Sunday, October 21, 2018

The God Of All People


October 21 (Exodus 6:13)


But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders for the Israelites and for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.  (NLT)


The one true God Who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the God of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and atheists.  He is the God of Australians, Americans, and those in the Amazon Basin.  He is the Lord of everyone on earth, whether they know it or not.  If that sounds odd, or even offensive, then it proves how much we have come to think of God in terms of private, religious, self-help principles rather than who He actually is.

When God spoke to Moses and Aaron, He gave them commands for the Israelites, His chosen people.  Most people today would have no trouble with that.  He was the God of the Israelites, so of course He spoke to them.  Yet notice that He also had commands for Pharaoh, who most certainly did not acknowledge Him as God of the Egyptians.  And that mattered to God not one bit.

You see, God knows Himself.  He knows that He created the atheist in his mother’s womb and knit together the limbs of the terrorist.  He knows the plans He has for the scientist who cannot accept anything she cannot measure, and He expects His followers, like Moses and Aaron, to know that, too.  We often hesitate to talk about God with others because we think we are imposing our private beliefs on someone else, but that is simply not the case.  God is Lord of everyone and He wants all of His children to be reconciled with Him.  That is why He sent Jesus to make that possible with His death and resurrection.  The next time you wonder whether you should talk about God with a friend, remember that God was not just the Lord of Moses and Aaron, but the Egyptians, too.

Lord, help me to live my life in You out loud.  Help me to take what can be a private faith into the marketplace and live my relationship with You as I do my relationship with family and friends.  Change my speech from one that talks of faith and principles to one that speaks of You in personal ways, and when You have a word for me to share with others, give me the courage to speak it.  Amen.



Copyright © 2018 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, October 14, 2018

You Can, With God's Help


October 14 (Exodus 3:11-12)


But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”  God answered, “I will be with you.”  (NLT)

We all need encouragement when we think a task is too much for us, and chances are, you’ve offered encouragement to someone else in that situation.  The problem is, we usually do it all wrong.  We begin by telling people not to feel that way, we continue by assuring them they can do whatever it is, and for proof we trot out a list of their abilities and accomplishments.
Now, take a look at how God does it.  Moses doubts himself at the deepest level.  “Who am I?” he asks God.  In the human scheme of things, he is a nobody and he knows it.  Yet God does not say, “Come on, buddy!  You’re not a nobody, you’re a somebody!  Would I have picked a guy who couldn’t do this?  Think of how you stepped up when the Egyptian was beating one of my people (Exodus 2:11-12).  You can do this!”  Instead, God simply says, “I will be with you.”
God will not lie.  He will not pretend you are what you are not just to make you feel good, and sometimes He calls us to something that we, in our own strength, cannot do.  And you know what?  It doesn’t matter whether we can do it.  God can.  If He calls us, He is with us, and He will accomplish the task.

Father, I might as well be Moses for all the ways I have excused myself from doing what You have called me to do.  God, please help me to focus on You and not on my own weaknesses.  Help me not to over analyze and think things to death, but simply do what You call me to do.  In the name of Jesus, the very model of perfect obedience, amen.


Copyright © 2018 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, October 7, 2018

What Has Jesus Done For You?


October 7 (Mark 5:20)


So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.  (NLT)


It is hard to tell people about a place you’ve never been.  I can go on and on about Zion National Park in Utah, Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, and the beautiful city of Rome because I have spent time in all of them.  I can tell you a little about Australia from what friends have told me and something about Greece from what I have read in books.  Sadly, when it comes to evangelism, a lot of people find themselves in Australia or Greece.

Jesus had just healed a man who had suffered from a demonic attack that drove him mad.  The man was so happy to be calm and in his right mind that he wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home instead and tell people what had happened, and so he did.  He told everyone he knew what Jesus had done for him, and the people were amazed.

If Jesus came to you and said, “I want you to tell people what I have done for you,” what would you say?  Would you tell stories about what He has done for others?  Would you quote Scripture?  These are not bad things, but what would you tell people He has done for you?  1 Peter 3:15 says we must always be ready to explain our hope to people.  Spend some time recalling what Jesus has done for you over the course of your life.  Perhaps even start a list.  Three things are sure to happen.  The list will grow quickly, you will find yourself praising God with fresh joy, and you will develop a powerful story that God can use to bring others to Him.

Lord, over the next few days, bring to mind all that You have done for me, even revealing the things I was too blind or too in a hurry to see at the time as coming from You.  May the story of Your work in my life bring hope and encouragement to others and lead them to Jesus, in Whose name I pray.  Amen.



Copyright © 2018 by Steven R. Perkins