Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blessings and What?

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey... I will look favorably on you, I will fulfill My covenant with you.
If you do not listen to Me or obey all these commands, I will punish you.
Leviticus 26:3,9, 14,16


Punish?

That is what it says. If you read the whole chapter, as i did you will find first a list of promises from God to the Jewish nation if they obey:

1. The land will produce fruit well
2. You will have more than enough
3. You will feel secure and sleep without fear
4. You will be at peace
5. God will rid land of predators and enemies
6. God will look favorably on them
7. God will fulfill covenant with them
8. God will walk and live among them

That's a lot of good stuff! Rewards of obeying God. God had redeemed them from Eygpt and now had given them all the instructions they needed to be His people. That trust and obedience would bring them all they needed. Food over and above all they needed without a lot of struggle. Safety in the land from enemies and wild animals. A sense of peace and security that would loan to them good rest. Gods favor on them and a promise to prosper and care for them. Wow, what more could anyone want right!! But as we continue into the next part of the chapter God gives a warning. Stern but in character to try and encourage obedience while informing the Jewish nation of the consequence of disobedience.

God starts with "however". However is alot like Nevertheless. I like to look at it as God saying something like this:

I really want to do all this good stuff for you, but if you choose not to keep up your end of the covenant and disregard My commands I will have to take action. I will cause the opposite to happen in an attempt to draw you back to Me.

Here we see another list of things God promised to do if the Jewish nation disobeyed:

1. God will punish
2. God will punish 7 times over
3. God will inflict disaster 7 times over
4. God will turn hostile toward them
5. God will give full vent of His hostility


That looks very terrible and frightening right? We need to see something, and I do not mean that they were under the law. Look back at the promises for obedience and notice that ALL of THEM came at once and were continual. Now consider the fact that these five promises for disobedience were not at the same time. They were sequential depending on the actions of the Jewish nation. All the blessing of obedience were removed in increasing degrees, but not at once. They could be stopped at any point through repentance and returning to obedience. Look at it this way:


1. If you disregard Him, God will punish
(period God waits hopeful for repentance, desiring to bless and not punish)

2, If you still disobey Him, God will punish 7 times over
(period God waits hopeful for repentance, desiring to bless and not punish)

3. If you remain hostile without obeying Him, God will inflict disaster 7 times over
(3rd period God waits hopeful for repentance, desiring to bless and not punish)

4. If still do not learn to obey Him, He will turn Hostile
(5th period of God waiting for repentance, desiring to bless and not punish)

5. If you still disobey Him, God will vent His full hostility



This was the Old Testament, but consider ourselves now. How much more does God want us obeying Him, trusting Him so He can bless us? Certainly His desire to bless us is no less than it was for the Jewish nation. Look at all the time He gave them to turn around. God does that for us too. Read how God has hope to as He desperately tries to redeem the disobedience through discipline and bring back fellowship.




1. If you disregard Him, God will punish
 Listen to His heart cry,
"I want you to live, to have life and have it more abundantly!"

2.If you still disobey Him, God will punish 7 times over
Can you hear Him explain it,
"I know what is best for you, follow my commands and listen to my word."

3. If you remain hostile without obeying Him, God will inflict disaster 7 times over
Do you see His fatherly hand,
"This is what happens when you disobey, I cant bless you. Seek me and repent."

4. If still do not learn to obey Him, He will turn Hostile
Look at His tears,
"I can not go with you and your sin, leave it behind and return to Me. I am just a prayer away."

5. If you still disobey Him, God will vent His full hostility
How about that finale sigh,
"I am always here. Hopeful for your return. I love you, even still."








Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Practice = Holiness

Keep all of my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.
Leviticus 23:8

I have been gleaning this post as I read through The One Year Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation.

The other day while reading the days scripture I noticed some repetition that stood out. Within the chapters of 20 and 22 you will read  "Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice"  is mentioned 3 times & "I am the Lord who makes you holy"  is mentioned 8 times. I see a recipie for victory:

1. Promise
2. Required action
3. Guaranteed Outcome

The promise was the covenant and the land of milk and honey. The promise was to increase in people. The promise was to be Gods chosen people. The promise was Gods protection  provision and guidance. The promise was huge and it was immeasurable. The promise meant being guarded and cared for by the creator of the universe. With you and I we have all this promise available for us as well and more.

The required action was keeping Gods law, for the Jewish nation it meant lots of rules, guidelines and regulations. Strict adherence was required, and putting these laws into practice was the best way to keep them. With practice you do not so easily forget. Since Christ paid our sin-debt we live under grace. We do not have to keep the strict adherence of the law as the Jews, but we are to leave sin behind us and live as Gods commands.

The guaranteed outcome is what excites me the most. The amazing thing about the outcome of reeving the promise and doing the required action is that the outcome is the same for them as it is for us! God can take the blood and obedience of the Jewish nation in the Old Testament and redeem those people into His holy people.  God can take the blood of Christ and our obedience to redeem us into His holy people. So whats the difference you may ask?

The blood of rams and bulls redeemed for 1 year
Blood of Jesus redeemed for eternity!

How wonderfully calming to our soul that Jesus took care of the debt and now all we must to is faithfully obey.






You See Beauty - by Kristi Northup

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Redeemed From the Law

Then the Lord called to Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him, "Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.
Leviticus 1:1-2a

This particular command from the Lord is repeated several time starting with Leviticus 1 on through Leviticus 8 and Numbers 7, 8 & 9. Within the words of these chapters you will find intricate and detailed instructions on many different offerings, sacrifices, purification and preparation both for the people of Israel and the priest. These instructions follow the completed work of Moses in building the Tabernacle, portable at this point, for God to dwell in. We can read in Exodus 40:34-35 how upon completion Gods glory filled the tabernacle as a cloud and even Moses could not enter in. The presence of God was very real and tangible for the people of Israel in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night. That was how God guided them in their journey.

Now God gives further instructions, for the people to keep and satisfy sins demanded payment.

A bloody and tiresome and tedious task it was keeping all the law and instructions. There were grain offerings, sin offerings, tithe offerings, guilt offerings and also the festivals to be followed. The law was precise and intricate but it was the only way to stand right before a sinless, loving God. The idea that God went to such length to show the people of Israel how to be able to be His people is astounding. The patience cup to this point alone is overwhelming. God, our God truley loves His own.

Look forward over time with me for a moment and read Luke 8:11

The Savior - yes, the Messiah, The Lord - 
has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David.


Redemption! 

God has redeemed us in so many ways. One of those ways is from the law. Now I am not saying that there is no work we must do. There are plenty of "if you do" connected to "I will do" in the word of God to sustain the fact we must do our part in this covenant of salvation amd God will do His part. What I am rejoicing over is the fact that we do not have to depend on our own ability to keep the letter of the law in all the sacrifices, offerings and such. We have the blood of Jesus the Christ and His victorious work at the cross to stand us right before God. Woo Hoo! that is shouting happy right there.

It will benefit you to take time and read just what the people of Israel had to do in order to be able, allowed to worship God. Reading the instructions for them they had to follow on a daily basis to remain in Gods righteousness will give you a deeper sense of gratitude of grace that we live in. I encourage you to prayerfully read the chapters I have mentioned (Leviticus 1 on through Leviticus 8 and Numbers 7, 8 & 9) and allow God to stir within you understanding of His frand love and appreciation of the work of the cross.

Redeemed Through intercession


But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. “O Lord !” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’?
Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’”

So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.
Exodus 32:11-14


Wait?

What just happened there?
Did Moses really change Gods Mind? But what about God is unchanging and unmovable  How about God does not need mans counsel or wisdom? This just does not compute.

Doesn't it though. Gods agenda isn't judgement, it is restoration. That is why He sent Jesus, so we could be restored to fellowship. It should not surprise us that an intercessor stepped up to the challenge and changed Gods mind. There are a few key factors to consider:

1. God, these are Your people
2. God, don't give reason for the nations to mock You
3. God, remember Your oath, covenant with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob

We can look at these three points and realize how to intercede for those in our lives. Seeking Gods redemptive work to be real in their lives. That is worth some praying right?!

Moses reminded God that they were after all His people. Belonging to God is  a wonderful thing. With all the guidance, teaching, discipline also comes other blessings of favor, provision, protection and victory. Moses was simply saying, God don't destroy Your own possession  You have invested so much into Your people and brought them so far, so close to the promise. Reconsider Your intentions and return to the love You have for them and act in it. We too can pray that God acts in His great love for us and others according to His will. His will is for restoration always.

Next Moses mentioned the other nations, specifically Egypt. If God were to wipe Israel out the other nations would mock God. He would be categorized with the many other false Gods other nations worshiped. Moses was assuring God that it would not be glorifying to Him to destroy His people, and not in His character either. This is another thing we can pray. Gods intentions toward those who belong to Him is for good and to prosper and a hope which ultimately glorifies His name.  We can certainly pray Gods name be glorified in situations without boldness and without fear of being selfish.

Lastly Moses reminded God of His oath to Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Who will receive the promise and how will You keep Your word?, Moses asked. This at first glance seems a bit presumptuousness and forward. Why God could still raise a nation form one faithful among Israel.  They after all broke covenant with Him first. Isn't it only fair That God wipe them out and decide to start over or not?

But praise be to God that is not His nature!

Moses knew this. He Knew how God desires fellowship and worship. Moses somehow knew God would regret those actions. So He stepped in and reminded God of all these things. Did Moses know it would work? We do not know. But I can rest in the thought that Moses knew I AM better than the generation he was leading. He had first hand knowledge of how God loves. He knew that God really wanted to bless Israel and to teach them. Moses knew God was angry but Knew how He loved. So he took the chance and stepped between Gods wrath and Israel. He changed Gods mind.

How about you?

Has God asked you to step up and intercede for someone? Do you find yourself thinking about someone and wishing they were closer to God, more committed to God or even able to forgive themselves? You should pray for them. Pray Gods will in their lives, do not be afraid. Pray redemption down into your friends life. Be the conduit of Gods work in someones life.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Protection From Curious Forgetfullness

Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord , or they will die."
Exodus 19:21

Remember the phrase "Curiosity killed the cat."? That is what this verse reminds me of. I want to notice a few things here:

1. The 2nd Warning
2. The Reason
3. The Reminder-er

God had already given Moses instructions how the people could not cross certain boundaries and things they needed to do to prepare for worshiping Him. Moses had given all the word to the people and they had joined covenant agreeing to all God had required. So Moses is about to go up into the cloud and God says Wait! God warn them a 2nd time. You can go and read how Moses assured God that he told them and they would not cross the boundaries, but God was insistent to refresh their memory. God does this for us as well. He gently reminds us of His ways, His will and His desire to bless us. God would rather remind us than take the chance that we forget and fail. That is another example of Gods love for us and the lengths He will go to keep the relationship available to us.

That brings me to the second thing i noticed, the reason for the 2nd warning. The whole purpose and reason for the instructions to start with were so they could enter in and worship God. Worship is beneficial for both parties when it is heart right and at God. As we are able to approach God and worship Him He is elevated in our lives as He should be. The other side of worship is the effect on our old nature, it is starved as our new nature is fed, we are refreshed as we worship God. So the beauty of the 2nd warning simply seduces me away from all others desires in my life that draw my attention but give nothing of benefit to me. Why seek out other fountains when all that I need is found in God.

Which opens the door to the third thing I noticed, the reminder-er. Moses did not see the importance of giving a 2nd warning. Moses probably figured fear would keep the people in place. God knows human nature. We tend to be curious and often push the box, getting way to close to stepping over our boundaries. God, the reminder-er was not willing to take that chance. So He repeats Himself and tells Moses to go and deliver the warning a 2nd time.

Do you see the perfect patience in that?

Do you see the deep desire to fellowship?

Can you hear the heartbeat of a loving God?

Did you catch that sigh of concern for His peoples safety?

He takes our old human nature and if we let Him He redeems all that self reliance and curiosity into effectiveness, Clear vision and Faithfulness to Himself. How many can you count that are able or even willing to do that for your good and all good intentions? One would be hard pressed to find another besides God.





Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gods Kind of Valentine

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the promised land. God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their mind and return to Egypt." So God led them in a round about way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
Exodus 13:17-18

Gods Valentine.

Often when I think about it I see the work at the cross as the ultimate valentine and the birth of Christ the ultimate Christmas gift. While reading the exodus of the chosen people I found another everyday valentine. 

What is a Valentine for? 

1. Show Commitment
2. Show Friendship
3. Show Love

Look at our scripture for today and see it.

Firstly we see God contemplation the Israelite present and future. He has just made way for their rescue and deliverance. He sees the possibility that they would give up and return to their bondage, and not be free to worship Him and enter the Promised Land. This would be terrible. So God shows his commitment to Shepherd and guide His people by taking them along a longer, tougher road. Sound familiar? It does to me. How many times can you look back and see where the path God led you on was much better in the end than the easier one you would have chose? How wonderful a valentine that is for God to keep our best interest at heart and guide us in the harder way that will help us not live by our own fears and worry. 

Second we see Gods Valentine of friendship. God calls you friend! My girls had to be taught that there was a difference between liking someone and loving them. I explain, as their father and I walked through a divorce, that they could "not like our actions" but still love us both. Helping them and myself to grasp and understand it was freeing. They both were able to be open about their feelings of anger, disappointment and confusion without fearing I would think they did not love me. Love is not determined by actions. This lesson has rolled over into their friendships. They have come to understand that they can be friends with people and not like their actions. Still wishing the best of God for them but confident enough to not accept the things they do against Gods standards.  I an thankful that God "likes" us enough to give us the Valentine of Friendship. God has humor to share with us. He has fun moments to live with us. He has called us friend just as he did these Israelite people. Unwilling to take the chance of losing the relationship that He had planned He guided them the best for their best outcome.
Third we see Gods Valentine of Love. I know the cross has this title. I can not stop considering the last line in the scripture above

"So God led them in a round about way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea."

God lead them through the wilderness. He led them through a path that would ultimately make an opportunity to showcase Gods power once more and (get this) destroy their capture forever. Shortly we read Gods words in Exodus 14:13 and 14 " Stand still. Watch Me rescue you. You will never see these Egyptians again. I Am will fight for you.". and that is just what He did.

Friend I want you to know whatever thing has a hold on you God has committed, joined in friendship and fights on your behalf in Love to destroy your enemy. Destroy your chains, your fears, destroy your anxiousness and destroy all things that have rose themselves above God. Choose to let God drown that thing that has held you for so long. Let Him redeem you through the wilderness of obedience and self discipline. Let Him guide you and comfort you as his friend. Let God show His love in destroying your enemy!




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

But... when He sees the blood.


For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the door frame, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.
Exodus 12:23



When He sees the blood.

That excites me because as a child of God the blood has been applied to my frame. I am no longer condemned but rather redeemed from death and destruction into life and life abundantly!

The Israelites were looking forward to that life abundantly. When they arrived at Egypt so many years before they were looking for life as well in the middle of a vast and terrible famine. Joesph had been set up by God to be the one to bring redemption to his family. Now dead, Josephs fame forgotten they had become slaves under the Egyptians heavy handed rule. Once again they look for life abundant.

Moses raise saved from ordered death and raised to be the tool that would guide this now vast numbered people. Both similar images of the coming Passover and eventually Jesus Himself. With Easter around the corner I can not help as I read the text to think on it. Passover has a comforting sound to it. It has the promise of being safe embedded within its letters. Hope is the whisper you hear when someone speaks the word Passover. 

God finally finished playing games with Pharaoh and his increasingly hardened heart He says the first born will now die. lets remember that several plagues before this one God only brought on the Egyptians, the Israelite were not included. Up until now the safety from Gods wrath was automatic. Now it has work and obedience required. Moses through Aaron tells Pharaoh his own word is the next plague, the death of the first born. It was Pharaohs father who had ordered the baby's of the Israelite killed, Moses life saved.

We look and it is the blood of a spotless lamb that is required for saftey.  We can see 3 sure things

1. Death will come.
2. Blood is required.
3. How will your house be filled.

Death was coming that night, to all the land even Goshen where the Israelite lived. There was no avoiding it and no hiding from its grip. Death was coming to every door no matter who lived there. Blood was required, it was what the Death angel was looking for. He could not harm any found under the blood. 

Life is like this. The Bible says that to every person there is an appointed time to die. You can not avoid it or get around it. Death is coming. You don't know when. There is hope in death if you have the blood of Christ on the door post. It worked then and how much more will it work now coming from Jesus the Christ own flesh! Passover.

I find it interesting that a synonym for Passover is Pay for. That really is what it is. In Egypt, the lamb paid for the life of those in the house under its blood. Today we have been paid for by the blood from the cross that Jesus crawled up on. Redeemed, pay for. All debts resolved. Don't you want that kind of freedom?

So the last thing i want to look at is simply How will your house be filled? 

Your house is your body. The death angel went to every door and when he saw the blood on the doorpost he moved on, so safety remained to fill the house and not death. Today we can be assured of retaining safety in our house, and peace, love, joy and eternal life! It is found in on place and obtained through one door, just like in Egypt. Jesus is the only path to God. Jesus is the only blood that will work. 

Do you have that safety? If not you can. 

Pray with me If you desire forgiveness of sin and a relationship with God:

God I admit that I am a sinner and can not help myself. I know Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sin and then He rose again as my Savior. I need Jesus to save me from the penalty of sin that is death. Forgive me of my sin and create in my a new heart to follow You and obey Your commands. Amen

If you prayed that prayer CONGRATULATIONS!
 please do at least one of the following:

Contact me with your good news by email or comment here.
Contact the Pastor of your local Assembly of God Church and tell them your decision
Contact Angelia Carpenter at the Arkansas Assembly of God office 1-501-455-5444 and share your                          choice.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

But Then... God

They (Pharaohs magicians) threw down their staffs also, which became serpents too! But then Aarrons staff swallowed up theirs staffs.
Exodus 7:12

BUT  THEN...

I have enjoyed my minds most recent activity. You see it is not just happen stance that God led me to start this blog of Redemption. God has a way of intertwining what He is doing into all parts of your life, learning works better that way at least for me. This particular journey of redemption started in July 2012. It has been an adventure in honesty, pain, foolishness, failure and victory and growth in my relationship with God.

This past week end as I read over Moses and Pharaoh I have looked back and begun to see the multiple "but then..." in my own life. I will tell you more about that later, first I want to take a look at Moses, Pharaoh, Aaron and the magicians.

Here stands Moses a run away murderer and Aaron his slave brother before Pharaoh of Egypt and all his visitors that day. Aaron has made the demands received through Moses to let Gods people go free. Moses staff, after being thrown to the floor has become a serpent. All eyes are on them.

Can you hear the crowd inhale?
See them look to see if Pharaoh is shaken?
Do you hear their eagerness to see what their Pharaoh will do now?

Pharaoh, confident calls out his own magicians and sits back to watch. They throw down their own staffs that  become serpents as well.

TRUMP!

Do hear Aarons thoughts, "oh great, what now Moses?"
Listen to Moses heart drop, "What now, I am?"

In what seemed like a lifetime Pharaoh relishes in the sight of out doing Moses, meanwhile Moses fears something has gone terribly wrong. Lack of sight causes us to see the future by the moment instead of the truth. Circumstance blinding them to to view their reality in there own minds.

But then.... God!

Suddenly the game changes! Moses serpent swallows up not one but both of the magicians serpents! Pharaoh aghast, the crowd stunned and the magicians out of some staffs while Moses and Aaron stand proud in I AM. In one moment all seems lost, but then God took what was meant evil and sustained Moses and Aaron AND glorified Himself! I absolutely love it!!

FLASHBACK

So I have been prayerfully looking at some of my "but then" moments and it baffles me how I still find myself sometimes blinded in that moment like Moses may have been. It happens to us more than any would care to admit, including me, Situations that seem to be going completly opposite what God has said or promised then  it all changes. The negative, the attack of our enemy merely sets the stage to Glorify God and lift Jesus up all the more.

Redemption.
God never fails.
God never leaves.
God is constant.

Is there a situation in your life now that just does not seem to be going right. You can not see the promise of God working out? Endure, keep fighting, do not give up, remain faithful because at just the right moment is will suddenly come a "but then..." and God will swing His mighty strong arm pouring victory over you and defeat on your enemy!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger: Brenda Duggins


I remember when I was a kid spending summer breaks with my grandpa after he retired. One summer he bought me a bicycle. It wasn't new. He bought it with a plan to fix it up for me. We worked on that bike for a long time. We took all the pieces apart, handle bars, seat, peddles, chain, and anything else that would come off of it. There it sat, just a bicycle frame and what seemed to me to be a million bicycle pieces laying all over the ground. I remember thinking that this was one ugly and broken bike.

My grandpa worked on that thing for a while. He sanded the frame down to get all the old peeling paint off. He primed the bike frame and painted it a bright cherry red. Then he started putting the bike back together. He had bought a few new parts and refinished others. When it was finished, it was the best bike I had ever seen! It was like a brand new bike, bright cherry red, black fuzzy seat, rear view mirror and a bicycle bell.

I had seen my grandpa fix things all the time as I was growing up. He was always fixing broken things and just tinkering with things that were fine just to make them better. I never doubted that he would fix this bike up. While I never doubted, I couldn't understand as a child how he was going to take all those pieces and put it back together where the bike would look any better than it did when he got it. I couldn't see the end result in my mind.

God’s redemption in our circumstances works the same way. We cannot see the end of the journey, but we also should never doubt what God is doing along the way because He can see the end of the journey and He knows what He is doing. We may be going through something in our life that is terribly ugly and broken. Hold on, because God is redeeming it.

Fixing up that bike was a process. It didn't happen quickly and I imagine if a bike had feelings, it would have been an unpleasant process for the bike. When it seems like we are at our weakest point it could be that we have been taken apart in preparation for restoration. When our lives feel like we are just an empty frame with a million pieces lying on the ground; that is when the restoration takes off. That is when God is asking you to look at the broken and the ugly and trust Him for redemption. His redemption is a process. It is a process that may take longer than you want it to.

The promise of redemption isn't just a promise of a little redemption; it is the promise of full redemption. Psalm 130:7 says, “put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” God’s promise to His children is FULL redemption. It may be a process and it may take longer than you want it to, but God is a God of completion. He is not a half way God. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

While you wait and go through the process of redemption, God sees the finished bike. He isn't looking at the old peeling paint and the old broken hard plastic banana seat; He sees the bright cherry red paint and the comfortable black fuzzy seat. He sees the end result and because of that, He asks us to trust him to complete what He began. 

Philippians 1:3-6 - I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Now, what if you think that He hasn't begun a good work in you? What if you feel like He isn't doing anything? Well, take a minute and read Isaiah 45:1-7.

“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him    so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen,  I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me.     I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”

The Lord is doing exceeding and abundant for each of us. He even is calling us by name, giving us strength and a title of honor BEFORE we even acknowledge Him! That is full redemption. He is redeeming us from a moment before we even acknowledge Him all the way through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The promise of redemption is one that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other every single day. Through salvation my soul has been redeemed, but redemption doesn't stop there. It keeps on coming. It daily walks these roads of life with me. When people look at your circumstances and tell you there is no hope, redemption walks right up next to you and says, “Keep moving child, put one foot in front of the other and trust me”. 


You may visit Brendas own blog at:
http://fabulousfaithjourney.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Powerful Arm





“Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment." (God speaking)

Exodus 6:6


Here we find that upon Moses and Aarons proclamation and demand that Pharaoh the Hebrews go worship Him He makes there labor all the harder. Pharaoh stops providing straw for brick but keeps the same quota as the number to be made. This is not attainable and the Israelite foremen are whipped because the quota is not met. Read what happens next:


So the Israelite foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. “Please don’t treat your servants like this,” they begged.“We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault!Your own people are to blame!”


Pharaoh shouted, “You’re just lazy! Lazy! That’s why you’re saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the Lord.’ Now get back to work!"
As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them.The foremen said to them, “May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!”

Exodus 5:14-18, 20-21


They had just recently been told God had sent the deliverer to guide them out of Egypt and at the first sign of trouble they run back to the capture and complain. Next they go to Moses and curse him for the trouble.

1. Focus of the Promise not the Process


The Israelites gave up so fast! They forgot the promise and turned back to their oppressors for comfort at the onset of distress and trouble. How often do we find ourselves afflicted and seek earthly, fleshly comfort. All too often I am afraid, and too often to admit openly. No straw but the same quota, or in our day it may sound like one of these:

no luxury but still be satisfied
affliction but still praise God
sickness but still full of faith
delay but still patient to wait
distress and trouble but still joyful


Sound familiar? I am sure it does. We are going to have trouble but we must be strong and make ourselves focus of the promise of God.


2. Two kinds of Promise Reminders

It is interesting that the Promise of their deliverance is reminded to them by the one who holds them captive. But Pharaoh does not say it in a reminding sort, rather he speaks much like our enemy would today with accusations. Have you ever started a new discipline in Christ and suddenly you have all kinds of trouble at your door? Yep. Not a surprise but it grabs us sometimes like it is. We start to feel sorry for our situation if we are not careful and then we hear something akin to what Pharaoh said, "hey it is your own fault for starting this new thing, stop and all will go back to normal." Hard stuff but true.


In that moment of the enemies reminder we need to remind ourselves that God is faithful and our hearts lie. We need to remind ourselves that killing our flesh is hard work but well worth the long term. Look at the story, what did it benefit the Israelite to go back to Pharaoh? It did not do any good at all. Seeking God would have comforted them. They lash out at Moses and he goes to God.


3. The Promise Proclaimed

Look at Gods final words to Moses after reminding him of the covenant with Abraham:


“Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt.


"I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.I will claim you as my own people"

Praise God! Through all this trouble God did what He promised and Show everyone He is God. That gets me excited how about you? This encouraged Moses and it should encourage each of us as well. In our daily life and struggles we have comfort in the fact that God is redeeming us with His powerful arm and great acts of judgement. He is claiming us as His own!


I want to encourage you from a personal stand right now. Whatever you are facing. Whatever you are having to walk through or do make sure you do it all the way! Keep focused of the promise that God is making us into the image of His son Jesus! He has good plans for us, for you to prosper and not harm you . He will not let you down even when you must make bricks without straw. Keep the faith, trust Him, and obey then rejoice when you have come out the other side victorious!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Redeeming Trouble

(bloggers note: for some reason I did not get this posted on the day it was meant. Here is is now.)

He (God) never takes His eyes off the innocent, ... if they are bound in chains and caught in a web of trouble He shows them the reason. He shows them their sins of pride. He gets their attention and commands that they turn from evil. But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For He gets their attention through adversity.  God is leading you away from danger into a place of rest.  Job 36:7-10, 15-16



Elihu is speaking of Gods Justice here to Job. We know that Jobs friends were accusing Job of sinning against God and we also know that Job had not sinned. However, the truth in these verses are still relevant.

1. God eye is always on the innocent
2. God always shows a reason for trials

Two things we can always count on is itched in the least read book in the Bible. Gods eye is always on the innocent. He is always mindful of you and do not ever doubt that. There is absolutely nothing He is not concerned with. There is nothing too small for His ears to listen too and no part of your life is insignificant. You are, as a born again christian, a jewel of great price! Why would God not keep His eyes on all that is going on in your life!

The second is just as much for Gods joy as it is for our good. God does not want anything to be a block in His relationship with us. He wants to be able to load us up with blessings and give us good gifts! What Father doesn't? The problem is that when we walk in any kind of sin, it causes us to distance ourselves from God. It prevents God from blessing us, not because He does not want to but because He is faithful and just and will not go against His word. Every promise has a requirement. So when we find ourselves facing a trial of any sort we need to ask God: are You trying to show me something that needs changing? Are you trying to help me grow in an area of my life? If you ask the questions and wait on Him I promise He will answer.

3. God gets our attention in trials.

Our attention always shifts to who can fix our problem, we look to God. He gets our attention when trials and adversity arise. It never fails. The most beautiful part of trial and adversity is God redeeming of them to turn our focus back to Him. Remember it is good for Him and us when our relationship is free of clutter sin causes. You may be wondering why i say clutter of sin. Sin is anything that is taking us from God and that covers a lot. Anything that lifts itself above God is detrimental to our right standing before God. Sometime we have sin in our life and do not ever see it, that is why God gets our attention by redeeming that bad situation and showing us there is a problem.

4. God rescues us from danger and leads us into rest.

If I had to use just one word to describe God it may well be the word "COMPLETE". As a matter of fact I am confident that is the word i would choose. Let me tell you why. Anyone can keep an eye on my life, anyone can give an opinion why something is happening and anyone can get our attention... but only God can rescue us from ourselves and lead us into rest! God is the creator of the universe, and yet He is all about us on an individual one on one basis. Friend you cant even get that kind of attention from your personal doctor anymore! His bills and your insurance is constant on his mind during your visit, plus the next room. Is this because of choice or because your doctor is insensitive? Of course not, it is because he is human just like all of us.

God is not human! He is not bond by time, emotion, opinions or space. He is everywhere all the time. So when He shows you what you need to do He empowers you with strength to choose to do right so you are accepted! He rescues us from ourselves and leads us to rest, peace and restoration in His presence.

That is what I call redeeming our troubles!!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I AM WHO I AM and I will be with you.

"Who am I Lord?" said Moses, God answered, "I will be with you!"
Exodus 3:11&12


Exodus 3.

The bush that burned yet was not consumed. God and Moses first real encounter of more to follow. This is the most remembered in this chapter, but within this small third chapter we find something else. Two things stood out to me:

1. A murderer becomes a Leader
2. A view of Gods plan when equipping us for service.

Remember Moses actions? He saw an Egyptian treating an Israelite badly and Moses killed him, hide the body and figured no one knew. He found later that not only was his deed known by Pharaoh but he was looking for Moses to kill him. So fearing his life, Moses ran. I am sure Moses never imagined returning to Egypt, especially not to demand the release of the Isrealites.

Moses had long left Egypt behind him as he made a family all his own with Zipporah. Now a shepherd with his own dreams and goals God calls him back to his destiny. God says it is time to redeem Moses to the purpose for his life being spared in the basket on the Nile river.

lets look at how God set Moses up to return to Egypt.

1. I will be with you. (Presence)
2. Do these signs this way. (Instruction to bring result)
3. I will tell you what to speak. (Authority and Command)

God told Moses straight out of the gate how to introduce Him - "I AM WHO I AM". This was the title Moses would call God. It is how they would know it was the God of Abraham that was with Moses. I am reminded of a place in the far future, now our past where in a garden unarmed Jesus spoke "I AM HE" and the brigade of heavily armed soldiers fell backward by the power of those words. Presence and Power! Moses was going to Egypt with this same presence and power. He would proclaim that "I AM" had sent him. As a born again believer and child of God we too can walk with this same presence and power to speak "I AM" is with me. How comforting and encouraging!

Not only did God promise to go with Moses but also taught him how to wield the power of miracles needed for the getting the job done. God told Moses that the Pharaoh would not give up without a fight. God prepared Moses with a tool and instructions to do miraculous signs to press the importance of letting the Israelite go. God took that old shepherds staff and redeemed into a tool to work miracles! Wow! It is important that we too understand that although God requires we leave things that weigh us down in our ability to serve Him that He also redeems things in our lives to do mighty awesome works for His kingdom.

Lastly we see how God had mercy in His anger and eased Moses fear and anxiety about going at all. Moses did not speak well and was begging God to send another or at least someone to speak for him. God did in the end allow Moses brother Arron to be the spokesman. The responsibility to deliver the word from God remained on Moses shoulders though. God would still instruct Moses what to say and then he would tell his brother. It is certain that Moses speech would have been loud, clear and unhindered as he spoke the word God instructed, but Moses was fearful. God is merciful. We too sometimes are fearful and anxious to do what God asks but need not be. He is just as capable and eager to use us in our strengths and weaknesses for His work and glory today.

Never never consider yourself of little use in the grand scheme of things. The fact is that we are all part of the plan God has mapped out. When one person fails to do what is required it affects the entire body of Christ.

Trust God today and His ability to fully equip you.
To redeem those "bad qualities" and  "lack of ability" as we so quickly call them. These are the perfect places  for God to perfect His power in us and glorify Himself.

 He will do it. I AM will be with you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Lord Restored

Job said, "I take back everything I said! I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance."
When job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.
Job 42:6,10


Job was restored. His life was redeemed!

Lets look back a moment at the beginning of this story. God gave permission to satan to test Job. During the first test he lost all his possession and family save his wife. Job blessed the Lord in Job 1:20 worshiping God in spite of all he had lost. Then Job is tested in his body, but not death. Again in Job 2:10 he declares we must accept the good with the bad from God. This test goes on awhile and as he listens to friends and finally speaks out in question to God. In all of it Job does not curse God.

So now we find ourselves at the end of Gods response of how Great He is and Job takes the first step toward  redemption -- Repentance. Some would argue that Job did nothing wrong, that he did not sin and did not need to repent. Job realized that he spoke about things he did not understand. Gods wisdom is beyond our understanding. Job acknowledged his repentance.

Next God tells Jobs friends to offer sacrifice and that Job will pray for them and that He would receive Jobs prayers for him. Here is another part of redemption -- Forgiveness. Praying for his friends also included forgiving all their accusations that he had sinned and deserved all that had happened to him. Imagine the untold growth between these friends.

Lastly, after Jobs repentance and forgiveness Job restored him. He redeems Jobs family, possessions and standing in the community. It is so like God to go "even further" we read that not only did God restore Job but He blessed Job more in the last part of his life than in the first.

Friend, I do not know what you are facing. It may be a test in integrity  Perhaps it is a test in faithfulness  Possibly a trial in health. No matter the situation be assured if you are a child of God you  are not alone. You must endure for a time but if you endure to the end of that trial there is a reward waiting for you. God is faithful to restore, revive and renew. He is not only able but eager to redeem your life and situation. Trust His wisdom and His timing. Follow His guidance and submit to His path. God will not let you down.