Again, it's a beautiful day in Sunriver, OR. Fourteen of our church staff are here in a seven bedroom, six bath home. We have covered about 80 pages in our staff manual, went over our calendar, worked on our Fall Program, planned some on 2009, (theme, mission's conference, special events and days, etc.) It has been a time of instruction, bonding, and casting a vision for the future. What a great time for our staff and our church will greatly benefit from it.
Today, I read the last ten chapters in Genesis and the first ten chapters in Exodus. So much happens in these chapters, and here are just a few highlights:
1) IT ALL COMES BACK- The unfortunate thing about sin is that it comes back to haunt you over and over. In Gen. 42:22, Joseph put his brethren in jail for three days as they came to Egypt to buy grain, and Reuben said: "Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required." He reminded his brothers that he told them not to do anything to Joseph years ago, and now they would be paying for it. Now here is the thing.... it happened 22 years earlier!! Sin can come back to haunt you!! You live an immoral life and think you got away with it until your children start down the same exact path.... it haunts you! We had best live our lives pleasing to the Lord, and when we do sin, confess it and forsake it!!
2) PLACES- Now God meets with us everywhere, but you cannot deny that God meets in special places with people. In Gen. 46:1, Israel is traveling to Egypt to see his son, Joseph who is alive and ruling in the land of Egypt. He stops at Beer-sheba, and offers a sacrifice to God, and God speaks to him in a vision in the night . Now Beer-sheba is where God spoke to Abraham many years earlier, and in Gen. 21:33, Abraham "called upon the name of the LORD, the everlasting God." Research Bethel and you will see how many times God spoke to someone at Bethel. Now God meets with us in places. To me, church is such a place! Where two or three are gathered together in my name.... that's what happens at church!! Now, apart from church, do you have a place you meet with God and God meets with you? A chair in the living room? A walk in the woods? Where is your place?? Find one dear friend.
3) SPEAKING THE TRUTH- In Gen. 46:33,34, Joseph tells his father, Israel, that when Pharaoh asks him "what is thine occupation?" that he should say "cattle" for shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. So, it Gen. 47:3, Pharaoh did ask Israel, "What is your occupation?" and Israel answered: "Thy servants are Shepherds, both we, and also our fathers." Israel could not bring himself to lie... and he didn't. How truthful are we... If Israel would not bend the truth as he stood before Pharaoh, the most powerful man of his time, should we ever bend the truth to gain the favor of any man on earth right now? The answer of course, is no!
4) PREPARED FOR WORSHIP- In Exodus 10:26, Moses says: "and we know not with what we must serve the LORD,". Pharaoh said to go serve the Lord, but leave your stuff behind and Moses argued that when they served the Lord, they had to take everything because they did not know what God wanted until they started worshiping Him. Does God have access to ALL of your STUFF?? If we are holding back on God, then can we truly be said to worship Him? He needs to have complete access to our stuff so that IF he prompts us to give to a missionary, to give to a need, to give to a project.... we must allow God to have access to all of our stuff to prompt us any way He desires!! That way, we are "prepared for worship"!!
Well, so much for today! May God richly bless!! Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor