The Covenant Walk with God

This morning I am right back at my life as pastor. Eleven days with my family, including a new grandson, have spoiled me!

Entering into 2016 our church continues to walk through the MULTIPLY discipleship material. We are in the covenant between God and Israel this week and I have focused on Exodus 19 and 20. For my message, there is no way to walk through the 10 commandments successfully in one message, so I want to give some thoughts along the way this week through blogging.

2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:2-3, NIV)

Quite possibly the most difficult part of Exodus is trying to figure out how “law” and “love” go together. We might think of “law” and have in mind it is something to keep, or ignore, or break.

The temptation is to get quite “literal” and think, “Well, when it comes to other gods… I don’t have any idols in my house!”

How are we in relation to the other gods around us, though? In every culture we battle “gods” or “strongholds.” The three greatest strongholds in America: Money, Sex, Power. And there are hundreds of smaller “gods” attached to them. Consumerism. Greed. Violence. Racism.

What saves us from legalism is to be reminded that it is GOD who acted toward us. He delivered Israel. He delivered US. Out of that gratefulness should rise a heart that says, “GLADLY! I will serve no other!”

We are still tested with it every day, though. We like our own control. We like our material stuff. We like our daily habits that may be in conflict with pure worship.

The Lord will want to deal with those in our lives. Are we will willing to lay it all on the table FOR HIM?

What gods are getting in your way?

 

Let’s Go Over This Again

The Book of Deuteronomy is the “second law.” It’s the reiteration of the law for the people of Israel because a new generation was under Moses and they were the ones to take the Promised Land. The law needed to be repeated. Along with that, Moses reminded them of the story. He reminded Israel of their failures.

Deuteronomy 9 is part of our reading this week and the question has to be posed, “Why re-hash this stuff?”

There is a delicate balance between beating ourselves up with our past and remembering the past so we don’t forget the incredible grace of God. Yet, it is important to remember. If we fail to remember from the place God delivered us, we will begin to think we made it here all on our own.

I don’t remember my past to beat myself up. There are times the Spirit does remind me of something to gracefully show me the mercy of God. He will also gently prod me (or knock me over the head) when I get too proud and think I’ve done something completely on my own.

As I prepare my heart during this season I am deeply grateful for the incredible mercy of God!