAN!" Vain
"That God-blessed thing cut my finger!" VAIN.

God's name is HOLY. It should only be used when speaking a truth (God cannot lie). It should only be used in the context of speaking of someone who is pure, unchanging, stable, solid and HONEST.

And, if you call yourself a CHRISTIAN, you should ACT like it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

God's Laws: 1. God is God

Read Exodus 20:2-6

God is God. There are NO OTHER GODS except God.

Here, God introduces Himself, saying, " I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

That way you know and understand WHO GOD IS. Where did God bring YOU out of? Was it an abusive relationship? Human slavery? Addiction? Prostitution? Pornography? Just plain meanness and cruelty? Rudeness? Crippling poverty? Sickness?

Everyone has an "Egypt". What was YOURS?

God then describes Himself. He is JEALOUS. He will not tolerate any attempt to replace Him with something in-animate, created by the creation HE established. He did not create the world and give us life and provision just to see us hold it in higher esteem than the ONE who GAVE it to you!

Has anyone ever experienced your parents catching you with a pack of cigarettes when you were younger, which was CLEARLY against their rules? Back in the old days, if a father caught his child with tobacco, he would take that child and give him a whole pack and make him smoke or chew it one after another until the child got sick.

God does that...not just with you, but your CHILDREN. The sin you commit will punish your children, and your grandchildren! God warns of this when He says, "for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"

Those "things" cannot fulfill your needs the way God desires to. And, if you continue to "worship" them, God will step back and let you do without what He desires for you to have until you realize the error of your ways. You will be made to WALLOW in the sins you commit, and your children will follow YOUR example!

However, those who, in the integrity of their hearts, and with all their ability, do whatever they can to follow after HIM, and to obey His commandments, He will honor. ("And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.")

Law number ONE: Do not make something besides GOD your GOD!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Prepare for the Passover! (Exodus Chapter 12)

(This is written as if it is happening THIS YEAR: 2021. I realize it is not yet March. But, if you are planning to observe The Passover correctly, then you need to prepare for it!)

On March 22, each house should take a lamb that is without blemish. However many people who can eat one lamb is covered, so if the house is too little, then he can share with his neighbors.

The lamb can be a sheep or a goat. It has to be less than a year old, and it has to be without any defects.

On March 26, all of the people shall gather together to kill their lambs in the evening time. They should take a hyssop and strike over the door posts with the blood of the lamb (so that the angel of death passes over them). Once you do this, you MUST remain INSIDE your homes until the morning.

They will then roast the lamb over fire. It shall be seasoned with bitter herbs and eaten with unleavened bread.

When you roast the lamb, it must be roasted COMPLETELY with fire. EVERY PART OF ITS BODY MUST BE INTACT as it roasts. Don't cut off the head or gut it.

Do not use water on it at all to baste it or anything else. It must be done with FIRE ONLY.

Your family and neighbors must eat ALL of it! There should be nothing left over in the morning.

You should eat it as if you are in a hurry. And, you should eat it as if you are ready to bug out and run! You should have your clothes on, your shoes on, and anything you need to carry within reach.

From March 26 until April 1, you are to ONLY eat unleavened bread. There should be NO LEAVEN in your houses. And, you should do NO WORK for those 7 days, except the work you need to do in order to eat.

This is to be observed EVERY YEAR, so that when your children and grandchildren ask "Why are we doing this?" You will tell them the story of how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt.

This observance is to be a lesson for the generations to come. It is to be a reminder of who God is and what God can do!

For those who believe in Jesus, remember that HE is the Lamb. He has ALREADY been sacrificed. Any observance of eating lamb and unleavened bread can be a substitution for the killing and roasting of the lamb, as long as you do it in remembrance of what Christ has done for you!

The Passover is STILL to be celebrated. Jesus said nothing about stopping it. Instead, He said, "This do ye in remembrance of ME" (Luke 22:19)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

When People Won't Listen to You

This week, I have been focusing on Exodus Chapters 5-9 in my daily bible readings.

Moses did as he was told, and went back to Egypt to retrieve God's people. The first thing he had to do was convince the Israelites that God had sent him and what God had sent him to do.

The people were ready to have hope for something, ANYTHING, that would take them out of the bondage that they were in.

After Moses had spoken to the people, the heads of all the houses of Israel went with him to show support as he faced the Pharoah with their petition.

The Pharoah just laughed at them and was angry because the work, which the Israelites did, were stalled to make time for this. He told them to stop wasting their time, and since they had so much time on their hands, he made their work harder for them. He expected them to gather their own tools to do the job they were required to do, and he expected them to meet their quota the same as before.

After a while, the Israelites hated Moses. They blamed him for the fact they were now working twice as hard, and nothing seemed to be done about their plight.

This sounds so similiar to the political atmosphere here in the U.S. today. Anyone who speaks up against the powers that be are demonized and blamed, and their tools are taken from them so that they have to find new methods of survival, communication and ways to get ahead and be heard. And, they either stand beside or blame the one person that was in a place to help them, rather than the cause of the problem, which they had become used to and were familiar with.

So, Moses cried out to God. He asked Him why He had sent him, seeing that the people of Israel, whom he had come for, now hated him for doing what God had told him to do! God assured him that everything was going according to plan, and that he should keep moving forward.

God was about to show out in a mighty way!

He sent all of the plagues to Egypt, one by one. Each plague was worse than the one before it. It came in waves. And, yet, the Pharoah still hardened his heart and refused to let the people go. If he did that, who would do the work? If he did that, who would pay the taxes? Who would feed his people, who knew not how to do anything for themselves, and were too proud to get their hands dirty!

When God sent all the plagues, not one of Israel's property was destroyed. The people of Israel thrived, while the people of Egypt suffered, and yet the Pharoah still hardened his heart.

Sometimes, you can prove that things will work for the better for those who serve the Lord, but even as the proof is there in front of someone, they still will refuse to believe in what can better their lives.

The old addage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" was so true for Moses. What was he to do?

There was only one thing left to do. It was the last resort. It was so terrible and horrible that God saved it for last, because He wanted to give every opportunity for someone to turn their hearts right before He took this action.

A revolution was about to take place.

So, when people don't listen to you, when people spit in your face and persecute you for doing what God would find pleasing, and when it seems that even your own people have turned against you because of your faith, understand this: God is working in their lives to bring plagues upon them. Their lives are being made difficult so that they will be forced to repent.

Their reaction to this is to hate God all the more, and in so doing, they will take it out on you.

Do not lose heart. Do not give up. Love them in spite of the pain. Keep moving forward, so they may see what God has in store for those who obey. Keep inviting them to join you on your journey of obedience.

2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

There will come a day when that one last horrible plague will come, and after that, it will be too late.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

When Opportunity Knocks

This week I have focused, in my daily Bible reading, on Exodus 1-4.

Moses was born in a time when genocide was taking place in Egypt. The only good Israelite was a slave, in the eyes of the Egyptians. The Egyptian Pharoah sought to keep the population down by killing all the males as soon as they left their mother's body -- because God had commanded in the beginning to be fruitful and multiply, and the Israilites had become too great a people to control.

Sounds familiar to today, doesn't it? As Christians, we fight for the unborn. Abortion is more rampant in minority populations than in any other area of American society. And, even now, states are enacting laws to kill children at birth who are victims of unwanted pregnancy. In some areas of this nation, abortion was reason enough for sterilization, forcing the mother to never have another pregnancy. This is a sign of the power of a God-less nation.

But, Moses's mother did not want to see her child die; so, she hid him for three months. When she couldn't hide him any longer, and feared for her own life and that of her family, she made the hardest decision any mother could ever make: She had to let him go. She gave him to God to care for. She put him in a small boat made of reeds, a floating basket, and sent him down the river. I assume she was praying that God would save her child by so doing, somehow.

Laws like these not only affect the mother and the child, but the whole family. Miriam, Moses's older sister, followed the basket in earnest, watching to see what the fate of the child would be. She saw the basket get stuck in the reeds, near a popular bathing site, where the Pharoah's daughter just happened to be bathing. And, as small babies do when they are hungry, uncomfortable and frightened, Moses began to cry loud enough for the women to hear him, and it got the attention of the Princess.

She immediately fell in love with the child, and chose to take him in, into her home and adopt him as her own. Miriam saw this as an opportunity, and offered to get him a wet nurse, and the Princess agreed. I'm sure the Princess had no idea that the woman who was nursing the child was actually his mother! Now, folks, THAT is GOD!

So, in a sense, Moses was subjected to the teachings of his own people, while at the same time, he got the best education and positions of leadership among the Egyptians. It was the perfect opportunity for God to do His work. It was the situation God used to train Moses to one day free His people!

When Moses grew, he had compassion for the people he was over as an Egyptian slave driver. When he saw one of the Egyptians officers beating a slave, he killed the officer. He thought he had not been caught, but some the Israelite slaves saw him do it, and Moses feared that his secret would be made known, so he ran into the wilderness.

No one had told anyone of his crime, mind you. It was out of pure fear that he ran. We do that often in our lives when we do something we know is wrong and fear repercussions. How many times have you avoided people or situations because of something you have done that you feared repercussion for? In a sense, you are doing as Moses did, running to the wilderness!

In the wilderness, Moses learned to survive with little or nothing of the life he left behind. He learned that all of the riches in Egypt weren't needed to live a full and glorified life. And, God had miraculously placed him under the teaching of one of Abraham's children's progeny, a Midianite, who's family Moses married into and had children. Moses learned more about God and faith in that wilderness setting than anything he could have learned in Egypt. Folks, THAT is GOD!

Finally, one day, God got Moses's attention as he was out tending the sheep of his father-in-law's herd, in the form of a burning bush. Moses knew it was God, because the bush was not buring up, yet it was on fire. God spoke to him and told him what he wanted him to do; but, Moses did not feel courageous enough or qualified, so he argued his case.

Everyone always has an excuse NOT to take action. There is always something that makes us feel we are not right for the job. Doing what God wanted Moses to do would require Moses to step out of his comfort zone and have faith that God would make a way when there didn't seem to be one. All it takes is that first step.

When Moses told God he was not leadership material, God told him this was what he had been trained to do. When he voiced his concern that the people would only laugh at him, God gave him abilities to make them believe and take him seriously. When Moses said, "but I am not a good public speaker, I can't." God sent Aaron, who was, reminding Moses that it was HE, God, who had created Moses AND his mouth and demanded he get to work doing what He had called Moses to do!

The next time God gives you an opportunity to do something, why not try doing it - instead of making excuses as to why it isn't for you? You might find that it is exactly what God wants for you to fulfill your every need and desire! And, when God calls you to take action, He will put the right people in your life to make it happen, just as God gave Aaron to Moses!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

God Heard Their Cry!

Read Exodus Chapter 3

When you are stuck, when you are anxious, alone, imprisoned, persecuted for being who you are, when you are enslaved, in a place of struggle where you see no way out, and when you cry to God because of it, God HEARS you!

Everything in life happens for a reason. We may not know the reason, but we have to trust God's plan. And, we have to pray.

Jesus said that if we pray constantly, and keep petitioning God for our relief, God will hear us, and He WILL act, if only just to shut us up. (Luke Chapter 18)

God heard the cry of His people, and God already had a plan. He had placed Moses in Pharoah's home as a baby to be educated and trained in leadership. Now Moses had fled and went to the wilderness to learn to survive. He had all the qualities God was looking for to lead His people out of Egypt now, and God called Moses to do so.

Moses thought he was unqualified. He was MORE than qualified. God had made sure of it! Sometimes the qualities God sees in us, the qualities He had trained us to have, unbeknownst to us, are the very qualities that God needs in order for us to bring glory to Him!

His people were stuck. And, God called a man who stuttered to do the job. And, because Moses was not a good speaker, God even equipped Moses with someone who could talk for him.

When God sends you to do a job, He gives you the ability to get it done!

So, if you are stuck somewhere in your life, feeling like you are spinning your wheels, feeling as if you have no choice but to give up, look around: God has heard you! Sometimes your "burning bush" is that problem that is right in front of you!

Fear not: God is with you! God would not give you opportunities to better your life if He did not intend for you to use them, no matter how small the opportunity seems.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

He Knows

Get it out of your mind that you have to get right to go to God. THAT is not how it works. You go to God, and HE makes you right!

Come, JUST AS YOU ARE.

He doesn't want RELIGION. He wants RELATIONSHIP. He already KNOWS your deepest darkest dirtiest secrets. He just wants YOU to TALK to Him about it! He wants to TALK TO YOU. He wants you to get to KNOW Him on an intimate bases.

He wants to be your best friend...the one who says, "No, Child, that's not right" or "I am SO proud of you, my child!" And, no matter WHAT He says, He ALWAYS LOVES YOU and FORGIVES YOU IF YOU ASK HIM TO!