Key verse: Exodus 12:23
Big idea: God went out before His justice, to rescue those under the blood.
Hey church family! What a cold week. We had some things that needed to be handled today which kept me from getting to the devotional when I had hoped. I am just including a basic seed, which I hope you can combine with the Scripture and your own study in your family worship today.
The Passover is described in two different ways in the book of Exodus. In one sense, God describes Himself going through Egypt, bringing judgment on each house, but passing over the houses that are marked with the blood of a lamb, demonstrating their faith in Him. But in another, God is described as passing over a house, like the cloud passes over the sun, blocking "the destroyer" from harming the people within. These two different descriptions are pictures of the same event: God is both destroyer and redeemer. Like a shield takes the blows of the enemy to defend the person behind, God becomes our shield, and the wrath we are due for our sin is absorbed by Jesus. When we place our faith in the blood of Jesus, God passes over judging us (in the first sense) because Jesus passes over us in the second, taking the blow which should have been ours.
Key Verse: Hebrews 5:12
Big Idea: The Son of God teaches the sons and daughters of God how to grow up.
Growing up is a gradual process. We trade being carried for crawling, crawling for walking, and walking for running. Strollers give way to tricycles, tricycles give way to training wheels, and the training wheels come off the bike. Eventually, all of them are left in the rearview mirror when a teenager gets his first rearview mirror. Each of these is appropriate at the right time, but a baby does not need car keys and if a 30-year old is swaddled and carried, something is wrong. If we are healthy, we grow up.
The author of Hebrews reprimanded his audience in today’s chapter. They had been believers for a long time, yet had never fully grasped the most basic principles of the faith. Instead of growing up, they happily stayed on their tricycles, covering the same ground over and over again. Yet, their older sibling, the Son of God, showed the example of growing up by obedience. Jesus, our High Priest, lived a life of prayer and faithfulness to become the perfect (or complete) mediator and set the example for us of how we too can be whole. The test is simple obedience. Do we read God's Word and live by it? Then we are mature. If not, we are infants.
Like growing up physically, spiritual maturity is a process. Every time we study God's Word, we are faced with the choice of obedience or disobedience. If we choose obedience, then our spiritual muscles grow stronger, and we will be better equipped to face the next test. If we choose disobedience, we atrophy and slide further away from God. The more we exercise obedience, the better we will be to differentiate and choose between good and evil. That is what it means to grow up. There are no shortcuts.
Discussion Idea: What part of growing up has been the hardest for you physically? Why? Spiritually? Why?
Prayer Focus: Think about a specific area of weakness in your life. Pray for the wisdom to know the right thing to do and the strength and courage to do it.