do you really believe that the Lord will answer?

Exodus 12


And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover.

When we pray to the Lord for something, how much do we actually expect Him to answer? If the Lord suddenly answered all of our prayers in an instant, would we be ready?

Sometimes the answer to our prayers, and our deliverance from the Lord, seems like it is far off and won't happen any time soon. Instead of thinking that, we should behave today, like we really expect the Lord to answer our prayers at any moment.

Wouldn't it be a shame, if we were supposedly believing the Lord with such strong faith for something all this time . . . but, then, when the Lord did come through with it, we were caught off guard, and weren't ready? If we're praying to the Lord and believing Him for a great deliverance in our lives, then let's get ready.


Matthew 24:32-51 - Key


Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

If we are going to be faithful and wise servants of the Lord, then we need to be faithful to bless His people with the good things that they need, when it is the right time.


As I just graduated from college, I'll take a look at my schedule and calibrate the activities in my life toward serving the Lord like this verse.


stubborn people won't listen

Exodus 11


And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh still had a hard heart ( Exodus 11:10 ), despite seeing Moses' anger ( Exodus 11:8 ), and would not hearken. In order to avoid being stubborn like Pharaoh, let's make sure work on listening humbly to other people and to the Lord.


knowest thou not yet...?

Exodus 10


And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

If you are seeking the Lord about what to do in some area of your life, but you can't seem to find the answer, here is some advice: what we really need to do first, is to do what we already know the Lord wants us to do.

There are probably some things that the Lord has already clearly and repeatedly let us know that he wants us to do (such as sins which easily beset us, that He wants us to completely put away). We should consider the things that are obvious, about which the Lord has spoken to us repeatedly, about which fellow-believers have counseled us, and maybe about which we have even been plagued, in some sense, in our lives.

Let's focus primarily on what we already clearly and surely know that the Lord wants us to do, and make sure that we do that.


putting up with plagues

Exodus 9


And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

How many plagues do we put up with in our lives, like Pharaoh did? Maybe we tolerate some tribulations, simply because we refuse to let go of some sinful things. Let's make sure to let go of the sins, about which, the Lord keeps letting us know.


2 Samuel 23 - Key


The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men [must be] just, ruling in the fear of God.

As we want to be an influence for righteousness in the lives of other people, we must make sure that we are conducting ourselves in the right way.


2 Samuel 22 - Key


The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

I am very thankful for who the Lord is, everything He has done for us and given to us, and how He has delivered us from spiritual enemies, by His salvation.


1 Corinthians 12 - Key


But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

We are supposed to earnestly covet he best gifts. They are gifts that we receive, but that does not mean that we should not work at them.


2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Preaching and teaching are gifts, but this verse also talks about the need for studying and being a workman.

...Rightly dividing the word... makes me think of writing outlines. I'll keep working on writing outlines, in my pursuit of teaching.

Other references:
  • Haggai 1:8
  • 2 Timothy 1:6
  • 2 Timothy 4:5


Matthew 24:15-31 - Key


For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

There are already many deceitful people and things in the world today, which would turn us away from Christ. Even those of us who are already Christ's chosen people need to make sure to not get deceived.


The way to keep from being deceived away from Christ, is to be full of His Holy Spirit, to give us clear discernment whether we should believe and follow certain things or not. A way to be full of His Holy Spirit, is to memorize His Word and keep it in mind. I'll keep working on memorizing the Bible every day.

John 14:26
But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


1 Corinthians 12 - Outline

unlike the world's system that we came out from, in Christ we all have the same one Spirit, one Lord, and one God
different profitable gifts by which the Spirit is manifested in different people
we are still important parts of the body of Christ, even if we don't have the same gifts as other people
we should honor and care about each person, even if they don't have the same gifts that we do
some gifts are better than others


two ways the Lord pursues us

Exodus 8


But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

How stubborn we would be, to keep going the wrong way--when the Lord reaches out to us so much like He did for Pharaoh. The Lord keeps working in our lives in two different ways, both punishing us when we sin, and rewarding us when we do what's right and seek Him.

If you are one of His people, He has done everything that you need in order to do what is right...you just need to make the right choice.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


Pharaoh's heart was hardened

Exodus 7


And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.

We shouldn't "harden our hearts," stubbornly refusing to believe in and listen to the Lord, despite all the great things He does. We should take warning from the example of Pharaoh.


2 Samuel 19 - Key


Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, [and be buried] by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.

What Barzillai did for Chimham, is what Christ did for us. We often consider how Christ suffered and died on the cross in our place, as a sacrifice, to take the judgment of our sin on Himself and save us from Hell. But, how often do we consider how Christ also made this other kind kind of substitution?

Barzillai, like Christ, was the one whose righteousness had earned the reward of passing over the Jordan River with King David, living in pleasure at Jerusalem, tasting the king's good food and drink, hearing the voice of singing men and women (2 Samuel 19:35). Is that not like the kingdom of God and heaven? Yet Barzillai was willing to die with his own people and send a substitute in his place, to enjoy the full reward of his righteousness instead. In the same way, Christ's righteousness is worthy of the reward, yet Christ intercedes with the Father for us, so that we can enjoy the place of His reward even though we ourselves have not earned that place.


2 Samuel 18 - Key


And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

This reminds me of Christ, how He was willing to die for us even when we had made ourselves His enemies. Praise the Lord for His great love.


1 Corinthians 11b - Key


For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Do we rely on other people to make us do what's right? We, ourselves, need to make sure that we do what's right.


Matthew 24 - Key


And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Already a few people come every know and then, and claim to be Christ, and deceive people that way. Before the end of the world, many false Christs will come and deceive many people. Today, all kinds of things can arise in our lives and deceive us to sin.


I'll keep memorizing the Bible so that I can have God's Word in mind to help keep myself from getting deceived.


1 Corinthians 12 - Outline

the same Spirit of God gives different gifts to different people
examples of abilities that the Spirit of the Lord gives
the unity of the body of Christ
each person in the body is necessary
everybody does not do the same thing
something even greater to come


Matthew 24 - Outline

Jesus corrected their focus by revealing the future
don't be deceived during the beginning of sorrows
the falling away, and the gospel preached to the whole world before the end comes
the greatest tribulation there will ever be
the Son of man coming, and the gathering of the chosen
when we see the signs, we can know that it will happen soon
the day that the Lord comes, will happen unexpectedly and take people by surprise
when He comes, will He find you being a faithful servant?


now shalt thou see what I will do

Exodus 6


And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

The Lord had spoken to them with all these great promises, and told them amazing things that He would do in the future, but they didn't listen. What kind of things might the Lord tell you? Oh, how much we should listen.


2 Samuel 17 - Key

the better-sounding counsel

Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.

Hushai deceived Absalom into taking this worse advice about pursuing David. In our situations, it might sound really good and convincing that we should be so thorough and merciless, but sometimes the best course of action is just one that would be enough to get the job done.


2 Samuel 16 - Key


And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?

When other people accost and jeer at us, we should forgive them. We should be easygoing and not feel like we have to get angry and take revenge.


1 Corinthians 11 - Key


And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Sometimes it's hard to give serious consideration to why we do the things that we all the time. When we often do the same thing, the same way, then there's the temptation to merely go through the motions of doing it without stopping to think about what it really means. If we do that with the Lord's remembrance, just eating it like food because we're hungry, then we are participating in the Lord's remembrance unworthily.


When I participate in the remembrance time, I'll make sure to stop and think about what it is that I'm doing.


Matthew 23 - Key


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

We may be involved with doing good work, counseling other people about righteousness. Also, we need to make sure that we aren't being hypocrites. We should remember to be working faithfully on what we know is the right thing to do.


Sometimes my tasks seem boring, and I'm not quite sure which thing would be the best to do first, and it seems like it would probably be OK to wait around for just "a little time." When I'm feeling lazy about doing things, I'll remind myself about how important it is to do the thing that I'm supposed to do then, and I'll "make myself do it."


1 Corinthians 11 - Outline

Paul is a trustworthy example
Biblical headship
differences in between men and women, in covering their heads
men and women have different roles, but are equally valuable
differences between men and women, in hair length
the eating and drinking are not the point of the Lord's supper
it is for remembrance
the Lord has judgment for believers, if we don't examine ourselves


Matthew 23 - Outline

do what they say, but not what they do
be humble, not called by flattering titles
hypocrisy excusing oaths
it's what's on the inside that counts
one generation guilty of killing all the righteous
the Lord is willing to deliver us, if we are willing to accept Him


when things seem desperate

Exodus 5


And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou [so] evil entreated this people? why [is] it [that] thou hast sent me?

For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

When sometimes things may seem really bad and desperate like this, who knows what awesome and great thing the Lord might be orchestrating behind the scenes and have in the works. We should just have more patience and faith, despite our situation, and keep faithfully following the Lord with all of our might.


2 Samuel 15 - Key


But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father's servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

David had simply and sincerely prayed for the Lord to ...turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. (2 Samuel 15:31b), but he did not use prayer as a substitute for action. When somebody came to him after he prayed, where he worshiped, he seemed to take that as possibly a part of the Lord's answer. In the same way, we shouldn't use prayer as a substitute for pursuing the Lord's purposes in our lives. We should pray, but we should also use the the situations that the Lord provides for us, as resources to pursue what we believe He wants us to do.


2 Samuel 14 - Key


And the king said, [Is not] the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, [As] thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:

The Lord is able to give us discernment about situations, such as when people approach us with ulterior motives. We should listen to the Lord when we make decisions, and look to Him for discernment.


1 Corinthians 10 - Key


Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Israel had many of the same standings that we do, but many of them still fell. We shouldn't brag about having baptism or communion, and assume that we will be secure from sin just because we have those things. Israel went through things that were really the same thing, but when they sinned, they still fell.


I'll work all the harder on the areas that I know I do have weaknesses in, to make sure that I don't fall into the trap of thinking that everything is fine and ignoring my real problems.


Matthew 22:23-46 - Key


And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any [man] from that day forth ask him any more [questions].

The Lord is able to give us an answer that can put others to silence.


When we go into the situation of a difficult conversation, we shouldn't rehearse what to say, beforehand. We should just pray, and then confidently trust the Lord to give us just what we need to say, just when we need to say it.

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