God gave instructions to the Israelites so they could escape the judgment coming on the Egyptians.
EXODUS 12:7,13 NKJ 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 13Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The Egyptians had no protection from the destroyer, but the people of Israel who put the blood of a lamb on their dwellings were safe.
The blood represented the Blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world — Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:8). Judgment was legally avoided because of it.
The blood applied stopped the destroyer. Action was required — not just passive belief in the blood.
PSALM 105:37 NKJ 37 He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.
Not only were the children of Israel spared from destruction, but they all left Egypt in good health carrying away the wealth of Egypt.
Christ is our Passover. Can we not expect Him to provide us as much protection and deliverance as the lamb provided the children of Israel in Egypt?
1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 NKJ 7 . . . For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
HEBREWS 8:6 NKJ 6 . . . He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
LUKE 22:20 NKJ 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
New Covenant believers have the right to draw a faith Blood line the devil cannot cross. By speaking words of faith we apply the Blood over the “doorposts” of our lives — the outer edges of all that belongs to us.
With blood on the door of the Israelites in Egypt, no evil dared enter their dwelling. Likewise, we are kept safe through the protection of the divine Blood of Jesus.
Wherever we have authority we should apply the Blood — and never leave the protection the Blood of Jesus provides.
HEBREWS 10:23 NKJ 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Sometimes it seems like there’s no hope and no help. Like you have no more strength or ability to go on. You’re at the end of yourself and just can’t do any more.
Don’t worry. Just hang on to your faith in God.
God is faithful. He will not forsake you. He has not forgotten you. (It just seems that way when you face a trial of faith — but it’s a lie.)
It may seem dark and hopeless, but God is holding on to you. God is working behind the scenes. Things will work out.
When you don’t know what to do, just continue to trust in God, and know that He is helping you. Persevere even when you feel like you can’t. Just don’t give up.
JAMES 1:2-4 BARCLAY 2 My brothers, you must regard it as nothing but joy when you are involved in all kinds of trials, 3 for you must realize that when faith has passed through the ordeal of testing the result is the ability to pass the breaking-point and not to break. 4 This ability must go right on to the end, and then you will be perfect and complete, without a weak spot.
Trials are no fun. But we should not be surprised when we find our faith being tested.
The devil is doing his best to steal your faith in God, but his best is not good enough. God is greater than the devil. Hang on to your faith!
Remember that God is for you. God is on your side. God will help you and see you through.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep praising and thanking God — especially when you don’t feel like it. Don’t give up. Hang on!
MARK 6:31 NIV 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Balance is a difficult thing to achieve.
Success usually requires discipline, a large commitment of time, and a lot of hard work.
But sometimes what’s needed is to take a vacation!
Taking a trip is not always necessary, but taking a break from your normal routine is.
You need time to think, and time to listen to what God is saying to you — as well as physical rest. Without taking time to “recharge your batteries” you will never be your best.
People who face relentless responsibilities, such as pastors, mothers of young children, care givers, and owners of small businesses, especially need an occasional break.
(Be creative. It doesn’t have to be expensive.)
We want to lead productive lives and be fruitful in our walk with the Lord, but we cannot take the place of God. We cannot do everything. We are not God.
Burning out is not a good witness for the Lord, as it makes Him look like a hard taskmaster.
Humans require rest. To continue to be healthy and productive for many years, we must live a balanced life which includes rest and taking time off.
Always keep the big picture in mind. That includes eternity.
MARK 9:23 NKJ 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
From our early years we are educated in what is impossible.
But progress continues to be made by people who attempt the impossible and achieve it.
Some have said that mankind’s only real obstacle is between our two ears.
We ARE limited by what we believe, according to Jesus.
So, how can we change what we believe? Only by getting new evidence, which is available from the Word of God.
MATTHEW 17:20 NKJ 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
A conventional approach will not achieve the “impossible.” It will require being different from the crowd, who probably won’t understand you or support you. Speaking to things and telling them to move, as Jesus taught, is certainly not conventional.
Acting differently than everyone else can be scary. It’s like getting out of the boat to walk on water. But do you want conventional results?
As you read the Bible and see the instructions God gave us, you will usually find them unconventional. But the person who acts on God’s Word will be blessed.
COLOSSIANS 3:15 CEV 15 Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.
If you are reading this, there are literally millions of people who would trade places with you. They envy you and would be very grateful to enjoy all that you do.
Usually the more someone has, the less thankful they become.
So how can you overcome ingratitude? Only by changing your beliefs. As long as you believe you’re getting a raw deal, or less than you deserve, you will never become a thankful person.
An attitude of gratitude is the result of what we focus on.
Remember, you deserved punishment. Instead, God gave you what He deserved, and EVERYTHING you have — every breath — is a gift. Keep this in focus and you will become a thankful person.
(An extra bonus is that a thankful person is a happy person.)
HEBREWS 13:5 NIV 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
What could be greater? Almighty God promises to always take care of you! Never will you be forsaken! Never will you be left facing life all alone! (You may feel forsaken, but it’s a lie.)
A rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling life does not depend on being rich. Jesus is the one who told us, and He knows.
LUKE 12:15 LB 15 Beware! Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have. For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.”
What are you waiting for?
Most people are waiting for something — something “special” that will make their life great, so they can be happy.
Ask yourself: have others had this, and are they all happy? No, they’re not, and it won’t give you lasting happiness, either.
Happiness is not determined by external circumstances, but by internal circumstances.
Everyone chooses how happy they are by what they choose to think about.
Your attitude is determined by your perspective, which is determined by what you think about — your focus. You choose your focus, so ultimately, you are the one who chooses whether to be happy, or not.
Perspective is what the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) are about. Seeing a bigger picture than just this one small moment of time. (The Beatitudes are where Jesus explained how some are blessed, or happy — even in difficult situations.)
(The word we translate as “happy” in the New Testament is usually translated as “blessed.”)
You won’t get happiness by chasing what the world has to offer. It has already been tried and found wanting.
And, you will never be happy as long as you are self-centered. A focus on self is guaranteed to prevent happiness.
Right after Jesus performed the menial task of washing his disciple’s feet — akin to cleaning toilets today — He told them:
JOHN 13:15,17 ICB 15 I did this as an example for you. So you should do as I have done for you. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.
You will be happy if you help others. If you take your focus off yourself. That’s what Jesus taught.
PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 NKJ 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Pride and selfishness always go together. A truly humble person cannot be selfish.
Pride is self-importance and self-focus — which leads to selfishness which is selfish thinking and selfish acting — the opposite of Jesus’ command of agape love in John 13:34.
Pride produces selfishness. All selfishness is a manifestation of pride — thinking you are better, or more important, than others.
Pride is the root of selfishness — and thus the root of all evil. Pride is hidden but manifests as selfish acts.
JAMES 3:16 TEV 16 Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.
Selfishness causes all evil. All evil proceeds from selfish actions. Selfishness is the only manifest problem, but pride feeds it. Dealing with the root cause of the problem is the only lasting solution.
Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and realizing we are not the center of the Universe, is the answer.
Without Jesus, you can do nothing. Apart from His grace, you would not be able to take that next breath of air!
The only thing necessary to change heaven into hell — if God were to allow it — is selfishness.
Selfishness is mankind’s fundamental defect. Selfish means: self-centered, self-serving, self-important.
At the root of every problem is selfishness.
JAMES 3:16 TEV 16 Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.
Every selfish person is potentially your enemy.
All sin is selfish. No one ever sins for someone else — we do it for selfish reasons.
Divine love is the opposite of selfishness. Giving is the opposite of acting selfishly.
We are products of a corrupt culture that teaches selfishness, so it’s not unusual for us to think it’s not so bad.
But you must die to selfishness — or self-destruct. However, you’re unable to change by yourself. You can’t change the fruit without changing the root. That’s why you must be born again! Only by receiving Jesus Christ and letting Him change you inwardly can you become a truly unselfish person.
No other “religion” teaches putting others first even to the point of loving your enemies. Only Christianity teaches you can be totally changed and become a person with a new nature. There is no cure apart from Jesus!
Mankind has a fatal defect, which manifests as selfishness.
There is a cure — but only one which is effective permanently.
The cure requires injection of new life into your inner being. This life is called eternal life, because it is the life that God, the Eternal One, has.
The cure is free, but the only way to obtain it is to receive and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.
Freedom from this defect requires two things. First, the gift of eternal life, which can be obtained now by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Second, knowing that God loves you greatly — even more than you love yourself.
Therefore, you no longer have to live a self-centered life, worrying about and seeking your own welfare — because you know that God Himself watches out for you.
God will protect you and provide for you — not just enough to barely make it — but an abundant, joy-filled life.
All people who reject this freely offered cure, must soon be placed in quarantine, to be kept from spoiling life for those who do partake of God’s cure.
To receive Jesus and His new life, you basically do it the same way you get married. You say: I want to, and I do.
Jesus is listening now, waiting for your decision. He loves you enough to die for you.
ROMANS 12:12 NRSV 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Prayer is a habit that, like every other good habit, must be developed.
You know you need to pray. You need God’s help, His wisdom and His guidance. But you must persevere in prayer. The activities of life try to keep you from praying. So persevere!
LUKE 21:36 BBE 36 But keep watch at all times with prayer, that you may be strong enough to come through all these things and take your place before the Son of man.
In communing with God, you gain strength that comes in no other way. You find the wisdom and courage to face life and overcome.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:17-18 ICB 17 Never stop praying. 18 Give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.
Learn to always include God in your thoughts. Ask Him about everything. Cultivate your relationship by continual communication. And one of the most important things for you to communicate to God is your gratitude. Thank God for everything.
Don’t relegate prayer to just when you’re on your knees. As you go about your activities, include God by constant communion with Him.
Talk to God about everything!