Granola, lessons & God?

Hey there BCU Family!

We’ve paused our Nehemiah study to bring you a #RandomYetIntentional moment sponsored by God. So…we’re doing something a little different this week. I actually recorded the moment on video and it is up on the BCU YouTube channel, so if you’d prefer, you can watch it here>> Granola lesson video.<<

If you’re listening on the podcast, not to worry, the audio file from that video is below (click on the avatar), and you’ll be able to get the message just the same! Scripture references are below as well, so you’ll be able to link back to God’s Word as you apply the lesson accordingly.


Diligence–Hebrews 11:6

Daily Bread– Luke 11:3

Thanksgiving in all things–Colossians 3:17

Chastening–Hebrews 12:6

Being “busy”–Luke 10:38-42

Seeking God’s face continually 1 Chronicles 16:11

Hiding the Word–Psalm 119:11

Seeking God early–Psalm 63:1

Being equipped for the day–Ephesians 6:10-18

Walking in the Spirit–Galatians 5:16

You know, BCU Family, it’s AMAZING how God takes something as “small” and temporal as granola to teach us a HUGE and ETERNAL lesson! With His help, let’s be intentional, diligent and purposeful in spending prime time with God. Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

BCU

Series: The called according to His purpose-part 4

Hey BCU family!

As usual, you are welcome to listen to the podcast (by clicking on the icon), read the written transcript, or both, either way, be blessed through listening and obeying the Word of God!

Before we get started, I was thinking, with the things going on today—the foolishness in the news, unholy alliances, calling the wrong right/right wrong, and our own personal trials, we NEED to know the Word of God and to  purpose in our hearts to get and stay grounded (attached to the Foundation, who is Jesus) and rooted (like a tree planted by the water—nourished and strong) by knowing who God says we are so we can STAY upright when the storms of life come and the winds of adversity blow.

In “The called” part 1  and part 2  as we looked at  Romans chapter 8, God says we are:

No  longer condemned
Walkers in the Spirit
Sons/Children of God
We are heirs/joint heirs
We suffer
The called according to His purpose
Predestinated
Justified
Glorified
Loved
More than conquerors
Not separated by the Love of God

Last time, we looked at I Peter 2:9 and covered “a chosen generation”. God calls us CHOSEN! Chosen for the rendering of special service to God.  And that special service included a look at Naomi, who God CHOSE and used to lead Ruth to Him, her new husband, Boaz who subsequently became the great-great-grandparents of King David (Ruth 4:22) and were named in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1.

God also calls up EQUIPPED. We looked at Moses, a palace kid, who killed someone and was a fugitive (Exodus 2)—yet God called him to lead the Israelites out of bondage.

For those who are more background people, God CHOSE you, too! Exodus chapter 1 tells of two midwives Shiprah and Puah, who were instructed by the king to KILL male Israelite babies after they were delivered. The women disobeyed the king’s ordered and were duly rewarded by God. They were the CHOSEN and CALLED according to His purpose. No matter what God calls you to do—in front or behind the scenes, it all IMPORTANT. Not always easy, pleasant,  without tears or hurt sometimes, but nonetheless you are a VITAL role in the Body of Christ!

Referring to our Scripture text from I Peter 2:9, but you are a chosen generation, a royal; priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people who should show forth the praises of Him who brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light, let’s concentrate on the second phrase—because God calls us–a royal priesthood.

This stems back to Exodus 19, after the Israelites left Egypt and were camped in the wilderness. After talking with God, Moses was to tell the people, “you’ve seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I brought you out on eagle’s wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice, in truth and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure into me above ALL people for the earth is mine. And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation (Exodus 19:4-5).

Let’s pause here. This should resonate with us, because did not God bring us out of our bondage to sin?  Did we groan with the heavy burden the hard taskmaster of what our former sinful lives were like? Were we not SLAVES to sin? Entangled? When we were tired of the party, being broken, feeling empty and burdened, we came to the altar, were saved according to Acts 2:38, and God brought us out on eagle’s wings to Himself.  Eagles can carry quite the load, protect their young and have powerful wings that glide swiftly. This demonstrates God strength and power, y’all. He DELIVERED us.  He REDEEMED us. He CHOSE us. HE CALLED us! Let the REDEEMED of the Lord say so! You are CALLED! YOU ARE CHOSEN!

So this kingdom of priests/royal priesthood…now in Exodus 19 and I Peter 2.  Ofttimes when we use this statement, there is a sense of “entitlement” in a natural sense ( for example, this prosperity mentality/we should be sitting on a pile of money,  not having to wait in a line, talking to servers at the restaurant—“no, take that food back, I’m the King’s kid!” etcetera).

While God does take GOOD care of His children, we are not entitled to look down anyone,  getting everything discounted/free treating the non-royalty (non-believers) wrongly or to a earthly mansion and a yacht! This royalty we are called to and chosen for by God comes with responsibility!

One definition we found for royal to a realm in which a king sovereignly rules, which ties into where Christ rules in our hearts. The word priests are now associated with Christians because we have access to God and offer not external but ‘spiritual’ sacrifices. More to come on that.

Let’s look at the function of a priest.

A priest was an official who was set apart from the rest of the community in order to carry out certain duties associated with sacrifice and worship. While priests were mentioned throughout the Old Testament, the  first organization and ordination of priests is laid out in Exodus 28 & 29 where Aaron and his 4 sons were appointed by God to minister to Him in the office of the priesthood.

Exodus 28 also outlines the exact garments the priests should wear, right down to the precious metals, stones, colors, lettering,  the measurements and the material—along with how to wear the breastplate and how a bell should be on the hem when Aaron went out and came in so he would not die. Everything was exact.

Application to us:
1) God’s priests were not just anyone who decided they wanted to be one after studying up on it, or coveting the position. They were CHOSEN by God for a reason—Aaron wore the turban with the engraved plate that bared any iniquity of Israel so their offerings were ACCEPTED by God.  THAT is NOT to be taken lightly.

The priests wore specific garments outlined by God down to the tiniest detail even underclothes (Exodus 28).  My thought is everyone knew who the priests were by what they wore. As a royal priesthood, we should be dressed a certain way— yes, so we are distinct. Now, I’m NOT here to regulate wardrobes back to cotton hosiery and 3 piece suits for the men to an outdoor sporting event in July–we distinguish ourselves with our modesty. Men and women alike.

I saw a video clip where a “Christian” celebrity was rebuked by an audience member for baring her chest area on a magazine cover. The audience member in turn was rebuked by the celebrity’s husband, saying she can wear what she wants in Jesus name. [insert blank stare]. I’m not here to regulate what folks wear, with the grace of God guiding me, I don’t want people having to “guess” if I’m saved or not based on my lack of/apparel. Remember man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart.  Man looks at the outside, because they can’t see your heart.

In addition to that, we can’t just dress up the outside, cause that can look any way we want, but what do the insides look like? The Pharisees were dressed well, but Jesus said they were like white-washed seplechurs or coffins that APPEARED beautiful OUTWARD but inward were full of DEAD MEN’S BONES AND full of all UNCLEANNESS! (Matthew 23:27).  Anything dead on the inside stinks and no one is drawn to that expect flies and vultures who pick off carcasses. YUCK!

Bottom line: Just like the priests, people should know who we are without us saying a word—We have Jesus down on the inside that shows up on the outside. Are we dressed in the Word of God? Is Jesus an inside job?

God calls us DISTINCT!

2)Priests were also called to facilitate the different offerings (sacrifice or gift/Corban, see Mark 7:11)  for the people as a mediator between them and God. You just did not approach God and give Him your offering.  There are five main offerings spelled out in Leviticus (chapters 1-5), that came with very specific instructions that had to be followed a particular way.

The offerer was NOT forced to give an offering, it was something they wanted to do. (Leviticus 1:4 says he shall offer it of his OWN voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle). The offerer gave a perfect animal, prepared the animal or grain offering a particular way AND the priest had to offer up a specified way.  For example, once a bull was killed, the blood had to be sprinkled round about the alter by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and the animal had to be laid in order on the wood for the fire. (Leviticus 1:11-12).

The priest were even had to offer up sacrifices for themselves for any accidental sin—if the priest sinned, everyone was guilty.

In Leviticus chapter 9, it outlines how the priests needed to offer up sin and burnt offerings to make atonement for themselves and for the people, as the Lord prepared His people to see His glory (Lev. 9:6), and because they did exactly what God said, verses 22-23 records that the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people—where the fire consumed the burnt offering and fat and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. HOW AWESOME!

How this applies to us:

First, we no longer need to offer up any animals for our sins. Jesus said in Hebrews 10:4 that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins..every priest offering up the same sacrifices daily could never take away sins. Can you imagine how many animals were offered up?!  So Jesus Christ offered His body ONCE to sanctify ALL(Hebrews 10:10). Christ offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOREVER (Hebrew 4:12).

Also, we no longer need a priest as a mediator. Remember the priest was the go between for the people and God offering wise. Jesus did away with that by sacrificing His life as well. Ephesians 2:13 says “but now in Christ Jesus, you who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Also, Ephesians 2:18 says, for through Him, we have access by one Spirit into the Father. Further, we can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain grace and mercy to help in the time of need! (Hebrews 4:16).

God CALLS US to DIRECTLY to Him.

We have to stop here, BCU family.  I am prayerful that this Word empowers, encourages and challenges us all to change to be more like Christ. Stay tuned for “The called” part 5, as we finish up a royal priesthood. Thanks and God bless you for stopping by! Until next time, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love ,

 

BCU

Series: The called according to His purpose! Part 3

 

Hey BCU Family!

Please enjoy the condensed audio podcast (by clicking on the icon below), read through written format or do both! Be encouraged in the Lord!

Last time, talked about being grounded (attached to The Foundation–Jesus) and ROOTED (having deepness) in WHO God says we are, rather than being tossed about with what the world, the adversary, TV, Bubba and dem and anyone else says contrary to Word of God. We explored Romans 8, which reminded us that God says we are:

– No longer condemned
– Walkers in the Spirit
– Sons/Children of God
– Heirs/joint heirs
– We suffer
– The called according to His purpose
– Predestinated
– Justified
– Glorified
– SO Loved
– More than conquerors
– Not separated from the love of God

This gives us a good foundation into who God says we are, so we can withstand the attacks of the adversary without retreating/recoiling every time.

Let’s talk through 1 Peter 2:9. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 

Our focus this week? “but you are a chosen generation….” Let’s look at the word “chosen.”

Short Definition: chosen, elect, choice, select.  Longer definition: chosen out, elect, choice, select, of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him.

I want to get across to you how precious and special you are to God—this is really NOT to be taken lightly. When we think about what our final destination was and how God “called” and chose us and we responded…we ought to serve the Lord will GLADNESS!!!! Let’s talk about some biblical examples of chosen, so we can continue to be encouraged to #StayOnTheWall.

Going to our study a few weeks ago in the book of Ruth, (you can catch the  initial podcast here ), we HAVE to include Naomi. Yes NAOMI! If we think back to Ruth chapter 1, after Naomi and her daughters-in-laws, Ruth and Orpah lost their husbands, Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem and urged her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab to find rest with their “new” husbands (Ruth 1:9). Orpah went back to “her people and her gods” (v 15), where she would life comfortably, back home with what was familiar.

On the other hand, Ruth saw something in Naomi. Ruth felt compelled to leave the comfort of her country, familiarity of her worship, take on a mother-in-law, exchange certainty for uncertainty, face poverty, possible rejection and assault in a new land…all because Naomi lived in SUCH a way that Ruth WANTED to serve NAOMI’s God (v 16)—who we know is the ONE and ONLY true God! Naomi was CHOSEN to bring this one soul out of the darkness of idol worship and into the marvelous light of ONE God!  Did we not trade what was comfortable to us—the partying, the drunkeness, the ungodly behavior, the sin we became accustomed to, took on uncertainty about what/who we would lose, possible poverty (be it financial or emotional, rejection from friends/family), and even assaults from the enemy— because, thank God for the free will He gave us, we made the decision to give our lives to Christ?! Who was “your Naomi?” Who witnessed to you about the goodness of God?  Thank God for them!!! Glory to our awesome God!

Ahhh, but think about Naomi’s life under the light of Romans 8:28. Marriage, abundance, famine, widowed, daughters-in-law gained, sons lost—an elderly woman with a bleak future. Yet in all that, Ruth was won to God, she got the rest in Boaz (representative of Christ) due to Naomi’s instructions, Naomi gets taken care of, Ruth became great-great grandmother to King David (Ruth 4:22), and is named in the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5). AND her story is blessing and encouraging us THOUSANDS of years later! ROMANS 8:28 is in effect!!!! I Peter 2:9 say WE ARE CHOSEN!!! Naomi was CHOSEN!!!! CHOSEN to bring this ONE soul in and much fruit was bared after that! From now on, be mindful of how YOUR life effects others. You never know who will come to Christ because they see the Lord in your actions, decisions, attitude. GOD CALLS YOU CHOSEN!!!!!!! Next up? God called you EQUIPPED!

Moses. I know you all know the story—but let’s look at the backstory for those who feel like you are too “inadequate” to be used by God. Moses was actually supposed to be killed as a baby, due to the wicked Pharoh’s instruction to do so, as the Israelites were starting to outnumber the Egyptians (Exodus 1). Moses had a wise mom who arranged for her infant son to be in a basket down by the river where the Pharaoh’s daughter would happen to be, and of course the palace became Moses’ home (Exodus 2:1-10).

While Moses grew up privileged, he did kill an Egyptian and was a fugitive for years, settling in Midian (v 11-15). Exodus 3 records, while tending sheep in back of Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God, Moses heard the voice of the Lord who CALLED/CHOSE Moses to lead the Israelites OUT of bondage. Moses said:

Exodus 3:11– Who am go to Pharaoh? (Verse 12. Certainly I will be with you. When you bring the people out of Egypt, you will serve God on this same mountain).
What do WE say to God? Who am I to witness? Who am I to use this gift?

Exodus 3:13–Who do I say you are? What do I say when they ask your name? (The God of your fathers sent me and I AM that I AM. I Am sent me. This is my name forever and a memorial to all generations. The people will listen to you, the king won’t let you go, but I will smite them with all my wonders. You will spoil the Egyptians. Exodus 3:14-22).

Who do we tell people God is? How do our actions, words and thoughts line up with what He said? Are we bold enough to tell it? Live it out loud? God called Moses and warned him that the king would not let them go, but God would smite them and the Israelites would get the victory. How many times has God called us to something, a ministry—witnessing, doing something for someone, told us it would be difficult but promised the victory. Did we lean into the promise? or try and get out of it?  Moses goes into another chapter with his excuses.

Exodus 4:1 –They won’t believe me! They will say the Lord did not come to you! (God turned a rod to a serpent and back again, and on top of that made Moses’ hand white with leprosy and immediately healed him. God assured him of they didn’t believe Moses’ voice or the first two signs, they would believe the voice of the second sign where Moses was to take river water, pour it on dry land, and the river water would become blood on the dry land (verses 2-9).

What miracle did God do for you—saved you, kept you before you got saved, after you got saved and messed up, blessed you, delivered you— we all have a testimony to tell!

Exodus 4:10– I am not eloquent, slow of speech and tongue. (v 11 The Lord told Moses to GO! HE made the mouth and he would be IN his mouth and would teach Moses what to say).

God will give us the words to say, if we ask Him. He saw this moment for you to speak coming way back yonder and wants you to do well. Just rely on Him for every Word. If you do, it will be perfect.

Exodus 4:13-Then Moses wanted someone else to go (Verses  14—17). Now God gets angry and consents to Moses’ brother Aaron being the spokesperson to the people, but MOSES still had to work directly with God to teach Aaron what to say and Moses was in charge of the rods and signs). Moses finally relented.

What finally happened? Moses met with Aaron, they gathered the elders of the children of Isreal, Aaron spoke what Moses told him that God said, Moses did the signs and the people believed, bowed their heads and worshipped (Exodus 4:28-31).

Notice, Moses did NOT get out of what God called Him to do. He got some help, but still had to do the “heavy lifting.” We can cry, pout, weep, fast, pray and wail all day, everyday, but when God says I chose YOU to do it, YOU will not get out of it. How do I know? It happened to me. 🙂

God did not save you for a decorative showpiece—He chose YOU to do something—teaching, preaching, ushering, cleaning, taking care of your family, witnessing by attitude on the job whatever He called you to, He chose You for and –will equip you accordingly!

GOD CALLS US EQUIPPED!

BONUS info: And lest you think to yourself, well, Naomi and Moses were famous and God doesn’t call everyone to that. I’d say…you’re right. That still doesn’t get you out of what God called YOU to do. Many of the “supporting cast” in Ruth and Exodus were just as chosen as Naomi and Moses. Let’s check out one such example in Exodus 1.

As briefly mentioned before, prior to Moses coming on the scene, a new king arose over Egypt and was vexed that the (chosen) children of Isreal out numbered and were mightier than the Egyptians. Worried about the Israelites joining with their enemies in a war, the Egyptians decided to enslave and drive them hard–but the Israelites multiplied all the more (Exodus 1:8-14). Then the king gets this wicked idea to speak to the midwives, in particular, Shiprah and Puah. Shiphrah, meant splendid or pleasing, and Puah means to coo and cry out.

So imagine telling these wonderful women to kill ALL the male children upon birth! (verse 16). The Word says BUT the midwives feared {reverenced} God and they did not do what the king told them, rather saved the men children alive (v 17). When the king questioned the women about why his order was disobeyed, they said the babies came too quickly for  the midwives to see what the gender of the baby was, so it sounds like the midwives got there too late to kill the babies.

Verse 20-21 of Exodus 1 says that God dealt well with the midwives, the people multiplied and waxed mighty. Moreover, in reward for their heroic and virtuous behavior, God “established households” for Shiphrah and Puah which probably means that they became the matriarchs of enduring families in Israel.

The Bible does not record ONE death of an Israelite due to the king’s order—the actions of these women allowed THOUSANDS of Israelites to flee from Egypt with their families intact at the appointed time.

Bottom line: Nothing that God called you to do is trivial or unimportant.

Whew!! Once again, the meat is off the bones and now it’s time to apply what we learned.

God calls us to action—in all capacities. If you know what God has for you to do, walk worthy of that vocation with His grace. If you do not, ask God to reveal it to you and walk in it with His help. If we ask, He will answer!

I am prayerful that you all should be excited and renewed to function in the body of Christ on all SIX cylinders. There are days where it will be a challenge, like God told Moses, but just the same, God was with Moses. And He is with us.

God called us CHOSEN!

God CALLS us EQUIPPED!

You are who GOD said you are! Amen? Amen!

God bless you and until next time #StayOnThe Wall.

 

Love,

BCU