Come As You Are?

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 – 8Proverbs 26Psalms 126 – 130

Scripture Memorization for January – Philippians 3

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

“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 that there was not one person from the congregation that was not present. I bet the children were silent; being kept under very close watch of their parents. The people understood that they 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 parent 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 a legalist 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 to 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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Quit Griping!

Today’s Passage – Exodus 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 3 – 4Proverbs 24Psalms 116 – 120

Scripture Memorization for January – Philippians 3

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” – (Exodus 15:1)

“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” – (Exodus 15:24)

Exodus 15 is an amazing chapter of Scripture, which demonstrates the fickle nature of God’s children. The first 21 verses, which comprises more that three-fourths of the chapter is the record of God’s people singing, dancing, and praising Him for the great miracle that He had done in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. Specifically, they are praising God and thanking Him for parting the Red Sea so that they could pass through on dry ground. You will remember, the Egyptians tried to follow them and that same sea closed up upon them and drowned them. The people of God were thrilled that God took away the water so that they could travel to other side. Now, at the end of the chapter, they are complaining that there is no water. First they want the water to go away, and then they want it back again. You just can’t make these Israelites happy, can you? I am kidding, of course; but I do want to point out the tendency that Israel had (and we have today) to forget about all of God’s past blessings by griping about some apparent injustice that seemed to be taking place in the present. Here, they begin to think that God delivered them from Egypt only to kill them with dehydration in the wilderness. Absurd! That big God that they were worshipping in the beginning of the chapter all of sudden got smaller when the people got a little thirsty.

I find that we are no different today. We sometimes see God do wonderful things in our lives, and from that mountaintop we offer up to Him praise and worship. But then when God allows a little testing to come our way, our attitude changes completely. Our view of God seems to be based solely upon what He does for us. When we are getting popcorn, bubble gum, and ice cream, God is good; but when God says that we should eat a little broccoli because it’s what we need at the time, God becomes some mean ogre. We act like little children in the nursery, don’t we? Let’s grow up! Let’s mature in our faith to the point where we trust God completely. God is good when the circumstances in life are great; but God is also good when things are not going as we would like them to. God is always good. He loves us. He says He will never leave us; never forsake us. He has our very best interests at heart. Trust Him even when you don’t understand; and whatever you do, don’t gripe. Griping is perhaps the most predominant cause of death in the Old Testament. I am not saying that you should not bring your concerns and burdens to Him. There is a big difference between a prayer request and a complaint. Let’s get to the point in our Christian walk where we can praise Him even in the dark days. Remember, there are others out there that have it worse than you. God is not just good, He is awesome. Learn to wait on Him. He will deliver you if you will simply trust Him, obey, and be patient.

Look, we are all really good at spotting problems, but instead of murmuring, why don’t we try becoming part of a solution. We can pray, and we can work to make the situation better. Anybody can complain, and they often do; but it takes a person of true character to actually make a difference.

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” – (Philippians 2:14)


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You’re Free To Go

Today’s Passage – Exodus 10 – 12 

“And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.” – (Exodus 10:3)

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:” – (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – (Mark 16:15)

Moses made the demand to Pharaoh that the people of God must be let go, but notice that the reason that God wanted them free was so that they could serve their Lord. Why is it that free people so often neglect the freedom that they have been given by God and use in the service of the King of Kings. We live in America, and here we are free here to preach the Bible openly to whoever will listen, but for the most part we keep silent. Peter wrote that we are to use our freedom as the servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States)

Take full advantage of the freedom that you have been granted by God and use it to spread the good news of salvation to the people around you. It is my fear that the day is coming soon that this liberty that we enjoy today may be taken away, and then we will want to serve God, but we will be banned from doing so. Assemble now with God’s people in the church house; serve the Lord with gladness; testify of His goodness and glory; win souls – do it now, while you are still free to do so!


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The Call of God

Today’s Passage – Exodus 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 11 – 12Proverbs 20Psalms 96 – 100

Scripture Memorization for January – Philippians 3

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

Read – “Make Your Priorities a Priority – Be a Clutter Buster, part 3“, by Pastor Chappell

Read a previous post from this passage – “Growing Through Affliction

“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.”(Exodus 3:4)

Forgive me for reminiscing a little this morning, but when I read this passage of Scripture dealing with the call of God to Moses, I can’t help but remember the times that I heard clearly the voice of God as He was directing my life. The times that I will share with you happened after I had already trusted Christ as my Saviour, and after I was also already serving Him and growing in Him the best I knew how through my local church. Notice in the passage that Moses also had to get close to God in order for him to hear God’s call.

The first time in my life that I felt God call me was when I was attending a evening service back at Ocean County Baptist Church nearly 20 years ago. I was probably 25 years old at the time and had only been a Christian at that  point for a short while. Anyway, we had a guest missionary speaker that night. I must confess that I do not remember the preacher’s name, or  the place where he was a missionary. I don’t even remember his message title or text. What I do remember, however, was his invitation. It went something like this: “If God were to call you to do something, and He were to make it clear to you that it was His will, would you surrender?” To me, that was a no brainer. The man was not asking me to surrender to some specific place or ministry at that moment; he was merely posing the possibility of a call, and asking what my response would be. I went forward, and frankly I thought the entire congregation would have walked the aisle with me; but when I got up after praying, I was shocked to see that there was only two of us up at the front. At that time in my life, I had no idea what God might do with me; but I told Him that night that I was willing to go “if” He were to call me. I often think back on that moment as the beginning point of God directing me to where I am today.

The second time, I heard God’s call clearly was when He called me to go to Bible College. I had already been to college once, and I was perfectly content with just serving with my pastor at my home church while I learned what I needed to know there. I remember my pastor and I agreeing that I should take some correspondance classes so that I would not have to uproot my family and go off to school. God, however, had other plans. While I was attending a conference down in Longview, Texas, God revealed clearly to me that He wanted me to be trained at Texas Baptist College. I do not regret that move for one minute. God taught me much there; but the main thing that He taught me was how to trust Him.

The third time I heard the voice of God in my life was when God called me to be the pastor of Jersey Shore Baptist Church. I never candidated at any other church. I really didn’t even candidate here. God, through a very miraculous set of circumstances, placed me here. That was almost ten years ago now and one thing is for sure, knowing that I was genuinely “called of God” has been the thing that has kept me going for this past decade. There have been many blessings along the way; and there have also been some difficult days; but I know that I am exactly where God wants me. The certainty of God’s call is what helps keep me going.


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The Glory of the Lord Filled The House

Today’s Passages – Exodus 39 – 40

(Second Milers also read – Luke 20 – 21; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10)

Scripture Memorization for February – Psalm 100

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

“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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Too Much???

Today’s Passage – Exodus 36 – 38

Second Milers also read – Luke 18 – 19; Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5

Scripture Memory for February – Psalm 100

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

“And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.” – (Exodus 36:5-7)

I am always amazed when I read this portion of Scripture. This seems to be the first building fund in the Bible, and it may even be the first special offering. God asks the congregation of Israel to give to Moses an offering of the necessary materials to build the Tabernacle and all of its furniture. The people gave generously, and gave more, and kept on giving; so much so that the workers were complaining that there was way too much stuff given. They didn’t know what to do with all of the gold, silver, brass, skins, wood, and fabric that the people were anxious to offer to the Lord to be used in this tent of worship.

I know that many of you have seen this passage before, and no doubt, you may even have heard messages from this text; but when was the last time that you heard a preacher get up and tell you to stop giving. Can you imagine me standing at the pulpit this Sunday morning and announcing to the congregation that we have more money than we know what to do with? Can you picture me saying, “please stop giving!”? I can’t either. Why is it that in the ministry today there seems to be such a shortage of the things that are necessary to do the work of God. We seem to always be “behind the eight ball”, so to speak. Why is that?

I believe that there could me many individual reasons; but I will offer some of my thoughts. One reason that I believe people are reluctant to give today is that they do not understand the clear teaching of Scripture. The Bible gives a lot of instruction regarding giving, both by way of commandment as well as encouragement. Many people just don’t know (or don’t want to know) what the Bible teaches about the subject.

Another reason that people may be reluctant to give is that they just don’t trust the stewardship of the local churches. There has been a lot of financial corruption and scandal in recent days involving church leadership; and people wonder if their money is really going to the work of the Lord, or is it lining the pockets of the spiritual leaders. Maybe they feel that the church is spending too much money on facilities, etc. Even in our independent, fundamental churches we have gotten used to luxurious accommodations. Now, don’t misunderstand, I think the church house should be comfortable, and beautiful; but I think that it should also be very functional and practical. Church leaders need to be very conscious of the fact they have been given stewardship of the Lord’s money, and it should be spent very prayerfully and wisely.

I will offer one more thought regarding the lack of commitment on the part of the people of God in the area of giving. People today are just not as committed in general. Think about it. In Moses day, there was nothing else for the people but God. The Tabernacle would literally be at the very center of their lives. Today, the worship of God is hardly at the center. It may be a part, even a big part of some people’s lives; but to say it is the center would be a far stretch. We are very busy and very distracted today; and we have a lot more to spend our money on. What were the people going to do with that stuff anyway? Where were they going to spend it? They didn’t even have houses to live in. But we do, don’t we? And with them big mortgages and rents; and car payments; and phone bills; and cable bills. You get the idea. If we are ever going to get the people of God back to where they once were, we will have to help them realize that God needs to be at the very center of their lives. Putting God back at the very core of people’s lives will help them to remember what’s really important, helping them to prioritize their lives; not just in the area of finances, but in every other area of their lives.


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Striving Together – Willingly

Today’s Passage – Exodus 33 – 35

(Second Milers also read – Luke 16 – 17; Proverbs 31; Psalms 146 – 150)

Scripture Memory for January – Isaiah 53

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

Check Out “Growth Points 007 – Helping People Become Rooted” by Dr. Paul Chappell

Read last year’s post from this passage – “Beaming”

“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 up, and 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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Who Is On The Lord’s Side?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 30 – 32

(Second Milers also read – Luke 14 – 15; Proverbs 30; Psalms 141 – 145)

Scripture Memory – Isaiah 53

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

“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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What Are You Waiting For? by Melissa Dilley

Today’s Passage – Exodus 28 – 29

(Second Milers also read – Luke 12 – 13; Proverbs 29; Psalms 136 – 140)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” – (Exodus 2:23-25)

The children of Israel were under heavy bondage at the hand of the Egyptians. They had hit the bottom of the barrel and had nowhere else to go but to God. He heard them suffering and crying out to him to be delivered. God, in His infinite mercy, remembered His covenant with Abraham. He had already prepared a man (Moses) to fill their need of a leader to bring them into the Promised Land. Moses knew the desert; he knew Egypt, and he witnessed the sufferings of the Israelites firsthand. He knew there was a need, he had the ability to help, and he had a call from God to go. He was God’s perfect need-filler for this situation. But he hesitated. He argued with God all the reasons he couldn’t go. And how much suffering could have been avoided if he would have just said, “Yes, Lord, yes – to your will and to your way.”

Who do you know that has a need and is begging God to be delivered? What position has God placed you in to ease someone else’s burden? God will send someone to fill the need. Will it be you? A beaten man was once in need of help and God sent a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. Only one of them helped – the Samaritan. Would it have been you?

If you are crying out to God for deliverance then hang on – someone is coming. But, if you are the one that God has called and prepared to meet that need – then get going. What are you waiting for?


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Come As You Are?

Today’s Passages – Exodus 19 – 21

(Second Milers also read – Luke 6 – 7; Proverbs 26; Psalms 120 – 125)

Scripture Memorization for January – Isaiah 53

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

“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 that there was not one person from the congregation that was not present. I bet the children were silent; being kept under very close watch of their parents. The people understood that they 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 parent 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 a legalist 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 to 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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