Friday, October 21, 2011

Deuteronomy 30 – Life and Death, Blessing and Curse

Hello Project Ezra!  It is a great blessing and a privilege to have so many of you participating each week.  I am always encouraged by your posts, and the encouragement you give to each other.  I belong to a strong local evangelism team, and the encouragement I have received from them has been very instrumental in my continued growth in personal evangelism.  The encouragement you can provide to others on the Facebook page or in the blog comments can provide that same benefit to those who may be in an area where they have little or no support from other believers.  So, keep those testimonies, pictures, videos and helpful responses coming! 

As a side note on posting, I wanted to briefly address an issue.  We recently had a member of the group posting a large amount of material that, other than generally being Christian, had no relation to the purpose of the group at all.  I made contact with that member, and asked them politely to limit their posts to relevant materials.  Sadly, that individual was not open to correction and had to be removed from the group.  If you run across something that particularly touches you and you think it will be edifying to the group, feel free to post it.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying to bless others with good materials.  However, if large amounts on non-relevant posts move people’s testimonies and requests for help so far down that page that they are never seen, it is a detriment to those people and to the group as a whole.  So please be wise and considerate in your postings.

We are also just about a week away from our Halloween reading, one of our best readings of the year.  Many people will be out on the streets for trick or treating, parties, haunted houses, and the like.  And with so many people thinking about death and the hereafter, this is another perfect time to share the gospel.  The event will be up on Facebook soon, and I encourage you to contact your Christian friends and church family, and to invite them to join you and share in the reading.  Please consider posting any pictures, video, or testimonies you have from Halloween weekend outreaches so we can put together another outreach update.   I’m looking forward to hearing some very interesting stories! 

This week’s reading is Deuteronomy 30.  The key passage our outline will be focusing is on verse 19, when God says “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.”  Although the way God dealt with the nation of Israel is in many ways different from how He deals with the church today, the seriousness and the sense of urgency in our response to God’s will should be the same.  Whether or not we are trusting in God and living in obedience to His word is a matter of eternal consequence, and that sense of urgency is what we want to try to instill in people through the preaching of the gospel.

I pray this outline is a blessing.

All for His glory,



In verse 19 of this chapter of God’s word, He states that He has laid before Israel life and death, blessing and curse.  

Although you are likely not of the nation of Israel, there is still a lesson to be learned.  And part of that lesson should be a sense of urgency regarding the truth of God.

What you believe about God is not mere opinion.  What you choose to do with the truth of the Bible is not merely an academic or intellectual issue.  It is a matter of life and death, and a matter of where you will spend your eternity.

God’s actions in the Old and New Testament are based on His perfect, holy character, and His absolute, unchanging nature. 

The God of the Bible is a God who keeps His promises, who honors His commitments,  He says what He means and does what He says.

The Bible says He is a God of justice, and that justice has been demonstrated many times in the past.

He promised the nation of Israel protection and prosperity if they would trust in him.

But He also promised judgment for those who turned away from Him.

The same is true today.  Every one of us with experience either God’s blessing, or God’s justice

The truth is, all of us deserve only God’s justice, since all of us have sinned.

To sin means to miss the mark.  It means we have committed moral crimes against God, breaking His law.

Look at yourself in the light of God’s law, and see how you stand. (Exodus 20)

God’s commandments say we should not lie, and all of us have.  His word says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.

God’s commandments say we should not steal, and all of us have, even if it was only something small.  His word says not thief will inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus said “You have heard that it was said do not commit adultery, but I tell you anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Have you done that?  Have you looked with lust? (Matthew 5)

You see, God does not only look at our actions, but at the condition of our hearts.  He who looks with lust is an adulterer, and anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.

God’s word also tells us that if we have broken one commandment, we have broken them all.  (James 2:10)

Every one of us is worthy of judgment, and the Bible says the punishment for breaking God’s law is eternity in hell.

Hell is a very real place of fire and darkness and pain.  It is separation from all the goodness of God and an eternity of subjection to His anger and wrath.

I deserve to go to hell, but I’m not going.  You deserve the same, but I don’t want you to go either.  That is why we are here today, to give you good news.

And there is good news!  In the chapter I read it also says that none of God’s children are beyond His reach

He gave His children in Israel a promise, but the greater promise to us today is in Jesus Christ, the promise of forgiveness from our sins.

2000 years ago Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came to earth, lived a perfect life, and then died a perfect death as payment for our sins.

The cross of Jesus Christ is the perfect expression of both God’s love and His justice.  

Romans says that Jesus our Lord was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.  Because God nailed the legal demands of the law to the cross (Col 2), we can be set free.

Acts 20:21 tells us we this is through repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we will repent, or turn from our sins, and trust in Christ alone to save us, then by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we will be saved!

Jesus Christ, God the Son, the creator and sustainer of all that exists, humbled Himself, walked among us, and died so that we might live.

Then three days after He died, He rose, just as He had told his followers He would, and ascended to heaven, where He is seated at God’s right hand. 

Scripture says He is now our advocate, our lawyer for the day of judgment.   If we will repent and trust in Him, than on the day we stand before God, He will not see our sin, but Christ’s righteousness, His perfect sacrifice, laid to our account.

There is no greater act of love, and no greater miracle, in the history of the world, than Christ saving us through His death, and His resurrection.

So turn to Him and trust in His promise today.

God says He will change our hearts so that we may live.  Don’t depend on your own ability to do better, or to earn forgiveness.

Only through the supernatural change that is salvation, that is being born again, can we be made right with Him and given the ability to obey Him

Turn today.  Repent of your sin, trust in Him alone, and he will change you. 

If you have questions about anything I have said, I would love to talk to you more (It’s also good to offer tracts and/or Bibles if you have them).

Thank you for listening.

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