Finite Minds

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Finite Minds

Beth Patch – CBN Digital Media Producer

The plagues God used to convince Pharaoh to “Let His people go!” amazed both Egyptians and Israelites. The Egyptians felt the brunt of God’s might; the Israelites received protection from the horrible plagues. All involved were awe-struck by God’s power.

God parted the water ahead of the Israelites when their escape route dead-ended at a huge sea. They walked across the seabed on dry land with two large seawalls on either side of them. The Egyptian army barreled in behind them. And the Israelites watched as God crashed the sea waters on top of their enemies.

Wow! Whoever saw such things could never doubt God’s power or provision for “His people.” Except… these very people.

They were thirsty. They had gone several days without water. They told Moses they would rather die in Egypt (as slaves) than suffer through God’s plan (Exodus 14:11-12).

What? How could they not see the goodness of God—that He was for them? He had freed them from slavery. He had turned a raging sea into a dry pathway. He had done the impossible for them. But they became thirsty.

Their temporary circumstances caused them to forget how much God had done for them in the past. Their human nature provoked them to doubt God’s goodness.

Sound like you and me sometimes?

Oh, how wonderful it would be to have unwavering faith—always certain of God’s goodness, no matter what our current situation.

But life brings a mixed bag of experiences. We face disappointments and hurt from those we love. Our childlike faith in people we trust dwindles. And so it goes with our faith in God. We prayed for financial help and ended up losing a home. We asked for healing and the person died. We don’t understand and we lose faith. We become doubters.

Deuteronomy 6:5 says,

“And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (NLT)

Jesus says it is the most important commandment (Mark 12:29-30).

Loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength is key to overcoming doubt. It cements our faith and abolishes doubt.

Isaiah 55:8 says,

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (NLT)

Trying to understand God with our human logic wastes time and energy. It’s not a faith-builder. When we walk the dry seabed with water-walls one day and question God’s goodness the next, it shows our faith depends on our circumstances. They change. God does not.

Instead, through faith, when the foreclosure happens, we choose to love God. When our friend dies, we love God. We accept His answer to our prayers and use all our heart, soul and strength to love Him. Especially when we don’t understand.

We must remember it is not this life on earth we live for. Our time here is brief compared to eternity.

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” Luke 17:33 (NLT)

What are you clinging to today? Will you put your trust in God and let it go?

Today’s Devotions


February 27

Leviticus 19:2 2“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

Holy: unmixed, pure, undefiled, set apart for one use, not for common usage. All these terms are used for the word “holy.” Of all God’s attributes, this is the one that seems to draw from creation the most reverential awe. The special beings of praise fly around the throne singing, “Holy, holy, holy!” As they do, all those around the throne, men and angels, join with them, in awe of His holiness.

What is God commanding us to be? Fallen man is so polluted with desire for the temporal and self-appeasing pleasures. God is telling everyone that this is not His plan for man. God wants to commune with us and the Holy will not commune with the vile. There must be a change so that we can enter into that relationship God desires to have with us. All the rituals in Leviticus are painting pictures of how God will one day bring it about through the sacrifice of His only Son.

The reason that we are to be holy is so that we can come into communion with Him. But that is not the only reason. The main reason is the one stated here, “…because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” A thing is right or wrong because it is consistent or inconsistent with the perfection of God. All that is good is truly good because it is like the goodness of God. All that is genuine love is like the love of God, who is pure and perfect Love. You should be gracious toward others in the same way God is gracious toward you. The same is true of all His attributes. You, as His people, are expected to reflect His character, including His holiness. Be holy BECAUSE He is holy.

Meditation: Is there something in my life that is impure?

Left Alone – Streams in the Desert – February 27

  • 202227 Feb

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day (Gen. 32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray.”

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes–“men (aye, and women too!) wondered at” (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be “they saw no man save Jesus only.”

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.

Truth and Love

Scripture Reading — Ephesians 4:1-16

Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. — Ephesians 4:15

I met a man who ended many of his criticisms by saying, “And that’s the way it is!” He apparently had great confidence in his own discernment. And if you challenged him, he would say, “But it’s true!”

But if he spoke the truth, it was not spoken in love. Instead, he used truth as a blow-torch, scorching anyone who crossed his path.

In some ways he might have kept God’s law by telling the truth, but he broke it when he did not speak in love.

So how do we know if we are speaking the truth in love?

Here are some considerations to make before speaking:

Is it helpful? Will saying this bring about good?

Is it necessary? Must I say this?

Is it loving? Will it build someone up in Christ?

These are the goals we should seek. The apostle Paul urges us to “keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity.” Paul sees words in a way like construction materials that can be used in building—so that we can build a house of peace. Only with such a goal in mind may we speak the truth.


God, forgive us if we think that we have such a firm grasp on truth that we blast others with it. Truth cannot be separated from love. Help us to discern when and how to speak the truth in love. Amen.

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