Do It again, lord – Daily bread #21

Read Exodus 33

Questions To Answer:

When you get to heaven, what three questions would you like to ask God?

If you had to put your life in someone else’s hands, who would you choose?  (They must be currently living)

How do you decide if you can trust someone?

What do you do when someone breaks your trust?

How can they earn it back?

In verse 1-3, the Lord calls the Israelites a “stiff-necked people.”  How would you describe people that behave in this way?  How have you ever reacted similarly to God?

Why are the people so upset with what Moses tells them?

Moses brings three concerns to God.  What are they?

Why do you think Moses requests of God to “show me Your glory?”

What do you think He was hoping to see?

How can you be certain that God’s presence is with you?

Have you ever experienced a time when you felt His presence when you were under duress?

How do those experiences make you feel about God’s ability to take care you?

Pray that God would go with you everywhere you go.

Scriptures To Read:

Acts 17:24-28

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

A Thought To Ponder:

Things I Believed As A Kid:

  1.  My dad could make it rain, while sitting inside our car, and preforming an “old Native American” rain dance taught to him by Geronimo himself.
  2. I wasn’t the first “Jeff” my parents had.  My brother very carefully explained that they had picked me up from the “kid pound.”  I was the third in a series of other little brothers they had tried out for him.  He did say that he was rooting for me, and hoped I would not be returned like the previous versions.
  3. I existed before being in my mommy’s tummy.  I had adventures with the Lone Ranger and Tonto.  I told my siblings stories cataloguing our exploits.
  4. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, the Chupacabra, and the Donkey Lady were all real and involved in my day to day decisions.
  5. Flying Monkeys.  Yes the ones from Oz.

It’s easy now to look back and laugh and even wonder how I could be so naïve.  But, the imagination of child knows no boundaries.  Only when we age do we set aside “childish ways;” packing them up like old toys in a chest.   Gone with them is our ability to suspend disbelief and launch ourselves headlong into the unknown.  With rationality comes our inability to explore, to wonder, and to be amazed.  I love the picture Paul paints in Romans 4:7.  “as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”  Even better, the NKJV renders that last phrase, “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

Two thoughts.  God calls matter into existence.  He speaks them to be.  He says and they are.  He utters words and stuff appears.  Like the fanciful tales of bedtime stories, His words create worlds.  But even better than that, His words bring to life the things that have died.  With a word He raises the dead.  With a word He grants salvation.  With a word He calms our fears.  With a world He delivers us from the edge of destruction.  And like all good children at the end of a great story, we say “tell it again.”  Do it again.  Speak and make us whole.

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

A Prayer For Change:

Here’s part of a beautiful prayer attributed to St. Patrick.  Take time and pray these words slowly.  Contemplate each line.  Add to each phrase just how you want the presence of God to remain in your life.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

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