Daily Thoughts about God Posts

By John Fischer
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What do you have there in your hand?Exodus 4:2, NLT

Anyone familiar with the calling of Moses by God to be the one to free his people from Egypt knows that calling took place amidst a long litany of excuses and objections on Moses’ part. It is such a human story full of excuses, insecurity and fear.

But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11)
How do you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” (3:11)
They won’t believe me.” (3:13; 4:1)
O Lord… I’m clumsy with my words.” (4:10)
Lord,  please! Send someone else.” (4:13)

Any of these sound familiar? It’s hard to believe that with this feeble beginning, God turned Moses into one of his greatest leaders. It just goes to show that serving God doesn’t depend on great things from us; it depends on our availability to a great God.

This has been God’s strategy from the beginning ? to pick ordinary, fallible people like you and me, and do great things through them by faith. I don’t know how we miss this so often, but we do. The Old Testament is riddled with people like this. We often think that we could never be like other people God is using mightily, when, if truth be known, they probably feel just as insecure as we do. Greatness, in God’s book, is not a measure of our natural abilities as much as it is a measure of our courage to believe God is with us in our weakness.

Still, God will use what we offer of our natural abilities, but only after we give them over to Him. I believe that is what the shepherd’s staff Moses carried around represented. God asked him to throw it on the ground and when he did, it immediately turned into a serpent. Then he told him to pick it up again (that would have been the hardest part!) and it turned back into a staff. God would later use this as a display of His power through Moses to Pharaoh and his magicians.

When we give up what we have in our hand. The few things we do have that we have come to trust. Then God can turn even these things into something He can use for His purposes. When we turn from reliance on our natural abilities to a reliance on God, he makes even more of our abilities.

What’s your staff? What have you been leaning on all these years? Is it a natural ability? Is it a drug? Is it something you’re good at? Or is it something that makes you think you’re good, but is really lying to you? Throw it down, and see what God can make of it.

Question: Check out the questions in the previous paragraph and answer them for yourself … what is your “staff“?

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/08/25/jf_throw-it-down/

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JOHN FISCHER, as Senior Writer with PurposeDrivenLife.com, has specialized in a daily devotional that now reaches an audience of over 400,000 people five times a week. John’s career spans over thirty-five years of distinctive ministry, first as a singer/songwriter, recording artist and pioneer of\ Jesus Music, then as a best-selling author, and currently as a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, churches and colleges/universities nationally.
You can contact John at: john.fischer@mac.com or visit his website: http://www.fischtank.com/ft/about.cfm

Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

by Max Lucado
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Through Christ, God has accepted you. Think about what this means. You cannot keep people from rejecting you. But you can keep rejections from enraging you.

Rejections are like speed bumps on the road. They come with the journey. You’re going to get cut, dished, dropped, and kicked around. You cannot keep people from rejecting you. But you can keep rejections from enraging you. How? By letting his acceptance compensate for their rejection.

Think of it this way. Suppose you dwell in a high-rise apartment. On the window sill of your room is a solitary daisy. This morning you picked the daisy and pinned it on your lapel. Since you have only one plant, this is a big event and a special daisy.

But as soon as you’re out the door, people start picking petals off your daisy. Someone snags your subway seat. Petal picked. You’re blamed for the bad report of a coworker. Three petals. The promotion is given to someone with less experience but USC water polo looks. More petals. By the end of the day, you’re down to one. Woe be to the soul who dares to draw near it. You’re only one petal-snatching away from a blowup.

What if the scenario was altered slightly? Let’s add one character. The kind man in the apartment next door runs a flower shop on the corner. Every night on the way home he stops at your place with a fresh, undeserved, yet irresistible bouquet. These are not leftover flowers. They are top-of-the-line arrangements. You don’t know why he thinks so highly of you, but you aren’t complaining. Because of him, your apartment has a sweet fragrance, and your step has a happy bounce. Let someone mess with your flower, and you’ve got a basketful to replace it!

The difference is huge. And the interpretation is obvious.

God will load your world with flowers. He hand-delivers a bouquet to your door every day. Open it! Take them! Then, when rejections come, you won’t be left short-petaled.

God can help you get rid of your anger. He made galaxies no one has ever seen and dug canyons we have yet to find. “The LORD … heals all your diseases� (Psalms 103:2–3 NIV). Do you think among those diseases might be the affliction of anger?

Do you think God could heal your angry heart?

Do you want him to? This is not a trick question. He asks the same question of you that he asked of the invalid: “Do you want to be well?� (John 5:6). Not everyone does. You may be addicted to anger. You may be a rage junkie. Anger may be part of your identity. But if you want him to, he can change your identity. Do you want him to do so?

Do you have a better option? Like moving to a rejection-free zone? If so, enjoy your life on your desert island.

Take the flowers. Receive from him so you can love or at least put up with others.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/08/24/ml_bouquets/

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Max Lucado
From: A Love Worth Giving
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men