Thursday, January 27, 2011

Battle of the Gods


“But for this PURPOSE I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth”. 

Do you know who said this???? God. 

I sure would like to be raised up by God, and for God to use me to proclaim His name throughout the WHOLE earth. 

But who did God say it too??? 

Pharaoh, Ruler of Egypt who enslaved God's people in Ancient Times. 

Read this amazing story of God reaching out to all people including the Egyptians through Pharaoh…. Exodus 9:13 -35

Here God was telling Pharaoh who at the time was the most powerful man on earth what to do. 

In fact, Pharaoh thought of himself as God, so God was reaching out through him to the entire world by showing them who was God and who wasn't. 

God could have snuffed out Pharaoh with a snap of His fingers, but God choose not to do it. 

God wanted to reveal Himself for who He is ...God of the ENTIRE earth.


Can you imagine if Pharaoh at this point of time had to give his State of the Union address to Egypt? 

He’d say we’ve had our primary source of water and irrigation polluted with blood. 

We’ve had an infestation of Frogs, Gnats, and Flies. 

We’ve had a plaque of death among our cattle. 

Up to this point, we’ve had a tumor break out on both man and beast. 

We can’t see any end to our current predicament.


Sure, it would appear to be idiotic to permit your entire state run labor force to take a leave of absence like God told Pharaoh to do. 

How would Pharaoh face his national debt with a large portion of his work force gone? 

I wonder if Pharaoh would come clean with His people, and tell them the problems were due to Him not recognizing God as God. 

I know that it would be tough because Pharaoh thought that he was God himself. 

He'd have to back down.


After all, Pharaoh was only facing one of Egypt’s most wanted criminals. 

He is a man who’s been in hiding from capture for 40 years for murder.
 

Sure, Moses was a prince once adopted by Pharaoh’s predecessor’s daughter. Moses was once an up and coming young leader being prepared to rule in the kingdom until he murdered a man. 

Once Moses was the new Pharaoh’s political rival. Now, he’s a bum, a criminal, an outcast, shepherd, and now a man of God? 

What a laugh!

First, Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15). Finally, God did it for him (Exodus 9:12). 

ANYONE who overheard Moses prediction of the hail storm to Pharaoh could act. 

There wasn’t much time to lose. 

They could bring all their cattle into their barns. They could urgently harvest their crops. The clock was ticking. they had a moment to act, but anyone who did act was saved. 

What I like about the seventh plague was anyone who believed God’s message through Moses could be saved. It didn’t matter if they were Egyptian, Jewish, Rich, Poor, Dark Skinned, Light Skinned. 

Anyone could escape simply by believing what God said and acting upon what they heard by heading for shelter.

Are you like Pharaoh who thought that he was God? 

Sure, you might not say it. But is it all about you?

Are you your own God? 

God wants us to know Him, but you can’t if you don’t know Him for who He is - God. 

Please don’t be like Pharaoh, think you are your own God, and harden your heart. 

Please honor God as God right now.

There still is time to hide all you own in the shelter, but God won’t put off the inevitable forever. 

There is only one God, and God doesn’t like rivals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Service = Obey or Busyness?


Sometimes, it's difficult to communicate clearly in quotes because context matters.


For example, the context of Jesus in John 14:15... 

"If you love me, obey my commandments". 

In this context, Jesus' definition of service is obey.

"service = obey".

Therefore, in John 14:15, service is an act of devotion and is good.

However, in Luke 10:40-42, Jesus rebuked Martha for being overwhelmed by much serving. 

None of it was expected or even desired by Jesus. 

He actually commended Mary (Martha's sister) for NOT serving him, but instead intently listening to Jesus and sharing time with Him. 

Therefore, in the Luke 10:40-42 passage, Jesus' definition of service is busyness which is bad.

"service = busyness".

In this context, service was a lack of devotion and is bad. 

The context of the two passages clear up the different interpretations of "service". 

If you or I were quote Jesus as saying, service is good (or bad). 

We would be confusing 50% or more of our listeners. 

We must carefully choose our words, and provide enough context to communicate effectively & accurately what others have said.

James 3:2

LEARNING TO SEE

“For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him – and all along he knew who would – should become like his Son . . .”  ...