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May 24, 2018

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May 24, 2018 

Read Genesis 17

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Genesis 17:9-10- Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised."

Observations- to us this is quite a peculiar way to mark the commitment to honoring the covenant, but it was unique in ancient culture, which means it revealed the special nature of being set apart for a life of connection with and service to the living God. One thing is certain- one had to be really committed to the covenant from God to live into this unique symbol of relationship with God.

Application- In Acts 15 the church struggled to make sense of Gentiles coming to Christ, being baptized, and receiving the Holy Spirit without being circumcised. They determined that circumcision (being Jewish) wouldn't be a prerequisite to being a Christ follower. Baptism would serve as a mark and a sign of the new covenant of grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. A key point is that we mark and renew our faith in the power of God's Spirit. In the New Testament it was all about having a "circumcised heart."

Prayer- Dear Lord, thank You for filling me with Your grace and mercy. Thank You for Your renewing, life-giving covenant to keep drawing me into Your truth and love. Help me be open to marking my journey of faith with symbols that reveal my love for You and joyful service to You. I am Your, Lord. And You are mine! Amen.

"Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts...But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:11, 13),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - On May 24, 1738 John Wesley had his "heart strangely warmed." This is how he described the experience in his journal: "In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading [Martin] Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

To contact me: 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

Posted by Jamie Westlake with
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May 23, 2018

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May 23, 2018 

Read Genesis 16

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Genesis 16:4- So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.

Observations- Sarai encouraged Abram to step outside of God's plan for them and Abram quickly agreed, which led to conflict between Sarai and Hagar. O, the tangled web they weaved! There were huge consequences for not trusting God. The parents of the promise decided to take matters into their own hands and force God to act through a means He never intended as His best will for them.

Application- Here Abram and Sarai become models not of faith in the living God, but they become models of unbelief. We can be guilty of not trusting fully in God when we choose to take matters in our own hands- either by choosing our way over God's way or pushing God to hurry up and give us what we want regardless of whether or not it's what God actually wants us to have. Our Who leads to our why. Our why leads to our what. Our what leads to our how, and then we also have to operate within God's timing.

Prayer- God, there are times when I feel like You are so slow in bringing Your promises to pass in my life and in the life of Your church. I want Your will to become abundantly clear yesterday and I can get impatient with waiting. Help me be patient for Your guidance and leadership, but not complacent and apathetic. Give me a sense of urgency when You have been quite clear about my/our next steps, in Jesus' name. Amen.

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18),

Pastor Jamie

To contact me:

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

Posted by Jamie Westlake with

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