We’re excited to share a reflection we received from Art & Jeannie Shenk on the 2-a-Day readings for July 4. As fellow believers let’s help each other dwell on the Word of God.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I love Paul’s passionate appeal to us to be “living sacrifices”:
I invite you to join me TODAY by devoting yourself to being transformed (present tense). It starts by renewing your mind, engaging by faith to consider and apply the words of spirit and life found in God’s word to everything you do. Why? One reason is by doing this, we will push back against the temptations and enticements of the world to live for self rather than God. And why should we do this? To test and prove that God’s will is in fact the only way to live that is good and acceptable and perfect and in the end will be far better than anything the world has to offer for God’s glory and our best good.
“I think the best answer is to see the connection between verses 1 and 2. My suggestion is that verse 2 is the realistic explanation of the more symbolic verse 1. Verse 1 talks about sacrifices and worship. Verse 2 talks about your mind being renewed and doing the will of God….use your renewed mind to prove what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect.” -John Piper
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be Moses being told by God to bring plague after plague, a total of 10 plagues on Egypt before Pharaoh finally gave in to set the Israelites free? Moses must have felt some compassion toward those being afflicted but must have been sobered by Pharoah’s hard heart, obstinacy and pride in the face of the severity of God’s judgment over and over again. Lesson learned? As Charles Spurgeon puts it, “God would stamp the early history of Israel with the deep impression of his Godhead. His overthrow of the proud Egyptian king should let Israel know in the very beginning how great a God had chosen her to be his own peculiar portion.”
What God did was designed to set Israel free, yes, but more importantly to magnify his name for generations:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.’” (Exodus 10: 1-2)
Mathew Henry says of this passage:
“The ten plagues of Egypt must be inflicted, that they may be recorded for the generations to come as undeniable proofs, (1) of God’s overruling power in the kingdom of nature, his dominion over all the creatures, and his authority to use them either as servants to his justice or sufferers by it, according to the counsel of his will. (2) Of God’s victorious power over the kingdom of Satan, to restrain the malice and chastise the insolence of his and his church’s enemies. These plagues are standing monuments of the greatness of God, the happiness of the church, and the sinfulness of sin, and standing monitors to the children of men in all ages not to provoke the Lord to jealousy nor to strive with their Maker.”
Prayer: Father, thanks for the reminder that you are the undeniable ruler of the universe as demonstrated so severely to the hard-hearted Pharaoh of Egypt. Thanks that out of the kind intention of your will, you have chosen us to be servants to your justice rather than suffers of your wrath. Work in us TODAY to be soft-hearted not hard-hearted toward you and be led by the Spirit to demonstrate to others that we believe in you and submit to your ways as our Lord and Savior. Also, help us to have compassion on those whose hearts are yet to be soft toward you so in your timing, they may know that you are the Lord.
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October 2 2013 at 12:30 pm 3 Comments
If you drive by the church and see a blank sign over the next couple of days, fear not! We haven’t planned a surprise change of our church’s name or anything like that! We’re just updating the service time to 10 a.m., and while we’re at it, putting up the revised church logo (just like the one at the top of this webpage). The sign should be finished by either this weekend or next depending on weather and other factors.
You could just say we needed to RE:NEW the sign. ;)
P.S. Thanks to Facilities staffers Howard Anderson and Dan Preston (pictured) and John York (not pictured) for getting things ready for the new look.
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August 15 2009 at 2:50 pm 1 Comments
Here’s a picture of our chickens. True to form, Calamity isn’t in
the picture because she ran away when I got close.
I think I get more e-mails from members about our chickens than any other subject. Here are two I got after I talked about my chicken Calamity in last Sunday’s message. By the way, I named her after a chicken in one of our family’s favorite books, Chancy and the Grand Rascal.
In your message today you mentioned the issues you are having with your chicken, Calamity. The answer is so obvious ... you have given her a name that alienates her! I don’t think she feels the love ... naming her Calamity just was a set up for a bad relationship. Really, if you were her, would you want to run to someone who thought you were a calamity? Clearly you need to rename her ... how about, Charity?
Hope this helps.
I’ve been studying Psalm 23 this week—have avoided this for a long time because it was so “popular.” And I’ve found it to be so rich!! Definitely worth its reputation!!
However, in writing it out for a friend, I noticed that just a small slip of a finger could render it even more meaningful for your family!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my coop overflows.
Praying for you today. May your coop overflow!
(Perhaps church goers could have coffee and scrambled eggs between services next Sunday? :-)
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June 23 2009 at 4:52 pm 1 Comments
We just returned from vacation last weekend, and I’m diving into working on a new sermon series which I’ll tell you about on Sunday. My kids are living in their Summer Celebration t-shirts this week. We missed you guys.
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November 25 2008 at 5:13 pm 0 Comments
If two months studying Ephesians 1-3 isn’t good preparation for Thanksgiving, I don’t know what is. God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. He has redeemed us. We were dead and he made us alive. He’s joined us to himself and to his family. He’s given us spiritual gifts.
Whether or not the turkey is cooked right or your holiday goes according to plan, we have so much to thank God for.
I hope you and your loved ones have a great Thanksgiving this week. Our family is driving to Dayton, Ohio, to celebrate with my Grandmother. It won’t be long before Grandma Harris will be with the Lord. She’s been walking with him since she was 8 years old.
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