Yesterday, Jesus spoke to me powerfully in various ways through the singing, praying, preaching, reading of His word and fellowship with my Church Fam. I was greatly encouraged and challenged by the truths I received and will be trusting God to transform my heart and life in the light of them.
We began the day with our Reading The Bible Together (RBT) sharing groups meeting at 9:15 am. Since the beginning of the month, we have had the blessing of reading through the book of Deuteronomy from beginning to end.
What a book! God spoke to us in many ways and we were all blessed by each other, sharing how God spoke to us. Our sharing was guided by a template we use every month which asks specific questions intended to guide our focus. I will share these questions and a few thoughts shared in my group under each one.
What did you learn about Jesus? (Luke 24:45-47)
- Jesus is a God like no other. He is unique and set apart from every false god. He reigns over all in heaven and earth. (Deut. 4:39).
- Jesus keeps his promises. I can put my total trust in Him. (Deut. 2:9)
- Jesus is the only One who can truly change hearts. (Deut. 30:6)
- Jesus protects and fights for us. We don’t have to be scared or discouraged. (Deut. 1:39)
- When we remain in Jesus, we lack nothing we need. (Deut. 2:7)
- Jesus is a God who is affectionate. He loves us. (Deut. 10:14-15)
What did you learn about yourself? (James 1:23)
- I can easily become proud and forget Jesus when life seems to be going on fine without him. This will only end in disaster! I need to watch out and remain devoted to Jesus. (Deut. 8:13-14)
- If I don’t listen to the Lord and fail to walk in obedience to Him, fear will consume me and I will eventually be destroyed. (Deut. 8:20, 5:33)
- When I don’t choose Jesus, I am choosing death. There is no middle ground. (Deut. 1:40)
- When I turn away from Jesus I will eventually be frustrated and confused. (Deut. 28:20)
- As soon as I take my eyes off Jesus who is my life and from whom all my blessings come, I have begun a journey towards destruction. (Deut. 9:6)
How can you look like Jesus in the place that you have been sent by Jesus? (John 17:17,18)
- By walking with Jesus. If I don’t, I will be the horrible person that I am, without Him. (Deut. 28:54)
- By obeying Jesus and living a life which shows His greatness and displays His transforming power at work in me. (Deut. 4:5-6)
- By being diligent in my reading of God’s word, having it dwell richly in my heart and mind, so I am equipped to point everyone around me to Jesus. (Deut. 11:18-21)
How were you corrected and rebuked? And how do you feel you need to change to be the man/woman of God thoroughly equipped for every good work? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- I can be complacent about destroying the idols and sinful affections in my heart. I need to change. I need to be serious about destroying my idols. There is no room for compromise. (Deut. 7:5-6)
- I am forgetful! I need to consistently remind myself about God’s faithfulness in my life and be on my guard not to forget! (Deut. 6:12)
- I should not grumble against God. I have no grounds to fault Him. All His ways are perfect, just and fair. (Deut. 32:4)
What did you learn from the scripture that will help you endure and be encouraged? (Romans 15:4)
- Regardless of what I have done or my circumstances, my life is totally defined by my relationship with Jesus! (Deut. 34: 7, 10)
- Jesus’ inheritance is his church and I am a part of it! (Deut. 32:9)
- There is purpose in everything I go through (Deut. 8:3-5)
- Jesus has won the victory. I can know life and victory through Him. He goes before me! (Deut. 20: 2-4)
- Even though it seems that the wicked are prospering, I should not envy them. Who else is like us? A people saved by the Lord? We are so blessed to have Jesus. Massively blessed. (Deut. 33:29)
- God wants good for me. He is very generous and understanding. (Deut. 24:5)
What did you learn that will teach you to do works of service to build up the Church? (Ephesians 4:11-16)
- Regardless of my circumstances or resources, I can always do something to serve and build up the church. I must trust the Lord to show me how. Not giving or serving is inexcusable. (Deut. 16:17)
- When we live how God tells us to live, everyone amongst us will be cared for. (Deut. 15:4)
- I should pray for brothers and sisters to be blessed in the way they serve and their talents and gifts. (Deut. 33:11).
What have you learnt that helps you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with with all your soul and with all your mind and what has helped you love your neighbour as yourself? (Matthew 22:37-40)
- God chose me and my brothers and sisters in church not because we are worthy. In fact, we do not deserve his love. Yet, he saved us and calls us his treasured possession. I should see my church family the same way and treasure them by loving him with all I have, so I can love them too. (Deut. 14:2)
- When I live the way God has told me to, I enjoy a blessed life. I can help my brothers and sisters to see that too. (Deut. 26: 18-19)
Wow. so much to meditate upon. God spoke to us through the book of Deuteronomy in such a great way!
We had a very encouraging call to rejoice and fix our eyes on Jesus, just before we stood to sing.
You are Holy
Your are Mighty
You are Worthy
Worthy of Praise
I will follow,
I will listen
I will love you
All of my days
3 sisters shared from Deuteronomy and I was particularly rebuked by one of the shares from Chapter 5:14. God has given us the Lord’s Day to rest in Him! Set your priorities straight! Make room!
Riches I heed not,Be Thou My Vision
Nor man’s empty praise;
Thou my inheritance now and always,
Thou and Thou only,
Thou first in my heart,
High King of heaven,
My treasure Thou art!
God’s Word was preached to us from Deuteronomy 6. This question was posed to us: In a world with lots of lies and false gods, how are we going to stay faithful to The Living God?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Deut. 6:4
We need to get this first. There is no one like our God. He is the only Living God who created and sustains the Universe by the power of His word. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit are united. The Lord our God, The Lord is One.
This is not an issue of our God being better than other gods. There are no others! our God is the only God! We should not waiver on this point. We need to be anchored on this.
I have met some people who claimed to be Christians and yet held the view that people of other faiths are also worshipping the same God but approaching him in a different way. This is very destructive and untrue.
Our God, the only true God in three persons, who was and is and is to come, is the only God.
What is our God like?
“for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”Deut. 6:15
Our God is a jealous God. This is one of his names. It is often not mentioned much, perhaps due to the negative connotations it conjures in our minds. How can God being described as jealous, be good? He knows exactly why he told us this about himself.
There are things so precious to God that his passionate anger burns when such things are tampered with. He is a fierce lover. He does not share His glory with anyone. He is the Only True God. Remember what happened to the false god Dagon when the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the same room with it? It fell to its face and broke to pieces. (1 Sam. 5).
As a husband, I am jealous for the love and affection of my wife. I will not share her with anyone. From this, even I being a flawed human can catch a glimpse of what righteous jealousy looks like.
What should our response be to our jealous God? We should be faithful lovers. We must fully commit to him. When we don’t, his anger is rightly justified.
They angered him with their high places;Psalm 78:58
they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
We live in a low commitment culture. Loyalty has become a lost virtue. With a multitude of choices and options available to us, we are constantly swaying in the direction of the highest bidder, seeking what pleases us or serves us the most.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.Romans 1:21
It is possible for us to go back to our old ways, returning to the futility of our thinking and the insatiable hunger and desires which once enslaved us! We need to be faithful lovers of our Great God! We need to have undivided affection and devotion to him. He is exceedingly worthy of our ALL.
We need to be watchful and keep a close eye on comfort. It is a grave danger to us. It can subtly unseat our focus on God.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.Deut. 8:10-18
This should be our resolve every day: “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.” Deut. 6:13.
The evening service was a continued reflection of Jesus’ presence amongst us. We sang 4 songs, a sister shared how she came to personal trust in Jesus as her Lord and Saviour and the gospel was preached with boldness and clarity.
Before the service, I was speaking to a Brother who lost his Dad last week. The grief is made even greater because his Dad did not know Jesus and he could not attend his burial because he is currently exempted from going back to his home country due to persecution and possible arrest upon entry. What could I possibly have said to comfort him? During the service we sang some words I hope were pressed into his heart:
Strength will rise as we wait upon the LordStrength Will Rise As We Wait Upon The Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.Mark 10: 17-22
This man was ‘thoroughly good’. He was making sure to obey the laws and regulations. He was young, rich, influential, yet he knew it was not enough. He asked Jesus “what can I do to inherit eternal life”?
He craved a life cancer can’t take. A life which will not be unjustly cut short by the irresponsibility and wickedness of others, such as have been killed by a drunk driver. A life which at the end of it all, will endure to eternity.
His question to Jesus rephrased, is: How good is going to be good enough? What can I do to earn it? What are the qualifications I must attain?
Jesus’ response was a statement declaring that only God is good. He is the standard by which we must assess ourselves. By his definition of goodness, no one else is! We have all fallen short of his glory.
Jesus deliberately only referred to the 2nd half of the ten commandments, to later draw emphasis to the important 1st half where this man as ‘good’ as he was, was greatly found wanting. Was he loving the Lord his God with all his heart, soul and mind?
What would Jesus place his finger on in my life? What would he ask me to give up as a test to check my devotion to God? Would I readily give everything up for God? Nothing should stop me from following Jesus.
I can never be righteous by earning it. I will never do enough to clear God’s judgement of wrath over me. Jesus has paid it all! In his death on the cross I have been made righteous! He has redeemed me and brought me into a relationship with God the Father, giving me the Holy Spirit.
I should love the Lord my God with all of my heart and all of my mind and all of my soul!
Thank You For Reading!
I hope you were blessed by my account of the joys of fellowship I enjoyed yesterday. I hope your time in fellowship was deeply engaging and God spoke to you? I’d love to hear about it. God bless.