Monthly Archives: December 2015

He Lay Down His Position On The Throne – Part 1

Moses versus Jesus

Heb 11:24 ‘By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God…’

Seeing the oppression of his own people, Moses gave up his position and honour on the Egyptian throne to associate himself with his Hebrew brothers.

And no great rewards for seeing how Jesus did this for us! Philippians clearly bring this out about Jesus, stating

Phil 2:6-8 ‘Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! ‘

Now that is amazing! Like Moses, Jesus wanted to deliver His people and that meant being like them. For Moses, this meant giving up the Egyptian throne and all the power, wealth and authority that went with it. Yet as great as this commitment was, Jesus went much further! Jesus’ love for us led Him to give up His position over the throne of the entire universe and was made a man. And through that act, He will always, for the rest of eternity, be the God-Man – 100% God, yet 100% man. A great mystery indeed!

The Deliverer is Rejected By His People! (See also Ex 2:11-14)

Acts 7:23-27 ‘When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’ But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?’

Unbelievable! Having taken the great step in laying aside the Egyptian throne and associating himself with his own people, you would think that the Israelites would welcome him and allow him to be their deliverer, would you not? Nope! Their only comment was ‘who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Of course, this rejection is only a small picture of the one who came to deliver Israel years later. Their reaction to Jesus then was far worse.

Matt 12:24 ‘But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” ‘

Matt 27:22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”

Listen to Jesus’ heart for Israel even though they rejected him.

Matt 23:37 ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.’

It is also important to see that as a nation, the rejection of Jesus by Israel occurred long before the cross. The book of Mathew was written primarily to the Jews of his day, and as such, it presents Jesus as the long awaited Messiah. From this book we can clearly see the rejection of Jesus, and it’s results, in Mathew chapters 12 and 13.

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The Unchangeable God

Malachi 3:6 For I, the LORD, do not change.

If your only hope is in this planet then you would cling to what you have. But a Christian’s hope is far, far greater! In the midst of all this change that is happening, and will happen, how good is it to know some things, or rather someone, never changes – Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! He doesn’t have a bad day or wake up grumpy. He doesn’t ever need counseling or correction from a friend to put him back on the right track. He is never confused, anxious or fretting over what to do. He is not forgetful (apart from when He chooses not to remember our sins!) and never loses track of what is happening in the world or in the life of the least of His children.

If we are experiencing change currently, or face difficult change in the future, let us still look up and give thanks that we are heirs of that which cannot be shaken. The last generation before the return of the Lord will see incredible change. It will be change for the worse before it is change for the better. But thank the Lord that Jesus doesn’t change!

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Building A Spiritual House

1 Peter 2:5,9,11 (NIV) 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

Peter tells us what God is doing with our lives. He is making us into a spiritual house in which He can live through His Spirit. In this analogy, he is not referring to us individually, but as a group. We should be interconnected to the work and ministry of others in the family of God. Like the priests of old, we minister to God by bringing sacrifices, but instead of animals, we bring sacrifices of praise for bringing us out of darkness and into His wonderful light. They are acceptable because they come through Jesus our Savior.

God is making us into a royal and holy priesthood. What He intended to do with Israel, He is now accomplishing in us. Israel could not be a priestly nation because they did not have the Holy Spirit within them. They could not see how much they needed God. The flesh can never accomplish the will of God.

Because we have this high and holy calling, we should not follow the example of ancient Israel that was ensnared by their sinful desires. As a nation, they lost the war over their souls. As a nation, let us live as aliens and strangers here, knowing that we are just passing through this world. Let us abstain from those sinful desires that would take us down the same road to ruin that Israel took.

Consider: Am I compromising with the enemy in any area of my life? As a stranger and alien here, what should I do about it?

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A Steady, Faithful Life

A boat can remain steady in the worst storm if it has a strong anchor. Ironically, the strength of the anchor is never known until a storm comes! In the same way, Joseph’s faithfulness is all the more highlighted by his challenges. Consider how he remained solid, steady, and dependable through every circumstance, beginning with his family life. Although he knew of his brothers’ hatred for him, Joseph willingly and diligently obeyed when his father, Jacob, sent him to look for them (Gen. 37:13). It must have delighted Jacob to have such confidence in his teen-aged son.

Joseph’s character did not change in Egypt. After a time, Potiphar so trusted Joseph with the affairs of his household that “he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate” (39:6). The jailer was the next to notice Joseph’s faithfulness, for he committed all the other prisoners to his care. There, Joseph’s reliability was so solid that the jailer didn’t even bother to check up on what he did (39:23).

Later, when Pharaoh finally met Joseph, he only needed a brief visit to be convinced of Joseph’s faithfulness and integrity. As a result, he made Joseph second only to himself in all the land (41:37-40). How good for us to remain steady and devoted, even when facing unsettling challenges. Our anchor of hope is supremely solid, for it reaches from our hearts into heaven itself, where the Lord Jesus is seated on our behalf (Heb. 6:19-20).

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My Thirst For God

Let us from this day forward seek after God with every fiber of our beings. Let us cry with the sweet psalmist of Israel… My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.. My flesh longs for Thee in  a dry and thirsty land, where no water is….. Psa.63:1

As the deer longs for the water-brooks so my soul longs for Thee oh God. My soul thirsts for God – the living God.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and of love – He is the one Who illuminates the word of God. He is the Spirit of power and peace – He is the one Who convicts and converts the soul. He is the Spirit of grace and joy – and He is the Spirit of righteousness and hope.

He has perfect wisdom; gives perfect counsel and has perfect strength and power. He is the Spirit of God that indwells every believer from the moment they believe.

Let us take time to get to know the Holy Spirit Who lives in each one of us. Let us recognise Him as our Helper and Teacher – our Guard and our Guide. Let us quietly meditate on the role of the Holy Spirit in our life, as we submit to His leading and guiding willingly and submissively.

Let us not only be guided by Him, in the crisis of life…but in the daily duties of life.
Let us listen to His voice in those small decisions we are so apt to take… decisions we make without seeking His skillful loving guidance… decisions we are prone to take without listening to His gentle promptings.

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