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Be Obedient, It's as Simple as that.

I was reading in the book of Numbers, chapters 22-24 about Balaam. Balak, king of Moab, wanted Balaam to curse Israel for him so Balak could defeat Israel in battle. Balaam was allowed to go with Balak’s emissaries but God was not pleased as Balaam’s motives were suspect; Balaam probably had his eye on a reward from Balak. As Balaam was riding his donkey an angel of the Lord opposed them but only the donkey saw the angel at first. The angel warned Balaam that his ways were perverse and told him only to speak what the Lord required.

Balaam went on to obey God and bless Israel as directed by God and prophesied against Moab and its allies. Balaam’s motives and character were suspect initially, he was spiritually less perceptive than his donkey. Once admonished, he acted as God’s prophet, rejected the bribe offered him and delivered God’s word in obedience to the Father (“All that the Lord speaketh, that I must do”; Deut 23:26; KJV).

So, what does this say to us today? We must walk in fear of God, in obedience and with pure motives. Even though we may displease people, we must only allow what God approves to come out of our mouths. Wow, Balaam got a talking to but he came through in the end. When we read these stories, we should always take away with us the message God is trying to convey to us today.

Be Obedient, It's as Simple as that.


Losing and Finding.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt 16:25; KJV). What Jesus was saying here was that if we stubbornly insist on doing things our way and pursuing only our own personal ambitions, we will lose life in Christ Jesus or the abundant life God planned for us (John 10:10).

In the passage, in Matt 16: 24-27, from which our first quote above was taken, Jesus exhorted us to sacrifice our own selfish ambitions (taking up our cross; v24) and to follow him. In verses 26-27 he posed the question as to the value of great material success and worldly recognition in the here and now, compared to salvation and God’s abundant life both now and eternally. I guess that’s a no brainier! 

Jesus assured us that if we make sacrifices for him and the Gospel in this life, we will receive rewards both in this life and the promise of eternal life (Mark 10:29-31). Jesus also promised in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. Living the God kind of life is easy, we just need to hear from God and do things his way. Is that an amen or an ouch?

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