Kingdom of Priests – Read Exodus 19

Kingdom of Priests – Read Exodus 19

Read Exodus 19 

Exodus 3-6, And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

God delivered Israel from slavery to the Egyptians and as part of His covenant. He intended for them to become a “kingdom of priests” leading others to worship the true God.  Through Jesus, we are freed from the bondage of our sins and we are called to share the Good News with those who do not know Him.

God, I pray for those in our lives who have not accepted Jesus as their savior and I pray for all of your followers to have the opportunity, courage, and words to share the Good News.

John Rauscher

Put First Things First – Exodus 18

Put First Things First – Exodus 18

Read Exodus 18

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness at the mountain of God. Jethro observes that Moses is acting as the judge for all Israel’s people and warns Moses that he will wear himself out if he continues to carry this burden by himself. Jethro advises Moses to develop high standing leaders to help perform the role of judge. Moses is taught to handle the great matters and delegate the small matters to his newly appointed judges.

Being judge for all of Israel’s people had to be spiritually, emotionally, and physically draining for Moses. Before Moses delegated his responsibilities to others, one has to wonder what toll Moses paid in terms of his relationship with God and his family. While Moses was busy inquiring of God for other people, did Moses take the time to seek God on his own behalf? Being that this is the first time Moses’ family has been mentioned since the early chapters of Exodus, it appears that Moses has not seen his family since before the plagues in Egypt. Could Moses’ duties have been so overwhelming that he was too busy for his own family?

Think about your own priorities.  Do you need to make some changes to “Put First Things First?”

— John Rauscher

Rock of Our Salvation – Exodus 17

Rock of Our Salvation – Exodus 17

Read Exodus 17

The children of Israel camping in Rephidim complained to Moses that there was no water for their families and livestock. Israel, desperate for water, accuse Moses of leading them to their death and appear to be angry enough to stone Moses. Moses, crying out to the Lord, is told to strike the rock in Horeb and that water will come out of it, that the people may drink. Moses, named the rock Massah and Meribah so that it can be remembered as a place of contention and where the people of Israel tempted the Lord.

Think of how Israel acted towards Moses and how we are tempted to act in a similar way when we are faced with difficult circumstances. If you are facing difficult circumstances will you act as the children of Israel or will you turn to the “Rock of our Salvation?” How will your actions during your difficulties be remembered?

— John Rauscher

Remember – Deuteronomy 8

Remember – Deuteronomy 8

Read Deuteronomy 8

The Las Vegas tragedy was yet again another blatant reminder of the darkness that exists in the world. It is also a reminder of the resilience and fortitude of humanity even during the most trying of times.

As the storyteller in Deuteronomy bemoans, we must not lose sight of the good path that has been set before us lest we succumb to evil (vs. 19-20).

Personally, this tragedy in Vegas shook me. More so than any past incidents of this nature. Why? Here are two conclusions I came to: First and foremost the frequency with which these type of events have been occurring is alarming to say the least; downright terrifying actually. Secondly, a lack of sustained empathy that compels immediate action on behalf of the victims and their families.

My question for us personally as well as a church body is this: Do tragedies such as this break us? I mean really break us and compel us to help in anyway we can… or do we simply flip the channel and get back to our football games and safe little lives?

Have we really taken to heart the warning of Deuteronomy, letting it grip us and drive us to be a transformative force of good in the world that provides sustenance for other in time of need? If not, I think it is time for us to do some deep soul searching.

God, I pray you would give us a heart that breaks for the brokenness of humanity and awaken us to our calling as agents of change in this world, not simply passive observers.   

— Christian Trent

Works Vs Faith – Exodus 16

Works Vs Faith – Exodus 16

Read Exodus 16

Exodus 16:3, And the children of Israel said to them (Moses & Aaron), “O, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full!  For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

The children of Israel, having just witnessed the miracles that made possible their escape from slavery in Egypt, are longing for the days when they could live by their works with full stomachs rather than having the faith to trust God. How does God respond to the cries of Israel in Exodus 16? He provides.

Are you living by your own works or by your faith in God?

God, I pray that you can grow our faith each and every day. Help us to overcome our human nature to think “I need to try harder” or “I need to do better.”  God you are always with us and we can find our rest in you.

— John Rauscher