Sunday, March 31, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Jesus - I AM the Resurrection and the Life


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? 
Thank you for the opportunity to share the Extravagant Love of God with you during this Easter Season. For more devotionals throughout the year, see my blog: BreathingRoomForMySoul.com  Donna Oswalt, Mangrove Ministries ]

EASTER SUNDAY!


Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in Me and will never perish. John 11:25-26 NLT

Easter Sunday is full of joy, praise and hallelujahs that celebrate once again Extravagant Love! His love not only precedes us, it exceeds us. Resurrection marks the transition between life and overcoming death. His resurrection bears the marks of His Passion for mankind. This Everlasting Grace conquers the spiritual death. With certainty we find our Blessed Assurance even in the darkest times. The resurrection of Jesus restores life, offers new life to all, and gives enduring peace. Holy, Holy, Holy; Holy is the LORD. Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. 

  • Celebrate the resurrection; consider Extravagant Love
  • Share the resurrection; offer Christ to another.

Holy One, such love wraps my life with assurance of life, and Grace weaves my life into Your community of believers. Mark me as Yours; restore my soul. Hallelujah to the Love Most High! - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Christians



[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]


Jesus came and told His disciple, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 NLT

A.W. Tozer: People who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks: they face only one direction, they never turn back, and they no longer have plans of their own. Those who profess their faith in Christ become part of His church. To be part of Christ’s church is to become the heart and hands of Jesus. Not only in thought but in words, not only in words but in deeds, we are to be Christ to others. Before returning to the Father, the last words Christ offers His disciples is to go and make disciples and  teach these new disciples. As followers Christ, we are to focus on Christ, be persistent and intentional, and choose God’s plan. Which way are you going? 
  • Will you put down your agenda and follow God’s plans?
  •  Re-read the Scripture. Find Christ’s promise.

Jesus, You come to each of us, find us exactly where we wait. I want to turn my eyes toward You, let my heart be open to the needs You see. Fill my mouth with Your Words. Let my life be marked for You. Thank You, for always being with me. – dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Friday, March 29, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Transition


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]


Good Friday

And they all continued in amazement and great complexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" Acts 2:1-13 NASB

These first verses of Acts 2 describe the beginning of Pentecost. This is the day God sends the Holy Spirit. The disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak in other languages. Symbolically, the languages confirmed that God's children would come from all nations. This marked the transition from Jesus' earthly ministry to the beginning of the church. All people can come into the Kingdom of God.

Weeks earlier, we find Christ arrested, beaten, and crucified. His death confuses those who had followed Him. Most all of them desert Jesus; fear rules. Believing that Jesus would become an earthly king; confusion and chaos take control. The cross, too, is a time of transition, a time of uncertainty. Who is this Jesus anyway?

Today, we often let fear rule; confusion and chaos disrupt. We live in uncertain times. Our mark of transition is when we choose to live for Jesus. This spiritual transition is just the beginning of the everlasting life that comes only through Jesus. Choose Life!
  • Can you mark your transition from lost to redeemed through Christ? 
  • If you Choose Life, will you share this Everlasting Life with someone else?

Jesus, the cross gives me the opportunity to change, to make a commitment to serving You. In silence I consider the cost of my soul. The cross always wears the mark of transition from death to life. I choose Life! – dho


All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of the Nails


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Maundy Thursday


But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

From fellowship to betrayal, so goes this day over 2,000 years ago. Christ knows His path, but the disciples do not understand. Now, over 2,000 years later, Christians can recount the story and explain its meaning because we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and teach us about God's word; yet, if we are honest, we struggle with understanding how God could love us so much.

Isaiah 49:16 God said, "Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands." God makes is clear that He will not forsake us, that His compassion and mercy will be with His children. This is the mark God bears. Jesus wears the mark of the nails, signifying His unfailing, unconditional love for His own. He has us engraved on the palms of His hands. Jesus bears the marks of total surrender, wounded and pierced for the sins of all people.
  • Write down words to describe the Divine Love. 
  • Do you believe God really, really loves you? Believe it!
Love Most High, this unconditional love You give to me is more than I can understand. Just knowing that Your hands are engraved with Divine Love for everyone makes me fall to my knees. I do believe! - dho


All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Love


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." 

Jesus models sacrificial love and expects us to love like He loves. The verse most people quote from the New Testament is John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. This sacrifice of God is the greatest example of love. 1 John 3:16 reminds - We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Scripture tells us over and over to love God, to love with our whole heart, to love one another. It also reminds us not to love the world or the things of the world. Love comes from God, and we know how to love because God loves us. If we love, God abides with us. Genuine, sincere love marks the heart of a Christian. For us today, to lay down our lives for another can mean that we simply postpone an errand, decide to skip a movie, or lay down any personal agenda to help another in need.
  • What is your favorite Scripture about love? 
  • Have you ever put down your own life moments to lift up another"? What did you do?

Father, love sounds so right and feels so good, but sometimes it is so hard to do. Touch my eyes to see others as you see them. Help me love like You love. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of God on the Heart


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]



It's the mark of God on your heart. . . Romans 2:25-29 MSG

For centuries the Israelites use circumcision as a mark of their covenant with God, beginning with Abraham. Don't forget, however, that God makes His covenant with Abraham BEFORE he is circumcised, not because. This is a mark that distinguishes God's people from foreigners, Still today, as over many years, this mark of God remains important to the Jewish people. 

When Jesus redeems the soul, His grace covers our sins, and we are baptized as our symbol or mark of our relationship with Christ. Circumcision as an outward mark is no longer necessary; rather, God wants our hearts to be circumcised, wants our heart's inward promise to mark our faith in Him.
  • Read Genesis 17 for the account of God's covenant with Abraham.
  • Jeremiah 4:4 says to "circumcise your lives for God"; Deuteronomy 6:5 explains. What does this mean?

Lord, You are greater than anything or anyone. You alone are worthy of Worship. I want the world to know I love You, I trust You, and depend on You. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”



Monday, March 25, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Suffering


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Luke is the only Gospel to record Jesus weeping over Jerusalem upon His triumphant entry into the city on the day we now call Palm Sunday. Praises and palm branches, hosannas and hallelujahs roar as plots and hostility whisper in secret. Why does Jesus weep for Jerusalem? Jesus knows the hearts of the people. In a few days, these very people will cry "crucify!" Jesus knows the destruction of Jerusalem is coming; the rejection of the Messiah will bring divine judgment.

During the study of John, notes from Bible Study Fellowship give this insight: Indeed, throughout Jesus' suffering His joy was a distinguishing mark of character that separated Him from them. Jesus' suffering leads to joy. He accomplishes God's will on the cross of redemption and now sits at the right hand of God. Paul writes: for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus [Galatians 6:17] What does he mean? Paul bears the wounds and scars of persecution for Christ's sake. As believers, our joy is grown in trials, and our endurance is increased in difficulty. Soul-full joy in spite of suffering marks our true faith in Christ. 
  • Thinking about the sufferings of Christ, do you think Christ was ever discouraged? 
  • Can others see Christ's mark of suffering [JOY] on my life?

Jesus, my heart weeps at the suffering You endured for me. You were able to look through the suffering to the future with Joy because You knew the Father. I look with Hope and Joy because I know You! - dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Jesus, I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life



[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Palm Sunday ~ 5th Sunday of Lent

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6 NASB

This is the sixth of seven "I AM" statements that Jesus gives us about His deity. Jesus clearly states that there is one way to the Father and that way is through Him. Jesus is the way to God, and Jesus is the truth of God. Jesus is the true and everlasting life. Scripture tells us the way is "narrow" and the "broad" way leads to destruction. There will be those who only pretend to follow Jesus, but the Truth knows the heart. Jesus is the only way to salvation; He is the bridge back to God.

I AM the righteous road, the truth-fulfilled Savior, the life-giving Spirit that leads to eternal life. Jesus said, "Follow Me!" We are to walk the righteous, narrow road of integrity, humility, and compassion. We are to share the truth of Jesus, the Son of God, with love, with gentleness, with encouragement. We are to live in the presence of the Spirit, finding His peace and joy and rest.
  • Do you know the way, the truth and the life that only Jesus offers? 
  • Have you shared this Jesus with anyone? Will you?

Savior, lead me to the quiet waters of Your refreshment; open my mind to Your will. Fill my soul with Your Spirit; empower me to share Jesus. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Ministry


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Our work as God's servants gets validated--or not--in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly ...in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.

The apostle Paul gives vivid descriptions of what can happen to those who share in the ministry of Christ. Certainly, there will be difficulties and dissensions of all kinds; persecution may become life threatening. Beyond the hard times, those who share in the ministry of Christ find deep joy. Our reward for being a servant of God has everlasting dividends that far exceed the earthly tasks. How does your spiritual wealth account look these days?
  • Reading the above Scripture, mark the phrases that describe your ministry. 
  • "in the details" - recall some specific details that mark your ministry in Christ.

God, when I look closely at the details of my servant hood, I am aware that my efforts are often small, without much risk. It is so easy to sit on the bench. Help me see the needs; give me the courage and endurance and humility to serve You. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Friday, March 22, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Spiritual Growth


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

I have written to you who are young because you are strong with God’s word living in your hearts, and you have won your battle with Satan. 1 John 2:14c NLT

When you read verses 12-14 in 1 John 2, John is writing to all ages of those who have put their faith in Christ. Each of us finds ourselves at different marks along this journey with Christ, but John gives us a place to grow ~ with God’s word living in your hearts. For a deeper relationship with Christ, we must spend time reading and contemplating and praying the Scriptures. God reveals himself through the word, speaks to our hearts, and directs our paths. Satan does not want us to have a relationship with Christ and attacks our efforts. His hope is that our faith will remain shallow, if it remains at all.

There are no shortcuts to study. It does require discipline to make time to be in God’s word. Perhaps even harder, it requires a desire to grow more like Christ and live the lessons we learn. Stay in The Word! 
  • Read 1 John 2:12-14; note all the age groups mentioned.
  •  Where are you on your journey with Christ? How will you grow to the next level?

God, we follow a risen Savior and desire to become more like Christ. As Your children, we have a lot to learn. Open the Scriptures to my heart and mind. Help me keep Your word living in my heart! - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Reverence


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

The Israelites crossed the Jordan River, into the Promised Land: The people came up out of the Jordan and set up camp at The Gilgal to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then [Joshua] told the people of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ . . . This was so everybody on earth would recognize how strong GOD’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold GOD in solemn reverence always.”

These stones from the Jordan River serve as a memorial marker for the Israelites. From Abraham first receiving God’s message of his descendants being a chosen people destined for a Promised Land until Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan River into this Promised Land spans nearly 800 years. They create this memorial just the way GOD tells Joshua. More importantly, is the reason: tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ Everybody is to recognize GOD’s strong rescuing hand and always hold GOD in solemn reverence. What an ongoing opportunity to share this God-story with their children, teaching them of God’s mighty power! God promises a chosen people their own land, God redeems His chosen from bondage in Egypt, God provides all they need, and then God safely makes a way for them to enter the Promised Land. This is a God-story of rescue and power, a God-story of promise.

We all have a God-story. God rescues us from sin through Jesus. Jesus redeems us from the bondage of a sinful life, provides all that we need, and then, when our physical life ends, our spirit continues to live with Him. Our Promised Land is the Everlasting Life that comes from Jesus. It is important to share our God-story with our children, family, friends, co-workers, or any soul in need. Once someone believes in the resurrection power of Jesus, the Everlasting Life begins. First, we grow more like Christ in our everyday living; in ministering to others, in sharing the Gospel, in study and prayer, we develop a deeper relationship with Christ. As you live this resurrection life, share your memorial markers; remember this holy God.
  • Read Joshua chapters 3-4; imagine the emotions of this event.
  • Do you know the resurrection power of God? Will you share your God-story with someone?
Holy One, I fall on my knees in awe of Your power, Your majesty, Your Goodness. Let me live each day remembering Your Promises. I am thankful for so much undeserved grace. – dho


All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Rescue


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]


Rahab, a prostitute who helps Jewish spies sent by Joshua, asks that they show her kindness when they return. “Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives [of my family] . . . from death.” The spies gave her specific instructions. “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.” So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua 2: 12-21 NIV

When the Israelites take Jericho, true to their word, Rahab and her family are spared while all the rest is destroyed. For Rahab, the scarlet cord is her mark of protection, her mark of rescue. Rahab is found in the lineage of Jesus [see Matthew chapter 1], and becomes the mother of Boaz, who marries Ruth; Ruth is the great grandmother of David the king. In Matthew’s recording, we see how faith in God gives way to grace and forgiveness. God can rescue even prostitutes and foreigners for His Kingdom work.

“True faith is marked by humility before God and ministry to others.” Have you been rescued? Is Jesus your scarlet cord? If not, today is not too soon! Jesus is waiting.
  • In reading Joshua 2, describe how God uses a prostitute to further His Promise.
  • From what sin do you need to be rescued? Are you willing to ask Jesus to rescue you?

God, in You there is power that exceeds all power. Continue to rescue me from my human frailty; help me focus on Your Promises, Your Provision, Your Plan for me. I want to be found faithful. – dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of False Teachers


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you shall know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 1 John4:1-3 ESV

Scofield’s commentary on this Scripture suggests two marks of false teachers: “(a) Erroneous doctrine concerning Christ’s Person and (b) Erroneous attitude toward the world." To assume that everything we hear or read about God is “true” can open our hearts and minds to false teaching. Those who have a world viewpoint use this as their reference and may have many followers. Some who speak the name of Jesus can lead others down the wrong path. Scripture tells us to discern the Spirit of Truth from a spirit of untruth by comparing the truths of God’s Word against the words we hear. The world will tell you there are “no absolute truths” and unfortunately, you can even hear that in some churches. "What's true for you is true!" is not compatible with the Word of God.

What absolute truths do Christians believe? One truth is found in 1 John 4:7-21. God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God but that He loves us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. . . We love because He first loved us. Christ’s deity is an absolute truth, just as His humanity, miracles of healing, ministry of love and forgiveness, experiences of betrayal, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. Listen carefully to the rhetoric of others; read prayerfully the words in books. Listen for the Spirit of Truth. 

Lord, give me courage to seek the Spirit of Truth. Open my mind to corrupt views that diminish who You are. Help me listen with a discerning spirit! – dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Monday, March 18, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Meribah


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

After arriving at Kadesh, The LORD said to Moses, “Take the staff and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. . . Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out . . . But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in Me enough to honor Me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them. Numbers 20:1-13 NIV

Nearly 40 years before, the Israelites arrive at this same place, Kadesh, after their rescue from Egypt. Their fear and disobedience cost them more years in the desert. Now, a new generation stands on the edge of finally entering the Promised Land. Yet, in all this time of God’s daily provision, they still complain about being in the desert. Forgetting their parents’ disobedience, they blame Moses, and quarrel about water.

Moses asks the Lord’s guidance and receives specific instructions. As Moses returns to the people, his anger rises at their contention and discord. In this moment, Moses strikes the rock – twice – and water comes. The problem is that God told Moses to “speak” to the rock. God is doing this miracle, but Moses is taking the credit. Now Moses stands before God and is told he will not enter the Promised Land. Moses is the leader, the model for the nation, and he had not shown God honor in his disobedience. This place was known as the waters of Meribah, because it was where the people of Israel argued with the LORD, and where He demonstrated His holiness among them.

When we do not rely on God, but allow emotions to tarnish God’s holiness, we can become self-righteous. In our disobedience we do not honor God. Like the Israelites, our continued sinful behavior, after God’s repeated provision and promise, shows a lack of trust. In our rebellion and enmity, we bear the mark of Meribah. We are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and if we desecrate His temple, we do not bring honor to God who is Sovereign and Holy.
  • Read Numbers 20:1-13, make a list of the peoples actions. How are you like them?
  •  List Moses actions; list Gods responses. Do others see you trusting God?

Mighty One, forgive my foolish, self-centered focus. Remind me of Your generous Provisions. I desire to give You honor and glory. Increase my trust in You. – dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”