Excuses

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Today’s Passage – Exodus 4 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 13 – 14; Proverbs 21; Psalms 101 – 105

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read a previous post from this passage – “Expect Opposition

Read the “0121 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” (Exodus 4:1)

“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but Iam slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)

“And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.” (Exodus 4:13)

It has always amazed me how our human nature kicks in when we are asked to do something, even when we are asked by God. There is something inside of us that immediately begins to reason that it cannot be done, or should not be done. We begin to figure out ways to get out of doing it. We don’t come right out and say that we don’t want to do it, at least not initially. We just say that it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done, or that it will be way too difficult. Most projects get shut done by negativity before they even get off the ground.

Moses did the same thing here in Exodus 4. The first excuse that he gives is that the people will not listen. Basically he is telling God that it can’t be done. This is really nothing more than unbelief when it comes to things that God calls us to do. If it is truly of God, He will bring it to pass. All we need to do is obey Him. The results are up to Him. God does not need advisers, He needs obeyers.

The second excuse that Moses offers is really the root of the problem. I know that it is the same thing that often keeps me from fulfilling God’s will. Moses says that he is not the man for the job, that he is not able to do it. Now he is no longer doubting God’s ability or anybody else, he is merely doubting his ability to do what God asks him to do. This is not necesarily bad. We need to realize that we can’t do the work of God in our own power or ability. It can only be done through the power of God. What Moses needed to do (and what we need to do) is believe that if God asks us to do something, He will also equip us to do it. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) We truly can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.

Finally, Moses is exasperated. He just doesn’t want to do it. He tells the Lord to send somebody else. God finally convinces him to do it, but he certainly was not a willing servant initially. If we refuse to be obedient to the calling of God He may just choose somebody else, but we will miss out on the blessing of being used of God. Know this, though, that if God asks you, you are the man (or woman) for the job. Don’t refuse Him. Stretch your faith. Allow Him to show you what you can do in His strength when you are yielded to His will.


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The Glory of the Lord

The Glory of the Lord

Today’s Passage – Exodus 39 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 21 – 22; Proverbs 2; Psalms 11 – 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0202 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” – (Exodus 40:34)

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” – (Leviticus 9:24)

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” – (2 Chronicles 7:1)

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” – (1 Kings 18:38)

The first two verses referenced above deal with the event that is taking place in Exodus 40, the dedication of the Tabernacle. Moses and the people of Israel have completed all that God had asked them to do regarding the construction of the Tabernacle. They had followed God’s instructions perfectly, building everything precisely as God had showed Moses. They anointed Aaron and his sons, and now everything is ready for God to put His blessing upon it. Exodus 40:34 tells us that the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Leviticus tells us that a fire came down from Heaven. You will notice that 2 Chronicles tells us that later in Israel’s history, in the days of King Solomon, that the fire fell again when they dedicated the Temple. It also fell in the time of Elijah when God was showing the people of Israel His power on Mount Carmel.

I remember years ago when Pastor Rick Wedemeyer and a handful of people first started the Christian Bible Church in South Tom’s River. There is no better way to state it than to say that in those early days the church was “on fire”. It was new, and it was fulfilling the purposes of glorifying the Lord and winning souls for Christ. The people were committed wholly to the Lord and His will for their lives. And the fire fell. God put a zeal, a fervor in the hearts of those people; and within a very short time the church had grown as many people were saved; and converts were being discipled and getting involved  in the service of the Lord.

I also have seen the fire of the Lord fall upon our ministry here at Jersey Shore Baptist Church, but unfortunately it has only been at certain seasons, and for a limited time. There have been times when the people were revived, and very zealous for the work of the Lord. Then there have been other times when the church seemed very lethargic. I pray constantly for the Lord to revive me, and our people; that He will once again set us on fire for His work, and His glory. I believe if God’s people will separate themselves from the world, and then dedicate themselves to the Lord and His purposes, the fire will fall once again. It really is all about what we desire. In our passage, the people of Israel were wholly focused on the Lord. And the fire fell. And if we were to wholly focus on the Lord in our lives and ministries, we would also see the fire of God fall to bless His work. Remember when you first trusted Christ as your Saviour? You were probably more “on fire” than you are now. I don’t know why, but it just happens that Christians, as well as churches, cool off in their spiritual zeal. However, now that we recognize that the fire in our hearts is not blazing as it once was, let’s confess our apathy to the Lord, and then ask Him to stoke the embers of our hearts and revive us. And the fire will fall once again.


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Come As You Are?

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Today’s Passage – Exodus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 7 – 8; Proverbs 26; Psalms 126 – 130)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Matthew 6:33

Read the “0126 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.” – (Exodus 19:14-17)

Notice in chapter 19 the reverence the people had when they were entering into the presence of God. They washed their clothes, they abstained from physical intimacy, and they trembled. I bet there was not one person from the congregation that was not present. I bet the children were silent, being kept under very close watch by their parents. The people understood that they were meeting with the omnipotent Creator of the universe. He is holy and He was not to be approached by the people of Israel in a flippant and carefree manner. They came with a reverent attitude of worship.

Fast forward now to today. Many of God’s people show up late, if they show up at all. They arrive wearing shorts and ripped tee shirts. The children are running all over the sanctuary while their parents are obliviously engaging in their own conversations about anything and everything except the worship of God. We have certainly come a long way down as far as our  reverence to God is concerned. We sing half heartedly, talk during prayer and special music; and then sleep when the Word of God is being preached: all the while wondering how long is this going to take. We’ve got more important things, like football, to worry about today. Do I exaggerate or is this an accurate description of the attitudes of many in our churches today? God help us!

Now, I wish to be very clear about this: I do not consider myself to be pharisaical or legalistic at all. I understand completely that salvation comes solely through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with faith in His shed blood at the cross of Calvary. I know that God is not impressed when we show up at the church with our white shirts and ties, or our long, modest dresses. I get that. I know that God dwelleth not in temples made with men’s hands, and that the believer’s heart is the temple of God. And, I realize that God looks upon the heart; and if a man shows up at church in shorts and a ripped tee shirt because that is all he has or perhaps because he doesn’t know better, I think God is pleased. I know that I am. Believe me, I am thrilled that people just show up, and I am not the least bit concerned about the way they are dressed. I am, however, very concerned about the heart attitude of God’s people today when they come to worship the infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and all-powerful God. It’s not a ball game. We are not gathering together simply to meet with friends, or to hear a man speak. We are corporately entering into the presence of God. We have become way too casual and careless. People give more thought when they are meeting with earthly dignitaries. God help us to remember that worship is a holy undertaking. Let’s give God our very best attention. I want people to come as they are, but I want them also to realize Who it is they are coming to worship, and I also want to see them leave a little more conformed to His image. I think this “seeker sensitive” thing has gotten way out of hand. Should we not be a little more “Saviour sensitive”?


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Now Do I Have Your Attention?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 1 – 2; Proverbs 23; Psalms 111 – 115)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0123 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage in Exodus – “Your Free To Go” and “What Can Wash Away My Sin?

“And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” – (Exodus 12:30-33)

Flies, frogs, locusts, darkness, hail. All of these and more sent by the hand of God in order that the Egyptians, as well as the Israelites, would know that there is an awesome and powerful God in Heaven. God’s command to the king of Egypt was simple: “let my people go”. However, Pharaoh was not too willing to heed the request of God. He seemed to be more willing to endure all of the plagues that God was sending his way. That is, all until his first born son was taken from him at the hand of God. God finally got his attention. He was finally ready to yield his stubborn will to the will of God.

There was a lot to think about in the passages of Scripture that we read this morning and I understand that there are deeper theological truths behind the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, but I couldn’t get past the thought that sometimes God has to allow some especially painful things in our lives in order to get our attention. We are sometimes like that hard clay that the potter must soften before he can use it. I’m just wondering this morning, is there something that the Lord has been trying to do in your life that you have been resisting. Have you hardened yourself to the point where, in order for God to accomplish His will, He will have to break you. What will God have to do to get your attention?  I suppose this thought applies just as much to the Christian that is fighting against God’s perfect will as it does to the lost person that is resisting salvation. Whichever your case is, the remedy is the same. Soften your heart, and yield to God’s will. Is there some sin that you are holding on to? God will do what He has to do in order to get you to repent of it and forsake it. Whatever it takes, God will accomplish His will for your life. You cannot win in a battle with God.


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I’ll Meet You There

Reading the bible

Today’s Passage – Exodus 28 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 13 – 14; Proverbs 29; Psalms 141 – 145)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read the “0129 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee. And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.” (Exodus 29:42-43)

Did you notice the phrase, “where I will meet you”, in Exodus 29:42, and the phrase, “there I will meet with the children of Israel”, in v. 43. God had a specific place that He chose to meet with His people. My first thought this morning is that it is amazing that a holy God wants to meet with people like us at all. Why does God even want to commune with creatures that are laden with sin. Isn’t it amazing that God can choose to love us and want to be with us at all? I know that there are certain people that I don’t like to be around, but God desires fellowship with all of His children.

My second thought concerns the place where God meets with us. During the time of the Wilderness wandering, God carefully designed the place and set the conditions for the Nation of Israel to enter into His presence, and it was quite an elaborate process for the people to go through in order for them to commune with God. By the way, we know that God is now and has always been omnipresent, so there is never a time when we are not in His presence, but still God set up special conditions for corporate worship.

Today, God has changed some things. The veil that once separated most men (except the High Priest – once per year) from entering into God’s immediate presence has been removed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which means that all men and women who are saved can enter directly into His presence:

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

God encourages us to come into His presence, and to also recognize that there is never a time that He is not with us:

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)

Still, today there are also special places and times that God wants to meet with us. God wants us to meet with Him as we set aside a specific time and place to read the Bible, where He can feed our souls with nourishment and strength, and give us the wisdom that we need in order for us to serve as His ambassadors. He also invites us to come meet with Him in the prayer closet, where we can confess our sins to Him, petition Him for our needs, and praise and worship Him. Of course, He still has a special place for corporate worship, the local church. This is the place where all believers can enter together into His presence for preaching, prayer, and praise. He promises to be “in the midst” of us when two or more are gathered in His name.

God wants to meet with you and me. Don’t forsake any of God’s invitations.


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Who Is On The Lord’s Side?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 30 – 32 

(Second Milers also read – Luke 15 – 16;  Proverbs 30; Psalms 146 – 150)

“And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” – (Exodus 32:11-14)

“And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. … And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” – (Exodus 32:19-20, 25-26)

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” – (Exodus 32:31-32)

As I was reading chapter 32 this morning, I was reminded of just how great a leader Moses was; and I, unfortunately, was also reminded of the fact that there is a serious famine of strong leadership in our culture today. In our story, we learn that Moses was up on Mt. Sinai with the Lord receiving the Word of God. Moses was gone for a long time, and because the people thought that he possibly wasn’t ever coming back, they began to put the pressure on Aaron (Moses’ brother) to lead them in Moses’ absence. The problem was that Aaron was not the strong leader that Moses was, and he gave in to all of the whims and wishes of the people. The people literally “heaped to themselves” a leader that would give them what they wanted rather than what was right. So, in just a few short weeks after Moses left them to meet with God, we see the congregation of Israel abandoning all of the principles that they had learned from God through Moses, and they were now creating their own god – a golden calf. We have a lot of golden calves in our culture today as well, but that’s another message.

When God reveals to Moses what is going on with the people down in the valley, Moses immediately begins to intercede on behalf of the people. He begins to beg God not to destroy the people. It would have been very easy for Moses to irrationally desire that God get rid of the people and start over again; but Moses loved the people that God had entrusted to his care, and Moses did not want to see any harm come to them. However, when Moses finally gets down to the people, he literally throws a fit of righteous indignation; and he takes the hard steps that were necessary to root the evil out of the congregation. Ultimately, 3000 men were put to death. I am sure that Moses had some friends and maybe even family members among the group that were killed as a result of his order, but he did what he had to do in order to save the entire congregation. That is leadership. Leaders are not always popular, but they are willing to do what is right at the risk of offending some people.

Notice in vv 31 – 32, after Moses dealt with the people, that he is back with God interceding for the people he loved. He even goes as far as to tell God that if He wouldn’t forgive the people then God should blot Moses out of “thy book that thou hast written”.  That is love, and that is leadership.

We need more of this type of strong leadership in our country today; we need it in our churches, and we need it in our families. Too many of the leaders today are politicians like Aaron that only want to score points with people. They don’t want to risk their popularity by standing on principle. God, give us some men and women that will be willing to make the hard decisions that need to be made in order to do what is right. Give us men that will fight evil and will stand on the principles of the Word of God. God, give us some strong leaders.


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Expect Opposition

Today’s Passage – Exodus 4 – 6 

(Second Milers also read – Mark 13 – 14; Proverbs 21; Psalms 101 – 105

“And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” – (Exodus 5:20-23)

Moses did exactly what God had told him to do. He went unto the people, and convinced them that God had called him to deliver them out from under the bondage of the Egyptians. He then went to Pharaoh, and demanded on behalf of God to let the people of God go. However, things did not work out exactly the way Moses thought they would. Instead of things getting better, things actually took a turn for the worse. Not only did Pharaoh refuse to let the people go, he also made their jobs harder by making them gather their own straw for the bricks that they had to make for their labor. Pharaoh was mad at the people; the people were mad at Moses; and Moses was mad at God.

Notice the opposition that Moses faced in the will of God:

1  He had opposition from without the congregation. I guess Pharaoh could be symbolic of the devil. The devil will vehemently oppose anyone that seeks to do the will of God.

2  He also faced opposition from within the congregation of Israel. They were all for God’s plan until their life got uncomfortable, then they wanted to go back. Many Christians today are the same way. They claim to love the Lord, and want to do His will, but when it begins to cost them something, they will often quit.

3  Notice also that Moses faced opposition from within himself. When the pressure was on him, he began to second guess the will of God.

Nobody ever said that the road was going to always be easy. You can take to the bank the fact that opposition will come to those who are doing the will of God. But you can also take to the bank the fact that God will always bring His victory, if we will just stick with the plan, and not quit.


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Following Through With Revival Decisions

Today’s Passage – Exodus 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 9 – 10;  Proverbs 27Psalms 131 – 135)

Scripture Memorization for January – Joy in Serving Jesus

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Ephesians 4:32

Read the “0127 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Living in Canaan

“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” (Exodus 24:3)

In chapter 24 of our reading today in the Book of Exodus, we see Moses telling the people the words that God had given Him, which included the Ten Commandments. (See Exodus 20 – 23 for Moses account of what God told him to tell the people.) God had given many laws for the people to live by, and the people were very pleased with what the Lord had said, and at the time they committed to cheerfully obey what God had commanded them. However, we will soon discover that when Moses goes back up to meet with God, and is gone for a long period of time, the people will completely forsake God, and create their own idol to worship. (If you want to read ahead, you can see the story in Exodus 32.) The point is that when God was with them and all the excitement of smoke and thunder and lightning was in front of them, they were perfectly willing to follow God, but after 40 days of Moses’ absence, and none of the excitement they had previously experienced, they decided that they would try to create some excitement of their own, but they abandoned God.

Right now at our church, we are experiencing some wonderful days. People are getting saved, and many lives are changing. It certainly is exciting to see and experience what God is doing. His presence has been felt in our services, and I am looking forward to what God is going to do in the days ahead. Right now, it seems that everybody at our church wants to do right and live for the Lord. However, I know that there will come a day when the excitement will recede, and we will have days when the crowds will be smaller and the zeal will not be as strong. My question is this: will the people still want to follow through with the decisions that they made in the exciting times when the excitement goes away?

Our kids just came back from camp and they are excited. God spoke to them in wonderful ways and they made decisions to do right. But, will they follow through with those decisions when the excitement of snow camp is a distant memory?

My point is that we need to develop our Christian character to the extent that we follow through with what God wants for us regardless of the emotional temperature of any given day. We need to do right and continue to follow the Lord’s will for our lives, even when the crowd is not with us, cheering us on, and regardless of how we feel. I hope and pray the spirit of revival continues and increases in the days ahead. I love living on the mountaintop, but I also pray that if I have to go through a valley that I will remain faithful to the decisions I made back on the mountain.


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The Glory of the Lord

Today’s Passage – Exodus 39 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –Luke 21 – 22; Proverbs 2Psalms 11 – 15

Scripture Memorization for January – Philippians 3

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” – (Exodus 40:34)

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” – (Leviticus 9:24)

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” – (2 Chronicles 7:1)

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” – (1 Kings 18:38)

The first two verses referenced above deal with the event that is taking place in Exodus 40: the dedication of the Tabernacle. Moses and the people of Israel have completed all that God had asked them to do regarding the construction of the Tabernacle. They had followed God’s instructions perfectly, building everything precisely as God had showed Moses. They anointed Aaron and his sons, and now everything is ready for God to put His blessing upon it. Exodus 40:34 tells us that the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Leviticus tells us that a fire came down from Heaven. You will notice that 2 Chronicles tells us that later in Israel’s history, in the days of King Solomon, that the fire fell again when they dedicated the Temple. It also fell in the time of Elijah when God was showing the people of Israel His power on Mount Carmel.

I remember years ago when Pastor Rick Wedemeyer and a handful of people first started the Christian Bible Church in South Tom’s River. There is no better way to say it than to say that in those early days the church was “on fire”. It was new, and it was fulfilling the purposes of glorifying the Lord and winning souls for Christ. The people were committed wholly to the Lord and His will for their lives. And the fire fell. God put a zeal, a fervor in the hearts of those people; and within a very short time the church had grown as many people were saved; and converts were being discipled and getting involved  in the service of the Lord.

I also have seen the fire of the Lord fall upon our ministry here at Jersey Shore Baptist Church; but unfortunately it has only been at certain seasons, and for a limited time. There have been times when the people were revived, and very zealous for the work of the Lord. Then there have been other times when the church seemed very lethargic. I pray constantly for the Lord to revive me, and our people; that He will once again set us on fire for His work, and His glory. I believe if God’s people will separate themselves from the world, and then dedicate themselves to the Lord and His purposes, the fire will fall once again. It really is all about what we desire. In our passage, the people of Israel were wholly focused on the Lord. And the fire fell. And if we were to wholly focus on the Lord in our lives and ministries, we would also see the fire of God fall to bless His work. Remember when you first trusted Christ as your Saviour? You were probably more “on fire” than you are now. I don’t know why, but it just happens that Christians, as well as churches, cool off in their spiritual zeal. However, now that we recognize that the fire in our hearts is not blazing as it once was, let’s confess our apathy to the Lord, and then ask Him to stoke the embers of our hearts and revive us. And the fire will fall once again.


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Willing Servants

Today’s Passage – Exodus 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –Luke 17 – 18Proverbs 31; Psalms 1 – 5 (Jump start on February because it is a short month)

Scripture Memorization for January – Philippians 3

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, … And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; … And they came, every one whose heart stirred him upand every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD. … The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.” – (Exodus 35:4-5, 10, 21-22, 29)

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” – (Philippians 1:27)

Notice in our passage today, in chapter 35, how many times the word willing is used. There is nothing sweeter than to see the people of God doing what God has called them to do with a willing heart. Preachers love it when the people all want to pitch in to do the work of the Lord. Unfortunately, there is often not always this type of spirit within the church, which tempts us to use “methods of persuation” in order to accomplish the work that needs to be done. I must admit that there have been times that I have tried to “guilt” people into serving, and I may have even been successfulat getting them to do things, at least for a short while. However, if God’s work is going to be done the way God wants it done, it will have to be done by willing servants who are excited about serving and who are absolutely convinced that they are doing what God wants them to do.

Notice from this passage:

1  God gave the congregation a job to do – building the tabernacle

2  God gave them instructions as to how the tabernacle was to be built, and how they were to acquire the necessary materials for building.

3  God equipped them – He gave specific people specific skill in order for the work to get done.

4  The people willingly offered to give. In fact, we will soon learn that they gave too much.

5  The people willingly offered to work. They gave themselves to the task that God had given them.

God has a job for us to do today as well. The task is different from what the Israelites had to do, but the process for completing the task is the same. God told us what to – fulfill His Great Commission; He equips us to fulfill the task, giving each participant the gifts that they need to their part. Now, it is up to us to willingly give ourselves to the task that God has given us. Let’s do it. Get excited about serving God!


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