February 20

Exodus 32:31-32 (NIV) 31So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32But now, please forgive their sin–but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

While Moses was on the mountain receiving God's instructions, the people had gone their own way, insisting that Aaron make them a god to lead them. Freed from the bondage of Egypt and now thinking they are free of a moral leader, they threw caution to the wind and gave in to their lusts. While Aaron formed a golden calf from their donated earrings, the people partied wildly.

God told Moses to get back to the people, for they had already broken the commandments He had just given. God described the people as stiff-necked. In other words, if you call to them, they will not turn their head to hear. They go their own way. God said He will destroy them and begin again with Moses' children to make a nation for Himself, but Moses pled to God with the above prayer. Imagine if Moses had not had such a heart for the people. The nation would be called the Children of Moses, not the Children of Israel. Here we see the real heart of an intercessor. Paul the Apostle had the same burden for Israel. These men shared the heart of their LORD.

God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that we would not perish. How much are you willing to give of yourself for the lost around you? Pray for a heart for others like Moses and Paul had, and most of all, like our heavenly Father, who is not willing that any should perish.

Consider: Do we carry such a burden for those whom God has called? Would we give up our eternity to gain theirs?

February 20

Matthew 10:24-25, 28 (NIV) 24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

If you associate yourself with Jesus, prepare your heart to be treated like Jesus was treated. They called Him Lord of the demons. That means they consider His followers to be demons. One of the repeated patterns of Satan (the accuser of the brethren) is to accuse God's people of the very things he is guilty of. It is so common that you can count on it. In making the accusations, they will think they are serving God. We should walk with God in a way that would leave us above reproach, but that does not mean the enemy won't accuse you of what he is doing. You are in good company. The saints before you were accused in the same way.

The Lord gave us a negative imperative in regards to the fear of men. Don't do it! Do not fear men! All they can do is kill your body. Eternity is incomparable in length to the short life we have on earth. Fear God. Live in respectful reverence to His will. He will judge all men. Live so as to be judged innocent of treachery and rebellion. That may mean that you confront evil in your society, your church and your home. Negative consequences may result from your stand. Don't fear man's response. Fear disobedience to God.

The way that we conduct ourselves shows which reality we endorse. The fear of man says we believe this world is all there is. The fear of God says we believe in eternity. Your life preaches one message or the other. Those who really believe in a sovereign eternal God, can face anything man can throw at them. They have a holy boldness that shows their eyes are fixed on eternal realities. They see past the present adversity to the glory yet to be revealed. They are partakers of the sufferings of Christ.

Consider Eternity!