Hello Project Ezra! Thanks for joining us for another week. There have been many posts recently from members of the group, talking about what God has done with their readings. God is amazing, and it is thrilling to see that simply reading his word in public has powerful results. Hearts are being touched and lives changed around the world because of your obedience. So please, keep participating, and keep posting your event reports. They are a huge encouragement.
This week’s reading, Deuteronomy 8, speaks a great deal about humility before God, so that is the focus of the outline. In the beginning of the chapter God reminds Israel of how He used the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness to test them and humble them. He then reminds them of all the good things He provides for them, and reminds them at the end of the chapter not to become prideful, and forget where those good things came from. This is a great reminder for us, and also great point to impress on non-believers. By God’s grace, I have the privilege of sharing the gospel with people one on one every week. And, more often than not, pride is one of the key components to people’s rejection of God. Whether they choose to deny Him outright or choose to live as if He doesn’t exist, it is pride at the root of the problem. We are all idolaters at heart, and our greatest idol is ourselves. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God if we are to truly seek Him and His will.
As I have mentioned in previous weeks, I encourage you to modify this outline and make it your own. In particular, I would highly recommend more use of scripture to highlight the key points of the gospel. The use of scripture is essential to any gospel presentation, and the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. One of the things I do during my daily bible reading, as I believe I have also mentioned previously, is to keep a notebook handy and write down verses that are especially poignant, particularly those dealing with salvation. I have them divided out by general subject matter, so I can reference them easily. There have been a number of times when I have not been able to remember the reference or exact wording of a particular verse, and have been to go back, find the note I made in my notebook, and easily find the reference. I keep that notebook with me all the time, and it’s a great blessing.
Thanks again for your participation in Project Ezra. I especially appreciate the event reports on the Facebook page and on the blog, and the encouragements many of you have sent. Please pray that many people will continue to be touched and encouraged through Project Ezra, and that God will give me the wisdom and humility to present each outline biblically and through the leading of the Spirit.
All for His glory,
P.S. I have started a new blog dealing with evangelism, tough questions regarding the Christian world view, and promoting good Christian materials and ministries. Feedback is greatly appreciated if you have the time. Thanks!
Read Deuteronomy 8
As I read this chapter I am reminded that if we are to come before God, we must come before Him with an understanding of who He is.
God is good, and loving, and forgiving, and patient. But He is your king, and your creator, whether you acknowledge Him as such or not. And you must come before a king in humility
If you believe you are seeking after God, you must first humble yourself before Him.
In this chapter God reminds the nation of Israel that after their deliverance from Egypt God led them in the desert for 40 years to humble them, and to test their hearts. God may, and I believe often does, do the same thing to us.
Perhaps life has been difficult for you, and you have wondered if God is really there. He is. God has not forgotten you, and He is not ignoring you. There is purpose in every decision He makes, and it may be that God is testing you and humbling you, so that you will depend completely on Him.
Perhaps life has been wonderful for you, and you have had all you wanted and more, and have chosen not to worry about God. Be careful that your pride doesn’t blind you to the incredible gifts God has provided for you. Every good thing you have is from Him.
Either way, you need to recognize that all that you receive, whether good or bad, only happens because God allows it. And whether or not you understand the details, God’s will is good.
I don’t know why God has allowed your particular situation, and I don’t need to.
I do know that God is trustworthy, and the wisest thing you could ever do is to put your life in His hands.
Do not allow despair, or pride, to blind you to God’s will, or turn you to idolatry. Be humble before God, and trust in Him.
But our greatest need has little to do with our physical situation. Our greatest need is forgiveness.
If you are like most people, you often feel guilt. You know that there is something wrong, and that the something that is wrong is with you.
No matter how hard you try to suppress it, you will feel guilt, as we all do. We feel guilt because we are guilty.
Every one of us has broken God’s law. Where we should have been humble and obedient, we have chosen to go our own way.
God is our Lord and our king, and He has given us His law. And every one of us has broken that law more times than we can count.
GO THROUGH THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
But despite the depths of our sin, God did the unthinkable. Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, humbled Himself and became a man, to pay for our sin. God demonstrated
His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2000 years ago Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, yet without sin, came to earth. He lived a perfect life, and then became the perfect sacrifice for sin.
When Jesus was on the cross, God’s anger and wrath and hatred toward sin was poured out on Him, so it didn’t have to be poured out on us.
The prophet Isaiah said it pleased God to crush Him, and that by His stripes we are healed.
The book of Colossians says that God satisfied the legal demands of the law, nailing them to the cross.
When Jesus Christ, the creator, died, His infinite value was sufficient to pay for our nearly infinite sin.
Our debt was paid, and justice was satisfied, so we could go free.
Then Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, just as He had said He would, and is seated at the right hand of the Father as our advocate for the Day of Judgment.
If you will do as the bible says, repenting, or turning from sin, and trusting in Christ alone to save you, then your sins will be washed away and you will be seen as righteous before God.
Not everyone will receive God’s grace, and be forgiven. We must humble ourselves, and throw ourselves on God’s mercy, to be saved.
If you continue in your pride, you will be lost for all eternity, and will pay the price for your sins yourself.
We don’t want that for you. We are here today because we have been forgiven. Like you, we are guilty before God. But because of God’s grace, our fine has been paid, justice has been satisfied, and we can go free.
When we get to heaven we want to see you there! Please, while God has given you time, repent and trust in Him, and in Him alone.