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10 Rosensteinstraße
Böblingen, BW, 71032

We are an Assemblies of God church serving English speaking community in Stuttgart, Germany.

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Devotional

February 4, 2019

Matthew Leighty

Read Exodus 19:1-25

When Moses returned from the mountain and shared what God had told him, the people’s response was unambiguous: “We will do all that the Lord has spoken” (v. 8). We aren’t given much else to evaluate this response, but we would have to believe it came from a sincere heart, a genuine desire to obey God. However, we also know it didn’t last. As we continue through Exodus, we read more about the law God gave to the people through Moses, and then we come across Exodus 32, where the people who pledged obedience to God disobeyed Him by having Aaron form the golden calf. Their words of obedience quickly dissolved into acts of defiance.

As we have seen so often, we have to be careful not to read Exodus from a distance. If we do, we miss how practical this book is for us. So when we read of the Israelites pledging obedience only to falter soon after, we need to consider why they did and see how we are prone to do the same.

Israel declared they would obey God at the foot of the mountain where God was meeting with Moses, but their obedience was tested when God seemed distant, or perhaps even gone. Our challenge is the same. Our obedience is tested in the crucible of daily life, when God is not as apparent to us either. It is in these moments that the strength of our faith will be revealed, both to ourselves and to the watching world around us.

When is it most difficult for you to maintain faith and obedience to God? Why?

February 1, 2019

Matthew Leighty

Read Exodus 18:19-27

Jethro’s suggestion that Moses share his burden of judging the people was wise; it was a way for Moses and the people to be more efficient and to avoid burnout. But sharing our burdens with others is more than that; it is gospel-centered as well.

When we carry our burdens by ourselves, we are walking in pride. We want to show others and ourselves that we are strong enough to carry the weight, or we don’t believe anyone else can help us. But when we share our burdens, when we gladly invite others to come alongside us and share the load we have been given, we walk in humility, the natural posture of people under the power of the gospel. We recognize that we are not strong but weak. We are not independent but dependent on Christ and His church. Christ’s strength is manifested in our weakness, His glory in our humility and neediness, His love in His faithful provision. Sharing burdens with one another is for His glory and our good.

When have you refused to share a burden? Why? What happened?

January 31, 2019

Matthew Leighty

Read Matthew 7:1-6

Jethro took a risk when he confronted Moses. Confrontation is difficult for many of us. We are uncomfortable with it. We aren’t sure if the risk is worth it. And at times, we question our place to confront someone else, especially since some have used Matthew 7:1 to argue that we should not confront others at all. However, when we look closely at this passage, we see Christ not forbidding confrontation but clarifying the right way to do it.

First, He tells us that before we confront someone else about an issue, we should examine ourselves in the mirror, looking for that issue specifically. Second, we need to make sure our motivation for confronting the person is right. We confront a person for one reason: to help him or her. In this way, our confrontation is a selfless act of love; we take on the risk solely for the other person’s gain. Because we care about others and we care about how they reflect the gospel in how they live, we confront.

Whom might you need to confront for God’s glory and their good? Who has confronted you in the past that you might want to thank and encourage for their love for you?

January 30, 2019

Matthew Leighty

Read Exodus 18:13-18

The day after Moses recounted all the Lord had done, Moses went out and judged the people from morning until evening. Jethro noticed how Moses heard case after case and how Moses was not the only one who had such a long day; the people stood and waited for their cases to be heard just as long. But notice what Jethro did next: he asked Moses what was going on. Then, only after Moses confirmed what he had seen did Jethro play the judge for Moses.

Showing such wisdom and restraint is difficult for us at times. We tend to rush from observation to judgment, a problem only heightened by the information and digital age in which we live. But true wisdom takes time to listen. It takes time to consider that we might not see the whole story or that we might not see the story clearly. Wisdom is not just what we share, it is also how we share: in humility, with love and respect.

How does approaching others in humility reflect the gospel?

January 29, 2019

Matthew Leighty

Read Philippians 2:14-15; 3:1

Jethro offered a positive example of what it looks like to rejoice with others in what the Lord has done, but as we have seen, the children of Israel struggled to get there. Jethro heard and rejoiced, yet the children of Israel experienced and grumbled. And with every sigh, moan, and accusation, the Israelites revealed hearts that were ungrateful for all that God had done.

In Philippians 2:14-15, Paul warned about being constant complainers, like the Israelites. There is no place for grumbling and arguing because when we do, we fail to reflect minds, hearts, and a worldview transformed by the gospel. Our complaining is camouflage that makes us appear not as our true selves—forgiven men and women who have been given Christ’s righteousness—but as the world around us. But if we cast aside grumbling and arguing and instead rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1), we will shine as beacons of light in the dark world around us. This is why we fix our gaze on Christ—who He is and what He has done—so that we might anchor our joy on this unchanging truth and not on our ever-shifting situations in life.

What makes you rejoice in the Lord? What has He done recently to make you rejoice?