Why is being on time so challenging for some of us? Even when we start early, something inevitably gets in our way to make us late.
But here’s the good news: God is always on time! Speaking of the arrival of Jesus, Paul said, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4). The long-awaited, promised Savior came at just the right time.
Jesus’ arrival during the Roman Empire’s Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) was perfect timing. The known world was united by one language of commerce. A network of global trade routes provided open access to the whole world. All of this guaranteed that the gospel could move rapidly in one tongue. No visas. No impenetrable borders. Only unhindered access to help spread the news of the Savior whose crucifixion fulfilled the prophecy of the Lamb who would be slain for our sins (Isa. 53:1-12). All in God’s perfect timing!
All of this should remind us that the Lord knows what time is best for us as well. If you’re waiting for answered prayer or the fulfillment of one of His promises, don’t give up. If you think He has forgotten you, think again. When the fullness of time is right for you, He’ll show up—and you’ll be amazed by His brilliant timing!
Not ours to know the reason why Unanswered is our prayer, But ours to wait for God’s own time To lift the cross we bear. —Anon.
God’s timing is always perfect.
Paul did not say that he separated himself, but “when it pleased God, who separated me . . .” (Galatians 1:15). Paul was not overly interested in his own character. And as long as our eyes are focused on our own personal holiness, we will never even get close to the full reality of redemption. Christian workers fail because they place their desire for their own holiness above their desire to know God. “Don’t ask me to be confronted with the strong reality of redemption on behalf of the filth of human life surrounding me today; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.” To talk that way is a sign that the reality of the gospel of God has not begun to touch me. There is no reckless abandon to God in that. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the gospel of God (see Romans 9:3).
This Torah portion for this week, Yitro, is from Exodus 18:1—20:23 and Isaiah 6:1—7:6; 9:5—6.
Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for — the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. For weeks, we’ve been leading up to this monumental event. We read about the journey of the children of Israel to Egypt, about their enslavement, and about Moses, the Egyptian prince turned savior of Israel. We experienced the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. Finally, at long last, we have arrived at Mount Sinai.
What a moment! “ . . . There was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast . . . Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire” (Exodus 19:16–18). For the first – and only – time, God revealed Himself to an entire nation and He gave us Ten Commandments to follow and live by.
We can imagine the anticipation as God revealed Commandment Number One: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” But wait a second! That sounds much more like an introduction than a commandment! What action are we supposed to take or not take? Most of the other commandments begin, “You shall . . .” or “You shall not . . .” What shall we do, or shall we not do here?
To answer that question we need to ask another one. Why does God refer to Himself as the God “Who brought you out of Egypt” and not the God Who created the world? Surely the creation of the world was God’s most famous act!
The answer is because God wants us to know Him not only as the Creator of the world, but also as its Sustainer. God didn’t make our world and then move on to other things. God is involved in the world and in our personal world, right here, right now. That’s why God referred to Himself as the God Who took the Israelites out of Egypt. That was an event that they experienced on a personal and intimate level. And God wanted them – and us — to know that He is oh-so-very personal, involved in every minutia of life, from the smallest molecule to the greatest ocean and certainly in the lives of us all.
According to the Sages, that’s the meaning of the First Commandment — we are obligated to know that God is part of our lives at every single moment. Knowing that God is present at all times will completely define how we live our lives.
Take a moment and reflect upon God’s presence in your life and allow that knowledge to color the picture of your day. Fulfilling the First Commandment leads to richer, more meaningful days!
|Muslim Law at McDonald’s|
|What do you think the response would be if you called up the McDonald’s Corporation and asked them to pray a blessing in Jesus’ name over the food they served you? I think we know what their response would be.
However, McDonald’s in Dearborn, Michigan – which has one of the largest Muslim populations in America – advertises that they sell “halal” food – which follows Islamic requirements for food preparation. One “halal” requirement commands that Allah’s name be invoked as animals are slaughtered “in Allah’s name.”
Take Action! Click here to send a message to McDonald’s.
In today’s America, high school valedictorians cannot speak about God and prayers at public events cannot be offered in Jesus’ name without facing intimidation from the left – yet McDonald’s is praying to “Allah” before slaughtering chickens for their McNuggets?
This came to light recently when, as Fox News reports:
“McDonald’s and one of its franchise owners agreed to pay $700,000 to members of the Muslim community to settle allegations a Detroit-area restaurant falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary law, but sold non-halal when it ran out of halal chicken.”
In the settlement McDonald’s and its local management firm, Finley’s Management, said it “has a carefully designed system for preparing and serving halal such that halal chicken products are labeled, stored, refrigerated, and cooked in halal-only areas.” The company further stated that McDonald’s trains employees on halal food preparation and “requires strict adherence to the process.”
This is our concern about creeping Shariah. As American companies have capitulated to the gay agenda in their policies, we are beginning to see the same capitulation to Shariah law. When Shariah compliance spreads to government policy – as the gay agenda has done (from military policies to gay marriage) – our Constitution and our freedoms will be undermined.
Take Action! Click here to send a message to McDonald’s.
Elisha the prophet called one of the followers of the prophets and said to him, “Tighten your belt, take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth in Gilead. When you arrive there, look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, and when you go in take him into an inner room, away from those who are with him. Then from the flask pour oil on his head, and say, ‘Jehovah declares, I have anointed you to rule over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee without delay.”
So the young man went to Ramoth in Gilead. When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting together. And he said, “Commander, I have a message for you.” Jehu said, “To which of us?” He replied, “To you, O commander.” Then Jehu rose and went into the house; and the young man poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Jehovah the God of Israel says, ‘I have anointed you to rule over Jehovah’s people, over Israel!'” Then he opened the door and hurried away.
When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they asked him, “Is all well? Why did this insane fellow come to you?” He answered, “You know the man and his message.” But they said, “You are deceiving us. You must tell us.” Jehu replied, “He said this to me: ‘Jehovah says, I have anointed you to rule over Israel.'” Then each quickly took his garment, laid it at his feet on the bare stairs, and blew the horn and cried, “Jehu is the ruler of Israel.” So Jehu plotted against Joram.
Now Joram, with all the Israelites, had been defending Ramoth in Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, but Joram had gone back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received from the Arameans when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, “If it is your will, let no one escape from the city to bring news to Jezreel.” Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went toward Jezreel.
While the watchman was standing on the tower of Jezreel, he saw the cloud of dust about Jehu, as he came, and said, “I see a cloud of dust.” Joram said, “Send a horseman to meet him and ask whether he comes with peaceful purpose.” So the horseman went out to meet him and said, “The ruler of Israel asks, ‘Do you come with peaceful purpose?'” Jehu replied, “What have you to do with peace? Turn and follow me.” So the watchman said, “The messenger went to them, but does not return.” Then Joram sent out a second horseman who went to them and said, “The ruler of Israel asks, ‘Do you come with peaceful purpose?'” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn and follow me.” So the watchman said, “He also went to them but does not return; however, the driving is like the driving of Jehu, for he drives very fast.”
Then Joram said, “Get my chariot ready,” and when it was ready he went to meet Jehu and found him in the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Do you come with peaceful purpose, Jehu?” Then Joram turned to flee, but Jehu drew his bow and struck Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow went through his heart, and he fell down in his chariot.
Then Jehu said to Bidkar, his charioteer, “Take him up and throw him into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I well remember that, as you and I rode together after Ahab, his father, Jehovah pronounced this sentence upon him: ‘Surely I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and his sons, and I will punish you on this same piece of land.’ So throw him into this piece of land, as Jehovah said.”
Then Jehu arrived at Jezreel. As soon as Jezebel heard of it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair, and looked out of the window. As Jehu came in at the gate, she said, “Is all well with you, you traitor, you murderer of your master?” But he looked up to the window and cried, “Who is on my side? who?” Two or three slaves looked down at him, and he said, “Throw her down.” And they threw her down and the horses trampled on her. When Jehu had gone in and had had something to eat and drink, he gave this command, “Look after this woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull, the feet, and the hands. When they went back and told Jehu, he said, “This is what Jehovah declared by his servant Elijah when he said, ‘On the piece of land at Jezreel the dogs shall eat Jezebel’s flesh, and her body shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.'”
More and more we are coming to see the supreme importance of getting the right conception of sanctification, not as a blessing, but as a personal union with the personal Saviour and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thousands of people get stranded after they have embarked on the great voyage of holiness.
They find themselves failing and falling, and are astonished and perplexed, and they conclude that they must have been mistaken in their experience, and so they make a new attempt at the same thing and again fall, until at last, worn out with the experiment, they conclude that the experience is a delusion, or, at least, that it was never intended for them, and so they fall back into the old way, and their last state is worse than their first.
What people need to-day to satisfy their deep hunger and to give them a permanent and Divine experience is to know, not sanctification as a state, but Christ as a living Person, who is waiting to enter the heart that is willing to receive Him.