Exodus 17:8-19:15; Matthew 22:34-23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 6:27-35
Moses has over 1,000,000 people that he is pastoring. He is doing all of the counseling and court proceedings. His father-in-law, Jethro, saw the people lined up all day waiting to see Moses. He told Moses at that rate he and the people would burnout. He gave him a plan to recruit faithful, qualified men to do the work of the ministry over smaller groups of people in order for everyone’s needs to be met.
Maybe you are overwhelmed and have too much weight on yourself and you feel like Moses — burned out. God’s Word teaches us to look for faithful men and women to delegate the task. Remember that everything rises or falls with leadership. Put key people in key positions. Allow God to lead and show you who belongs where. You pray the right people in and the wrong people out. Your success will depend on your discernment as God leads you.
The infrastructure God gave Moses was to place leaders over certain groups of people, thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. (Note that some people can manage ten. We cannot expect a person who can obviously only handle ten to manage 1,000. Don’t get mad, it’s out of their capability.) In order to be successful and legitimately meet needs we must allow groups with leadership oversight. Individual needs are best met in small groups of people. God’s focus is uniting people and bringing out their best. Jesus gave us two commandments, to love God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Life is no more than this, to always put God first and then people second. You will get to where you want to go if you will love God and love people. This advice can apply to a business person, a church leader or even a family.
God help me to find my place in life. Help me to use my gifts to glorify You and to serve Your precious people. I pray You will connect me to the group of people I will fit in with. I pray You will show me my role and assignment. Lord, I trust You with my life. Use me to do great things. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
Guard Your Heart
Genesis 48:1-49:33; Matthew 15:29-16:12; Psalm 20:1-9; Proverbs 4:20-27
“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:20-27
There are four things that will guide you in a successful life as seen in this proverb. The first concept we see is that we have to guard our heart. Our heart encompasses our mind, will and emotions. Everything about us stems from the condition of our heart. It’s easy to see if we hold onto a grudge in our heart then we will behave bitterly. If we are led by a lustful heart then our actions will be perverse, and so on. How can we keep our heart clean? The key is found in the other three concepts.
The second thing we must do is watch our mouths. If we constantly speak negative, critical, or perverse words then we are building those walls up in our hearts. By the same token, if we speak positive, wholesome words then we are tearing down bad walls and sowing the seeds of hope.
Thirdly, we must watch what comes through the gateway of our eyes. Our eyes leave physical impressions on our hearts. If we allow our eyes to take in things that are contrary to the character of God then we are setting ourselves up for a battle of lust or even fear within our hearts.
The last item we need to keep an eye on is the path of our feet. If we do not keep our feet on the right path and keep them solid and straight, then our hearts will stray. God encourages us through this proverb to stay focused, faithful and far from evil.
Lord, I understand the importance of keeping my heart right. However my heart is, will be what is reflected in my outer life. I ask You to clean my heart and help me to do my part to keep it that way. I love You and I come to You with a teachable spirit, change me Lord. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Let Go and Let God
Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 3:9-10
“Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, ‘Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying,’Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.’And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.’ But his mother said to him, ‘Let your curse be on me, my son, only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.'” (Genesis 27:5-13)
His son, her son. That’s pretty messed up. There’s a whole lot of dysfunction and codependency goin’ on. It’s apparent this wasn’t the first deceptive thing done in this house. That should help some of us to see there’s hope for us!
How could such a tremendous woman of faith turn out to be so manipulative. When we operate in manipulation it shows a total lack of faith in God. It is selfish and treats people as pawns to be used to further our goals. What we are literally saying is that it doesn’t matter how it affects others the means meet the end. How prideful we are to think that God isn’t moving fast enough or doesn’t know what is best for this particular situation. Surely we know better than God…
Now the Lord has a divine plan and it will be accomplished one way or another. In this particular scripture the Lord actually had to move above the actions of his people to keep his godly seed line going. God overrode obstinate favoritism (dad), deceit (mom), a free will son looking to do his own thing (Esau), and an ambitious son who was willing to stoop low to position himself. If everyone would have trusted God and allowed Him to work the situation out it would have turned out according to His plan with everyone still intact, but like we all have, Rebekah chose to “help” God. Her way tore apart an already fragile family.
How can we prevent this from happening in our own lives? By not focusing on ourselves and our desires and allowing God to be God without fear of the outcome. We must trust He has everyone’s best interest at heart and that His plan is good. It is freeing to trust God. We don’t have to plot everything out and do maneuvers to make things happen that probably shouldn’t. We always miss God’s best when we feel compelled to manipulate circumstances and we will pay a price for our lack of faith. Simply put: Let go and let God.
Lord, sometimes I find myself in a tight spot and I forget You are working on my behalf. Help me to be an honest person led by Your Holy Spirit and yielded to Your plan. I admit my ignorance Lord, I do not see the whole picture like You do so I ask you to forgive me for being manipulative. I give myself to You and ask You to break that pride and self sufficiency off of me, as painlessly as possible please 🙂 I pray the same for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ that we might bring You glory. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Job 34:1-36:33; II Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12
“Drive out a mocker, and conflict goes too; then lawsuits and dishonor will cease.” (Proverbs 22:10)
If you ever smell a stinky pot cooking just look at who’s stirring the spoon. It will surely be a chaotic person. I know it’s hard to believe but some people just thrive on confusion. They are messy, dangerous people. Proverbs encourages us to get them out of our circle.
Once you recognize this type of person it is important to take the step to part ways. Pray about it and let God give you wisdom. He will lead you to do what is right for all involved. Once you are obedient, peace will be an immediate byproduct.
Lord, I hate conflict. I pray that if ever I find myself in this sort of situation that You would protect me and all that You have blessed me with. Give me Your wisdom to handle all situations that come my way. I pray for mockers, that somehow you would touch their hearts and deliver them from the chaotic spirit that leads them. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Whose Fault Is It?
I Chronicles 11:1-12:18; Acts 28:1-31; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 19:1-3
“A man’s own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:3)
Have you ever made a bad decision? Did you suffer terrible consequences for that choice? Have you ever known anyone that smoked cigarettes and developed lung cancer as a result? How about the woman that chose to marry the abusive boyfriend, then lived in constant hell. We could go on and on with examples. The bottom line is many of us live independent of God when we make choices in life. We do what we want despite the advice of people and the possible blocks the Lord throws in our way to give us an opportunity to change our mind.
Considering it this way, do you honestly think it is fair to fault God for bad predicaments we find ourselves in due to our poor decisions or those of others? Come on. Seriously, we cannot blame God for not rescuing us every time. God is good. Good enough to allow us free will to make our way. Honor Him by accepting responsibility for your actions and allowing others to take responsibility for theirs as well.
Lord, I ask You to teach me how to yield to Your wisdom. I pray for conviction to hit me hard before I consider making what will be a bad choice. I ask You to forgive me for blaming You for the terrible choices I have made. Give me revelation concerning this because I don’t want to harbor bitterness toward You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
“A Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was powerful in the scriptures, arrived in Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught the things about Jesus accurately, although he knew only John’s baptism. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. After Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home and explained the way of God to him more accurately. When he wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers wrote to the disciples urging them to welcome him. After he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace.” (Acts 18:24-27)
Priscilla and Aquilla saw promise in Apollos, but they recognized that he needed a little direction. Instead of being jealous and trying to smother the fire of his obvious gift, they acknowledged that he was an asset to the kingdom of God. They took him in and gave him further instruction so that he could flow even better. Apollos wasn’t held back but rather, after a season, was released to pursue the call on his life.
This is a great example of how discipleship should look. Even though he knew the scriptures, Apollos submitted to Priscilla and Aquilla and allowed them to speak into his life. In turn, they taught him what he needed and then sent him out with their recommendation.
Lord, help me to know my place in the body. Keep me humble. I pray for good, solid people in my life who can give me direction and instruction when I need it. I also ask You to give me wisdom if ever You need me to help someone else. I pray for a good attitude, no jealousy, no pettiness. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.