Evelyn and Ezekiel Szczerba and big sister Sharon welcome newborn daughter Liv to the family. She was born at Lakeridge Hospital on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 weighing 7 lbs 11 oz. Congratulations Szczerba Family!
Why is it so hard for people to give to the Lord? Why it is hard for me, a child of God, to give to back to my Heavenly Father? As I think about my own life, the Lord took me to a passage in Exodus.
Exodus 16:4-20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.” Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud. The LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ “That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer [a] for each person you have in your tent.’ The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning. However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
Through this passage, the Lord was showing me how our own society are modern day
Israelites. We don’t just want our daily portion anymore. We want more than that.
We consume too much, too quickly and ultimately the stuff that we collect and gather ends up going rotten and causing us to become sick. The more we accumulate, the sicker we become. Take our possessions for example; the majority of us collect items whether it be knick knacks, extra electronics or other household items that we think we need. All this stuff eventually causes a cluttered mess in our lives- in our marriages, and in our finances. Some of us even take it to the extreme and become hoarders, where items are never thrown away and yet we keep adding to the piles and piles of stuff. Looking at all of our “junk” makes us feel sick. We are sickened that it takes up so much room in our homes. We are sickened at the amount of money that was wasted on these items. We are sickened that these items created temporary happiness but now have rotted away and no longer give us the joy that they once promised. And in some cases, our own marriages have become “rotten” .
Our relationships have been broken because the idea of having bigger and better has made us lose focus on what is important. Having so much stuff has made it hard to rely on the Lord because we have become so dependent on the stuff.
Our society, quite simply, no longer wants to depend on God. Instead of allowing the Lord to work in us, we have become gluttonous and gobble up more than we need- making our homes and lives to have “gut-rot”. Just like the Israelites, the Lord wants us to collect our daily portion and rely on Him to take care of our daily needs. He wants to fulfill us.
God has promised to give us exactly what we need. Nothing more, nothing less. We should be dependent on Him and Him alone. If the Lord wishes to give us more than we need, than we should be willing to share it or give it away because at the end of the day, it will go rotten if we don’t.
Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.
1. GOD COMMANDS ME NEVER TO COMPLAIN.
Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14(NAS)
2. GOD COMMANDS ME TO GIVE THANKS IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
3. GOD COMMANDS ME TO REJOICE ALWAYS, AND ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF TRIAL.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2
4. I ALWAYS DESERVE MUCH WORSE THAN WHAT I AM SUFFERING NOW—IN FACT, I DESERVE HELL.
Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3
5. IN LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS AND GLORY THAT I WILL EXPERIENCE IN HEAVEN, THIS PRESENT TRIAL IS EXTREMELY BRIEF AND INSIGNIFICANT, EVEN IF IT WERE TO LAST A LIFETIME.
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19
6. MY SUFFERING IS FAR LESS THAN THAT WHICH CHRIST SUFFERED, AND HE DID NOT COMPLAIN.
Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Peter 2:23
7. TO COMPLAIN IS TO SAY GOD IS NOT JUST.
Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25
8. FAITH AND PRAYER EXCLUDE COMPLAINING.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
9. THIS DIFFICULTY IS BEING USED BY GOD FOR MY GOOD AND IT IS FOOLISH FOR ME TO COMPLAIN AGAINST IT.
And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
10. THOSE MORE FAITHFUL THAN I HAVE SUFFERED FAR WORSE THAN I, AND DID SO WITHOUT COMPLAINT.
…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith… Hebrews 11:35-39
11. COMPLAINING DENIES THAT GOD’S GRACE IS ENTIRELY SUFFICIENT.
My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
12. THE GREATEST SUFFERING, THE WORST TRIAL OR DIFFICULTY, CAN NEVER ROB ME OF THAT WHICH IS OF GREATEST VALUE TO ME AND MY GREATEST JOY, NAMELY THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
Great new free resource! Our church is affiliated with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an organization that just recently opened up the online versions of its magazine Faith Today so that they are now completely free to everyone- all the issues from January 2008 to the present. This is a great resource to connect, equip and inform Canadian Evangelicals. The next issue will appear in July. Check it out for free at http://www.faithtoday.ca/digital
There was an old riddle when I was a youngun’: “What did the glow worm say to the tractor that ran over his tail?” “De-lighted, I’m sure!’”
Have you been de-lighted by all that life has thrown at you? Life has a way of snuffing out our joy, as I’m sure you have noticed. Then again, maybe you are just a happy little glow worm still having luminescent moments. All I can say is, beware of tractors!
I am delighted to tell you of One who delights in you! He loves you with an everlasting love; He sings over you; and He does not snuff out the embers of your efforts. It was quite a shock to me to discover that God delights in me; I had never thought about it that way. Thinking of our Heavenly Father being delighted is very revealing of the scope of His love and the shape of His heart! In Psalm 37:4, we are invited to delight ourselves in the Lord—not just know Him, or bless Him, or revere Him, but delight in Him. Delight is a significant emotion!
When speaking about ‘Zion’ or the city of Jerusalem as a symbol of His people, God talks in very passionate terms. Zephaniah 3:17 says it all: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” The Bride of Christ—the Church—is called ‘The New Jerusalem’ in Revelation 21:2, so we can truthfully apply these declarations of love to ourselves as Christ followers.
The prophet Jeremiah discovered this aspect of the heart of God, as he received the heavenly downloads of God’s word. He was writing a section of the Bible as he penned “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” (Jer. 15:16) Imagine what a wonderful experience he had as the Holy Spirit brought God’s words into his mind to write down as inspired scripture. Jeremiah expressed his delight in that assignment.
Isaiah talks about the Lord Jesus in his prophecy (42:1-4). The Father says: “This is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations… a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he lead justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.” (See, I told you he does not snuff out the smoldering embers, which may be all that is left of your efforts to serve Him!)
So here we have this wonderful aspect of holy delight as God’s people interact with their Heavenly Father. Delight goes both ways. John Piper puts it like this, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” He wants us, through the Lord Jesus, to get to know Him so well that He is able to cultivate within us a heart like His own. This is what he is about in our lives, and this is what our ‘Seeking Him’ study has been so helpful in working within us. Have you been enjoying this study? You can catch up with missed messages on our website.
Now let’s move on to knowing Him and making Him known by seeking a heart like His. As you follow hard after God, you will find—sooner or later—that doing so becomes pure delight!
Mary B @ Calvary
Calvary Baptist would like to express Congratulations to both Arnold Clarke and David Peppiatt who are receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medallion for their community service.
The Peppiatt’s wish to invite friends and family from Calvary to a special reception held at the ‘Refuge’ (300 Court Street, Oshawa) on July 25th from 7pm-9pm. Please join them in celebrating Dave and this special honor.
Katherine Stapley went home to glory Saturday June 30th. Gravesite service will be held on Thursday July 5th at 11a.m. at Union Cemetery. Luncheon to follow at Calvary Baptist Church. Please pray for the family at this time.