Reading the Bible in Three Years

Exodus 17 (March 8)

                                                                 Hit and Run

            “Strike the rock, and water will come out of it...”

            The power of God is immensurable.  He is able to create something out of nothing; he can make water to flow out of a dry rock.  God’s power and love have changed our lives forever.

            Water from a dry rock?  Have you ever heard or imagined such a thing?  This is what God did for Israel, but he has done a greater miracle on our behalf:  He made blood flow out the “Rock.”

            The rock at Horeb is a clear type or symbol of Jesus Christ.  He is the ROCK of our salvation. He was also “struck” when he went to the cross, but instead of giving life-preserving water, he poured out his own blood, his life-giving blood.

            How can this be?  How is it possible to receive life from someone else’s death?

            This is one of God’s greatest mysteries.  He sent his only Son to die vicariously on the shameful cross.  This simply means that Jesus died in our place; that he was our Substitute.

             His blood was sufficient to atone for our sins, because it was the blood of the perfect “Lamb of God.”

            That is why we can sing today;

            “There is power, power; wonder working power

             In the blood of the Lamb

            There is power, power; wonder working power

            In the precious blood of the Lamb.”

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Exodus 16 (March 7)

                                                              All I Need

            “....nothing over...no shortage;”

            I still remember a story I heard in a Steve and Annie Chapman’s concert.  Their testimony was this:  One Monday morning they paid all the monthly bills and all that was left was enough for a loaf of bread for the rest of the week.  They prayed to the Lord concerning dinner, and the Lord answered in a most peculiar way; every day, for the rest of the week they received a phone call from a different brother or sister inviting them over for dinner.

            Israel (and us too) had a very bad habit: They enjoyed complaining for anything and everything.  This was already the third instance in which we see the recently liberated people, complaining to the Lord.  Instead of praising, praying or simply waiting in the Lord, they murmured and grumbled all the way into their deaths.

            What do you do when facing trouble?  How do you respond to life’s adversities?

            The story of Israel is found in the Bible, to provide an example for Christians today.  Let us follow their good example and avoid their many mistakes.

            How did God respond to their complaints?

            He provided a heavenly bread called “Manna.”  His provision was perfect; nothing was leftover, and there was enough for everyone to be filled and satisfied.

            God’s provision is always perfect in timing and amount.  He has promised to take care of your needs and He will do it.  There is no reason then, to doubt or complain because:

            “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

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Exodus 14 (March 5)

                                                        Do not Pray, Just...

            “Why do you cry to me?”

            There are times when we don’t need to pray to God.

            One example of a completely unnecessary (and foolish) prayer would be to say:

            “God, if it is your will, please help me to have the desire to attend church services.”

            Or what about a prayer that requests love from God?  To pray in this manner is sheer nonsense.  Who would pray to God asking if he wants us to serve him?

            The only answer that such a person will receive is the same response that Moses heard:

            “Why do you cry to me?”  Go forward Moses; go and cross the Red Sea; go and do my will.

            In simpler terms, the Christian shouldn’t pray over matters in which God’s will is more than explicit.  The only thing left for us to do, is to obey.  Therefore if we have done harm, or insulted a brother, we should not pray if it is God’s will that we reconcile.  It is God’s will, so let us not pray, but obey.

            Or perhaps God is calling you to some ministry, but you are praying, “Here I am, but send Shawn!”  Again I tell you:  Do not pray, just obey.

            If you are happy today, then sing; and if you are sad, by all means do pray.  Pray also if you don’t know God’s will, or if you are in need.

            But if you know God’s will, God is telling you:

            “Do not pray, just obey!”

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Exodus 15 (March 6)

                                                              To Sin or to Sing

            “Then Moses and the Israelites sang...”

            God made the impossible to be possible.  He divided the waters of the Red Sea and “turned the sea into dry land...” (v.21). Dry land! Can you fathom the greatness of this miracle?  Not only were the waters divided, (an incredible feat on his own), but the land was dry.  No mud, no marshy ground, just plain, ordinary dry land.

            The Hebrews walked all the way to freedom on dry land, while the Egyptian army was being swallowed by the receding waters.  No wonder they lifted up their voices in songs of praise.  They were praising the God who had rescued them.

            Singing is an integral part of the Christian life.  It matters not, if when we sing everyone is suddenly filled with an anxiety attack.  Sing my brother, sing my sister, because we are singing unto the Lord of our salvation.

            Sing to our God, he is our strength; sing to the Lord of eternity and praise his name! Singing to the Lord is worship to the rhythm of music. The songs of praise flow from hearts that are full of adoration for our eternal Savior.

            Let us learn to close our mouths when we are being tempted to complain.  Instead, let us sing, sing like the birds who praise God every morning for his daily provision (Matthew 6:26).

            The Christian who sings has no time for sin. Try it and you will see! When temptation knocks on the door of your heart, shun it with a song of praise to Jesus. The devil will flee from you and any temptation will be repelled by the power of praise. You see, praise is not only an expression of worship, but it is a mighty weapon against sin too.

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Exodus 13 (March 4)

                                                                 Good Memory

            “Remember this day...”

            A sad, angry couple went together one day to the County Court House.  When they arrived, they proceeded to the Divorce Court Section, where they filled out all the necessary documents for their separation.

            The day of the hearing came soon enough, and much to their surprise, when they entered the court room they recognized the judge.  You see, this was the same judge that had presided over their civil marriage.

            The judge recognized them also and asked them why they were pursuing a legal separation.  The couple cited a few “reasons” of little or no consequence.  The judge didn’t know if to laugh or cry, but looking directly into their eyes, he exclaimed:

            “Do you even remember your wedding day?”

            God’s exhortation is remarkably similar:  “Remember this day...”  In other words, we must always remember the day when we were saved by the grace of God.  We were slaves in our “Egypt,” but Jesus delivered us and set us free.

            In the Old Testament, the story of the deliverance of the people of God from Egypt is often retold, and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are remembered by not one, but four Gospels.

            When you feel lonely, when your strength is almost gone; remember that day.  In that day you met Jesus, your Savior and Lord, and you were reborn from above.  In that day all your sins were forgiven forever.

            Do not divorce yourself from Jesus.  Remember all that he has done for you. 

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