Monthly Archives: January 2021

Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

The Holy Spirit must want us to spend another day on freedom. Courtney’s post yesterday was awesome and better than anything I could add, but here we are with two stunning passages that juxtapose two forms of freedom that are at the very heart of God. The Exodus chapters share the concern of physical freedom from oppressors and the Galatians passage details the struggle for spiritual freedom.

Moses’ story is one that is a struggle for freedom from the start. And he ends up in the Pharaoh’s house due to that struggle:

5 Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe at the Nile while her servant girls walked along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds, sent her slave girl, took it, 6 opened it, and saw him, the child—and there he was, a little boy, crying. She felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.”

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a Hebrew woman who is nursing to nurse the boy for you?”

8 “Go,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:5-10 [CSB])

And then through a series of events over the next 80 years Israel is freed from their bondage. It took 80 years!

Moses is rescued from the Nile by pharaoh’s daughter. This window is located in the cathedral of Brussels and was created in 1866.

As I wrote above we compare this with Galtians 5. Freedom for us sinners is immediate! There is no 80 year wait. It comes immediately. Paul writes, “For freedom, Christ set us free (v. 1) and then again in verse 13 he writes, “For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters…” Spiritual freedom is such a blessing and a breath of fresh air. But what do we do? We slink back toward bondage… The Israelites after freedom pined away for the leaks and garlics of Egypt. In Paul’s time believers wanted to add burdens to the freedome they could have in Christ.

Remember our freedom in Christ comes with no conditions. We are free from the weight of the law and its consequences in our lives. Let’s live like free people in Christ today.

Father God, thank you for the freedom we have in you. Thank you we don’t need to add anything to that freedom. Help us to live today in freedom not only for ourselves, but that those still trapped in the prision of sin would see our freedom and want it too! We pray these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4

Dear God,

Thank you for freedom. Thank you for knowing me, loving me, calling me your own–a daughter, your child. Thank you for fighting for me, dying for me, delighting in me, singing over me. You give me what no one can ever take away. Today, I celebrate.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 4:4-7, NLT)

Today, I celebrate freedom.

Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing. 12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws. (Galatians 4:8-12, NLT)

Freedom.

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message. (Genesis 49:28, NLT, Jacob’s last words to his sons)

I filled in the blank of the goal planner when asked my definition of success: being true to who God made me to be, living (it out) unapologetically and free.

Father God, you know my heart and you bless me deeply. Thank you for giving me the only blessing that matters–yours.

Courtney (66books365)

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Gen47-48;Psalm 25;Gal3(AMPC version)

 

Gen 47-48 (AMC) 

I love the way our Sovereign Lord causes all things to work together for our good.
In these scriptures I see God bringing to completion what he started when Joseph was sold as a slave and carried away to Egypt, where he eventually ended up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit…now fast forward a few years later God used him to save the lives of his family during famine and God did something beautiful here, Pharaoh gave them the best part of Egypt to live in. When things are not going my way and all hell seems to have broken loose, this testimony of Joseph reassures me that God is working behind the scenes to turn all things around for my good (see Rom 8:28(AMPC)) and like Joseph who loved the Lord and trusted Him, I just need to do the same and I will find that even events that seem accidental are ordered by God(See Prov16:33)!!

Galatians 3:(AMPC)
I believe the purpose of the law which was written on stone tables was to make the Israelites aware of their sins and to prescribe a temporary method of “righteousness” and “holiness” through their actions (“works”) as a guardian to them till Jesus came and died.
When Jesus came however, he paid the prize for our sins and a better covenant between God and all men was instituted which involved God inscribing his commandments on our hearts so that we now willingly obey God from our hearts as opposed to being forced to obey Him by the law. Here faith is the key, faith in Jesus and the prize He paid on the cross as opposed to obeying the law because of the consequences of disobedience. Faith in Jesus activates the grace of God which makes us all sons and daughters of God (their is now no Greek or Jew or Gentle Gal3:28). It commences a new relationship with God and causes Him to inscribe His words on our hearts and entitles us all to the promise of God to Abraham in Gal3:14. With God’s law inscribed on our hearts their is a willingness from us all to please and obey Him. Faith in Jesus also brings the grace of God to us to practically enable us live a righteous life through help of our personal Helper The Holy Spirit.

Psalm 25 (AMPC)

Here I see David looking to God and trusting Him for protection and to prevent him being put to shame. Like David we must always bring our worries to God and trust that He will never put us to shame but will come just in time to save us.

Bayo

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Genesis 45-46; Psalm 108; Galatians 2

Psalm 108:1 My heart is steadfast, God; I will sing, I will sing praises also with my soul. (NASB)

Steadfast:  confident, unmovable, firm, secure.  Admittedly, my heart sure doesn’t feel “steadfast” as often as it should, especially lately.  But, in today’s passages, Joseph, David, and Paul are godly examples of what it looks like to live with a heart that is steadfast and confident in God.

In Genesis, Joseph tearfully reveals himself to the brothers who had sold him into slavery.  Needless to say, they’re shocked to find Joseph not only alive, but thriving and ruling in Egypt.  It’s hard for them to believe that Joseph’s tears might actually be tears of joy and forgiveness.  Even as I read the story, I’m surprised (and maybe a bit disappointed) that Joseph isn’t going to punish them and seek revenge for how they treated him.  But Joseph’s heart is fixed on God.  He loves God deeply, and he loves his family.  He longs for their relationship to be restored.  He not only joyfully forgives his brothers, he brings his entire family to safety in Egypt, fulfilling a promise God had made to Abraham generations before.

Is my heart so fixed on God that I am willing to joyfully forgive even if that forgiveness isn’t requested?  Joseph’s brothers were sorrowful over what they had done, but that’s often not the case.  My sanctification must be characterized by the willingness to forgive just as I’ve been forgiven out of a desire to restore those broken relationships.

Psalm 108 begins with confident praise, but it’s quickly apparent that David is facing difficult battles.  Yet, his heart is steadfast because He has seen God work in the past, and he is confident God will work in the future.  David also acknowledges that, even with fortified cities and carefully-trained armies, human efforts are vain without God’s help.  Only He can give the victory.

How often do I attempt to “fix” things?  How often do I assume I know better than God and fail to even ask Him for wisdom, much less stop trying to accomplish things in my own strength?  Is my heart so fixed on God that I can confidently proclaim like David “With God’s help I will do mighty things…”?

In Galatians 2, Paul confronts his friend and fellow-apostle Peter and exposes a false gospel that was threatening the Galatian believers’ newfound freedom in Christ.  Paul’s heart was so fixed on God that he was willing to endure conflict with Peter in order to defend the truth of the gospel and not lead others astray.

I don’t have to look far to see a lot of conflict in my circles.  Friends and families on different sides of biblical truths that I never imagined would be questioned.  Am I confident enough to stand up for God’s truth like Paul did?  Have I invested the time and effort necessary to know and understand God’s truth so that I can speak up lovingly and confidently to defend what is right?

Father, fix my heart on You.  Increase my confidence and security in You.  Help me love others so deeply that I am willing to forgive even when forgiveness is undeserved or feels impossible. Give me courage to stand up for Your truth, even in the face of opposition.  Remind me daily that victory comes through You alone. 

Jen

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Genesis 43-44; Psalm 24; Galatians 1

26 When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him. 27 After greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?” (Genesis 43:26-27) NIV

14 Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. 15 “What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?” (Genesis 44:14-15) NIV

As the brothers bowed before him, Joseph’s dreams that he told his brothers and father have now come to pass! God had shown him back in Chapter 37 this was going to happen. He had two dreams and here they are bowing down to him on their second visit.

In my imagination, I see a young Joseph strutting around like a peacock in the coat his father gave him. He knew his father favored him.  As far as we know, none of the other brothers had ever gotten a gift so fine.  (A part of me wants to be “the favorite”!  There is pride that comes from that desire.)  I am sure there was a lot of resentment in that household.  The mothers’ battle to win the affections of Jacob would cause enough dysfunction in any home. The jealousy of the other brothers grew.  There was no doubt Jacob loved Leah more so the sons borne to her seemed to have a deeper love in their father’s hearts.  (But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.[b]) Gen 42:38

Despite the actions of his brothers, God had great plans for Joseph–but he had to endure some hardships along the road. I believe God used them to humble him and chip away at any pride he had as well as mature him.  Being a servant was a vastly different role for Joseph.  Yet, his innate leadership skills could not help but surface.  It didn’t matter if he was serving in Potiphar’s home or deep in the dungeon.  His unique giftedness shone through.

I have noticed that in my own life. It is almost as if God puts me in certain situations where my own gifts are needed and I can’t even stop myself from using them—they just emerge.  I am an analytical problem-solver.  If I am in a group setting and no one has taken charge, I really have to pray about whether or not to get things going because I would just jump in and do it (God has had to teach me patience in that area).  I am an encourager.  God has had to teach me when to speak and when to remain silent (still working on THAT one), but sometimes saying nothing and just hugging someone is all the encouragement they need.  Words have no impact.

I found it interesting that Judah was the one who stepped up to the plate and offered himself as a slave instead of his brother Benjamin. It was his idea in the first place to sell Joseph off to the Ishmaelite traders. His genealogical line produces David and ultimately our Lord Jesus.  We just never know how God is going to bring good out of a situation.

Heavenly Father, I find the story of Joseph so encouraging in my own walk with you. He went through some pretty tough circumstances but you were always with him.  You orchestrated events so he was in the right place at the right time for your purpose.  I believe there are promises from you in my own life that you are working out.  I ask for the patience and endurance to continue walking with you until you get me where you want me.  The journey with you is one I would never change.  Thank you for loving me so much.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Cindy (gardnlady)

From the archives. Originally published January 23, 2018.

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