"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Selah" - Psalm 62:8 (NIV).
A band of fellas walked with each other for about three years. That can be a good time for any people to get to know each other. Indeed all could recognise that one of them was quite outspoken. Peter was quick with words and once denied betraying his master, in the event he was handed over to the authorities because of his teachings. "But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same" (Mathew 26:35).
There was another fellow who was less talkative and quite difficult to figure. You see, such people tend to be a puzzle as they rarely put their thoughts out for the rest to dissect and place them. In this fellow's case, one might only say he was frugal with money. When a friend of Jesus once happened to wipe his feet with an expensive perfume, he "objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages" (John 12:5). Otherwise he didn't say much.
Yet there was one person he couldn't hide from his heart. Just before he was delivered to the authorities, Jesus made an off cuff remark, "he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me" (Mathew 26:12). Of course Judas was quick to deny, "Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” (vv 25). Moments later the same fellow had brought a garrison that arrested Jesus!
We could all walk with people on a daily basis and we think we know them. They say all the right things and do the job we appointed them to. However, deep inside, their hearts harbour something else, perhaps sinister and murderous.
One of the things about this story is while Judas could conceal his hearts motives to all those around him there was one person he couldn't. God knew his heart and all his intentions right from the beginning. And that's why as the Psalmist says, "let's open our hearts to him"; for God knows everything.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I open my heart to you and all my innermost thoughts that you guide me into all truth, this I pray in Jesus's name
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – ( Joshua 1:9).
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ( Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When once he delayed up on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, the crowd was quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” ( Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ( Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit to be encouraged and remain steadfast, this I pray in Jesus’ name!