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Exodus No.7

Updated: Apr 17

Hi Congregation,


Here are the links to my video devotions in the book of Exodus.


YouTube

Additionally, for those who don’t want to watch the video, I want to share a few other thoughts as we continue in our lockdown mode.  Ephesians 5:15 tells us, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

In 1985, a friend and I went to the Golan Heights in Israel, but the tour guide strictly warned us, “Stay on the path. Do not go off it.”  You see, though the Six Day War had ended eighteen years before, the Syrians had planted land mines all over the hills, and many of them were still active.  Stepping off the path may be a step onto a mine and KAPLOW!  “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.”

The Evil One has planted landmines all throughout the world.  We are children of dust and time and we don’t know what tomorrow holds but God has laid out a safe path for us in His Word.  Psalm 119:105 reflects on that, “Your word is a  lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” If you go off the path God has laid for us, you walk into danger. “The days are evil.”  Just prior to this text, Paul reminded the Ephesians that Christ has shone the light of His truth in our hearts.  His truth is Light, and it exposes the deeds of darkness that is so dominant in the world, albeit that danger is often subtle.  When we take the Lord Jesus as our Guide, His instruction throws light on the landmines around us.  “ I am the Light of the world,” He proclaimed, “he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (Jn. 8:12).

One of the landmines that the Enemy plants is complacency.  When we have an abundancy, or when things are peaceful, we feel we have no need.  But rather than making us contented, our salvation should live as those “who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Hungering and thirsting speak of a dissatisfaction and discomfort.  Well, the hopes and dreams of the world are mere husks and they should dissatisfy us because we have the reality of the abundance of the kingdom of heaven which is  “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).  We learn how absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I hope that in this time where we have had to absent ourselves from one another, we will be stirred to good works and a deeper devotion that perhaps we let slide because of our abundancy and serenity.    

Another landmine is weariness.  In The Pilgrim’s Progress, Hopeful said to Christian, “I do now begin to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold up mine eyes; let us lie down here and take one nap.” “By no means,” said the other; “lest sleeping, we never awake more.”  Going through the same motions, doing the same thing day after day, gets boring and tiring.  We can become very half-hearted in our duties when those duties lose their luster.  Though the good fight of faith is tiresome, and sin is burdensome, and faithful living is wearisome, we must always be vigilant, awake, and pursuing the kingdom of God.  Proverbs 24:33-34 warns, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, your poverty will come in like a robber.”

Pride is one of the most subtle of all the landmines the Devil plants because pride can be dressed in piety.  “I have read the Bible and gone to church all my days and know it all.  I don’t really need your instruction.”  Prior to his conversion, Paul boasted in how he obeyed all the law of God.  His righteousness could not stand up to God’s standard.  He was in grave danger when Jesus knocked him to the ground and blinded him before he could see.  So often we’ve grown to rely so much on our own wisdom and ability because we grew out of trusting and relying upon God’s word to instruct us.  Sometimes a good fall reminds of that. 

Yes, Paul reminds us how the days are evil.  They are filled with temptations to woo us away from God, with dangers that destroy our peace.  In our hardships, the devil plants little mines that cause us to question God’s wisdom, benevolence, and grace.  “Be careful how you walk.”  Take care in your walk by making “most of your time.”  The Greek word is a commercial term that means “buying up, to redeem, to take the opportunity, or make the most of something.”  “Redeem your time” -- make the most of what time you have on earth.  This virus has made the world stop in its tracks and the consideration of the wise is: with only so many days in this world, how will they be used?  I encourage you to take the opportunity when it is hard to go out and do so many things we were used to, and seek after God in your prayer closets.  I am sure that you will discover how God is true when He said, “You will  seek Me and find Me when you  search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).


Blessings to you all,


—Pastor Michael

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