Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25 - Here I Am

Today's Reading: 
Exodus 2:11-3:22
Luke 12:8-34
Psalm 18:16-24
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Focus Verses:
Exodus 3:1-4
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up." 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

It's interesting that God did not save the Israelites by giving Moses favor in the eyes of Pharaoh as he had done with Joseph many years before. I wonder why he didn’t. The Pharaoh's daughter had taken him into her care when he was just a small child. Why not make Moses a great leader in Egypt like Joseph had been?

Instead, God used the disfavor of Pharaoh to get Moses out of Egypt. As an exile in the land of Midian, Moses became a shepherd, started a family, and gained perspective about who he was. Eventually he was called by God to go back to Egypt to save his people from their oppression.

God got Moses' attention with the strange sight of a burning bush. God's presence filled the bush with flames but the bush was not consumed, it just kept burning and burning. In a way, God was calling Moses to become like that bush—completely aflame with God's presence and used for God's purpose. Moses must have thought that such a calling would utterly consume him. But in surrendering his life to God's call, rather than being consumed, Moses was lifted to the most glorious, meaningful, and productive days of his life.

Response and Action:
The ways God plans to use me may not be the ways I would expect to be used. Regardless of my circumstances, whether favorable or unfavorable, God is at work to accomplish his good will. I want to fulfill God's calling and purpose for my life. I will keep my heart and mind open to his leading.

When the direction God is leading seems to be too big and overwhelming for me, I will remember Moses and the burning bush. Just as the bush was not consumed, but rather was transformed into a glorious testimony of God's presence and purpose. I believe my life will not be consumed or burned up by answering God's call, but instead will be transformed with the light and purpose of Christ.

O God, thank you for saving and reaching out to me. Thank you for being a God of deliverance. Help me to embrace the calling I have in Christ and to find my purpose and fulfillment in him. Help me, like Moses, to say, "Here I am." Give me the faith to find my life by losing it. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential
by Gordon T. Smith

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