De 6:1-9; Various
Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study that we have here each night at church. It’s wonderful to share with you tonight. I’m sitting outside and I’m hoping the wind doesn’t make too much noice… or the traffic… that you can’t hear. But it was such a nice cool night that I just had to do this outside sitting out here on the porch. I would love to have you come over and sit in a circle with me on the porch where we can just chat…maybe share some food and fellowship, but that will come at a later time.
I have been watching TV and seeing on the internet how people are out there making speeches and speaking about a lot of things, the coronavirus, the frustrations with the emergency order, the protest, and wanting to dissolve the police, and a lot of other things. Some are just talking whenever they get the chance. People are talking on social media. Just talking and talking and talking… so just like to talk to hear the head rattle as my Father used to say. But this all got me thinking.
As we’ve been going through proverbs, Solomon is talking to his Son giving him advise. He has told him to listen. Listen to wisdom. Listen to my advise. Just listen. Listen.
It reminds me also of what Jesus would say after he spoke to the people and told one of his parables. He would say, “Whoever has ears hear.” And in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Jesus tells each of the 7 churches, “Let him who has ears hear what the spirit says to the churches.” Listen. Hear. This is an important concept.
When Moses was told that he would not be entering the Promised Land, He had the 10 commandments brought to him and he publicly read them to the people. He wanted them to listen to God’s voice. He wanted them to listen to God’s commands, statutes, decrees, ordinances. He wanted them to listen. After read the 10 commandment to the people he gave one of the most infamous addresses to the people in Deuteronomy 6. It is beloved by Jews and Christians alike. It is called the Shama passage…Shamoi. To Hear. Hear, O Israel. Listen.
God is not interested in our opinion on every single matter. He is interested in us and he listens to us. But it is his voice that matters. God wants us to listen to him. It’s not a matter of just hearing Him. It’s a matter of receiving with our brain, and responding with out lives.
And So let’s read what it says in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Two or three times in this text God tells them to Listen or Hear. Just Listen. Listen. Just Listen. Let your ears hear. Let your mind absorb it. Let your heart be filled with it. Let your life do it. Let your body do what is right. Listen.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are mighty. You are holy. You are the one who matters and whose words are honest and true. So Father, our ears our open. Our hearts and minds are open. We are listening. We want to respond to your word for our lives. Lord, the world is so chaotic right now. There are riots, protest, and anger. There is the fear because of the coronavirus. There is unrest in our land. There is so much, Father. So we ask that you fill our hearts and minds with your word. Let your word give us comfort and peace. Lord we lift you up. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
Brothers and Sisters, I hope that one day very soon we can meet together, around this porch or inside the church. But just to be together and lift each other up and encourage each other. Until that time when we can meet again I just want to say, “Good night and God bless you.”
Pray - We need to pray for strength to endure. Often when we pray for patience we find that we are put into situations which help us build more patience. God’s spirit help us to pray. Romans 8:26-28; Philippians 4:5-7
Assurance - Trust in the Lord. You’ve prayed, now trust that he will give you help you do and say the right things. He’s got this in His hands. Proverbs 3:5-6; Hebrews 10:19-23
Transformation - Be transformed into the image of Christ. Jesus is patient and we should be too. This is a process that doesn’t just happen overnight. You must submit yourself to God. Romans 8:29; 12:1-2. James 4:7-10
Improve your relationships - There is usually one or two people raise our stress level. Try to get to know them better and treat them nicer. Matthew 7:12; Romans 12:10.
Enjoy Life - Slow down. Stop and smell the roses. Most the time we are impatient because we are in a hurry. Showing gratitude to God in al situations and relationships is a great way to reduce stress and appreciate life more. Proverbs 17:22; 1 Peter 3:10-11
Network - It is always good to establish a few good Christian people to help hold you accountable. Mutual accountability helps us grow and defeat temptations and bad habits. Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25; James 5:16
Compassion - Sometimes we get impatient with the elderly, disabled, children, etc. because they are slow or get in our way. Instead of losing patience we could help them, bless them, or do something nice for them. Ephesians 4:32; 1 Peter 3:8.
Entertain peaceful thoughts - Sometimes impatience is brought on because our minds are jumbled with worries, stress, or “stinkin’ thinkin’”. We need to replace bad thoughts with good ones. Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Isaiah 26:3.
Join us this Sunday at Beaver Creek Christian Church for worship service at 11:00 am. The message this week is BECOMING LIKE CHRIST: Be Patient.
This mornings Bible reading is Daniel 7-12 if you are following along in our Bible reading program. These scriptures are the visions and prophesies that Daniel received while in exile in Babylon. It is interesting reading but like Daniel, we are often perplexed and wearied by these things.
There are those who try to take these visions and read into them all kinds of things about the end times. There are others who say that all of these prophesies have been fulfilled already with the rise of the Greek and Roman empires. There are still others who say these are not literal things that are going to happen but they are symbolic of the end of various ages. I am fascinated by these theories and enjoy hearing them. But I must admit that I don't buy every little theory that comes along... especially when I hear someone claiming authority by saying "God revealed to me..."!
I have argued end-time prophesy with the many. I find it fun and enjoyable. But I contend that there are somethings that are meant to be known and somethings that will remain hidden even to the righteous, like Daniel. The vision was given. An explanation was given. But understanding is not always clear and can be troubling.
But there is a message and application that we can get from these passages. I like what the messenger told Daniel in the end, “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (Da 12:13). I think the message that we clearly can take from any prophesy in the Bible is this: 1. God is in control of all of this. 2. Stay faithful to the end. 3. Your faithfulness will be reward in your eternal home in heaven.
Keep reading and exploring the Word of truth!
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father; I praise you because you are mighty and your throne is established forever and ever. You are in control of all things. History and the future belong to you. I pray that you will give me the strength to remain faithful even when times get tough. I ask you to give me wisdom and understand to know what you want me to know and to be content with what you reveal to me. I thank you for my salvation through Jesus Christ, your Son. It is in his name that I pray. AMEN!
Romans 12:1-8 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
I just watched a group of children playing basketball. The coach was busy shouting encouragement and instructions but the players weren't listening. They were all doing their own things. One of the boys who must have thought he was "God's gift to basketball" was hogging the ball. The other kids were running around shouting "I'm open" when they were clearly not. One boy even sat down on the court! Needless to say the game was not going well for anyone. They were not playing as a team and nothing was being accomplished.
I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul starts this chapter out by saying that we should be a living sacrifice. In other words, we need to die to ourselves. Our old selfish ways, the ways of the world, need to be killed off so that we can live for Jesus. That means we humbly serve together for the will and way of God. We work as a team to accomplish the goals of the our Heavenly Father.
Each of us have a part in playing on this team. God has called us, given us his Spirit, and given us a task. If one person tries to do it all he will accomplish nothing. If the others aren't playing their part then others will have to overwork to compensate... again nothing good is accomplished. And if we all are not giving our best to God then we aren't really giving anything at all.
So let's get to it. Let's get our head in the game and work together for the glory of God. Then we will truly see amazing things happen in our church and in our community.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are the coach. You have all the knowledge and insight on how the game is played. You wrote the playbook. Forgive me for trying to be the star. Forgive me for not playing well with the other members of the team. Help me to sacrifice my pride and my selfish desires so that I may do what you have called me to do. Help me to work and play well with the others on the team. In Jesus' name. AMEN.
I place my attention in this precious moment
I release my plans and motives
I let go of unmet needs and unrealistic expectations
I choose to forgive and let go
I put tomorrow in the Lord’s hands
I trust his providence and provision
I fill this moment with his love and grace
In doing so I find strength and peace for today
Joshua 1:6 – Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
It had been 40 years since Joshua and Caleb had spied out the land with the other ten men from Israel. Joshua and Caleb had been the only two who stood their ground when they gave the report to the people. They knew that they could do it with God’s help. He would be with them. But the people cried out that they couldn’t do it.
Now Joshua was older, more mature, and in charge. Moses was dead and Joshua would have to lead the children of Israel into Canaan and face the walls of Jericho. Do you think that he was feeling his age now? Do you think he had doubts or fears? Do you think he questioned if the people were ready? Do you think maybe he wondered if he was ready to lead?
The Bible doesn’t say he faced these questions. The walls of Jericho were high and wide. It is said that the walls were impenetrable. God doesn’t know something that is too big for him but we of human frailty know!
I know that we often face walls that seem impenetrable. Sometimes the walls are ones we have built ourselves. Sometimes they are walls that have been built by others or by the circumstances of life. But we all have big walls that need to fall down.
In my spiritual walk with Jesus I see some walls that seem pretty impressive. How can the walls of fear, doubt, temptation, addiction, selfishness, pride, and sin come falling down?
Well, if you remember the story, Joshua and the people did not bring down the walls of Jericho. God did it. All they had to do was follow his directions. They were to march around those monstrously impressive walls one time each day for six days. On the seventh day they were to walk around the wall seven times. And on the seventh time they were to blow trumpet and shout. And the walls of Jericho fell flat.
So as we prepare for God to tear down the walls let us stand faithfully and follow his instructions.
As we prepare for revival we need to be praying each day. Here are some suggestions for you spiritual walk around the wall each day. Pray this as you go:
Day 1: Our revival speaker and musicians
Day 2: Our church leaders
Day 3: Our church
Day 4: Our community
Day 5: Our country
Day 6: Our Youth
Day 7: Our sick, shut-in, elderly
Keep walking and praying. The walls will fall down.
Prayer Thought: Dear God, Today, I stand before the walls and I see just how big they are. But I know that I have a God that is even bigger than the biggest wall. And you are the one who can bring them all down. Help me to trust in you and not be overwhelmed by obstacles that stand in my way. I want to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
So often I have found myself trying to do it all by myself because I am self-sufficient and don't need to rely on anyone. Besides, no one does it like I do or as good as I do and so it is better to do it myself.
When you put it down on paper or listen to yourself say it the words are rather egotistical and harsh. But it is really what most of us are thinking when we take to a task.
In His book, Basics, by Francis Chan, he tells us, "This type of individuality is common among Westerners. We’re raised with the mind-set that we create our own identities and shape our own destinies. We’re taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstrap. If you believe it , you can achieve it – even if the whole world tries to stand in our way.”
But this is not the case when we begin to look at what fellowship is all about. Christ has joined us together as one body. He has made us citizen's of God's Kingdom and members of his own household. As Christ pulls us together he builds us into this magnificent building for the purpose of worshiping and serving God together.
There is no ego in church work. Our identity is in Christ. Our purpose is in Christ. Our mission is in Christ.
So here is the real question: How can I learn to put God first and begin to work together for the furtherance of His kingdom? Think about it.
Prayer Thought: Dear God in heaven, Help me to get my own ego out of the way and work together with my brothers and sisters to advance the gospel of Christ and expand your kingdom on earth. Let us work together in unity and love. In Jesus' name, Amen.