Jan 31-(Exodus 32-34) "Aaron" Moses has been on Mt. Sinai for several days talking with God. The people grow impatient. They demand that Aaron choose them a new god. What does Aaron do? He gives them a golden calf. Then things begin to go sideways. The people are out of control. Why? Israel has abandoned their promise to God. God is furious! Moses is so upset, he throws the 10 Commandments to the ground. This is what happens when you cave in and compromise. For, Aaron needed to step up and lead. But by compromising his convictions, the people of God would drift away from their spiritual moorings. Whenever you compromise your convictions, you can expect things to go down the tubes. God needs someone to stand up and stand firm in their faith. He needs you to do this in your home, workplace, your church, and community. Today, resists the urge to cave in to worldly pressures, and stand firm on your convictions.
Jan 30-(Exodus 31) "Bezalel" He is singled out from among the Israelites. This is not uncommon in the Bible. For, God frequently called people by name (e.g., Moses, Samuel, Saul of Tarsus) when He had a special job to be done. Like Jesus, Bezalel is from the tribe of Judah. He was born dedicated to The Lord because his name means "In the shadow of God". So when God is speaking to Moses about the construction of the Tabernacle, Bezalel is called and placed in charge of the project. Has God called you to do a job? Has He called you to build a godly family? Has He singled you out to build a ministry? Is the Lion of Judah (Jesus) counting on you to build His church? Like Bezalel, draw closer into the shadow of God… and you will succeed!
Jan 29-(Exodus 25-28) "Skilled Workers" The list of items for the Tabernacle is very long. This list includes ropes and cords, jewelry, clothes of fine linen, and articles of gold and silver. Since there is no place to purchase these items, they must be handmade. Just think of the great skill required to make such a host of sacred things. And the skills were there! God's people had the abilities. What skills do you have? Are you using them for The Lord? Where can you use your skills to advance God's Kingdom? Whatever skills you have, try using them to bring glory to God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 28-(Exodus 19-20, 23:20-24:18) "God's People" God dearly loves them. He leads them out of Egyptian bondage. He saves them through a path in the sea. God brings His people His word. They are to be a kingdom of priests... a holy nation. At Sinai, God makes them a promise: If they will obey Him, He will bless them and give them the land; but if they rebel, they will perish. What do the people do? They pledge their allegiance to God, and promise to always follow Him. That's all God wants from you. He wants you to pledge your allegiance to Him. He promises to bless you when you dedicate your life to Him. He plans to use you in a special way. He plans to use you to reach more people. Can God use you today? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 27-(Exodus 17) "Hur" Moses is tired. As his arms begin to fall, Joshua starts to lose the battle with the Amalekites. Suddenly a man runs to Moses' side. Hur takes one of his arms while Aaron takes the other, lifting them up to the sky. The tide of the battle turns. Joshua is victorious! Let's face it, being a leader in God's kingdom isn't easy. Your leaders are just as human as you, and they can become weary. When they do, they need you to step up and give them support!! Who needs your support right now? Today, be encouraged by Hur's example. Make God's kingdom stronger. Pray, protect, encourage, and support your leaders. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 26-(Exodus 13:17-15:21) "Miriam" What an incredible display of the power of God! At first, things look hopeless. Israel shakes with fear at the sight of Egypt's army; but all of a sudden, the entire Egyptian army is wiped out before their very eyes! But, they didn't do it… God did!!! God is amazing! As the winds and the waves start to die down, you can hear Miriam start to sing. She starts praising God for His love, His power, and His awesome deeds! Do you ever breakout in song, praising your God for His love? His power? His salvation? His awesome deeds? Are you ever moved with your gratitude to give God the glory with a song? God is your deliverer. Isn't He awesome? Praise Him today! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 25-(Exodus 13) "The First Born" It was the plague of all plagues. Try to imagine the horror as all the firstborn in Egypt begin to suddenly die. Pharaoh's son dies too, and it's more than he can bear. Devastated, Pharaoh tells Moses and the rest of the Israelites to leave Egypt immediately. As Moses is leaving, God tells him to set apart the firstborn of the flocks and the families of Israel. He has an idea how He can use them. The firstborn lambs and bulls are to be sacrificed. But the firstborn children are to be a living reminder of their deliverance, and that they are set apart for holy service. Hmmm... Wasn't Jesus firstborn? Sure He was. He was sacrificed (like a firstborn lamb) for you! He also was the first to rise from the dead! He opened the way for others to follow. Jesus reminds you that you are special to God. This means that, as a Christian, you are set apart to live in holiness like Jesus too (Rom 8:29). The Firstborn also gives you great confidence when you face your death; because He paved the way from the grave to your God (Col 1:18) and into eternity! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 24-(Exodus 9-11) "Pharaoh" You have to admit, he is one stubborn guy! 9 of 10 plagues come upon Egypt. Yet Pharaoh refuses to humble himself and submit to God. Now, you may think it was God who hardened Pharaoh's heart. If you believe this, you are right. But just remember that Pharaoh had already hardened his heart a couple of times on his own (8:15, 32). What God was doing was simply completing what Pharaoh had already started. By the way, Pharaoh finally caved and let the people of God leave Egypt. Can God harden hearts today? There's no reason to think He won't. If you persist in stubbornness, God will see to it that you stay that way. Kinda scary, isn't it? Are you humble? Are you listening and surrendering to God? Today, learn a lesson from Pharaoh: It doesn't pay to be stubborn with God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 23-(Exodus 5-6:13, 7:1-8:32 ) "Aaron" What would Moses have accomplished without Aaron by his side? Moses would have thrown-in the towel if Aaron hadn't been there by his side. Yes, God could have done great things through Moses without Aaron at all, but he didn't. He put Aaron with Moses for good reason. You see, no man is an island. He needs people. God made human beings for relationships. With key people, one can accomplish more (Ecc 4). For there IS strength in numbers. Who needs you to be an Aaron in their life this very minute? Who could use your encouragement? God can use you to tip the scales of success in their favor. So, give them a call... shoot them a text... go by and encourage your friend face to face. Let God use you to support and help someone face the difficulties of life with confidence and hope.
Jan 22-(Exodus 1-4, 6:14-27) "Moses" Early on it was obvious that God was with Moses. God worked things together so his life would be saved. He was even raised in the opulence of Pharaoh's palace! Just imagine his mother telling him stories of how The Lord protected him while floating in a basket on the Nile with all those hungry crocodiles! So when God called Moses to deliver his people, you'd think he would jump at the opportunity; but Moses is reluctant to trust God. When God calls, Moses digs in his heels, and begins to make one excuse after another. Though God shows him sign after sign, Moses still drags his feet!! Thank God Aaron was there to help him out. How about you? Are you making excuses? When asked to serve, do you begin to list your reasons for not being able to do it? Today, quit making excuses! Obey God's call. He has been with you in the past, and He IS with you right now! And, like with Moses, God will help you get the job done! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 21-(Genesis 47:29-50:26) "Benjamin" As Jacob blesses each of his sons, he finally gets to the youngest, Benjamin. Benjamin would be one of the smallest tribes of Israel. But don't let the size of this tribe fool you. For, Benjamin is compared to a wolf. You see this ferocious nature come out of this tribe in men like Ehud (The left handed judge), and Saul (The first King of Israel). But the greatest example of all is found in the apostle Paul. Born a Benjamite, Paul would turn the world upside down with the gospel. Size doesn't matter to God. You can be the puniest runt in the bunch, and God can still do mighty things through you. That's because it's His power that does it all. Today, ask God for His power to be unleashed in your life. Trust Him to supply what you need to make a powerful difference wherever you go. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 20-(Genesis 45:16-47:28) "Manasseh and Ephraim" The names of Joseph's two sons carry special meaning for the Prince of Egypt. Manasseh means "Forget", and Ephraim means "Blessed". This is exactly what God did for Joseph. God blessed Joseph with so much, that he would forget all the trouble his brothers had caused. Joseph could rejoice and appreciate how good The Lord had been to him. God is good to you too. And when you start counting all your blessings, God will help you put your pain in perspective. You may even forget YOUR troubles too. Why not try it? Take a few minutes and list as many of God's blessings as you can. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 19-(Genesis 42-45:15) "Reuben" He is the oldest of all the children of Jacob. But Reuben blew it as an older brother. Instead of standing up and protecting Joseph when all his brothers wanted rid of him, Reuben would be silent. Maybe that's why Jacob didn't take his promise seriously. If Reuben couldn't be trusted with his brother, how could he be trusted with his own sons? Jacob blamed Reuben for losing Joseph in the first place. Reuben probably regretted his silence for a long time. How about you? As an older brother or sister in Christ, are you looking out for the younger brothers and sisters around you? Are you speaking up, or are you being silent. If you are looking the other way, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Today, stand up... stand beside your brothers and sisters. Speak up when they are threatened. Stand strong, and protect them.
Jan 18-(Genesis 39-41) "Joseph" He's one of the greatest characters found in the Bible. Mistreated by his brothers, Joseph is carried far away to a foreign land. Though life continues to be unfair to Joseph, he knows God is with him. So Joseph refuses to blame God for his circumstances. With confidence in the wisdom of God, Joseph would take personal responsibility for his actions and be faithful to his God. This pays off in the long run. For God rewards Joseph's faithfulness. He becomes 2nd in command in Egypt! God doesn't promise that life will be easy for you. He doesn't promise that everything in life will go your way. He does promise to reward your faithfulness. So, what will you do when life is unfair to you? Will you whine and complain… or will you trust your God?
Jan 17-(Genesis 38) "Tamar" What a strange chapter. Jacob and his sons lived near strong pagan influence. In this chapter you will find deceit and immorality somehow justified. For, Judah would intermarry with the Canaanites and have 3 sons. Er was his firstborn, and Tamar was Er's wife. But Er was wicked, and God struck him dead. Onan, Judah's second son, would refuse to provide a son for Tamar. He would die too. With the third son, too young to marry, Tamar takes matters into her own hands. She tricks her father-in-law into sleeping with her, and she becomes pregnant. This is important because Jesus (The Lion of Judah) would later come through the family line of Tamar. Tamar teaches that God uses flawed people to get His will done. It doesn't matter what you've done, God can use you to accomplish His will. This doesn't justify your sin, it only explains how merciful God can be. Today, don't allow your guilt, or shame of the things you have done, prevent God from using you. Turn to Him, and find his mercy. Trust his love, and find your purpose. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 16-(Genesis 36) "Zepho" Who in the world is this guy? All we know about this man is that he is the grandson of Esau. In fact, we know next to nothing about any of Esau's descendants listed in this chapter. So why are they here? They are listed to remind you that God cares about everyone! Though Esau and his family would make countless mistakes, God would fulfill His promise to Esau, and bless them. Hmmm... People may escape your notice, but they are noticed by God. He loves them and wants to bless them. You may think you are hidden in obscurity, but God notices you. He sees you and wants to bless you too. But today, notice all the people around you. Appreciate God's love for the strangers you meet. In some way, extend a gesture of respect and kindness to the 'Zephos' you meet. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 15-(Genesis 34-35) "Dinah" Jacob's daughter is about 15 years old. She has always been adventurous and a little independent. Without an escort, Dinah ventures off to what appears to be an innocent party. But before the evening is over, she is raped by a spoiled and selfish upper class pagan named Shechem. Soon after this honorific incident, anger, vengeance, and greed are followed by deceit, murder, and theft. Jacob and his family have to flee the country! It's amazing how a little careless decision can lead to such great tragedy! You take your eye off the road for just a few seconds… and you end up in the ER. Think... think... THINK! Dinah teaches you to think long and hard before you choose. For the choices you make in life will choose the life you live. Today, choose wisely. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 14-(Genesis 31-33) "Laban" Let's face it… Laban is a shyster! He is constantly cheating Jacob in some way. He is constantly reneging on his promises and agreements with Jacob. So when Jacob finally gets the better of Laban, it's easy to chuckle to yourself. After all, Laban gets a taste of his own medicine. He gets what he deserves.
You can't cheat someone and expect to get away with it. God has a way of settling the score with people who cheat others. It's important that you, too, treat others fairly and with integrity. Have you cheated anyone? Do you need to make it right? Today, resist the temptation to take advantage of others. Make a commitment to be fair and honest with people. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 13-(Genesis 29-30) "Leah" Leah is the older sister... and she's plain. Her younger sister (Rachel) is gorgeous with sparkling eyes. Though Jacob loves Rachel more, God deeply loves Leah. He blesses Leah with 6 sons and one daughter. One of the sons she gives birth to is Judah. Jesus would, in fact, come from the line of Judah! If you think you have to have the right look to get the most in life, you'd be wrong. Appearance and charisma have little to do with how much God can use you. He looks at your heart; and your life is blessed because of His love. Today, open your heart to God and let Him use you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 12-(Genesis 26:34 - 28:22) "Jacob" Jacob is one of those characters in the Bible who many have a difficult time understanding; and he’s not what you would call a man of great character either. With shrewd tenacity, Jacob manages to take his brother's birthright. He also deceives his father to get the blessing reserved for the first born. It kind of makes you shake your head, doesn't it? But Jacob would slowly change; for, God had big plans for him. God would work on Jacob’s heart and make him into a man of great faith. Jacob illustrates, though it may appear impossible, that God has the power to change anyone! Who do you think is nearly impossible to change? Just remember God can change anyone! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 11-(Genesis 25-26:33) "Esau" He is an outdoorsman, and the older son. He is strong and fierce. Many would say Esau is the kind of guy who can take care of himself. But he does something really dumb—he throws it all away! Because he's the firstborn, Esau will get two thirds of his father's wealth. But, he trades it all away! And for what? A bowl of soup!! Are you kidding me? What was Esau thinking? He let his appetite get the better of him. Oh, how often this happens to followers of Christ. God gives one the gift of salvation and countless blessings on earth. But an 'Esau Theology' trades it for a career, a carnal pleasure, a little power, or a few more bucks. Esau would rob himself of greater blessings later because he wanted immediate satisfaction. How about you? Are you trading what God has given you for something less, or will you resist your temptations, and experience even greater blessings than ever? Today, stand firm in your faith. Resist the carnal… and keep trusting God to give you the best!
Jan 10-(Genesis 24) "Rebekah" She is beautiful. She is also an answer to prayer! But the thing that stands out about Rebekah the most, is her awareness of God working in her life. She doesn't seem to believe in coincidences or luck. She's not forcing opportunities either. She simply believes and trusts that God is working in her life. She believes her destiny is in God's hands. So she doesn't hesitate to walk through the doors she believes God opens. How do you see your future? Are you the kind of person who thinks you have to make your own destiny, or do you leave this up to God? Are you able to recognize when God opens a door? And when He opens a door of opportunity for you, do you walk through it? What will you do if He closes a door? Will you continue to trust him? Today, keep your eyes peeled for the opportunities God gives you… and make the most of them! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 9-(Gen 22-23) "Isaac" He helps carry the gear up the mountain. Little does he know, that he is the sacrifice. But when his dad begins to tie him up, Isaac realizes what is about to happen to him. He realizes something else. He sees how much his dad loves God. Have you ever wondered if Isaac put up a fight? Did Isaac start to cry and argue with his dad about what he was going to do? It doesn't look that way. Why does Isaac silently stand there and let his dad do such a thing? Isaac trusts his dad... Better yet, Isaac trusts His God! What happens? God comes through! God provides a sacrifice. In that very moment, the faith of a father and son are galvanized. As they head down the mountain for home, their faith is a little stronger. How about you? What will happen when your faith is tested? Will you trust God when you face what appears to be the impossible? Will you trust God enough to not put up a fight when he calls you to sacrifice? Today, meet your difficulties with a confident hope… that God will provide!
Jan 8-(Genesis 20-21) "Abimelek" Abraham is afraid... Abraham is intimidated... Abraham is selfish! To save his own skin, he lies about his wife. He leads Abimelek to believe Sarah is his sister! But eventually Abraham is busted out, and Abimelek knows the truth. Abraham looks like a fool. Who is like Abimelek in your life? You know, the one who intimidates you enough to compromise your ethics. Who is it that frightens you enough to abandon your godly values to save face? Don’t you realize that they will eventually figure it out… and you will look like a fool? Today, be a person of integrity, and refuse to be intimidated by the Abimeleks in your life! Trust The Lord, and stand tall on your faith! When you do, you will find that a life of integrity is rewarding.
Jan 7-(Genesis 18-19) "Sarah" She puts her hand over her mouth and starts to giggle... Why? It's hard for Sarah to imagine she could get pregnant. She thinks to herself, "How could I give birth to a child at 90? What a silly idea!" But God is not laughing. What He is talking about is not silly. He's serious. That's because nothing is too hard for God to do. How about you? Are you taking the plans and promises of God seriously, or do you nervously laugh them off as silly nonsense? Do you laugh at yourself and think, "God wants to use a screw up like me? No way!" Or, "God can/will ultimately work things out for His good? Not in my situation!" Or, "God can turn anything around? It's too late for me!" It's time you believe in God's power. It's time you expect Him to act. It's time you trust The Lord. Sarah would laugh again, but this time she would giggle because of the intense joy she feels holding her baby. Today, expect God to make His promises good. Laugh out loud and rejoice… because God is able!
Jan 6-(Genesis 15-17) "Ishmael" Abraham and Sarah aren't what you would call pillars of faith in the community. They struggle with trusting God like anyone else. Just read how they respond to God's promise of a son, and you get the idea. Ishmael is the result of their lack of faith and patience. Yet God will remind Abraham every time he calls out to Ishmael (Ishmael means: God hears) that He still hears his prayers. He heard Abraham's request to bless Ishmael (17:18). You don't have to be perfect for God to hear your prayers. He knows you have trouble completely trusting His promises. Your lack of faith in God will lead you to many blunders. These mistakes will remind you, for the rest of your life, that you are human—a sinner. But your blunders can also remind you that God hasn't given up on you. He still hears you, and intends to fulfill His plan in you.
Jan 5-(Genesis 12-14) "Abraham" Everywhere Abraham goes, he builds an altar to God. It's the first thing he does. Why? What is Abraham trying to do with these altars? He's dedicating wherever he works; wherever he rests; wherever he lives… to his God. What a great principle to live by! For, when you dedicate the place where you are to God, great things can happen. Compare Abraham's approach to his nephew Lot, and you see the difference—Abraham is blessed, while Lot keeps running into serious trouble. Have you dedicated your workplace to God? How about your home? Have you 'built your altar' in the place where you are? Today, dedicate your 'land' to God… and be blessed! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 4-(Gen 10-11) "Terah" Sandwiched in between two faithful men (Noah and Abraham) is Terah. His name means 'wanderer'. And that's what he did. He wandered aimlessly from one place to another. And when it came time to pull up stakes and move his family to Ur, Terah stopped short and settled in Haran (Haran means hard place). Why? What would make a man stop short of obeying God and settle for the harsh climate of Haran? No one really knows… but Terah's reluctance to complete his journey would hold his son back from reaching God's land. It wouldn't be until Terah died, that Abraham would leave Haran and reach his destination. Is there something here? It's possible... for, Terah illustrates how tragic it can be when one generation holds back another because of selfishness. In a way, Terah would settle for less. He would settle for Haran over Canaan. When it comes to your faith, don't settle for less. Inspire the younger generation that follows you. Be bold – refuse to wander aimlessly – and move ever closer to what God wants. Pass on, to the next generation, the kind of faith that holds up godly values, and accomplishes the will of God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 3-(Genesis 6-8) "Noah" How much of what God commands would you say you are obeying? Of all the things recorded about Noah in the Bible, one thing stands out. Noah obeyed everything God commanded! When you stop and think about, that's pretty impressive! For, Noah had never witnessed rain before. He didn't argue. He didn't make excuses. He didn't put it off. Whatever God said to do, Noah obeyed. His obedience to God resulted in saving his life, saving his family, and saving a lot of the world. Obeying God isn't easy, but it's the wisest way to live. Obeying God may go against your logic. It will go against your selfishness and fear. But be sure of this: Obedience will bless your life. Will you obey your Lord? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 2-(Genesis 4-5) "Seth" After the fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve would face unrest and tragedy in their family. For, Cain would kill his brother Abel. But God would bless the first couple on earth with another son. When things appear to be hopeless, God has a way of overcoming evil. His plan will prevail (Proverbs 19:21). Seth is born to fulfill God's plan. It was through the seed of Seth that Jesus would be born (Genesis 5:3–8, 1 Chronicles 1:1, Luke 3:38). Without Seth, there is no cross!! You, in a way, are similar to Seth. For, you are a link in a long line of people who God uses to fulfill His purpose. You are born to bring glory to God by devoting your life to doing His will. You may not believe this, but losing YOUR link in this human chain would prevent many others from ever knowing God. Today, realize your purpose, and endeavor to fulfill God's plan. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Jan 1-(Gen 1-3) "Adam" Made by the loving and skillful hands of The Almighty, Adam is the first human to live on the earth! What an honor, huh? Besides the gift of life, God gives Adam something sacred and extremely powerful. God gives His first man the freedom of choice. But, it isn't long before Adam chooses poorly; and well… you know what happens. Adam reminds you that your choices matter. Like Adam, God gives YOU the power to choose too. So the choices you make in life are important. Your choices have real consequences. Today, on the first day of a new year, make a promise to God, and to yourself, that you will weigh your choices carefully… and choose wisely!