Archive for August, 2009

Highway out of Egypt

Posted: August 30, 2009 in Candle Lights

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     Several times each year between June 1st and November 30th, we debate the issue.  Which route is the best?  What time should we leave?  What should we take?  Is it really necessary to leave?  Then the time comes when a decision must be made.  Do we stay put or do we take Highway 87 out of Navarre to escape the wrath of the approaching hurricane.  If we delay too long, it will be too late to leave.  The highway will be closed.

     We always have plenty of warning before a hurricane comes ashore.  The newspaper prints a list of needed supplies well before June 1st.  As the storm approaches, the air almost feels as if it has an electric charge.  The National Weather Service sounds the alarm!  The signs of the coming storm are everywhere.  So many times folks delay leaving, and then they must stay in harm’s way and ride out the storm.

     There is a storm approaching the world.  Centuries ago we received our supply list.  We can feel the storm in the air.  The alarm is sounding, and the signs are everywhere.  Each one of us has a decision that must be made.  Do we stay in Egypt or do we take the “highway out of Egypt” (Isaiah 19:23)?  The Highway out of Egypt, the “way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8), is there for us, but if we delay, it will be too late.  The highway will be closed, and this storm will not be a storm that we can “ride out”.

     In John 14:6 Jesus said that He is “the way”.  We walk the Road of the Redeemed (Isaiah 35:9) when we are born again.  When we take the Highway out of Egypt, we do not need a grab-and-go supply box.  Jesus is our light (John 9:5), our water (John 4:14), and our bread (John 6:48).  He is all that we need.

     Don’t delay!  Today is the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2).  Highway 87 will become jammed with people trying to escape the hurricane, but the Highway out of Egypt always has room for one more.

Thank You, Lord.

Diane Padgett 5/20/2006

 

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Sixteenth in the series Get close to God

I’m learning that the most important thing in life is not what I always thought was the most important.  It’s not climbing the corporate ladder, loving my family, or even serving God.  It’s knowing Christ.  Paul said he considered his status, his accomplishments, and everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.  He considered them “rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him.  He said “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”  (Philipians 3: 8-10)

I hesitate to speak for God, but I believe what he wants most is to have a relationship with us.  That’s why he created us.  He doesn’t need us to do anything for him.  He could snap his fingers and get it done instantly.  He gave us things to do and people to do them with so we’ll learn to trust him and see him work in and through us. 

Our activities are only a part of the process.  We don’t try to become good followers of Christ to earn a place to sit at his feet.  We sit at his feet to become good followers of Christ.  I’m often like Martha, who was busy doing stuff for the Lord, when I need to be more like Mary, who sat at his feet soaking up everything he said.  “Martha, Martha, he said, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better.”  Living a holy life and loving others are important, but we won’t get far with that if we’re not abiding in Christ.

Why do we put blinders on horses?  To keep them from being distracted or frightened so they will stay focused on what’s in front.  We need to wear spiritual blinders to keep us focused on the Lord, to secure his presence, direction, and power instead of being distracted or frightened by the things of this world.  Our primary role is to be ambassadors for Christ.  Everything else should come after that.

We’ve all heard the advice to “let go and let God.”  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  But the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do is to let go of my thoughts, my desires, and my plans and to seek Christ and his will and his kingdom.  My biggest struggle is not with people or the pressures of life.  It’s with myself, trying to keep my blinders on, trying to keep the main thing the main thing!

Maybe you’re wondering, “Is it worth it?  What’s in it for me?”  How does this sound: freedom from worry, peace of mind, a deep satisfaction from knowing you are right where you need to be, and getting to experience a love that’s indescribable?  These are just a few of the benefits that are directly proportional to how close we are to God.  We gain a lot more than we lose!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2)

 

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Wow!  It’s already been a year since I started this blog!  I’ve really enjoyed learning how to build this site and the challenge of sharing what the Lord has been teaching me.

With all the articles and books available to us these days, what did I think I had to say that hasn’t already been said?  I have no formal training in writing or theology and I don’t claim to be an expert in anything.  But since I started my quest on getting closer to God I’ve been getting all these ideas that burn deep inside me and keep me restless until I find a way to express them on paper.  The 40 posts I have written this past year have been kind of a journal of the struggles and joys I’ve experienced along the way.

I’m not sure how much longer this blog will keep going.  I haven’t written anything for over three weeks.  I’m still learning and hearing from the Lord, mostly from His word, but it hasn’t gone beyond scribbling down a few notes.  This could be because I’m being sidetracked with writing songs again and preparing to teach a class on video production.  Or it may be that the Lord is through using me this way, at least for now (he gives and he takes away.)  If you think I should keep this blog alive or have any suggestions, please let me know.

I want to express my extreme gratitude to my subscribers and others who have dropped by from time to time to check out my latest ramblings and the wonderful contributions from my sister, Karen, and my cousin, Diane.  I hope it has helped and encouraged you to pursue Christ more fervently than you have before.  I really appreciate those  who have participated and left comments.  That means a lot to me.

I would like to leave you with this blessing from Hebrews 13:20-21:

 May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

And one more… 

 THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!

(2 Corinthians 9:15)

 

 

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