October 4, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 2:1-14

In Exodus 2 you see the providence of God all over the place again! God seems to be teaching CPC this lesson. He is in charge and He has it all under control, and boy do we need to remember this! So much to think about with the needs for additional building space, our Richmond campus to continue to grow, needs for more staff and finances…

I love verse 2… Moses mom saw that he was special. Moses had the hand of God on him from the beginning. God chooses who He will use. God raises up and God puts down. Maybe you have a child that you see God’s hand on — cherish that and develop it. I have seen this in my own children.

Next, I think about the choice that Moses sister, Miriam had to make. She risked her life to go against the command of the pharaoh and try and save her brother. She courageously hid Moses, and negotiated with pharaoh’s daughter. Life is all about choices, and the choices we make build on one another. Good choices produce good results while poor choices produce poor results (Galatians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 9:6).

Verse 8 says… “So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.” How cool! Even though Moses mother hid him to protect him, she got the privilege of nursing him and undoubtedly instilling values into him. God is so good! Even in the little things!!

The boy grows up, learning to be a somebody in pharaoh’s house. But God’s hand was on him. He didn’t understand it – and he didn’t exactly use it correctly when killing an Egyptian – but God was preparing him to deliver His people. Sometimes it takes some developing to see God’s anointing fully expressed. Don’t be discouraged if you have to wait to see that in your children or in those around you. God’s at work! (Philippians 1:6)

Then we find Moses in the seminary of the desert… learning the lessons that he would need to fulfill the mission God had for him.

40 years in pharaoh’s house learning to be a SOMEBODY
40 years in the desert learning to be a NOBODY
40 years being a SOMEBODY for God
= the 120 years of Moses’ life

Verses 24-25 say, “God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”

Now is the time… and Moses’ mission is about to take shape.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

October 3, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 1

Context:

Let’s take just a minute to draw our attention back to Genesis 3:15:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

In the curse of the serpant we see a forshadowing of the future of man. There will be emnity or hatred between the followers of Yahweh and those who are of Satan. However, from the same curse comes a promise from the Lord. A savior will come from the seed of the woman (man) who will crush the head of the serpent (Satan). The seed of the serpent is identified by those who oppose God and/or the people who follow God. We see a good example of this in Matthew 3:7, when John the Baptist identified the pharisees as a brood of vipers because of their opposition to the coming of Jesus.

In Genesis 15, we see the promised seed of the woman being passed to Abraham when God gives him a son that will become a great nation. This results in his grandson, Jacob, being named Israel and his offspring multiplying into tribes and nations. Ultimately this promise of a savior will be fulfilled in Christ who comes out of the nation of Israel but as Paul Harvey would say that is the “rest of the story”.

Our passage today begins where Genesis ended with Israel living and prospering in Egypt. Israel is growing exceedingly strong in Egypt and we see God’s pledge to Abraham coming to pass (v.7). They are becoming so numerous that they’re all throughout the land of Egypt, but their welcome had begun to run out. There is a new Pharaoh who did not know Joseph nor care about him; all he knew is that the Israelites were becoming strong. To a king who is worried about his kingdom, he becomes threatened by the possiblity of Israel rising up against him (v.10).

So what is his answer? To seek the Lord’s will and bless the people of Israel according to promise of God? Absolutely not. He did what anyone does who is seeking to protect his kingdom and his power: he opposed them. By oppressing them he figured that he would be able to control them (v.11-14), but slavery wasn’t enough. Pharaoh wanted to stop their multipication all together by having the midwives kill the male children thus taking away their strength.

No matter how much Pharaoh (seed of the serpent) opposed the people of God (seed of the woman), God always fought on behalf of the people. In this case God used the midwives who feared him to preserve his people.

Now what does this matter to us? We are talking about nations and kings and a conflict between seeds that started all the way back in Genesis – that surely doesn’t matter to us, right? Wrong! The war between the people of God and Satan that raged in Exodus is raging just as ferociously today. Ask yourself what side you are fighting on.

In the case of Pharaoh, it was his desire to serve himself that caused him to oppose the people of God, and that same sinful spirit is in each of us. To be a seed of the serpent does not mean that we are actively worshiping Satan, but our sin naturally makes us opposed God. To be of God means that we been redeemed by Christ; we must have a new heart that is given through a relationship in Christ. It was Abrahams faith in God that made him righteous, his faith in a coming redeemer through his seed (Romans 4:1-16).

Even Peter needed to be rebuked by Jesus for this in Matthew 16:23:

“But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Question:

Is your heart for God or for yourself? The answer will tell you which side of the conflict you are on.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

October 1, 2011

Today you should read: Jude 1:17-25

Warning! Warning! Warning!

Jude is a book warning the people of God about perversiveness among the believers. Jude is writing to remind believers about how easy it is to fall away and to become enslaved to the things of this world. Yesterday you read the first part of Jude where He was warning them against their perverse sin. To illustrate his point, he reminded them that after God delievered the people of Israel from Egypt they turned back to their sinful desires and became a nation much like that of Sodom and Gamorah (Genesis 19).

This is not the first time we see this kind of admonition in the New Testament… Paul warns Timothy against such sinful desires:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Jude understands something very essential about the human heart…It is wicked! Even as followers of Christ if we are not constantly seeking God and submitting to the Lordship of Christ in our lives then we will be no different than Israel after the Exodus. We will become enslaved to our perverse sin of our hearts. So what are we to do? How can we be sure not to fall prey to this? We do it by humbling our hearts.

In our passage today we see a few clear instructions:

(1) Listen to the warnings of the Apostles. (v. 18-19)

We must humbly come to the scriptures with fear and trembling. As we are convicted and warned about our sin we must submit and repent of our sin. Confessing our sin to the Lord should be something we do daily.

(2) We must pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. (v. 20)

Prayer is essential to our spiritual well being. We have to pray daily and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. Prayer should be the first thing we do every day because to go through the day without it is prideful. It is saying to God that we can do life without His help. Let me warn you in love….NO YOU CAN’T!

(3) Remember the one who keeps us from stumbling is Jesus Christ. (v. 24-25)

We simply have to make him Lord over every aspect of our lives.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

September 30, 2011

Today you should read: Jude 1:1-16

Jude is one of the smallest books in the Bible, and although it’s often overlooked, it’s RICH in truth.

This small book is written by Jude (Judah) who identifies himself as “the brother of James” implying that he is also the step-brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3). This introduction gives him the authority to deal with some of the difficult and hot burner issues that he addresses.

Although the recipients of the letter are not specifically mentioned, we know they are people who are familiar with the Old Testament and Jewish literature. They are probably the churches that Jude had visited on his journeys.

Jude is short but powerful. It deals with the subjects of false teachers who tried to manipulate the grace of God, spiritual discipline, how to defend your faith, and much more!

Jude jumps right into the action in verse 4… false teachers have wormed their way into your churches – undermining God’s teaching on grace. Do we struggle with this today? You bet! False teaching is so prevalent that many Christians don’t know the false from the true. This is also due to the lack of time many of us spend in God’s Word for ourselves “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so” (Acts 17:11). False teaching comes to us freely from the pulpit, the ipod, the radio, and the pen. We MUST be careful!

Undermining God’s grace is still a big issue on both sides. Some still teach a salvation by works such as doing the right things, attending church, or baptism. Others take the opposite side and say that God’s grace gives us the freedom to do whatever we want and God will simple turn His head and wink. Neither is correct.

Jude goes on to spell out the condemnation that these false prophets will experience in verses 5-16.

So… how can we know True from False?

1. It begins with knowing God yourself – the Holy Spirit in you will guide you and “bear witness” to truth if you learn to listen to Him and follow Him.

2. You need to know your Bible (and that only comes from spending time in it). Read it, study it, memorize it.

3. Don’t be gullible – don’t simple accept everything your hear or read as truth. Much of it isn’t!

4. Ask questions of those you trust, if you don’t understand something or have doubts about its’ accuracy.

5. Protect your family from false teaching. Kids are where cults strike

Thank you SO much for reading JumpStart faithfully. It’s a privilege to provide it for you. Our prayer is that God is growing you through it!

Posted by: Tim Parsons