Daily Devotion: Your Own Personal… Egypt

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Bible Readings for Thursday February 10th, 2011 – The 6th Week of Epiphany

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 119:1-8

Genesis 26:1-5

James 1:12-16

  • I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me. – Psalm 119:8
  • The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. – Genesis 26:2
  • Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

What is your “Egypt”? What is your temptation, your land of (empty) promise? What has placed you under bondage?

For some it could be that “dream” job across the country. For others it could be that big house, or luxury car. Chances are, if you find yourself saying something like, “Things would better if I could only…”, then you have an “Egypt” of your own. In most cases your “Egypt” is really just another heap of steaming trouble, bundled in empty hope and wrapped with false promise.

If you’re already unhappy with your career, chances are a new job in a new town in the same career is still not going to be fulfilling. Or what if it really comes down to the fact you’re not employee material, and you’re really meant to be an entrepreneur? A new job with a boss isn’t going to help you at all.

And if you can’t put in the time, effort and cash to make your current home something to be proud of, then what makes you think you’ll do any different with a bigger one?

And if you care so much what others think of you that the kind of car you drive actually affects your self-esteem, do you really think a nicer car is going going to change anything? Or is that same internal judgment going to transition onto some new superficial “thing” to obsess over and idolize?

These scenarios and many more are exactly what God and the bible are so repetitively trying to counter, even if it is somewhat heavy-handed at times, and obtuse.

God knows that humility, and a sense of self-worth centered in God’s grace and not in “things” and “stuff” is what leads to a heart that is not been made cynical by the disappointments of materialism. A humble and compassionate heart is softer, fertile ground made ready and willing to love.

We must find contentment in the immutable, in the unwavering God. Only then will the distractions, the idols, and the daily lies we tell ourselves to feel okay… only then will they start to fall away and we can be fully Present. Being Present means to exist fully in the now, in this moment. Not regretting the past, not worrying about the future, but fully mindful and present in the moment at hand. Then you would be able to give this text your full attention, and not simply a cursory scan. You would find yourself really listening to someone speaking, and not simply waiting for a chance to talk. And most importantly, your find yourself fully enjoying the presence of someone close to you, fully mindful that in an instant they could be gone.

Our personal “Egypt” is a always a source of bondage and domination. We find ourselves broken through our pursuit of it, and God forbid, we attain it! Then we realize that it’s promise and hope were dust and dreams and there is nothing of substance to sustain us. Where do we turn to now? We’ve already spent ourselves trying to attain our own personal “Egypt”?

We turn back to God. He is always ready and willing to perform the next personal Exodus out of another personal Egypt. And you will need God’s help, for the wisdom of the world and it’s Pharaohs will rise up to stop you the very moment you start to trust  God’s immutable providence for your life:

“What?? You can’t quit your job! You won’t find another line of work that pays like this one.”

Downsize your house? But you and David just moved here last year? Nobody downsizes! That’s crazy…”

“Steve, seriously. You’ll never make senior management driving a used Toyota. Half of this job is appearances…”

Wake up. Spread the blood of lamb on the lintels of your soul. Ask God for salvation from bondage to your own personal Egypt, and God will act in your life.

I would rather live in the wilderness of the world, scorned and belittled by others and abiding in God’s love and salvation, then breaking myself for an empty land of false idols and promises.

James 1

14. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it;
15. then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

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