In God’s Presence

Today’s Reading: Exodus 32-34; Philippians 3

Exodus 34:1- 10

The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. …4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands,[a] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. 9 And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”

 

The presence of God.  This is one of the most profound encounters of God in the Old Testament.  One of the first encounters of God is when God connects with Abraham and Jacob.  But this one is where God actually makes an appointment with Moses and gives him an assignment.  

Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain.  

 

The next thing that happens is God comes down from Heaven and walks in front of Moses.  Moses is in the official presence of God. He is one of the first persons to see and interact with God at this level.  Moses had previously been in the presence of God at the burning bush, but now he is actually standing with God.  Let this sink in for a minute.  He is physically in the presence of God.  As we read more in the chapter, he spends 40 days with God and the time that he has spent with God is evident on his face.  His face showed such a glow that he had to actually wear a veil to dampen the glow of the Holiness that he encountered.  

 

This is just one of those passages that makes you feel in awe of the relationship between Moses and God.  But then I remember that Christ has come and given us the same opportunity to have this relationship with God.  We may not be able to be in the physical presence as Moses, but we are in the spiritual presence of God continually.  When you are in this relationship, you are able to show the presence of God in all of your work and your life. 

 

Let us pray that our life can be a reflection of God that others may see it on your face as with Moses.

 

Be Blessed

Did I miss something?

 

Did I miss something? 

Today’s Reading: Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

One of my favorite subjects is history. When you look at history and your view of history, you are more open to understand many of the things that are happening in today’s society. History will show you our Highs and our Lows. But we have to be willing to see the whole picture, not parts of that picture.

On our recent excursion to Hawaii, my son, and I went to visit Pearl Harbor. For the majority of my life, I have known about Pearl Harbor and the consequences of the attack on the naval base. But I was enlightened in Hawaii to understand that the Japanese intention was not to create a war, but to obtain and secure resources for their own endeavors in World War II. I also found out that there was an embargo act that the United States had placed on Japan before this attack.  This embargo sequestered  Japan’s fuel supply which fed into and  would have contributed to the attack on poor Harbor. I am  trying to explain or assuage the brutality of the attack, but I found a deeper understanding on the motives of Japan. If we do not understand our history, or if we do not die deeper to see the full story, we can have misconceptions.

In the story of Exodus and Moses, I have read through this passage Countless times throughout my life. While growing up as a young man, I have watched “10 Commandments“ every Easter and Passover for 20+ years. But it wasn’t until this reading this year where I had my eyes opened more.  While preparing for this blog, I read this passage several times, and also listened to it as well. When I was listening to it, my son was also there, and his eyes opened up when he heard that the children were killed. He did understand that there was a law to kill the boys of the Hebrews. He was shocked and wanted to know more about the situation. As a father, I was able to walk him through the history.

There are some things that I did not know for myself or I forgot. 

  • Moses was a couple months old when he left his mom and was taken by his sister to the Nile. 

”Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.“

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • Moses actually was nursed and raised partially by his mom and his siblings. 

”Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”“

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭2‬:‭5‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • Moses was protected from the beginning of his life until the end of his life.

No matter what situation we are in, God has a plan and a purpose for us. We see that with Moses, that God had a purpose of a plan for him from when he was a newborn baby. God actually took care of Moses, and provided for him in his birth home, with his mother, with his people from an early age throughout his life. Sometimes it may feel that we are not in God‘s presence or feel that we are not being taken care of by God. But when we look back over the history of our lives, we look at the small details that actually are God’s presence in our life to make us who we are today.

What are some things that are in our past that we may have forgotten that allows us to be where we are today? Where are the small blessings that we have forgotten but others may remember that we need to be reminded of? Where has the spirit been in the small things this week for you that you may be a blessing to others?

Traveling mercy

 

Today’s Reading :  Genesis 28-29; Mark 11 

”Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel,[d] but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28‬:‭1‬-‭3‬, ‭11‬, ‭15‬-‭18 ‭ESV‬‬

”When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”“

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭29‬:‭31‬-‭32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Over the winter break, my family and I had the blessing and opportunity to travel. My youngest daughter, Nadya, had her wish fulfilled from the Make-A-Wish organization, her wish was  to swim with dolphins. This wish has been in the process for over 13+ months. The wish and the organization are truly an amazing testament to their mission. 

Each child and their family experiences an opportunity to have a wish granted.  This is an opportunity to take you away from the highs and lows of medical procedures and medical visits that your family experiences.

The entire wish was spectacular. From the boarding of the first flight to the greetings at the airport to the hotel to the first waves on the beach to the dolphins and the luau. Nadya and our family was just filled with awe and joy.  We spent five amazing days in Hawaii and each day we learn something new about ourselves. We were able to experience the joy of God in everything.  While on our vacation, I read and meditated on the scriptures and passages for today.  When I read these texts and verses,  I allowed God to speak to me and allowed myself to be open to his amazing work. 

On our return trip from Hawaii back to the mainland, we were able to experience God‘s blessings in a different way. We were able to experience God‘s mercy and grace as we were traveling. The day before we were to leave the island, there were some unexpected airplane issues for the Alaskan airlines had to ground over 170 planes due to a mid air experience where the exit door came off. This created a ripple affect that would change our trajectory for returning home.  

When we checked in for our return flight home on January 8th, we were informed that our flight had been canceled and that the next available flight would be January 11th.  This was a high concern due to us home and making sure that we had access to medication for Ollie and his seizures.  I had to be a strong advocate for my family and my son.  I stood at the counter from 9am until 2 pm.  While at the counter I had a prayer continually playing in my mind to give me peace and allow me to see God’s work in this place.   

To see how God uses our everyday situations for his glory this is a true account of my experience.   After working diligently with Dawn, the ticketing agent, and Brandy, the gate agent supervisor another person literally showed up behind me.  I was taken aback for the moment and then God revealed himself.  The gentleman that came to me was named Reuben.  

Reuben was a higher level supervisor.   He had seen our family on his way into work at 9AM and recognized us as a Make-A-Wish family.  The current time was 1PM.   Rueben is a wish alumni and wanted to help us get home.   Within 30-45 minutes later,  Rueben had arranged a flight for the entire family to get home on the next day.  He had provided a hotel for us to stay at during the time.  Reuben and the wish coordinator also provide meal vouchers for the family and an additional car for travel for the day.  In a situation that seemed dire and bleak, God showed up in an amazing and unexpected way.  

One more way God was communicating with me was seen as we were going to the next hotel.   Throughout Hawai’i,  the Hawaiian language is spoken and evident in all aspects of life.  One of the most common is in the names of the streets and the areas of the islands: Kalakaua, Kuhio, Ala Moana, and Nu’uanu.  To make it even more memorable,  as we left the airport and was traveling we had to make several detours due to the torrential rains and flash flooding that was happening on the island.   As I was turning and navigating,  I happened to come to a street that I had to turn on and off three times.  The street name was Bethel.  This was the same name that Jacob gave the place he had rested and blessed on his travels.  

How amazing and wonderful it is to be able to see and share the goodness of good in our daily life.  Can we all allow God to show us daily how amazing he can be? Can we allow God to recreate the blessings and protection and prosperity he has in store for us?  May his peace be with us in the situations that we may be facing today and allow for the revelation of his awesomeness.  

Be blessed

Power of the word

Today’s Reading : Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19; Mark 1

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We use words every day. We use words to uplift each other. We use words to put down each other. We use words to heal each other. We use words to hurt each other. Words are the essential communication devices that we use every day. It doesn’t matter what language, dialect, or accent you use.  Everyone uses words. One of the traditions for the new year is to make a resolution or words of resolution for our sales. But when we make these words, we have to be very careful in how we use these and how we are the purpose behind these words. These words have meaning these words have power.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1‬-‭3‬, ‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In these three passages that we have today, words are shown to have immense power. These words can transform and these words can change the very essence of being. When God spoke these words, he was actually giving life and existence with his spoken word. With us, being in the image of God, the words that we speak, give life in existence to others. Sometimes we do not fully understand or grasp the concept of how our words can have power. Christ told us that the Holy Spirit will give us the power to speak things, and the things that we speak would happen.

In Mark, it shows the power of the word in Christ and how He knows how to use the power of the word to increase others and use it for the betterment of others:

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;repent and believe in the gospel.” And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬-‭15‬, ‭17‬, ‭24‬-‭25‬, ‭37‬-‭38‬, ‭40‬-‭41‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

Let us be strong in our hearts and minds and speak words of power and strength in this new year and beyond.

Be blessed

Restoration of the relationship

 

With the coming  of advent and the Christmas season I have had time to reflect on the trueness of the season.  Christ is the reason for the season, but his presence is the culmination of reconciliation with the father through the spirit.  God the spirit had been separated from us since the garden of Eden and now He has reconciled himself with us to be in fellowship with us eternally and forever.

In the traditional sense of conflicts and tell: Man and God, Man and community, Man and self.  Christ presence is restoring all the relationships in which we have had: humanity’s relationship with God, humanity’s relationship with others, and our relationship with ourselves. Before Christ came into our lives there was division that was unreconciled. Confusion and the distance that we had in relationship with God and others, and ourselves was never able to be fully reconciled. But with Christ, being born, we now have the ability to be reconciled with , all our relationships.

My daughters were in a ballet production that was depicting the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The main theme of the renowned story is how we sometimes can lose our perspective on our relationships and allow other things to replace our relationships. But things can be replaced, but individuals cannot.

During this Christmas season, let us reflect on our relationships. Christ has  given us the ability to reconcile all of our relationships no matter what has happened. It takes a point of maturity to be able to fully understand how love conquers all. This is not to say that we will forget some of the atrocities and the hardships that we have encountered, but this does allow us to release ourselves from the anguish of regret and grief.

Maybe celebrate this Christmas, and all the Christmases to come with a renewed understanding of how to reconcile a relationships. Not just at this time of year, but throughout the year. There are many things that happened to us that we wish have not happened to us, but we cannot let those experiences damper our relationship with others and our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with God. We can reconcile our relationships and our outlook on life each day with Christ in our heart.

Merry Christmas.

Be blessed.

Thankful through the circumstances 

Today’s Reading: Job 12-14; Psalms 100; Revelation 13

The passages for today taken individually can be a little disjointed, but when you are looking with a new prescriptive with the Spirit, these passages relate the true meaning of the bible and the gospel:  No matter what has happened or will happen, give thanks to God for His benevolence and grace.  

Psalms 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2  Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Job 12:1-4

Then Job answered and said:

2 “No doubt you are the people,  and wisdom will die with you.

3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?

4 I am a laughingstock to my friends;  I, who called to God and he answered me,
    a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.

Job 13: 1-4

“Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it.

2 What you know, I also know;  I am not inferior to you.

3 But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.

4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all.

Job 14:1-4

“Man who is born of a woman  is few of days and full of trouble.

2 He comes out like a flower and withers;  he flees like a shadow and continues not.

3 And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you?

4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.

Revelation 13:1-2

The First Beast

13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 

Throughout these passages, there are so many circumstances that create unrest and confusion in the authors and the audiences.  The passages show that there is a mirage of things that we can go through on a daily basis, but we have to understand that there is a purpose in all that we experience and allow the Spirit to reveal God’s presence in the storms.  

Be Blessed. 

 

To Speak or Not to Speak

Today’s Reading: Esther 7-10; Revelations 3

The book of Esther is one of renowned understanding of how to use words, and how to use respectful silence to move mountains. In the book of Esther, we see an orphan who is given an opportunity to rise above her station. She’s given an opportunity to allow God to work in her life without trying to live according to her own agenda.   Esther had a great understanding of the importance of observation and willingness to submit to God’s will and authority.  The way that Esther accomplished this is using her words and influence.

Each day, we all want to have our voice heard. In most interactions that we have we want our intentions known and we want to be noticed.  We do not want to be left out of the conversation.  We don’t want to feel uninvited or unimportant.  We want to be a part of the conversation and the community.  Many times we aware of what’s going on,  but many times we may have misinformed and try to communicate our desires and feelings which are completely off-base.  Esther in our passage has an excellent understanding of when to use her influential words and when to allow the king to use his own understanding.

Throughout the last chapters of Esther, Esther uses her connection with the king to change the course of history. She allows her words to help guide the king to protect her people. What Esther does is not being over, powerful or brash, but she uses her words at the correct time with the correct tone to influence the king to save her people. She also uses her words to elevate her people and protect her people as well.

Esther is an amazing example of how meekness can be a powerful force.  Esther saved her people without the harshness of the world.  She shows us how gentleness is a force to change the hearts of the most powerful people.

“And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.””

‭‭Esther‬ ‭7‬:‭2‬-‭4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

https://bible.com/bible/59/est.7.2-4.ESV

She knows how to speak to the king, because she had seen the wrath of that king for many years.  She understood that her station could be changed at the slightest change in the king’s countenance.  She understood that the main focus was not on her, but in a bigger purpose.  She understood that she was part of God’s plan for something special. She was part of the future of the people, which would lead to our salvation.

Can we be more like Esther?  Can we set aside our own ambitions and words to allow God to use us as he needs? Can we choose to be slow to speak and allow God to work in our favor for his good and not out satisfaction of being correct?

Be blessed

What about him?

Today’s Reading : Ezra 1-2; John 21

“Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!””

‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭20‬-‭22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Being a dad, I’m often asked “what about him/what about her?”  The kids are always wondering if the other siblings are getting something more or better than the other.  As a manager, this question comes up constantly,  “what about this person?  Why don’t they have to do the same things that I have to do?”

In our world we have become so accustomed to comparing ourselves and situations with others. I have been here many times comparing myself to others, but as I have grown and matured, I have a better understanding that the world is big enough for everyone.  

In today’s passages in Ezra and John,  there are a lot of opportunities to push through your circumstances or dwell on the blessings of others.  In Ezra, the people of Israel are coming out of exile and are given their inheritance by rank and connection to their families.   There is a part in the second chapter where there is not a clear connection with the families and the people can be separated, but everyone is granted access to the reclaimed promise, but not all of the status as wanted. 

“The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their fathers’ houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.”

‭‭Ezra‬ ‭2‬:‭59‬, ‭62‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In John, this is the last recorded interaction with Jesus, Peter, and John.  This particular passage resonates so well with me and many times in my life.  Over the years, I have had awakenings and then I have reverted back to the old ways.  We can see this with the disciples.  They have had an amazing awakening and have seen the risen Christ and have decided to go back to their previous ways, fishing.   They have seen Christ several times before and have received their blessings, but returned to their previous lives and paths.  How many times have I had a revelation and returned to my previous path… too many times. 

In the last scene,  Jesus, Peter, and John are in the same vicinity.   Jesus has just given Peter his final assignment and action plan….

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him,“Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him,Feed my sheep.”

‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭15‬-‭17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!””

‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭21‬-‭22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

But the one thing that is on Peter’s mind is “ what about him [John]?”  So we have been given these gifts, but at the end of the day, we are still wondering what about “him”? In our flesh we are always thinking about the other person and not about the awesome gift that we have been given.  We have to see with new eyes through the Spirit,  the beauty and joy that has been given directly to us.  We have to be able to lift up each other in spirit and be happy in the midst of our friends’ joy, then only can we be able to truly experience the journey that God has in store for us.  

Be blessed 

 

The Pain behind the Wait

Today’s Reading:  Ezekiel 31-33; John 11

“Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.””
‭‭John‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬-‭4‬, ‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today’s reading passages comes from Ezekiel and the 11th Chapter of John,  one of the common links between these two passages is:  waiting.  Ezekiel shows us that there is a watchman that is waiting. The watchman is waiting for news or a change in the current predicament. The watchman has  been given a charge of telling when something is going to happen.

In John, I realize that there is a lot of waiting that is happening. From the previous times of reading this passage, I see the waiting of Mary and Martha, where they are waiting for Jesus to come to be with him doing their brother’s, Lazarus, death. While re-reading this I can see the waiting of Christ. When you breeze through the passage, you assume Jesus takes his time to get to Bethany, but he is purposefully waiting.

But when you really look at it from a new perspective, we can see how much the pain of knowing what’s going to happen affects Christ. Christ understood that he needed to wait for Lazarus to pass away and noted that God‘s glory could be shown in and through Christ. But Jesus was human and he felt all of our emotions. He knew that his friend was dying. He knew he had to wait. He knew that he had to allow that things to happen that he could have prevented. Let that sink in us. How much pain and strength do you have to go through and to know that what’s on the far end is going to be for God‘s goodness and glory.

As the watchman is waiting in anticipation of something that he doesn’t understand, but knows something is going to happen. The watchman has a duty to stay there in anticipation of what’s coming. The watchman has a duty of giving the news good or bad. The watchmen is in it for his mission.

“After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” ……Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” ….Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” … Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” … Jesus wept.”
‭‭John‬ ‭11‬:‭11‬, ‭14‬-‭15‬, ‭21‬-‭23‬, ‭25‬-‭26‬, ‭35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Christ knows what is going to happen. Christ has a bird’s eye view of what’s going to happen. But he is faithful to the fullness of God‘s glory. We acknowledge and see how painful it was for Christ when he comes to see his friend. One of the most powerful verses in the Bible, which is the shortest is here and John 11… Jesus wept. This is not just a weeping. This is a mournful cry, a deep agonizing cry, a visceral wail, and a mournful response. Jesus experienced the pain of waiting, and it was evident here.

This brings Jesus’ experiences as human into a different light for me. It shows me that Jesus experienced before the cross, very hard situations in which he had to allow things to happen in order for God‘s grace and mercy, and God’s glory to be revealed. It’s not stating that he didn’t have for remorse or pain, but to the contrary, he experience all of this, in light of being all powerful. Christ, love for us, extend so much that he would, and did take all the pain all the suffering, and he experienced it for us. When we are waiting for things to come, Jesus is there with us. Jesus has experienced the same pain of waiting that we have. And through his experience, he can comfort us. And in our experience when we get to the other side of the waiting we can comfort others as well. Let us be a blessing to others.

Be Blessed

Preserving Through It – Knowing the Assignment

Today’s reading: Ezekiel 1-3, John 1

Have you ever been given an assignment in school or in your career which may seem insurmountable?  While working  with my children on their homework,  they are excited or frustrated with some of the homework. These are new concepts to them that they do not understand and are trying to piece them together.  As a a dad, I find how to solve the question or how to understand the question. In my job, I have puzzles given to me several times an hour and  these puzzles sometimes are easy to solve, but sometimes they are difficult to solve. Sometimes these puzzles and assignments seem overwhelming, but these do not even compare the assignment that Ezekiel was given from God.

A couple of items that I learned in researching Ezekiel,  1.) Ezekiel was given his vision on his 30th birthday, 2.) Ezekiel was to become a priest for the people, 3.) Ezekiel was in exile when he is getting these visions and assignments. So Ezekiel is in the midst of this major change of his life while he is given a new assignment to go and proclaim to the people about what is going on.

“The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.”
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/59/ezk.2.4-7.ESV

One of the main words that I have for Ezekiel is obedience and persistence. Ezekiel is obedient to God by listening to God‘s command and performing his assignment and his job without fail. Ezekiel is even given a mandate that “ the job that you are going to do you’re not going to succeed in. You’re given the job that you’re going to have to continually do the things that I am requesting of you but you may not succeed.” Let that sink in for a moment. You’re given assignment that you know that the outcome may not be favorable but you have to perform the task.

What are the main takeaways from today’s reading is that when given a assignment from God, we have to understand that he will be there for us and that he is able  to uplift us in the midst of the hardship and heartache, and the joys and the trails. We have to learn to rely and rest in him and be diligent workers no matter the assignment.  It will not be easy sometimes, but the reward is worth it. Be blessed.