Reading the Bible in Three Years

Exodus 22 (March 13)

                                                                   Remember                      

            “...for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

            One day, as I was driving through an old Miami neighborhood, I noticed a group of teenagers of bad reputation which were smoking, drinking and cursing.  I couldn’t help but to despise this “gang” of juvenile delinquents.

            Then, the Holy Spirit told me:  “This was YOU a few years ago!”

            The Christian community is as forgetful as a grumpy old man that has forgotten that he was a child once.  We tend to forget that just a few years ago, we were involved in shameful and sinful activities and that we were enemies of God.

            While it is true that as Christians we have been justified, sanctified and regenerated; that in itself is not a reason for spiritual pride.  We need to drink a healthy dose of humility each morning to maintain a balanced perspective.

            Yes, we are a chosen race, a royal “tribe”, but we must conduct ourselves, not as proud kings or priests, but as servants of God.  Not so long ago we were walking with the wrong crowd, but Jesus saved us just in time.

            Let us always remember where we came from, and how God changed our lives. We will be more focused on the Lord and less judgmental of others.  If we are humble, God will exalt us, so there is no need to be proud.

            Let us also remember that we were saved by grace and must be grateful to our Lord and graceful unto others. Were it not for that irresistible and incomprehensible grace, all of us would be on the road to hell.

            The proper balance is God first, everyone else second and ourselves last. 

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Exodus 21 (March 12)

                                                                    Douleou

            “...and he shall serve him for life.”

            I am not a Greek scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I learned somewhere that Douleou is a Greek word which means “to serve as a slave.”  In the New Testament, this word is applied to believers in Christ, and is translated as “servants.”

            In a sense all Christians are slaves of Jesus Christ because we belong to Him.  He rescued us from our previous slavery to sin and redeemed (or bought) us for himself.  We are not our own (I Corinthians 6:19, 20).

            If this is the case, then why are so many believers failing to serve the Lord of their souls?  On average, only five to ten percent of church members are active in some kind of ministry.  What about the rest?

            The real name for a Christian is “disciple,” from which we get the common word “discipline.” A disciple is someone who follows his Master and serves him.  Therefore if we are Christ’s disciples we ought to follow and serve him; and if we serve, then we are servants, servants of the Lord.

            Are you a douleou?

            God can use you as a minister (or servant) if you ask him to give you a servant’s heart.

            “I love Jesus, he is my Lord

            Only him I will obey

            I will pray and read his Word,

            And will serve him night and day”

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Exodus 19 (March 10)

                                                                In the Mountain with God

            “Then Moses went up to God...”

            In his song entitled, “New point of View,” Bill Gaither sings about a very interesting personal experience.

            One day he took a trip on a hot-air balloon over the city.  During his aerial journey, he noticed that the houses, boats and cars didn’t look as big as they did before.  Everything was small and rather insignificant when seen from above.

            When we spend time in the “mountain” of God; when we enjoy his majestic presence, then all those “big” problems become invisible.  There is no place there for worries, and our ambitions and selfish dreams evaporate like morning dew. When we are surrounded by God’s blazing glory, our eyes are amazingly blinded by his beauty and the darkness and futility of this world is put on display.

            In the mountain of the Lord we find a new point of view, a new perspective on life. In the mountain of the Lord we feel closer to heaven and distant from the cares of this life. In the mountain of the Lord we can hear his Voice, see his Glory, taste his Goodness, touch his Heart and experience his Presence.

            Eternity becomes visible, and suddenly we start longing again for the return of Jesus to take us home.

            Let us ascend to God’s mountain in fervent prayer.  As we spend time with the Lord, we shall be equipped to minister in the world.

            Listen to God’s voice calling you today:

            “Come up to my Mountain!”

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Exodus 20 (March 11)

                                                                 The Malice of Avarice

            “You shall not covet...”

            To covet is a terrible sin.  A covetous individual is like a small child, who always wants to play with his friend’s toys; he is also like the cow that looks for “greener pastures” on the other side of the fence.

            God tells us to be content with what we already have.  If you ever need more, you can always reach out God in prayers and supplications.  Otherwise, let us never covet anything that belongs to someone else; not their house, automobile, job, bank account, yacht or their wives.

            Avarice comes from envy and jealousy; and envy is nothing but a misguided and lustful “admiration.”  When people are blindly following the dictates of avarice they are prone to theft, over-spending and adultery.

            Do not covet anything or anyone.  Do not give in to envy, for it will lead you to destruction. Those who covet what God has given to others will never be happy with anything they have. There will always be a bigger house, a more beautiful woman or a better job than the one you have, if you don’t learn the secret of contentment.

            Learn to be happy with what God has bestowed upon you and remember that you are loved by Him. If you are a Christian, you are blessed beyond measure. God is your Father; heaven is your home and life is your inheritance. What more can you ask for?

            If there is something that we should “covet” or desire, it is to love, follow, and serve God more every day.  The more that we hunger and thirst for the Lord, the less we will desire anything else.

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Exodus 18 (March 9)

                                                             On Fire for God

            “Why do you sit alone?”

            Moses, the leader of the people of Israel was getting burned.  No, his “burn” was not the result of the hot Middle East sun, nor was it related to a secret sexual sin.  Moses was a victim of what is commonly known today as a workaholic lifestyle.  He was burned-out and fatigued with too much work.

            When Jethro came to visit his now famous son in-law, he was astounded to see Moses working so hard.  Perhaps Moses was under the delusion that he really was a religious “Superman.”  From sunrise to sunset he heard the complaints and disputes of his people, and he did this every day.

            His wise father in-law gave him the following advice:

  1. Train the people in God’s law.
  2. Delegate in able and responsible men.
  3. Handle only the major cases.

            This is good advice for Christian leaders of our time.  If you are a pastor or a leader in any ministry, you must learn to delegate.  God does not expect for you to do everything, but he requires that everything we do, it’s done well.

            He deserves our very best.

            On the other hand, do not ever attempt to delegate the work that God has called you to perform.  We have a solemn duty to fulfill the ministry that God has entrusted to us individually. We can delegate some of the work, but we must labor alongside with the other heirs of the grace of God. Do your part, do it well, and do it for God’s glory.

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