DAY TWO

GOD IS OUR GUIDE

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

Exodus 15:13

Additional Reading: Nehemiah 9:19–21; Psalm 25:4–5; Proverbs 3:5–6


Traveling is one of the many things the pandemic has limited for us. Everyone likely misses going on a trip, whether local or international, visiting old favorites and discovering new places. But if you were to travel to an unfamiliar place, what is one thing you would need? Practically, you will need assistance in navigation, whether it’s an app, a physical map, or a person who knows the way. Before you journey into the unknown, you will need a guide.


Because God directs our paths and guides us, He invites us to trust Him and yield to His plan.

Since the beginning, God has shown Himself to be a faithful leader. All throughout Scripture, God has guided His people. In Exodus 15, Moses and the Israelites were praising God after their miraculous journey out of Egypt. They were celebrating God’s faithful and powerful work in leading them out of slavery and opening up the Red Sea so they could safely cross over. God had guided them even in the midst of the unfamiliar and the uncertain.

The years 2020 and 2021 have brought a lot of unfamiliarity. So much remains uncertain, and this has caused confusion, doubt, and fear. We still wonder how things will work out. We need help. We need a guide. We need someone who knows the way and can lead us in this difficult time. Like sheep that need a shepherd, unless God guides and leads us, we will not be able to find our way. Left to ourselves, when doubts and fear consume our hearts, we will lean on our own understanding and end up striving to make our paths straight. God, in His wisdom and guidance, is the only one we can rely on to direct our paths.

But God is not just a guide who points us to a better path. He isn’t just a person we ask for directions when we’ve lost our way. He doesn’t just hand over a map and walk away. God is a guide who makes the plan, directs our destination, and journeys with us. He walks with us every step of the way and wants us to follow His lead day by day. As we journey towards the rest of the year, our confidence and peace come from knowing that we are not alone. We don’t need to walk in fear and doubt because God continually guides us through His word and Spirit. In His steadfast love, He leads us, and by His strength, He guides us.


BECAUSE GOD DIRECTS OUR PATHS AND GUIDES US, HE INVITES US TO TRUST HIM AND YIELD TO HIS PLAN.



NOTES

Write down your thoughts on today’s devotional. Pray that God will continue to speak as you reflect.




REFLECT

Are there areas in your life where you rely on your own plans and guidance, not God’s? In what particular decision or situation do you need His guidance today, and what do you believe He is telling you about it?




How has God guided you through 2020 and the first half of 2021? Like Moses in Exodus 15, what song or Scripture have you held on to in this season that speaks of God’s guidance in your life?





PRAY

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

Exodus 15:13
Dear Lord, You guide me with steadfast love and lead me by Your strength. Make Your ways known to me, lead me in Your truth, and teach me to be humble and follow Your ways. In times of confusion and doubt, help me look to Your word and Spirit to guide my life. I am Your sheep, and You are my great Shepherd who loves me and walks with me in this journey. I choose to remember Your faithfulness to me, and I will continue to trust You with all my heart for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

ANG DIYOS AY GABAY NATIN

“Sa pamamagitan ng walang tigil nʼyong pagmamahal, gagabayan nʼyo ang inyong mga iniligtas. Sa pamamagitan ng inyong lakas, gagabayan nʼyo sila sa banal nʼyong tahanan.”

Exodus 15:13

Basahin din: Nehemias 9:19–21; Salmo 25:4–5; Kawikaan 3:5–6


Ang paglalakbay sa ibang lugar ay isa sa mga bagay na nalimitahan dahil sa pandemya. Ang lahat ay nasasabik nang magbiyahe, sa loob man o sa labas ng bansa, bumisita sa mga paborito nilang lugar, at makatuklas ng mga bago pang lugar. Subalit kung ikaw ay magbibiyahe patungo sa mga lugar na hindi pamilyar sa iyo, ano ang isang bagay na kakailanganin mo? Kakailanganin mo ng isang kagamitang magsisilbing gabay sa direksyon, ito man ay isang app o isang pisikal na mapa, o kaya ay isang tao na nakakaalam ng tamang daan. Bago ka magbiyahe sa isang lugar na hindi mo pa alam, kailangan mong makakuha ng isang gabay.


Dahil itinuturo ng Diyos ang ating landas, at ginagabayan Niya tayo, tayo ay inaanyayahan Niyang magtiwala sa Kanya at magpasakop sa Kanyang plano.

Simula sa umpisa, ipinakita na ng Diyos ang Kanyang sarili bilang isang matapat na pinuno. Sa kabuuan ng Kasulatan, ginabayan ng Diyos ang Kanyang mga mamamayan. Sa Exodus 15, si Moises at ang mga Israelita ay nagbibigay-puri sa Diyos matapos ang kanilang mahimalang paglaya sa Ehipto. Ipinagdiwang nila ang katapatan ng Diyos at ang kapangyarihan Niyang namumo sa kanilang paglaya mula sa pagkaalipin. Ginabayan sila ng Diyos sa gitna ng isang sitwasyon kung saan wala silang kaalaman at katiyakan.

Ang mga taong 2020 at 2021 ay nagdala ng napakaraming pag-aalinlangan sa atin. Ang mga ito ay hindi naman bago. Marami ang nananatiling walang katiyakan, at ito ay nagdudulot ng kalituhan, pangamba, at takot. Iniisip pa rin natin kung paano magiging maayos ang lahat. Kailangan natin ng tulong. Kailangan natin ng gabay na nakakaalam ng daan at kaya tayong pamunuan sa mahirap na sitwasyong ito. Tulad ng mga tupa na nangangailangan ng pastol, kung hindi tayo gagabayan at pamumunuan ng Diyos, hindi natin mahahanap ang tamang daan. Kung sa ating mga sarili lamang, kapag nakapasok ang mga pagdududa at pangamba sa ating mga puso, aasa tayo sa sarili nating pagkaunawa at mauuwi ito sa sarili nating pagsusumikap na gawing tuwid ang ating mga landas. Tanging ang karunungan at paggabay ng Diyos lamang ang paraang maaasahan natin upang gabayan tayo sa daang ito.

Subalit ang Diyos ay hindi lamang isang gabay na nagdadala sa atin sa mas magandang daan. Hindi Siya isang taong hinihingan lamang ng gabay kapag tayo ay naliligaw na ng landas. Hindi lamang Siya basta nagbibigay ng mapa na magpapakita sa atin ng tamang direksyon at pagkatapos ay aalis na. Ang Diyos ay gabay na gumagawa ng plano, direksyon at destinasyon, at kasama natin sa paglalakbay. Kasama natin Siya simula sa umpisa hanggang sa huli, at nais Niyang sundin natin ang Kanyang pamumuno araw-araw. Sa ating paglalakbay sa natitirang bahagi ng taon, ang ating katiyakan at kapayapaan ay nagmumula sa kaalaman na tayo ay hindi nag-iisa. Hindi tayo dapat maglakbay nang may takot o pangamba dahil ang Diyos ay patuloy na gagabay sa atin sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang salita at Espiritu. Sa pamamagitan ng walang tigil Niyang pagmamahal ay pinamumunuan Niya tayo, at sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang lakas ay ginagabayan Niya tayo.


DAHIL ITINUTURO NG DIYOS ANG ATING LANDAS, AT GINAGABAYAN NIYA TAYO, TAYO AY INAANYAYAHAN NIYANG MAGTIWALA SA KANYA AT MAGPASAKOP SA KANYANG PLANO.



MGA NATUTUNAN

Isulat ang mga naisip mo tungkol sa debosyonal ngayong araw. Ipanalangin na patuloy na mangusap sa iyo ang Diyos habang lalo mong pinag-iisipan ang mga ito.




PAG-ISIPAN

May mga bahagi ba sa buhay mo kung saan umaasa ka sa sarili mong plano o paggabay, at hindi sa Diyos? Sa anong partikular na desisyon o sitwasyon ka nangangailangan ng Kanyang patnubay ngayon, at ano ang pinaniniwalaan mong sinasabi Niya sa iyo tungkol dito?




Paano ka ginabayan ng Diyos sa kabuuan ng 2020 at sa unang bahagi ng 2021? Tulad ni Moises sa Exodus 15, ano ang pinanghawakan mong awit o pahayag mula sa Kasulatan sa mga panahong ito na nagbigay sa iyo ng patnubay mula sa Diyos?





MANALANGIN

“Sa pamamagitan ng walang tigil nʼyong pagmamahal, gagabayan nʼyo ang inyong mga iniligtas. Sa pamamagitan ng inyong lakas, gagabayan nʼyo sila sa banal nʼyong tahanan.”

Exodus 15:13
Mahal kong Panginoon, pinapatnubayan Mo ako sa pamamagitan ng Iyong walang tigil na pagmamahal at pinamumunuan sa pamamagitan ng Iyong lakas. Ituro Mo sa akin ang Iyong pamamaraan, akayin Mo ako sa Iyong katotohanan, at turuan Mo akong maging mapagpakumbaba at sumunod sa Iyong kautusan. Sa mga oras ng kaguluhan at pangamba, tulungan Mo akong tumingin sa Iyong salita at Espiritu upang gabayan ang buhay ko. Ako ang Iyong tupa, at Ikaw ang aking Dakilang Pastol na nagmamahal sa akin at kasama ko sa aking paglalakbay. Pinipili kong alalahanin ang Iyong katapatan sa akin, at patuloy akong magtitiwala sa Iyo nang buong puso hangga’t ako ay nabubuhay. Sa pangalan ni Jesus, amen.

GOD IS OUR GUIDE


CONNECT

Without using your smartphone, can you tell which direction is north? south? east? west?

You probably will never be without your smartphone, so you may think you don’t need this. But this is how the people in ancient times told directions:

Go outside in the morning. Locate the sun, but don’t look directly at it.

Point your right hand toward the sun. That is east, because the sun always rises in the east.
Now, point your left hand in the opposite direction. That is west.
Hold that position. The direction you are facing is north and behind you is south.

You can also do this in the afternoon, but reversed, because the sun sets in the afternoon and it always sets in the west.
Point your left hand toward the setting sun. That is the west.
Point your right hand in the opposite direction and that is the east.
You are now facing north and south is behind you.

Reminder: Again, never look directly at the sun.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in the middle of a desert with your smartphone out of range. But if you do, this method may help you find your way back to civilization.

In our lives, our foolproof guide is God Himself. Let’s read about how He guided the Israelites out of a no-way-out situation.


READ THE WORD

Read Exodus 14–15.

There was no way out for the Israelites. The Egyptians were coming up fast behind them. In front of them was the Red Sea. They didn’t know what to do or where to go. But God, in His mighty power, led them to walk through the waters of the Red Sea, a feat no one would ever have thought of. And the Israelites praised Him.

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

Exodus 15:13 (ESV)

God gave the Israelites a way out by opening up the Red Sea. And every step of their way in the desert, God continued not just to guide them, but He was right beside them all the way.

God will do the same for us. He will not only guide us, but He will walk with us through any difficulty. Sometimes He may lead us to unfamiliar places, but as His children, we can lean on Him and trust in His ways. Just as a parent guides a child in which way to walk, God will also guide us through the Holy Spirit.


HUDDLE

PARENTS TO KIDS

4–6 years old

  • Whose voice do you normally follow and obey? Why?

7–12 years old

  • Who do you go to when you need advice or are unsure about something? Do you trust them? Why?
  • Is there an area in your life right now where you need God’s guidance? What do you think He is telling you to do? Do you trust Him enough to obey?

KIDS TO PARENTS

  • How has God guided you in the past? Share a story about a time you were unsure how to proceed and relied on guidance from God.
  • How can you know when you are being directed by God?

You know, God does not want to just be on the sidelines in our life. He wants to be part of it. How much He can guide and lead us depends on how much we let Him. The more we seek Him, the more we will be open to obey Him. We can have peace knowing that it is our Father who is directing us.

Make it a habit to seek Him every day.


PRAY

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

Exodus 15:13 (ESV)
Dear God, this past year has been challenging, but nothing matters more than You. Thank You, Lord, that You have guided us through these difficult trials and challenges. Thank You for always giving us wisdom to make decisions. Thank You that through the Holy Spirit we can rely and hold on to Your promises to guide us. Help us hear Your voice and obey it. We love You. We praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DISCOVER

Before GPS and smartphones, how did people navigate through new places?

Our activity earlier about using the sun to tell the direction is one of the earliest ways people found their way. They knew the direction the sun travels and by the location of the sun, they could generally tell which direction they needed to go.

Another method of navigation is the compass. The earth is a huge magnet with magnetic poles that lines of magnetic force connect to. Metals will line themselves up along these lines. A compass uses a metal needle and will always line up with the earth’s lines of magnetic force, which point northward. Sailors usually use compasses to help them navigate their way through the seas.

Still another method is the map. A map is a diagram of a certain area. They were widely used in different ways and at times were even instrumental in winning wars. Today, there are different types of maps—road maps, navigational maps, elevation maps, and more. The maps on our smartphones today are extremely detailed and quite accurate. They provide specific information like travel time and are a must-have for any traveler.

Despite technological advancement, there is only one foolproof directional guide that we need—God! The Holy Spirit is here with us to lead us in the way God wants us to go. We can follow Him without any fear or doubt. The most common way to hear from God is through His word, the Bible.

Sources
  1. Caitlin Dempsey, “Understanding Direction Based on the Sun,” Geography Realm, published July 7, 2018, https://www.geographyrealm.com/understanding- direction-based-sun/.
  2. Britannica Kids, s.v. “compass,” accessed May 14, 2021, https://kids.britannica.com/ kids/article/compass/390676.

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