Week 3 (24-30 Sept.) – Time in Wilderness vs. Creation
Sunday – Christ in Wilderness
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
When we look to Jesus’s time in the wilderness, we read that the Spirit led him there for a time of testing through temptation by the devil. Fasting is a practice of prayer oftentimes used to focus on a specific prayer request brought before God. While in the wilderness of testing Christ focuses on talking with God. Satan uses this time to attack Christ’s weaknesses of Hunger, Doubt, and Faith in God’s Plan. Considering Christ’s present condition, situation and future, it should be no surprise that these are the area’s that Satan tempts Jesus to turn away from God. The wilderness for Christ is a time of testing of his faithfulness to God. Once proven Satan leaves, and Christ is back in God’s creation as angels tend to Him.
Pastor’s Pondering: What are the areas that Satan can use to test you in the wilderness? What are the answers you should give to answer and respond to pass the test of faith?
Monday – Wilderness Consequence for Israel
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 1:19-45
As we see from this scripture for the Israelites, the wilderness is a result/consequence of their lack of faith in God and God’s plan for them. Though they knew exactly what God was calling them to do, because they doubted God’s ability to help them overcome the Amorites, they were condemned to the wilderness instead of God’s promised land for them. Just as with Adam and Eve, the wilderness is a consequence for their turning from God and God’s way for them.
Pastor’s Pondering: How might your life be a consequence of your faith in God’s plan for you?
Tuesday – Wilderness Test for Israel
Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:1-9
With the next generation of Israelites, they are confronted with the same test of faith in God and God’s plan for them in this scripture. They have grown up in the wilderness, seen how God has cared for them in the wilderness and now with Joshua take the bold faith step so they can live in the promised land – life in God’s creation. It will require many tests of faith as they proceed forward but with each passing of the test, they move closer to the life God has called them to in God’s creation – the promised land.
Pastor’s Pondering: What are the wilderness tests God has called you to and through to know life in God’s promised land for you?
Wednesday – Time in Creation/Kingdom is Growth
Just as when Moses experiences life in God’s creation beginning with the burning bush and when the disciples are gathered in prayer seeking God’s direction, it is a time of growing in their faith in God. In the beginning, they are afraid and uncertain of what God is doing but as we see them move forward in faith, it is a time of growing in the Spirit and their relationship with God. When we live life in God’s creation/kingdom it is a time of growth.
Pastor’s Pondering: How is your spiritual growth a sign of Life in Creation/Kingdom?
Thursday – Time in Creation/Kingdom is Refocus
After Moses responds with “Here I am” and the disciples received the Holy Spirit, we find that their lives are Refocused. Moses is give a new call to be used to lead Israel out of Egypt and the disciples are given the call to go and share the news of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who will bring people into the Kingdom of God – life in God’s creation. Life in God’s creation/kingdom brings to us a new and on-going refocus in life from life on our own to life with God. Life in God’s creation/kingdom refocuses from our life in the wilderness.
Pastor’s Pondering: How are we refocused from life in wilderness to life in God’s creation?
Friday – Time in Creation/Kingdom is Recharge
When Moses doubts his ability to go and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, God assures him with, “I will be with you.” For the disciples, it is with the gift of the Holy Spirit that they are “charged” to go out into the streets to praise God in the languages that they were enabled to speak. When we live life in God’s creation, God is with us and it is in the Holy Spirit that we are charged and recharged to be able to live out God’s plan for us.
Pastor’s Pondering: How do we get “charged” and “recharged” in the Holy Spirit in our Life in God’s creation?
Saturday – Time in Creation/Kingdom is Renewal
As we see when God reveals to Moses, “when you see these things happen you will know what I say is true,” it becomes a renewal of faith when it happens. When the first church is formed and they see how the Spirit moves within them as they focus on Worship, God’s Word, Prayer, and Fellowship they are renewed in their faith in God and their life in God’s creation/kingdom.
Pastor’s Pondering: How are you renewed as you witness God working in the midst of your life in God’s creation?