January 31 “Are you raising rulers or servants?”

Happy kids

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant …” Ask yourself, “Am I raising the kind of son or daughter I’d want to be married to, have working for me, or have as my boss?”

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 11.1-10 & Exodus 12.1-51
Psalm 18:1-12
Proverbs 6:1-5
Matthew 20:17-34

Exodus 11.1-2 & 12.1-51:

The first Passover

Here we see the institution of the Jewish Passover. God is about to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage. But before Pharaoh will let them go, there will be one last plague–death of the first born.

Each Israelite family was to sacrifice a lamb and put some of the blood on the frame of the door to their house. When the death angel saw it, He was to pass over that home.

Jesus, on the night before He was arrested and the events leading up to the crucifixion began, was in the upper room celebrating the Passover with His disciples. On that night, as He was about to become the final Passover Lamb, that celebration or ordinance became what we call “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper.” It was changed because there was no longer a need for a sacrificial lamb to be slain to temporarily cover sin. Jesus fulfilled that need once and for all. Praise be to the Lamb who was slain for me and for You! Continue reading

January 30 “It’s not fair!”

Fair Not Unfair

It’s not fair! Have you ever looked around at the lives of others and thought just that?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 9 & 10
Psalm 17.8-15
Proverbs 5.21-23
Matthew 20.1-16

Exodus 9 & 10:

On dogs & sows

Over and over in these chapters we see Pharaoh hardening his heart when the “crisis” of each plague is over and the “pain” is not so intense (see Jan. 29 post). Don’t we often do the same? Proverbs 26.11 says, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” When he quoted this proverb in the New Testament, Peter added, “… a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Pet. 2.22). Not a pretty picture.

In 10.7 Pharaoh’s advisers ask him, “… Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?” How pride blinds! Again, we can be guilty of the same thing when we refuse to see the destruction that our stubborn willful sin causes.

As this part of the story unfolds we see God’s final judicial hardening in response to Pharaoh’s continued sin. In Romans 1.28-32 at the bottom of the “downward spiral” it says: Continue reading

January 29 “Sleeping with frogs”

Frogs

Frogs … they’re everywhere! … in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! Yet, when Moses, God’s messenger comes to Pharaoh and asks when he’d like them removed, he says, “Tomorrow.” Just let me spend one more night with those frogs. How about you? Are there any frogs you’re keeping around for another sleepover?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 7 & 8
Psalm 17.1-7
Proverbs 5.15-20
Matthew 19.1-30

Exodus 7 & 8:

When we harden our hearts

Have you thought about the statement where God says He will harden Pharaoh’s heart? At first glance, that might seem a little unfair! I mean, is God on His throne pointing to one person and saying I don’t like the way she looks, I think I’ll harden her heart? God is God and He can certainly do as He sees fit, but that is not the picture we see in Scripture.

Remember that Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He told Moses that He had heard the cries of his people in Egypt, cries against which Pharaoh had already hardened his heart. When we harden our hearts and refuse to show compassion on others, why should we be surprised if He withholds compassion from us? Even as believers, though we don’t lose our salvation, we can damage our fellowship with Him and can set in motion laws of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6.7-9). And if we repeatedly harden our hearts, it may be a sign that we are not really saved, because the Bible teaches that though believers may sin, they will repent. Continue reading