Day 31

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”  Exodus 4:13 NIV

There is a recurring theme that comes from Moses in these three chapters.

Did you notice it?

There is no end to the excuses that Moses has for not doing the things that God asks him to do. I know that when I read it I can’t help but get frustrated with Moses.

I want to yell at the pages, “Suck it up. You are Moses! Get on with it!”

It is in that moment that I wonder if that is not how God thinks of me sometimes.

How often have I made excuses.  How often have I said, “Send someone else.”

As the guilt sets in, I am comforted as I remember that God was patient with Moses.

I pray God will continue to be patient with me.

Until then … today … Send Me.

Today, I am ready.

We’ll talk again tomorrow …

Day 30

Day 30 Reading – Exodus Chapters 1-3

Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor.  Exodus 1:8-11

A cowboy riding on the frontier plains comes across an Indian lying flat with his ear to the ground. The Indian looked up at the cowboy and said, “Wagon; four horses; two passengers; woman wearing calico gown; heavy man driving; thirty minutes away.”

The cowboy’s jaw dropped in amazement and said, “That is amazing! You can tell all of that just by putting your ear to the ground?”

The Indian replied, “No. They ran over me a half hour ago!”

The Israelites in Egypt could relate. They must have felt run over at his point in the story.

Perhaps you can relate as well …

Feeling run over by life, by finances, by health issues, by family?

Then I have some good news.

The God who reveals Himself as the great I AM in this story … still comes into our midst.

God still comes into our broken and desperate lives.

God still comes not to judge, but to rescue … not to condemn, but to save.

This story of rescue and promise is the forerunner to the Greatest Story ever told.

You may have been run over, but be encouraged your salvation is coming!

Keep reading …

Day 31 Reading – Exodus Chapters 4-6

 

Day 29

Day 29 Reading – Genesis Chapters 48-50

But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.  Genesis 48:14 NIV

Here we go again . . .

Does any of this sound familiar?

This is not the folly of one who can’t see.  This blessing is not stolen.

This is a deliberate action to pass the blessing on to the younger.

Now do you see the familiar?

The patience of God to continue to pursue a people so entrenched in doing it their own way in opposition to God’s plan is amazing.

Audaciously we think to ourselves that we would never actually repeat the same mistakes over and over … Would we?

It has been said, When we do not learn the lessons of history, the lessons we repeat come with greater consequences.

What has God already taught you that you stubbornly refuse to learn?

We are not doomed to repeat our mistakes … unless we refuse to learn the lessons.

 

Day 30 Reading – Exodus Chapters 1-3

 

 

Day 28

Day 28 Reading – Genesis Chapters 46-47

 

When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”Genesis 47:15

I often get tired of hearing how bad the “haves” are in comparison to the “have nots”. This chapter is an interesting story of the “have nots” willingly giving everything away in order to have food and then get this they say “thank you!”

We often forget that the accumulation of wealth is frequently the means for helping the poor. I am all for helping the poor and the needy. I get the “cup of cold water” in the name of Christ. I am just tired of hearing how “bad” the wealthy are. Lest you think you are not included: Remember that YOU are the wealthy in relationship to the world.

I have never thought of myself as being wealthy. If you want to change your perspective try travelling outside the US or just read up on Haiti, Mexico, or Guatemala.  Our vacation destinations are the gutters of the World. But things can change.

And we try to make a difference by supporting the work of those on the frontline.  UMCOR is at work around the globe. Missionaries like my friend Tom Heaton are at work in Guatemala making a difference.  Missionaries that we support as a church (Larry Kies and Linda Stranksy) are working to make a difference in Africa and the United States.

But trying to develop a system to distribute everything fairly can be a real problem when dealing with the poor.  What is fair?  Who should be included? These are questions that have been around since before Christ and still are around today.

Perhaps that is why Christ reminded us that “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.” John 12:8 NIV

I am mindful that I have much, but I am still trying to figure out how to provide for others in manner that would honor Christ . . . How about you?

For a more detailed theological discussion on this try reading A Proper Perspective of Poverty and Prosperity by Bob Deffinbaugh.

 

 

Day 29 Reading – Genesis Chapters 48-50

Day 27

Day 27 Reading – Genesis Chapters 43-45

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.  Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  Genesis 45:3-7 NIV

Our belief in the sovereign nature of God should allow us as believers to be forgiving rather than vindictive.

Many things happen in our life that bring us to today – some we do – some are done to us – but I want to believe that in all things God is in control.

Have you been harboring ill feelings because of something that happened in the past? Something that someone did you to you in the past?

Allow God to turn your thoughts from hurt to forgiveness …

It worked for Joseph … and maybe that’s the point of this story for us today.

 

Day 28 Reading – Genesis Chapters 46-47

Day 26

Day 26 reading – Genesis Chapters 41-42

 

Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God?  Genesis 40:8b

The New Year is already here and January is nearly over!

Rioting and War exist around the globe.

Winter Storms including Tornadoes. Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Floods.

The apocalypse is surely upon us!

Aren’t these all the signs?

You can’t help but watch the news and wonder.

And then the Bible speaks today and reminds us that interpretation belongs to God.

Man has long tried to figure things out for God – and gotten it wrong!

How about letting God be God.

HE is the Great I AM after all.

As the cold of winter settles in (it is coming!), as the bad news comes in, remember the words of the great hymn . . .

Trust and Obey for there’s no other way . . .

And then Remember, God loves you and He has a plan – He’s just not in the business of letting you know all that He has planned.

 

Day 27 reading – Genesis Chapters 43-45

Day 25

Day 25 reading – Genesis Chapters 38-40

At that time . . . Genesis 38:1a

I got to admit there are parts of the Bible that I just have to pause in the middle of reading and ask why? Why is this even in here?  This is one of those parts for me.

It is a moment in the Bible where we get a look behind the scenes and as most often it is not a pretty picture.

So, stop for a moment and consider this …

Prior to the mid-1800s the Bible was the only historical record for the world prior to 500 BC and unfortunately history is never very pretty.

History contains the good, the bad, and the downright ugly parts of our past. Except in the cases when we choose to revise history so that we are made to look better.

I guess that is in part what I appreciate about the Bible. The Bible is the story of God’s love for us.

The Bible is not a revised history of mankind.

There WE are in the pages of the Bible with all of our imperfections on display.

AND despite all those imperfections, God chooses to speak to us, walk with us, and love us.

So, quit trying to gloss over your imperfections.

Admit your faults (God calls them sin) and accept God’s love.

God’s been doing that since time began for the Bible tells me so.

Day 26 Reading – Genesis Chapters 41-42