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bible reading weekend mar 7-8

Bible reading for March 7-8:  Exodus 18-19; Luke 21-22.

Friends, my schedule is such that I'm not able to post every day or on both passages for the day.  However, I'm enjoying my time in the Bible and sharing with you.  Stay in God's word!  And thank you for sharing with me from time to time that you are reading this blog.   

"You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."  (Exodus 19:4-6) 

The corporate flowchart (Ex 18).  Everything came to Moses, and the buck stopped with him.  He is leader, teacher, prophet, and court judge, all at the same time.  His father-in-law visits and says, "You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone" Ex 18:18; see also Num 11).  What follows is a re-organization, or better, a delegating of authority that spreads the responsibility for justice to selected leaders. Here's a few lessons I pick up from this passage: a) Our in-laws may have good ideas we should listen to; b) delegation is good; c) not everybody is a leader; d) not everybody is qualified for a large sphere of authority; e) sharing the burden is good; and f) organization (healthy order) itself is good.  God is a God of order (Gen 1; 1 Cor 14:33).  This structure was needed to share burdens and responsibilities. We see this also in the NT, in the very nature and make-up of the church, which is the body of Christ: "...from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love" (Eph 4:16).

God's gracious covenant with Israel (Ex 19).  Though the Mosaic covenant had many conditional elements to it, still, Israel became God's people by his mercy and grace.  The beautiful words above, "I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself" remind us that God's grace always comes first.  That was true for Abraham, for Moses, for David, and for us in Christ.  His call does not come based upon our prior worthiness.  And once he's begun, God does not abandon his work until it is complete: "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom 11:29), and "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil 1:6).  And this call to Israel reminds us of God's ultimate plan -- for Jew and Gentile alike -- is that we will reign with, and serve Christ, forever and ever: "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6; cf 5:10)   


And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves." (Luke 22:25-27) 

Signs of his return (Luke 21).  This chapter has much in common with Matthew 26 and Mark 13.  Jesus calls his disciples (them and us) to be watchful and to persevere in the face of persecution prior to his return.  Sometimes we forget that the world hasn't really gotten better!  We may have better health, better technology, more information, and better abilities, but the spiritual condition of the human heart hasn't changed.  The Lord Jesus was violently opposed in his day, and has been opposed in most of the generations from then until now, and will be to the end. But we must not despair.  No matter how much we are opposed, Jesus says, "...they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness" (21:12-13)"  The more people hate the church the more opportunities it will give us to speak of Christ!    

Leadership style (Luke 22).  Going back to the organizational flowchart topic, the followers of Christ are not to be arranged in a hierarchical power structure. Nor is there to be chaos. The Lord Jesus is King, and the kingdom belongs to him.  He allows us to share in his kingdom, and to have authority as parents, civic leaders, teachers, elders and pastors, etc.  But that is not an unqualified authority, nor an authority to lord over others, but rather it is to be a servant-style leadership (1 Pet 5:1-3).  It is a burden-bearing, not burden-avoiding, authority. It involves praying, caring, giving, washing feet, and living as an example. This kind of leadership follows the heart and character of our Lord Jesus.  

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.


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