February 7

Exodus 15:2-3 (NIV) 2The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

The Israelites are now praising again. The enemy is washing up on the shores, and they are freed. But are they? They have escaped the land, but the system and ideas of Egypt are not yet out of them. The enemy army is dead, but the nation of Egypt will rise again and harass Israel. This is a perfect picture of us when we are delivered from sin. We are out of the world (positionally), but the Spirit of God will continue to get the world out of us through our experiences in life as we walk with Him (experientially).

They have learned that the LORD is their strength, though when they get to the border of the Promised Land, they will think they are not strong enough, completely forgetting this lesson. May the LORD help us remember that He is our strength!

He is our song! The joy that bubbles up in melodies of praise is the LORD. He is the song on my lips and in my heart. He is my joy, for He has become my salvation. Who is my salvation? Jesus! He has freed me from my enemy. He defeated death, hell, and the grave. That should always be our song and praise, as we exalt the One who has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

The mightiest Warrior is with me. Why should I fear an enemy? If God is for me, who can be against me?

Consider: Let the LORD be the song that rises up in you.

February 7

Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It's not about now! The Man from heaven must have been amazed to see how earthly minded we are. The Sermon on the Mount addresses those things people conclude life is about. It reminds me of the old board game, Life. You amass fame, love, and wealth. The person with the highest total of these three wins the game. If you are low on love, just get more wealth. Jesus is trying to tell them that the real experience of life is about something else. Here on this earth, treasure comes and goes. If you are the wealthiest of men you may find yourself penniless by a governmental change. A turn in the financial markets may obliterate your fortune. Wealth here is certainly transitory at best. A hearse is never followed by a moving van. The Pharaohs tried that, and today their treasure sits in museums, a testimony to their folly.

What a mistake to live for only the present moment! Life is not only about the moment, but about bringing glory to God. Focusing on fame and fortune means your heart is set on the wrong world. It means your faith is all but nonexistent and your vision is set on the passing things of this world. On what is your heart set? What are you living for? What do you spend your time doing?

Jesus does not speak to condemn us, but to awaken us to our true condition. When we see our faith is so limited that we are living for this world, it is a call to turn our focus to the eternal. A new heart comes with new desire. At the same time, it is also true that a Spirit enlightened mind can direct our actions to change and thereby surrender the stubborn areas of our heart.

Consider: For what would your best friend say you are living?