The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 3,4; Psalm 36; Mark 13

Today’s Key Passage – Mark 13:24-37

When you think of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, what comes to mind?  Do you think of the images presented in movies such as The Passion of the Christ of Jesus being beaten?  Do you think about the Roman officers spitting on Him and mocking Him?  Do you think about the crown of thorns He was forced to wear, the nails that were driven into His hands and feet, or the sword that pierced His side?  Do you think about His death and placement in the tomb and the three days He spent separated from God?  For most of us, when we think about His sacrifice, these are the images that flood our minds.  While all of these things are true and all of them are part of His sacrifice for us, they do not tell the whole story.  If we look in bigger terms, Jesus sacrifice for us involved a lot more than just His crucifixion and death.

In today’s key passage, Jesus tells His disciples about the future.  He speaks of the end times and about His return to glory, and tells His disciples (and us) not to be deceived by false teachers.  Near the end of our passage, Jesus provides a warning to the disciples (and us) to remain watchful for Christ’s return.  He says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  Note that He includes Himself here and says that even He does not know when the end will come.  How can this be since Jesus and God are equal parts of the Holy Trinity?  If the Father knows when this day will come, why does Jesus not know?  The answers to these questions can be found in the sacrifice of Jesus.

We know from Scripture that Jesus was with the Father at creation.  We read in John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”  Later, Jesus himself said, “I tell you the truth,…before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)  Before He became a man, Jesus was with God in Heaven.  He was with God watching the state of the world and was one with God.  As part of this three-part Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit reigned supreme in the universe.  The Trinity created all things and is sovereign over all things.  When Jesus became a man, He voluntarily gave up his divine powers for a time.  He gave up some of His abilities and attributes of being God so that He could be a man.  When Jesus said that He did not know the time when the end would come, He was affirming His own humanity.  He was confirming to us the sacrifice He made to become a man and take away our sins.

Never underestimate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He did not have to give up everything to come here and live as a man.  He did not have to come here to be beaten, mocked, and killed.  He did this – He made this sacrifice – out of love.  Imagine if a man walked up to you today, handed you one million dollars, and told you that the money was a gift to you from someone that loves you.  What would you think about that man?  Jesus gave up so much more than we can possibly imagine just to provide us a way to have eternal life, and He did it simply because He loves us.  The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was not just for the greats either.  It was not just for people like Moses, David, John, or Paul.  Jesus sacrifice was for me, and Jesus sacrifice was for YOU.  Jesus sacrificed everything to give YOU eternal life.  Think about that today, and praise Him for His sacrifice.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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The Beginning of Our History


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 1,2; Mark 12

Today’s Key Passage – Deuteronomy 1:1-8

When I was a young boy, my parents brought home a video game system for my brother and I to play.  I remember logging hours and hours playing games on that old system – games that would seem pretty silly by today’s video game standards.  It may sound strange, but one of my favorite parts of that video game system was the reset button.  When I would start a game and did not like the direction the game was going, I could simply reach down and press that reset button and I would immediately get to start over and try again.  While playing a game, if I made a mistake and went off the beaten path, I always knew that the reset button was there to give me a fresh start.  When I read today’s key passage, I thought about that reset button.

At the beginning of the Book of Deuteronomy, the Israelites were poised on the border of the Promised Land.  After 40 years of wandering around the desert, they were finally getting ready to enter the land God had promised to give them.  Before they entered though, Moses wanted to give the Israelites some advice.  He began his first address to the people by recalling the history of the Israelites.  Where would this story begin?  Moses could have started the story of their history with the exodus from Egypt.  Perhaps he could have gone further back and begun the story with how they came to be in Egypt in the first place.  In reality, he could have gone back and started the story with the life of Jacob or even Abraham.  Instead, Moses began the story at Mount Sinai (also called Mount Horeb).  When given the opportunity to recap the history of the Israelites, Moses chose to begin at Mount Sinai.  Why?  Because it was there at Mount Sinai where God’s covenant with the Israelites began.  It was there that God gave them the laws in which they should abide.  It was there that God promised to bless the holy nation of Israel, and it was there where the people of Israel promised to obey God’s commands.  In that place and at that time, God pressed the reset button on the nation of Israel.  In Moses mind, that made it the perfect place to begin his story of the history of Israel.

Roughly 1400 years later, God would once again hit the reset button.  He would send His only Son to take away the sins of the world, and he would begin a new covenant with us.  He would allow His Son to take the punishment that all men rightly deserve for sin – the punishment of death.  Three days later, He would raise His Son from the grave, and His Son would be seated at the right hand of the Father.  At the right hand of God, Jesus Christ sits and acts as our High Priest, interceding for us with the Father.  When each of us makes the decision to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, God once again presses the reset button on our history.  At that moment, all of the things we have done in the past no longer matter.  Our sinfulness, our wickedness, our guilt, and our shame are all washed away in the blood of Christ.  At that moment – that moment of salvation – we receive the promise of eternal life.  If each of us were to retell the story of our own history, the moment of salvation would be the starting point.

Have you ever wished there could be a reset button on your life?  Maybe you have never known Jesus Christ.  Maybe you have never started a personal relationship with Him.  Maybe you have tried and tried to “live a good life” on your own, but have never truly experienced the life-changing peace that comes in knowing that your eternal salvation is secure, or maybe you have fallen away from God.  Maybe you have gotten so far away from Him and so wrapped up in empty things that you do not know how to ever get back.  Perhaps you have been trying to “fake it until you make it”, sitting in church every week but never really accepting Christ into your heart.  Here is the simple truth – God offers everyone a reset moment.  It does not matter where you have been or what you have done.  It does not matter what condition you are currently in or how much of the Bible you have read.  It does not matter if you were baptized as a child or as an adult.  A common misconception is that we need to clean ourselves up first and get our lives in order before we approach Christ, but in reality, He will meet us right where we are.  God offers each of us a reset in which we can be seen as perfect in His sight regardless of our pasts.  God offers each of us a new beginning of our history.

To learn more about beginning your walk with Jesus Christ, CLICK HERE.

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A Barren Fig Tree That Bears No Fruit


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 34-36; Mark 11

Today’s Key Passage – Mark 11:12-26

In today’s key passage, we find two events that took place during the week in which Jesus would be crucified.  The first event involves a fig tree.  Jesus saw from a distance that the fig tree was mature and was filled with leaves, but when he got close, it did not have any figs growing on it.  He cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, saying, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”  The next day when Jesus and the disciples passed by the fig tree, they noticed that it had withered from the roots.  The second event in our key passage is when Jesus entered the temple and began driving out the people who were doing business there.  He overturned tables and benches and stopped people from carrying merchandise, saying, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”  At first glance, these two events might appear to be unrelated.  Upon further review, however, we will find that these two stories are very much related because they both teach us the same lesson.  In fact, the event with the fig tree is really a live version of a parable regarding what happened in the temple.

So what is the lesson?  What is Jesus trying to teach us with these two stories?  Both stories talk about appearances differing from reality.  The fig tree appeared to be mature.  It was filled with leaves and should have been capable of bearing fruit.  In reality, though, it had no fruit to offer.  From a distance, the tree appeared to be fine, but up close, something was definitely wrong with it.  The “hypocrisy” of the fig tree hurt Jesus’ heart and he cursed the tree causing it to wither and die.  When he went to the temple, he was surrounded by “religious” people.  On the outside, these people appeared to be believers.  In reality, though, the moneychangers and the merchants often cheated people by charging inflated exchange rates and prices.  They basically extorted others during Passover in an effort to gain wealth, and used the temple to do it.  From a distance, the merchants appeared to be religious, but up close, something was definitely wrong with them.  The hypocrisy of the merchants hurt Jesus’ heart and he turned over their tables and called them a den of robbers.

As you can see, both of these stories teach us the same lesson.  When appearances do not match up to reality, it hurts Jesus’ heart.  It is not enough for us to “appear” to be religious.  It is not enough for us to “appear” to love Jesus.  It is not enough for us to “appear” to follow Him.  If we do not actually have faith in him deep down in our hearts, we are like the fig tree that bears no fruit or the moneychangers cheating people.  Going to church, having a relative who is a pastor or trying our best to be nice to others does not make us believers.  Acting one way when you are at church and then acting completely different at work is not what Jesus is looking for in a disciple.  God does not look at the externals.  Unlike people, He does not care about how we try to appear before others.  He only cares about our hearts.  He only cares about how we truly feel about him and about others.  Some people believe they can fake it until they make it, but Jesus knows better.  When we have great faith – true faith – it shows up in our hearts and we will bear fruit for the Kingdom.  If not, we will wither from the roots.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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A Childlike Faith


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 32,33; Mark 10

Today’s Key Passage – Mark 10:13-16

Today’s reading was filled with many great stories, which made it very difficult for me to pick just one to write about.  I could have written about the warnings God gave Moses about driving out the Canaanites completely so as not to be corrupted (much like we should drive out all of our past sinfulness at conversion so as not to be corrupted), or I could have written about Jesus’ teachings on marriage and divorce or on serving others.  I almost chose to write about Jesus healing the blind beggar, who, though he had never actually seen Jesus or any of His miracles, still believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  In the end, though, I just kept coming back to today’s key passage and ultimately one key verse in which Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  It sounds like an easy thing to do, right?  Receive the kingdom of God like a little child.  That should not be too tough, but when we really examine what Jesus meant by this statement, we quickly realize that this might be a little bit more difficult than we first thought.

When I think about what it means to be childlike (in this context anyway), I mainly think about two characteristics.  The first characteristic of a child is their dependence.  Children would not go very far without their parents or some other type of guardian.  Without a guardian, how would the child be fed?  Where would the child get clothes?  How would the child get around?  Children are totally dependent on their guardians in every way.  More importantly, not only are children dependent on others, they KNOW that they are dependent on others.  Aside from a few “Home Alone” inspired fantasies, most children know that they need help.  They know they need someone else to provide them food, shelter, and comfort.  Even if they do not consciously think about it, they still know it to be true.  To truly have a childlike faith, we need to mirror this type of dependence, and therein lies the problem.  Sometimes it is hard for us to want to give up our independence.  We live in a world where everyone seems to strive for complete independence, yet Jesus was telling his followers that they should be totally dependent on God.  When we depend on God to provide for our needs instead of trying to do everything ourselves, our faith in Him grows.  When we try to break free and seek our own independence, we run into problems.  Just like children, we have to depend on God, and we also have to KNOW that we depend on God.  If not, we will start to run into issues with pride and idolatry.  To truly have a childlike faith, we must realize that we are completely dependent on God and that we are simply following Him wherever He leads.

The second characteristic of a child is trust.  Very young children trust most people as they have not been jaded by life experiences yet, and young children trust their parents or guardians without question and without exception.  At a certain point, of course, that level of trust starts to erode as children face disappointments or strife, but initially the level of trust a child has for their guardian is implicit.  This is the level of trust we should have for our Father in Heaven.  Just like a small child, we should not question that He is watching out for us.  We should not question that He loves us.  We should not question that God has plans for us – good plans to prosper us and not to harm us.  The problem, though, is that most of us have gone through so many different bad experiences along the way that we have trouble trusting anyone completely.  We tend to let this distrust of people flow over and we end up being distrustful of God.  We wonder why He is not moving fast enough for us.  We wonder if He has heard our prayers and if He is acting on our behalf.  We wonder if He will deliver for us.  The simple truth is that He will!  He will do everything He has said He will do.  He will never hurt you.  He will never lie to you.  He will never forsake you.  He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.  Embrace that love and trust Him completely, as an infant trusts his mother, and wait to see how He blesses your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Cut Off Your Hand and Pluck Out Your Eye


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 30,31; Mark 9

Today’s Key Passage – Mark 9:42-50

In today’s key passage, Jesus makes one of the most radical statements in the Bible.  He tells us that if our hand or foot causes us to sin, we should cut it off, and if our eye causes us to sin, we should pluck it out.  According to Jesus, it would be far better for us to live our lives here on earth maimed than to spend eternity in hell.  What exactly is Jesus saying here?  Does he literally want us to pluck out our eye or cut off our hand?  Probably not.  As you have likely guessed, Jesus is using imagery to help us get the point.  Basically, what Jesus is calling us to do is rid ourselves from temptation.

We all know that sin can be a difficult thing to master.  Just when we think we have figured it out and we are doing well, we get hit with another temptation.  The woman behind the counter is rude to us.  An ex from high school contacts you on Facebook and asks if you want to get together.  The man handing you back change miscounts and gives you ten dollars too much.  The new hire at your office starts flirting with you.  Temptations to sin can literally come from anywhere at any time.  That is simply the way the enemy works.  We often find ourselves dealing with temptations, and most of the time, our natural tendency is to simply believe we can handle it.  We believe we can be strong enough to overcome the temptations and avoid sinning, and maybe we are right, but Jesus tells us there is a better way.  Jesus tells us to cut off the temptations completely.

The problem with temptation is that even when we do not succumb and actually sin, the temptation itself might still be affecting our relationships.  Our relationships with our friends and family might suffer.  Our relationship with our spouse might suffer.  Our relationship with God might even suffer.  Even when we believe we can handle temptations, the bottom line is that we often cannot change the way we feel.  Anything that we allow into our hearts is going to affect our lives and our relationships.  The wandering eye, what we watch on TV, and what we see on the Internet are all going to affect our relationships.  The good news is that even if we cannot always change the way we feel, we can change the circumstances that are causing us to feel that way.

Jesus wants us to take radical steps if necessary to cut off the temptations before they become a problem.  What does that look like?  What is too radical?  Is quitting your job too radical?  What about moving to a different neighborhood, or getting rid of your computer?  Are any of these things too radical?  Absolutely not.  We should do whatever we have to do to avoid the temptation to sin.  Is your job or your house really worth more than your relationship with your spouse or your relationship with God?  Do not take chances when it comes to temptations.  Follow Jesus’ advice and cut them off.


During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Jesus Restores Sight to a Blind Man


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 28,29; Mark 8

Today’s Key Passage – Mark 8:22-26

In today’s key passage, a blind man is brought to Jesus asking for healing.  Jesus touches the blind man and asks him if he can see, to which the blind man replies, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”  Jesus then put his hands on the blind man’s eyes a second time and the man could see clearly.  So why was it necessary for Jesus to touch the man’s eyes twice?  Was healing this blind man too difficult for Jesus to do in one try?  Obviously, since we know that God is all-powerful, this cannot be the case.  God can do tremendous miracles.  He created the heavens and the earth and has the power to bring the dead back to life, so I am pretty sure Jesus could have healed this man with a single touch.  In fact, in some cases Jesus did not even have to touch people to heal them – he simply spoke the word and they were healed.  Since we know all of this, there must be a lesson in why he chose to touch the blind man twice.  There are two lessons that I learn from this story:

The first lesson I learn from this story is that not all healing will be instantaneous.  Jesus will always heal us eventually from everything that ails us, but sometimes He might not choose to do it right away.  Sometimes the healing will occur in stages.  For example, when we are born again, we do not wake up the next day and find that we never sin again.  That would be an immediate healing, and maybe some people see that, but for me the process seems to work more in stages.  The longer I walk with Christ, the better I become at overcoming temptation.  When I do inadvertently sin (like when I’m cut off in traffic and my flesh immediately responds in anger), I have found I am much quicker to repent of this sin than I was when I first started out.  If you are hurt deeply by another person, while you may be able to forgive them rather quickly it might take some time to actually forget about the offense.  We must not get discouraged if our healing is not immediate.  Sometimes, Jesus chooses to heal us in steps.

The second lesson is that sometimes we do not immediately perceive things the way God wants us to perceive them.  When we read an email from a friend and take offense to something that is said, it may be that our perception of what he was trying to say was simply wrong.  Sometimes when we get busy, we can easily begin to look at other people as if they are “trees” instead of looking at them as the people they are.  When we see others as a distraction or a burden, that is counterintuitive to how God wants us to see other people – as His children deserving of love.  At times, our immediate response to situations (like feeling anger over being cut off in traffic) is due to our flesh leading us instead of our spirit leading us.  When we choose to live in the spirit by keeping our focus on Christ, we can avoid many situations of having incorrect initial perceptions.  Strive to see things the way God sees them, and strive to act as He would in a given situation.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Not Saying What Others Want to Hear


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 24-27

Today’s Key Passage - Numbers 24:10-25

 

Balaam was a sorcerer who was often called upon to place a curse on others.  Balak summoned him to place a curse on the Israelites, and offered to reward him handsomely in return.  Balaam was a greedy man who used his religion as a source of profit, so ordinarily he would have likely done what Balak asked, but God spoke to him directly.  God told Balaam to only say what He told him to say.  God even spoke to Balaam through his donkey (See Numbers 22:21-35).  After being asked several times by Balak to curse the Israelites, Balaam refused to go against God.  He chose to only speak what the Lord told him to speak.  While he could have simply said, what Balak wanted to hear and would have received riches for it, he chose instead to do what was right and speak the truth.  (Later in the Bible, we will learn that Balaam would eventually go back to his evil ways and allow his greed to turn him away from God, but in this case, he stood firm.)

Today, we are often put in situations where we can say what others want to hear or we can say what is true.  What do you say when your wife asks if you like the new blouse she bought even when you really do not?  What do you say to your friend who asks if he should try out for the worship team even though he was not blessed with the gift of music?  In situations like these, often the easiest thing to do is to simply say what the person wants to hear.  You could easily say that the blouse is beautiful or that your friend has a great voice, even though you do not really feel these things are true, and your wife or your friend would walk away feeling great about what you said.  It sounds like a good plan, right?  The problem is, when relationships are built on lies they will eventually fall apart.  What happens when your wife decides to buy more blouses exactly like the one you did not really like?  Will you ever say anything?  Solid relationships with other people are built on trust, and the only way to build that trust is by telling the truth.  Even when it might not profit us, we are still called to tell the truth.  Of course, there are ways to speak the truth in love and ways to speak the truth in hate, and we should always choose to speak in love while also saying what is true.  When we begin to practice radical honesty in a loving way, we will begin to see our relationships grow and prosper like never before.  The next time you are asked a question where you are tempted to say what the person wants to hear, remember the story of Balaam and remember to speak the truth in love.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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John the Baptist Beheaded


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 21-23; Mark 6,7

Today’s Key Passage - Mark 6:14-29

 

Jesus once said, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11), and in our key passage today we learn what happened to him.  John was a prophet – a servant of the Lord who came to pave the way for Jesus.  He was a great man who did many great things, so why was he ultimately killed?  John, like Jesus, hated sin.  John knew that all sin was bad and especially knew that unrepentant sin was really a slap to the face of God.  Therefore, when John found out that King Herod was committing adultery with his brother’s wife Herodias, he was not able to sit idly by and say nothing.  He told Herod that what he was doing was wrong – he called Herod on his sin in hopes that Herod would repent and turn to God.  This made Herodias furious and she wanted John the Baptist killed, but Herod initially did not want to kill John because he knew he was a righteous and holy man.  Ultimately, though, Herod succumbed to peer pressure and beheaded John.

So what can we learn from today’s key passage?  There are two important lessons we can take away from John’s gruesome fate.  The first lesson is about exposing sin.  When John saw Herod’s sin, he could have simply stayed quiet and not talked to Herod about his adultery.  As a man of God, though, John knew that sitting quietly while people around us sin is really the same as hating them and that not saying anything can often be confused for condoning sin.  John wanted to save Herod, and he knew that Herod needed to repent, so he went to him in love.  Ephesians 5:8-13 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”  John chose to expose the darkness, and because of that choice he was arrested, imprisoned, and executed.  Does that mean that John made a bad choice in exposing Herod’s sin?  Absolutely not.  Exposing the sin certainly did not make John popular with Herod or Herodias, but that was not what mattered most to John.  What was most important to John was not what others thought about him but rather what God thought about him.  Exposing Herod’s sin was in line with the will of God, meaning John made the only correct choice when choosing to talk to Herod about it, regardless of the ultimate consequences.

The second lesson we can take from this story is not to crumble under pressure.  Herod did not want to kill John.  He feared John and he knew that John was righteous and holy.  Not even his wife could convince Herod to kill John.  Sadly, though, when Herodias’ daughter asked for John’s head Herod found himself in a jam.  He had told her to ask for anything she wanted and swore on oath that he would give it to her, and to deny her request would have made Herod look very foolish in front of his guests.  Herod was more concerned with what others thought about him than he was about doing what was right.  Though he knew killing John was wrong, he crumbled in the face of pressure and killed him anyway.

In this story, we instantly notice the striking contrast between John and Herod.  One man cared about doing what was right in the eyes of God, while the other cared about doing what was right in the eyes of other people.  Very often in life, we find that these two things are not the same.  When we are faced with choices, we should constantly be asking ourselves on which side we want to be.  Do we want to be like Herod and go along with what the world believes to be right, or do we want to be like John and do what God tells us is right.  In reality, this is the same question we have to answer every time we are tempted to sin.  When we make the right choice – when we act in accordance to God’s will instead of man’s will – we know we are making the right decision.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Taking Credit for God’s Work


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 19,20; Psalm 28; Mark 5

Today’s Key Passage - Numbers 20:1-12

 

About ten years ago or so I was working in the corporate office of a company near where I lived.  One day, I came up with an idea for an operational program that would change the way we ran operations and would ultimately save the company money.  I slaved night and day for at least a month working on this project and setting all of the pieces in place to ensure a successful launch, and when everything was put together I presented the idea to my boss.  A few weeks went by and I did not hear anything about the project, until one day I was sitting in a meeting with my boss, my boss’s boss, and several top executives from the company.  During that meeting, my boss was asked about the department and she brought up the project I was working on.  The only problem was that she presented the idea as if it was her own.  I sat in the meeting listening as she took credit for the work I had done.  Of course, I did not say anything during the meeting, but I can still remember how I felt that day.  I was certainly angry, but more importantly I felt betrayed by what she had done.

Though I had not thought about that situation in years, when I read today’s key passage I immediately remembered how I felt that day.  In our passage, we see that the Israelites were experiencing a drought.  They were thirsty and were agitated and were complaining to Moses.  Moses and Aaron went directly to God and asked for His help, and God told them to go back to the Israelites and to, “Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.”  Instead of following God’s instructions what did Moses do? He went back to the Israelites, but instead of simply speaking to the rock Moses said, ““Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.”  In essence, Moses took credit for God’s work.  Moses acted as though he and Aaron had the power to bring water from the rock, when actually God was the one with that power.  God saved the people from their thirst in the desert – Aaron and Moses were just his messengers.  I can imagine that God felt the same way I felt ten years ago.  He was angry and felt betrayed by what Moses had done, and punished him by not allowing Moses and Aaron to enter the Promised Land.

We can often be tempted to feel prideful about things that we did not actually make happen.  We can be tempted to boast to others about the things we have done.  In actuality, God deserves credit for all of the good things in our lives.  The job you have and the amount of money you make are not due to your “hard work”, your education, or your experience.  You have that job and that paycheck by the grace of God.  That idea that I came up with so many years ago that I was so proud of at the time was not my own doing – that idea was a gift to me from God.  He was working to make me successful, even though I did not know it at the time and was not giving Him any credit for His work.  It is ironic that I felt so angry and betrayed that my boss took credit for my work while all the time I was taking credit for God’s work in every area of my life.  While we are not called to put ourselves down or to be self-deprecating, we are called to be humble.  We are called to acknowledge what God has done for us and what He continues to do for us daily.  In Matthew 23:12, Jesus said, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  Let us all humble ourselves today before the Lord, and remember that He is the one deserving of all the glory.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Power of God


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 17,18; Psalm 29; Mark 4

Today’s Key Passage - Psalm 29

 

Do you ever stop to think about the power of God?  I am not talking about a passing thought or a quick acknowledgement – I am talking about actually sitting down and reflecting on His awesome power.  It can be easy for us to simply gloss over His power as we read His Word, but today I would like us to really take some time to think about it.  Let us think about some of the ways in which God has displayed His power over the ages.  It all started with creation.  God created everything from the world we live in to the stars in the sky and the air that we breathe.  When I say God “made” everything, it is not like when we “make” cookies.  For most of us, making cookies involves getting some pre-made cookie dough out the freezer that already comes in a cookie-sized ball, placing it in the oven for 15 minutes or so, and then saying we “made” cookies.  I realize that some people go a little farther and actually make the dough themselves from scratch, but this is still not what I am talking about here.  Imagine actually making the flour.  Imagine creating sugar or eggs.  This is what God did.  He did not simply use things that were already available – He made everything!

Creation was just the first of His many miraculous displays of power.  He summoned a great flood, which consumed the entire earth.  He parted a sea to allow the Israelites to escape Egypt.  He rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah.  He healed the sick and the lame.  He gave the blind their sight.  He exorcised demons.  He turned water into wine.  These are some awesome displays of power, and this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Perhaps His biggest display of power is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Up to that point in history, death was thought of as the ultimate power.  Death was the end, but when God raised Christ, He proved His power over death.  The power of God is truly greater than we can possibly comprehend.

Now here is the best part.  That power of God – that same power that raised the dead and created everything – is available to us!  We can tap into that power as followers of Christ.  God gives us strength when we need it the most.  In Ephesians 1:18-23 Paul writes, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”  God – the ultimate authority – lives in us and through us.  He gives us the power to overcome any obstacle.  Not even death is enough to trump the power of God.  Reflect on His great power today, praise Him for His mighty strength, and rest in the knowledge that when you are weak He will make you strong.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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