31 January: Exodus 18-19; John 21:1-25; Psalm 30

Exodus 18-19

  • The Jethro Principle of delegation comes at just the right time. Much of what I do for the church would be categorized by Jethro as "not good." ("What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.") So, I am to look for "capable, God-fearing, trustworthy" men to help bear the load.
  • I am inspired that Moses and Jethro (and others) ate their meal "in the presence of God."

John 21:1-25

  • John's Gospel ends with a gracious reinstatement of Peter by Jesus. As Peter denied Jesus three times, now he able to affirm Him three times. Each time Jesus charges him with shepherding duties for the flock — feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep.
  • "Follow me" sounds like it has quite an edge here — after indicating what type of death awaits a disciple of Jesus.
  • The world would not have room for the books if every one of the significant things that Jesus did were captured in writing! The NT is indeed an economy of words.

Psalm 30

  • "You turned my wailing into dancing!"
  • Discipline is but a moment, but its refinement is forever.

 

30 January: Exodus 16-17; John 20:1-31; Psalm 29

Exodus 16-17

  • Israel moves from waters of Marah (bitter) where they grumbled in bitterness against Moses and against the Lord. Then they move into the desert where they grumble against God (and Moses) because of food. God sends them quail in the evening and manna in the morning (except for the Sabbath). Their grumbling against leadership was in fact grumbling against God (v.8). 
  • God does all of this so that… "then you will know that I am the Lord your God." God wants this fact to be upfront, clear, and certain for His people. In what areas do I need to better see God?
  • We encounter the game-changing story of Moses striking the rock in chapter 17. It's not evident from Exodus account, but Moses goes well beyond what God commanded as he draws water from the rock for the people.
  • Finally, Joshua leads the Israelites in battle against the attacking Amalekites. If I were to share this triumph, would I focus on Joshua's heroism and strategy or on Moses' devotion (keeping his hands raised with the help of Aaron and Hur)? True victory came due to a devotion to the Lord. There's a great lesson for all us seeking victory for the gospel today.

John 20:1-31

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  • He is risen! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
  • John was able to see and believe, despite insufficient understanding about the resurrection (see v. 8-9). 
  • The first witnesses (who did not even have witness authority in first century Palestinian court) to the resurrection were… women!
  • Thomas, isolated from the disciples, has the hardest time believing. "Stop doubting and believe." And so he does with the great proclamation "my Lord and my God!"
  • Here's the great purpose statement of John's gospel: "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." The Holy Spirit captured and preserved these truths so that we might believe.

Psalm 29

  • I'm off by a day on the Psalms. 
  • I want to better learn to praise the Lord in prayer. The Psalmists (David in particular so far) gush with praise with such regularity and facility. 
  • I'll look for God behind typical physical events (sunshine, water cycle, snow drifts, ordered society, etc), and then praise Him!

29 January: Exodus 13-15, Psalm 29, John 19

Exodus 13-15

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  • God considers us his firstborn and thus punishes Pharaoh for his oppression of God's firstborn. Even has He readies the Passover punishment, He plans for our actual sons to ask "What does this mean?" God wants his deliverance to be told and told again to successive generations.
  • As Israel "marches out boldly" by the mighty hand of the Lord, Pharaoh's army has buyer's remorse and pursues the Israelites to re enslavement them. Israel quickly complains and cries to Moses, "It would have been better to for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" Fickly faith. 
  • When God tells Moses (and Israel) to "be still" it can also mean to be silent. It could be that God wanted them to stop grumbling in the midst of his mighty deliverance. And then the Red Sea parts!
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Psalm 29

  • "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters." The Lord's voice thunders over the mighty waters! I'm blessed to live near the ocean. This is a Scripture worthy of memorization as I love to have prayer walks along the waters.

John 19

  • The passion and crucifixion of Jesus! More fickleness by God's people throughout this narrative (as there was during the deliverance in Exodus 12-15 above!) Amazing parallels. 
  • I see from these passages how easy it is to be swayed in faith. I'm looking to resolve to be steadfast in my trust of God through all circumstances.