VIDEO Obstacles, Trapped

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. Exodus 14:13, NIV

To attract younger viewers, the International Olympic Committee is considering adding sports like skateboarding and breakdancing to future games. Next to come? Obstacle Course Racing may show up at the 2028 Los Angeles Summer games. OCR, as it’s called, is a race in which competitors try to overcome physical challenges in the form of obstacles. They must scale walls, crawl through mud, squirm under barb wire, jump through fire, and endure all kinds of hardships and hurdles.

Perhaps OCR is so popular because it’s indicative of life. All the biblical heroes faced roadblocks. Joseph was enslaved; Job was afflicted; Paul was arrested; Elisha was ridiculed; John was exiled. And how about the Israelites at the Red Sea? Talk about an obstacle course! They were trapped with an entire sea blocking them. But the Lord had a message for them, and it’s for us too: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”

There are no obstacles in our Lord’s path. There is no hindering of His plan. Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch to see what He will do.

When obstacles and trials seem like prison walls to be, I do the little I can do, and leave the rest to Thee.
Frederick W. Faber, “I Worship Thee, Most Gracious God”


Trapped, Exodus 14 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

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Butterfly, Botanist, or Bee?

“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

Your attitude toward Scripture will determine your effectiveness in spiritual battle.

I remember enjoying the observations of a perceptive man who was gazing at a beautiful garden. First he saw a butterfly flitting from flower to flower. It spent a few seconds on the edge of each, but derived no particular benefit from any of them.

Next he saw a botanist with large notebook and microscope in hand. As the botanist carefully observed each flower and plant, he made copious entries in his book. But after hours of meticulous study, most of what he learned was shut up in his book. Very little remained in his mind.

Then came a little bee. When it entered a flower, it emerged laden with pollen. It had left the hive that morning empty, but would return full.

When it comes to Bible study, some people are like butterflys, going from one favorite verse to another, one seminar to another, or one book to another. They’re very busy and expend much energy but have little to show for their efforts. They remain unchanged in any significant way because they never really delve into the Word wholeheartedly. They’re content to simply flutter around the edges.

Others, like the botanist, may study in great depth but never apply it to their lives. I know of entire commentaries written by unbelievers. In some cases their grasp of Scripture is exceptional, but they know nothing of true love for God and obedience to biblical truth. What a tragedy! But you don’t have to be a biblical scholar to make that mistake. You need only to fail to apply what you learn to your life.

Rather, strive to be like the bee, spending time in the Word—reading, studying, taking notes, then emerging fuller than when you began. Your mind will be filled with wisdom and biblical insights. Your life will be sweeter and purer because the Word has done its work (1 Cor. 2:13).

Are you a butterfly, a botanist, or a bee?

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the opportunities He gives you to study His Word. Take full advantage of them.

For Further Study

According to James 1:22-25, what’s the difference between someone who merely hears the Word and someone who obeys it?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993

God, Our Friend

John 14:21-26

The word of God is filled with many amazing promises, and today’s passage is no exception. It’s difficult for us to grasp the magnitude of Jesus’ commitment to those who love and obey Him. But look at what He promises about whoever is His committed follower: “My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).

This is the most precious, intimate relationship we could ever have. And it is stunning to realize this personal connection is with the all-powerful, sovereign Creator of all things! Here are some ways to nurture this remarkable treasure:

Pursue intimacy with God. Although God’s love is poured into our heart at salvation through the Holy Spirit, our awareness of that love increases the more we get to know Him through His Word (Eph. 3:17-19).

Protect intimacy with God. To do this, we must be obedient to His Word. When we disobey or pursue something other than the Lord, our fellowship with Him can be broken (Psalm 66:18).

Pass on the good news about intimacy with God. The greatest gift we can give to other people is a view of our friendship with God. When family, friends, and coworkers hear us talk about our relationship with Christ, the Spirit can use our words and example to awaken them to their own need for such a connection with God.

What are you doing to grow closer to the Lord? And how are you helping others to recognize their own desire to know Him personally?

Scripture and Christian Life

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:7-9)

Most Christians spend little time in the Word of the Lord, and this is a great tragedy. It is the necessary food for health and joy in our spiritual lives. “The sincere milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2) is for “newborn babes” and the “strong meat” is for those who are not “unskilful in the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:12-13). “Thy words” are also “honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103), and “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD” is the very bread by which “doth man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Not only are the Scriptures basic in salvation (2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 1:23) but also in sanctification and cleansing day by day: “That he might sanctify and cleanse [the church] with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26).

The Scriptures also provide daily guidance for those who will use their directions: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Every Christian must be a seed-sowing witness for Christ, and “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). In the Christian’s armor, the sole offensive weapon is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and this means a victorious life and testimony for the Christian who uses it.

The wonderful testimony of David in our text is the Old Testament equivalent of the great assertion by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” HMM

Urgency of God’s Will

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

—Revelation 7:13-14

If we are serious about our Christian witness, the day may be near when we may be persecuted—even killed—for our faith. We should be stirred, as John was stirred, as we witness this vast company of God’s saints in heaven who have come through earth’s great tribulation.

I am not saying we are not Christians. I am only trying to find out why we are so far from revival and refreshing and renewal. I am only trying to determine why we are so far from recognizing the urgency of God’s will laid upon us by the Holy Spirit.

If we belong to Jesus Christ, we should never compromise our spiritual decisions on the basis of “What is this going to cost me?” We ought only to ask, “What is my spiritual duty and my spiritual privilege before God?”   JIV115

Please, Lord, give me this kind of commitment. Amen.

 

Great peace have they which love Thy law

Great peace have they which love Thy law, and they have none occasion of stumbling.—Psalm 119:165 (R. V.).

 

In Thy might all things I bear,

In Thy love find bitter sweet,

And with all my grief and care,

Sit in patience at Thy feet.

A. H. Francke.

 

What you need to do, is to put your will over completely into the hands of your Lord, surrendering to Him the entire control of it, Say, “Yes, Lord, Yes” to everything, and trust Him so to work in you to will, as to bring your whole wishes and affections into conformity with His own sweet, and lovable, and most lovely will. It is wonderful what miracles God works in wills that are utterly surrendered to Him. He turns hard things into easy, and bitter things into sweet. It is not that He puts easy things in the place of the hard, but He actually changes the hard thing into an easy one.

Hannah Whitall Smith.

 

It has been well remarked, It is not said that after keeping God’s commandments, but in keeping them there is great reward. God has linked these two things together, and no man can separate them—obedience and peace.

F.W. Robertson.

 

Your Perfect Willingness

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Ps. 110:3

Blessed be the God of grace that it is so! He has a people whom He has chosen from of old to be His peculiar portion. These by nature have wills as stubborn as the rest of the froward sons of Adam; but when the day of His power comes, and grace displays its omnipotence, they become willing to repent, and to believe in Jesus. None are saved unwillingly, but the will is made sweetly to yield itself. What a wondrous power is this, which never violates the will, and yet rules it! God does not break the lock, but He opens it by a master-key which He alone can handle.

Now are we willing to be, to do, or to suffer as the Lord wills. If at any time we grow rebellious He has but to come to us with power, and straightway we run in the way of His commands with all our hearts. May this be a day of power with me as to some noble effort for the glory of God and the good of my fellow-men! Lord, I am willing; may I not hope that this is a day of thy power? I am wholly at thy disposal; willing, yea, eager, to be used of thee for thy holy purposes. O Lord, let me not have to cry, “To will is present with me, but how to perform that which I would, I find not”; but give me power as thou givest me will.