February 5

Exodus 12:37-38 (NIV) 37The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.

In the area of what was the city of Rameses, where the Israelites lived, archeologists have recently uncovered Hebrew dwellings from this time period. Never forget you are reading true stories as well as the hand of God upon human history, revealing Himself to all who will see. One plague after another hit the things the Egyptians considered to be gods, but God spared the Children of Israel. God was demonstrating the truth to the Egyptian nation in each and every plague. If blessings (Joseph and the dreams of the Pharaoh) will not turn us to Him, then He will allow plagues that in the end will be for our good, if we heed the message.

In the above verses, we see that God was successful in converting a great number of them. When the Children of Israel left "many other people went up with them." I imagine this was when Moses second wife was converted (Numbers 12:1). These Egyptians, as new believers, joined this great throng coming out of Egypt. They had seen the true God demonstrate through the plagues that He was the only God. They believed His message. They also saw the lives of the Children of Israel and, though culturally very different, they chose to band with those who followed the true God.

Many are converted today in the hardships of life as they see that the gods they cling to cannot save or even help. We must be there with an example that our God does care and will help so they can join a different nation that is coming out of the world, a nation whose citizenship is in heaven.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, make my life a demonstration of your love that others may want to follow You and be delivered from the world.

February 5

Matthew 6:9-11 (NIV) 9"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread.

In the middle of Jesus' exhortation on the many ways Kingdom people are different from the world, He spoke on the issue of prayer. It seemed to be a popular idea that the more you prayed, the more likely God would hear you. Jesus says that the true God knows your need before you ask. Then He gives them an example of prayer. In other gospels, we see that this was in response to the disciples' request to be taught how to pray.

Notice that this is a prayer to be prayed with others. The pronouns are plural. He begins by addressing God as their Father in heaven. His name is holy! His name is the sum of His attributes. God, in all His wonderful perfections, is pure and set apart. We don't make requests of spirits or of men but of the perfect Creator of all. That should give us great confidence that our prayers will be heard and answered.

Next, He prays for the kingdom of God to come. He describes the kingdom coming as God's will being done on earth as it is in heaven. He is asking that the will of man conform to the will of God. He is asking for men to yield their hearts to the Lord of the universe. That is the only way the will of God will be done on earth, at least until He comes to establish His kingdom by force. If we look at it in that ultimate sense then Jesus is asking that the Second Coming take place.

Then He asks for physical needs. Do you see the pattern up to this point? Recognize the majesty and glory of whom you are praying to. Ask for His will, that hearts yield to Him. Then you can come with your physical needs. You might say this includes both physical and spiritual. You need daily physical provision, but you also need daily spiritual provision. I hope you are getting the latter as you read these devotions. This alone would be a meager spiritual diet. I hope you get more than this. – continued tomorrow evening –

Consider using this as a pattern for your prayers.