40.Day.Week4

JULY 20

IN THE BALANCE

HEBREWS 11:24-27 | By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

Why did Harry and Meghan relinquish royalty? They wanted to support themselves, escape media- attention, and engage in philanthropy. May they live happily ever after.

Why did Moses cut his ties with the royal family of Egypt? He had the best education in the world. He was powerful in word and deed (ACTS 7:22). He could have ruled the land like a new Joseph. So why not invest his social and political capital to improve the miserable lot of the foreign migrant workers of Egypt, God’s people? They had been enslaved and oppressed there for 400 years.

Worldly wisdom would say: Sure! Bide your time. Play your cards. You can do a lot of good. But the heart of Moses told him otherwise. In the prime of his life, it came into his heart to seek the shalom of his true family, the children of Israel (ACTS 7:23).

Sometimes the right decisions are the least obvious and the hardest to make. Moses weighed his options. He had to choose: Between status and servanthood. Between pleasure and pain. Between affluence and abuse. Between the fear of man and the fear of God. In each pair of options, the right choice was the most difficult, the most costly, and the most whacky to the worldly-wise.

The readers of Hebrews also face a hard choice: On one side of the scale lay the social and economic benefits of blending in with society. On the other side lay the abuse and denigration by a community hostile to the Christian faith.

The Preacher assures them and us that being denounced for and with Christ is far greater wealth than all the treasures of this world. And that our relationship with Jesus is its own reward, even when it involves great suffering (CRAIG KOESTER).

Moses laid his options in the balance and chose well. He renounced royalty and riches. He descended the social ladder to identify with the poor. He staked his future on the Invisible God who rewards those who seek him.

Will modern and affluent readers of Hebrews do likewise? It’s up to you. Weigh your options. Make your choice. Your destiny lies in the balance.

IN THE BALANCE

HEBREWS 11:24-27 | By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

Why did Harry and Meghan relinquish royalty? They wanted to support themselves, escape media- attention, and engage in philanthropy. May they live happily ever after.

Why did Moses cut his ties with the royal family of Egypt? He had the best education in the world. He was powerful in word and deed (ACTS 7:22). He could have ruled the land like a new Joseph. So why not invest his social and political capital to

 

JULY 20

improve the miserable lot of the foreign migrant workers of Egypt, God’s people? They had been enslaved and oppressed there for 400 years.

Worldly wisdom would say: Sure! Bide your time. Play your cards. You can do a lot of good. But the heart of Moses told him otherwise. In the prime of his life, it came into his heart to seek the shalom of his true family, the children of Israel (ACTS 7:23).

Sometimes the right decisions are the least obvious and the hardest to make. Moses weighed his options. He had to choose: Between status and servanthood. Between pleasure and pain. Between affluence and abuse. Between the fear of man and the fear of God. In each pair of options, the right choice was the most difficult, the most costly, and the most whacky to the worldly-wise.

The readers of Hebrews also face a hard choice: On one side of the scale lay the

social and economic benefits of blending in with society. On the other side lay the abuse and denigration by a community hostile to the Christian faith.

The Preacher assures them and us that being denounced for and with Christ is far greater wealth than all the treasures of this world. And that our relationship with Jesus is its own reward, even when it involves great suffering (CRAIG KOESTER).

Moses laid his options in the balance and chose well. He renounced royalty and riches. He descended the social ladder to identify with the poor. He staked his future on the Invisible God who rewards those who seek him.

Will modern and affluent readers of Hebrews do likewise? It’s up to you. Weigh your options. Make your choice. Your destiny lies in the balance.

Prayer Track

■ Break the status barrier. Given a choice between status and servanthood, Moses chose to identify with the lowly. So did Jesus. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (PHILIPPIANS 2:6-7). Think about it. A high percentage of Christians in Singapore belong in the upper class. Pray that we will emulate the faith and values of Moses and Jesus: We will stop playing the status game. We will live simply in solidarity with the disadvantaged and marginalised. We will welcome into our churches our lower-income neighbours, our elderly poor, our less educated, and our guest workers. We will prioritise their welfare. We will give them VIP status and treat them as we would treat our King: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me (MATTHEW 25:35). Indeed, how we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great (BILL BENNOT). May this be our Antioch story: At the peak of our careers, it came into our hearts to seek the shalom of the harrassed and helpless.

■ Break the pain barrier. Given a choice between pleasure and pain, Moses chose pain. So did Jesus. Pray: Lord, you chose suffering for the sake of broken humanity, lost in sin and shame. You died to set us free. Let this mind be in me also. I choose to suffer with you rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. I choose to be rejected as a weirdo in this world because of my love and witness for you. Your grace is all I need. Your power is made perfect in my weakness (2 CORINTHIANS 12:9).

■ Break the fear barrier. Given a choice between the fear of man and the fear of God, Moses chose the fear of God. Will you? When you fear God, you fear nothing else. If you do not fear God, you fear everything else (OSWALD CHAMBERS). When weighed in the balance, may we not be found wanting (DANIEL 5:27). Lord, help us!

■ Break the shame barrier. Given a choice between affluence and abuse, Moses renounced the wealth of Egypt for a share in the reproach of Christ. Who in their right mind would make such a choice? Jesus would. Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world and all their glory (MATTHEW 4:8-10). Jesus chose the shame and humiliation of the Cross instead. Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 CORINTHIANS 8:9). Ponder, sing, and pray this timeless hymn:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.
I’d rather be his than have riches untold.
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land.
I’d rather be led by his nail-pierced hand.
 
Than to be the king of a vast domain,
and be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.
 
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause.
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause.
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I’d rather be true to his holy name.

Prayer Track

■ Break the status barrier. Given a choice between status and servanthood, Moses chose to identify with the lowly. So did Jesus. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (PHILIPPIANS 2:6-7). Think about it. A high percentage of Christians in Singapore belong in the upper class. Pray that we will emulate the faith and values of Moses and Jesus: We will stop playing the status game. We will live simply in solidarity with the disadvantaged and marginalised. We will welcome into our churches our lower-income neighbours, our elderly poor, our less educated, and our guest workers. We will prioritise their welfare. We will give them VIP status and treat them as we would treat our King: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me (MATTHEW 25:35). Indeed, how we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great (BILL BENNOT). May this be our Antioch story: At the peak of our careers, it came into our

hearts to seek the shalom of the harrassed and helpless.

■ Break the pain barrier. Given a choice between pleasure and pain, Moses chose pain. So did Jesus. Pray: Lord, you chose suffering for the sake of broken humanity, lost in sin and shame. You died to set us free. Let this mind be in me also. I choose to suffer with you rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. I choose to be rejected as a weirdo in this world because of my love and witness for you. Your grace is all I need. Your power is made perfect in my weakness (2 CORINTHIANS 12:9).

■ Break the fear barrier. Given a choice between the fear of man and the fear of God, Moses chose the fear of God. Will you? When you fear God, you fear nothing else. If you do not fear God, you fear everything else (OSWALD CHAMBERS). When weighed in the balance, may we not be found wanting (DANIEL 5:27). Lord, help us!

■ Break the shame barrier. Given a choice between affluence and abuse,

Moses renounced the wealth of Egypt for a share in the reproach of Christ. Who in their right mind would make such a choice? Jesus would. Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world and all their glory (MATTHEW 4:8-10). Jesus chose the shame and humiliation of the Cross instead. Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 CORINTHIANS 8:9). Ponder, sing, and pray this timeless hymn:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.
I’d rather be his than have riches untold.
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land.
I’d rather be led by his nail-pierced hand.
 
Than to be the king of a vast domain,
and be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.
 
I’d rather have Jesus than
men’s applause.
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause.
I’d rather have Jesus than
worldwide fame.
I’d rather be true to his holy name.