Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Putting Your Child in God's Hands

Pharaoh ordered all the male Hebrew babies to be killed, so Jochebed made a bold decision. She put baby Moses in a tar-covered wicker basket and placed it in the reeds by the Nile River. (See Ex. 2:3-9). Moses could have easily been eaten by a crocodile or swept downstream. Jochebed made a decision to let go of her child and place him in God's hands.

When the daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to bathe, she discovered the baby and had pity on him. Moses' sister Miriam saw her pick up the baby, so she went to her and asked, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" (v.7)  Miriam ran and got Jochebed, the mother of Moses. Pharaoh's daughter paid her wages to nurse her own baby! God had a plan for Moses, who grew up to be the man who delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage.

Looking back on the story, we can clearly see God's hand at work. But God's hand isn't so obvious when you're doing something risky, like letting go of your child. That's why we must trust God's heart when we can't see His hand.

Have you placed your children in God's hands? Just as Jochebed "let go" of Moses and put him in God's hands, you must do the same with your children. Perhaps you have a wayward child that you are worried about. Maybe your child is in a dangerous situation and needs God's protection. Can you trust God to take care of your child even as Moses' mother placed her trust in God? You must turn your child over to the Lord and let Him take care of the situation. If he or she is rebellious, the change in your child's behavior might not happen instantly, but will happen ultimately. So put your child in the basket, give him or her to God, and quit fretting.

Prayer: "Lord, I let go and place my child in your hands.  I trust you for protection.  I'm going to stop worrying about him (her) because I trust you to do what I can't do. Thank you for what you are going to do in my child. Amen."

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Solution to Your Problem

Most people want a quick, easy solution to their problem without any effort on their part. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s likely your problem will never get fixed. Often the correct solution will require a great deal of effort on your part.

The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh had a problem. They claimed to be “a numerous people” and needed more living space, so they asked Joshua to expand their boundaries, which would give them more room. But Joshua had a different idea. He said, “If you want more land, go clear the forest and you’ll have plenty of room to live.” (See Joshua 17:14-18).

Imagine how hard it would be for you to clear a forest in those days. You don’t have any chain saws. You have to take down all those trees, once chop at a time. Imagine working under the hot sun, and how tired you would be. Think about the blisters on your hands. And then you have to dig up all those stumps. This was not the easy answer but it was the right one. Would you be willing to chop down a forest to solve your problem?

I see so many people who want a counselor to solve all their marriage problems but they won’t put forth any effort to make it happen. They don’t change their attitudes, or their behavior, or how they communicate, yet they are furious because their spouse won’t change! They aren’t willing to chop down the forest.

You can fix just about any problem if you are willing to do what’s necessary. It won’t be easy. It’s going to take time for that first tree to fall. After you knock down that one, you move on to the next tree. It will require perseverance and patience. But if you will keep chopping away, one whack at a time, one day you’ll look back and see the forest has been cleared. It’s then that you will be glad you did it, as you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why was the Veil in the Temple torn in two?

Have you ever wondered why the veil of the temple was torn in two after Jesus died? Matthew 27:50-51 says, "Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yield up His Spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom."

That veil was 60 feet high and six inches thick, and it separated the room called "the Holy of Holies" (the holy place) from the rest of the temple. Only the high priest could go through the veil into the room once a year on the Day of Atonement. He sprinkled goat's blood on the mercy seat, which was the top of the ark of the covenant (the one Indiana Jones looked for).  See Lev. 16:12-14.  This atoned for the sins of Israel for one year.

The holy place was an exact copy of the temple in heaven (see Heb. 8:5, 9:23-24).  If God hadn't told them to sacrifice animals for centuries, they never would have understood why Jesus had to die for them. If God hadn't told them to build a temple and for the high priest to put blood on the mercy seat, they never would have understood what Jesus did just after He died.

When Jesus died, He committed His Spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46).  At that moment, Jesus in His Spirit (not His body), went to heaven and placed His blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly temple. Heb. 9:11-12 says, "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." The earthly high priest had to do this every year, but Jesus did this once for all time.

When He sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat in heaven (Heb. 12:24), God tore the veil from "the top to the bottom" which meant He tore it from heaven to earth.  He opened the way for everyone to come to Him. Have you come to Him?  Have you gone through the veil?