Mar 29, 2010
Music video by Alan Jackson performing Are You Washed In The Blood / I’ll Fly Away
Mar 29, 2010
Music video by Alan Jackson performing Are You Washed In The Blood / I’ll Fly Away
“I am who I am” Exodus 3:14
An old Native American story tells of a young boy who was sent into the woods alone on an autumn night to prove his courage. Soon the sky darkened and the sounds of night filled the air. Trees creaked and groaned, an owl screeched, and a coyote howled. Even though he was frightened, the boy remained in the woods all night, as the test of courage required. Finally morning came, and he saw a solitary figure nearby. It was his grandfather, who had been watching over him all night long.
When Moses went deep into the desert, he saw a burning bush that didn’t burn up. Then God began talking to him from the bush, commissioning him to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of cruel slavery to freedom. A reluctant Moses began to ask questions: “Who am I that I should go?”
God has promised always to be present with those who believe in Jesus.
God simply answered, “I will be with you.”
“Suppose I . . . say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God replied, “I am who I am. . . . [Say to them,] I am has sent me to you’ ” (Ex. 3:11-14). The phrase “I am who I am” can be interpreted, “I will be who I will be” and reveals God’s eternal and all-sufficient character.
God has promised always to be present with those who believe in Jesus. No matter how dark the night, the unseen God is ready to respond appropriately to our need.
Dear Father, thank You for Your never-changing character.
God is always present and at work.
…when Moses was grown…he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. —Exodus 2:11
Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After he launched his first strike for God and for what was right, God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement, sending him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared to Moses and said to him, “ ‘…bring My people…out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go…?’ ” (Exodus 3:10-11). In the beginning Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in his individual perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he had learned true fellowship and oneness with God.
We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and yet when we start to do it, there comes to us something equivalent to Moses’ forty years in the wilderness. It’s as if God had ignored the entire thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged, God comes back and revives His call to us. And then we begin to tremble and say, “Who am I that I should go…?” We must learn that God’s great stride is summed up in these words— “I AM WHO I AM…has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). We must also learn that our individual effort for God shows nothing but disrespect for Him— our individuality is to be rendered radiant through a personal relationship with God, so that He may be “well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). We are focused on the right individual perspective of things; we have the vision and can say, “I know this is what God wants me to do.” But we have not yet learned to get into God’s stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.
We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” My Utmost for His Highest, April 23, 773 L
The book of Proverbs has much to say about people who are lazy. They are regarded as sluggards who do not think beyond today (Proverbs 20:4), who wrongly consider themselves wise (Proverbs 26:16), and who are on a path leading to future poverty.
When people develop a habit of laziness, they tend to offer excuses—such as “I was too tired” or “I ran out of time” or “I wasn’t sure what you were asking for.” They’ll avoid doing something they don’t like, even if it’s their responsibility, and they won’t bother to seek clarification when a request isn’t clear. Instead, they do only what pleases them. Sadly, individuals who act this way have trouble recognizing what they are doing wrong, and they find criticism unreasonable. Though such men and women might think that nobody notices their attitude, it is usually very apparent to others.
People may fool themselves and even each other, but God, who sees poor attitudes and careless ways, is not pleased by shoddy efforts. He has prepared work for us to do and expects it to be handled conscientiously. The Lord knows that the consequences of laziness are serious: At work, there is the possibility of frequent criticism or even termination; at home, neglect can add tension to the atmosphere and build frustration; and in a trickle-down effect, children may start copying their parents’ undesirable work habits.
If you are already a disciplined worker but must interact with people who are not, continue to please the Lord with diligence in your work. In addition, pray for patience (Gal. 5:22), and be an example of Christ to those around you.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)
The phrase “all things” is used throughout these verses to emphasize that everything has been brought into existence by the “dear Son” (Colossians 1:13, 16-20).
All things were created through Him and for Him.
All things consist (stand together) in Him.
All things will give preeminence to Him.
All things reside in His fullness.
All things will be reconciled to Him.
The list of created things in verse 16 is exhaustive: heaven, Earth, visible and invisible things, and the rulers in and of the universe—thrones, dominions, principalities, powers. Jesus Christ is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).
The Creator existed before all things and now “approves” all things. Solomon understood this as he spoke of wisdom: “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was” (Proverbs 8:22-23), just as He chose us “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
When the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to John, He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). These grand sweeps of eternity are anchors for our faith. But we must not lose sight that “the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word [the word of the Creator] are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). HMM III
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. —Matthew 20:26-27
The essence of [God’s] teaching is that true greatness lies in character, not in ability or position. Men in their blindness had always thought that superior talents made a man great, and so the vast majority believe today. To be endowed with unusual abilities in the field of art or literature or music or statecraft, for instance, is thought to be in itself an evidence of greatness, and the man thus endowed is hailed as a great man. Christ taught, and by His life demonstrated, that greatness lies deeper….
While a few philosophers and religionists of pre-Christian times had seen the fallacy in man’s idea of greatness and had exposed it, it was Christ who located true greatness and showed how it could be attained. “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26-27). It is that simple and that easy—and that difficult.
Lord, this truth is indeed contrary to the philosophy of the world. Stimulate my heart this morning to desire this true greatness for Your glory. Amen.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another?… John 5:44
The whole course of our lives will be upset by failure to put God where He belongs. We exalt ourselves instead of God and the curse follows!
Consider the very disturbing question that Jesus asked of men when He was on earth: “How can ye believe, which receive honour of one another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God alone?”
If I understand this correctly, Christ taught here the alarming doctrine that the desire for honor among men made belief impossible!
Is this sin at the root of religious unbelief?
Could it be that those “intellectual difficulties” which men blame for their inability to believe are but smoke screens to conceal the real cause that lies behind them?
Was it this greedy desire for honor from man that made men into Pharisees and Pharisees into Deicides?
Is this the secret back of religious self-righteousness and empty worship? I believe it may be.
Men and women who will make the honest once-for-all decision to exalt and honor God and His Christ over all are precious to God above all treasures of earth or sea, for He knows that His honor is safe in such consecrated hands!
Let not your heart be troubled…I go to prepare a place for you. JOHN 14:1-2
Much of the secularism and rationalism of our times dismisses the Christian view and teaching about heaven as “nothing more than hopeful thinking.”
But the Christian’s promised hope of future blessedness is founded upon the fullest and plainest revelations of the Old and New Testaments. That it accords with the most sacred yearnings of the human breast does not weaken it, but serves rather to confirm the truth of it, because the One who made the heart might be expected also to make provision for the fulfillment of its deepest longings.
God’s promises are made to the Christian believer, who generally has difficulty picturing himself as inheriting such bliss as the Scriptures describe. The reason is not hard to discover, for the most godly Christian is the one who knows himself best, and no one who knows himself will believe that he deserves anything better than hell. But even justice is on his side, for it is written, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Dear Lord, thank You that so many of Your promises in Scripture have already come true—especially the advent of Your Son, Jesus. You are a faithful, holy God in whom there is no guile or deceit. Your promise of heaven is just as real as the promise of a Savior. Bless You!