Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 7 February 21:
Exodus 33:1, 2 – “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “To your offspring I will give it.” I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.’”
Here we see a pattern repeated throughout the Bible – God’s commands us to step out in faith, and He does, through His power, what we could never do without Him. God made a promise to Moses and the Israelites, and God commanded them to act according to that promise, with boldness, complete confidence, and full commitment. When God makes a promise, it is a sure thing – but we must act on that sure thing, and how we act determines not only how much we will actually benefit from that sure thing but also reveals to others what we really think about our God. When we totally commit to God’s promises, we receive the fullness of blessing, and we glorify God to others.
Think about what Jesus said in Matthew about the Kingdom of Heaven – “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44, 45) When you truly believe in the unseen reality of God’s promises and His Sovereignty, you will invest in it fully; in other words, you will commit to it wholeheartedly. If you aren’t willing to ‘sell all that you have,’ to commit wholeheartedly, you won’t be able to buy the field with the hidden treasure or the pearl of great value.
- Luke 16:13 — No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
- 1 Corinthians 10:21 — You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 — Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
- James 4:4 — You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
- Luke 11:23 — Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
- Revelations 3:15, 16 — I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
- Joshua 24:15 — And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of Heaven address faith, wholehearted commitment, and trust; they aren’t suggesting we earn or buy our way into heaven or that we earn God’s love. Our salvation and our sanctification are both a gift from God. When God offers a gift, it is free, but you must take it in order to possess it. God offers the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ, but a person must take it. Likewise, God offers you sanctification and blessings through obedience to Him, but you must have faith to cross through your metaphorical ‘Red Sea’ or ‘Jordon River,’ day by day, in loving, confidence and fully committed obedience to experience the fullness of His promises – “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10, 11) Through it all, God does not remove the challenges, He uses them for your development into Christ-like character, your ultimate benefit, and for His glory. “Go up from here… to the [place] of which I swore… [and] I will send an angel before you….” Pray to God He will give you the faith to trust and obey today and every day, and step out in the faith you know you have – “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
- Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 7 Feb 21: Today, trust and obey, “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”