THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: BE MORE CONCERNED FOR GOD’S GLORY THAN FOR YOUR RELIEF

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 2: Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.

“Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, “They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.” Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.~ Exodus 14:3-4

God Delivers Us In His Way and In His Time

When God led the Israelites directly to be blocked in by their enemy at the Red Sea shore, I’m sure they were wondering what God was thinking. After all, hadn’t He just rescued them from Egypt? Just like the Israelites didn’t understand, we’re often clueless to God’s reasoning for our circumstances.

” God deliberately orchestrated the Exodus events as an occasion for demonstrating the power He wields over both His enemies and the elements.” ~ Robert J. Morgan

The Exodus Story Teaches Us:

        • God doesn’t waste suffering.
        • If God leads us in He will lead us out.
        • God delivers in His time and in His way.
        • God can use every impossible situation for His glory!

See Difficulties as God Opportunities.

If we could see our difficulties as an opportunity for God’s grace to shine on our behalf we would maintain a more balanced perspective and give God more glory in the middle of our struggles.

During our difficult times it would be good to remember Jesus’ submissive prayer after The Last Supper as He was looking ahead at the coming hours:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.Father, glorify your name!” ~ John 12:27-28

Give God Glory by Turning Problems into Praise.

Today instead of asking God to get me out of the mess I’m in, I’ll ask God how can I bring glory to His name in the middle of my mess.

Take a break from your trying times. Rise and shine with this energetic worship song and give God glory despite everything you see and feel.

THE NEW LIFE :: HIDDEN IN CHRIST

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world application.

Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.  ~ Colossians 3:3 TPT

When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior we made a declaration of that new life and displayed it publicly by the act of water baptism. Submerged under the water we are buried with Christ. Lifted up out of the water we are raised to walk a new life in Christ.

Just as we know that our old sinful life is buried and dead, we can see our new life hidden safely in Christ. We are protected from the sting of eternal death that sin brings and from anything the Enemy tries to attack us with.

CHRIST IS IN ME

I AM IN CHRIST

CHRIST IS IN GOD

Using the image below as a visual example, we can imagine how this new life hidden in Christ works. With nesting containers, the smaller one fits inside the next larger size and so on until all the containers are inside the largest container.

Visualize yourself as the second container, with Christ (the top container) in you. Then with Christ in you, you are also in Christ (the third container). And together you are both in God (the bottom container).

With Christ inside us giving us peace, strength and direction we are protectively hidden in Christ and Father God’s hands. Not only are we safe from the Enemy’s sneaky tricks and hateful attacks, we are fully surrounded by God’s love.

Contemplate what being hidden in Christ means to you with this sweet song by United Pursuit .

 

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SIMPLICITY

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns will post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties. But rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

 

SIMPLICITY: The inward reality of single-hearted focus upon God and His kingdom, which results in an outward lifestyle of modesty, openness, and unpretentiousness and which disciplines our hunger for status, glamour and luxury. ~ The Life With God Bible ~

It requires determined intentionality to live a life of simplicity amid the growing chaos of this world. The importance of the spiritual discipline of simplicity isn’t just about our mental and physical health. It is intrinsically connected to our ability to hear from God and enter into His Kingdom.

…Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.  ~ Matthew 18: 2-5 (MSG)

When we think about a very young child, one that has yet to be influenced much by society, we can recognize their simplicity of thought and behavior. They exhibit a sense of wonderment and an ability to enjoy even the simplest of things. This is what Jesus is asking us as adults to do.

Let’s break it down…

Simplicity of Body: Examine yourself as you are today, accepting your body as it is not as you wish it could be.

Simplicity of Mind: Lean into the uncomfortable quietness of a moment without social media distractions or entertainment. 

Simplicity of Heart: Embrace contentment in anonymity without desiring attention and acknowledgement from others. 

Simplicity of Spirit: Experience the presence of God in nature; walk among the trees, listen to the birds, watch the clouds, smell a flower.

As with all the spiritual disciplines simplicity must begin with an inner heart change, one that is focused on God and His Kingdom. The result will be a sincere, uncomplicated lifestyle that has a deep appreciation for creation, and by refusing to be a slave to anything but God becomes free of the attachments to material possessions.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

~ Matthew 5:8

Following the words of Jesus, let’s come with the simplicity of a child’s heart and worship God with this beautiful song by Rend Collective.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: THY KINGDOM COME

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray, giving them not just a prayer to recite, but also a model prayer for us all. On the first Friday of each month in 2020 we will study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives for today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

 

Old Testament Kingdom Expectations

Through Old Testament Scripture the prophets taught that God’s Kingdom will come. Because of this Jesus’ disciples and many of the early believers were expecting Jesus to come and rule as an earthly king like the Hebrew nation had for centuries.

Believers Represent The Kingdom

Today, Jesus’ Kingdom is represented in this world by His body of believers. I believe when we pray THY KINGDOM COME we’re asking for more of God’s presence to come by way of the Holy Spirit through the body of believers. For God to show out more and more to the unbelieving world in a way that they will know Jesus is the only Way and the only Truth!

“Grace and peace to you from the One who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness, the first among those raised from the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.

He is the One who loves us, who made us free from our sins with the blood of his death. He made us to be a kingdom of priests who serve God his Father. To Jesus Christ be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” ~ Revelation 1:4-6

Jesus Is Sovereign Over All

Jesus is the sovereign King and His saving work — His death, burial and resurrection — established the beginning of His kingdom. But Jesus’ Kingdom won’t be fully completed until His second coming.

Until that time comes we are to worship The King of Kings in spirit and truth, while sharing His message of love and redemption to everyone we can. Let’s start today with this beautiful song by Hillsong Worship.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: GOD MEANS FOR YOU TO BE WHERE YOU ARE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 1: Realize that God means for you to be where you are.

“God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.” ~ Exodus 14:1-2

DEAD ENDS AND QUESTION MARKS

In the first Scripture of our study we read that God tells Moses to turn the Israelites around and make camp on the shore of the Red Sea. I’m sure the Israelites were wondering why they turned around and are going back from where they came instead of going away from the Egyptians.

“Worry is putting question marks where God has put periods.” ~ John R. Rice

It’s easy to get bogged down in worry and wonder why we are in the situation we are in today. We may even begin to think we are at fault for some reason.

In times like these it’s important that to realize that God has everything under control. He has either put us here and will get us out. Or if we have put ourselves here, God will still get us out and good will come from it.

WHEN FACING A TOUGH SITUATION REMEMBER YOU ARE:

    • In God’s Assignment: We are here for a reason.
    • In God’s Protection: We are being kept safe.
    • In God’s Education: We are learning something for our future.
    • In God’s Plan: It all works together for good one day.

As you ponder life’s hills and valleys enjoy this beautiful song posted below by Tauren Wells.

THE NEW LIFE :: SET YOUR MIND ABOVE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world application.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.~ Colossians 1:2

Living a heaven-focused life isn’t easy. Worldly distractions abound… freeway billboards, pop-up ads on our Internet browser, club music in the grocery store and that doesn’t count television, radio and magazines. It’s estimated that we’re hit with up to 10, 000 influences almost every day.

How on earth can we keep our minds set on heaven?

MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE

Because human beings are made in God’s image we have the ability to think like God thinks. Scripture teaches us to think higher thoughts like God does. If God tells us to do something it’s possible to do it. When we ask God for help, make every effort to be obedient He will give us good success.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

DEVELOP A SPIRITUALLY DISCIPLINED LIFE

There is incredible value in learning and applying spiritual disciplines such as: prayer, study, service, confession and worship.  On the 2nd Friday of 2020 at RHW we are doing a Spiritual Disciplines study. One of my favorite Bibles: The Life With God Bible is developed around the spiritual disciplines. It’s an excellent resource and great place to begin your study to grow more disciplined.

You’re only truly happy when you walk in total integrity,
walking in the light of God’s word. What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek him as their heart’s passion! They’ll never do what’s wrong but will always choose the paths of the Lord. God has prescribed the right way to live: obeying his laws with all our hearts. ~ Psalm 119:1-4 (TPT)

REJECT WHAT ISN’T FROM GOD

It’s easy to be influenced by worldly things. I’m very strict with what I allow to grab my attention. Whether it’s the tv in the lunch room at work or the radio playing at a co-worker’s desk; I have to be intentional to not let ungodly influences creep in.

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. ~ Romans 12:2

SEEK HEALTHY FELLOWSHIPS

There’s no question we become like the people we hang out with. It’s critical that we choose our friends carefully. Jesus may have eaten dinner with sinners but they weren’t his closest companions. Having godly friendship is a form of accountability helps protect us from falling back into sinful patterns.

If we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin. ~ 1 John 1:7

As we fellowship with other believers, practice the spiritual disciplines and keep godly influences around us it will be easier to be Kingdom minded individuals–keeping our minds set on things above.

Spend a few minutes Touching Heaven with this beautiful song by Influence Music.

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: WORSHIP

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns will post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties. But rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

Worship: expressing in words, music, rituals, and silent adoration the greatness, beauty, and goodness of God, by means of which we enter the supernatural reality of the glory of God.” ~ The Life With God Bible

The Spiritual Discipline of Worship is a vital habit to our personal spiritual growth and our relationship with God. It is so important that Jesus makes it his first commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.~ Mark 12:30

We worship God for Who He is and for what He has done. For every type of person there are as many individual ways of worshiping God.

Worship involves our whole being. As we present ourselves in worship it’s important that our posture be consistent with our inner spirit.

In a humble spirit of adoration we quietly kneel before the Father.

In a spirit of praise we dance with joy and thanksgiving to God.

In honor of God’s greatness and majesty we can lie prostrate on the floor or we can rejoice in fellowship with singing for God’s goodness.

Worship music for anyone is available. To go with the different types of worship experiences we have a plethora of worship music available to us today. Personally, worship music is my favorite music to listen to on a regular basis. It fills my spirit and prepares me to meet my work day.

Some helpful steps for worship:

        1. Seek God’s Presence Daily.
        2. Develop a holy dependency on God.
        3. Try different types of worship experiences.
        4. Prepare your heart  in advance for corporate worship.
        5. Worship even when you don’t feel like it.
        6. During worship let the distractions roll off.

Worship isn’t for the faint of heart. But for the obedient it strengthens our relationship with God and prepares us to face whatever comes our way. It builds us up and propels us through this exciting life in the Spirit.

“If we long to go where God is going, and do what God is doing, we will move into deeper, more authentic worship.”  ~ Richard Foster

Lift up your voice to God in worship with this beautiful new favorite song of mine performed by Kanye’s Sunday Service Choir.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: HALLOWED NAME

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray, giving them not just a prayer to recite, but also a model prayer for us all. This series will be published the first Friday of each month in 2020. We will be studying this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bringing fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

 

“HALLOWED BE THY NAME”

hallowed: consecrated to a sacred use; reverenced

holy: perfectly pure and immaculate

In the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definitions above you can see the word “hallowed” in our phrase for this week speaks to the holiness of the Father’s name.  Jesus is teaching us that at the very beginning of our prayer we need to remember who we are addressing. We aren’t talking to just anyone.

Honoring God’s Name.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. ~ Exodus 20:7

The use of God’s name is so important it made God’s top ten list: The Ten Commandments. God’s name isn’t to be used lightly or thrown about casually. God’s name is to be set apart from all others, respected and reverenced.

Walking Examples of God’s Name.

As Christians our lives are to be set apart from the rest of the world. Because we are Christians, people expect us to live differently, especially if they knew us before we became Christians. We now have Jesus’ name linked with ours. Life isn’t just about us anymore.

Be holy as God is holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:16

In the Scripture above Peter challenges us with a humanly impossible task: to be holy as God is holy. Our behaviors may not always match up. But by accepting Christ as our savior, through Jesus we can be holy because he is holy.

Called To Holy Living.

 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. ~ 1 Peter 1:14-15

We must honor and respect, the holiness of God’s name by the way we live. Somedays it’s hard especially if we’re trying to do it in our own strength. But because the Holy Spirit lives in us He can guide us and our desires,

As we live in reverential fear of the Lord, surrender our lives daily, read His Word regularly for direction, our lives become a walking testimony that blesses the Lord’s Hallowed Name and brings Him glory and honor.

Take a few minutes to worship God with Matt Redman’s beautiful video.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: INTRODUCTION

At RHW we publish a new column each Friday. We’re going through four specific studies with each series being published on a designated week of the month.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

You may recall from my book review of The Red Sea Rules in November 2019 that I’ve been reading this lovely book as a weekend devotion. It never fails to be spot on to certain situations I’m going through now. As I was praying about what to publish in 2020 on RHW, I thought what a great study this would be to do together with you.

Over the next 12 months we’re going on an Exodus excursion with Moses and the children of Israel. With the guidance of Robert J. Morgan and his excellent book The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times we will learn valuable life lessons that will help us overcome whatever struggles we experience today.

“Just as Moses and the Israelites found themselves caught between ‘the devil and the deep Red Sea,’ so are we sometimes overwhelmed by life’s problems. The Red Sea Rules reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.” (from book cover)

Our first Red Sea Rule Study will be published on February 28. Thereafter you can expect a new column in this series on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020. December will be a wrap-up of what we’ve learned throughout the year.

I’m really looking forward to studying this series with you. The reading and research I’ve been doing thus far is fascinating. I’m learning so many things regarding the Exodus and application to our modern lives and spiritual growth. I hope you will join me for the journey. You’ll be glad you did!

Take a few minutes to remember how God has miraculously split the sea and rescued you in the past with this inspirational song by Hanna Kerr.

;

THE NEW LIFE :: HEAVEN’S PRIORITIES

At RHW we publish a new column each Friday. We’re going through four specific studies with each series being published on a designated week of the month.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world application.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. ~ Colossians 1:1 (NLT)

 

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ,…

In our first verse Paul is encouraging believers to realize that Jesus wasn’t the only one who was raised from the dead. As believers in Jesus Christ we’ve all been raised to a new life with Christ. From God’s perspective every believer– past, present or future –is considered raised with Christ. Because we’ve been resurrected out of our walking-dead state we can live new lives of freedom with God in Christ.

…set your sights on the realities of heaven,…

Paul goes on to tell us that because we’ve been raised from the dead with Christ our focus should not be on earthly things. Setting our hearts and minds on the realities of heaven we’ll strive to walk out these priorities in daily life. As we begin to see life from heaven’s point of view we’ll naturally pursue a deeper knowledge of Christ and everything that’s involved in living for Him and with Him.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” ~ Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

…where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

One of the most important heavenly realities we must see, truly foundational to our new life, is that we must recognize that Jesus Christ is seated next to His Father in heaven. In this place of honor and authority Jesus makes intercession for us to the Father. Unless we recognize the truth of Christ’s authority in heaven and on earth, He won’t have a place of authority in our lives either.

To develop our new life and actively pursue heaven’s priorities requires discipline. Here are some key disciplines to apply to your life:

      • * Discipline your heart by memorizing Scripture.

        * Discipline your mind by rejecting anything not from God.

        * Discipline your relationships with healthy fellowship.

What does this new life look like? How are we supposed to live? Check back on the third Friday next month as we continue our study of Colossians 3 and The New Life.

Let’s enthrone King Jesus with our highest praises singing this powerful song by Jeremy Riddle and Bethel Music.