God May Take You Into Precarious Situations To Teach You To Trust Him

Joshua 5:8-9—And it came to pass when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

Upon crossing the Jordan, Joshua was commanded to circumcise all the males, all those who crossed the Jordan that had been born during the wanderings in the wilderness. For some reason, they waited until they arrived in the Promised Land to be circumcised. This was a great act of faith. They are in their enemies’ territory, and the pain makes them unable to fight. All 40,000 armed men would be lying helpless until they healed. They knew the story of their forefathers who had slaughtered a village that was unable to fight because all of their men had just been circumcised. But in their present situation, God was ordering them to be circumcised. By faith, they obeyed and trusted God to protect them. I think the Lord does something similar with us, asking us to make ourselves vulnerable to our enemies, and yet trust Him to keep us safe. All through this wilderness wandering, we had heard whining about how good they had it in Egypt. There were numerous plans to return. Once they even had a vote to elect someone to guide them back. God had taken them out of Egypt but would not get Egypt out of their hearts. They needed to cooperate but would not. Now that that generation had died and the new generation was circumcised to God, the reproach of Egypt was finally gone. Egypt was finally out of their hearts. Is the world out of you? Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew word for “roll”. Let God roll Egypt out of your life so that all your desire is toward Him.

Lord, Help Us Not To Deny You!

Mark 14:70-72—And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Peter, bold, blustery, confident Peter didn’t run like most of the disciples. He followed Jesus to the home of Caiaphas. John was there too. John was known by the priestly family and not under the threat that the other disciples would have been. As Peter warmed himself by the fire, he could probably hear talk of taking this prisoner to Pilate for permission for execution. That was a dangerous place to be. Execution Roman style meant unspeakable pain, the most excruciating death imaginable. To sit there by that fire in the enemy’s courtyard was really taking a chance. Peter had promised he would not leave Jesus alone, but then he was spotted. “Aren’t you one of them? You have a Galilean accent.” The third denial came with curses, anything to get out of being caught right there and then. He denied any knowledge of Jesus. Then the rooster crowed just as Jesus had predicted. Luke wrote that at that moment Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter. Peter broke down. He was not as strong as he believed himself to be. Neither am I. Neither are you. Without Him, we can do nothing. We can make all the oaths we want, but without His power, we will never keep one of them. Have you sat in that “courtyard”? I have. As I waited on a customer, they began to speak about being “born-again”. Would I remain silent and deny that I knew Him to remain in this person’s favor? Silence is denial. When I stand to pray at the graduation, will I say the name of my Savior or give in to the demands that I use the generic “god”. JESUS! What a name! It brings division. It stirs up emotions. If I remain silent, I should weep with Peter. The Lord turns to look at you and me also. Don’t deny that you know Him. I hope our lives are a dead give away that we are one of His disciples. I hope there is enough evidence to convict us of being His.

Water of Life

Numbers 20:8, 10-11—“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

This is the second time the LORD commanded Moses to bring water from the Rock. The first time God told Moses to strike the rock with his rod. This second time Moses was told to speak to the rock. Instead, Moses spoke some harsh words to the complaining people and struck the Rock twice. We can hardly blame him for being upset. This incident was cited as the reason he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. What is so horrible? We must remember that the LORD spoke clearly to Moses. Moses was not trying to discern what the LORD was leading him to do. In 1 Corinthians 10, we learn that this rock is a picture of Jesus. The first time we come to Him for the water of life, we find that He had to be struck for us that the water of life might flow out. He was struck in our place upon the cross. Once struck, He need never be struck again. All we need to do is speak to our Rock, and the water of Life is freely given to us. What an awesome picture God was painting! But Moses marred it. Notice that in Moses’ anger he also said that he and Aaron were the ones bringing out the water from the rock. Jesus alone can do that. Moses fell into the fatal error of many leaders. He suggested that he is the one who meets their needs, pointing to self instead of God. We must always be careful to give God all the glory.

Does Advertising Have Any Effect on You?

By Adrian Rogers

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” – Proverbs 6:27

Filmmakers and TV executives tell us that what kids watch in movies or TV does not affect them. If it has no effect, then why do businesses spend billions of dollars in advertising? Why would a corporation spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for one minute of television time to showcase their product if what is seen has no effect on the viewer? You cannot tell me that someone sitting and watching some sex-saturated show for one hour is not going to be affected. Of course, they are!  We are affected by what we see. As a matter of fact, what we see makes us what we are. Don’t be fooled! There’s an old saying: “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Job vowed in Job 31:1, “I have made a covenant with my eyes.” God has given you individual freedom. It is your responsibility to set a guard over your eyes and what they take in.

Finding Happiness

Deuteronomy 5:21—Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbor’s.

Hello America! Lust will be our undoing. What God has given to another should cause you to be glad for them, not envious. Envy and selfishness are clear signals that we are walking in the flesh (our old nature). To desire to have your neighbor’s possession shows you have allowed your heart to become idolatrous (putting a thing before God). What follows is theft, adultery, working on your Sabbath, and ignoring God to get what your heart has fixed itself on. Every day commercials bombard us with things to lust after. Advertisers always imply that the possession of the thing will bring you happiness. That has some truth. Things often do bring a shallow and temporal happiness. Things never affect the genuine joy of the heart. Satan said in Genesis 3:5, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan promises way more than he delivers and never tells you the full price you will pay. The Ten Commandments are almost doable until we get to this last one. The problem with man is “his ‘wanter’ is broken”. We should be desiring the truth, things of God, righteousness. Instead, we set our hearts on creations, not the Creator.