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Exodus 33

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 19

SCRIPTURE:  EXODUS 33

BY: Josh Boles

As is fitting with the theme of a large portion of the Old Testament, the Israelites once again find themselves in a predicament due to their inability to obey God. The first verse we read seems positive, as if they are finally gaining the Lord’s favor to enter the promise land. We soon find out that this is not the case. In verse three the Lord tells Moses that He will not go with them. Ouch! We then read that the Lord’s anger is burning so harshly against them that if He were to go with them He would probably end up killing them.

In verse 7-11 there is a bit of a break in this story line. We see again the pillar of smoke which represents God’s abiding presence in the Israelite nation as well as the continued relationship with Moses. There certainly is a lot more we could learn from this section but I would like to move on to verse 12. I would encourage you to do some investigating of your own for verse 7-11.

We have talked throughout the book of Exodus how to life of Moses foreshadows the life of Christ. Today, in chapter 33 is perhaps one of the most important ways the foreshadowing manifest in the life of every believer. We have already read that the Lord was angry with the Israelites and He would have killed them if He had to deal with them. In verse 12-16 Moses speaks on behalf of the Israelite people, and intercedes for them. And then the Lord shows favor on the Israelites because of Moses’ faith and obedience.

I am almost at a loss for words trying to find a way to express my thoughts on these verses. There are simply no human words that can paint the beauty of this picture of redemption that we find in Exodus 33. Moses intercedes for the people and in return, God does not wipe them off the face of the planet. This right here is the Gospel! There is nothing about our lives that has ever been, or ever will be deserving of salvation and eternal life. Nothing we could ever say or do could grant this to us. There is only one thing that keeps us from the wrath of God, and that is the fact that Jesus is constantly interceding for us!

Just like Moses, the Lord is constantly pleading our case. Far too often we criticize people in the Old Testament for their lack of faith, but are we really any different? The simple answer is no. We are just as much of a sinful generation as they are if not worse. Romans 8:43 says “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Take a look with me also at Jude verse 24. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”

How awesome is this! I can assure you that if it weren’t for Jesus, the anger of the Lord would certainly burn against us. Notice how Jude says the He keeps us from stumbling. This primarily is talking about the matter of falling away from the faith because sin, when left unchecked, will lead to just that. We see this plain as day with the nation of Israel. This is where Jesus steps in, in our lives! He takes us as we are and he holds on to us by his grace and love, never letting us go. That my friends is the only way we are able to be in the fold of God. That is the only way we are able to be considered blameless before the Lord.

Did you catch that? Blameless! That means that none of our sins are counted against us. Wow! What a Savior! This does not mean however, that we get to live our lives however we see fit just because we get off scotch free. This should be motivation for holy living. We are to live for Christ because of all that He has done for us. We are to show Him love and devotion because of the great love and devotion he has shown to us! Live like you are saved!

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Ecuador

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

 

ECUADOR UPDATE

BY: JOSH BOLES

I know that the purpose of this devotional is to study through scripture together. I promise we will get back to that tomorrow but the Lord laid it upon my heart this morning to share with all of you what has been going on in Ecuador this summer. Also, I think some of you need a break from reading since Jeremy makes you read more than one chapter a day!

For those of you that don’t know we have taken six teams to Ecuador this year. We have been going to Ecuador for a very long time and will continue to minister to the people there until God calls us els-where. This summer after a vision trip in January we started ministry in a brand new area in the Ibarra area south of the Columbia boarder. Ibarra is the capitol city of the area where we are doing ministry and is farming hub for the region. With so many farmers in the area we are primarily dealing with a people known as the Quichua who are one of Ecuador’s indigenous tribes. The Quichua people do not have a lot, but if you have been to Ecuador you know that they are some of the happiest and most joyful people you will ever meet.

The specific village we are working with is called Pinsaqui, and is almost entirely Quichua people. If you do not know a lot about the Quichua people let me tell you just a little bit. The Quichua people are a tribal people and are self governed. In every Quichua community there is a president and that man is the leader of the community. This is one of the many cultural reasons it is almost impossible to introduce new, and especially, outside ideas in a Quichua community. It takes a God sized miracle to get something new into a Quichua community and that is exactly what is happening in Pinsaqui.

There is a small house Church in Pinsaqui that is a Church plant from another community about an hour and a half away. Pastor Gabrielle is the pastor there, and his son Nelson was sent to plant the Church in Pinsaqui with just a couple of local believers. We have truly seen God move in this community and are excited about what is to come. Right now the Church has around 20 to 30 people meeting every Wednesday and Sunday and continually add to their number. So far this summer we have seen 3 people in this community accept Christ. Along with their growth comes a few problems. Since they are meeting in a small courtyard at a members house, they are out of space. This is where the God sized miracle I was talking about comes into play.

Throughout our trips this summer I have noticed the president observing us from a far. Each trip he becomes more interested and involved in what we do. By God’s grace he has seen us and friends not foreign invaders. Mar Cody, our IMB missionary, had the privilege to meet with this man last Wednesday. There is not enough space to share with you every detail of this story so please come ask me and I will share with you. As I stated earlier, it is almost impossible for new Ideas to come into a Quichua community, but if the president gets on board with something it is likely that the whole community will.

During our meeting the President agreed to let our Church plant use the very nice community center every Sunday and Wednesday for two years! He also told us that he was planning on coming to church Sunday! This is nothing short of a miracle, and I know that that Church is about to explode with growth! There are no other churches in this community, not even Catholic, so the harvest is plenty.

I share this with you for a couple of reasons. One, so you will simply know what is going on. Two, so we can intentionally and fervently pray for this community, for pastor Nelson, and all involved. I would also ask you to pray for the president of the community. That he might become a Christ follower and get this community on board!

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