Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Deuteronomy 13-5; Acts 4
[While Pastor Berlin is away on vacation, Pastor Weigle is perpetuating this week’s Faith’s Focus.]
In today’s reading we find an important teaching in Deuteronomy that has a practical illustration in Acts. Though we are in a different dispensation than when this was taught, the seriousness of the lesson that God is teaching the Israelites in Deuteronomy 13 is frighteningly emphasized by the punishment prescribed against those at fault. In general, the objective of God’s lesson is: Believe and obey God’s Word, no matter what.
Believe and obey God’s Word even when an experience seems to prove something different (13:1-5). This can be tough because we are naturally programed to walk by sight, and not by faith. Have you ever been challenged by someone who watched or attended a “faith-healing” event? Or, by someone’s speaking in tongues experience? Or, by a claim to have experienced a vision of heaven? If any of these situations cause you to wonder about the perfect revelation God has given us in His Word, come back to these verses and walk by faith.
Believe and obey God’s Word when pressured to participate in ungodly behavior even by those closest to you (13:6-11). Some of us live on a dangerous edge of falling into temptation. Like Lot, our eyes are looking with wonder at the lifestyles that seem so glamorous and fun. And it doesn’t take much prodding from a close friend or family member to convince you to give in. We need to build up our faith by maintaining a habit of reading, believing and obeying God’s Word, no matter what.
Believe and obey God’s Word when civil leaders promote a culture that is contrary to the Scriptures (13:12-17). How much should the current culture dictate to us how we should obey the Scriptures? Dare we concede any biblical obedience to the fact that it’s not politically correct? This sometimes seems a tricky road to navigate because the Bible clearly teaches us to submit, honor and respect our civil authorities because God has placed them there as His ministers to us (Romans 13:1-7).
This is where our reading in Acts 4 comes in to play. Peter and John were the center of attention after the healing of the lame man in the previous chapter. The envious religious and civil leaders of their day came upon them and arrested them for preaching about Jesus. In their trial the next day Peter explained that he was trying to exercise his right to speak how God told him to speak. The verdict was decided that they should be threatened and sent away. Peter’s response is a classic example for us to consider when faced with potential religious conflict with our civil leaders: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” (4:19)
What did this trial of faith do to these apostles and the newly started church? It united them in prayerful purpose to boldly continue ministering. God approved of their prayer and demonstrated it by shaking the place and filling them with the Holy Ghost.
Let’s remember that the trial of our faith is intended to develop patience (endurance). Purpose to believe and obey God’s Word, no matter what.
“May the Lord Find Us Faithful” by Mac Lynch (chorus)
May the Lord find us faithful.
May His Word be our banner held high.
May the Lord find us faithful
Every day, though we live, though we die.
• Lord, thank you for your Word that instructs and feeds me with all that I need for life and godly living.
• Help me to navigate this current culture in such a way that I am demonstrating belief and obedience to Your Word.
• Strengthen my conscience so that when others around me (at home, at school, at work, via media, etc.) either knowingly or unknowingly tempt me to be disobedient and unbelieving of Your Word, I stand strong and faithful.