Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Egypt

I was reading the 10 commandments the other day, and there were two things that struck me that I thought I would share. Interestingly enough, this is my second post on this blog about the 10 commandments. I don't read them every day, and this is the first time I've read through them since my last post. Don't ask me why I did, I just felt like reading them, and God showed me something.

The part I read started out in Deut 5:6 and it reads:

"I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves."

Immediately after reading that I thought, "Now what does that have to do with me? Why am I even reading the 10 commandments again anyways?"

Well, after I finished my reading I realized something. I was in Egypt, and God rescued me. This is no new theological truth, and I'm sure I'm not breaking new ground here, but for some reason the connection finally clicked. Egypt was a land of slavery for the Hebrews, and that's exactly where I was before I knew Christ. I quickly opened back up to the passage and read the commandments again with renewed vigor.

On my second time through my attention was caught by the 3rd commandment in verse Deut. 5:11, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." It caught my attention because of our culture's current mindset about this verse. Misuse of God's name not only refers to verbal action, but any action. We are God's servants, and we should act just as 1 Peter 4:11 tells us. Everything I do should be for the Lord, and if I misrepresent him or misrepresent the love he would give then I am misusing his name.

I pray that we would all be able to live as the Spirit guides us, give out the same love that God first gave us, and that His name and His kingdom would reign forever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Walking on Water

Matthew 14:22-33

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Is our response to Jesus similar?  Do we have the faith to get out of the boat and walk towards Jesus, the faith to keep going when the wind blows?

We should all have the courage and faith to at least take that first step out of the boat, and in fact, I’d say, many do.  People get caught up with an idea or a goal and run with it at first, but at the first sign of trouble or hardship the energy, the passion, the faith disappears.  I think Jesus is asking us to keep our eyes on him. 

A recurring theme in the Bible is perseverance and clearly Jesus is encouraging this here.  Practically speaking, I think of this in terms of the home group we have.  We are throwing ideas out like crazy and are often very excited about doing them.  When the excitement wears off, what will remain, who will remain.  Perhaps that is why Jesus spent years living with these guys; it may have taken that long for them to get it.

Audio Adrenaline:

"Walk On Water"
Simon Peter won't you put those nets down
follow me I'll lead you out of this town
to a place where no boat has ever been
I will make you a fisher of men


Jesus walked out on the water
said take courage it is me
Peter trusted and he wanted to go farther
so he stepped out on the sea


If I keep my eyes on Jesus I can walk on water
If I keep my eyes on Jesus I can walk on water


Just like peter I want to go farther
tread on the sea and walk on the water
step where he steps and go where he goes
side by side when the sea billows roll
I'll be alright when the wind comes
I'll be alright when the waves come crashing
I'm not afraid for this is my father's world