Living Thanksgiving

11-22-2020/FBCH                            The Sacrifice of Praise                     Hebrews 13:15-16

    Several years ago, I was asked to speak to a gathering of Mexican Baptist Pastors. I asked if there was a topic that they wanted addressed, and one of our IMB missionaries, Andrew Flagg, asked me to speak on the distinctives of being a Baptist. Some wise sage, not me, used the letters of the word BAPTISTS (plural) as an acronym acrostic for the 8 distinctives of being Baptists. I will not teach them this morning, but I will give them to you here:

 

   Well, here we are, Thanksgiving week 2020, I am sure that many of you might be thinking that there is not a lot to be thankful for this year. This is the year we would all like to erase for many reasons. But we cannot. We also cannot ignore the Biblical directives to be thankful. Paul will say several times that, “we should give thanks always for all (or in all) things!” (cp. Eph. 5:18-20; 1 Thess. 5:18). “It is the will of God!” A Major mark of the ungodly is that they are not thankful or grateful. (Rom. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:2).

   Thursday is a day that President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress in 1941 declared to be a National Holiday to reflect on the goodness of God and to give thanks for His blessings on America and on Americans. But. He was not the first. William Bradford the governor of Plymouth Colony selected Thursday Nov. 29th as a day of Thanksgiving. Other Presidents have done the same as George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. Though I may do this every year, I would like to read it to you again:

Washington

Lincoln

   At the end of your outline is a place for you to reflect, between now and Thursday, and to write down what you are thankful for. You start today and then add things between now and Thursday. You may want to then highlight a few and share them with your family after dinner (Deut. 6:10). I will come back to that.

 

Promises that we have to look forward to!

     We are halting our study of Moses and the Exodus for a few weeks to look at Thanksgiving and Christmas. For many people, Thanksgiving is for many, the best holiday of the year. There are no costumes, presents, pumpkins, candy, fireworks, eggs, or trees. It is just food, family, reflection, and maybe some friends, and sometimes football, and hopefully, a lot of gratitude. Food, family and friends, are a great reminder of God’s goodness and we spend the day reflecting and joyfully celebrating and worshipping the God who has blessed us with so much.

   Thanksgiving can be costly though. The cost of the meal, travel, preparations, and time. This one day a year serves as a wonderful reminder of what every day should be like. We should be a people who are living thanksgiving. That’s why we should have a time of thanks before all of our meals. This morning I would like to look at some of the closing words of Hebrews chapter 13:12-16. “So also, Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. 13 So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. 14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”

    You see, we believe in the priesthood of believers, that is as in the 8 Baptist Distinctives. Peter says so in 1 Peter 2:5 and 9, “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.” And (9) “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

   We serve as mediators between people and good. We bring people to God and God to people. And we offer sacrifices. Not blood and animal sacrifices but spiritual sacrifices. Before Jesus came to die for us on the cross, Religion was a bloody affair as it took a life to redeem a life. Priests were responsible for making offerings on behalf of worshippers. Whether it was seeking forgiveness, consecrating your life, giving praise and thanksgiving, people either had to, or in some cases chose to, offer to God from their livelihood the life of an acceptable animal or bird. The Old Testament is a bloody book. The Book of Leviticus is very specific about sacrifices.

   But there was another problem. It was/is the problem of turning one’s faith system into a ritual religion. That is, we go through the motions of doing something in which Spirit and Truth have no part. Its just rote and ritual. There are several places in the Old Testament where God says. I don’t want it.

Isaiah 1:10-19

Amos 5:21-24

    What happened? The personal relationship with the Living God had been replaced with ritual religion. Motions without emotions. Self-satisfying but not God honoring. Self-Righteousness but not humility.

   Now before we get into the text. Let me remind you quickly that are things that more important than even your sacrifices. Know what they are?

  1. Obedience – 1 Samuel 15:22
  2. Mercy and Knowledge of God – Hosea 6:6
  3. Broken Spirit and Heart over sin – Psalm 51:16-17
  4. Righteousness and Justice – Prov. 21:3

    Now in the book of Hebrews, these Jewish Believers were troubled because of their faith in Jesus and many were going back to that bloody system of sacrifices. But the author is pleading for them to trust in the ultimate blood sacrifice which Jesus made for us because now, no more are required to be accepted and forgiven by God and to enable us to approach God’s presence. We are told to boldly come into His presence and approach His throne. Jesus did it once and for all, for all time. But if you want to offer a sacrifice, the author says. “here is what you can do.” Hebrews 13:15-16.

   Now what is a sacrifice? A sacrifice is the willful giving up of something and offering it as a gift to God or someone. What I sacrifice I give up the rights to and I give it to God, or the person I offer it to. Now, there are at least 7 sacrifices that we as Christians are called to make.

The Sacrifices of God Followers. This is not an Exhaustive List! But I would like to give you 5

  1. Your Prayers ( 8:1-6) The prayers of the saints are referred to as offerings. Praying takes time. Praying sometimes, when done with godly intentions, means asking for God to do right when I really don’t feel that way. Forgiveness, blessing my enemies, the opposing politicians, etc. To draw sinners to grace. And more. Praying for those we love also takes time and emotions. It is a sacrifice.
  2. Your Person- Body ( 12:1) Christmas and easter are all about how our God took on our flesh to give it up as a sacrifice for us. That is a love beyond our comprehension. We were His enemies, sinners, yet He gave His body and Life to redeem us, and receive us, and accept us, and adopt us, and forgive us, and give us a hope and a future with a reserved inheritance. We are children of God, why? Because of the mercies of God.

   So, what can we do, or what should we do? What can we give to God? I am glad you asked. Paul says, you can offer your body to Him. Give Him your life. Live for Him. Lord, my body, my mind, my life is yours. I give it to you. Its yours. I will use it for you. I treat like your possession. I am in essence your possession, even your slave, your servant in bonds. I will not take it back. Even to death, I am yours. This mind I yours, I will fill it with the Knowledge of God. This mouth is yours, I will speak the grace and truth of God. These ears are yours, I will the cries of the needy and lost, and hurting. These eyes are yours, I will see people as they are, and pity who I can. These hands are yours to help others. These legs and feet are yours to go to people and love them as you loved me. Can you do that? I will never forget a lady telling me that I was asking too much! I said, I am asking nothing at all, I am only telling you what Paul said. Have you made this sacrifice? Can you?

  1. Your Praise – Thanksgiving (Heb. 13:15)

    Now notice Hebrews 13:14, Life as we know it here is a transient affair. It is temporary. It will not be around forever. Even our way of life has changed so much in our lifetime, let alone the thousands of years that preceded the 19th-21st centuries. But we are fixed on the city that is forever (cp. Abraham in 11:13-16; John 14:1-3; Rev. 21).

         “By Him,” Jesus our High Priest, “Let, us Continually offer the sacrifice of Praise.” It is called the Fruit of Our Lips. The verbal expression of gratitude and faith. The lips say what the heart believes or thinks. Dear Friends, this is important to God as well as beneficial to you. I have included a little help for you. You have between now and Thursday to fill it in or reproduce it for your family so they can fill it before Thursday.

  1. For You. Gratitude looks back for how we have benefited by God’s grace.

It reminds us of God’s Faithfulness.

It keeps us humble for we remember our blessings come from Him not our own abilities, because they also come from Him.

It reminds us of His presence and His care for us as individuals and families.

It honors our Father to know we are appreciative.

Even when we recall, the difficulties He has brought us through.

  1. It helps us to look forward to our future. He is involved and has made us some great promises such as the city Jesus is preparing for us. And the perfect and whole bodies we will have. And Oh, the meal He is preparing and the Songs He will be singing for us, and we will be singing for Him. “Whoever Praises me glorifies me.” ( 50:23 says). The psalmists also says in 107, “Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” As a sacrifice, it gives all the credit to God and produces humility, when sometimes we would like the credit.
  2. For Others. And Gratitude is a testimony to all who hear, whether it is thanksgiving or breakfast at Dutch Country, that You know and revere the God of creation, of provision, and of salvation.
  3. It replaces my anxieties with His peace (Phil. 4:5-7) I Know He’s got this.
  4. For God, it is an expression of both Gratitude and Trust. This is a sacrifice because it says rather than complain about my circumstances, I choose to believe God has a good plan, and that He is working even when I don’t see that He’s working like in what is happening in our country now, or in your isolation, or in my pond predicament. Giving thanks for or in all things as the Apostle Paul suggests in Ephesians and 1 Thess. is obedience and trust when you don’t understand. The Psalms are filled with the encouragement to bring the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving to God. Can you do it? Can you bring the sacrifice of Praise to God and be specific this Thursday or Verse 15 says, Continually?? This is living Thanksgiving every day. I hope you can. Two more.
  5. Your Performance – Doing Good (Heb. 13:16). I don’t believe this needs a lot of preaching. God has given you His own Holy Spirit to reside in you so you can love others, and one another as Jesus loved you. Your good words, your prayers, your help, are like gold to your family of Brothers and Sisters and those who need to see the gospel with skin on it. Jesus is not here physically but He lives in you. You can show them what Jesus is like by your kindnesses and mercies. Read and remember Matthew 25:31-40!
  6. Your Purses – Sharing What You Have (Heb. 13:16) Being Benevolent. This most likely directed to helping the poor. God has blessed you to be a blessing to other people, especially those in need.When Paul recalls his commissioning by the other Apostles he said. “They only desired that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.” (Gal. 2:10). When Israel harvested their crops they were to leave some for the poor (Lev. 19). When Job’s friends were accusing him, they suggested that perhaps his problem was that he neglected the poor, which he strongly denied in 29-30.

Proverbs 19:17 says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given
.”

Proverbs 28:27 says, “He who gives to the poor will not lack,
But he who hides his eyes will have many curses
.”

Deut. 15:7-8, ““If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

  Friends, this may be people you know personally, or charities like Lottie Moon, or Samaritan’s Purse, or World Vision, or the Council of Churches. It could be strangers or the homeless, It might even be an enemy (Romans 12) or angels that you don’t even know (Hebrews 13:1-3). Holidays are a wonderful to bless the less fortunate. It could have been you but for the grace of God. James 1:27 speaks of caring for the widows and orphans in their affliction.

   That could be with food, money, gift cards, clothing, some of time, or however God moves you to give. That’s Acts 2:43 following and Acts 4.

    My friends, that is Living Thanksgiving. In fact that is Living Christmas. That is Living Easter.

 

For with such Sacrifices God is Well Pleased. Your offering in the offering plate is great but what really blesses His heart is when you are grateful and when you serve and give like Jesus did. That is what results in an attaboy, and yous done good, or well done my child, my good and faithful servant.

 

This Thanksgiving let’s put on Jesus and be living our Thanksgiving.

 

Do you know Jesus?

 

Let’s Pray about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are the Eight Baptist Distinctives? These teachings may be remembered by associating them with the letters that form the word “BAPTISTS.”

 

BIBLICAL AUTHORITY

The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scriptures’ inherent authority. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21)

AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus, the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests and in associational tie, but a Baptist church cannot be a “member” of any other body. (Col. 1:18; 2 Cor. 8:1-5,19, 23)

PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER

“Priest” is defined as “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.” Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As priests, we can study God’s Word, pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God. We all have equal access to God — whether we are a preacher or not. (1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 5:9,10)

TWO ORDINANCES

The local church should practice two ordinances: (1)baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, (2) the Lord’s Supper, or communion commemorating His death for our sins. (Matthew 28:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11;23-32)

INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY

Every individual whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution. However, this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself. (Rom. 14:5,12; 2 Cor. 4:2; Titus 1:9)

SAVED, BAPTIZED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Local Church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Acts 2:41-47; 1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Ephesians 4:3)

TWO OFFICES IN THE CHURCH

The Bible mandates only two offices in the church – pastor and deacon. The three terms – “pastor,” “elder,” and “bishop” or “overseer” – all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as hierarchy outside or over the local church (1 Timothy 3)

SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government’s purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church’s purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government.
(Matthew 22:15-22; Acts 15:17-29) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      What Can I Give Thanks For Specifically?

Spiritual Blessings (ex. Salvation, Forgiveness, acceptance, adoption, heaven, Holy Spirit, Bible, love, joy, peace, a Trustworthy Father God, and much more)

 

 

 

 

Physical Blessings (ex. Food, clothing shelter, car, mobility, sight, hearing, smell, touch, flowers, fields, income, job, Teachers who guided you, America, and more)

 

 

 

 

Family Blessings (spouse, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, Friends, and much more)

 

 

 

Tough Times That God has Brought Me/Us Through.

 

 

 


Read more...

The Man God Wants in the White House and Your House October 3 2020

         The Man That God Wantsin the White House?

10-4- 2020/FBCH1 Sam. 13:14 and others

 

We have gotten Israel out of Egypt. The Red Sea and the threat of Egypt is behind them. They are free and ready for their course of training in Trusting God 101. But we are going to leave them there on the east bank of the sea and heading towards Sinai for a few weeks. And using our Bibles we are going to try to understand where our nation is, and why, and our Hope for our Future. Today and the Next Three Sundays:

  1. What Kind of Leader is God Looking for? (1 Sam. 13:14, others)
  2. How Did We Get This Way? (Jeremiah)
  3. Who Do We Trust?( 33:16-22, others)
  4. Praying for Our Future? (Joel 2:12-19; 2 Chronicles 4:14)

I love my country. Though we are far from what our founders desired for our country, this is still the greatest place in the world to live. I still remember what Charles Stanley said years ago, “Some countries have to put up fences to keep people in, but we are the only country that has to put up fences to keep people out.” Everyone wants to be here. America is still the land of opportunity; the promised land for much of the world.  

     I Love the patriotic songs like My Country Tis of Thee, and America the Beautiful, and God bless America. I want God to bless America, don’t you?But I believe that for us to have God’s blessing, we must choose our leaders carefully. Our choice will not only affect our lives but on our children and grandchildren’s lives.I must tell you that, I personally did not like the debate. I was disappointed in the candidates and the moderator. I have to remember that my vote is not to based upon the personality of the candidate, but which candidate most closely will govern according to God’s Word. Which one will most closely align his decisions according to God’s will? As followers of Jesus Christ yours should too.

    I hope that everyone will vote. Some of you may have already voted or will be by absentee or mail in balloting very soon.Debbie and I will vote absentee for the first time ever as we will be away the week of the election.Voting is a privilege that we have as Americans and we need to take advantage of it. Does your vote count? Ask the people in Florida or Washington State where one of the last governors was elected by 133 votes. So, take the time and vote.

   For the last year we have been inundated with the candidates and their platforms for governing the country. We have heard about change, and experience, about the economy, the Pandemic and foreign policy, China, taxes, the affordable care act,social justice, socialism, the Supreme Court,etc. There will be voter guides telling you how the candidates line up with the issues. By now, most of your minds are probably made up, but I want to challenge you this morning to think past how you think the election will best benefit you and ask you to think about the title of this message: What Kind of Man Does God Want in The White House, or the house of representatives, the Senate, and even more, In Your House?

  One of the V.P. candidates in the 2012 election commented on a statement made about God and went on to compare that statement with one made by President Abraham Lincoln who said, “The question is not, ‘Is God on our side, but are we on God’s side’?”

We must trust God –no matter what? He has ordained government and takes the ultimate responsibility for who is in office. Consider these words in Daniel 4:17 and 25: “That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will and sets over it the lowest (or basest) of men.”

    But,He has told us what kind of man He is looking for and the man He not only wants in the White House but also in your house. While this may not be in chronological order, it while show what God wants.

 

The country was ready for a change. The people in governing positions were dishonest and corrupt and the people were ready for something new, so they demanded new leadership, a new style of government, and a new man to lead them. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 8:1-9.Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So, Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.

Now, God had alreadypredicted that the time would come when the people would want a King. Look atDeuteronomy 17:14-20. The first couple of verses show us that the king should not use the position as a means of accumulating wealth, horses, or wives. This was not to be a position for personal gain. Look at verses 18-20 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.And it shall be with him (the king), and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”Compare thatwith God’s instruction to Joshua inJoshua 1:8-9, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  And, one more, listen to1 Kings 2:2-3, where King David is nearing death and so he instructs his son Solomon in the necessities of being the King,I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. 3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;”The common thread in these is that God is looking for someone who bases his decisions on the morals and teachings and commandments of God’s Word.God has promised that the man who governs by the Book will be successful.

 

  1. First, then, is that the man God wants in leadership must be

 a man who studies and obeys God’s Word. His advisors encourage and advise him according to the commands, the morals, and the principles of God’s word.He knows that one of the reasons that the Bible was given to us was to help us to rightly govern ourselves. No matter what peer pressure or even what the people want, The Lord God is looking for a man who turns to God’s word to govern the people. Our Country’s first Presidents understood this as did many of the men who occupied the office. There would be thousands of quotes I could give you to prove this, but I would just like to give you two. This quote is by a President that may not have been the godliest of men, but he understood the necessity of God’s word. Listen to this by Harry Truman as he addressed the Attorney General’s Conference on Law Enforcement in 1950: “The Fundamental basis of this nation’s law was given to Moses on the mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teaching which we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have the proper moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody but the state.”

John Adams once said, (2nd President), “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” No man or woman can truly separate himself from the Bible because our laws, and our constitution, were originally designed and based on the Bible. God is looking for a man who understands that and will lead accordingly. One nation “under God” is part of his Pledge of Allegiance. Which Candidatesis most likely to refer to and follow God’s Word?You should ask that question.

 

The first King of Israel was Saul. If looks could lead, Saul was the man, as 1 Samuel 9:2 tells us “a certain man, had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.” ButSaul was not the man God wanted him to be. He was chosen for his looks and physique. But on several occasions, he disobeyed God and took upon himself actions that he had no right to do. It was not long into His reign when Saul does what only priests were supposed to do and God was disappointed. Look at 1 Samuel 13:11-14, “And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you,”(cp. Acts 13:22).

  1. God is looking for, A Man After His Own Heart.”What does it

mean to be a Man After God’s Own Heart? It seems to me that:

  1. First, it means to be a man whose heart is in harmony with God’s; that is, He agrees with God. When God says this is right, it is right! When God says, this is wrong, it is wrong, and he doesn’t try to see how he can make wrong to be right, or right to be wrong. He doesn’t try to see how closehe can get to crossing the line. He wants to see how far he can stay from the line. It means He loves what God loves and hates what God hates.The first rule for Government established in the Bible was to protect human life. Which candidates want to protect the unborn,the children,the elderly, and the citizens of our country?
  2. Second, it means He see life through God’s eyes and not the worlds or even his own. He has a Biblical Worldview. The Bible is the basis for how He judges, pre-marital sex, living together outside of marriage, homosexuality, abortion, the occult, marriage, and even divorce. Which candidates are closer to God’s heart on these issues?
  3. Third, it means that he is a man of integrity. He speaks the truth; he keeps his promises; and he practices what he preaches. He does not say one thing and do another. ( 78:70-72)

 

    Now we know that David wasn’t perfect, though he was called a man after God’s own heart; in fact, he royally messed up several times, yet when he did, his heart longed to be right with God, because God was His life. Listen to God’s testimony about Abijam, David’s great grandson, and David, “And he(Abijam) walked in all the sins of his father(Rehoboam), which he had done before him; his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David….David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite,(1 Kings 15:3-5).

 

Let me ask you – Could it be said that the man in your house is a man after God’s own heart? This is the kind of man that God was looking for to govern His people and He still is.

 

  • Look at 2 Chronicles 16:9. “For the Eyes of the Lord run to and

fro throughout the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (or perfect, or completely His). Asa was the King of Judah and previously, as a young King, when Judah was under attack, Asa trusted totally in God and God honored and protected him and Judah. But later in life, when another enemy came against him, Asa made an alliance with other nations and did not turn to God, and God was disappointed.

God is looking for a leader whose heart is loyal to Him. That is the kind of leader that He wants in the White House and in your house. What does that mean?

  1. It means He is looking for someone who trusts God no matter what! That is a man of faith. Even if he doesn’t understand, He will trust and obey God. That is the kind of men and women that make up Hebrews 11. That is the kind of men that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego They were willing to die rather than to be disloyal to God. In Daniel 3:16when faced with death for not bowing and worshiping the golden image, they said said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”This kind of man lives by Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
  2. It also means that his whole life belongs to God as Paul encourages us to consider in passages like Romans 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:19-20. God is welcome and part of everything he does and every area of his life.Which candidates more closely trust and follow God no matter what?
  3. **This person has a Holy, Healthy Reverence and respect for God. (Deut. 17:19) He fears the Lord. This is God’s world and the candidate wants to govern it for the people’s good and God’s Glory. Which candidates will use the phrase, “Under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance as established by Congress on June 14th, 1954.Not because of peer pressure but out of reverence for the Almighty.

 

  1. God is looking for in a leader is inEzekiel 22:23-30.

In this chapter, God is upset that the religious and political leaders are corrupt, and the country is suffering for it. The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” God was looking for a leaderwho would earnestly pray for and lead the nation back to righteousness. Look back at Psalm 106:23. Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them. Moses prayed and interceded for the people according to the Covenant that God had made with Abraham and with Moses.

    What does this mean? It means that God is looking for a leader who sees the corruption and the impending judgment of God. He sees the things like the killing of babies and the re-defining of marriage, and the elimination of God from public life, and the embracing of false gods, and the sexual promiscuity, the redefining of His word by religious leaders as just plain wrong. He not only wants to lead the people righteously but prays for the country, that God may be merciful and delay His judgment and bring a revival to our country. This kind of man will plead with God and with man to return to righteousness.

     This is the kind of man that God wants in the White House and in leadership and in your house. Do you plead for righteousness and pray for revival for your country?  

 

  1. The man that God is looking for in the White House and in your

house is a man who Prays for and supports Israel. Look at Genesis 12:3. “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  We must never put a man in the White House who does not support Israel. America has remained strong in spite of our sins. Why? I believe that one of the primary reasons is, that from the beginning of Israel’s modern history, America has blessed her. Look at Psalm 122:6. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”

 

Listen, God has a plan for Israel, and she has been central to His plan for salvation. The Bible is a Jewish Book. The Christ was born a Jew. Jesus will come back again to Israel and will reign in the New Jerusalem. And God will fulfill His covenant with Abraham and give His descendants the land – all the land, He promised them. And God has promised to bless her allies. But her enemies will be God’s enemies.Which Candidate will support Israel?

 

My Friends, this is the kind of man that God wants in the White House. These are the characteristics He wants in leaders. Before you consider your wallet or bank account, or the Political party you have been part of all of your life, you need to consider the man and all the candidates that most closely resembles this kind of person. God owns all the money anyway and He has promised to care for and provide for His own and you must believe and trust that. You need to consider which candidates most closely reflect these things that God has revealed.

 

But God also wants this kind of person in your house. He wants these qualities in you- men!

 

  1. Though we mention it last, it is not least. For most of us it is a given.

For a man to be the kind of man we have described, He must be a man who has repented of his own sin and has trusted in and received God’s grace by receiving Jesus Christ as His Savior and Lord. You see a man cannot really know or love God apart from knowing and loving Jesus His son. Listen to the words of 1 John 5:10-13.He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

 

God who gave us His Word so that we would know how to live and govern ourselves rightly, also gave us the way to know His forgiveness and grace; the way to be right with Him and to know Him. He gave us Jesus to die for us and to rise again so that we could have peace with God and the assurance of eternal life. You should want that in the man who will lead us from our White House, and you should want that in the person who leads in your house.

 

  1. Is God’s word the basis on which you order your life?
  2. Are you a man or woman after God’s own Heart?
  3. Is your heart loyal to God, do you trust Him, no matter what?
  4. Do you stand in the gap for your family and plead for righteousness and grace?
  5. Do you pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel?
  6. Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord?

 

Let’s Pray!

 

 

 


Read more...

Red Sea and Me. Getting Israel out of Eygpt 9-6-2020

9-6-2020/FBCH                         Getting Egypt out of Israel
Ex. 13:14-14:31
Introduction – The Red Sea Crossing (by a 9 year old) (led by Moses)
Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school.
“Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelite people out of Egypt.”
“When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely.”
“Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements.”
“They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved”.
“Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?” his mother asked.
“Well, no Mom, but if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe it!”
A Lot of people don’t believe it. It is one of the greatest miracles recorded in the Bible and used in the Psalms as a source of inspiration for the Hebrew people. And we will get to it next week. Today, I want to re-introduce you to this book called Exodus. In fact, it is an introduction to Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
One of the reasons that we are studying the life and leadership of Moses is that his story, and the birth of the nation of Israel, mirrors our own personal story of faith and being rescued from slavery to live in freedom and harmony with our God. There is joy and peace in being forgiven and chosen as a child of God, adopted into His family, knowing we are headed to heaven. He leads us out of a life of bondage and into a relationship with Himself. Never forget that. He never forgives us and frees us to let us go off on our own. We are rescued from our slavery in order to be rescued to a relationship with Him. But it doesn’t take long to realize that our enemy who had held us captive to sin and stuff, is not happy that we are free, and tries to re-capture us and turn us from our new faith. (Cp. Matt. 6:13; Eph. 6:10-12; 1 Peter 5:7) And as we follow our Lord, we find that often we come to an impossible predicament, and we wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to remain where we were. These stories are mirrors of the stories of our own lives.
It was quite a night. All of Egypt was grieving the death that invaded absolutely every home and every barn. At the same time, the Hebrews were plundering their Egyptian neighbors and leaving Egypt. They were departing, exiting the place where they had lived and worked in bondage for over 400 years. That’s what the name Exodus means, a departing, a mass exiting. Most had probably never seen life outside of Egypt. It is the only home they have ever known. Many of you can trace your ancestry to another country and while you may have traveled some, the U.S.A. is the only home you have ever known.
Approximately 2 million strong and all their cattle. Our Story has 5 parts and many teaching points. We will look at part one today and the next 4 next week.
The LORD Plans (Exodus 12:37-41; 13:17-14:2). He plans our journey.
One of the major lessons in the story of Moses and the Exodus is that YAHWEH wants us to know that He is God and God alone. There is no other. He made us for Himself and wants us to love Him as He loves us. He has proposed a love relationship with us in what we call a Covenant. He made a Covenant with Noah, He made a Covenant with Abraham, He will make one with Moses and Israel in Ch.19, and He made one with us called the New Covenant. In a sense these covenants are like wedding vows. All of these are declarations of His love, and pledges of His faithfulness to us when we trust and obey Him or walk by our faith. The plagues on Egypt over the last 9 months were to show the Hebrews and Egyptians that He is the one true God who keeps His Covenant promises that He made with Abraham and for his descendants.

The Guidance He provides. You and I have been blessed beyond measure to
have the Bible. God breathed out His words to Moses and 40 other men so we would know Him, Know His will, Know His promises, and so we could be mature Christlike children of God (2 Tim. 3:14-17). We have the benefit of scholars and Godly teachers and pastors to explain it and show us how to apply it to our lives. WE are so blessed to have this book of God.
And we have the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God with us, and in us, to guide us and to bring the Bible’s words to our minds when we need it. For example, listen to the words of our LORD Jesus: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you,” (John 14:26). And,  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)
We must not forget that Israel did not have a Bible, nor synagogues, nor any formal religious services that we know of. They had only the oral traditions and stories that were passed down in the families. On top of that they had 400 years of Egyptian indoctrination in the Egyptian ways and beliefs. Jacob and Joseph may have begun as God fearing, faith walking believers, but 400 years of godless influence greatly affected the Hebrews. Just look at how 60 years have affected our country. Someone has said, “It took just one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel.”

To Guide Israel, God gave them four things.
First, was a symbol of His presence with them. Moses’ walk with God began with a burning bush. The Angel of the Lord or the Lord Jesus was present in that fire and spoke with Moses. Look at 13:21-22 and cp. 14:19. God was visibly present to led them. Several times in Exodus and Numbers, God will speak to Moses and to the people from the Cloud and Fire. The Cloud and Fire were expressions of the Shekinah Glory of God; The presence of God with them. God would be present with His people. The Shekinah Glory Cloud and Fire would lead them in the way they were to go. It also would provide protection for them. Psalm 105:37-39 says, “He also brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among His tribes. 38 Egypt was glad when they departed, For the fear of them had fallen upon them. 39 He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.” The cloud would protect them from the intense desert heat from the sun in the day, and the fire would protect them from the freezing temperatures at night. The temperatures can go from below freezing at night to over 120 degrees in the daytime.
Secondly, God gave Israel a leader, a shepherd, named Moses. Moses would commune with God and he and Aaron would relay God’s Word to the people. To teach and guide His people God has given them Shepherds. By the way, I know that many, many churches call a pastor who will perform all the religious stuff and minister to you. And while ministry is part of his job, his primary responsibility is to teach you and lead you to trust, obey and imitate Jesus. This is not about encouraging social or political activism, this sus about becoming like Jesus and adopting His goals, His dreams, His vision, His purposes, and continuing His life. He lives is us to minister grace to the world. Never, ever forget that. Listen carefully to Paul, Ephesians 4:11-15, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” Peter made it very plain that while distributing money and food to the needy is very important, it is a job for the church , the pastor’s job is to teach and to pray for the church. Acts 6:2-4 says, “Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
As long as the shepherd is leading according to the Bible, the church’s responsibility is to follow his or their leading. Between here and the end of Numbers, Israel would get into trouble when they tried to move by majority opinion. The majority can be wrong! Your responsibility is to make sure the Bible says, or by principle implies what the Shepherd says, and then follow him. If there would have been a congregational vote, Israel would not have gone the way that the Lord through Moses and the Shekinah Glory led them. Trust Your Shepherd! Too many churches falter, and fail, and fracture because people want to go by their own opinions and feelings and wants, rather than the way God is leading through their shepherds and His word. We have the Holy Spirit and we have the Bible and we have men who have been trained and have given their lives to the study and teaching of God’s word. Read Numbers 12 sometime. Miriam and Aaron are scathed by God from the cloud because they spoke against Moses. Miriam got leprosy.
Thirdly, He gave them His Words and Will. He spoke to Moses and Moses and Aaron would speak them to the people. Moses then would write them down and give to them and to us, 5 or the first 6 books of the Bible. The Bible tells us not only our history and our future but what is God’s will and the best way to live our lives. They were privileged to the first written words of God while they were traveling.
Fourth, they had a Memorial of their faith in the Promises of God. (13:19).
They took Joseph’s coffin. I am not sure if it had been written down somewhere, or the Lord revealed it directly to Moses, but Moses knew of Joseph’s desire. In Gen. 50:24-26 it says, “And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. Joseph believed it 400 years ago, and God kept His word. Joseph knew the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 15. That coffin was a constant reminder to the Hebrews that God is to be trusted and obeyed. Just as every communion service, every Christmas, every Easter, and every sign of the cross is a memorial to the faithfulness of God.
The Training we need. As I shared with you earlier, someone said, “It took
just one night to get Israel out of Egypt but 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel.” God had plans for Israel. Look over at Ch. 19:5-6.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” The intent was that Israel would be like a summer light attracting the bugs of the world to God. God would bless them so much that they would become the envy of the world. People would want to know their secret and their God. They would have God’s words and wisdom and will.
But to do this they would have to learn to live life all over again from a different perspective as the people who trust in YAHWEH. They had to stop thinking like Egyptians and rest fully on the LORD and obey Him. For this to happen they would have to be trained to think and react in faith as the Children of God. The rest of Exodus – Deuteronomy is all about that. For example, Immediately, as they departed from Egypt, two things happened.
One, He led them on a long journey instead of a short one. Look at 13:17-18, then 14:1-4. They were just a week or two away from the Promised land. We leave here today and arrive there next Tuesday, and life is great. Right? Wrong! Between the city of Rameses and the Canaan Border were Egyptian military outposts, and as soon as you cross the Canaan border there were Philistine outposts. Two million people would not be seen as a busy tourist season but an invasion and these people who had been trained in brick making were not prepared for war. Not yet. So, the Lord led them on a longer route for their good.
Have you ever said to God, “This makes no sense, it would be better to do it this way?” Or, “Why are things not happening like I want them to, prayed they would, and makes sense to me?” It is often because of what God is trying to protect you from as well as what He wants to teach you.
Second, (14:3-4). The Egyptian landscape had been ruined, the nation had experienced a national disaster in the loss incurred by every family, and their economy would completely collapse with the loss of their slave labor force. They had to get the Hebrews back. The king had not yet learned that he could not fight God. By the way, (just as a side note), this is a preview of coming attractions. The book of the Revelation is marked by God’s judgements on the earth, and yet man, led by Satan, and his beast and false prophet think they can fight God by going after God’s people in Rev. 19, Zech. 12-14, Joel 3 and others depicting Armageddon. God will be Honored, Glorified, Exalted, and Revered among the Egyptians. In His impending Judgment, God would be extending grace to the Egyptians. God would finish what the He symbolized in the Rod of Moses – Serpent swallowing Pharaoh’s magicians’ rod – serpents. Egypt would be completely swallowed by YAHWEH!
Major Life lesson here. God has a twofold plan for your life and the lives of all of His children. The plan is to get us out of Egypt and bondage to sin and self and Satan and then to get Egypt out of us and train us to be like Him. Sadly, a lesson many never learn. We have to stop thinking like Egyptian slaves and start thinking like Children of God. Being Born again means learning to live life all over again from a different perspective.
Let’s consider Romans 8:28-29. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” But also consider these. Everyone knows Proverbs 3:5-6 but listen to the rest of the context.
Proverbs 3:5-12,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Deut. 8:2-5, And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
One more.
Hebrews 12:5-11, “ And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
All of these passages have the word Chastening. To be chastised implies to be scolded or beaten as a form a discipline. That is true sometimes, but not necessarily in these contexts. The word means to be trained a child. To teach a child. We teach children how to use the toilet, how to tie their shoes, how to obey their parents, how to feed themselves, how to walk, how to talk, and eventually how to cook, clean, drive a car, earn a living, drive a nail, change a light bulb and well, you get it. Our goal is to help our children be fully functioning, mature, and independent of parents, adults. We don’t train them to hurt them. Neither does God. James begins his short letter with these words: (NLT), “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Every military, police force, fire and rescue dept., will put their cadets through a rigorous training program to teach them how to be a soldier, sailor, policeman, firefighter, etc. They don’t do this to hurt the cadets but to enable them to do their jobs to their best.
Our Father, because He loves us is committed to us being like Jesus. Mature, faithful, children of Almighty God who will show the rest of the world what Faith in the one true God is really all about. Training is fairly simple. First you receive instructions and then you get an opportunity to apply your instructions. We call these tests, or trials. Again Deut. 8:2 says, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
Everything we are about to encounter in the life of Moses is about that. This is a major principle of the whole Bible, that you must grasp and know in your heart concerning what we will encounter in the lives of the Hebrews and what you will encounter in your own lives. God is at work in your life to get you out of Egypt and then to get all of Egypt out of you, and mold you into the image of Jesus to be a His light and a priest in a dark world.
Next Week we will pick up with the Red Sea. The Lord Plans, The
Egyptians Pursue, The Hebrews Panic, The Lord Protects, The People Praise.
This is a time for a recommitment. A self-examination. Am I following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and His Bible. Am I following the Shepherd God has given me. Am I trusting God in my trying times knowing He wants to get all of Egypt out of me as He gets me out of Egypt? IS my life one that is attracting people to the light of life in Jesus? Maybe we should re-commit ourselves to that.
 
 
The Egyptians Pursue (Ex. 14:3-9)
The Good News – Freedom, Forgiveness, Family, a Promised Land
The Bad News – An Enemy
The Hebrews Panic (Ex. 14:10-12)
Keep your eyes on the Lord and His promises
Pray
Walk by Faith
The LORD Protects (Ex. 14:13-30)
The People Praise (Ex. 14:31)
Be in Awe
Give God praise
 

Read more...

Getting Egypt out of Israel 9-13-2020

9-13-2020/FBCH Getting Egypt Out of Israel (2) (Exodus 14)
 
Review. Last week we paused and re-introduced the book of Exodus to you, as we are at the place where Israel is making a mass departure from Egypt. The exiting is happening. God is keeping His word and promises to Abraham. He told Abraham before he had any children that he would father a nation but that nation would be strangers in another land and would end up being afflicted there for 400 years, but then they would come out of there with great possessions, and God would judge their oppressors. (Gen. 15:13-14).
Though they did not have a Bible, at the time, God would speak to them through Moses and Aaron. Moses would communicate with God and share it with Aaron and the two of them would share it with the nation estimated to be about 2 million people. God would guide them in the way they should go with His Shekinah glory. The Angel of God would be in the pillar of cloud in the day and the pillar of fire at night, just as He was in the fire of the bush that didn’t burn.
Today, He guides us and teaches us through His Book, the Bible, and guides us with His Holy Spirit as our Lord told us in John 14-16. And He has gifted men to be pastors and elders to teach His word to His people and help to guide them through life and given them to the Church.
All of this is important to remember, because our LORD has a plan for our lives that is both subjective and objective as I have shared many times. You must never forget this. Subjective is what we get. Freedom from our slavery to sin, freedom from the penalty for sin, and to be adopted by Him. freedom to enjoy His peace, joy, love, etc. To live and die with the guaranteed hope of Heaven.
But God has an Objective plan for rescuing us, just as He did for rescuing Israel. Look at Exodus 19:5-6. A kingdom of priests, a people set apart to God, to bring people to God and God to people. They would be a nation of mediators, a light for the world to see and to know God. This is what our Lord said in Matthew 5:13-16. Peter would never forget this. Listen to what He says in 1 Peter 2:9-12.
But for this to happen, People have to be re-trained. Someone has said, “It took just one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel.” They had to learn to trust and obey God. They had to learn to see life through God’s eyes. Their entire history since Jacob was shaped by Egypt. Just as your entire history has been shaped by the philosophies of this world.
Listen, being born again means to be forgiven and saved, and adopted by God, and having the forever indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, but being born again also means that we have to learn to live life all over again from a different perspective. It means learning to trust and obey God and learning to see all of life through His eyes. To do that, He has to get Egypt out of us.
The rest of Exodus, through Deuteronomy is all about God getting Egypt out of Israel. So lets dive in.
The Lord Plans (Ex. 13:17-14:4) Notice, He led them on a long journey
instead of a short one. Look at 13:17-18, then 14:1-4. They were just a week or two away from the Promised land. We leave here today and arrive there next Tuesday, and life is great. Right? Wrong! Between the city of Rameses and the Canaan Border were Egyptian military outposts, and as soon as you cross the Canaan border there were Philistine outposts. Two million people would not be seen as a busy tourist season but an invasion and these people who had been trained in brick making were not prepared for war. Not yet. So, the Lord led them on a longer route for their good. Instead of heading North East, they headed South East. He actually led them into a cul-de-sac, where it appeared that they were lost and sitting ducks.
Have you ever said to God, “This makes no sense, it would be better to do it this way?” Or, “Why are things not happening like I want them to, the way I prayed they would, and the way that makes sense to me?” It is often because of what God is trying to protect you from as well as what He wants to teach you.
The training we need.
To get Egypt out of us
To make us like Jesus
The training God gives. Let’s consider:
Romans 8:28-29. “And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” But also consider these familiar scriptures.
Everyone knows Proverbs 3:5-6 but listen to the rest of the context.
Proverbs 3:5-12, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Moses reminded second generation Hebrews why they had spent 40
years camping out. Deut. 8:2-5, And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
1500 years after Moses, the author of the book to the Hebrews said
this: (Hebrews 12:5-11) “ And you have forgotten the exhortation
which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
All of these passages have the word Chastening. To be chastised often implies to be scolded or beaten as a form a discipline. But the word means, To Train a Child. To Teach a Child. We teach children how to use the toilet, how to tie their shoes, how to obey their parents, how to feed themselves, how to walk, how to talk, and eventually how to cook, clean, drive a car, work, earn a living, drive a nail, change a light bulb, and know God, and well, you get it. Our goal is to help our children to become fully functioning, mature, and independent adults. We don’t train them to hurt them, but to help them. So, does God. James starts his letter with these words: (NLT), “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Every military, police force, fire and rescue dept., will put their cadets through a rigorous training program to teach them how to be a soldier, sailor, policeman, firefighter, etc. They don’t do this to hurt the cadets but to enable them to do their jobs and to do their best, for their good and their team’s good, and others’.
Our Father, because He loves us is committed to us being like Jesus. Mature, faithful, children of Almighty God who will show the rest of the world what Faith in the one true God is really all about. Training is fairly simple. First you receive instructions and then you get an opportunity to apply your instructions. We call these tests, or trials. Again Deut. 8:2 says, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” He was developing Faith.
The Egyptians Pursue (Ex. 14:3-9)
The Good News – Israel now has Freedom, Forgiveness, Family, and a Future, just like we do in Christ. But there is some really bad news.
The Bad News – An Enemy. The evil one wants to destroy you or re-
enslave you. (Matt. 6:13, John 17:15; Eph. 6:10-12; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Cor. 2:11). He will tempt you, frighten you, and do all he can to turn you away from following Jesus. Pharaoh is a picture of Satan. This is the work force of Egypt. This is the Egyptian economy. The king been defeated by the God of slaves. But he remains Unbroken, Invictus, Unconquerable, perhaps even madder, or angrier. He would attempt to fight against Yahweh. But God would use him to honor or glorify Himself (vv. 4 and 18). This story has been around for generations.
A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “GOD if you are real then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 min.” The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am GOD, I’m still waiting.”
It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and hit him hard, knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.
The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, “What in the world is wrong with you? Why did you do that?” The Marine calmly replied, “GOD was too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So, He sent me.”
Well, God had sent Moses. It appears that Israel was trapped in a cul-de-sac. Yet God had intentionally led them there for that appearance. Pharaoh saw it as stupidity and an opportunity to get them back. They had to get the Hebrews back.
Gathering a calvary of horsemen and chariots, Pharaoh takes up the pursuit and closes in on the Hebrews. The king had not yet learned that he could not fight God. Satan is relentless, and knows his time is short and is intent on fighting the Lord by fighting against His children, which you are. I remind you again, praying against the evil one and seeking the wisdom to recognize his tactics needs to be part of everyday praying.
By the way, (just as a side note), this is a preview of coming attractions. The book of the Revelation is marked by God’s judgements on the earth, and yet man, led by Satan, and his beast and false prophet think they can fight God by going after God’s people in Rev. 19, Zech. 12-14, Joel 3 and others depicting Armageddon. God will be Honored, Glorified, Exalted, and Revered among the Egyptians. In His impending Judgment, God would be also be extending grace to the Egyptians. God would finish what the He symbolized in the Rod of Moses – Serpent swallowing Pharaoh’s magicians’ rod – serpents. Egypt would be completely swallowed by YAHWEH!
The Hebrews Panic (Ex. 14:10-12) Someone looked in the rear-view
mirror and saw the pursuing Egyptians, and panic spread thru the camp.
Fear Not. Before we get critical of these people, let’s remember that they
had no Bible and have never been beyond the borders of Egypt. What they did have was 9 months of seeing YAHWEH devastate Egypt. Remember the first 3 they also experienced, and then they were protected from the next 6, and given the way of salvation to trust and obey against the 10th. They had their suitcases full of Egyptian money, jewels, and cloths. Immediately, they focused on their circumstances. But what the LORD wanted them to learn is to re-adjust their focus from their circumstances and focus on HIM.
(vv. 11-12) Immediately they began to blame Moses and wishing they were still slaves. Instead of blaming Moses, they needed to look at the pillar of cloud and fire, and their Exodus. Remember I told you, being born again means learning to live all life over again and from a different perspective. You have heard it said many times, that the Bible says 365 times, “Don’t be afraid.” (v. 13) It’s the most repeated command in the Bible. How can you not be afraid when imminent danger is at your doorstep? It can be difficult, but you can by:
Keep your eyes on the Lord and His promises (vv. 13-14).
Remember what He has done in the past. Your past, Bible past, your family’s past. 10 Plagues and you are well and wealthy and free.
Remember His Presence now. He is with you and always will be. He will never leave, never forsake, ever stop loving you. This is the promise of Jesus. “He who is with you will be with you forever” (John 14:16). Israel, look up, Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Fire, this is the presence of the Angel of God (v. 19).
Remember His Promises for your future. Debbie and I were talking on Friday about comforting someone whose child may be facing death. How do you do it? Well, in the process you must settle your focus on the promises for your future. A promised land of sorts. A place Jesus has prepared that we looked at in depth last year. YAHWEH promised Abraham. Joseph’s coffin was a memorial of that promise. He did not do all of this for us to forsake us.
Pray (v. 10) As they should have done, the Hebrews cried out to God. That’s what you do when you don’t know what to do. You must pour your heart to God as our Lord Jesus did from the Garden and from the cross. Psalm 62:8, “O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” 
Walk by Faith (v. 13-14). That means that you Obey God because you Trust God regardless of the circumstances or the consequences. That’s what He has been teaching Moses and the Hebrews this last year. That is what the LORD wants every one of His children to learn. Obey me because you trust me. Go forward! We are going to go straight through this sea. Do you trust me? Peter, walk out here on this water! Do you trust me? Throw your nets out the right side for a catch. Do you trust me? Stand up to that armed giant with your slingshot and a stone. Do you trust me? Go out against your enemies with the choir. Do you trust me? No matter what you are or might face, that is God’s question for you. Will you trust and obey me?
The LORD Protects (Ex. 14:15-30). North of the Suez channel the Lord
opened the sea and with a strong east wind, dried the land enough for the people to walk through it. At the same time the Angel of God moved the cloud to the rear to stand between the Egyptians and the Hebrews while the Hebrews made their escape. (read vv. 15-30). God swallowed Pharaoh’s Army. Egypt would know beyond any doubt that YAHWEH is the one and only God. Isaiah 45:5-7, I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, 6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.
Some think it began to rain, others that the wall of water began to leak, because the chariots began to get stuck in the mud, or wheels came off. Now the Egyptians (v. 25) were getting scared but it was too late. The waters came over them and they drowned. Not a soldier remained. The Result?
The People Praise (Ex. 14:31)
Be in Awe (v. 31). God’s Power, God’s Grace, God’s Love, God’s Presence,
God’s protection should result in an overwhelming sense of Awe, or the Fear of the Lord. Are you overwhelmed with Awe for our God? Seriously are you? We are! This summer when God gave us our grand-daughter back we were dumb-struck with the overwhelming sense of God’s grace. Every sunrise and every sunset, every view of the night sky, or knowledge of the complexity and precision of the universe should produce jaw-dropping awe in us. Every page of this book should cause a sense of awe for God.
The story is told of a young man who was sitting on a park bench reading his Bible. Suddenly he began to shout. “Praise the Lord! What a miracle!” An older, very distinguished man walking by, stopped, and asked what the young man was so excited about. The young man replied, “I was just reading how God parted the Red Sea and the whole nation of Israel walked across on dry ground.” The older man sneered, “Don’t you know? That wasn’t a real sea at all. It was just a few inches of water.” He then turned in irritation and walked away, leaving the young man confused and discouraged. But in a few minutes the young man began to shout again. The unbeliever returned and asked, “What are you shouting about now?” “Well, sir, I just read how God drowned the whole Egyptian army in just a few inches of water!”
Give God Praise (ch. 15) The people believed God and His servant Moses,
at least, for now. And they broke out in song to praise God. That’s what God’s grace should cause us to do. One of the reasons we gather as a body of believers, and one of the things that Satan hates, is our joining of our voices to praise God in song and praise. Church services are not funeral services, they are the celebration services for people who were dead but now have new life because of Jesus. We are no longer slaves to sin and Satan, we are free and children of Almighty God. We have been adopted. Borrowing from Solomon, there is a time and purpose for everything. A time to be solemn and a time to celebrate.
Let’s look back, how has the Lord brought you through a time when you thought there was no way out? Are you in awe of His grace for you? Thank Him now. Are you facing your own Red Sea right now? Let’s pray and focus on the past, His presence with us, and His promises for us. Let’s commit to walking by faith not by sight.
Let’s you and I, pray together while we sing or after. Let’s pray now!
 
 
Friday was the 19th anniversary of the 9-11-2001 attack on America. I hope you paused and prayed for the families of those lost loved ones including the firemen, police and rescue people who lost their lives and many who have developed cancer from the fumes and dust from that day. Do you remember where you were when you heard of the attack? The world has not been the same since then.
On a brighter note, Today is Grandparents Day! Since August of 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents Day. Yeah! I wouldn’t expect a flood of cards and gifts, but I would encourage you to pause and thank God for the privileged position of being a grandparent.
Did you know that 3/4 of grandparents take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis, while 13% are the primary caregiver? In addition:
75% are connected to the internet and or social media
72% think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.
68% think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children
70% see their kids at least once a week, while 66% travel with their grand-kids
90% enjoy talking about their grand-kids to just about everyone
Yes, it is true, we don’t have to discipline our grandchildren, we love them, we give them a lot of sugar, and send them home, well sometimes. Sometimes they stay and we feel special, and they think we are special. And you are! So, take a few moments this weekend, and pray for your grandchildren. If you can, read them a book, or tell them stories from your life. Tell them about the time…. (you fill that in). Tell them how you came to faith in Jesus, and the time when God answered your prayer so specifically. Tell them why you believe. Tell them how the Bible is real and is relevant to all of life. love and guidance, wisdom and knowledge. They pass on traditions and family stories, leaving behind a legacy to cherish.
Take a moment and look at Deut. 4:9-10, Psalm 71:17-18; Psalm 78:1-9. Enjoy your privileged position and wonderful calling from God to be a grandparent.
  Grandparents are an important part of kids’ lives, and they are an important part of ours. HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!
One more thing. How many History buffs do we have here? What is the significance of September 13th-14th? The Battle of Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key was trying to secure the release of a friend from the British. I think He was successful but he was detained on board of a British ship, until after the battle, so as to not give the Americans any information about the British plans to attack Fort McHenry. The Battle of this evening gave way to the writing of a poem tomorrow the 14th. Then, in 1916, though already being used, it was declared by Woodrow Wilson in an executive order to be our National Anthem and was officially declared to be our National Anthem by congress and Herbert Hoover in 1931.

Read more...

Getting Eygpt out of Israel 2 – September 13 2020