Impossible

Jim Gallagher

Mark 3:5
“Stretch forth your hand.”

When Jesus entered the Synagogue, it seemed everyone in the room knew He would address the man with the withered hand. His disciples were watching carefully. This event would be seared into their memories, and written down in the timeless Word of God. The Pharisees watched Him closely, knowing His compassion would lead Him to the man, even though it was the Sabbath. I imagine the man with the withered hand also watched in anticipation. Hoping Jesus would do for him, what he had done for so many others. As Jesus approached him, this man must have been excitedly anticipating what Jesus was about to do. It is here, where the story gets most interesting to me. Instead of touching the man’s hand, speaking words of healing, or even asking him to do a religious task, Jesus simply says, “Stretch forth your hand.” What…

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Free Pass

Jim Gallagher

Exodus 12:13
“…when I see the blood, I will pass over you…”

There are many pictures of Christ portrayed in the Old Testament narrative. We see Him as the offering of Abraham on Mount Moriah, the Angel wrestling with Jacob, the Captain of the Lord’s armies in Joshua, and on and on. One of the clearest pictures, is found here in Exodus. We see Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Paul, writing to the Corinthians put it like this,

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7

We see some of the most important aspects of our relationship with Christ illustrated in the Passover story.

Like Israel, who was in severe bondage, under a harsh task master, and facing the threat of death, we are in bondage to sin…

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Stand Out

Jim Gallagher

Exodus 11:7
“…That you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

Many of the plagues that fell upon Egypt did not affect the children of Israel. God, by His grace, made a distinction between those who were His and those who were not. Part of the reason for that distinction was that others would desire to join the ranks of Israel and become followers of God. Although the Bible does not go into great detail listing all those of Egypt who chose to join Israel, we do know that along with the twelve tribes, others left their homeland and became part of the tribes who made their way to Canaan. In many ways, it was the distinction that was made between the follower of God and the rest of Egypt that drew others to forsake all and follow God.

From a biblical standpoint…

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A Snare To Us

Jim Gallagher

Exodus 10:7
“Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, ‘How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?’”

Pharaoh thought the problem with his nation was the believers, and as a result, he attempted to suppress or destroy them at all costs. What he failed to see was, it was his attack upon God, His word, and His people, that actually destroyed his nation. What was once a powerful empire, and the delight of the nations, was being weakened by rebellion against the ways of God. Egypt is not an anomaly. The same is true of any nation that seeks to remove the influence of God.

Proverbs 14:34
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

I cannot help but see the parallels in the modern…

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Free To Serve

Jim Gallagher

Exodus 9:1
“Let My people go, that they may serve Me.”

Upon being set free from Egypt, Israel was called to serve the Lord. We get some keen insight about true service, as the story continues to unfold. First off, Pharaoh suggests that Moses and the men go, but they leave their families behind. This has been the enemy’s tactic ever since. Moses responds to Pharaoh’s suggestion,

“And Moses said, ‘We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.’” Exodus 10:9

As you move forward in your relationship with Jesus, seek to do all you can to influence your family to a deeper commitment to Jesus. Establishing Biblical guidelines for the home, encouraging family devotions, using life experience to teach Biblical principles, and bringing the…

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Evangelism

Jim Gallagher

Mark 2:3
“Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.”

There are so many fascinating aspects to this story: the crowd that gathered to listen to Jesus teach the Word, the healing of the paralytic, the fact that Jesus put a higher priority on the man’s spiritual condition, than upon his physical suffering, and the claim and proof that Jesus is God. All are worth noting and taking time for more careful observation. But in the midst of all of that, it might be easy to look past one of the most important lessons in this text. Did you notice the actions of those who brought the paralytic? The effort these men went through in order to bring this man to Christ really struck me.

First, notice the value they put upon Jesus; they would seek to bring others to Him. They must have…

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Shipwrecked 

Exodus 8:9-10
“And Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.’
So he said, ‘Tomorrow.’” 

Sin is a insidious beast. It allures us with promises of pleasure, while actually driving its nails deep into our flesh, until we are hooked like a bear in trap. Even when we are tired of its guilt, pain and dire consequences, sin still seems to hold on to us, with a grip stronger than we can break. We find ourselves, like Pharaoh, surrounded by frogs yet crying out for just one more night.

I am reminded of an ancient legend where sailors were allured toward an island by the beautiful music sung by enchanted women. The music was so seductive that the sailors would turn the ships toward the land and crash into the jagged shores. One captain, wanting to avoid destruction, put wax in the sailors ears so they could not hear the music, another chose to play a flute with a melody more beautiful than the singing of the women. His men were no longer tempted, because his music was far better.

In our struggle against sin, one of the most effective ways to ensure victory is to listen to the promises of God, above the deceptive promises of sin. When once we taste the sweetness of His joy and peace, the empty lure of sin will weaken its grip upon us, and we will find ourselves not longing for one more night with the frogs

Pastor Jim