Showing posts with label Exodus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exodus. Show all posts

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Part I: The Heart The Key to Everything in the Christian Life: Book Review

The fact is the heart is the key to everything in your life! Your family, your job, your relationships, & your self-image all depend on the condition of the heart. The quality of your service & witness for Christ comes down to the condition of your heart. Even your future rewards in the kingdom of God & your responsibilities in His kingdom throughout all eternity will be determined by the motives & condition of your heart here & now.

You need to understand what constitutes a healthy heart, according to the Bible, before you can take real lasting steps toward building it up & keeping it in top condition. But you must realize that you have an Enemy who wants to take your heart captive. He wants to weigh it down with oppression, bondage, impurities, bitterness, hatred, envy, & strife so that it is weak & sickly throughout your life.

God meant for your heart to be alive with His presence, a place where He is enthroned as its rightful ruler. Your heart is a treasure that should be given fully to Him, for only in God your heart your heart will find its home. Your heart is meant to be, like the Holy Holies in the temple in the Old Testament, a place where God is vibrantly alive & present, where He lives & is enjoyed & is intimately experienced.

The loving & magnificent God of the universe has a purpose & a destiny for you. You are part of a plan that will rock Satan's kingdom to the core & shake up the world for Jesus Christ. No one else has been given your unique mission as it has been ordained by God Almighty.

There was a salt covenant with meals in the Bible in which a person would bind himself to another in utmost loyalty & truthfulness as salt was a symbol of enduring friendship, honesty, & close alliance. It is still common today for people from the Eastern culture to say, "There is salt between us."

Jesus Christ wants to make a salt covenant with your heart, too. He wants your heart to be forever knit & linked with His, united & moving forward as one.

The heart is the center of everything that is manifested & comes forth in your life.

The heart is "essentially the whole man, with all his attributes, physical, intellectual, & psychological ... & the heart was conceived of as the governing center for all of these. It is the heart which makes the man ... what he is, & governs all his actions."

Every moment you draw breath upon the earth, something is flowing out of your heart.

What flows out of the heart even determines the direction & course of your life.

The first usage of this word "wellspring" in Scripture is found in the book of Numbers, in which God reveals to Moses the borders of the Promised Land that Israel is to go & possess: "This will be your land, with its boundaries on every side" (Numbers 34:12).

God has set the boundaries of a Promised Land for your life where you can accomplish your God-given destiny & purpose that God has lovingly designed for you. This Promised Land is a place where you can enjoy the blessings of God, the peace of God, the deliverance of God, the protection of God, & the presence of God. The Promised Land is where God is enjoyed, praised, & glorified for His matchless love, grace, & mercy. But your heart can only remain in God's ordained Promised Land if you diligently guard its borders from infiltration by the enemy.

We must be aware that the enemy is always prowling near the borders of our hearts, subtly trying to gain entrance so he can establish a stronghold in the heart & exercise his control & influence.

In order to enter the Promised Land & keep its borders secure, we must guard our hearts with all diligence, protecting it from the schemes & strategies of Satan, devoting it instead wholeheartedly & passionately to God & His Word.

But the devil has also staked out a territory for your life, & it is called the wilderness. Evil is the active opposition of God's good purpose or design for a person with the intent of destroying, limiting, & hindering it in any way possible.

The devil is called the evil one (Matthew 5:37), if we are careless with our hearts, he will re-position the borders of life so that the destiny God has for you is shattered & broken into pieces.

An exodus is a departure from one geographical location to another. The most magnificent example in human history is, of course, the exodus of Israel out of the slavery & bondage of Egypt. Hundreds pf thousands of men, women, & children departed Egypt on their journey to a new land.

Is the exodus from your heart taking you to a land of promise or a land of bondage? Every journey have ever embarked upon in your life has come of the heart, & the condition of your heart will determine which path you decide to follow.

Without hearts that are utterly devoted to Him in all purity & faith, the gospel becomes dead in our Christian walk & growth.

We must take back our hearts from the clutches of Satan & allow God to heal, restore, & reign from the throne in our hearts.

The Spirit of God is the true guide, helper, encourager, purifier, & discerner of the heart. The Spirit of God enables Christians to follow God decrees, & it is always exerting its influence on the heart to obey God at all times.

The flesh & the Spirit are at odds & enmity & have been at war since the beginning.

Do people see Jesus when they see your heart? Open your spiritual eyes & look at your heart in the mirror of God's Word.

The heart is under vicious attack daily by the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) who wants to cripple, sicken, & twist it, so that it becomes dead to the things of God.

A Sleeping Heart Is Unguarded.

Prayer Guards the Heart.

The organ we call the human heart pumps 1,900 gallons of blood through it every day.

In Scripture we discover three important gateways to the heart: our eyes, our ears, & our thoughts.

The eye is the second most complex organ in the human body, next to the brain. Our human eye can distinguish up to one million color surfaces, & our eyes take in more information than the largest telescope known to man.

Although much good can come through the Internet, numerous people, including Christians, have allowed the Internet to consume them & poison their heart for God. Forty million U.S. adults regularly visit pornographic sites, as this is fast becoming the number one addiction not only in America, but also around the world.

Pornography is like a cancer in the Christian church & has destroyed many lives, marriages, & ministries.

The devil understood this truth & used it to his advantage in the temptation & seduction of Eve. She was deceived by the serpent because she failed to guard her eyes & thus her heart (Genesis 3:4-6).

Make a Covenant with Your Eyes.

The Ears: The Second Gateway To The Heart.

Together, the ears are stereo receivers responsible for collecting sounds, processing them, & sending signals to the brain in a form that it understands.

Faith comes by hearing.

Faith always dwells & blossoms in the heart, but it is born & originates in the ear.

Hear & Obey.

Hear, Hear! Listen, Listen! Obey, Obey!

Whenever God's Words are rejected, it brings death in some way, shape, or form to the human heart.

Test Every Word.

But we don't have to be deceived!

The Hebrew word rendered as "test" in this passage means to search out, examine, try, & prove.

The Priest's Ear: Set Apart for God.

God set up the ministry of the priest in such a beautiful way to minister the heart of God to the needs of His people. The priests were to help restore the hearts of His people to the ways of God & keep them on the path of His righteousness.

The Prophet's Downfall.

A prophet was never to speak his own words but only that which he divinely heard from the heart of God.

What a chilling statement as to what can happen to the heart when the ears go astray! The prophets had allowed their hearts to become full of idolatry, lies, & wickedness.

Your Life Is Molded By Your Ear.

Be Still & Listen!

The Prince of the Power of the Air: The Spiritual Battle for Your Ears.

Paul calls Satan "the prince of the power of the air," indeed the devil has shown himself to be the great broadcaster to the world in this media age (Ephesians 2:1-2).

Satan's programming never takes a break.

Never Fear: Our God Is Greater.

The World Never Satisfies Like God Satisfies.

The Ears: Music's Enormous Impact on the Heart.

We must be aware of the music we are allowing to saturate our hearts.

Music in the Bible.

The right music is powerful enough to drive away demons & negative spiritual influences from the heart (I Samuel 16).

Music can calm the heart & make it more receptive to hearing the voice of the Lord. Music can bring our thoughts, emotions, & desires into the presence of the Lord, where the life & words of God can flow into our hearts (2 Kings 3).

In Exodus 32, music caused an increase in evil in the hearts of the children of Israel, plunging them into idolatry.

Angelic Music

Music is a vital part of heaven & the throne of God. It has been part of the worship & praise of God since the beginning. Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:13-14), was created as a beautiful & wise archangel, an anointed cherub, & music was an integrated part of his being.

Corruption of Music.

Music can cause the heart to become a prisoner of war in Satan's kingdom.

Moses the Songwriter.

Moses was a wonderful songwriter in the Bible & we see his first song in Exodus 15 after the miraculous deliverance of the children of Israel from the Egyptian army. In Revelation 15, the song of Moses is sung in heaven.

Make Music in Your Heart for the Ears of God'

All Music Originates in the Heart.

David the Musician & Songwriter.

David was a wonderful skilled musician & songwriter. He was also an inventor of musical instruments (I Chronicles 23:5; 2 Chronicles 7:6; Amos 6:5). He helped to reestablish the functions the functions of the Levites in regards to music in the tabernacle & select singers & musicians from the non-priest to participate in worship services of song & music to God. At the heart of their music was the wonderful book of Psalm.

Psalms is the hymn book of the Bible.

Tim Rowe (author) has a doctorate of jurisprudence & a bachelor degree in biblical studies, history, & classics. An attorney & author of The Magnificent Goodness of God & How It Will Transform Your Life, he is president of Goodness of God Ministries & lives in Indianapolis with his wife & son.

Monday, May 26, 2014

God-Centered Prayer: Book Review

This is not a new book review - it is probably seven or more years older.

There are many wonderful things we can learn from the Old Testament saints. Theologian Graham Scroggie put it this way: "The New is in the old contained, and the Old is in the New explained!" Elijah, is commended for the way he prayed (James 5:17-18). We all want to pursue God with the passion of David, a man after God's heart, and with faith like Abraham.

God interrupted Moses and the children of Israel at the Red Sea, where they were trapped by Pharaoh and the world's greatest army. They cried out to God about their circumstances. What was God's response? He essentially said, "Folks, this is no time to pray. Moses, raise the rod and split the sea. And Moses did! (Exodus 14:15-16).

When Jesus arrived, HE did things on the Sabbath that the Pharisees couldn't accept. Then came the day when, with HIS disciples, HE lifted the Communion cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20).

God responds to the prayers of those who love and honor HIM. We don't throw out the Old Testament and its prayers.

We approach God's throne of grace "with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

I Corinthians 10:13 -- God carefully measures our trials, and HE promises that we won't face more than we can bear. (But we must also keep in mind that when we choose to walk in darkness, we move out from under God's protection).

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Matthew 5:43-45 -- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Jesus was no ordinary teacher. HE was the Prince of Peace. "Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:13).

The prayers God answers are those prayed in accordance with HIS will. The Holy Spirit "searches all things even the deep things of God," and "knows the thoughts of God."

God has told us to call on HIM and he will show us great and mighty things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

As Moses prayed with his hands raised to heaven, Joshua's army was victorious. Prayer worked! (Exodus 17:8-13)

Sickly King Hezekiah lay on his death bed. He cried out to God in prayer. God gave the king fifteen years. (II Kings 20:5)

The author's daddy, Dr. Robert E. Smith (a pastor) laid at death's door in a Tyler Texas Hospital. The medical team advised the family to make his funeral arrangements. In answer to prayer, God raised him up and gave him four and a half more years.

God has created all things for his pleasure. Everything is about the kingdom.

Jesus Christ is the rightful ruler of a spiritual Kingdom, and on day, all men will bow before HIM (Philippians 2:9-10).

What do we know about any king? He's born into his position. He rules those in his kingdom with absolute authority.

Those who are chosen by the king to serve as his ambassadors do everything to symbolize the kingdom. Scripture calls us "Christ's ambassadors" (II Corinthians 5:20).

The author shares in his book that "New Science Magazine" reported a world values survey that analyzed the levels of happiness in more than sixty-five (65) countries. Of the nations surveyed, the United States ranked sixteen (16) on the list, even though the standard of living in the U.S. far exceeds that of the fifteen (15) happiest nations.

Joshua 6 -- Praise preceded the fall of Jericho walls.

II Chronicles 20:14-21 -- Praise preceded Jehoshaphat's victory.

Mark 6:30-44 -- Praise preceded the feeding of the 5,000

Acts 16:20-34 -- Praise preceded the earthquake and jailbreak in Philippi

"It is said of Leonardo da Vinci, the great artist, that he wold sit practically motionless for days at a time, meditating and getting the inspiration for his masterpieces."

Celebrate the Small Stuff!

We are to celebrate God's smallest responses to our prayers. The psalmist David said, "I will praise God's name in song and glorify HIM with thanksgiving" (Psalm 69:30). Jesus said in John 14:13, "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

In Exodus 15, after crossing the Red Sea and escaping the wrath of Pharaoh and his army, the children of Israel threw a praise party to celebrate God for bringing them safely out of Egypt.

Sometimes, after God has done something wonderful that we are celebrating, the enemy throws discouragment in our path.

The author and his wife had finished teaching at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and were headed toward the airport, when they began to witness to the cab driver, who was from Ghana. After a few minutes he prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

When the cab stopped, the driver jumped out, hugged them, and thanked them for sharing Christ's life with him.

At the ticket counter the author's wife was given a boarding pass.

Then the woman looked at the author and told him, "Sir, I'm sorry, but your ticket has been canceled. You don't have a seat on this flight."

He told th woman, "I did't cancel my ticket."

She told him the airline canceled his ticket.

She then told him that he would have to buy another $471 ticket if he planned to fly home on the flight with his wife.

The author was fuming inside as he pulled out his credit card and purchased another $471 ticket. The author said God asked him, "Eddie, why did you sell my praise for $471?" All it took was one setback, one disappointment, to shut down his "praise party" for the salvation of the cab driver. He had allowed the evil one to crash his praise party and rob God of the praise HE was due - for a measly $471.

Let's acknowledge, thank, and celebrate every victory that God sends our way.

The author shares he does not promise to teach you how to get what you want from God. But he do hope that the readers of his book will know how to be heard in heaven.

I believe that Bethany sent me a complimentary copy to review.

Eddie Smith, Author of "How To Be Heard In Heaven. He is also co-founder and president of the U.S. Prayer Center, equips intercessors worldwide through articles, books, and his international teaching ministry.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Great Rejoicing ... 8/4/2013

Festival of Booths/Tabernacles . Nehemiah . Exodus . Day of Atonement . Sunday School Lesson

The Sunday School Lesson for 8/4/2013 is shared from Nehemiah 8:13-18 (Background Scripture: Nehemiah 7:73b 'begins with the Levites' - 8:18 & Devotional Reading: Exodus 23:12-17)

Festival of Booths/Tabernacles (Sacred Year 7) (Civil Year 1) Tishri or Ephanim (September-October) One of the 3 greatest feasts/festivals, in the Jewish year: Tabernacle in the fall.

Day of Atonement held the week before the feast of Tabernacles. A fast (Acts 27:9). A day on which no work could be done. This day was called a 'high Sabbath' as well as a day of 'holy convocation.'

It lasted from the evening of the 9th Tishri till that day on the 10th. Ritual acts were performed by the high priest, of which the most important was his entering into the Holy of holies, which took place only on this day.

Nehemiah (Jehovah comforts)

Nehemiah 8-13 describes the combined efforts of Ezra & Nehemiah to effect the restoration of religion, including the solemn reading of the Law, the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, the confession of the Levites, the sealing of the covenant by the people, a list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem & of other cities, the dedication of the walls, & the removal of certain abuses.

Verse 13 ... Scripture; Promulgation Of Scripture; Scripture Studied

Promulgation ... make known to the public, promote, proclaim, a decree, & news

Nehemiah 8:14-15 ... Sacred Seasons; Historical Sacred Seasons; The Feast of Tabernacles, The Renewal of the Feast by Nehemiah ... The Hebrews; The Hebrews Again In Palestine(Then)/Holy Land(Now); Administration of Nehemiah, 445-433 B.C., The Feast of Tabernacles Kept

(Nehemiah 8:120,12; Leviticus 23:39-43 ... Reference Scriptures from Sunday School Book)

Nehemiah 8:16-18

Verses 16,17 ... (same as Verses 14,15)

Verse 18 ... Scripture; Promulgation Of Scripture; Instances ... The Hebrews; The Hebrews Again In Palestine(Then)/Holy Land(Now); Administration of Nehemiah, The Feast of Tabernacles Kept

(Deuteronomy 16:13-15)

Verse 12 ... Sacred Seasons; The Sabbatical Seasons; The 7th Day, Its Religious Character: A Day of Rest

Verse 13 ... Idolatry & Superstition; Laws & Arguments Against Idolatry, Idol Worship Forbidden

Verses 14,15,16,17 ... Sacred Seasons; Of The Hebrew Sacred Seasons In General; Their Divine Appointment

Monday - July 29, 2013 - Rhythms of Work & Worship - Exodus 23:12-17

Tuesday - July 30, 2013 - First Bring Your Offering - Leviticus 23:9-14

The sheaf of firstfruits.

Wednesday - July 31, 2013 - Celebrating God's Bounty to Us - Deuteronomy 26:1-11

The confession of him that offereth the basket of firstfruits.

Thursday - August 1, 2013 - Fostering the Memory of God's Bounty of Deliverance - Leviticus 23:33-44

The feast of tabernacles

Friday - August 2, 2013 - Gathering to Hear God's Word - Nehemiah 7:73b - 8:6

Their oblations. The religious manner of reading & hearing the law.

Saturday - August 3, 2013 - Responding to God's Word - Nehemiah 8:7b-12 (starting with the Levites)

The religious manner of reading & hearing the law. They comfort the people.

Sunday - August 4, 2013 - Discovering a Neglected Festival - Nehemiah 8:13-18

Scripture reference used/taken from: The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible & KJV Topical Edition Bible