He lived for love,
He suffered for love,
He died for love,
But love never dies. We submit ourselves to the leading of the love that is God, that we may be compassionate toward all beings,
that we may live and serve in community with others, that we may ask for and offer forgiveness,
that we and all may praise and enjoy God forever. Amen. Adapted from Jim Burklo, Credo for Christians
This week’s scripture references: Exodus 1-7, 10-17
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines deliverance as the state of being saved from something dangerous or unpleasant. The fruitful, prolific Israelites were viewed as a threat to the Pharaoh. As a result, they were forced into oppressive slavery including the killing of their first born children in an attempt to control them. They became a fearful people, misery was expected and hope was slipping. But in this story of oppression and misery we see God working in unlikely ways in and through the people of Israel.
Israel’s story is our story.
God moves through a child in a basket. Moses is rescued and raised as the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. God hears the groans and cries of his people and calls Moses, an unlikely candidate, to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Through plagues, pillars of clouds and fires, parting of the Red Sea, provision of food and water, we see God at work in the deliverance of the Israelites. The Israelites continue to quarrel and put God to the test, but God continues to work in and through his people, liberating them from their oppression while binding them to him.
Deliverance. Liberation. Redemption. Salvation.
In the upper story of the Israelite’s deliverance we see God’s divine purposes. In the lower story, we see how God’s purposes intersect with our stories.In what ways is your story similar to the Israelite’s story? Are you thirsting for deliverance, liberation, redemption, and salvation? What are you needing to be freed from? From what do you need to be delivered?
Liberation is freedom from all restraints. In Christ, we are released from what binds us to a binding of life-giving power.How is God calling you to partner with him in the work of liberation and deliverance? In what ways is God calling you to submit to the leading of God’s love? In what ways is God calling you to be compassionate toward all beings? How is God calling you to live and serve in community with others? How is God calling you to ask for and offer forgiveness?
The Gospel message is a message of freedom.
Praise God for the freedom you experience in Christ!
To listen to this week’s sermon, Deliverance, Sermon 4/5 in “Go” The Story Mini-Series, click here!
For Family Devotions related to this week’s message, click here!
For more information and additional resources for The Story at Faith UMC, click here!