Monthly Archives: October 2013

Clearing The Air

 Fall is a great season. The air is crisp and at times the sky look so blue against the vivid colors of the trees. I love the smells and the clearness of the air at this time of the year. 293090302006_311981991006_1000_0002

Recently I read an article on the internet by Wayne Jacobsen on Matthew 7:13-14. One statement he makes really provided clarity and painted a portrait of vivid color for me of God’s love for man.

“Jesus warned us that the road into his life is a narrow road. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matt. 7:13-14). 

I know this has been preached to fill people with fear, but what if Jesus didn’t say this to push people harder on the religious treadmill? In fact, I don’t think his words are about eternal 

destiny at all, but rather an encouragement to a different way of living in this age. Salvation for Jesus was not giving out a get-out-of-hell-free card, but opening a door for us into a relationship with his Father.” (Wayne Jacobsen

Often our view of God, (or for anything else for that matter) is filtered through a broad spectrum of life experiences, upbringing and exposure to common ideas about religion from men. We have to remember that fear is not the motive of God’s word. Love is1 As I  ‘mosey’ my way through the pages of Exodus, it is clear again, just as with Genesis, that God is love and full of grace. God wanted His people to find their way to a life without bondage and He provided a way. For us today, instead of Moses,  Jesus Christ is the way to God.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Matthew 7 is all about love.  The worldly pollution is ever with us but God can prevail in our lives as we trust Him. The beautiful colors of fall and the beautiful sky are great reminders of how blessed we are by God’s detailed love to us.    

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October 27, 2013 · 10:22 am

The Genealogy of Genesis 6

In the Bible, there are twenty or so lists of the twelve tribes of Israel. Many of the lists have a slightly different order of the tribal list due to other categories like numeration, mothers, geography, and blessings etc. When you start reading in Exodus and get to Exodus 6:14ff you might think, “Ok, here we go, another list.”  This list seems to be cut short.  Instead of the twelve tribes, it only lists Reuben and his sons, Simeon and his sons, and Levi and his sons,  grandsons and some great-grandsons and some great-great grandsons and one great-great-great grandson.  That’s it!

Genealogy’s have some magnificent little gems tucked inside them. There is one such diamond in the order of the names of Moses and Aaron. First of all, this list is the Genealogy of Aaron and Moses, so it zeroes in on the tribe of Levi. These two play predominant roles in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. In verse 20, Aaron is listed first because he is three years older than Moses.

Exodus 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

Later on at the end of the chapter (or maybe where the end of the chapter should be – remember chapter divisions were not put in by God) in verse 26, Aaron is still listed first.

Exodus 6:26 These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.

In verse 27 however the order is reversed. Moses is listed first, then Aaron. Did a scribe get sloppy? No God’s word is very detailed and He has a reason why He has a certain order in lists of people.

Exodus 6:27 These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.

In this verse Moses is listed first. God had set this order up in Exodus 4 when Moses suggested to God that someone else run the show:

Exodus 4:14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

God knew the long suits and capabilities of Moses. Moses was meek to God and would not be swayed by the people as Aaron was in the case of the golden calf in Exodus 32. A leader needs to stand for what he believes in and not waver. Moses may have asked a lot of questions, but he was faithful to God’s direction. God fronted Moses for this project.

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Good is Good and Evil is Evil

Think about how many times Moses went to Pharaoh and showed him the power of God and how many times Pharaoh rejected him! Imagine if that happened today. Wait a minute! It happens all the time! Often, people just refuse to accept what God does.

On the other side of the coin people talk about what God is doing when He isn’t even involved at all. In Exodus 4, Aaron cast down his rod in front of Pharaoh and it became a serpent. Not to be outdone or out-miracled, Pharaoh’s magicians threw down rods and magically turned them into serpents. Their magic was a false show. Aaron’s serpent  gobbled up the other serpents!  The Bible talks about disguised angels of light and lying signs, miracles and wonders. We can be deceived by such things. How can we tell?  Jesus Christ told us in the New Testament that people will be known by their fruit.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

When a tree grows and produces fruit eventually, the fruit cannot be hid. In Mark 11:14 Jesus spoke about a fig tree (also called the people’s tree) that didn’t even produce buds, saying: “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever.” Despite the leaves, branches and roots, there would be no fruit. This would have been hard for him to see from ‘afar off’ unless he had gotten up close to look, which he did (Mark 11:13). Jesus was referring to those who had rejected him as a God’s son. 

Fruit represent the good things of God. Good is good and evil is evil. It is God’s Word that determines which category something belongs to, not man nor his actions however disguised they may be.

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Co-dependency and Fellowship

Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.                                                         Romans 12:3b The Message 

A big term thrown around in psycho culture today  is the word  ‘codependency’. It actually describes a relationship between people where both derive need satisfaction and live off of each other. There is a big difference between fellowship and codependency. Fellowship is an healthy relationship that operates within the Biblical set-up of the family of God. We all are different and we all have different contributions to the body of Christ and in that sense we relate to each other. In codependency excessive need is the primary focus and corresponding excessive sacrifice on the part of another. God is supplanted in the relationship and idolatry sneaks in.   ‘Idolatry’ may seem like a strong word but it applies because codependency draws us away from the sufficiency that comes from God and substitutes something else in His place thus undermining believing.

Idolatry can manifest itself in many ways. It can come in the form of government, celebrity and entertainments, ego and personal issues, philosophy, religion, causes, skin color, ethnicity and all sorts man-made pedestals  elevating one human or group above another. Humans need relationships, but humans don’t need relationships that feed on something that separates them from God.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  2 Corinthians 10:5

Religious co-dependency is very sneaky. Religion should never separate us from access to God or to each other. (I Corinthians chapter one). Our relationship to God is enhanced as we look to the example of Jesus Christ, claim him as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead. When we live like we believe this we have supernatural confidence and are not co-dependent on the things or substitutes in this world.

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