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Archive for April, 2009

“Therefore say to the children of Israel:  I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”  Exodus 6:6

I have heard it said that the Old Testament contains many types and shadows of Christ and the New Covenant.  I always rejoice to come across an Old Testament passage that foretells the New Covenant.  This verse tells us 3 things that the Lord will do for His people:

I will bring you our from under the burden of the Egyptians
I will rescue you from their bondage
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments

As I read the verse above, it was thrilling to see in it a picture of salvation.

The burden that He brings us out from under is the weight of guilt upon our conscience.  Even those who never think of God, if they are honest, have moments late at night when all is silent when they feel the weight of guilt upon their souls.  The guilt of their sins.  There is a “knowing” that God has put into man through his conscience.  What great efforts men will go to in order to silence this conscience, until it becomes a faint whisper.  Yet Jesus offers to lift this burden of guilt from us.

The bondage He rescues us from is our bondage to sin, self and the world.  Everyone has a different variety of bondage, but all are equally wicked and opposed to God.   Our hardened hearts will tell us that we are not so bad as ___________ (insert name of wicked person here).  And thus we justify ourselves and feel satisfied to remain selfish, sinful and sensual.  Yet Jesus offers a life free from the pursuit of these things.  A life that is focused on an infinitely more glorious pursuit.

The redemption that He provides is forgiveness and righteousness through Jesus Christ.  Oh may the Lord deliver us from thinking that we are good enough.  Never, never, never, no matter how nice, benevolent and selfless I am, can I ever earn heaven based on my own merit.  There does not exist enough human goodness in the entire universe to allow even one of us admittance into heaven.  But praise God, He has made provision for this as well.  Jesus Christ, the perfect One, died for my sin, thus providing forgiveness.  And now I live in the righteousness of His perfect life.

The God who delivered Israel out of Egypt is still a God of deliverance.  And it is a mighty deliverance!!

 

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“And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!”  And they cried out for fear.”  Matthew 14:26

Most of us have some ideas of who God is before we actually come to know Him.  Most of those ideas are wrong and we have to unlearn them.  After becoming a Christian, the remainder of life is a never-ending quest to know Him as He actually is, and to fellowship with Him.  Learning His ways is the adventure of a lifetime.

Now let us return to our verse…..the disciples are in the boat in the midst of stormy seas.  They left Jesus on the shore so they can’t even approach Him to calm the weather.  Imagine their panic as the wind begins to toss the boat to and fro.  All their rowing was in vain as they strained against the storm.

Into this scenario, Jesus comes walking to them on the water. But they didn’t recognize Him.   Of course, standing on top of the water is probably the last place they expected to see Him.  But why not expect Him there?

One of the greatest challenges in my walk with God is being overwhelmed with the pressure and demands of life and losing my focus on God in the details of life.  Often I have lamented the precious moments I have lost with Him because my mind was overly occupied with other things and I missed the moment of His coming.

How many times have I missed Him walking on the water because I’ve been busy rowing?  Or worrying?  Or complaining?  For all the good their rowing did, the disciples’ time would have been better spent looking off into the distance for His coming. 

Mine too.

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