Killer Snakes

If God is So Good Official Picture (663x1024)

Isaiah 43:1–3 says, “But now, this is what the lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have sum- moned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through   the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not  set you ablaze. For I am the lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’”

Life will have struggles. We will pass through trials. But with our hope in Jesus, the trials will not overcome us; we will pass through them.

There is a story in Numbers 21. Moses was leading the children of Israel  through  the  wilderness. And  they  were so much like we are today. Some days they would be really faithful and follow God, but other times, they wanted to do their  own thing.

The people were constantly grumbling and complaining against God. They would not listen to Moses. And God needed to get their attention. So he sent venomous snakes into the land, and many of the people died.

But God loves us so much he always provides a way out of sin and death. The people repented for their wicked ways. And God had Moses make a bronze snake that was erected on a pole. And anyone who was bitten could look at the bronze snake, and they would live. They looked to the stick, and they lived!

We are just like the Israelites; we have snakes in our  lives. They can be drugs, lust, depression, infidelity, financial issues—the list goes on and on. You know what your snake is, but God provided a stick to save you! He sent his one and only son for you, to die on the cross, so that you can live! If you look to the cross, if you believe and receive Jesus, you too can live!   (Excerpt from If God is So Good, Why is My Life Such a Mess!)  

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Blessed

blessed areI hear many people talk about being blessed.  They usually are referring to their family, their finances or their health. And yes, there are many blessings that God bestows upon us.  But today I was reading a story in Matthew about how Jesus referred to being blessed.  It was a little different.  He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)

 

Poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted for being righteous, being insulted, and treated wrongly.

That is quite a different list of blessings.

The Jesus Way is always the opposite of the world’s way.  I want to be blessed.  I will endure whatever it takes.   Help me to see life through your eyes Jesus!