This week’s One Thing: ” Christ is enough. Ask God to reveal a specific temptation in your life, along with three boundaries to lead you out of temptation. Write them down, share them with someone you trust, and put them into practice.”
This week we continue our Red Letters sermon series from Matthew 5-7. This is Jesus’ longest recorded sermon in the New Testament. We encourage you to read Matthew 5-7 through at least once each week during our series. Ask God to show you ways you can reflect His heart for the world during this new season. In your time with the Lord and with your Growth Group, ask and answer these questions to help guide you in responding to Jesus’ message from Matthew 5-7.
Have you ever wondered how God will use the broken places in your life to accomplish His purposes? Moses stands out as one who experienced many instances of God showing up to rescue and redeem the messy parts of his life. At birth, Moses’ life was spared when many Hebrew babies were killed. He grew up under the shadow and in the care of Pharaoh’s court. In a fit of rage, believing he was standing up for the righteousness of God, he murdered an Egyptian. That murder began a 40 year season of living away from the comfort of Pharaoh’s court in the desert where he would find himself serving his father in law and spending lots of time alone in the wilderness. From this context, Moses recounts the faithfulness of God in Psalm 90. God doesn’t waste our experiences. He uses them to grow us and accomplish His purposes.
- Moses reminds us that life is short, like a breath. When have you been most aware of the brevity of life?
- How does Psalm 90 sound a lot like Genesis 1-2?
- Where else in the scriptures do you see this “steadfast love” mentioned like we see in Psalm 90:14?
- In light of Romans 8:26-39, how is the example of Moses an encouragement for you to keep following Jesus?
- Psalm 90:13 is a cry for the Lord to end the suffering of His servants. Are there areas of your life where you cry out to God that He would end your suffering?
- Pick one of the verses such as 90:12 or 90:14 and commit it to memory this week. Place it on a note on your mirror or in your car where you will see it and remember the faithfulness of God.
Today we start a new series in the Psalms. The Psalms provide a wonderful resource of inspiration and instruction for prayer and worship of God. Ezra collected the Psalms which were written over a millennium by a number of authors including David, Asaph, Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan and Moses. The Psalms are organized into 5 collections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150). As we read the book of Psalms we see a variety of psalms including praise, lament, messianic, pilgrim, alphabetical, wisdom, and imprecatory prayers. The Psalms help us see the importance of God’s Word (Torah) and the hopeful expectation of God’s people for Messiah (Jesus).
Our world tells us that we can realize the desires of our heart if only if we work harder. We hear that we can overcome our shame, our guilt, and our fear by applying more and more effort earning favor with God. We regularly try to manage our sin and build a life of comfort. It is as if we can climb the mountain to God if we just try harder. In 1 John 4:1-6 we read a different message. John is clear that God’s love expressed through Jesus awakens us from spiritual death into a new life. Where once we could not achieve, now we can rest in the finished work of Jesus. The love of God in us is greater than anything the world has to offer. We can rest in Him.
Sacrificial love is the hallmark of Christian thought and behavior. To say that you know Jesus as your savior and to live in the darkness of hate is to give evidence that you are not walking in the light of Christ’s love. We know from 1 John 2 that the sacrifice of Jesus’ life is the covering that turns away the wrath of God toward our sin. We also read that in Jesus, we have an advocate with the Father. He doesn’t just simply cover our sin, but He sent His Spirit to live within us to cause us to desire more and more to keep His commandments. This faith in Christ leads us to love others with the same love that we have received from the Father. Our love for others authenticates the faith we have in Jesus.
Jesus provides a strong warning to those who wish to practice their godliness in front of others. The sincerity of practicing generosity, prayer, and fasting should have nothing to do with creating an impression on others. God is most concerned with your motive in practicing your Christian life. He rewards those who focus on pleasing Him without regard to others’ perception. The
challenge of these verses leaves us asking if our motives are pure as we seek to love God and neighbor.