"The Egyptians...reduced them to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them...the whole fate of slaves." Exodus 1:13-14
The whole family of Joseph joined him in Egypt and were well provided for. They had a good life,and when Joseph and his father,and brothers died, they continued living in Egypt.But the Israelites multiplied so quickly and the new Pharaoh was not sympathetic to the Israelites. He wanted them destroyed, their sons thrown into the Nile River. They were slaves, forced to work long hours.
Sometimes we choose the good life, the easy life, over the path we should take. Every day we have choices, challenges. Most of the time we do not see that the choices we take, the compromises we make, lead us deeper and deeper into sin. Just like the Jews in Egypt, we can be slaves in Egypt, slaves to sin. God saw the plight of the Jews and delivered them from the Pharaoh's clutches in a dramatic way. He can do the same for us if we cry out to Him.
Dear Lord,help me to see whatever chains bind me, whether it be an addiction, unforgiveness, broken relationships, a nagging weakness...break the bonds, O Lord and deliver me!
"Take nothing on the journey..." Mark 6:8
Yesterday I was watching this TedX video of Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo. She wrote a book entitled "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing". She is hailed as the new de-cluttering queen. She said that we have to hold each item and ask, "Does it spark joy?" I don't know if this method will work for me as even blister packs, scrap cloth, spare buttons, broken jewelry "spark joy", when I think about what I can make with it! I have boxes full of future projects.
When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, He said don't even take food, or a coin. Just bring a walking stick and wear sandals. Based on these instructions, I can never be a good disciple! I have so many things I am lagging with me on my journey! My excuse (and I always have a good excuse! ha ha) is that in our business, we try to come up with products to sell using these recycled materials, and we are able to come up with livelihood projects for people in need of work. Still, I have to use it, not keep it boxed up for years! I do not feel joy when I see all the clutter in my house! I am determined to start today, to be a good disciple, to start to unload my "clutter". My mission territory has to start with me!
"Not a single sparrow falls to the ground without Your Father's consent. As for you, every hair on your head has been counted." Matthew 10:29-30
If we read this verse first thing in the morning every day, and believed it, it would change our life! In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending off the twelve disciples to preach the Word to God's lost sheep. He told them not to be afraid even if they would be as sheep among wolves. Imagine how terrified the disciples were! At least 7 of these men were fishermen. One was a despised tax collector. What would they know of preaching? But Jesus called them, just a He calls us today to be fishers of men. Where we are, with what we have. "Do not be afraid," Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 10:31. "You are more valuable than a whole flock of sparrows." Indeed we are. That's why God calls and equips us. All we need to do is take one step at a time.
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