Ever noticed how we can be our own worst critic at times? Ever found yourself making up or finding excuses or reasons why you shouldn’t or you couldn’t? I remember a time when I was called to step up and I felt it was beyond me. I had reasons why I shouldn’t. I had reasons why I couldn’t. But the reality is that God was calling me to do it and I should have just stepped up and did what He asked. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. In my case, because I resisted and didn’t step up the first time when a midterm election came up for board roles (to put my hat in the vote for president), God had to take a more forceful position with me. I still remember that day after working out and sitting in the hot tub at the gym and getting the ultimatum “you will be president or you will be nothing, you choose!” I looked around and there was nobody else in the entire room. (side note: listen to the still quiet voice – much more calming/peaceful) I remember driving thinking, ok if it is your will then it’s in your hands. I remember talking to one of the board members as she learned about her mother being diagnosed with cancel and offering to stay on the board so I had an extra vote and then she would step down and telling her that if it is God’s will for me to be president, then He will make a way – you go take care of your mother that is much higher priority for you. The new year came, the new board members were elected, the annual board retreat where we vote came and I was elected president. In alignment with today’s reading I will stop the story here…Don’t allow your own fear and doubt keep you from all the plans and purpose God has for your life! Grab onto God and His Word and His Promises and step out in faith for all things are possible with God!
In today’s reading we see God calling Moses…
Objections and Excuses1Then Moses said, “But look, they will not believe me or listen to my voice. They will say, ‘Adonai has not appeared to you.’”
2So Adonai said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he said.
3Then He said, “Cast it on the ground.” When he cast it to the ground, it became a serpent, so Moses fled from before it.
4Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.” So he put out his hand, laid hold of it, and it became a staff in his hand.
5“This is so that they may believe Adonai, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6Adonai also said to him, “Now put your hand within your cloak.” So he put his hand inside, and when he took it out, his hand had tza’arat—white as snow.
7Then He said, “Put your hand back into your cloak.” So he put his hand back in, and when he took it out it was restored again as the rest of his skin.
8Then He said, “If they do not believe you, or listen to the voice of the first sign, they will believe the message of the latter sign.
9But if they do not believe even these two signs nor listen to your voice, you are to take the water of the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the ground.”
10But Moses said to Adonai, “Adonai, I am not a man of words—not yesterday, nor the day before, nor since You have spoken to Your servant—because I have a slow mouth and a heavy tongue.”
11So Adonai said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes a man mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Adonai?
12Now go! I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say.”
13But he said, “Please, please, send it by another hand.”
14Then the anger of Adonai was kindled against Moses, so He said, “In fact, Aaron the Levite is your brother. I know that he can speak well. Moreover, he is on his way to meet you! When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
15You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth and with his, and teach you what to do.
16He will be your spokesman to the people, so that he may act as a mouthpiece for you, and it will be as if you were as God for him.
17Now then, you must take this staff in your hand to do the signs.”
Moses Returns to Egypt18So Moses went, returned to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go, so I may return to my kinsmen who are in Egypt and see whether they are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
19Then Adonai said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt, for all the men that sought your life are dead.”
20So Moses took his wife and his sons, set them on a donkey and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
21Adonai said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put in your hand. Still, I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go.
22You are to say to Pharaoh, “This is what Adonai says: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.
23So I have said to you, Let My son go, that he may serve Me, but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your firstborn.’”
24It happened along the way, at a lodging place, that Adonai met him and sought to kill him!
25But Zipporah took a flint, cut off the foreskin of her son, and threw it at his feet, saying, “You are surely a bridegroom of blood to me.”
26She said, “A bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision. Then He let him alone.
27Now Adonai said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God, and kissed him.
28Then Moses told Aaron all the words of Adonai with which He had been sent, along with all the signs that He had commanded him to do.
29Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of Bnei-Yisrael.
30Aaron spoke all the words that Adonai had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people.
31So the people believed. When they heard that Adonai had remembered Bnei-Yisrael and had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshipped.–from Exodus 4
Don’t give up because of what others say! Don’t give up because of what others do! Remember God’s call! Remember God’s plan! Press on! Don’t give up! Persevere! When you face troubles, remember Jesus has already overcome the world! When you face trials, consider it pure joy since with perseverance it will finish the work of making you perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!
Today’s reading continues as Moses with his brother Aaron faces Pharoah…
Pharaoh Will Not Let Israel Go1Afterward, Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “This is what Adonai, God of Israel, says: Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast for Me in the wilderness.”
2But Pharaoh said, “Who is Adonai, that I should listen to His voice and let Israel go? I do not know Adonai, and besides, I will not let Israel go.”
3They answered, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness, so we may sacrifice to Adonai our God, or else He may strike us with pestilence or with the sword.”
4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Why do you, Moses and Aaron, make the people break loose from their work? Go to your labors!”
5Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now so numerous, yet you would have them rest from their labors?”
6Then on the same day Pharaoh commanded the slave masters of the people and their foremen saying,
7“You are not to give the people any more straw to make bricks, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8But impose on them the quota of bricks that they made previously; don’t reduce it. For they are lazy—that’s why they cry out saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
9Let even heavier work be laid upon the men, so that they must labor, paying no attention to deceptive words.”
10Then the slave masters of the people went out, along with their officers, and they spoke to the people saying: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not give you straw.
11Go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, for there will be no reduction of your work.”
12So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.
13But the slave masters pressured, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily amount, just as when there was straw.”
14Moreover the foremen of Bnei-Yisrael, whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them, were beaten and asked, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks, both yesterday and today like before?”
15The foremen of Bnei-Yisrael came and cried out to Pharaoh saying, “Why do you deal this way with your servants?
16No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ and look, your servants are beaten. But it is your own people at fault.”
17But he said, “Lazy! You’re lazy! That’s why you were saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to Adonai.’
18So go now and work! No straw will be given to you—but you must deliver the quota of bricks.”
19So the foremen of Bnei-Yisrael saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks from day to day.”
20Then they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them as they came from Pharaoh.
21So they said to them, “May Adonai look on you and judge, because you have made us a stench in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants—putting a sword in their hand to kill us!”
22So Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Adonai, why have You brought evil on these people? Is this why You sent me?
23Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has brought evil on these people. You have not delivered Your people at all.”–from Exodus 5
If at first you don’t succeed try try again! Persevere! Remind yourself how if called you to it, He will get you through it. He is working it all out for His glory!
Will you step up with boldness! Will you step up with confidence that since God called you to it that He will get you through it? Will you speak to the hope that is within you? Will you speak to the source of your purpose and your plan? Will you press forward? Will you press on? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you for the glory of God?
Defense Before King Agrippa1Agrippa said to Paul, “It is permitted for you to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense.
2“Concerning all I am accused of by the Judean leaders, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that it is before you that I am about to make my defense today—
3since you are especially knowledgeable about all Jewish customs and issues. Therefore I beg you to listen patiently to me.
4“Now all the Jewish people have known my manner of life ever since my youth, starting from the beginning in my own nation and also in Jerusalem.
5They have known about me for a long time—if they were willing to testify—that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.
6“Yet now I stand here being judged for the hope in the promise made by God to our fathers.
7It is the promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jewish people, O King!
8Why is it judged incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9“In fact, I myself thought it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Yeshua ha-Natzrati.
10And that is what I did in Jerusalem. Not only did I lock up many of thekedoshim in prisons by the authority I received from the ruling kohanim, but I cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death.
11I tried to cause them to blaspheme by punishing them often in the synagogues. In furious rage against them, I persecuted them even in foreign cities.
12“While journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the ruling kohanim,
13at midday, O King, I saw on the road a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me.
14When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against goads!’
15“Then I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “And the Lord said, ‘I am Yeshua—whom you are persecuting.
16But get up, and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose—to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things you have seen as well as to the things I will yet reveal to you.
17I will rescue you from your own people, and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you,
18to open their eyes—so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God, that they may receive release from sins as well as a place among those who are made holy through trusting in Me.’
19“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
20Rather, I kept declaring—first to those in Damascus, and then Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also the Gentiles—that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with that repentance.
21“For this reason some Judeans seized me in the Temple and tried to put me to death.
22Since I have had God’s help, to this day I have stood here testifying to both small and great. I am saying nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to happen—
23that the Messiah was to suffer and that, being first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the nations.”
24As Paul was thus making his defense, Festus says with a loud voice, “You’re crazy, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”
25But Paul declares, “I am not insane, most noble Festus! Rather I am speaking the sober truth.
26For the king knows about these things, and I speak freely to him, since I am convinced that none of these things escape his notice—for this was not done in a corner.
27King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do believe!”
28Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time you are trying to persuade me to be Messianic!”
29And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would pray to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today would be such as I am—except for these chains!”
30Then the king stood up, as well as the governor, Bernice, and those sitting with them.
31When they had gone away, they began talking among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”
32Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free, if he had not appealed to Caesar.”–from Acts 26
God has a plan! It doesn’t matter others may be trying do or get away with.
Let’s be walking in alignment with God! Let’s not be barriers to His will! Let’s be encouragers! Let’s be light! Let’s let our words speak life! Let’s let our words with truth in love! And let’s call people up to their full potential! Let’s do it God’s Way!
Marriage and Covenant Faithfulness1Now when Yeshua had finished these words, He moved on from the Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
2Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3Pharisees came up to Yeshua, testing Him and saying, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
4“Haven’t you read?” He answered. “He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female’
5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’
6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”
7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to ‘give her a certificate of divorce and put her away?’”
8Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9Now I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
10The disciples said to Him, “If that’s the case for a man and his wife, it’s better not to marry!”
11But He said to them, “Not everyone can accept this saying—only those to whom it has been given.
12For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made that way by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who can accept this, let him accept it.”
Receiving the Kingdom of Heaven13Then little children were brought to Yeshua so that He might lay hands upon them and pray. Then the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14But Yeshua said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
15After laying His hands upon them, He went on from there.
16Now behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?”
17“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua said to him. “There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18“Which ones?” he said. Yeshua said, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20“All these I’ve kept,” the young man said to Him. “What do I still lack?”
21Yeshua said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you own, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving, for he had much property.
23Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Amen, I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”
26And looking, Yeshua said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27Then Peter said to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything to follow You! So what will we have?”
28And Yeshua said to them, “Amen, I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne in the new world, you who have followed Me shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundred times as much, and will inherit eternal life.
30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”–from Matthew 19
Partial obedience is disobedience! So let’s walk in God’s calling for our lives. If He calls you to it, He will get you through it! He ways are better than our way! His plans are better than our plans! His timing is perfect! Don’t allow your own fear and your own doubt keep you from God’s purpose and plan for your life. Remember this:
It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason
For someone not to try
–from What Faith Can Do by Kutless