Just wanted to say thank you to all of you faithful readers. I will be out of town with no internet or phone reception for a week. (IT WILL BE AWESOME). So, I will see again next week with a new Sunday Sermons. I am a little disappointed I won’t be able to share tomorrow’s sermon with you. My husband will be preaching and I love it when he preaches. Maybe next week I will share a two parter.
Hope everyone has a great week.
I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy which is Moses’ last sermon to the people of Israel before entering the promised land.
This past Wednesday in Prayer Meeting this book clicked in my mind as I shared a testimony of what I have been learning. I think it is interesting that Moses repeats over and over again a warning the Israelites. He tells them, if you follow God and obey His commands no other country will be able to fight against them. God would give all other nations and land over to the Israelites. However, if the Israelites forget God and turn after other idols God would give them up over to the other nations.
I started seeing the parallel in my own Christian walk. When I follow after God I have victory. Not that there aren’t battles or trials, but there is victory in walking close to Christ. But when I turn from God and begin following my own ways and even serve other gods in this life I find there is nothing but defeat.
As Christians we need to keep close to our God, follow His commands and the victory is sure in Christ.
I know a weird title, but I just had to share. After 7 1/5 weeks of feeling like a complete loaf I finally got to clean the bathroom. This might seem like a small task; however, I have left it go way too long and being 7 weeks pregnant with monstrous morning sickness, this was a huge win for me. I will spare you the nasty details of mold and hair and just say that was happy to take a shower in a clean shower and step out onto a clean bathroom rug with a clean towel.
Yesterday I spent some time in prayer asking that God would help me to accomplish even this one task. I also took about an hour nap before doing it, but it is finally done. Also, this morning while Sophia was eating her breakfast, I baked a cake for a girl in our church that will be coming over for a nice birthday dinner. So, I guess I am thankful for all this and so much more. Thanks for sharing in my joy.
I am a very spoiled wife and mom. Because Derick works only a couple blocks away, I get to eat all three meals with him, get to go to the gym with him, and be around him much of the day. Before he worked for the church and before our daughter we even worked at the same company so we were inseparable then too. 🙂
So, last week while Derick took our youth group to camp I was a temporary single mom. It just made me realize how much I love my husband and how blessed I am to have him around so much. Now that he is back I have to try not to take too much of his time this week. He is getting ready to preach on Sunday since his dad (our pastor) will be on vacation. Which by the way, as hard as my father in law works I am so glad he will get some time to relax. We will leave Sunday afternoon to join them on vacation (something I have been looking forward to). So, I am working hard to make sure Derick gets the time he needs to study as well as the other things he needs to do this week. But it is still much better than having him miles away and sleeping alone.
Then next week I will have him completely.
I must confess I recently was discouraged about my local church and the universal church as well. I started thinking things like, is our culture headed down a road where they feel like they don’t need the church?, will our church ever be out of financial struggle?
These are very depressing thoughts I know. However, God gave me some truths this week that peeked today during Sunday worship. The first reminder from God is that “on this rock [God Himself] I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
God is the one who will preserve the church not me, not anyone else. Just Him. He built it in the first century of our history and He will keep it going till His return.
Today was my second, third, fourth, etc reminder. God is powerful and He is working in powerful ways. He is building His church one soul at a time. Today in Shepherd group I got to hear testimony after testimony of people who God is bringing to Himself. One woman, who came for the first time, shared that she is still grieving the death of her husband who died about a year ago. She testified of how God was using her grandson to bring her to our church and to bring her back to God.
One of the most amazing was the changed life I saw today in Shepherd group. There is a teen boy that Derick and I have been working with for over a year. I shared his dad’s testimony before in my blog. This teen has been coming over to our house with his sister for 3 days a week since January and youth group even longer. We have shared the gospel with him numerous times. So had his dad, but he openly said he was not a Christian and didn’t think he could be saved. He went to camp this week . Sent with our church’s prayers. On Friday he finally gave his heart to the Lord. I saw him for the first time today in our Shepherd group and sitting there was a changed teen. I could see it in his demeanor, in his speech, in his attitude.
As our Shepherd group prayed over him and the other woman as well as other members of our body I couldn’t help the tears from coming. God is awesome. I love watching God at work. I love to see Him building His church. How could I ever doubt.
I was reminded today of the importance of prayer. I was talking with Derick over the phone (missing him like crazy this week while he is at camp) and we began to talk about prayer. We both read a book called A Praying Life a while ago. Derick started reading it again this week and was encouraging me with some things I have forgotten. The first chapter of the book talks about how often we neglect to pray because we are too busy trying to clean ourselves up before coming to God. Or we try to mask our selfishness by thinking of the right words to say or the right requests to ask God. The book makes a great point that we do not need to any of those things. We are God’s children and just like our children we can come to God about everything. Our kids don’t try to mask who they are they just talk to us. We should come to God about everything. And when our mind wanders in prayer we shouldn’t be ashamed and stop praying but instead we should turn those thoughts to God and ask His help on all of it. We should be willing to give over everything to God. Even our little annoyances or selfish thoughts. Give them to God.
I needed this reminder. This afternoon during Sophia’s nap time I need to spend some much needed time talking to my Father.
Our God is a jealous God. Today we studied Exodus 34: 10-17 where God declares Himself to be jealous. Jealous for His glory and jealous for His people. “God’s jealousy means that God continually seeks to protect His own honor” (David Scudder).
So, how does knowing God is a jealous God affect us in our Christian life? God’s jealousy controls us and God’s jealousy comforts us. Spurgeon stated, “Sin is a deliberate treason against the majesty of God, and assault upon his crown, and insult offered to his throne.” Knowing God is jealous means that I stay away from sin because I do not want to provoke God to jealousy (2 Corinthians 10). Knowing God is jealous means I I smash all other gods that take my affection away from God who is the only One who deserves my worship.
John Piper said,
“The ten commandments are not a job description for God’s employees. They are the wedding vows that the peasant girl takes to forsake all others and to cleave to the king alone and to live in a way that brings no dishonor to his great name.
God is infinitely jealous for the honor of his name, and responds with terrible wrath against those whose hearts should belong to him but go after other things. For example, in Ezekiel 16:38-40 he says to faithless Israel, “I will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. And I will give you into the hand of your lovers and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber … they shall strip you of your clothes and take your fair jewels, and leave you naked and bare. They shall bring up a host against you and cut you to pieces with swords.”
I urge you to listen to this warning. The jealousy of God for your undivided love and devotion will always have the last say. Whatever lures your affections away from God with deceptive attraction, will come back to strip you bare and cut you in pieces. It is a horrifying thing to use your God-given life to commit adultery against the Almighty.
But for those of you who have been truly united to Christ and who keep your vows to forsake all others and cleave only to him and live for his honor — for you the jealousy of God is a great comfort and a great hope. Since God is infinitely jealous for the honor of his name, anything and any body who threatens the good of his faithful wife will be opposed with divine omnipotence.
God’s jealousy is a great threat to those who play the harlot and sell their heart to the world and make a cuckold out of God. But his jealousy is a great comfort to those who keep their covenant vows and become strangers and exiles in the world.”
I really enjoyed the application of this sermon as well as the conviction it brought. I must remember to be controlled and warned by God’s jealousy and yet at the same time let it draw me closer to the God who is jealous for my affection as well as my obedience.