Archive for November, 2010
Answer to questions in Part 2: Giving genuine thanks is the best remedy for complaining! ”In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – (1 Thessalonians 5:18) This will make you and God happy and will give Him the glory!
Moses didn’t get to enter Canaan, because he had not believed God (in the water from the rock incident). Moses didn’t represent God as loving and full of grace by speaking gently to the rock to bring forth water. Instead, Moses said in Numbers 20:10,11 – “… ‘Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.”
What was going on here, Moses?
Was Moses trying to get credit? He had endured those grumbling Israelites for 40 years, relying on and praying to the Lord for strength, meeting with God for extended periods of time on Mt. Sinai. He had been a fine example to the Israelites of faith and trust in the LORD.
Moses suddenly seems to have a lack of faith, exploding in an attitude like the grumbling Israelites’. Moses was only human. Well, God could not let this kind of behavior continue. God needed a strong, God-trusting representative and could not let Moses continue as the servant to the Israelites or to enter Canaan. (If you’re like me, you feel a little conviction here as a parent!) God knows that we’re human. That’s all the more reason why we need to lean on God! Moses shows us what happens when we stop doing this.
Numbers 20:12 says, “And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’”
I believe that Moses got a rich taste of Christ, the True Manna, the Bread of Life, while he was on Mt. Sinai. Moses experienced God’s Shekinah glory, the visible manifestation of God’s presence, seen in the smoke and fire in Exodus 19:18.
Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai alone with the LORD! Christ must have been his “food and drink” that sustained him! Moses heard God speak to him. The other Israelites were down at the foot of the mountain but could not touch the mountain. They were to stay away from the mountain (while Moses was up there getting the 10 Commandments). If they touched the mountain at this time, they would be put to death.
What a blessing that we may now “come boldly unto the throne of grace, … obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 Do you have a gnawing need in your life? There is a compassionate God who is waiting to hear from you!
...to be continued in “Jesus, Our Promised Land (Conclusion)”.
The Israelites were to take over Canaan. It would be possible only if they trusted in the LORD, for He would deliver the Canaanites into their hands.
The Canaanites, whom God would obliterate using the hands and swords of the Israelites, are a picture of Satan, our enemy.
Those Israelites didn’t follow God’s instructions to not intermarry with Canaanites. We, as Christians, must make sure that we don’t dabble with worldly things of Satan. Each of us can think of what those things might be personally.
Satan is our enemy, and we must never forget that. Jesus is our Friend, the Friend of sinners. What a Friend we have in Jesus! Let’s follow His footsteps and say “no” to all stumbling blocks.
James 4:4 says, “…friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Of course, we can love people in the world, for God also loves all of us (John 3:16), but we must not love the lifestyle of sin that the world without Christ follows after.
1 John 2:15-17 states, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
Always remember to fight against Satan and his influence. Put on the Full Armor of God each day, and you will be able to stand firm! (Ephesians 6:13.) You ( I) will be able to enter into Christ, our Promised Land more fully.
Moses was not allowed into Canaan, because he struck the rock twice in anger to get water out of it, instead of speaking to it gently as God had instructed him. Along with this, he had complained to the Israelites and wasn’t setting a good example. He wouldn’t enter the physical Canaan, but he had closely fellowshipped with God and experienced God’s presence on Mt. Sinai. God called him home, and Moses entered into the LORD’S full presence in heaven after dying in the land of Moab. – Deuteronomy 34:1-7
Each Christian will also enjoy heaven, but God has an abundant life for us in Christ, our Promised Land, here on Earth. Let’s not allow any grumbling or habitual sin to prevent us from being used of God to bless others.
How about you? What could be a good remedy and alternative to grumbling/complaining? Please see my next post for one answer in ”Jesus, Our Promised Land (Part 3)” and a short conclusion in Part 4.
The Promised Land (Canaan) is a picture of something that we begin to enjoy while living here on Earth. It’s not just heaven after we die. We can abide in Christ while we still live in this world, for as believers in Christ, we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ” - (Ephesians 2:4-7) So we can (spiritually) live with Christ in the heavenlies right now! We should remind ourselves of this daily, for it will be a source of peace and contentment, in spite of earthly circumstances.
Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.”
When the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land in the Old Testament, it was just a picture or shadow of the present reality of living in Christ, as shown in the New Testament. It is in Christ that we can abide; He is our Promised Land, if we will abide in Him!
When the Israelites entered into Canaan, only those that trusted in the LORD entered. They were Joshua, Caleb, and the children of Israel born after the first generation. That first generation had been too busy grumbling and complaining (at every turn) to trust in God and His plan. They had been delivered from Egypt and were blessed numerous times while wandering in the wilderness, but they couldn’t, or chose not to, remember God’s blessings. They chose to worry and complain instead, whenever God revealed more of His plan to them.
How about you? Do you trust God when things don’t look too clear to you? Do you live in Jesus, your Promised Land, take God at His word, and move when He tells you to move, or are you more like the “grumbling group”? Please be thinking about this and answering these questions until you find out more in my next post: “Jesus – Our Promised Land ( Part 2)”!
In Part 2, we looked at how Jesus explained that He is the “I AM”, the name given to only God in the Old Testament. Here we’ll discuss how that truth has relevance for you!
As stated before from Hebrew 11:6, if you believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, (and also if you go on to believe in Jesus as God the Son) then you can receive Jesus into your life as your personal Lord (Master) and Savior. He will “reward” you with His presence as you seek Him. His presence is what makes life worth living and what makes life possible, for without Him there is no life.
He is the Creator of all things. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
Jesus said in John 8:24, “…for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” If you are not trusting in Christ, Jesus invites you to first believe that God is, then to believe that He is God the Son who came to bear your sins and die on the cross, be buried, and rise again to give you new life in Him. You can do this by accepting God’s free gift of eternal life as you place your trust in Jesus.
You may feel overwhelmed and wonder how you can have faith to do any of this.
Romans 10:17 says, “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” You are “hearing” that word right now. You must decide today what you will do about it.
Here is what I did when I was coming to Christ: I relied on Jesus to give me faith. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
So even faith is a gift from God! All each of us has to do is receive God’s free gift of salvation offered to us as we believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
If you already have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can continue to enjoy glorious fellowship with God, taking advantage of every opportunity to talk to and listen to Him in a daily time of prayer and Bible Study. Now practice His presence throughout each day…all because He is the Great I AM WHO I AM!
Please tell me if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, or if you would like to hear still more about Him. You can give me your input by adding your comment in the box below. I will, with God’s help, try to answer any questions that you might have.
“I Am” statements about Jesus in the Bible
–“I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” Matt. 11:29.
–“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20.
–“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20.
–…“But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:29.
–“…’Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am….’” Mark 14:61, 62.
–“And they all said, ‘Are You the Son of God, then?’ And He said to them, ‘Yes, I am.’” Luke 22:70.
--“…’I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” John 4:25, 26.
–“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35.
–“…I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12.
–“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’” John 8:58. – This verse is outright proof that Jesus is indeed God, for before Abraham was born in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, Jesus was in existence with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit. With them, they were and are the one triune God.
–“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9.
–“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11.
–“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,’” John 11:25.
–Since He was and is God, “Jesus said to him (to Thomas), ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6.
–“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
Even before Jesus came down from heaven to be born of a virgin, He was told about in Isaiah 9:6-7: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…”
So we see that Jesus is God, the Great I AM. How is this fact of relevance to you? Please continue with me and read “I AM WHO I AM” (Part 3).