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2019 Bible Reading

March 2019

The Greatest Commandment | March 22-28, 2019

Cliff Huffmire

Mentoring Pastor

Deuteronomy 6:1-7

I admit it: I am a rebel. I was born that way, and it is a daily struggle to overcome such a tendency by the grace of God. If it were not for Jesus, I would be hopeless.

This week we are reading The Greatest Commandment in Deuteronomy 6:1-7. “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.’”

As I read this passage, it seems straightforward. However, I find myself resistant to the word “commandment” and I don’t think I am alone in this struggle.

I recently noticed that we tend to talk about God “asking” us to do things as opposed to His commanding us, as in: “God will never ask us to do something that He will not give us the strength to do it.”

I began to get curious and did a word study on the subject. I found that we “ask” God 140 times, “asks” God 18 times, and “asked” God for things 156 times. In the Bible, man asks God a total of 314 times to meet our needs. Furthermore, I found that nowhere in scripture does God “ask” us for something, while He “commands”, in one form or another, 460 times. My conclusion to this word study: I must “ask” myself “Who is in charge here?”

As believers, we talk about God being sovereign over the daily affairs of life while also forgetting that He is the sovereign King who deserves our obedience in everything.

Jesus left us with a parting commandment in Matthew 28:18-19,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

This is not the Great Suggestion. It is Jesus’ sovereign will for the church. We all have some part in fulfilling His will because Jesus did not ask us, he commanded us. Do you know what your part is?



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REMEMBER WHO YOUR GOD IS | MARCH 15-21, 2019

Joel Custodio

Worship Pastor

Psalm 36

When planning the music for our worship gatherings, the priority is always to ensure that the lyrics are theologically sound and that the gospel is clear in our corporate singing.

Among other things, I also carefully consider our volunteer musicians scheduled for each weekend and what they might be up against. God has blessed our church with very talented people, yet it is important to weigh the technical difficulty of the music with what our musicians are capable of. Is this week’s keyboardist one of our younger musicians? Is the drummer confident in ¾ time? Can the guitarist nail that opening lick?

It is important for me to be clear about their capacity and what I am asking them to do.

In Psalm 36, David is weighing what he is up against, who his God is, and what he is asking God to do about his plight.

Realize what we are up against vv. 1-4

David was dealing with Saul and his court, and in these verses, we can see David clarify the root of wickedness within his foes, an arrogance and disregard for God, a lack of fear of God. It is the same with our foe. It is important for us to realize who our enemy is, to realize what we are up against.

2 Cor. 11:13-15 says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. 1 John 2:22 describes the antichrist as a liar who denies Jesus Christ and the Father.   John 8:44 dubs Satan as the father of lies. Our enemy is a liar bent on deceiving us about who God is and who we are in Christ.

Remember who our God is vv. 5-9

Before asking God for deliverance from his enemies, David breaks into worship and proclaims truth about the greatness of God. We see attributes of God that are absolute and unfailing. We can recount with David the height, depth, and breadth of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, His righteousness in judgment, the protection He provides, His generosity, and how Heis the source of light and life. Jesus is “the true light, which enlightens everyone…” and “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (Jn. 1:11-12)

Jesus is the image of the invisible God; all things were created through Him and for Him, and He is preeminent. (Col.1:15-20). We must remember the greatness of our God displayed through Jesus and what He is capable of.

Request of God in confidence vv. 10-12

Once reminded of how great our God is, we can be clear and confident about what to request of him in the face of our enemy. We can request that we be protected by His might and that our enemy would be restrained. David shows us such confidence as he writes in verse 12 how the enemy is already fallen, thrust down, unable to rise.

We must heed scripture and realize who our enemy is and how he lies. Be reminded of who our God is and what he is capable of. And finally, “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6)



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The Lampstand of God's Word | March 8-14, 2019

Duane Clark

Spiritual Care Pastor

Num 8-27, Ps 31

The single handle faucet at our kitchen sink had been cantankerously dripping for some time. When I finally tried to disassemble the faucet and replace the worn parts, I needed more light than what the overhead kitchen lights provided. So, I used the handy flashlight on my iPhone to shed light right in front of me where it was much needed.

The seven lamps of the lampstand spoken of in our reading this week in Numbers 8:2-4, were to “give light in front of the lampstand” to illuminate the “holy place,” just where the ministering priests needed the light. Here, the priests worshipfully burned incense representing the prayers of God’s people, tended to the showbread representing the 12 tribes of Israel, and trimmed and fueled the seven lamps of the lampstand so the much-needed light was constantly present.

The light of God’s word shines on some significant events in the life of God’s people in our reading in Numbers 8-27 this week. They show how those who understand their position before God and magnify his holiness are blessed. They also show the great consequences for those who fail to do so and choose disobedience. Each of these events ultimately show that God is worthy of mankind’s acknowledgement of God’s holiness and sovereignty.

To list a few:

-The setting apart and cleansing of the Levites as priests.

-Celebration of the very 1st annual Passover.

-The “cloud by day and fire by night” method of God leading the way in the wilderness.

-God’s provision of quail and his judgement on the people’s response of gluttony.

-Miriam and Aaron’s opposition of Moses’ leadership and God’s judgement for their actions.

-12 spies sent into Canaan and the people’s fear of their report.

-God’s judgement for the people’s lack of trust in Him by forbidding that any of that generation, except Joshua & Caleb, would live to see the promised land.

-Korah’s rebellion and subsequent judgement

-Moses strikes the rock to provide water instead of obediently speaking to it

-Balaam and His donkey

-Phinehas righteously halts the judgement of God against Baal worship

-Joshua chosen to succeed Moses.

This week we also read in Psalm 31. Ps 31:3b says, “for Your name’s sake You lead and guide me.” David recognizes that as the Lord shines, His light of guidance radiates so that His name would be rightfully honored. David sees, as we should, that the light of God’s truth calls us to worshipful obedience.

Today, though worship is not functionally the same on this side of the cross as David or the Israelites, we are still called to the worshipful acknowledgment of God and His glory. This is both an individual and a corporate call to a worship lifestyle. Allow the “lampstand” of God’s Word to light your way this week. Respond to Him in purposeful, worshipful obedience. He is our holy, sovereign God!

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11
 

 



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