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I was abit amused at the details that went in to prepare Israel for the exodus in chapter 12.The lamb lamb portion was to be decided according to how much a person could eat,cloak tucked in to the belt(so they wouldn't trip I guess)...it sounds a bit like a mother fussing over her kids getting them ready for a trip.Just like the part in genesis before God drove Adam and Eve out,he actually made clothes for them,he could have just thrown down some animal skin for them to figure out what to do with them...but he made them coats!
As I read about the hardness of Pharoh's heart and God's part in it,I began to ponder a bit about our will...God's will.He says I put before you life and death..chose life...he put the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil,told the couple which to touch but ultimately the choice was theirs.God is knows it all,knew us before we were born,the choices we'd make so i think he knew what pharoh was like already...the idea of killing the first born wasn't put into pharoh by God...pharoh was just evil.The first 6times i read in genesis about pharoh's heart upto the plague of boils..it's doesn't say God hardened pharoh's heart..Moses shows us there are times God hardens pharoh's heart..there are times pharoh does that himself..or he would have just said all the time that the Lord hardened pharoh's heart I guess.I think God already knew the choices pharoh was going to make so he placed him to live in a time that would suit God's purpose.
In this days of us demanding our rights,demanding justice it seems we forget we are God's...he loves us but if he chose not to it wouldn't make him less God..or good(since he created it anyway).God chooses whom he has mercy on.Who are we to judge his actions.He made the distinction between right and wrong not us...even if he slays us...we should pray that our heart is steadfast.Personally I've been praying for a good dose of the fear of the Lord in my life so I don't ever presume to question him...
God bless you all

PS..my views about certain issues may be wrong..I'm open to any corrections.
God bless you all

Starting my day this year faithfully and consistently with the OYB has been tremendous for helping me achieve balance. Right after I work out spiritually, I work out physically, and then I face the challenges of my day. I'm a bit of a free spirit when it comes to schedules, and so starting my day off right means that the rest of my day is more structured and focused and flows much better. I'm even blogging more consistently.

Exodus 10:1-12:13

Some quick thoughts on today’s Old Testament reading.


And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was exceedingly great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and of the people.
(Exodus 11:3 AMP)

Leadership can get you in trouble by the choices they make. Moses had favor in Egypt with the Egyptians but not the Pharaoh. Can the words in the above verse be made in your corporate organization, country, city, town, village, church and household about the effect and affect you are having on those submitted to you? Just change the name Moses, Egypt and Egyptians and then fill in the blanks. Those of us on this site who are in leadership positions should stop and ask themselves the question: How am I leading? What am I leading the people under me into? Am I being stubborn refusing to lead by way of the Master causing destruction and suffering by my decisions, or am I closely listening to the voice of God and truly serving my customers, citizens, and employees? Is there a Moses in your organization proclaiming warnings that the people respect but you are ignoring? Just something to think about. Hard hearts are not a phenomenon to Ancient Egypt.

And you shall eat it thus: [as fully prepared for a journey] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment [proving their helplessness]. I am the Lord.
(Exodus 12:11-12 AMP)


Hearing the voice of God and obeying immediately. Being prepared to escape from our captivity should be something we must always strive to maintain. There was a window of opportunity that was getting ready to open up and Israel had to be ready. I have known that voice of immediacy, sometimes followed it, and sometimes I didn’t. For the times I did not heed, I really do not know where that path to freedom would have led me. The text doesn’t say if any were left behind, but what left out of Egypt, as we will read, was a “mixed multitude (12:38).” Not only did those who the message was directed to taste that freedom, but the people who observed those given the message, those in the “mix” got in on the deal. So not only are we to listen to that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), but if we fail to do so we need to keep an eye out for those who do.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

P.S. Could it be that getting into the Word, "Seeking First The Kingdom ..." is the key to staying in Balance? Hmmm

Today is my 53rd. birthday...just keep seeing Jan. 30th every where!!! I am very blessed for my age...God has preserved me well; I think living for him keeps us young & vibrant & His Word is living inside of us if we read it daily...it keeps us healthy, wealthy & wise for eternity!!!

Ms. Jano

Regarding Mike's question: "But... do you think that it might be possible that at some point in your life that you might be called to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow that Jesus drank from? If you are called to drink from that bitter cup, will you indeed drink from it?"

In my life, there have been circumstances that I didn't have a choice whether I wanted to suffer or not & I think that is the way it is with most of our lives in Christ. If we are truly in Him and/or sons or daughters...we will suffer with the sufferings of Christ...there is no getting out of it...that is why we are taught to count it all joy for the trying of our faith.

I'm sorry, I thought I signed off with my name on the post above, but I didn't.

Jan

discipline and balance...

keys to life

jb

Happy Birthday Jan!

Verses which stood out for me today were:

The Proverbs passage - I felt 'ouch' - probably because I do not have my 'balance' right!

The Psalm - in my mind's ear I could hear Third Day singing the first part.

Matthew 20:25-28 made we wonder again about ways we organize church and leadership in church. Sometimes ...

Dwayne

Matt 20
"The wage the day-laborer received was usually very low. But they had to work for it because they were desperate just to have work. A Roman soldier was paid a denarius a day, and that was a respectable wage. Servants who were well- respected by their employers were often paid a denarius a day. But a day-laborer was usually hired for much less because he wasn't in any position to negotiate" - John MaCarthur

The owner wasn't unfair with the first group; it was just that he was generous with the rest. The issue here is not the fairness of the owner, but the jealousy of those who worked the longest.

God's grace has the same effect on us all - no matter the time of conversion. I know some people who are really angry that Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer might be in heaven. The truth is (and they don't like to hear this) without grace and Christ's blood - we are much closer to Dahmer and Bundy than we are to God.

Mike
"And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then."

My view of this passage is that some who have had discipleship for a long time may not have done as well serving God as some that had it for a short time. Thus the shorter time disciples may have higher rewards (in heaven). Thus the "last" becoming "first".

Both groups are equal in salvation, but differ in rewards.


Not that I don't like to hear your statement, John, your last line. That's too damning, it makes me cringe!!!

Anonymous,

"Both groups are equal in salvation, but differ in rewards."

This makes you cringe?

Ok, Ok I know - it is the Bundy/Dahmer comment. On a measurable line of sin, we are some finite distance from Bundy/Dahmer. We may be far from them on the line - say a million miles. Without Christ we are an infinite distance from God. There is no way to get to God without Jesus' sacrifice.

A million is less than infinite, so therefore we are closer to Dahmer/Bundy. Again this is without Jesus' sacrifice for us.

The point is not how close we are to the deviants, but how far we are from God when not covered by the blood of Christ.

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