Hidden Memories

Bible Verse:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

Text:
There lying on the bottom of an old desk drawer was a frail plastic cassette tape. If handled too roughly it would have split in two. Scribbled in ink, the title read: “Nate 5 - Suz 3”. “Whatever could this be?” Luckily, our aged sound system played cassettes. I popped it into the player. Immediately my children’s little voices came bellowing into the room as they recited God's word. The recording was made twenty years ago as a summer project. Our son was going off to kindergarten in the fall. I wanted to make sure God’s word was tucked away in his heart. Earlier that year he and his sister both prayed with their Dad to receive Christ as their Savior. Over the summer they successfully memorized John 3:16, the Ten Commandments and the Hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy". One winter’s night we had fun recording their accomplishments. As an empty nester, my newly found treasure with sounds from the past was something I needed to hear. It gave me strength to trust God’s word from Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” They are now adults who belong first to God and not me. He gave them to me years ago, to love and care for. It was time to let go and leave the results in His hands.

Ending Prayer:
Heavenly Father, may I always remember that our children belong first to You. Thank You for allowing me to find this hidden treasure You inspired in me to do years ago. Amen.

By Patsy  IL, USA

REVELATION OF GOD'S GLORY

SERMON BY CHARLES FINNEY

'And Moses said unto the Lord, see, thou sayest unto me, bring up this people; and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me; yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; and consider that this nation is thy people. And He said my presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said, if thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken; for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And He said, thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away my hand and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.' Ex. 33:12-23.

 

In this discourse I shall show,

I. WHAT IS INTENDED BY THE GLORY OF GOD.

II. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN MOSES' PRAYER.

III. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN GOD'S ANSWER.

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A Jealous God

But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)…    Exodus 34:13-14 (NKJ)

What takes your time? And your money? If you collect spoons, thimbles, whatever, or have an all-consuming “hobby,” time and money are usually related – and spent. Do you serve on the PTA with a passion really enjoying the committee work but then decide to skip church to prepare for one more meeting? Do you prowl the stores looking for that latest “collectible” piece to add to your ever-growing collection and then aren’t able to put anything in when the plate is passed on Sunday? Are you passionate about taking your boat out every weekend, including Sundays, since you “deserve it” after working hard all week?

In my case, I was obsessed with my yard. Front yard, back yard, all around the house. I designed a patio, ordered plants, bought load after load of potting soil, top soil, sand, pea gravel, whatever came in a bag for the outdoors got delivered to my house. Every weekend was spent outside, digging, cutting, planting; a holiday was that much better – more time, more time. All my energy (and money) was going into what would not last, not in this time and certainly not in the time to come. I was always searching for just the right statuary, the perfect bird feeder, the cutest little bench. You get the idea. And the Lord was going, Ahem. Where were my time and my money going? Certainly not where they should have been. A little care and lawn maintenance is fine, but too much of anything is just… too much.

The Lord our God is a jealous God. He wants our time and attention, and He wants them both focused on Him. He told us that in the Ten Commandments. Matter of fact, having no other “gods” before Him is the first of the Ten Commandments, right up there at the top. That makes it of great importance to God, as it should be to us. Several times in the Old Testament, God had to remind the Israelites of this fact in order to get them back on track.

The next time you buy that doll for your collection, or contemplate adding a media room to your home, or decide to go for that complete cactus-look in your front yard, look for the Lord in all that you’re doing. Are you giving Him equal (at least) time (and money) in your life? Are you doing it for His glory or for yours?

Lord, help us to seek You in all that we do. We love You, Lord, and realize You want our focus to be fixed on You. May it continually be so in our life. Amen.

We've Got 'Em Right Where We Want 'Em

But Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. Exodus 14:13 (LB)

The scene was the shore of the Red Sea. The Israelites were fleeing Egypt and they ended up in a cul-de-sac. Mountains on the left and right, the sea in front, Egyptian army tanks coming up from behind. What could be worse?

Actually, that was the least of Moses' worries. It wasn't what was on the left or right, or in front or back that had him biting his nails. It's what he was standing in the middle of - two million angry Israelites. They hadn't had their espresso and they were in a rotten mood.

"Yo, Moses. You bring us out here in the desert to die. What's up with that?"

Credit Moses for not panicking. He’d been through tough times before and he had seen God come through. God had never failed and Moses couldn't see it happening now.

One of the best lessons we can learn in a tight situation is to think back. Think about the times God came to our rescue. Remember his faithfulness, His answers to our prayers. Then try to remember when He ever failed us. "Hmmm? I'm drawing a blank!"

You've got obstacles you’re facing today? Red Sea in front, Egyptians in the back? Personalize today’s verse and make it a prayer:

O Lord, I will not be afraid. I will stand and watch, and see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue me today! Amen.

Another Day on the Job

But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. Exodus 1:17 (KJV)

Do you face this dilemma? Do I work or be a stay-at-home Mom? It’s a question asked by mothers everyday. Some will say, “You need to be home in order for the home to be a secure place.” Others will say, “You can do it if you have priorities in the correct order and keep on schedule.”

It is the dilemma I faced as my children entered school age and expense was growing as quick as my boys’ feet. Jim’s employment did not include the benefit of medical insurance. If I chose not to work it was a choice of not having any medical coverage.

The decision was mutual. I worked in order to have medical coverage. The guilt was horrendous. As I sat at my desk I would look down at my watch and realize the dismissal time from school. I asked God to watch the house and to send an extra angel to walk beside Josh, Ben and Kristin as they made their way home.

Do you think about women in the Bible holding down a job? I asked God to let me see this issue in His way of thinking. One day while reading the account of Moses I saw the midwives in a new way. While they were delivering babies they were doing their job. God placed who was needed to save the Israelites’ deliverer. I’m sure the midwives had no inkling of who they were delivering that day. He was a baby boy, but the promise to Israel was to be his legacy.

My children are grown. We reminisce about the days of hurried mornings, trying to find homework, and running to catch the bus. Do I regret my choice to continue working? No. It taught my children the meaning of work and what it takes to be responsible.

Are you concerned with your place? Does it seem you have no significance in what you do? Just keep in mind two little midwives who were in their God-appointed place doing their job. Their contribution brought about the deliverance of Israel in the wilderness.

May I be found doing Your work wherever You have placed me whether it be at home, at church, or in the workplace. Amen.

Thought for the day: I am sure that I am in the center of God's will regardless of the circumstance.

Wrinkled Shirts

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16

A white shirt in my basement laughed at my iron and me. Each of the shirt’s embedded wrinkles seemed to mock us. “Can’t you do any better than that?” they hissed. “You may as well be using a banana!” Some of those creases had never seen the light of day. They were large enough to hide coins, bottle caps, and other foreign matter. While I stood there dumbfounded, my silver iron begged and pleaded for help. Being a good iron-owner, I eventually listened. I unplugged the miserable iron and gave it a refreshing drink of cold water. The iron smiled. I plugged it back in and turned the dial toward steam. Voila! Steam burst through the holes and charged forward. The shirt stopped laughing. The wrinkles ran for cover, and something else wonderful happened. I discovered an amazing thing about God.

His Spirit can move through us like steam through an iron and take the wrinkles out of our lives. He longs to do it. But it won’t happen, if we do not allow Him to pour Himself into us. And even if we’re full of holes and incompetent, like the iron, we can turn on our faith and let Him work things out through us.

Lord as You come into my life
To pour Your water in,
My heart begins to bubble up
My faith begins to spin.

Like steam moves through an iron
Your spirit soars through me,
And I am able to enjoy
The grace that sets me free.

And now my heart is able 
To do what it must do,
To touch the people in my life
And give them more of You.

For one by one the wrinkles
That ripped my life apart
Are yielding to the power
That is working in my heart.

Amen.