15th Sunday after Pentecost
This is Christian Living
Text: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
Four hundred years of suffering. Four hundred years slavery. Four hundred years of subjection to someone else. Finally, after all those years of burden and bondage, the people of Israel were free. God had delivered his people from the rule of Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. He did so his by his majestic might and power, leading his people through the middle of the Red Sea on dry ground.
Yet even after such deliverance and freedom, the Israelites whined and complained and sinned against the Lord. But time and again God was patient and merciful and forgiving. He continued to lead them on to the Promised Land of Canaan. Finally then as God’s people were standing on the precipice of the Promised Land, Moses delivered a fiery farewell speech of encouragement and exhortation to the people. We know that speech as the book of Deuteronomy. A portion of that speech is our first lesson today.
Our story isn’t much different than theirs. We were in slavery too. We were suffering under the bondage and chains of sin. We were subject to Satan and doomed to the dungeon of hell. No person in this world is perfect which means that all of us are sinners who were bound by sin. Read the rest of this entry
Don’t Forget to Say “Thank You”
Text: Deuteronomy 8:10-18
“What do you say?” How many times would you guess a parent says that in a lifetime? Christmas. Birthdays. Receiving candy at Halloween. Getting a lollipop from the bank teller. Leaving someone’s house after a party. You can count on it like you can count on a summer rain shower in Florida. “What do you say?” (because the child forgot). Begrudgingly, shyly, and certainly less than completely sincere, the child responds, “Thank you.”
I would guess I’ve said this dozens and dozens of times already in almost eight years of parenting. We know that this is an important part to being a functioning human being in society. We teach our children that when someone gives you something or does something for you, you say thank you.
This is so important and this is such common knowledge that everyone does this. My parents engrained in me as a child that when you receive a gift you even write a Thank You note. Even still to this day if my grandma doesn’t receive a handwritten thank you note or at least an Email I know she will tell my parents and I’ll hear about it shortly. Read the rest of this entry
Text: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
There is no god as great as our God
No other god made the heavens and the earth. No other god sent his son to save us from our sin. No other god listen to our prayers. No other god carefully watches over us and protects us. No other god works every moment of our lives for our good and for his purposes.
There is no god as great as our God. In fact, there is no other god that is even a real god. Our God is the only true God.
How can we possibly show him thanks? How can we show him the respect and honor that is due him? How can we worship him above all other things?
The answer is really quite simple: Obey him.
Moses reminds us this morning, as he did the people of Israel, that the greatest way to show love for God and proclaim him to other nations is to simply obey him. By our obedience we will show him love. By our obedience we will show him respect. By our obedience we will show to all other people how we know we have such a great and awesome God.
So Moses’ words are words to heed: Listen to the commands of the Lord! Do not add to them. Do not subject from them. Then obey the commands of the Lord!
God be with us in our acts of love and obedience for him!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray that you be with us each and every day as we strive to live and work for you in all we do. Help us to show love for you by obeying you. Let our works and our words be a testimony to others that you are the true God of all. I pray for your help in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Text: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Moses was an extraordinary man of God. Consider all the amazing things he was part of in his ministry: The 10 Plagues in Egypt, Leading 2 million Israelites through the middle of the Red Sea on dry ground, bringing water out of a rock, receiving the 10 Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai, and so much more.
It is no wonder that Moses was and is revered by the Jews. Christians also join in giving thanks for Moses and his great work as a great prophet of God.
But lest the Israelites would forget, Moses reminded them that a greater prophet would come. In fact, he would be the greatest prophet ever. Moses then encouraged the people to wait and watch for this Prophet, and then listen to him.
We too do well to listen to this greatest prophet, Jesus Christ. He is the greater Moses and the greatest prophet of God. He proclaims the truth. He is the Truth. He is the fulfillment of this prophecy of Moses and all of God’s prophecies about a Savior.
Yes, listen to Moses today, and listen to Jesus!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Help me to listen to you speak as the Great Prophet of God. Give me a faith that trusts and believes what you say, and guide my my footsteps each day. Amen.
Devotion Text: Deuteronomy 8:10-18
Why doesn’t the Lord give us all the things we want? Why can’t we be mega millionaires? Why can’t we be rich and famous like celebrities? Wouldn’t it be nice to live the good life–even just a little bit?
If you aren’t a celebrity, if you aren’t exorbitantly rich, if you aren’t famous . . . then consider yourself blessed! Moses warned the people of Israel as they were about to enter the wonderful promised land of Canaan that things were about to become really good. No more slavery in Egypt. No more wandering in the desert. They would have their own nice houses, cattle, silver, gold, and plenty of food.
But why did Moses warn them about these blessings to come?
With so much going “right” in their lives, they would be tempted to forget about the Lord and what he had done. And looking backwards in history with 20/20 vision, we see that’s exactly what did happen. The Israelites became lax and lazy spiritually. They focused on worldly things. They forgot about the Lord.
Thus, it is actually a blessing that God does not bless most of us with many wordily possessions. When things go well for us, we are tempted even more to forget about the Lord. After all, who needs God when there are no problems in our lives?
So during this week of Thanksgiving, we can thank God for all the blessings he has given us. In America we truly are rich compared to most in the world. At the same time, during Thanksgiving we can double our efforts at remembering that it is God who has given us everything we have. Thus, we can double our efforts to thank and to praise him, to serve and obey him each and every day.
Prayer: Lord, I thank and praise you for all that you give me. I also thank you for the many things you don’t give me–things which might become a distraction to my faith and trust in you. Keep me ever thankful for your blessings, and mindful of your grace. Amen.