Sunday, April 10, 2016

You are a Testimony to God's Creative Power

God created humans in His image. Does that mean that we look like God? Well, not exactly. Being created in God’s image means that God has given us some of His own characteristics, so that we can relate to God and benefit from those special characteristics that He has bestowed upon us. These are the “in His image” godly characteristics that can contribute to the beautiful and unique person you are; the person whom God created to fulfill a special purpose for God’s glory. The Reverend Billy Graham explains it this way: “Our creativity, our inner sense of right and wrong, our ability to love and to reason – all bear witness to the fact that God created us in His image. The Bible says God ‘Has not left Himself without testimony’ [Acts 14: 17].– (p. 128 Billy Graham in Quotes. c. 2011).

It is our God given creativity that has brought us thus far on a planet that was originally without buildings or homes, without paintings, inventions, and transportation, and without today’s technological advances. In other words, God gave us the ability to do all those things that have made life so much easier for many by giving us His particular characteristic of creativity. But, having that good creative ability within a fallen world that is daily tempted by Satan, also means that in our creativity we can create things that are harmful as well as helpful, and many people do just that. We can also turn our potential for beauty and purposeful growth into negative and ugly actions that lead us into living in sin, thus hurting ourselves and other people. However, in addition to God giving us some of His wonderful characteristics, God has also given us “free will”. This means that we can choose how we want to use our creativity. Some will use their creative abilities in negative ways rather than positive ways. Sadly, we can also choose to live for ourselves while we allow Satan to influence our lives in many negative ways. Only by focusing on God and His Son, Jesus Christ, can we truly use this characteristic to the glory of God.

One of the “in His image” characteristics that God gave to us when He created us was the ability to know the Truth, even without our having specific laws to guide us. So it is today, within our heart of hearts, that many people still know when they are doing something wrong and hurtful even if they choose to ignore their heart. But, many more people ignore the Truth or what is right and good. So, how did we get to the point of disregarding God’s Truth? Well, remember that Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their eyes were immediately opened to evil and its desire to do things their own way. Truth and goodness were no longer a priority in their lives. Certainly, God knew, after Adam and Eve had sinned and when He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, that our living in a fallen world with all the continual ungodly temptations, prompted along by our love of self, that it would be much easier for us to ignore God’s Truth. So, God gave us His laws to guide us. God originally gave His laws to a man named Moses who would then gave them to the Israelites and through them to the world so that we could more easily distinguish between right and wrong and focus on God's Truth. 

The laws that God gave to us were to help us recognize and maintain the Truth. They were given to help us recognize the difference between right and wrong. They were also given to help us do the right things when the world we live in has Satan continually finding ways to tempt us into doing that which is wrong. Sadly, many people are constantly tempted by Satan and this fallen world, and then they often fall for those temptations to do the things that momentarily feel good, rather than doing that which is right and true.

Unfortunately, even the laws God gave to us to remind us to stay on the right path, and to be able to know the difference between right and wrong, did not stop all people from doing wrong. Nor, will those laws keep a person from doing wrong or from doing the most seemingly beneficial thing for a particular moment in time even if in the long run it hurts someone else. For, we are born sinners who need to be redeemed by Jesus Christ. Only Christ can change and cleanse the heart of a human through the re-birth of Salvation. Only then will our eyes be truly opened to the “in His image” Truth that we lost when Adam and Eve sinned. Until a person is “Saved”, it is really hard, though, for a person to recognize and want to live by God’s Truth. For, the un-“Saved” live for themselves and for their desires rather than living for God’s Truth, which can only be placed within or re-established in their hearts by Christ through Salvation. Until then, the un-“Saved” continually struggle with knowing the Truth. One of the best examples of a man doing something wrong, because he felt that he didn’t have to follow God’s Truth in his heart was Moses. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. We will get to his story in a little bit.

God also gave humans the ability to love and reason, and these two characteristics are also part of being in God’s image. Without God giving us the ability to love, we would not have the ability to love our children, family, friends, and neighbors. Nor, would we know what it means to love God or have the ability to understand the love that God had for us when He gave His Only Son to die for our sins on the cross, so that Christ could arise and conquer eternal death giving us the gift of Salvation to open and claim for our own. Moreover, without God’s love, and our acceptance of that love, we would not ever be able to spend eternity with God in Heaven. For, we have to be able to love God and His Son in order to be able to accept God’s gift of mercy and love, i.e. Jesus Christ our Savior, and then ask for Salvation. But, we also have to be able to reason in order to understand that we are born sinners who need to make a decision about our life and our God in order to ask for Salvation. Certainly, without being given God’s ability to reason, we could not make good decisions in our lives or decisions about our jobs and needs, etc. Isn’t it amazing that God thought of everything that we would need when He created us "in His image" by giving us His characteristics of love and reason among the many other wonderful characteristics of God’s that we have received.

Living a Holy and Righteous Life for Christ

Once we understand the sacrifice that God made by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins, we can then ask Christ into our heart and receive His Salvation. The Apostle Paul explained to the Philippians how they could live a righteous and holy life after their Salvation. Paul said, “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” Then, Paul went on to say, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 2: 2-5. NASB). These same words apply to us today.

To be of the “same mind, the same love, united in spirit and intent on one purpose” means that we must be willing to serve others just as Paul served others in order to share the Gospel message and bring Christ’s light into this dark world. The Apostle Paul was attempting to walk in a manner worthy of Christ. We, too, must attempt to live in a manner that pleases and honors Christ and His Father. In other words, we need to live a holy and righteous life for Christ. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.– (Ephesians 2: 10. NASB).

God knows each of us intimately, as He is our Creator, and we are His workmanship. In fact, He knows you better than you even know yourself. Moreover, He has created each of us to do great things for the Kingdom of God, if we are willing to accept His Son as our Savior and then serve Him and others who need our help. Additionally, God has created you for a specific fulfilling purpose within the Kingdom of God that only you can achieve. However, you have to be willing to submit to God and then faithfully obey God’s directions for your life in order for you to achieve what you were created to accomplish and in order to benefit others within His Kingdom. For, it is only in living for and by abiding in the Lord that you will be able to achieve your created purpose and serve God and others.

Part of living a righteous and holy life is to adhere to the Word of God and the Truth that God has placed within the hearts of all Christians. Living that righteous and holy life means that we are then able to shine Christ’s light on others who desperately need light of God’s Son. Obviously, the life we actually lead is the life that most people will see, for they cannot see into our heart. Therefore, we need to present our good, moral, ethical character to others in everything that we do. We must “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him, in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” – (Colossians 1: 10. NASB).

Bearing Fruit in Every Good Work

The Apostle Paul told us that we are to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord means that our conversations or the things that we talk about as well as our actions need to please the Lord. In fact, our conversations and words are very important in showing others that we are living for Christ. They are also important in our mentoring of others. For, we never want to say or do something that could lead someone else astray. Therefore, our conduct, our character, and our life should represent Christ to the world and especially to those that we are mentoring for the Lord. So, to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” means that we are to think about our words and actions before we speak or act. Then at all times, including during our time of service, we need to be worthy of the Lord in order to bear fruit in our work.

Next the Apostle Paul tells us to please God in all respects, including “bearing fruit in every good work” But sometimes we get ahead of ourselves in our attempt to walk for the Lord and bear fruit. For example, have you ever thought that you were doing something for the Lord, only to find that everything you did seemed to fall apart or not go as you planned. Well, perhaps you were not really “walking in a manner worthy of the Lord.” Perhaps you were actually walking in or doing things your own way, rather than doing what God wanted you to do. For, to really walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, we must not only think about our words and actions, but we must also pray before we proceed in order to bear fruit in every good work. Likewise, just as we ask for God’s purpose to be fulfilled in our lives, we must also ask for God’s purpose to be fulfilled in the lives of those we are attempting to help. This is especially true within our Active Relational Christian Mentoring of another. So, in order to bear good fruit and walk in a worthy manner when we are mentoring another, we must pray that our mentees will see life from God’s viewpoint and will be open to not only learning what you are mentoring, but also to be willing to truly hear the godly words that you need to speak.

Then the Apostle Paul tells us that we need to constantly be “increasing in the knowledge of God”. Obviously, Christians should not remain uninformed about God’s Word. In fact, we all need to read the Bible daily and then mediate on God’s Words. But many times we are lazy, or we find that we just don’t make the time to read the Bible. But, we need to read the Bible so that we can apply God’s Truths to our life; truths which will then help us to walk in a righteous and holy manner.

 Reading the Bible daily helps to increase our knowledge about God. If we work at increasing our knowledge about God, we will then have the ability to share that knowledge with others. For example, have you ever had someone try to trip you up by asking you a biblical question that you couldn’t answer? Well, that is the devil using that person to show them and others that you are not prepared or that you cannot answer their question. When you cannot answer the most common biblical questions, you have often also lost the moment to share Christ with that person. That is because, the person who asked the question will no longer have any respect for this so-called Christian who doesn’t know something that she asked. That is not to say that you have to be a theologian to answer another’s questions, however every Christian needs to at least know the basics and be able to tell another what book of the Bible they can read for further knowledge about the question asked. Many new Christians would not be able to answer a non-Christian’s question. But if we read the Bible daily, we gradually develop a wealth of biblical knowledge, so that we can more easily answer those who are trying to trip us up or those who truly want an answer. Knowing more about the Bible can also help us to answer questions for our mentees who are also just trying to learn.

Bearing “Good Fruit” and walking in a manner worthy of the Lord takes dedication and some work. In fact, in whatever service that you wish to perform for the Lord, there is dedication and work required. But, as Christians we should joyfully and happily engage in service for the Lord. Actually, helping another through your mentoring service will bring you great joy and satisfaction along with many blessings when the mentee finally understands, is helped, or is empowered to do something she could not do before you offered your help.

The Value of Studying the Word and Learning From God

Whatever we do in life requires a certain amount of education or learning. Whether it is just learning how to cook a meal, build a bird house, or prepare for a career, we all need to do a certain amount of studying in order to learn. As Christians, we cannot just sit back and bask in our Salvation, for God wants each of us to be able to share the Word, and to help others who may need emotional support, educational learning, spiritual support or some type of life coaching. This means that as Christ’s followers, we need to know as much as we can about not only the Bible, but about those things that God has given us the ability to do.

One example of a man who came to know the value of learning and the value of relying on God’s Word was Moses. Moses discovered that he had not only been created in God’s image, including to love and reason and recognize Truth, but that He had also been created for a purpose within God’s Kingdom. Most everyone knows the story of Moses leading the Hebrew or Israelite people through the Red Sea on dry ground, but did you know that Moses had a great deal to learn before He could do that for the Lord and for the Israelites.

Along the way, Moses discovered just like the Apostle Paul did that one cannot “… merely look out for your own personal interests, but also (must look out) for the interests of others.-- (Philippians 2: 4. NASB). So, let’s take a closer look at this unique man, Moses, created by God for a particular purpose in history and for a particular purpose in the lives of the Israelites. Certainly, Moses would look out for them and save them from Pharaoh, but before Moses could accomplish the mission that God would eventually give Him, to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, Moses had much more to learn from others, from life and from God. First, though, Moses needed to learn humility.

From the moment that Moses was born, there was something special about him. At least that is how his parents and his sister felt about him. But, to save his life, they had to hide Moses from those who would kill him. For, it is recorded in the Bible that the Israelite people had continued to multiply greatly in the land in which they were residing. But, in his fear that all these Hebrew people might rise up and take over his nation, Pharaoh decided to kill all the Israelite baby boys. So, Moses’ mother and his sister hid Moses in a basket in the bulrushes of the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe. This Egyptian princess then heard Moses cry and her heart went out for the child. She immediately asked for a wet-nurse and Miriam, Moses’s sister, offered Moses’ mother as a wet-nurse. So, for the first three to five years Moses lived with his own family until he was weened. Then he was given back to the princess to be raised in the Egyptian Pharaoh’s palace. Thereafter, Moses spent most of his first forty years of life living in luxury.

In the first forty years of his life, Moses was being prepared by God to carry out his ultimate purpose in life. God started by providing Moses with the best possible education that Moses could have at that time in history. But, even before his formal education, Moses grew up learning two languages, Hebrew and Egyptian, both of which he would need to speak in order to rescue God’s people from Pharaoh. This was the first step in God’s preparation of Moses for His upcoming mission.

It is truly amazing what God can do. Indeed, only God could come up with a plan like this for Moses; a plan that included educating Moses for the very important job that God would later ask him to do. In the meantime, “… Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” – (Acts 7: 22. NKJV). This means that Moses was taught such things as the Egyptian agriculture techniques of that time. He also learned higher mathematics that were required in order to build the pyramids. He probably learned how to lead groups of soldiers as well as how to fight and defend the Egyptians against invaders. Whatever the subject matter, Moses was introduced to the best teachers of that time.

Moses was living a very prestigious and luxurious life. But Moses was also torn between two worlds – that of the palace life with his Egyptian mother and that of the life of his birth mother and brother and sister who were living as basically slaves to this Pharaoh. For the Hebrews were forced to make bricks and carry materials for the building of the Pharaoh’s cities, Pithom and Raamses. (See Exodus 1). The Bible says, “The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed upon them.– (Exodus 1: 13, 14). So, while Moses was living a luxurious life in the palace, his family and all the Israelites were suffering.

Moses, however, had learned to love the people of his heritage even though he was living in the palace of the Pharaoh. Part of Moses training in the palace was to learn how to reason and make decisions quickly, for he was also being trained to become an Egyptian leader. So, Moses probably thought that most of his decisions would not only benefit him, but would benefit others as well. Unfortunately, Moses’ pride in all he had learned and his love of the Hebrew people along with a sudden spur of the moment emotional decision would cost Moses more than he could know. But it would also set the second stage of God’s plan for Moses’ life and his mission in life in motion. Even so, Moses probably never dreamed that a spur of the moment decision would not be about a leadership decision, but an emotional decision about the people of his heritage.

Deciding to do Things Our Own Way

The spur of the moment decision that Moses made would indeed change his life forever. Moreover, it was not a humble decision, but a prideful decision that would cost Moses a great deal. For, the Bible says: “Now, when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For, he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.” – (Acts 7: 23-25. NKJV)

Evidently, Moses believed, perhaps because he was raised to be a leader and perhaps because God had put the deliverance of his people on his heart, that he was to be the one to save his people. Moses, though, did not reason out the best way to rescue his people. Moreover, Moses did not wait upon the Lord’s timing, nor did he think about the right and wrong or the consequences of his immediate prideful action. Instead, in a moment of anger, Moses killed a man, and then found that even the people of his heritage did not understand why he had killed this Egyptian overseer. Moses felt that his spur of the moment decision to kill the Egyptian overseer was justified in order to save the Hebrews from being beaten to death by a terrible taskmaster.

Certainly, Moses did not hear from God that he was to kill the man, because God does not want anyone to kill another human in anger, jealousy, greed, etc. Moses, though, did not think things through or reason out how his action might have possible negative repercussions. Instead Moses allowed his anger at the abuse of one of his own to get the better of him. Making decisions on our own without consulting God or making a decision based on our emotions or in order to be in control of our own lives will often drastically change our lives and not necessarily for the better, and such was the case with Moses.

We may pray and then hear from God that we are to do something particular in service for God, but we still should not get ahead of God’s timing. Nor, can we think that our way of doing the job is the correct way or the way that God wants us to accomplish the task. Instead, as Christians, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit and then allow Him to help us proceed in a manner that will please God and accomplish His will for our lives and the lives of the people that we are helping. For, when we jump in with both feet before praying and listening to directions from God, we can sometimes get ourselves into really hot water and that is exactly what happened to Moses. 

Moses did not pray first before he acted, nor did he hear from God. To make matters worse, he did not think or reason things through before he allowed his pride and his anger to control his life. For, it was in truly in anger and pride that Moses killed the overseer who had been abusing one of the Hebrew men.

After Moses killed the overseer, he quickly looked around to see if anyone had seen him. Thinking that he was safe and no one had seen him, Moses then buried the overseer’s body in the sand. (See Exodus 2: 12). But, someone did indeed see what Moses had done, for, “… when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’” But the Hebrew man turned to Moses and said, “‘Who made you a prince and judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ So, Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known.’ When the Pharaoh heard of this matter he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian….”  -- (Exodus 2: 13-15. NKJV).

Moses discovered that he would have to pay for this despicable act of murder in one way or another. Obviously, he wasn’t caught and killed by Pharaoh for what he had done, but he was certainly going to have to give up everything that he was accustomed to and live in exile from Egypt. For Moses, it would be a type of prison, because he would no longer be able to live a life of luxury and prestige. He would have to learn how to live off the land while in a different country and wilderness area in order to survive.

God Can Use Us No Matter What We Do

God still had very specific plans for Moses. However, God’s long term plans required Moses to be educated now in a totally different way and to acquire even more wisdom, but from a totally different source than his Egyptian teachers. Although Moses still did not know that God had plans for him and that he was being educated for a specific purpose, Moses would spend the next forty years or the second third of his life learning how to live off the land, herding flocks of sheep and gaining wisdom from his father-in law, a Midianite Priest, and from general life lessons.

When he fled from Egypt, Moses fled to the land of Midian. Then, shortly after Moses arrived in Midian he stopped at a well for water. It was at this well that Moses met his future wife, Zipporah, who along with her sisters was drawing water for the animals and the shepherds who watched the flocks of sheep for their father. Through this simple event at the well, God not only introduced Moses to the Midianites but to the Midianite Priest, Jethro, who was also called Reuel. Zipporah and her sisters, whom Moses had met at the well, introduced Moses to their father, who was Jethro. Now, God would use this Midianite’s knowledge of the land to teach Moses what he would later need to know in rescuing the Israelites from Egypt.

Who were the Midianites? Well, the Midianites were distant relatives of the Israelites through Abraham and his concubine Keturah. About four hundred years before Moses, the Midianite traders purchased Joseph from his brothers and sold him as a slave in Egypt. But, the Midianites did not worship God. Instead they worshipped Baal of Peor, a false god. However, even in his worship of a false god, God was able to use the Midianite Priest Jethro to help Moses.

Jethro helped Moses learn about raising sheep and living off the land. Much later at Horeb, Jethro helped Moses when Moses was facing burn-out in his responsibilities over the Israelites and the other foreign peoples who had decided to come along with the Israelites out of Egypt; all of these people together totaled nearly three million people. So, when Jethro visited Moses at Horeb, the mountain of God, Jethro told Moses that he could not do everything or be everything for everyone. For, along with his leadership responsibilities, Moses also had the responsibility of adjudicating personal squabbles and issues among the people. Moses, though, was burning out, because there were too many cases to hear. To alleviate this problem, Jethro told Moses to choose a leader from each of the twelve tribes to judge the people when they had smaller disagreements or problems that needed to be adjudicated. These leaders would be over other groups of leaders who would take on some of the same responsibilities. Delegating some of this responsibility would then allow Moses to just deal with the more severe problems, which would allow him to focus on his job of leading the people. (See Exodus 18: 17-23). God showed us that even a worshiper of a false god could be used by Almighty God to give Moses wise advice about not trying to do all things by himself.

God can use anyone. In fact, God can use all people, even if they are not His followers, in ways that they cannot imagine. Moreover, God can use even an individual who is not a Christian to help another person or Christian when they are down and out. Furthermore, God can also use a bad person as an example of what not to do or how not to act. In other words, God can use anyone to get out His message or to get a particular teaching across to someone, for God has given each human unique abilities that in the right context can be shared with others. Certainly, God used Jethro to bring to Moses' attention another way of fulfilling his responsibilities.

God also takes His time when training someone for a very specific mission. For example, it took the second forty years to get Moses ready for God’s mission. In fact, Moses was eighty years old when God finally appeared to him in a burning bush out in the desert near Horeb, the mountain of God. Once God got Moses’ attention with a bush that would not be consumed by fire, God gave Moses his assignment. God said, “Come now, therefore, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.– (Exodus 3: 10. NKJV). Moses, though, was afraid to go back to Egypt, because he was murderer. But, Moses also did not think that he was qualified to get Pharaoh to let the people go. However, God assured Moses that he was qualified! For, not only had God prepared Moses for this day, but God assured and promised Moses that He would be with him. In fact, God said, “‘I will certainly be with you. And this will be a sign to you that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain, (Horeb).’” – (Exodus 3: 12. NKJV).

Although Moses felt that he was not qualified to do this mission for the Lord, he was eventually convinced and obeyed the Lord. But first he gave the Lord several excuses for why he could not go on the Lord’s mission. However, the Lord would not accept his excuses. Finally, when Moses said that he was not eloquent in speech, God told Moses that his brother Aaron would help him.

Sometimes, we just need a little encouragement and support from a friend or relative to get us started on doing what God has asked us to do. It shouldn’t be that way, but we are often insecure in different areas of our lives. In this case, Moses was insecure about his ability to talk to Pharaoh. We don’t know if that was just an excuse, or if Moses indeed had some type of speech problem. Perhaps Moses simply did not want to obey God. But, either way, God did not accept Moses’ excuse. Instead, God called Aaron, Moses’ brother, to go with Moses and speak for him, but it would be Moses telling Aaron what God wanted said.

Moses found out that we cannot make excuses for not serving the Lord, because they are just excuses. Instead, we should remember that when God asks us to do something, He has already prepared us to be able to do the job, just as He had prepared Moses to do the job of rescuing His people. Moreover, doing God’s will is basically a simple matter of obedience. I hope that you will always obey the Lord and produce good fruit in service to Him and others while walking in a manner worthy of the Lord.

The Value of Preparation

What great things might God be able to accomplish through you, if you will but pick up His Word and study it for the knowledge you will need to not only live for Him, but to share God’s Word with others. Moses spent two-thirds of his life in preparation for his mission. During the first third of his life, Moses was being groomed or shaped in Egypt where the Scriptures tell us that “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” – (Acts 7: 22. NKJV).  Then during the second third of his life, Moses was acquiring knowledge or learning, too, that would benefit Moses in the last third of his life, which was to lead the people out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. Remember that the Apostle Paul told the Philippians that they could not merely look out for their own interests, but they were also to look out for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). But, along the way, in order to look out for the interest of others and accomplish what God wants us to do, we have to prepare for our mission and purpose by studying the Word, praying, and by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our life.

You probably know the rest of the story about Moses. Moses went back to Egypt and did what God had asked Him to do. It wasn’t an easy task, but after ten plagues that represented the greatness and power of God over all the false gods of the Egyptians that truly did not have any power, Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Israelites go. The Egyptians were so afraid of what might happen to them if the Israelites didn’t leave that they actually gave the Israelites much of their wealth to ensure that they would indeed leave. Then, many of the Egyptians, probably those who were poor and also put upon by the wealthier Egyptians, left with the Israelites.

Pharaoh, though, was a liar who changed his mind at the drop of a hat. So, even though, he had told the Israelites that they could leave, he suddenly decided that they were not going to get away, because he would lose all his free manpower. He then immediately called for his troops and their chariots. They all rode hard to catch up with the Israelites who were at the edge of Red Sea. With the Egyptians pressing down upon them from behind, and mountainous terrain on their sides, the Israelites were facing the Red Sea with no place to go. God, however, had a great plan and told Moses to raise his staff and hand and to “stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.– (Exodus 14: 16, 17. NASB). Indeed, God was honored, because just as the Israelites got to the other side of the sea, Pharaoh, the Egyptian army and their chariots and horses entered into the dry sea bed to follow the Egyptians. However, once the entire army was on the sea bed, God allowed the water to come back and fall over all of them drowning everyone. The Israelite people would never be pursued by Pharaoh again.

Moses’ job wasn’t finished yet. For he had to lead the Israelite people all the way through the wilderness to the border of the Promised Land. There were enemies along the way and many times the people acted like little children. Surely, there were times when Moses wanted to throw up his hands and quit, yet he fulfilled his mission for the Lord and brought them to the Promised Land. We can learn from Moses that we, too, need to be dedicated to the mission that God gives us to perform in this life. We also need to produce the fruit of good works just like the fruit of good works that Moses produced in showing the people who God is. If you are interested in the story of the Israelites trip through the wilderness, it is an interesting one. You can read it in the Bible in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.

Certainly, Moses could not fulfill his purpose and produce good fruit, though, without first looking out for the interests of the Israelites, as he brought them out of Egypt and to the border of the Promised Land. From Moses’ life we also learn that, we must be willing not only to love others but to serve others in order to fulfill our mission in life. So, whether you are a Sunday school teacher, a counselor, teacher, vacation Bible school worker, or a Christian mentor you have to be willing to serve others in order to fulfill your purpose and mission in life as well to produce good fruit. As Christians who now have God’s Truth embedded in our hearts through our Salvation, we also have the responsibility of sharing God’s Truth with others. This is part of every Christian’s mission, and in looking out for the interests of others, we can produce the good fruit for the Lord.

As Christians, we have the responsibility of helping others who need what we have to offer in the way of knowledge, information, skills, spiritual gifts, talents, wisdom, and physical labor if we are able to do so. Like Moses, God has been preparing you for a specific job or mission for the Kingdom of God. You just need to step forward to produce good fruit and good works for the Lord. In fact, living for the Lord by helping others is really very easy. Such things as painting the house of a widow who cannot afford to paint her house, or helping someone develop a skill or talent that will empower them in life is the responsibility of those who can help. In fact, God has given you your specific gifts and has helped you to acquire your specific knowledge in order to live a good and true life for the Kingdom of God.

You have some responsibilities, though, in the preparation for your mission; whatever that may be. You must prepare for your mission in life by studying the Word, by working on developing your particular talents, and by staying in constant communication with the Lord through daily prayer. Then when God places a person in front of you who has a particular need, you are prepared to help. To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, means that we are to work for the Lord, but we are also to remember that we are created in His image. So, in order to show others that they, too, can walk for God, we must allow the light of Christ and God's Truth to shine through us in everything that we do. Above all, we are to be loving, caring, kind humans who act upon God’s Truth while reasoning properly with the brain that He gave us. Then we can use our creative abilities to find ways to help those in need.

Many of you can help others by becoming a Christian mentor to another woman who needs a friend, a sponsor, an accountability partner, etc. For, God created you to love, respond, reason, care, and share with other women within the Kingdom of God. You have also been created to share the Gospel message with those who do not yet know Christ as their Savior. Because God doesn’t make mistakes, and because He has made you in His image with many of His gifted characteristics, there is really no reason for you to avoid truly living for Him. There is also no reason for you to not produce good fruit for God’s Kingdom. In fact, like the Apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians, I too pray that you , “… may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you will walk in the manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.– (Colossians 1: 9-12. NASB).  For, you are indeed a testimony to God and His creative power.

 You can do it! You can live for the Lord and actively mentor others in Christian values and in Christian love while helping and bestowing on others what God has graciously given you to share. Just remember to ask for God’s direction and then prepare for your life’s mission of shining the Light of Christ out upon this dark world.

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