Press On!

February 18, 2012

As we get close to finishing the second month of reading through the entire Bible, I wanted to encourage you to press on! There are at least a couple of reasons we lose steam in our daily Bible reading.

One, is busyness. Life happens and full schedules or tough situations cause us to lay aside reading our Bibles. Even though we have every intention of getting started again it never seems to happen because life never slows down or lets up. Our goal is to spend time in God’s Word in the midst of busyness and in the midst of life’s challenges. Remember to be consistent until you can’t live without a regular intake of Scripture.

Another reason many people lose steam in reading through their Bibles is the difficult content of the Bible. We started reading with gusto some of the amazing stories in Genesis and Exodus of God’s power and gracious interaction with His people. But now we’ve been reading about the detailed instructions concerning the design of the tabernacle and the furnishings in the tabernacle. We’ve also begun to read about the perplexing rituals that God instituted in Leviticus. These passages seem so ancient and disconnected from our lives today. But remember that God is a purposeful God and all of the Scriptures are important.

Take time to meditate on what you read and ask yourself what you can learn from any given passage. For example, as you read the instructions concerning the tabernacle, consider that God is a God of intricate detail and a God of beauty. I was blessed by Exodus 36:35 when the making of the veil was described. What a beautiful design this must have been! This was the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. It must have been an awe-inspiring experience for the priests to enter the Holy Place and see that magnificent curtain knowing that behind it was the ark and the mercy seat, the place where God caused His presence to dwell. Wow!

As you read about the elaborate and intricate rituals in Leviticus consider the purpose of them. I commend this passage to you from the introduction to this book in the ESV Study Bible:
Generally speaking, rituals may function in several ways: To address aspects of the human condition (such as impurity or sinfulness), to serve as a way for the offerer to express emotions or desires to the Lord, and to underscore various truths about the Lord or the human condition. (In many instances, one ritual may accomplish all of these things.) It is helpful to ask which of these general functions is in view in the ritual being considered. One should ask, “What is the specific goal/function of this particular ritual as a whole?”

All of God’s Word has a purpose and is worth you taking the time to read. If there are things that are hard to understand, know that familiar passages will help you make sense of the more obscure passages. In other words you will come to see the breathtaking unity of Scripture.

So, press on! Don’t give up! Keep reading your Bible, trusting the Lord to use it to conform you further into the image of Jesus (John 17:17; Rom. 8:29).

Blessings,
Pastor Wade

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Wising Up to the Enemy’s Schemes

February 13, 2012

Recently I have come to the conclusion that I have underestimated spiritual warfare. As individuals, families, and our church seek to make a difference for the glory of God it is evident there is fierce opposition. The Bible indicates that we do not need to remain ignorant of Satan’s schemes. I commend to you this blogpost that lists many ways that Satan may try to destroy you this week. As we wise up we will be alert and ready to put on the armor of God and stand in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10-18).

20 Ways Satan May Try to Destroy You this Week

Blessings,

Pastor Wade


Our Journey through Hebrews

February 3, 2012

One year ago we began a journey through the Book of Hebrews as a faith family.  This Sunday we will finish chapter 11 which means we have two chapters to go!  I want to take a moment and reflect upon what God has been teaching us through this study.  When you climb a mountain it’s good every now and then to stop and look back and look around so that you can understand the magnificence of the journey.  I think there are three major truths we have seen and delighted in on this journey:

  • Jesus is greater than anything or anyone.

I hope you have seen clearly the superiority of Jesus Christ.  He is greater than angels, Moses, the Old Covenant, the earthly tabernacle, and the Old Testament priesthood.  Jesus fulfills all of the Old Testament types and symbols and serves as our great High Priest, thus giving us access to God (4:14-16).  Therefore, we should treasure Jesus above everything and everyone else (2:9)!  Fix your eyes on Him (12:2)!

  • Jesus makes available to us the New Covenant.
The New Covenant involves all of the promises of God that are made available to us through Jesus Christ (7:22).  There are two major promises of the New Covenant that are featured prominently in Hebrews.  They are forgiveness of sins (8:12) and inner transformation (8:10-11).  When we embrace Jesus by faith God forgives us of all our iniquity and begins a process in our life that conforms us into the image of Christ!  The New Covenant is breathtaking! 
 
  • Genuine faith in Jesus makes it to the finish line.

The writer of Hebrews teaches that authentic faith perseveres (10:36-39).  People that fall away from the faith are not losing their salvation, they are demonstrating by their apostasy that they were never truly saved in the first place.  Genuine faith in Jesus keeps on keeping on.  This is illustrated in the famous 11th chapter of Hebrews where the author gives us examples of people that took God at His Word and directed their lives accordingly.  Their faith was genuine and because it was genuine they persevered in their lives through victories and defeats.  People of genuine faith please God (11:6)!

We will continue climbing the mountain called Hebrews this Sunday.  Don’t miss the next part of the journey as we get closer and closer to the mountaintop. 

 

Blessings, Pastor Wade