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September 28, 2018

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September 28, 2018

Numbers 25

To read this text, go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+25&version=NLT

 

Scripture: Numbers 25, 1-3, 6-8, While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people…

 

Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped…

 

Observation: Unable to curse Israel (in chapter 24), Balaam gave the Moabites and Midianites guidance in how to provoke the Lord’s anger against his people. The wicked “daughters of Moab” seduced Hebrew men into both immorality and idolatry. Moabites were so evil to God that they were among the few people he said could never be welcomed into the congregation of Israel.  God’s anger burned against the Israelites until a young man named Phinehas sees an Israeli man openly bringing a Midianite woman into his tent.  Phinehas, wanting to be obedient to God, grabs a spear and kills both the Israeli man and the Midianite woman, turning God’s wrath away from Israel once again.

 

Application:  God hates idolatry.  Period.  We tend to think we are safe because we don’t bow down and worship statues as the Moabites may have done.  But our culture (and our lives) are often filled with 21st century idols: our jobs, money, our family, our comfort, desire for power, sports, maybe even “the church.” Basically an idol is anything that we put before God.  We do this without even thinking about it!  This is just as dangerous as worshipping a stone statue, maybe even more so because our idols are subtle and sneaky.. This morning, think about your relationship with God, what idols do you need to put a spear through? 

 

Prayer:  Dear Lord, Forgive us for when we put our jobs, our families, our comfort, and other things before our relationship with you. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, reveal to us our modern-day idols.  Lord, we want to worship you with our whole life.  Help us fully surrender all things to you so that we can know and love you with our whole heart.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Blessings,

Rev. Vicki

 

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has brought contributions for Family Promise over the past two months.  Your generosity has been much appreciated!!!

 

P.S.S. Our mission emphasis for October is Operation Christmas Child.  OCC provides shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to children around the world as a means of reaching them with the Good News of Jesus Christ.To learn more about Operation Christmas Child and/or learn how to pack a shoebox, go to: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

 

For more information about New Hope UMC, check out our website at www.findnewhope.com

 

To respond to Rev. Vicki, send an email to

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September 27, 2018

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Read Numbers 24

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers+24&version=NLT

 

Scripture- Numbers 24:1- By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before.

 

Observations- Balaam had done everything he knew how to to earn his keep with Balak, who so desperately wanted him to curse the Israelites. It's not that Balaam wanted to do what was right to honor God; rather he very much wanted to please Balak. He did, however, choose- in resignation- to settle for speaking only what the Lord told him, which force him to speak not a word of cursing, but of blessing upon God's people. 

 

Application- Baalam felt constrained to do what was right, even though he would have preferred to do what was convenient and benefited him personally. Doing the next right thing at its best is a "get to" not a white-knuckled "have to;" that is, salvation is God's free gift to us and our ongoing, growing discipleship is a gift back to God. I want to be determined to bless the people in my life, not because I have to, but because I want to be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer- (The Prayer of Jabez) Oh, that You would bless me a lot and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me and keep me from all evil that I may not cause pain! (1 Chronicles 4:10),

 

Be at work in me today, Jesus,

 

Pastor Jamie

P.S. - Would you read the Bible Plan, "The Book of John in Song," with me? Go to: https://bible.com/p/7406078/cd33ff9fcf1f6feb22e28eb8b89dd584

 

​​​​​​​To contact me:

 

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

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