Good morning church family!
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*Join us tonight at 6:00 as we study God’s Word. All are welcome!
*Youth study tonight at 6:00 led by Dave.
* Ladies bible study is up and running on Monday nights at 7:00
* Youth Sunday school starts on Sunday morning Feb 7 at 9:20. Isaac will be leading it. They will be studying creation and looking for a solid overview of the Bible. There is opportunity for the adults to pray together while the kids are studying.
* Dave will start the book of Job on Sunday Feb 7 at 6pm.
We are looking forward to growing spiritually together. Come be a part of one or all of these options for seeking the Lord!
Missions Moment: Africa
20.3% of the world's surface area. Of this, 20.6 million sq km are in countries south of the Sahara, and 9.68 million in the nations of North Africa.
Answers to Prayer: Christianity has grown to become the religion of almost half of Africa’s population, and nearly two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa. From 1900 to 2010, Christian numbers grew from 9.1% of the population to 48.8%, and from 7.5 million to 504 million.
The Works of The Lord are Great
Psalm 111v2-4..”The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, The Lord is gracious and full of compassion..”
The Psalms are the hymn book of the Bible, a majority of them were set to music, which was not just beautiful to the hearer but also helped in memorization. Psalm 111 is one I wish was commonly sung among Believers today. “The works of the Lord are great!”
Think about what just some of those works are for a moment..Creation is Great, marvelous, glorious, and to be remembered. His provision of food for all creatures, Men and animal, that’s good too. Ultimately though, this Psalm is clearly pointing to His provision of redemption for mankind. Ps.111v9..”He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name..” We should study on these things..
Before time began, God had a plan to be reconciled to His creation. In particular the highlight of His creation..man. He wasn’t surprised by Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden in any way. God knew that there would be need for a Mediator between Himself and men long before there was a man or woman or even an earth!
God also knew that any covenant He made with men would be compromised, not by Him but by mankind. He even allowed for that!..Ps111v5b..”He will be ever mindful of His covenant..”, (v7) "The works of His hands are verity and justice”.. Verity means the quality or state of being true or real, an inevitably true value. God knows that if men are any thing, they are rarely real, true, or just. God makes a covenant with men, and because He is always Just and True, He keeps the contract whether men do or not. In fact He writes the contract with the blood of Christ and seals it with the giving of His Holy Spirit !
v7b..”All His precepts are sure”.. The Bible tells us that “Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men”..(John2v24) And though men cannot be trusted, Jesus can be, for He is called "Faithful and True” (Rev.19v11) This is a great scripture to dwell on ..We can have confidence in The Savior because His precepts..”Stand forever and ever, they are done in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people..” (111v8,9)
God has made it easy for fallen men to be cared for by His covenant righteousness and sealed by His Spirit. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be redeemed today..Then you too can fall under His graciousness, compassion, and mercy. He promises this and there is no work done by God for man, greater than this..That He sent His Son into the world to redeem men. Praise the Lord!
Pray..Heavenly Father, You have done great things. The greatest of those was sending Jesus Your Son to die for me. I recognize that I am completely helpless to save myself and I turn now from my lifestyle of sin and commit myself fully to the Savior of the world, Christ Jesus. Save me that I may serve you now and in eternity. Thank you for Your grace, In Jesus name, Amen.
How lovely is Your Tabernacle, O Lord of Hosts!
Psalm 84v10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand (elsewhere), I had rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness..
At least three times a year, every obedient Jew, no matter where they lived, was to make a pilgrimage back to Jerusalem. There was no easy means of travel, it would have all been on foot or on animal back. I believe one of God’s purposes for this was to remind the Israelites of the travails of their forefathers during the times of the Exodus, and later those of the exiles to Babylon and back. Maybe to recognize God’s current blessings on them as well.
Psalm 84v6..”Who passing through the Valley of Baca make it a well; The rain also filleth the pools.” The Valley of Baca was a very dry region, and the odds of it raining there were pretty slim. (Baca..weeping or balsam tree). So those who would make the journey, would have to allow for the dry days of travel through dangerous desert areas. Ps.23..”Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..” No matter how a pilgrim returned to Jerusalem, they had to pass thru arid and unforgiving lands. People would be traveling in groups and as they got closer to Jerusalem, the groups would gather into larger and larger masses. Eventually they would look like the Israelites coming out of Egypt and into the promised land.
As they walked, they would remind one another of how nice it would be in the Temple area. They could talk about how blessed they were that they didn’t have to wander for years in the desert, maybe just a day or two. This lifted up their spirits, even in the hard places. They knew that if they could just make it through the dry lands, they could soon rejoice in the rich one. The land where the Lord God of Zion dwelt. As the throng grew larger, they would renew relationships from previous journeys and exhort one another with memories of pilgrimages past. Singing the from “Songs of Ascents” in the Book of Psalms (Ps.120-134) as they went up to worship in “The House of Lord of Hosts”, was part of the yearly experience too.
Once they arrived, after days of trials, they could truly rejoice in seeing their Father’s House again. They would spend their days at rest, recalling how good God has always been to His people, and enjoying the special times of worship in His Tabernacle again.
After the tough travel, it was very easy to say Ps.84v10..”Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand”,(Anywhere else!)..
Dry times come for everyone. After trials, or the Valleys of Baca (weeping) that come into our lives, we should look forward to the House of the Lord, a place to remember His goodness. The times of worshipping God, the fellowshipping with and encouraging other Believers, makes the return trip through the dry valleys easier. We find in His House, His presence, His grace, His glory, and fullness of joy; And we remember again, Ps.84v11b there is..”No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly”.Where the Lord is, there is plenty of living water! (84v6)
Pray. (From Ps.89v6-8) “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence of all them that are about Him. O Lord God of Hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? Or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee? Thank You O Lord, for Your care in the dry valleys of Baca! In our Savior’s name, Jesus, Amen !
God Crowns the Year with Goodness.
Psalm 65v11..”You crown the year with Your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance..”
The Book of Romans reminds us that God’s invisible attributes are made clearly seen by His Creation.(Rom1v19,20) It is hard to see God’s goodness in His creation if we never go outside though. Our modern existence resides indoors more than out so we miss great words of wisdom from God, ones that are given to men through His works.
Some of the writers of the Psalms didn’t have this issue..They worked and even slept outside most times, caring for livestock or living a nomadic or shepherds lifestyle. This allowed them to keep a close eye on the universe. They observed the stars to the point that they could predict weather, times, and seasons from the skies and stars. They observed the movements of tides, animals, insects, the moon and weather to know when to plant or harvest most productively. David’s writing of Psalm 65 is an excellent example of praising the Most High God for His Glory and Salvation all of which was recognized through His creation.
“Blessed is the man You choose and cause to approach You..”(65v4) David saw that not everyone finds the Father. Maybe because of a hard heart, pride, or arrogance, they fail to “Seek the Lord while He can still be found.” In the rainforest area of the Madre de Dios in Peru, we asked an unreached village, “Who made all of the trees and fruits that provided your food?”.They all said “a Creator” or “God”. They didn’t know Who “He” was but they all knew that those Brazil nut trees didn’t magically appear by themselves. One of them, after hearing the Gospel said, “Do you have something about this God that I could take to my village, they have never heard about God before either..” However well,“The heavens declare His Glory, and the firmament shows His handiwork”(Ps19v1), Christ is much easier to find thru a messenger.
Rain and flowing water are another great blessing leading men to wonder about their Creator. (Ps.65v9,10) When your whole existence is dependent on timely rain, you never see it as a hinderance. I watched a desert dwelling man stand in pouring rain and praise God for His blessing of rain. If you never see rain, it is fantastic, and it draws men to God. Do you realize how blessed you are IF you have ever heard the Gospel from a person rather than trying to discern it from nature? Especially since we live so oblivious to the great outdoors.”Blessed is the man You (The Lord) choose..”
God’s provision to us is so great yet it is so common that we often fail to recognize it. Psalm 65v11b “Your paths drip with abundance”. The picture here is, His grace is so abundant that the wagonload of grain spills over the sides as it drives down the path. Every bird is fed, no rodent suffers want, every insect is cared for, while still leaving more for man than he can ever consume.
A number of the Psalms describe the hills and valleys, plants and trees as all giving praise to God. Jesus said that if men didn’t give Him glory even the rocks would cry out. God receives great joy from His creation. He gave it to men to take dominion over and learn about Him from it. Read Psalm 65 this week and then go outside and see if His word is true..It is! All of Creation declares the glory of God! You (since you are a part of creation) should declare it too!
Pray, Lord, as You crown this year, may I not fail to give You glory as I may have in the past. You are great and greatly to be praised. You have provided for my every need and I Thank You for Your abundant supply. By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer me, O God of My salvation, You are the confidence of all the ends of the earth! (Ps.65v5).. In Jesus Name..Amen