Tag Archives: amazing

Matthew 3 – John the Baptist

John the Baptist had a purpose for his life.  He was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  His purpose was to point people to THE Christ.  His primary message was, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”  Once the Christ came, he was to decrease so that Christ could increase.

How often do young people, and even older people, seek purpose for their lives?  How often do they pursue understanding for who they are, and what they are to do and become?  But, what if we did know?  What if we did know that we were to prepare the way for something great… and then, that’s it.  What if we knew that we would spend years and years of our lives dedicated to the work of preaching, teaching, calling, etc.  Then it would lead up to ONE day!  …one minute!  …one moment!  And then… what?

You’ve just spent your entire life getting ready and it’s over.  Now “He must increase, and I must decrease.”  None of the rest of it matters all that much.  Your purpose is done, and the rest of your life is mostly meaningless.  Not only for that to happen, but to know that that was going to happen.  Wow, that’s tough.

I really wonder if in today’s world we could handle knowing the truth?  I really wonder if we aren’t so caught up in ourselves that if God / YHWH actually told us what we wanted to know, how many of us would simply run away.  There are those that would say that in those times people were made of sterner stuff.  I don’t know to what extent i would agree with that.  People are people.  Someone may be taught to be stronger, better, wiser… whatever, but we are still made of the same stuff.

Would you or I be able to simply let go, knowing that our purpose has been served and we have nothing left but to push people away and tell them to follow something else… not because we had done something wrong, but because we had done it all right?  John the Baptist was an amazing man.  He lived the life  that YHWH had made him f or, then when that moment was over, he decreased so that Christ could increase.  I don’t know if i could do that.

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Exodus 15 – Honor

I will sing to the LORD (YHWH) for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled in the sea…”  So begins the song of the MEN of Israel.  YHWH has done something amazing, and what is the response?  The MEN of Israel begin to sing and celebrate the wonders of God.  Why is that so different from today?  Why is it that instead of being the first to honor God, the men are usually the last?  Why is it that men are so hesitant to give glory to the One to whom it is due?  It has been in our nature to lead; that’s how we were created.  We were also created to bring YHWH honor and to show the glory of God.  Yet here we are.  Men are more likely to follow in worshiping God than we are to lead.  Men are less likely to honor God in how we express ourselves, yet we are responsible for leading in that.  Why is that, and how can we change it?

When the men worshiped, what did they do and say?  Moses and the men of Israel described God’s glory and His actions.  They expressed what YHWH did and how He did it.  The worship of men involved describing God, who He is and what He has done “The LORD (YHWH) is a warrior;  The LORD (YHWH) is His name.  Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;“.  The worship of men is about action and work “Your right hand, O LORD (YHWH), is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD (YHWH), shatters the enemy.  And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;“.  It is also about character and person; “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.

Is this how we worship today?  Do we celebrate who God is, or how He makes us feel when we feel His presence?  Is our worship about events and what God is doing in our lives, or is it about love and our emotions towards Him?  Are we honoring and glorifying YHWH, or are we just singing songs?

One of the beautiful things about the Israelites in the old testament, and something that has been lost in our culture is this idea of truly celebrating the milestones and successes in our lives.  When was the last time any of us really, truly celebrated a real success in our lives.  When was the last time God did something amazing in your life and you had a party to celebrate it?  I know i can’t remember the last time i did anything like that.  Aside from graduating from high-school and getting married, i can’t remember anything that YHWH has done that we have celebrated (besides the anniversary of days of birth and marriage).  We seem to have lost the ability to truly Honor God for the things He has done.  What can we do to change that?

I also wanted to note here that this is the first time that we see the LORD described as YHWH-Rapha, the LORD our Healer.  So far, the Israelites have seen a God of destruction.  He was a God who destroyed the Egyptians in order to free the sons of Israel from their enemies.  He brought plagues, destruction, and death.  Here they begin to see God as a God who heals (the waters of Marah).  Thus He is also the God of life.  It is a step in a different direction… but i’m out of time, so i can’t go into it more.

Rev. John Camiolo

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Exodus 3 – YHWH!

I really hate that i have come to this chapter on a Saturday.  This is my most rushed day of the week.  I am very time limited in the morning, and i work a 13 hour day.  There is so much really good stuff here, that it’s really hard to limit what i want to say and still look at more than just a speck of what is here.  I could study and talk about this chapter alone for close to a month.  Well, here goes not much. 🙂

So Moses has gone from being trained in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, with a courtly education.  He has lived this way for approximately 40 years.  From there, he has gone out to the wilderness, and spent another 40 years wandering around Midian with a flock of sheep.  My, how the mighty have fallen!  It is here, after 40 years in the wilderness that God / YHWH calls him.  A man uniquely gifted, both in the highest courtly education possible, and as a lowly shepherd who has learned to lead a flock of sheep.  It is these two polar opposite preparation that provide him with the skills that he needs to do this tremendous work.

It’s amazing and fascinating to me the way that God works sometimes.  Here he tells Moses, “I have seen the affliction of my people… so I have come down to deliver them… Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”  It’s hilarious to me.  God says that He has come down to deliver them, so now Moses YOU go and bring them out of Egypt.  So is it God / YHWH that’s bringing them out, or is it Moses?  God says that it’s Him, and then tells Moses to go and do it.  Talk about priceless!

Then, Moses asks God a simple question; “What is your name?”  What does God answer?  “I AM WHO I AM!”  I almost feel bad for the guy.  Suddenly he is going from a simple shepherd to the redeemer of a nation.  Then when he asks a simple question, he gets what appears to be a non-answer.  What’s the poor guy to think!

What about us?  Does God teach and prepare us in unusual ways, giving us unique and unusual giftings that seem to make no sense.  Then we come to YHWH with a question, expecting some sort of significant answer, we find Him not only NOT giving us the answers that we are looking for, but also expecting us to do something that is so out of our comfort zone that it feels like it is going to kill us?  I love it!  That’s God for you alright!

If you have never been blessed that way, i pray that you will be, and you will be soon.  God Bless.

 

John Camiolo

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Genesis 2 – Amazement

If chapter 1 was all about beauty, poetry, structure, and order, then overall chapter 2 is about amazement.

First off, i honestly think that the first three verses of ch. 2 belong at the end of ch. 1. The first three verses are the day of rest, and they belong at the end of the poetic structure of chapter 1.  And, since the chapter and verse numberings were added much, much later than the original scriptures were given to Moses to be written, they are much more recommendations than decisive and definitive lines in the sand.

I call chapter 2 Amazement because of God’s work in this chapter.  He turns around, takes the very dirt / ground / earth of His creation and forms something completely different from it.  Like a sculptor creating from the clay.  Only He doesn’t stop there!  He breaths His own breath / life into this sculpture!  He forms this thing, then whooooshhhh!  It’s alive!  It’s a creation who’s very life comes from the very breath of its creator!  If that’s not amazing, then i don’t know what is.

But it does not end there.  Man is created in God’s image, and it seems almost immediately that God recognizes that he needs more than just himself.  In fact, he needs more than just himself and God!  If that’s not enough to blow your mind, than maybe you’re just not catching it.  So lets look at that again.  The absolutely perfect and complete creator, created something in His own image, with His own breath, that needs something more than Him!  So what does he do?  He brings the beasts and birds to the man and the man names them.  Still not enough (i tell ya, some people are just never satisfied 😛 )!

So what does God do?  He solves the problem.  He takes from the man a rib / part / side, and uses that to create what the man needs!  Wow, i mean WOW!  What’s man’s response?  Pure poetry.  “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh;  (i was smiling hugely while copying that down in my notebook).  Then, joy of joys, the reuniting of what was torn asunder.  I think that this truly is the most beautiful and amazing ending to such an amazing chapter.  “And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed”… enough said 😀

John C.

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