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Friday, August 17, 2007

Crossing the Red Sea

I was watching a documentary this week about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The narrator said that the Israelites walked on dry land through the Red Sea, but no one has since been able to locate the exact spot where this phenomeon took place, or give any explanation for how it could have happened. We can only conclude that the hand of God wrought this miracle through Moses.

This set me thinking about my own life and the times God helped me out of some difficulty. When I looked back, I realized that I couldn't always pinpoint when or where it happened. All I know is that it did, by the grace of God.

So it is with salvation. Some people are able to give the exact date and time when they came to believe in Jesus Christ. With others, like myself, it's a process. I woke up one morning and realized that I was not the same person I used to be. Things that used to interest me no longer do. "All things have been made new." I had crossed the Red Sea and left Pharoah and his armies behind.

If you are in a difficult situation today, or struggling to find your place in Jesus Christ, take heart. Wait on Him. He will part that Red Sea and He'll bring you over to the other side.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Let Us Pray

One of the things I like about traveling is that it affords me the opportunity to read. Nothing like a good book to help you forget you are thirty-something thousand feet in the air with nothing holding you up. After reading the back cover, I chose This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti as my traveling companion, thinking if it did not accomplish the aforementioned goal, it would at least put me to sleep. By the time I’d read the first page, I was very much awake, and knew I was in for quite a ride.

The story tells about a small town which was being overtaken by the powers of darkness, and goes on to show how demons and angels battle it out to gain control. Now the Bible tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). However, what is amazing is the role that the prayers of the believer play in determining who wins the battle, something Peretti shows in startling detail.

He also shows why it sometimes appears that God is silent, or that our prayers are not being answered. The solution? Keep on praying, keep on believing, keep on serving. God’s angels are standing by, waiting on the right time to do God’s bidding. The protagonist of the story, a young praying pastor, with the help of other praying souls, was able to defeat the powers of darkness and restore peace to the town.

Whether you are a believer or unbeliever, this book will help you pass the time on a rainy afternoon, or while you’re airborne on your way to some exciting destination. But it will do more than that. It will fascinate, educate or even scare you, but most of all it will increase your faith in the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God. Shall we pray?

Our Father and our God, we thank you for the weapon of prayer and the Name of Jesus with which we can defeat the enemy. Help us, Lord, to not become complacent and take this weapon for granted, but instead to use it without ceasing on behalf of ourselves and others, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Exchange Factor

Some of you may remember the movie Sleeping with the Enemy which was made popular some years ago. I recall feeling traumatized by the fact that this woman was living with a husband who planned to murder her. But as in most movies, his plan did not succeed.

I thought of this movie as I read the story, for the umpteenth time, about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. How could Our Lord, who sees and knows all things, eat, sleep, talk and walk with Judas day after day, knowing his intentions? Jesus knew He came to this earth to die, no question about that. He knew he would be hanged on a Roman cross like a common criminal because that was His Father’s plan of redemption. And Jesus bore His cross willingly. But to be betrayed by a close friend in that manner seemed to be adding salt to the wounds.

And yet, many of us humans also bear our cross every day. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 10:38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” And again in Matthew 16:24 He says: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

I believe that as long as we are following Jesus, we will have a cross to bear. It may be a marriage, a child, a job, our finances, our health. The list can go on and on. The Christian life is not an easy one, but while we are bearing that cross, if we would keep our eyes on Jesus, He will one day take it from us, just as His Father took His. And God didn’t just relieve Jesus of the cross, He gave Him a crown. He crowned Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We too will eventually exchange our cross for a crown if we keep on following Jesus.