Wonders Multiplied

Over the last few chapters in Exodus we have read about 10 plagues that God has called on Egypt.

Now if you’re like me, you’ve probably just thought these were just a series of weird plagues to annoy Pharaoh enough to “Let My people go.” But then I started thinking, God has a reason for everything. So why these 10 plagues? What’s the point? What is God trying to prove?

So I did some research and here’s what I learned:
Egyptians worshipped many “gods.” Each plague was crafted to target the gods of the Egyptians.

Here is a list of the plagues with “god(s)” that was targeted:

1. Nile turned to blood – Hapi (god of the Nile)
2. Frogs coming from the Nile – Heket (Egyptian goddess of birth and fertility. She was depicted as a woman with the head of a frog)
3. Gnats – Geb (god of the earth)
4. Flies – Khepri (god of creation and rebirth and was depicted as a man with the head of a fly)
5. Plague on Livestock – Hapi and Hathor (goddess of love were normally depicted as having the head of cattle)
6. Boils – Sekhmet (goddess with power over sickness and disease),  Sunu (god of pestilence) Isis (goddess of health, medicine, and healing)
7. Hail and Fire – Nut (goddess of the sky), Set (god of storms)
8. Locusts – Osiris (god over the crops of the land of Egypt)
9. Darkness – Ra (god of the Sun and was considered the greatest of all the Egyptian deities)
10. Death of Firstborn – Pharaoh (was viewed as a “living god”, as was his son)

Why did God make these plagues happen? Well he tells us in chapter 10:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”
Exodus 10:1-2

And in today’s chapter:

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.”
Exodus 11:9

God wanted HIS signs and wonders to multiplied! He wanted everyone to know who He is for generations! He was making a statement. He is bigger, He is better, He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, He is the One True God! There are no other gods before him!

I invite you to dwell on that today. Dwell on the fact that God has the power to systematically bring down all other “gods.” He is a jealous God and He wants our attention. And guess what? He is worthy of our attention, worship, praise and adoration.

So let’s give it Him today.

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The Lost

In Luke 15, we find Jesus teaching the Teachers of the Law (Pharisees). The Pharisees are notoriously grace-less toward “sinners.” They believed that anyone who didn’t uphold the law the way they did were “sinners.” Now you can say someone who sins is a “sinner” the same way you can say someone who digs is a “digger.” But in Jesus had a different definition than the Pharisees did.

As we see in all 3 of these parables, Jesus has a heart for the lost (sinners). He paints the picture best in the parable of the “Lost Son.”

In this parable, we see a lost son who has wasted his inheritance and found himself starving in a pig sti.

““When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:17-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

The father is a representation of how Jesus sees us. He is filled with love and compassion toward us, even when we are far from Him.

Not only does Jesus love us despite our sins, but he takes it further:

The father then orders the servants to bring the best robe, no doubt one of his own (a sign of dignity and honor, proof of the lost son’s acceptance back into the family), a ring for the son’s hand (a sign of authority and sonship) and sandals for his feet (a sign of not being a servant, as servants did not wear shoes—or, for that matter, rings or expensive clothing) [vs. 22]

 

Jesus gives us those same things.

  1. We are accepted into God’s family (robe)!
  2. We are given spiritual authority (ring)!
  3. We are no longer slaves to sin (sandals)!

The Holy Spirit has bound us together with Christ. Now, even though we may sin, we are not defined by our sin, but we are defined by our spiritual inheritance. We are now sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We now represent His name and His authority. And nothing can take that away. Our permanent title is now: Child of the King. Isn’t that awesome?!

In conclusion, even though we all fall short, in Christ, we are saints, we are heirs and we co-heirs with Christ of God’s glory.

Amen!

Real Talk

prayer

So often we over-complicate christianity in general and especially prayer. We believe we need to use fancy words, we need to have the right posture (hands folded, eyes closed), and we don’t REALLY believe it’ll actually work. It’s just a nice thing to do.

What I want to do is to un-complicate prayer for you.

Check out this unconventional prayer: Ricky Bobby Prayer

Now that we had a laugh, let’s uncomplicate prayer!

Prayer is Plain – It’s simple, easy, uncomplicated.

When we pray, we need to remember God wants to talk to us. We don’t need to speak in KJV, with “thou, thy and whilst”  and other such words. What words do you use in normal conversations? Use the same words when you talk to God.

(See Matthew 6:7-8)

Prayer is Primal –  Is natural. It’s talking, yelling, pleading, crying, shouting

Can you yell? You can pray. Prayer should be an expression of what we’re feeling on the inside. If you’re upset, be upset. If you’re heart-broken, be heart-broken. If you’re sad, be sad. Cry, yell, plead, shout. Do it all. Be genuine.

(See the Prayer of Jabez 1 Chronicles 4:10; Jacob Wrestles with God – Genesis 32:22-31)

Prayer is Powerful – It works. It moves mountains, people, weather.

The best thing about prayer is that it works. It really does. We read all through Scripture these amazing prayers that accomplish the supernatural. As a kid, did you ever imagine you had super powers? Prayer gives us access to the supernatural. You want to see miracles happen? Pray.

(See Samson’s Prayer Judges 16:27-30; Elijah’s Prayer 1 Kings 18:42-45)

If we commit ourselves to having plain, primal and powerful prayers. If we break the mold of “perfect” christianity and we decide to just be real with God, He’s going to speak to us. When we speak from our core, he responds.

Me vs. Me

Me vs. Me

Have you ever found yourself in an intense wrestling match with yourself? Maybe put yourself in a sleeper hold? I know have. And luckily the Apostle Paul has too. So we’re not alone. Let’s take a quick look into Paul’s wrestling match

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

Have you found yourself saying these same words? You don’t want to commit this sin, but find yourself right there again. You want to do something for God, but again you fail to do so. And this war continues to rage inside of us. But who is fighting this war?  What are the seemingly 2 opposing forces battling within us? Paul describes these forces as flesh, which is our human nature that seeks only itself, and Spirit, which is our heavenly nature that seeks God’s will.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5

Be honest with yourself right now. How often does your flesh win? How often does your Spirit? If you’re like me, your flesh wins more often than you want to admit. So how do we win this war? How do get our Spirit to winning the battles? Through fasting and prayer. I know, revolutionary! Who would have thought?! But it’s true. Through fasting, as we give up the desires of our flesh it becomes weaker. Through prayer we are strengthening our Spirit and it becomes stronger.

So I encourage you to keep pressing in to the Spirit, pressing out the flesh and pressing on to what God has planned for you!

By the Spirit

 

Dreamer

12 So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:12-17 (HCSB)

Romans 8 is probably my favorite chapter in the whole Bible. There is so much to be taken away from every verse. I highly encourage you to read the whole chapter. In this passage Paul brings us this AWESOME truth! “We are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh.” I think if Paul was around  today he would have posted that on his twitter and finished it of with #boom. But that’s just my personal opinion.  

As believers I think we struggle to really grasp this truth. We tend to give way too much credit to our flesh. We often times listen to our flesh over the Spirit. Our Spirit tells us not to do something but our flesh says yes, so we do it. “But if we live according to the flesh we will die,” says Paul. He goes on to say, “But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

This is what this fast is all about. It’s not about starving ourselves or giving up stuff we like just check it off our Christian duty list. It’s about practicing putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit. If we can say no to food or certain types of food or social media or whatever you may be fasting from, how much easier will it be to say no to lusts of the eyes, lusts of the flesh, and pride of life (1 john 2:16) that we will face in the future.

What if we all decided that we were no longer going to be controlled by the flesh, but we were going to live by the Spirit? What would your life look like? What would LifeCoast look like? (Take a moment to answer these questions) Let’s not live by the Spirit for just these 21 days a year, let’s make this an everyday thing!

I dream that the Church as whole will no longer be people simply going through the motions or people who live like everyone except on Sunday mornings. But they will be a people who stand up and stand out. That people will look at the Church as the example, not the exception.

What do you dream?

“You Can’t Steer a Parked Car”

Park
Park

I first heard the quote, “You can’t steer a parked car” while I was at The Honor Academy. Now this may seem like an obvious statement, but let’s apply it to our Christian Walk. Often times we are waiting for God to “steer” our lives in the right direction but we have our lives stuck in “park”. He is just waiting for us to put ourselves in “drive”.

Let’s look at the story of Abram, AKA Abraham:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)

As we see from this passage we see God promises Abram that He will make him into a great nation and will bless him. All He asks him to do is take himself out of “park” and put himself in “drive”.

Sometimes we get caught in the “intermission” of the dream. Maybe God gave you a dream that is 5 years down the road or maybe He didn’t give us turn-by-turn directions to this dream. Sometimes it’s like He is a GPS. He says to us “The exit to your dream  in 207mi on the right”, but then he goes silent like a GPS until you get closer to your destination. Just because your GPS goes silent, does that mean you stop on the interstate? Of course not. You just drive and wait until the next turn comes.

What has God promised you? What dreams has he given you? What have you done with those dreams? Are you still in “park” or are you in “drive”?

I’ll leave you with this thought:
Don’t go into REmission during the INTERmission, remember the TRANSmission of the COmission, be the Emission of the COmission until the SUBmission.

Unleavened Bread – ONE Series

th

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (ESV)

As I was reading this passage these verses stood out to me. Especially the phrase, “Do you no know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” This really got me thinking. Now I know that this passage is speaking about the church as a whole, but if I may be so bold, I would like to apply this to our personal life.

Personally, do we understand, “that a little leaven leavens the lump?”, lump meaning ourselves. Do we understand that a little sin defiles ourselves? If we add salt water to fresh water, what happens to the fresh water? It becomes salt water. This is the same with sin, if we add sin to something pure, it defiles the whole thing.

I think that many times as Christians we focus on doing “more”. Doing more good, worshipping more, praying more, reading the Word more. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all excellent things. But they are only one side of the coin. Jesus doesn’t want us to simply do more good. He wants to eliminate the bad or sin. We can so often focus on doing more things for Jesus, but we too often forget to eliminate the sin our lives. Now its great that you are adding good things into your life, but take a moment and think of the sin that you could be taking out. You might be praying more, but are you still bringing others down with your words? You may be worshipping Jesus more, but are you still worshipping your smartphone, or car, or whatever it is you worship other than Jesus. Maybe you’re reading the Word more, but are you still reading the gossip collums in magazines?

In conclusion, I would like us (yes, this is for me too), to think  about not only about the good things we can add, but the sin that we can throw out. We don’t have to be the church with most good going on, but lets make it a goal to be the church with the least sin retention. Let us be known for continuous throwing out of sin. Let us be Lifecoast, the unleavened church! Let us be ONE!