Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

We witnessed a wonderful Wednesday in the Word!! Both of our Bible Study classes were well attended and the saints were eager and excited to learn! Our Sunday School Teachers Meeting went very well. I am excited about this teaching setting because the teachers are so excited about learning. The lesson was entitled, "The Promise of Life", taken from Deuteronomy 30:1-10. This was a very interesting lesson the showed the sovereignty and graciousness of God.

In the first 5 verses we see RESTORATION. I found it interesting that Moses was speaking of God restoring them to the land God had promised them before they actually inhabited it. Even with repeated warnings and promises of blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience, the Israelites still did not follow the commands of God. In spite of their inadequacy and inability to follow God, God still had a plan for them! I get joy every time I think about this, because there are times why I don't do right, but God doesn't forfeit His plan because I have flaws in my person!! God tells them that if they return, He will restore them! What I really like about this is, God says that He will go as far as it takes to bring them back! Someone other than me has that testimony, that He came a long way to rescue me! Glory to His name!! God is in the restoration business. I don't know why we want god to be mad all of the time and get everyone as soon as they mess up. Do we forget that we mess up as well? God is looking to restore us.

Next the lesson talks about REPENTANCE. The section speaks of loving God with all of their being. To repent means to turn from sin and turn to God. I believe that many only have one step down. It's not enough to turn from sin, you must turn to God. A turn from sin without a turn toward God, creates legalism. Unfortunately, we have many in the church that are loyal to legalism, but not in love with the Lord!

The last section talks about REPLENISHMENT. Once God restores them and they repent God said that He would bless everything that they touched, their family, food, and farm would be blessed and plentiful. He also says that He would take pleasure in doing so. God loves to bless His people and do good to them!! Who wouldn't serve a God that loves to restore and to replenish?

In Bible Study we covered verses 16-21 of chapter 10 in Romans and verses 1-10 in chapter 11. This was a great lesson for our church . This lesson deals with God's dealing with Israel, Israel rejecting the Gospel, God extending the Gospel to the Gentiles, and God's future plan for His chosen covenant people. Where we really dropped anchor last night was in chapter 11 :1-4. Paul clearly states that God has not cast away Israel. Can I ask a question? If God has not cast away Israel and he still has a plan for them, how can the church be New Israel as I have heard it called so many times?

Paul gives 2 examples of why God is not through with Israel. First is a personal example. Paul says I know that God is not done with the Jews because he is one. Paul says, if Jesus can save him, He can save anyone! We need to apply this truth to our existence. No one is so good that they don't need to be saved and no one is so bad that they cannot be saved! If God saved me, He can save anyone!! The next example is one from a prophet. After a great victory on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal, Elijah receives word that Jezebel is going to kill him and he takes off running for his life. God asks him what is doing here. Elijah's answer is both anxious and arrogant. Look at what he says. 1 Kings 19:14 (KJV) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. God responds by saying. 1 Kings 19:18 (KJV) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. He tells Elijah that he is not the only one who is still serving. We need to take this to heart. Many people have the idea that if they don't do it, it wont get done. If you prescribe to this idea, I tell you what I want you to do, die and see if things continue to roll on. This is why I say it is a privilege to be in the service of the Lord. God don't need us, but Thank God that He chooses to use us!! God Bless!!


Pastor Rev. Ray E. Owens said...

Great post, sound teaching, faithful leadership, thanks for the notes.


Anonymous said...

Stay with it Witherspoon. Great post.

Praying for you brother.

Tony R.