You get picked to ask one question. What would you want to know most? What would it be about? Would it make a difference? Would it open any doors? Would it provide insight? Would it provide wisdom? Would it change the way you live? Would it change the way the world runs? If you could get the answer to one question what would it be?
Who would you ask? Who would you want to get to give you the answer? Would it matter who gave you the answer in relations to what the answer is? Would it make a bigger difference to you and to the rest of the world? Would it make it more impactful based on who answers you? If you could get the answer to one question what would it be and who would you want to answer it for you?
Today’s devotional draws us in this direction with the title:
The Most Important Question in the World
They share a story about Professor Joad and how he was asked if he could ask one question what would it be and who would he ask and his answer and the importance of the question:
Professor Joad answered without hesitation: ‘I would meet Jesus Christ and ask him the most important question in the world – “Did you or did you not rise from the dead?”’
There came a day in Professor Joad’s life when he assessed the evidence, encountered Jesus himself and wrote a book called, Recovery of Belief. If Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, this changes everything.
When the New Testament writers speak of God’s love they point to the cross. When they speak of God’s power they point to the resurrection. God’s ‘incomparably great power’ was ‘exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead’ (Ephesians 1:19–20). The risen Jesus says to his disciples, ‘All authority (all power to rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to me’ (Matthew 28:18, AMP).
The resurrection means that the risen Jesus is present with us now. Jesus continues, ‘I am with you always’ (v.20).
The result of the resurrection is not only his power and his presence but also his provision.
The 3 keys from today’s devotional are:
- His power … Psalm 21:8-13
- His presence … Matthew 28:1-20
- His provision … Exodus 15:1-16:36
Day 45: Bible In One Year 2017 Devotional, Psalm 21:8-13, Matthew 28, Exodus 15, Exodus 16
1. His power … Psalm 21:8-13
8Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;your right hand will seize your foes. 9When you appear for battle,you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,and his fire will consume them. 10You will destroy their descendants from the earth,their posterity from mankind. 11Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed. 12You will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow. 13Be exalted in your strength, Lord;we will sing and praise your might. –from Psalm 21
God’s strength and power can give us confidence in Him! We can trust Him! He will bring justice to the world! We see here and we see where Jesus is now seated being connected by the reference to God’s right hand! His power and His might! Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me. So there is power in the name of Jesus, the name above all names, the name that is like the stamp to ensure our letter gets delivered to God! We can lean on God because of His power! We can trust in Him because we know that Jesus has promised us greater things than what we have to go through here! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because Jesus granted us the wisdom to know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And so we can let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. He also told us so that we won’t be surprised that in this world we will have troubles but that we can take heart because He has overcome the world!
2. His presence … Matthew 28:1-20
Jesus Has Risen
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The Guards’ Report
11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
–from Matthew 28
Have you experience an encounter with Jesus? Have you been able to start the journey of a life long relationship with Him? Are you able to walk in peace no matter what comes your way because He is with you? Are you able to cry out to Him in your times of trouble and pain? There is nothing like it!
Jesus wants us to take this hope that is in us and the truth of who He is and share it with the world around us so that we many will be saved and get to spend eternity in His presence! We were created on purpose for a purpose and we are right where we are now for greater things! Will you share the hope that is within you? Will you point people to God? Will you allow others to find the presence of God? Will you be a helper to others in order that they too may be taken into the presence of God? Jesus will never leave us nor abandon us! As he tells us in today’s reading “I am with you always”!
Today’s reading has an incredible feeling whenever I read it because I have gotten the opportunity to play the angel at the tomb in a production. Two things come to mind from it: first how angels always try to bring calm to the situation (do not be afraid) because seeing them is going to be a shock and the people tend to freak out right after that and second how angels always come with a message to help the people right where they are at and even remind them of what they are to do!
Jesus rose from the dead! From the beginning the plot to hide that truth began and continues to this very day! Hold onto the truth and rebuke the lies which don’t line up with the evidence that has been shared as well as found over the years. Death and burial are not the end! Jesus has provide us with a way and a promise beyond the grave through His Power and His Presence and His promises!
3. His provision … Exodus 15:1-16:36
The Song of Moses and Miriam
1Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. 2“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. 4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy. 7“In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble. 8By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood up like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils; I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’ 10But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? 12“You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies. 13In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. 14The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia. 15The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; 16terror and dread will fall on them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone—until your people pass by, Lord, until the people you bought pass by. 17You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established. 18“The Lord reigns for ever and ever.”
19When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.”
The Waters of Marah and Elim
22Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
25Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
–from Exodus 15
Manna and Quail
1The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ”
10While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.
11The Lord said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
13That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’ ”
17The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’ ”
24So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25“Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
27Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30So the people rested on the seventh day.
31The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’ ”
33So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”
34As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. 35The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.
36(An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)
–from Exodus 16
Don’t worry for worry changes nothing! Choose not to worry and when things come your way instead choose to pray! Prayer has power and makes a difference! Trust God’s provision in and through it all! Worrying about tomorrow wastes today! What do you have need of? Just like we see in today’s reading He will provide enough for your needs! Just like the widow who said she didn’t have anything except a bit of oil. Just like when the 5000 were following Jesus and He asked them to feed them but all they could find was 2 fish and 5 loaves. Just like when the widow cried out to Jesus because her son had passed away. God will provide for all our needs … be it a job, be it health, be it family, be it finance… put your trust in God! God will provide! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and see if all the other needs of your life will not also be met! So let’s trust Him! So let’s worship Him! Let’s give this day into the hands of the Lord! This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s trust Him daily for that day’s needs! Let’s give it all up into God’s hands trusting that He is under control and will take care of the other things!
As we close and cling onto this, let’s take hold of what Jesus said in John…
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” –from John 6