Disobedience Slows You Down – Deuteronomy 1-2

Read Deuteronomy 1-2

Why should I obey God? Since I am saved by the grace of God through the death of Jesus, does it really matter if I obey God? Yes. You should obey God in response to God’s act of redeeming you through Jesus Christ. You should react to Jesus’ death for you by increasing your faith in Him with an escalating desire to please God by obeying Him (see Hebrews 13:20-21).

One man listed 142 incentives to obey God, all from the book of Deuteronomy. In the first three verses of the book, Moses reminds the Hebrew people that what should have taken eleven days to travel took forty years (1:2-3). So, what did the people do with the remaining 14,589 days? They wasted the better part of 40 years because they rebelled against God.

Moses is offering us a vivid lesson in the beginning of this sermon: disobedience to God will slow you down in life. Yes, God will forgive you but the consequences of your sin will still remain.

Consider these scenarios:

1) A man is converted to Christ in his young thirties, yet he continues to steal in order to provide for his family. This father and husband lives below the poverty line, and justifies his actions because he has children to feed. Yes, God forgives him, but the man never raises his family above the poverty line.

2) Across town, a similar father and husband refuses to steal after responding to Jesus’ love. In time, he slowly transforms his family through hard work against hardships.

God is calling you to make Him happy by pleasing Him in all ways.

“ … so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”(Colossians 1:10)

Do not waste your life

Joshua Succeeds Moses – Numbers 27-29

Read Numbers 27-29

There are two main characters in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy: the Lord and Moses. From the human side, Moses dominates the story for he is God’s appointed leader, the lawgiver, and the great mediator between Israel and their God. Only Abraham and David compare to Moses when you consider the Old Testament.

Earlier, during the wilderness wandering of the people of Israel, there was a time when they had no water. And the people grumbled against Moses. It was here that God tells Moses to speak to the rock. By simply speaking to the rock, God would bring forth much-needed water for the people. But Moses’ spirit is bitter, and he speaks rashly and strikes the rock twice with his rod. The water comes, but so does the stinging word of God to Moses: ” And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them” (20:12). Notice again the words: “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy…”. In essence, Moses failed to believe God. Instead of a peaceful confidence in the power of God to respond to a mere word, Moses was bitter and impulsive. God is not worshipped when we do not have a settled confidence in His word: “Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son” (1 John 5:10). When you make somebody a liar, you profane that person’s name. This is the opposite of treating the person as holy.

 While Moses’ time was fading away, God was faithful to raise new leaders for His people.

A Prayer Following the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Dear God,

Great and awesome God, there is no one like you. Your power is unlimited and you are good to your very core. Everything about you is holy and perfect. You are just and righteous in all your ways. You are clothed in splendor and majesty. You are in control of everyone and everything – nothing escapes your purview.

Your people have sinned. I have sinned. We have done wrong and rebelled against your commands. We have turned aside from your law and we have called what is wrong right (Isaiah 5:20). Your words have been read in our churches, in public, and in our homes and yet we have spurned your grace and kindness in order to go our own way. You spoke in order to save us from despair but we thought we knew better than you. We have not listened or obeyed you. We have pushed you away.

We confess the sin of pride, adultery, and divorce. Your way is for a man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife so that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6-9). Your commands were given as guardrails to prevent us from careening into the caverns of our misery and depression. You have told your people that you hate divorce and yet we have divorced our husbands and wives and we have acted unfaithfully. We trade partners like it is nothing. Our schoolteachers are asked to educate children who come from broken homes. They are asked to do miracles with test scores when the children do not even know whom their fathers are – the modern day equivalent of making more bricks with less straw (Exodus 5:7-8). We have made a mess of our families so that many younger people refuse even to marry in favor of living together. We have a generation that suspects that no one can remain married for a lifetime, refusing the vows of marriage in favor of a lifetime of serial monogamy. The cynicism of this generation is ours and ours alone. We have forsaken your way. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess the sin of pornography and lust before you. Nude and seminude images are everywhere in our day. Marketers cannot sell cereal without appealing to sex and parading pornographic images in front of everyone. Erotic images are in checkout stands, splashed across Internet pages, and paraded in front of television screens. Men have treated woman as if they are playthings and women have suffered the consequences. We confess the sin of violence and domestic abuse that our evil fantasies have produced. We confess mothers refusing to teach their daughters decency, wearing clothes in public that are not appropriate. We confess the sin of lust. We confess our worship of sexual pleasure. We have lost decency itself. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess the sin of pride and homosexuality. In past days, there was a clear line between what was right and wrong but that is no more. Today we have blurred these lines and teach our children to be gender-neutral. We have refused to make moral judgments and traded your standards for a revolving door of moral opinions. We live in a day where truth is “spinned” and we refuse to blush. You made us in your image as man and woman but we have rejected and spurned your way, feeling like we are smarter than you. All across our land we celebrate our sin and flaunt it. We confess our pride and arrogance before you. We as a nation are committing moral and spiritual suicide. We have reached the lowest rung on the moral ladder and broken through it, hell-bent on inventing new evil. Satan is delighted with us and we deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess our arrogance and lack of love for sinners. Just like the Pharisees, we have lifted up ourselves as better than others. We have failed to recognize that pride can slip in the back door and make us “moral” self-righteous sinners. We have thought of ourselves as morally superior to others and spoken hateful things to hurting people. Many of us have perversely enjoyed discussing how deplorable society around us. We have truly failed to understand that if were not for the grace of God we would be miserable wretches. We have failed to truly grasp the power of your grace. Our churches have failed to reach out to the hurting and offer them the hope of the gospel of your grace. We have turned inward in selfishness with inflated egos of self-righteousness, refusing to welcome sinners. Instead, we have looked down our noses at other sinners thinking we are better than others. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We recognize that there is pain and misery in our midst. Families are hurting, couples are suffering, and singles are often lonely and bewildered. All of this sadness while our children go abandoned. We hang our heads in shame and know that the consequences and misery of our sin is ours alone (Galatians 6:7). We confess that your wrath is just and righteous. Righteousness belongs to you but to us belongs open shame (Daniel 9:7). We confess that each one of us have rebelled against you.

But we plead with you to forgive us, Lord, for we are ashamed of what we have become. We blush to even lift our faces to you for our sins rise high above us (Ezra 9:6). Please do forsake us. Please do not give us what we deserve. We weep before you and turn to Jesus for forgiveness, for hope, and for help. For your sake, we ask that you save us from our sins and give mercy to your people. Make your face shine upon us again. Lord, pay attention to the prayers of your people.

We beg you to make our nation’s laws reflect your principles. Give us justice based on your laws. Grant us judges that are courageous and truthful. Give us men and women of God who seek the best for our nation by humbling themselves before you. Do not let wickedness rule in our land so that poor are marginalized and the helpless have no solace (Proverbs 29:2). Do not delay, Lord, but hear our cries for mercy.

Restore us to walk in your way and grant us repentance (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Turn your people, your church, and our nation back to walk in sexual faithfulness. Turn us away from wandering eyes and move our hearts to follow after you in faithfulness to one another. Rid us of lust, pornography, divorce, adultery, and homosexuality. Lord, hear our cries for mercy. Do not delay but act for your sake because we are your people, who are called by your name.

Place your hand on our marriages and make them strong again. O Father, give us godly families! Raise up fathers and mothers who humbly confess their sin before you and seek your grace. Cause husbands to love their wives as your Son loved his church (Ephesians 5:25). Be merciful to the women and wives of our land and provide them meek, loving fathers who will protect them. Give us wise sages for mothers who teach modesty and inner-beauty to the next generation of young ladies. We ask that you compel us to restore the hour of family worship throughout the nation. Lord, we ask that you do not delay but act for your sake because we are your people, who are called by your name.

Shine brightly in our churches so they would welcome sinners with your love. Provide us leaders who speak, live, and breath the gospel of your grace and righteousness throughout our land. Give us men who are more afraid of offending you than suffering the displeasure of others – we do not need more people pleasers! Steel us against suffering that evil men bring our way and give us strength to stand for righteousness and truth. May your very presence descend on us as we read the words of God (Isaiah 55:11). Live again in your people with power and conviction as we long to see the muscle of the Holy Spirit in our churches again! Do this, Lord, for your glory so that many people may worship you. Speed up your coming to us, O Lord, for we are in desperate need. Lord, hear our cries for mercy. Do not delay but come quickly to help your people. For your sake, revive us. For your glory, shape us.

In Jesus’ Name I ask you for this,

Amen.