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Showing posts from October, 2012

Exodus: Reminders

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Going through all these laws that God speaks about in the upcoming chapters of Exodus, I started to see it parallel more and more with the Ten Commandments, as well as become more and more applicable to today's time. 2  “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice  by siding with the crowd,   3  and do not show favoritism  to a poor person in a lawsuit. - Exodus 23:2-3 As followers of Christ, we will be hated by the world (John 15:18). God's commands and laws call us to go against the words of the world. This is a true test, where do you stand, how strong your faith is, and if you will go with the crowd. I know the first two weeks of university, i could feel my faith by shaken, whether if it was to go to a party, not do work, or to try a drink. Temptations are fine, they are normal, but do not follow into them and act on it. 4  “If you come across your enemy’s  ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it.   5

Exodus: Living Authentically

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Sometimes I read a passage, and I have no idea what its about, or how it applies, and Exodus 22 did just that, but its always great to have some sort of supplementary text to help support and give more insight to what's been read. Exodus 22 continues the specific yet random list of situations and their appropriate consequences, commanded by God for the Israelites. Sometimes we can take text from the Bible literally, but sometimes we have to think further and truly listen to what God is trying to tell us. When reading these situations, one can really see that God is extremely clear and concise on every situation, all thought out and explained in great detail. It also parallels the previous post, speaking and reminding me on how clear and strict our faith should be. Black or white. God made all these laws and situations for the Israelites so they would follow them and be led in the right path. In today's time, we always have certain commands to follow that lead us towards

A Sugarcoated Faith

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I was convicted today at ACF when we were discussing having a fire for Christ. We watched the video, "The Fire" by Nate Pfiel and i could really feel the holy spirit speaking to me. The video touched on themes from commitment, to worldly things, but what was brought to my attention the most was the issue of lukewarm Christians. I truly believe that being lukewarm is one of the biggest issues we as Christians are facing. First off, when we call ourselves believers, followers of Christ, it is a commitment, a 100% commitment to Christ to devote your life to follow him. We are to follow his commandments, and many of these commandments are not of the world. Our faith and commitment to God should be plain simple, straight forward, black or white. You either whole-heartedly are for God, or you are not. There is absolutely no grey area between the two choices. Being in between would count as being a lukewarm Christian. Indulging in the world and following God at the same time, b

Exodus: Fair & Just

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As I read this chapter of Exodus, it was quite random for me personally, It just came out of the blue and I didnt fully understand it, most of it was God's commands and laws for Moses and his people, if you took the time to read it, you'll see a specific and different situations God had already thought of, and the specific consequences, from death to who's at fault, etc.. Im sure there isnt anyone that fully understands the reasoning behind all of it, but its okay. Some of it isnt the most relevant to today's time. At the same time, we can always take something out of it. When i read through it, what stuck out to me was that usually, if not every time, the result was "put to death." All this situations were sins, I guess as extra support after introducing the ten commandments. "Put to death", thats a pretty big statement. All these situations revolved around sin, and i took it as the consequences of sin. Before receiving Christ, we were all doom

Exodus: You Shall...

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Exodus 20, another big moment in the book, as God speaks to the Israelites and Moses about the famous Ten Commandments. Im sure whether or not we are believers or not, new or old, we've heard and we know these ten statements. But as i've said with the previous passages, to fully see and read about them its true form, the actual text, you get all the gritty details and you can definitely take a lot more out of it. The Ten Commandments are, "you shall have no other gods before me." Idolatry. The God we love and the God we serve is the king of kings, Lord of Lords and the creator of the Universe. Nothing in this world, natural or manmade, material or relationship should ever be in a higher priority than God in our lives. When God says "no other gods" it is timeless. It can mean gods as in Allah for instance, to the everyday things we're faced with, money, status, or a relationship. "you shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anythin

Exodus: On Eagle's Wings

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Throughout the book of Exodus, we've seen God reveal himself to Moses and the Israelites, from the plagues to the pillars of cloud, but here in chapter 19, his presence is shown more than ever. Now they've reached the Desert of Sinai, where the great Mount Sinai is located. Here, God speaks to Moses and tells him how to prepare the Israelites before he reveals himself to Moses, from abstaining from sexual relations, having clothes washed and all, i think its to prepare them to be as pure and holy in his presence. When God comes, you'll know. In verse 18 we get a simple small glimpse of his presence, and it stuns me as i try to fathom and imagine this. It says, 18  Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,  because the  Lord  descended on it in fire.  The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace,  and the whole mountain   trembled  violently.   Can you imagine that? A mountain shaking, smoke, fire, its like a crazy production to a theatrical cinematic opening. J

Exodus: Leadership 101

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Jethro, Moses' father in law comes for a visit after hearing about all that God has done for the Israelites, they celebrated and praised God for it all, and they shared with each other. Jethro advises Moses in Exodus 18 on his leadership ideas, and after reading and going through the chapter, one can really take it as a practical view on how to lead and serve in ministry, whether or not you're a deacon, a pastor, or an usher. Jethro tells Moses to delegate the tasks to avoid being worn out and being stressed over all the work that he has infront of him. He advises him in verse 21 to pick and find leaders for have the three following characteristics to help lead and be efficient in serving others. Ones who FEAR GOD. These leaders should know who God is, and as leaders should be examples for those they are helping and serving. Having a healthy fear of who their God is, and is able to be on track with their spiritual life. At the same time, being a leader and being an ex

Exodus: Not Alone

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The Israelites continue to trudge their way through Egypt with Moses and Aaron and they continue to complain after seeing God's provision countless times. They were hungry, and God rained manna from the skies. They were thirsty, and Moses struck a rock with his staff and water flowed from it. Even though the passage didn't strictly say what God thought about this, I'm sure he wasn't happy with it. Was he annoyed by all this? But yet, he still loves and provides and constantly gives us what we need. We mustn't be afraid of going before God asking for what we need, may it be strength, money, or wisdom. They were then faced with a battle against the Amalekities. In Chapter 17, it states that the Israelites won when Moses raised his staff. But its a battle, and we as humans get tired. Yet others brought Moses a rock to sit on, and raised his arms and staff for him. As tiring as it got, Moses pushed on and carried through. Im sure we've had rough times, where

Exodus: Grace & Mercy

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Even after God saved them from the Egyptians, after they were given water to quench their thirst, they continued to wail, continued to complain, they were hungry and wanted food. The Israelites even said that they preferred the life back in slavery, where food was abundant. But even though they shouldnt be complaining, God still heard their call and provided. He had manna (bread) rain from the skies in the morning, giving plenty and enough for everyone. God continued to give commands to the Israelites as tests to see how they would respond, and yet again the Israelites failed to follow God. We grumble so many times before the Lord, and our eyes turn away from all the blessings we have. Who are we to complain before God, to say that we know whats better for us? The greatest thing was that God still listens and still heard their call. And because of his overflowing grace, he loves and provides for us. He provides plenty, more than we ever need. In verse 32, Moses told everyone to

Exodus: Forgetful

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After the mighty miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites were led to the Desert of Shur. They praised God for his almighty works, and thanked him for saving them. But as they entered Shur, they started to complain about not having water, about the sufferings that tagged along with escaping Egypt. Again, God provided, Moses made the water in the river sweet by throwing wood into it. The first half of the chapter consisted of the Israelites praising God for his works. And while reading it, it really made me think and reflect on how great this God i worship really is. He parted the sea, he's powerful, straight from the book, "his right hand shattered the enemy", "you blew with your breath and the sea covered them", "the nations will hear and tremble". Fearing God has come up several times these past few weeks, and im honestly truly excited to fear him, i want to see exactly how powerful he is. I understand that we need to fear him, but

Exodus: Raw Power

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The famous miracle performed by Moses, parting the Red Sea. After the Israelites were set free and escaped Egypt, the Egyptians followed them after getting the news. In this Chapter, God had already planned the entire situation, making all things work together for good, may it be for Moses, or for God himself. God used Moses to part the sea and showed his majestic power by drowning the Egyptians as the waters came back together. God is powerful. He performs miraculous signs that are both creative, and grand as well. Sometimes when i read of these signs and miracles, i dont think i truly realize how powerful God is. I've always heard these as stories, but ive never thought of them as actually happening, having a body of water part, making a path, or trying to fathom water turning into wine. I've said in a previous post that we need to learn to fear God, but without realizing how great our God is, we cannot fear him. Similarly to the Egyptians, we are all doomed to death b

Exodus: As My Guide

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Oops, forgot about my devotions for a few days, but hopefully im back on the wagon, and pushing through Exodus. Moses and Aaron had finally led the Israelites out of Egypt with the plague of the firstborns, and as they left, God followed up by telling each of them to dedicate and consecrate their first borns, of animals and man to Him. Like a parallel to the firstborns that were sacrificed to help them escape Egypt. What stood out to me is in verse 17 where it showed how considerate God was, knowing that the Israelites may turn around when faced with war, he guided them in a different direction towards the Red Sea. God guided them through Egypt step by step, with a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night. Is God guiding you? Im sure that God wants to guide you along his way, holding your hand and not letting go, giving you all the best and only the best. But are you willing to give up your life? For someone to take the reigns and take over control? I know that G

Exodus: The Passover

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Heading into Exodus 12, i had no idea that I was about the read about one of the most significant events that happened in the Old Testament, The Passover. Reading through the longer chapter, God gave so many detailed and specific instructions to Moses and Aaron to carry out, from having the lamb being roasted on fire, cannot be boiled, how the blood had to be placed around the door frame, and that one night, all the first borns that were not in the homes with blood around the door died. Finally the Pharaoh was impacted, and let the Israelites go, all men, all women, the children and the livestock. While I read the passage, the amount of detail and specifications really stood out to me, i didn't understand how or why God had so many little things that had to be carried out so strictly. But it really emphasized the importance and the seriousness. The gravity of what was to happen, what God was going to do. At the same time, sometimes there are things in our faith that are just a

Exodus: Final Plague

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Finally we've reached the final plague, and this, to me, was the most devastating of them all. Exodus 11 describes the plague of the firstborn, where every firstborn in Egypt would die. Even after the final plague, before the Passover, the Pharaoh's heart was hard and would not let the Israelites go. When i first read through it, a few thoughts crossed my mind. From "why did God have to take innocent lives just to prove a point? thats not fair." to "how is it possible for the Pharaoh to have such a hardened heart to all this?" Thinking it through, the fact that the plagues continued to get more and more severe spoke to me in two different ways. Firstly, God's power. God is almighty and has the power to destroy and to heal. He can send hail in Egypt, he can command for darkness over the nation, and he could kill you or me with a snap of his fingers. This God that we believe is truly that powerful and great. Many times we just simply don't reali

fear.

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we had a collab between men's cell and girl's group today, and we ended up watching a Francis Chan sermon on the fear of the Lord. It really spoke to me, and here are a few things that i just took from it that i wanted to share with y'all. When you read "fear me" or "fear God" in the bible, what do you think of? many times, we think of it as out of awe, and out of respect, but from the series, i realized that it was much more than that. When it says that in the scriptures, they feared God. as in they were terrified. scared. So let me ask you, do you FEAR God? I know that I myself, have the same problem, i always thought that "fear" meant to be in awe, but i never truly feared God. In Proverbs 9:10, it says that fearing God is the beginning of wisdom. I think its very likely that this is the reason why i felt like my spiritual growth has plateaued. I havent been fearing God for who he is. Without fearing God, you dont r

Exodus: Again and Again

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We're getting to the end of the ten plagues in Egypt in Exodus 10, but after reading several chapters on this subject, it has started to get a bit boring. But reading to today, there were a few new twists and details that stood out to me. God sent locusts (which are basically grasshoppers), and total darkness to help the Israelites be freed from the Pharaoh's grasp, and similar to the past plagues, the Pharaoh would say he would free them, but end up keeping them when the plague passed. This portion ends with the Pharaoh threatening Moses and Aaron that if they were to show up again, they were to be killed. The Pharaoh was hard hearted through all the trials thrown, even his officials were concerned with his decisions, saying that he's ruining Egypt (v.7). You know something is wrong when your own people are concerned about the situation. But at the same time, each time, God says  that He has hardened the heart of the Pharaoh, and from what i understand from the text,

Love and Hatred

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11  For this is the message you heard  from the beginning:   We should love one another.   12  Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one  and murdered his brother.  And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.   13   Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.   14  We know that we have passed from death to life,  because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15  Anyone who hates a brother or sister  is a murderer,  and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.   17  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them,  how can the love of God be in that person?  18  Dear children,   let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19  This is how