Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 6 Feb 18:
1. Exodus 23:4-9 – “You shall not pervert the justice….” God expects His people to impart justice impartially, being extra careful to protect the rights of the weak.
2. Exodus 23:10-12 — “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.” God has purposes for His Sabbath that we cannot understand. Resting or reducing productivity temporarily is counterintuitive, going against common sense. However, a careful scientific study of Sabbath rest will reveal that it produces far more productivity over time. More important than the practical value of obeying the Sabbath is the value of simply obeying God out of faith (trusting God now), hope (trusting God with the future), and love (making God your reason for everything). God’s word challenges common sense and takes faith to obey. Faith in God will never disappoint in the end.
3. Exodus 23:24 – “…you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.” God does not respect other religions. We can respect another person’s right to believe what they want, but we cannot respect false religion.
4. Exodus 23:29 – “I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you.” God uses your enemies and your challenges for His purposes that are also for your greater good.
5. Exodus 23:32 – “You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.” God does not compromise with other religions, nor does He expect His people to partner with people of other faiths.
6. Exodus 24:13 – “So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.” Moses mentored his future replacement.
7. Exodus 24:16 – “And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” God meets His servants on the Sabbath.
8. Proverbs 6:7, 8 – “Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Successful people have the self-discipline and self-control to do what needs to be done today to prepare for tomorrow. Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do – give up instant gratification for long-term reward. Successful people can lead themselves into victory.
9. Proverbs 6:7, 8 – “Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in
summer….” God wants you to be self-regulated and self-motivated.
10. Proverbs 6:12 – “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech….” A
deceitful person is worthless in God’s economy.
11. Proverbs 6:16-19 – “…the Lord hates…. a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” The Lord hates liars and people who start quarrels.
12. Proverbs 6:23 – “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of
discipline are the way of life.” The Holy Spirit uses God’s word to convict you of sin and keep you on tack. If God’s words are not enough, He will use discipline. Better to do what you are told than to receive a God smack.
13. Proverbs 6:25 – “Do not desire….” Following Jesus requires fighting your sinful desires and
struggling to obey when it is hard for you. It requires determined effort and perseverance.
14. Proverbs 6:27, 28 – “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or
can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” Moral failure does not happen overnight, and people don’t fall into it, they slip and slide into it. Little compromises lead to complete surrender. Be an extremist when it comes to your holiness and your purity.
15. Matthew 27:5 – “He went and hanged himself.” Suicide involves having no sense of self-worth and no hope.
16. Matthew 27:18 – Envy drove people to crucify the Son of God. How do you think God feels about envy?
17. Matthew 27 – Jesus obeyed the Father to the end.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 6 Feb: “Go to the ant” today – Consider your 20-year goals today; where will you be in 20 years? What will be the state of your relationships, your physical health, your financial health, your spiritual maturity, your contribution to society, etc? How well are you working today to ‘gather for that harvest’? Are you making the most of every opportunity? “Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,” commit yourself to the disciplines required to best serve the Lord with the totality of your life.