Friday, September 28, 2018

Lucky Charms

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him. Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that you are wearing, and bring them to me." So all the people took off their earrings and brought them. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (Exodus 32:1-2 NIV)

Lucky Charms
Beautiful One, has God been so long in coming down the mountain to meet with you? Have you become bored in your endeavors and with each passing day, your growing more impatient and discontented? What have you been playing with to ease your confusion? What charms have you fashioned that you're hoping will bring you comfort and fulfillment?

The cereal Lucky Charms was created in 1963. An advertising company employed by General Mills suggested marketing the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets. The saying that we associate the cereal with is;"It's magically delicious."

Great concept, good advertising. But the truth is, there is nothing magical about them. Lucky Charms, is nothing more than just wheat and oats with pretty colors of sugar in them.

When Israel was delivered out of Egypt by God, they were then led to a desert. God had prepared a Promised Land for them, but before He would allow them entry, He took careful steps to route them through a desert.The desert would prepare them for their destiny. Furthermore, God appointed a leader, Moses, who would lead, guide and instruct them on the ways of the Lord.

But Israel was stubborn, not a trusting people. Maybe being in bondage, abused and mistreated for 400 years had taken it's toll. Let's face it, that's a long time to keep taking punches. It's kind of hard to trust anyone, when you've been hurt. Repeatedly, day after day.

As God brought Israel out of their oppression, He displayed mighty works on their behalf. Just imagine for a moment what it must have felt like to have been crying out for help and finally, help shows up and does exceedingly more than they could think, ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Beautiful One, have you witnessed God move on your behalf? Do you remember the excitement and hope it gave you? To not only know in your mind that God "IS," but to know it in your very heart. There is nothing like it, absolutely nothing can compare to the awakening of the eyes of our heart.

But then, do you also know what it is to come out of something with great power and then be led into an isolated, dry, even dirty place? The days are all the same, it's hot, tempers flare and unbelief slithers.

While Moses went up a mountain to meet with the Lord, the people were left to themselves. The signs that magically appeared on their behalf were no longer in front of them. All they could see was a dry, dusty, desert. Because they weren't familiar with the Lord, when He wasn't directly in front of them, they quickly forgot him.

Beautiful One, are we any different? Have pleas and prayers met with silence? Have your circumstances discouraged you? Do you feel like you are wandering? Nothing new, hope waning, fear winning?

You are not alone.

People from the beginning of time until the end of it, will all encounter the "Desert Dilemma." Every one of us will have to walk through this valley. It is a reality none of likes, maybe we don't agree but at some point, we will have to confront the dry, barren places within our souls. We will have to confront the unbelief that we have hid in our hearts and the charms of deceitfulness we wear on our person.

Beautiful One, when we encounter the "Desert Dilemma," let's remember what Israel forgot. It was the LORD God who delivered us from Egypt, not some trinket we have fashioned to suit us. It was God who brought us through. Not our jobs, titles, our looks, friends, or family. Drugs and alcohol won't deliver you, but God will. Having someone new won't bring you completion, your desert won't magically disappear with someone who is magically delicious ...

God is the only filler to any void we are suffering. Maybe He has taken longer than you'd like, hold on, bear down, wait it out, for surely He's coming!

Beautiful One, God knows our desert. He gets it. He even knows the things we don't, and yet, He beckons us daily to come up higher. Luck has nothing to do with it, leave the charms alone, they might sparkle and shine but in the end, all they can do is sit there and rot. Come to him, cry out to him, scream if you have to. He loves you and longs to help you. He is willing, He is able and He is the Lord your God!

Beautiful One, just believe, not in something that will magically disappear, but in the One who brought you up out of Egypt ... Shannon Heiden

Friday, September 21, 2018

Make a Wish

Make a Wish
Make a wish …

No, I’m not suggesting that you wish on a star. Nor am I inferring it’s time to wish after blowing out flickering birthday cake candles.

Instead, I speak of a great concern for the lost.

“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe." Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?" "I wish before God," replied Paul, "that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am—except for these chains." (Acts 26:27-29 HCS)

The Apostle Paul was persistent and passionate in his witness. He was not twisting the king’s arm but he was trying to persuade him to place his trust in the resurrected Christ. Paul was wishing but his hope rested in God. He had a burden for the lost, both Jew and Gentile. PamFord Davis

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation! (Romans 10:1 HCS)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Making Excuses

“[God] said, 'I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you; when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12, NRSV)

Making Excuses
If you have the time I would highly recommend that you read the surrounding passages of our chosen verse for the day (Exodus 3:7-12). It always helps to put a verse in its context.

I don't know about you, but I have flaws, lots of them. Far too often I discover something new that I am unable to do well. My usual response is to spend much of my free time being a bit of a couch potato. I just sit there and watch TV or read a book. It's safe there. I can't fail doing these things unless I drift off into slumber for a while. At times I will use my weakness in an area as an excuse not to take any action. That way it's easier to say, “I tried; but I am unable to do that because ______________.”

When reading through the Scriptures it's clear to see that many people back then made excuses as well; and Moses is no exception. When the Israelites were being oppressed and God wanted Moses to lead them out of Egypt, what did Moses do? He protested, he made excuses, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” The excuse Moses made seems to be a bit of an echo of the kind of excuses I make at times. “I'm suppose to do _______? I can't do that. I have way too many flaws for that. You should ask someone else more effective.” But just as God reassured Moses, he also reassures us: “I will be with you.”

Often times we allow our minds to only focus on our flaws or shortcomings. So, we think we are not smart enough, or that we don't have enough talent, or that our speech or communication is not dignified enough. But God doesn't need to make us “smarter” or more “talented” or more “dignified” in speech. Instead, when He calls us to something He simply promises to be with us, to remain with us, and in actuality that is all we need. Jeffrey Hagan

Dear Lord God, we pray in the name of your Son that you would continue to be with us giving us all that we need to carry out your will in the area or areas that you have called us to. Help us to remove our focus off of our flaws and onto your promises so that we can boldly and faithfully accomplish the work that you have set aside for us to carry out. Amen.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Majority Rules

Majority Rules
We live in a society that likes to see things run by the opinion of the majority. That only seems fair; right? It may seem logical to settle questions that way; but it is not a fool proof plan.

As churches most vote among the church members about issues that effect us all. Any pastor or committee chairman is thrilled to get a unanimous vote of approval to their motion! What happens if they get 51% approval and their motion passes? The leadership may decide to drop the suggestion for the current time, and seek the Lord for guidance.

At one time King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were forming battle plans against a common enemy. Ahab sought the advice of 400 prophets to determine if they should attack. It was a unanimous decision! “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the King." (1 Kings 22:6b NKJ).

Ahab had intentionally left out the opinion of Micaiah the prophet. He didn’t make it a practice to just tell the king what he wanted to hear. He spoke a message of “Thus saith the Lord!” As the story developed Micaiah was also brought in for consultation. After a final word that Israel would be scattered, “the bottom line” was revealed. A lying Spirit was put in the mouths of the prophets to entice the king (1 Kings 22: 13-22)! The majority was dead wrong!

When we face important decisions we need to trust God, not only the opinion of others (Proverbs 3:5-6). He will direct our steps! PamFord Davis