October 7, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 4

What holds you back? Back from seeing miracles in your life? Back from God using you in an unbelievable way in the lives of others? Back from God’s richest blessings on you and through you?

For many of us it’s the same as it was for Moses in the chapter: fear. We’re afraid of what may happen, afraid of what others may think or say, maybe even afraid of the consequences of stepping up to God’s calling on our lives.

Moses allowed fear to rob him of the blessing of being the one God would use completely on his own, empowered by God’s hand. God told Moses to go to the people of Israel and to Pharaoh and God would use him to lead the people out of the land. Moses’ fear got in the way.

Moses protested to God…

1) What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? (v.1a)
2) What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’? (v.1b)

GOD RESPONDS: By turning his staff into a snake, his hand leprous, and water into blood.

3) Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” (v.10)

GOD RESPONDS: Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? (v.11)

4) But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else. (v.13)

Then the LORD became angry with Moses. “Alright,” He said. And God uses Aaron to do what He called Moses to do.

I wonder what blessing Moses missed because of his spirit of fear and disobedience through it. But what about you and me? What opportunities does fear rob from us? Opportunities to share Jesus? To take a faith step? To see God do unbelievable things in and through us?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And, don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 2 Timothy 1:7-8

What are you afraid of? Confess that fear to God today and follow Him.

It makes me think of an old Steven Curtis Chapman’s song…

Saddle up your horses we’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other – this is The Great Adventure

Come on get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for

We’ll travel over, over mountains so high
We’ll go through valleys below
Still through it all we’ll find that
This is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see
The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams

Church, let’s get the saddles out and leave the fear behind today.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

October 6, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 3

I’ve seen some out-of-the-ordinary things in my life. I’m sure you have too, but in case you haven’t, I encourage you to “people-watch” at an amusement park one day. Kings Island or Cedar Point will suffice, and I bet that what you’ll experience will carry some serious shock value.

Regardless (or irregardless — our beloved pastor’s favorite word) of what you’ve seen or experienced, you’ve probably got nothing on Moses’ experience in Exodus 3… the burning bush.

Only it wasn’t on fire.

Wait — it was.

But it wasn’t affected by the fire.

Oh yeah — the bush is talking too.

“What’s wrong with me? Am I hallucinating? What did I eat last night? Did someone slip something into my Matzo loaf?” These are the questions that must have been going through his head. Then, the Lord reveals Himself and let’s him know that this encounter is so serious that the ground he’s standing on is even holy. While that can be a puzzling part of the story for us, check out this note on “holy ground” that helped make sense of this for me:

The instructions to Moses are followed by a reason that emphasizes the place where he is standing. The very ordinariness of the location helps make the point that it is holy ground, not because of any special properties of the place but only because of God’s presence. This is representative of a theme in Exodus: God is holy, and he is the one who makes or declares places and people to be holy—and each is properly understood or treated as holy only in its relation to God. The instructions given to Moses here at the burning bush are also given to his successor Joshua when he meets the “commander of the army of the Lord” as Israel is preparing to take Jericho. ESV Study Bible

This encounter with God was powerful. It was one of the defining moments in the life of Moses. Many of us have had powerful moments in our walk with Christ that have defined us and maybe even governed the trajectory of our life and our goals. Since we as believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, these moments may happen with some regularity.

Today, as a response to our reading, I want our comments section below to be dedicated to sharing some of our powerful encounters with the Lord. We may not be Moses, but the God of the universe has met with us just like He met with Moses. If you can’t think of something recently, tell us about your salvation testimony. Wherever you were on that day, and whatever you were doing in that moment, I am pretty sure you were standing on the holy ground of Christ’s cross.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

October 5, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 2:15-25

A God who hears and remembers…

What a great passage today! It really sets the scene for what is to come. And without giving too much away, we know that Moses has no idea what he is in for — he is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime!

In this chapter, we see Moses flee from Egypt out of fear because he had committed murder. Moses lived in and knew the culture in Egypt but was forced to flee. After helping some women by the well, he was invited to stay by his future father-in-law, Reuel (who later we know as Jethro).

Now, during the time that all of this was happening, Moses had no idea that God was about to respond to the cries of His people in Egypt. We see in verses 23-25 that God REMEMBERED His covenant and HEARD the cry of his people. Through this, God was about to glorify Himself in a way that would be remembered forever. Through this, God kept true to His promise and was merciful to His people. That’s where I want to land today.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

There are so many principles in just these 3 verses (23-25). To measure the implications of this paragraph is impossible because with these 3 verses, God changes history. All of this is because He heard the cry of His people and He remembered His covenant.

Think about this for a second: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants (the people of Israel) were no longer known for their slavery, rather they were known for the covenant that represented them before God (v 24). Do you see it? The same is true for us! In Christ, we are no longer known for our slavery, rather, we are known and represented by the covenant that represents us. What an incredible and gracious truth!

What we see here is that God hears Israel. He hears His people and He answers them because he remembers His covenant with them. This does not only show us what kind of God we serve, but it gives us reason to pray. If you are in Christ, when you pray and cry out like Israel (God’s chosen people) did, God hears you and He answers because He remembers and acknowledges the covenant He has made with you through Christ.

This should cause you to pray always without ceasing (2 Thess. 5:17)!

You now have a standing before the Lord and, based on the merit of this covenant, He will hear and remember. Believe this, let this be your only merit, and trust God as the One who hears and remembers. Ask big things and cry out to God. How foolish would be for us to not take full advantage of this amazing privilege?

Church, we must pray! Do you have confidence that God will hear you? Do you truly believe this? If you are not constantly in prayer, hopefully today’s reading will encourage you to change. God hears you, and He remembers His covenant with you.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

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