Friday, August 5, 2011

Matthew 16:21–23

"From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. 'Heaven forbid, Lord,' he said. 'This will never happen to you!'
 Jesus turned to Peter and said, 'Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's.'"
If we don't have God's perspective, we are operating not from some neutral human perspective but from Satan's. Peter did not want what Jesus was saying to be true. But desire had nothing to do with it. Reality is what it is, and if we oppose it, we're on the side of anti-reality—Satan—untruth. There is no neutral ground. God is true; he is Reality. If we're not with him, we're siding with Satan. Seek God's perspective in all things! It's the only reality there is

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Exodus 2:5–9

"Soon Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. 'This must be one of the Hebrew children,' she said.

 "Then the baby's sister approached the princess. 'Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?' she asked.

 "'Yes, do!' the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby's mother.

"'Take this baby and nurse him for me,' the princess told the baby's mother. 'I will pay you for your help.' So the woman took her baby home and nursed him."
Moses' parents acted in great faith and courage. They put baby Moses in a basket in the river and had to trust God for the outcome. Moses' sister, too, showed great courage and faith by stepping out at the right time to speak to the princess. Moses' parents surrendered their child to God, and the outcome was that they were able to care for their child openly. The mother even got paid for nurturing her son! Great things come from the surrender of faith.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exodus 1:15–17, 20–21

"Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 'When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.' But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king's orders. They allowed the boys to live, too. … So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own."
The Hebrew midwives had their priorities straight: They feared God more than they feared the king. Perhaps at the risk of their own lives, they disobeyed the king because they knew God's rule took priority. And God blessed them. God always blesses when we put him first.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exodus 1:8–10

"Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, 'Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don't, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.'"
Oppression of others is always born of fear. Here we see the Pharaoh's fear that the Israelites would turn on him. Because he believed they were not on his side, he feared what would happen if war broke out. He imagined the worst and acted as if it surely would happen. Then he used his power to prevent what he feared from occurring. He tried to control the outcome. How many of your wrong actions toward others are motivated by fear? Ask God to open your eyes. Then give him your fears to heal.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Genesis 50:15, 19–21

 "But now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful. 'Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,' they said. . . .
"But Joseph replied, 'Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don't be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.' So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them."
Joseph's brothers had guilty consciences for years, even after being reunited with Joseph. The relationship was not restored because they did not truly receive Joseph's forgiveness. Perhaps it wasn't until this point that Joseph did forgive them. But Joseph now had God's big-picture perspective, and he saw God's hand even in the evil his brothers had done to him. Can you trust God to use for good even the evil things you may have suffered at the hands of others? Are you willing to return good for evil, as Joseph did? You can do so only if you have God's perspective.