08 Moses

08.3 Moses 8, Day 3

What legacy are you leaving?

As the autumn leaves fall outside reminding me of the changing seasons of life I’m reminded of my thoughts about what type of legacy am I leaving behind?  Many of us would like to believe that our time spent on this earth in some way makes a difference.  In particular we want it to have made a difference for our family.  We think about retirement planning.  We make wills and do estate planning.  We buy life insurance.  But that is all just “stuff.”

The commandments are way bigger than just a set of rules or laws.  They contain structure.  They contain order.  They contain promises.

The first 4 commandments don’t just happen to be about our relationship with God.  The first commandments are about our relationship with God because that relationship comes first.  That is the most important thing.

They are also a reminder that what we do matters.  We choose to obey or disobey.  Once a law is written down, your actions and behavior are either on one side of the law or the other.  There are no loopholes.  They is no gray area.  There isn’t an ability to be on one side but to appear to the judge that you are on the other side (especially since God is the judge and he sees and knows everything).

But in that realization that what we do matters, God has placed a promise – a really big promise.  In the second commandment, Exodus 20:4-6 He reveals part of His character to us.  He is a jealous God.  He doesn’t want part of our heart.  He wants it all.  He doesn’t deserve part of the honor and glory, He deserves it all.  When we deny Him that by allowing other gods to stand before or beside Him, when we bow down to those other “things”, it matters.  This isn’t a threat – no more than the law of gravity is a threat or the law of inertia is a threat.  If you ignore those laws, there are repercussions.  In the same way, if you ignore this law of God, there are repercussions, big repercussions, that transcend your own life and affect your children, their children and even their children.  God is in control, but we are making the choice.  We see this reality all around us.  The decision to reject and dishonor God by one generations affects multiple generations with pain and hardship.  The decision to chase after other gods is a tear that takes its toll on children and the way they raise their children.

But we also read, hear and see the promise to those who obey as well.  The punishment we bring on only lasts for 3 or 4 generations.  But, the legacy we can provide, the rock solid foundation that we can begin to build on, is a shower of love from God for 1000 generations.  I am blessed that my parents and grandparents built their lives on the rock of Christ Jesus.  That blessing, that love from God, is passed to my children and to their grandchildren on and on and on.  I am not perfect, my parents weren’t perfect, but God is perfect.  What legacy are you leaving through the choice you are making in response to the 2nd commandment?

 

My Answers:

7.
a.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery

b.
By the mercy of god to reveal the depth of my sin and the inability for silver or gold or any act or possession I could bring to pay restitution for the brokeness of my choices.  But to then receive the assurance and confidence that the sacrifice that Jesus made of His life was fully and completely sufficient.

8.
20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me – Worship and trust in God first and God alone
20:4-6 – not make an image – not bow down to them or worship them – jealous, punish 3G/4G but show love to 1000G – legacy!
20:7 – not misuse name of the LORD your God – not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name – Only used for honor risk of guilt
20:8-11 – Remember  Sabbath day by keeping it holy – no work nor cause others to work, not just relax, but holy: God blessed this day

 

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03 BSF Matthew Week 3

03.5 BSF Matthew: Week 3, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Forewarning: At the risk of sounding gross…  Here is an illustration about the different baptisms of John and Jesus and a perspective on why Jesus decided to be baptized:

Imagine you have a sack or bag made out of cotton, like t-shirt material.  You use this sack when “walking your dog” and you use it to pick up the dog poo.  You then carry this bag with you wherever you go, and it gets more and more full every day.

As gross as this sounds to be carrying around, this is what sin is in our life.  Every time we sin, we scoop a little more gross, offensive material in our bag.  That was, in particular, how it was in the time of John the Baptist.  Everyone had sin, everyone had a gross, stinky, porous bag of poo.

John called people to recognize they were carrying this around with them every day and to do something about it.  They couldn’t get rid of it, but by confessing and being baptized they could at least clean the outside of it.  By repenting they could commit to putting less new poo in the bag.

People got the message.  They came from near and far.  But some people (mostly the leaders) were in denial about their bag of poo.  They thought that if their bag was less full than someone else’s, theirs didn’t stink.  Some of them tried to dress up their bag of poo to mask or hide it.  They would dress it up in pretty robes or sprinkle it with perfume.  When they showed up at the river they tried to not even bring their bag of poo with them – pretending it didn’t exist.  But it did.  John caught a strong whiff of it and rebuked them.  He called it what it was!

But here is the deal – John only had the ability to wash the outside of the bag.  Then one day, along comes Jesus and an amazing thing happens.

Jesus, the one and only person ever who did not have a bag of poo (because he had no sin), chose to get in the water.  Imagine what this water (where all the poo bags where being rinsed) was like.  Along comes the King of Kings, perfectly clean, and he made the choice to climb in this filthy water with His subjects, the commoners and all their sin

He chose to take on our filthy rags so that he could “fulfill all righteousness) so we could become clean and enter into His Father’s Palace.  This choice was huge – in many ways just as big if not bigger than being born a human, because this marks the start of His choice to His obedience to the Father’s plan of salvation.  This is the start to the pain and suffering.  This is the start to the path that leads to an undeserved death.

But, in so doing, Jesus is setting the stage for a new baptism.  One that doesn’t just clean the outside in water, but through the blood of His sacrifice, it opened the door to the Holy Spirit to do the work in us of cleaning and purifying us inside and out, transforming us into saints, pure and clean.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
- Isaiah 1:18

Like the “wool” of the unblemished Lamb of God.

My Answers:

12.
a.
‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’

b.
The voice of God and the spirit came down as a dove and remained on him

c.
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

13.
a.
Hear the preaching of baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, Come to the river, Confess their sins, be baptized

b.
He had no sins to confess

c.
To fulfill all righteousness – to submit to the plan of God in obedience as fully human to be joined with mankind.
Ps 40:8 I desire to do your will, my God.  Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him (as he came out of the waters of baptism)

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03 BSF Matthew Week 3

03.2 BSF Matthew: Week 3, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Perfect Practice.  There is an old saying that practice makes perfect.  But as any coach or personal trainer will tell you, this is not true.  Practicing the wrong golf swing over and over and over again will not make that a perfect golf swing, it will just make you really comfortable with doing it incorrectly.  Practicing playing a piece on the piano with the wrong note over and over makes you really good at playing the wrong note.  It takes perfect practice to lead to perfect.

Perfect practice isn’t exciting.  It doesn’t have lots of conflict or drama.  It is the daily drill and practice of the Armed Forces.  It is the miles trekked by a cross-country runner.  It is hard work.  It is discipline.  But it isn’t much to write about.

This is the life Jesus led.  Every day he faced temptation; temptations that are faced at every age and stage of life.  He was not hidden away, he lived with family, he attended feasts, he interacted with others.  But He did it all without sin.

Jesus’ perfect practice was a practice of perfection.

My Answers:

3.
a.
He grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and grace.  He knew His Father and did His work.  He was obedient, grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man

b.
i. perfected through suffering, made high priest to Abraham’s kids
ii. High priest, tempted in every way, yet did not sin
iii. prayed: cries and tears.  Obedient in suffering, perfect, source

c.
He is not a distant, unattached being – He was fully human, a son of Abraham, who was tempted, but did not yield to sin.  His death was not the payment of His sin, it was for ours – Fully obedient to pay the price of disobedience

d.
He was a child, a son, a man.  He had the wisdom and spirit of God, but he had the body fully of a man, suffering temptation, pain, tears,  separation, but always obedient.

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02 BSF Matthew Week 2

02.3 BSF Matthew: Week 2, Day 3

Today’ Scripture

My Daily Journal:

I’ve often thought about the gifts the Magi presented to the Christ child.  I would think about how they presented these very expensive gifts not to receive anything in return – how could they, He was but a child.  While all of that is true, it isn’t the main thing.

I realized in this, they could have stayed home and sent gifts if it was about the gifts.  It wasn’t.  The gifts were nothing but an outward sign.  The important thing was showing up with a worshipful mindset.

This is what God did.  This is what we should do.  God planned this time from the beginning of the world, from the fall of man forward all prophecy pointed to this event.  But he didn’t send in a savior, He showed up and did it himself for His own glory.

Where do I need to show up and be fully present?  Where am I distracted and thinking about other worries, instead of trusting and obeying the one in control.  What am I holding on to instead of being fully present and engaged?

God was all in (fully man/fully God) – why should I think I should do any less than be fully present in serving and worshiping Him?

My Answers:

5.
a.
Boaz redeemed Naomi and Ruth at the threshing floor, Married and bore Obed, grandfather to David who was annointed by Samuel in Bethlehem

b.
Hosea 11:1 – out of Egypt I called my son
Jerimiah 31:15 weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more

6.
a.
Jews and Leaders, Romans, all plotted to kill Jesus and eventually did: Matthew 4:6; Luke 13:34; John 8:59; John 10:31; Matthew 12:14; Matthew 26:4; Mark 3:6; Mark 11:18; Mark 14:1; Luke 13:31; Luke 19:47; John 5:18; John 7:1; John 7:25; John 8:37; John 8:40

b.
Many have been persecuted and killed for their faith and work to lead others to Christ.  While in America, we suffer little persecutaion, in other countries people are threatened, persecuted and killed for loving Jesus

c.
My children have experienced more than I have in public school and particularly from teachers (often those in authority).  I feel we are all bombarded with temptation and the world.  Television is so distracting – Our family removed ours and have turned off cable TV all together.  It doesn’t bring glory to God!

7.
a.
To earnestly seek Him, regardless of cost.  To trust in God and study and follow His teaching and signs.  To listen to Him over any others.  When we do this we are rewarded with personal time with our Lord – an amazing gift.

b.

Today’ Scripture

My Daily Journal:

My Answers:

5.
a.
Boaz redeemed Naomi and Ruth at the threshing floor, Married and bore Obed, grandfather to David who was annointed by Samuel in Bethlehem

b.
Hosea 11:1 – out of Egypt I called my son
Jerimiah 31:15 weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more

6.
a.
Jews and Leaders, Romans, all plotted to kill Jesus and eventually did: Matthew 4:6; Luke 13:34; John 8:59; John 10:31; Matthew 12:14; Matthew 26:4; Mark 3:6; Mark 11:18; Mark 14:1; Luke 13:31; Luke 19:47; John 5:18; John 7:1; John 7:25; John 8:37; John 8:40

b.
Many have been persecuted and killed for their faith and work to lead others to Christ.  While in America, we suffer little persecutaion, in other countries people are threatened, persecuted and killed for loving Jesus

c.
My children have experienced more than I have in public school and particularly from teachers (often those in authority).  I feel we are all bombarded with temptation and the world.  Television is so distracting – Our family removed ours and have turned off cable TV all together.  It doesn’t bring glory to God!

7.
a.
To earnestly seek Him, regardless of cost.  To trust in God and study and follow His teaching and signs.  To listen to Him over any others.  When we do this we are rewarded with personal time with our Lord – an amazing gift.

b.
To be purposeful in prayer and study.

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00 BSF Matthew Opening Night, BSF Matthew Study 2013-2014

BSF Matthew: Opening Night

My Daily Journal:

What an amazing night we had last night with the first and second graders!  These kids are so inspiring in their willingness to shout out the name Jesus, to confess their unwavering belief in Him as their personal savior and friend.  As part of the first night we passed out the questions and each child completed the first day including the question related to what they learned about the bible.  One little guy wrote, “Gses did 4 me” (Jesus died for me).

One of the things I love about spending time in bible study with young believers is that they don’t waste time and worry, they simply believe the word of God.  That was also something I really loved about the notes this week.  One of the ways the evil one attempts to cast doubt is to raise the question of whether the bible, particularly the New Testament, is reliable.  We see this teaching in organizations such as the Latter Day Saints or in popular fiction writers such as Dan Brown; an argument that the writings in the bible have been corrupted.  When we look at the world and see how mankind has corrupted everything else, it can cast doubt.  But God didn’t recite the bible word for word, he inspired 40 people to write it and He has inspired others to translate it.  God is alive and active.  God is the same and He is true and He uses human translators to give us His Holy Word in our language so we can learn about Him and use His Word to guide our life.  He does this with translators the same way He did with the original writers.  If God can use a man to write it with truth and accuracy, He can use another man to translate it in the exact same way.

I am really excited about the new format and tone of the notes this year.  I love the reference out to other books and materials (e.g., Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell).  I cut out the “Outline of Matthew’s Gospel” presented in the notes and laminated it and I’m keeping it in my bible this year as we go through the study.  If you are not in a study and getting the notes, it is really an important addition – the notes are good!

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BSF Genesis Week 28

BSF Genesis: Week 28, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

15.
a.
wept loudly, come close to me, do not be distressed or angry with yourselves – it was to save lives, God did this, tell and bring father, threw his arms around them and wept

b.
embracing, wept, spoke truth and willingness to sacrifice for each other

16.
be truthful and heartfelt.  Forgive and see God’s good in all.

My Daily Journal:

I loved Genesis 45:1.

We have talked over the past few weeks about the parallels between Joseph and Christ and how, in many ways, Joseph was a foreshadowing pointing to Christ.  I think we see that so strongly in verse 1.

I’m a dad and there are times I need to use my dad voice and make decisions that, while not necessarily popular, are in the best interests of my family.  I have to discipline my children and allow them to make mistakes even when I know they are mistakes.  My natural desire is to protect them, to help them, to do for them and provide for them.  But for them to grow and learn, I have to control that nature and allow them to experience and learn.

In Genesis 45:1, we see how God has placed that same “control” for Joseph to direct with his brothers.  Then, Joseph could control himself no longer and we see the heart of God that beat inside Joseph pour out.  What did he do when he was “out of control”?  He poured out love.  He poured out tears of joy.  He poured kisses upon his brothers.  He hugged them. He forgave them.  He told them about God.  He told them not to condemn themselves.  He provided a new home for them.  He provided everything they would need for themselves, their children, their grandchildren.  He commanded them to reunite the entire family.

So, what does your “out of control” look like?

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BSF Genesis Week 25

BSF Genesis: Week 25, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

6.
a.
13. they were deceitful, v25, Simeon and Levi killed every male in the city.  28 they looted the city 29 they carried off the women

b.
Took matters into their own hands.  No mention of prayer or reliance on God.  The diminished the value of the covenant by using it as a trap for others.  They twisted it from something holy into something useful.

c.
They were angered on behalf of their sister.  Yes, I am protective of my family and feel hatred to those who harm them.

d.
do not repay evil with evil, do what is right, do not take revenge, trust in God to exercise His wrath

7.
a.
He did not trust their judgment, believing them quick to act in a state of anger.  He chastised them for “bringing trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites

b.
Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?

8.
Am I controlled by God and faith or by my emotions?  Where am I unwilling to wait to receive rightfully what I want and desire.

My Daily Journal:

So, I have to admit, my first inclination is to be more like Simeon and Levi than Jacob.  If someone hurts a member of my family like this, I would want to do them harm.  Clearly, though, Simeon and Levi crossed the line.  Any one would be very hard pressed to explain how looting the city and carrying off the women from this city in any way was done to bring honor to their sister.

But, as we work through this lesson and, in particular, the Romans 12:17-21 passage, it helped me realize how my first reaction (and that of Simeon and Levi) was allowing my emotions to rule me and not my faith.

Here is one way to look at it.  I’m this big (think very small) and God is that big (think very big).  Hamor and Shechem sinned against Dinah, but, even more so, they sinned against God, because any sin upon His people is a sin against Him.  So, if I’m the deliverer of vengence onto the wrong-doer, it is like a tiny child disciplining them with a toothpick and standing in the way of a very big God using a club.

I simply do not need to be in the middle of it.  I need to show the joy and blessing of the saving work of Jesus, offered to me while I was still a sinner and, which is also offered to anyone else who sins against God, as well, who repents and seeks to be saved.  If they do not make that choice, then God says He has it covered and I need to trust that His righteous wrath and punishment is far more significant than anything I would dispense.

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