Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
“The Root of Complaining: Unbelief”
Do you ever struggle with a heart of complaining? To complain is “to express dissatisfaction, resentment, or grief; to find fault.” Philippians 2:15-16 says, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” The NIV says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing…” We might consider complaining a “respectable sin.” In reality, complaining reveals a worship problem, a gospel problem in our hearts.
The Pentateuch is a gradual fulfillment of the promises to the patriarchs in Gen 12:1-3. The elements of that promise are land, descendants, blessing to the nation and their covenant relationship with God. In the book of Numbers the Israelites continue their triumphant journey from out of slavery in Egypt toward the promised land in Canaan. What we find in Numbers 11-12 is that the Israelites express their heart of unbelief by complaining against God, which was ultimately a rejection of him and his gracious covenant purposes.
Theological and Practical Highlights:
The heart that complains fails to rely on the grace of God in the past.
- God had rescued them out of slavery in Egypt. He had delivered them from their oppressors (Ex 2:23ff).
- Looking back at God’s past grace should stimulate our hope in God’s future grace.
- Not only did they forget what God had done for them, they also misinterpreted their past experiences.
The heart that complains fails to rest in God’s sovereign provision in the present.
- God’s guidance, protection and provision were ever present (10:33-36).
- God did not fail to meet their needs. The problem was not that they did not have anything to eat. Their problem was with what was on the menu! (See John 6:32-35; 48-51)
The heart that complains fails to trust in God’s precious promises for the future.
- They lost sight of their end goal. They forgot that God was taking them to a place that was repeatedly described as a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex. 3:8; 3:17; 13:5; 33:3; and Lev. 20:24).
- The heart of the issue was dissatisfaction with God and a failure to patiently trust in his great promises. Consider the following gospel promises: John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 21:1-8
The rest of the story has much to teach us as well. 1) God mercifully empowered seventy elders with the Holy Spirit to alleviate some of Moses’ great burden (16-17). 2) Complaining reveals a rejection of our covenant God. This was the principle issue. (verse 20) 3) God’s power is unlimited (23). 4) Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it (20, 31-35)! 5) Sin carries great consequences (34). 6) Aaron and Miriam oppose Moses out of jealousy and once again, ultimately reject God’s plan and provision for the leadership of Israel (12:1-16).
The Gospel Cure for Unbelief: Trusting in God in light of the Person and Work of Christ
“Every time I deliberately disobey a command of God, it is because I am in that moment doubtful as to God’s true intentions in giving me that command. Does He really have my best interests at heart? Or is He withholding something from me that I would be better off having? Such questions, whether consciously asked or not, lie underneath every act of disobedience. However, the gospel changes my view of God’s commandments, in that it helps me to see the heart of the Person from whom those commandments come. When I begin my train of thought with the gospel, I realize that if God loved me enough to sacrifice His Son’s life for me, then He must be guided by that same love when He speaks His commandments to me.”
- from Milton Vincent’s, A Gospel Primer: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love www.wtsbooks.com
- What are some things that you complain about?
- What does the gospel have to say specifically to that issue in your life?
- What is one means of grace that will help you trust God more this week?
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
YAY! We caught one of these precious smiles!...(smiling at her daddy). Today was her second trip to church, but first with her pretty dress. She looked so beautiful all dressed up! She loved impressing everybody with her good looks. These pics were hurriedly taken at the last minute because her parents accidentally overslept. (they were up late after all) :) I'm sure there will be more to come. Everyone should know that Tanner dressed her and she didn't cry one bit!