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Archives for January 2017

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God Always Initiates

There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:22...

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Good Intentions Gone Bad

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Exodus 24:7-8...

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Who Would Begrudge Grace?

Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. Exodus 21:1 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? Matthew 20:15...

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Leave all; Plod on

And the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:3...

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How to Know You’ve Learned

When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:23-24...

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Forgiveness: Pay It Forward

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” Exodus 12:1-2...

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Who’s the Greatest?

But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses. Exodus 9:34-35...

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Heart Responses to God

But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go. Exodus 8:32 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. Matthew 17:5-6...

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How long, O Lord?

Say therefore to the people of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out ...

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We groan, but does God know?

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel...

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Looking for Loopholes in God’s Law

My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return. Genesis 50:5...

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Lessons About Time

Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.” Genesis 48:21-22...

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Big Boys Do Cry

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothe...

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Why is God so Good?

He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?” Genesis 42:28...

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Providence and Human History

And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” Genesis 41:38...

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Jesus: Judge or Savior?

And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. Genesis 38:6-7...

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Sons who Suffer for Others

I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:6-8...

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God’s Election and the Free Offer of Salvation

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:2-3...

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Fearful Followers Reassured

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.” Genesis 32:7-8...

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Understanding Family Hostility

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Genesis 30:1...

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Solving the Labor Shortage

…and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 28:14b The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Matthew 9:37-38 ...

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Crisis and Failure is Not Hopeless

Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:31-34...

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The Dramatic and the Mundane

After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites. Genesis 23:19-20...

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Faith that Works

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning..." Genesis 22:1-3a...

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What's important? I forget.

The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Genesis 19:23-25...

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God Counts Faith as Righteousness

And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 ...

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Holiness: the Struggle

So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Genesis 12:18 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 ...

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A Call to Repent

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth and they left off building the city. Genesis 11:8 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 ...

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Water: Judgment or Deliverance?

God exercises His power in judgment on sinful mankind with a universal flood. Even in the flood, He shows His grace and mercy by sparing Noah and his family along with a male and a female of each animal....

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Battle Lines Drawn

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15...

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In the beginning

Today’s reading: Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 ...

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