Pastor's Meditations

    Do not Pray, Just... (Exodus 14) 

            “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!”

            A. G.

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Good Memory (Exodus 13)    

            “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. 

            A. G.

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Sheep or Goat? (Exodus 11)       

            “...the Lord makes a distinction...”

            The plagues of Egypt were terrible indeed!  The land, the rivers, the animals and thousands of human beings suffered greatly under the wondrous display of God’s wrath. Everyone was affected, except the children of Israel. This event echoes in a smaller scale, the destruction of most of humanity in the time of the Flood. Only Noah and his small family were saved from the baptism of death.

            But, doesn’t the Bible teach that God makes no distinction between persons?  Why then, did God punish the Egyptians and preserved the Israelites? Why did Noah survive the Flood?

            The answer is rather simple.  God loves people regardless of their nation, culture, race or age.  He has no favorites and he makes the rain to fall on everyone (Acts 14:17).

            God does however, differentiates between those who will receive judgment, and those who will be rewarded.  For example, the Bible says that there is no condemnation, for believers (Romans 8:1), and the difference is Christ.  Believing in Christ is the criteria or condition required to avoid judgment.

            One day, our God will make the final distinction, this time between the sheep (Christians) and the goats (unbelievers).  The sheep will enter into his glorious kingdom, but the goats shall go into the everlasting flames of hell.

            Aren’t you glad that Jesus made a difference in your life; and that he will make a distinction between you and the unbelieving world?

            Are you willing to make a difference for God in this life?  

            A. G.

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Blood Bath (Exodus 12)     

            “The blood shall be a sign for you...”

            A child and his faithful dog were traveling through the woods one Saturday afternoon.  They were so happy together!  Suddenly they were attacked by a ferocious wolf, and “Milo,” his dog, jumped in front of the boy to save him.

            Milo fought bravely for an hour, but his courage and love for the boy weren’t enough to defeat the hungry beast.  The boy witnessed terrified, how the wolf devoured his faithful companion, while the blood was splashing all over his trembling body.

            Running for his life, the little boy reached home breathless and bloodstained.

            “What happened?” Screamed the mother.  “Why are you drenched in blood?”

            The boy explained to his mother that the blood belonged to Milo, who had died fighting the wolf.  That blood was a visible sign, that the boy’s life had been spared because somebody else (the dog), had died in his place.

            When Moses told the Israelites to “paint” the doorposts and the lintel of their houses with the blood of a “perfect” lamb, he was foreshadowing the future salvation of the people of God.

            The lamb who died to provide the “saving” blood, typifies Jesus, the Lamb of God, who died for our sins;  and the blood on both sides of the door, reminds us of the cross of Calvary where Jesus hung to save us from hell.

            The blood saved those who were inside the house and under the protection of the blood. If you want to be saved, you must come to the cross to be cleansed by His blood.

           Have you taken your blood bath yet?

           A. G.

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Stories of God (Exodus 10)

            “... and that you may tell you children...”

            Do you read bedtime stories to your children at night?  I still remember classical stories like “Little Red Riding Hood”, the “Three Little Pigs” and many other wonderful fables.  They were part of my childhood, and they taught me many valuable lessons (like not to play with wolves!), but I almost never heard a story about God.

            Our children need to hear about God.  We have been instructed to read to them the fascinating Bible stories.  They need to know about Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Paul and all the other biblical “heroes.”  But most of all they must know the story of Jesus and what he did for us.

            Our lives must be like an open book where are our children can “read” about God.  They must know that God is real, so real that he transcends the pages of the Bible.

             As Christians we have walked with the Lord, and the Lord has blessed us in many ways. We can describe all these wonderful “adventures” with God to our children.  They need to understand that the same God of the Bible, has loved us, protected us and blessed us in countless ways.

            In this way our children will be able to correlate the biblical God, to the God of their parents.  We can accomplish this by doing the following:

  1. Reading Bible stories to our offspring.
  2. Letting our children “read” or see God in our lives.
  3. Telling our children how God is working (and will always work) in our lives.

                You can be the difference in your child’s life or in other children that you can minister the Word of God. The Word is alive and gives life to those who read, listen and obey.

       A. G.

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