Bible reading Feb 24: Exodus 7; Luke 10.
"The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them." (Exodus 7:5)
The plagues begin (Ex 7). Nine times in Exodus God tells us that people will come to "know that I am the Lord." (Btw, this phrase appears a whopping 72 times in the book of Ezekiel!) Every single person on earth will come to know one day, or one way or another, that the Lord is God. We will know either by redemption -- he has powerfully rescued us -- or by judgment, which will also come in power. The big question for each of us is, in what way shall we come to know the Lord in his power? Egypt will face ten very serious plagues, as recorded over the next several chapters. In many ways these plagues were judgments upon the gods of Egypt in whom the people trusted. But more on this in tomorrow's reading.
"Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will." (Luke 10:20-21)
Source of joy (Luke 10). Seventy-two disciples are sent out on a very successful mission. God blessed their ministry of proclamation and healing, and the disciples were rejoicing (10:1). And yet Jesus tells them not to rejoice in that power, but rather that their names were written in heaven. The Lord Jesus himself rejoiced in (or, "exulted in, was overjoyed by") his Father's grace in saving these "little children". He said, "All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (10:22). Ultimately, the greatest joy is to know the Lord Jesus himself!
Luke's gospel makes frequent mentions of joy. (See Luke 1:14, 41, 47, for starters.) We might feel good about being part of successful ministries, but we need to remember that the greatest thing we have is our very salvation through Christ. According to the Apostle Paul, the second fruit on the list of the fruit of the Spirit, after love, is joy (Gal 5:22). The joy of salvation -- God's work of power in us, by his grace, for our eternal salvation -- this is what we need to take delight in. Successful ministries may come and go, but our song of salvation never ends!
Two other favorite passages. Luke 10 records the parable of the Good Samaritan, which in Jesus' day would have been very offensive to many Jewish listeners. Our "neighbor", as Jesus defined the word, is not someone who is merely culturally or ethnically like us, but rather, our neighbor is whomever we come in contact with, who has a need that we can meet. And I love the story of Mary and Martha, and Martha telling Jesus to tell her sister to stop acting like a disciple and get up and help with meal prep. (You cannot make this stuff up -- one sister telling Jesus, the Son of God, to get her sister off her duff and into the kitchen!) I used to have a friend who, when asked if he studied at bible college or seminary, would answer, "Yes, I've studied many years at the College of St. Mary at Jesus' feet." I love that answer!
Image credit: Photo by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. A PDF copy is available here.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.