The blog contains daily devotions and notes from the weekly messages.  We encourage you to review the notes during the sermon or through the week!  Most of the posts will have an audio and/or video link at the end of the notes.  From time to time the pastors will share other insights and devotions here.

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Seize the Moment – Day 625

Covenant Promises!

Deuteronomy 7

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, December 2.

 

Have you ever been metaphorically stabbed in the back, in word or deed? I don’t know about you, but I prefer to be told to my face if there is an issue so that I can either repent, seek clarification, or agree to disagree on an issue.

 

God told His covenant people that He would let them know quickly, and to their face, if He had an issue with them. So often we think of the promises of God as only blessings, but the promises also come with warnings, as Moses explained in Deuteronomy 7:9-10:

 

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.

 

Did you hear the promises of God?

 

Every promise of God is right and true and in accordance with God’s covenant character!  God is faithful to those who keep His covenant, which, as we have previously learned, includes people who repent by returning to God after they have been disobedient. And for those who reject God and prove disloyal to His covenant, God will repay them to their faces (Psalm 31:23; 94:2).

 

God won’t stab you in the back! You will stand before Him as Paul promised in 2 Corinthians 5:10,
 
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

 

Seize the moment and respond to all the covenant promises of God today: “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)!

God bless you!

 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 624

Treasure the Shema in your Heart!

Deuteronomy 6

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, December 1.

 

What do you treasure in your heart?

 

The Shema is the central confession of Judaism. It is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, at the beginning of the “second giving” of the Law:
 
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

 

In Mark 12:29-30, Jesus gives the Shema as the greatest commandment of the Law:
 
“The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one Lord; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’” (cf. Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27).

 

Did you know that Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6? We must frame our understanding of Jesus’ teaching with a thorough reading of the Old Testament, which is why I am committing three years of my early mornings, day in and day out, to study and write these devotionals. So that you will treasure in your heart the Word of Truth, that you may not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). Moses commanded this of the Shema in verses 6-9:

 

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 

Seize the moment and make prominent in your life the Word of Truth so that you may know it, apply it, and pray it throughout your day. This is the way of victory!

God bless you!

 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 623

God’s Word is for our Good!

Deuteronomy 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, November 30.

 

Do you believe that the Bible is God’s Word and given to us through trustworthy men for our good?

 

In Deuteronomy 5:1-5, Moses legitimized and authorized the “second giving” of the Law by establishing it as a divine revelation from God and not something he wrote:

 

Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.

 

This chapter lays the foundation for the next twenty-one chapters so that the new generation would know and remember that it was God who rescued them from slavery, gathered them at Sinai, and brought them through these last forty years to prepare them for this moment in time.

 

Interestingly, in verse 15, Moses added a phrase that was not found in the first giving of the Ten Commandments:
 
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.”

 

Moses was helping the new generation to remember that the God who gave these commandments is the One who rescued and delivered them from slavery—God’s intentions are trustworthy, and His Law is good!

 

Seize the moment and trust God and that all His ways are for your good!

God bless you!

 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 622

Wholehearted Obedience!

Deuteronomy 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, November 29.

 

Have you ever had to repeat yourself to ensure effective communication?

 

Deuteronomy 4 summarizes the purpose of Moses’ historical recap in the first chapters and provides a transition to the second giving of the Ten Commandments in chapter 5 and the Law in chapters 6-26. Deuteronomy 4:39-40 calls the people to a wholehearted obedience to God and His Law:

 

Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.

 

Moses warned the people in verse 24: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Furthermore, he laid out the dangers of false worship and explained the consequences of idolatry in verses 25-28.

 

But there is hope for those who faithfully return to God with a whole heart! God’s mercy was promised in verses 29-31:

 

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

 

The key to experiencing the promises of God is wholehearted obedience—a return to God “with all of your heart and all of your soul.”

 

Seize the moment and be faithful to God!

God bless you!

 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 

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Advent 2021 Hope – Week 1

A Message of Hope

John 14:12-14

 

Missionary Jim White

 

Hope is not thinking that something might happen, it is the assurance that something will happen!  As I look around me, it seems that people are living in “survival mode.”  Many of us seem to be just barely making it.  I suggest that sometimes it is because we get distracted from what God wants us to be doing.

 

It’s unhealthy to live like this for an extended period of time.  It causes fatigue, ulcers, headaches – a general feeling of being overwhelmed.

 

I am convinced that God can set us free from bondage to drinking, drugs, etc.  You don’t have to just get by.

 

When surviving becomes your daily focus, you forget about your goals, about your dreams for the future.  You only think about how you will get through today.

 

There are three questions we ask ourselves:

  1. How did I get here?
  2. Did I cause at least some of it?
  3. Hoe do I get out of this place I find myself?

 

We must first be able to discern whether God has put these “things” into my life or whether it is from Satan.  That makes a big difference on how we approach it.

 

Many times we bring it on ourselves, because we turn from the Lord:

 

1 Kings 11:3-6    Solomon turned from the Lord and went after other gods.

 

Numbers 12        Miriam complained against Moses’ leadership.

 

But God wants us to experience the Abundant Life!

 

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

 

Ephesians 3:19  …and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

He wants us to overcome all obstacles through faith in Him!  We have authority over all evil forces in this world.  When people lose hope, they act out of desperation & that leads to chaos.  We believers are to live with hope as an example to those in the world without hope!

 

John 14:12-14   12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I yam going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

 

 


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Seize the Moment – Day 620

Today’s Advent hymn focus will be

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

 
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel .”

 

Anglican Priest and hymn writer John Mason Neale enjoyed finding early and medieval Greek and Latin hymns to help people focus on the feasts and fasts of the Christian year. He is credited for translating this late 8th or 9th century Benedictine Gregorian chant into English in the mid 19th century. History tells us that in the weeks prior to Christmas, the monks would sing a verse a day to prepare their hearts and minds.

 

O Come, o come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear

 

If you look at each of these verses, they have a double purpose. Not only what His coming as a babe in a manger means, but also preparing our hearts and growing excitement for Jesus’ return to take us home.

 

Friends, Jesus is God with us. He has not only come in history, but He is coming again…and this gives us a huge reason to rejoice this season!

 

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
If you would like to hear this song, click on the link below:
 
 

O come, O come, Immanuel

 
1
O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
 
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
 
2
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
 
3
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
 
4
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain
 
5
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain
 
6
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
 
7
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 619

Enter the Rest of God!

Deuteronomy 3

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, November 26.

 

Have you entered the “rest” of God?

 

Deuteronomy 3 reviews the conquest of the land in the Transjordan that would give “rest” to God’s people (20). To enter this rest, they had to march into battle first. Listen to verse 1,
 
“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei.”

 

The Promised Land was not a place of rest until the kingdoms that served false gods were removed from the area. Deuteronomy 3 references places such as Bashan and Mount Hermon, which are just names to us, but were commonly known as the ancient domains of evil. The ancient worldview of these geographic locations is significant for us to be able to grasp the depth of God’s victories so that His people could enter His rest:

 

Canaanite (Ugaritic) peoples, then, literally believed Bashan to be the gateway to the Underworld—the dwelling place of the dead. … According to Jewish theology of the Second Temple period (from books like 1 Enoch), the sons of God (called “watchers”) of Gen 6:1–4 descended to Mount Hermon in Bashan before carrying out the deeds described in Gen 6:1–4. Bashan and Hermon thus had sinister reputations.[1]

 

God conquered these ancient domains of evil so that His people could live free from evil influences. In the same way, Jesus defeated the domains of evil on the Cross. Paul proclaimed in Colossians 2:15,
 
“When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”

 

Seize the moment and “be diligent to enter [God’s] rest, so that no one will fall” by trusting Jesus and His victory over evil (Hebrews 4:11).

God bless you!

 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
 
 

FOOTNOTES:

 

[1] Michael S. Heiser, “Bashan and the Gates of Hell,” in Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 618

Give Thanks for God’s Provision and Protection!

Deuteronomy 2

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, November 25. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

In remembering where we have come from to where we are now, no matter what may be facing us tomorrow, we have much to give thanks for today because “God is good and His lovingkindess is everlasting” (Psalm 136)!

 

Psalm 136 recounts the goodness of God to the nation of Israel and after every historical episode you hear this refrain, “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

 

Deuteronomy 2 retells a segment of the epic journey of the Israelites from Mount Seir to the Transjordan where two-and-a-half tribes would ultimately settle. It is a theological travel log with the aim of emboldening the younger generation to trust that God will keep His word and do His part in the conquest of the Promised Land.

 

The following are two promises for which they needed to trust God:

 

1) Provision. Moses recounted God’s provision throughout their wanderings in the wilderness in verse 7: “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”

 

2) Protection. Moses detailed how God either gave them favor with the nations as they wandered through the desert or He gave them the nations, as in verse 30: “But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today.”

 

Don’t just believe in God, believe God! God always provides for that which God promises! Give thanks for God’s provision and protection!

 

Seize the moment and give thanks to God in every circumstance of your life for His lovingkindness is everlasting (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 136).

 

Have a great day! Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you!

 
 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 617

 

The Right Place at the Right Time!

Deuteronomy 1

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, November 24.

 

When I teach people conflict resolution skills, I highlight the importance of saying the right thing at the right time and in the right place. Location and timing are key!

 

Deuteronomy is the last of the five Books of Moses. It means “second giving” and is composed primarily of the final sermons of Moses, which he gave to the new generation on the eve of their entrance into the Promised Land.

 

Moses wanted to ensure that the young people who would enter the Promised Land were not ignorant of God and His ways, so, at 120 years old, he passionately recounted the story of Israel and gave them, for the second time, the Law of God.

 

Deuteronomy 1:1-5 begins the book with a key phrase, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness … In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the Lord had commanded him to give to them …”

 

And the people listened attentively to Moses’ words because they were facing the task that their fathers had forsaken forty years prior. This moment had loomed over them their entire lives!

 

This was the right place and the right time for Moses to confront them with what lay before them. In verse 37, Moses grieved that he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land with them: “The Lord was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there.’”

 

This was his last chance—the right time and the right place—for Moses to fulfill God’s call to the people he faithfully, though not perfectly, led for over forty years. He gave them his heart, yet again!

 

Seize the moment and pray about the right place and right time for you to communicate what is important to you to the people in your life!

 

God bless your day!
 
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 616

 

The Politics of Inheritance!

Numbers 36

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, November 23.

 

It pains me to see families fight over estate issues, but the politics of inheritance are real, especially when there is a transfer of property or wealth.

 

As we enter the final chapter of Numbers, a concern was expressed in the inheritance laws regarding the tribal allotments of land. Previously, in Numbers 27, Moses decreed that Zelophehad’s daughters were allowed to inherit their father’s property because he had no sons (1-11). Now in Numbers 36, as they are about to enter the Promised Land, the question was raised: Would the tribe lose an allotment of the Promised Land forever if a daughter were to marry outside the tribe (1-4)?

 

Even though Israel was one nation, each tribal leader was like a prince over their own tribe and looked out for their people’s best interest, which included protecting their allotments of the Promised Land.

 

Moses’ decision in verses 6-9 legislated marriage to mitigate the politics of inheritance between the tribes of Israel with the hope of minimizing tribal infighting in the future:

 

Every daughter who comes into possession of an inheritance of any tribe of the sons of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that the sons of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers. Thus no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each hold to his own inheritance.

 

Preserving the promises of God through the inheritance laws is essential to the covenants of God! In Galatians 3:29, Paul expresses this reality for New Covenant believers,
 
“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (cf. Galatians 4:7).

 

Seize the moment and accept your birthright through Jesus Christ. God’s politics of inheritance allows you to be His child and enter His Kingdom!

God bless your day!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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