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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Ezekiel 9

Day 1548

Divine Protection!

Ezekiel 9

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, June 12.

 

God protects His children by giving them His presence. This gift marks them as belonging to Him. While not visible to the human eye, His presence is clearly seen in the spiritual realm. For this reason, the prophetic revelation of Ezekiel 9:3-4 captures my imagination:

 

Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”

 

As the judgments of God unfolded throughout Jerusalem, starting in the temple, the only people spared were those who had been marked on their foreheads. What was this mark? Such divine protection is reminiscent of Exodus 12, when the blood of the Passover Lamb was put on the lintel and on the two doorposts of every Hebrew household. The mark declared God’s covenantal protection over their household, causing Him to pass over; hence, the name of the Jewish holiday commemorating this event – Passover. With this imagery in mind, the angelic mark was placed upon the true remnant’s foreheads. Their lives were passed over as God continued His divine plan to bless all the nations through Israel, preserving the blood line of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Climatically, in Revelation 22:4, the eternal family of God will have a visible mark, “His name will be on their foreheads.”

 

Seize the moment and make visible the presence of God in you – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

 

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.

 
 

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Ezekiel 8

Day 1547

The Idol of Jealousy!

Ezekiel 8

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, June 11.

 

God loves you so much! In fact, He is jealous for you! After declaring how God rescued His children from Egyptian slavery, the Ten Commandments began in Exodus 20:3-5a, specifying how to have a right relationship with God, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” These were the first and most basic commandments, and the curse they came with was unleashed upon generations of God’s people at the time of Ezekiel, as described in the prophetic revelation of Ezekiel 8:3-4:

 

Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal. He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.

 

Seize the moment and offer God right worship, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37). God is jealous for your affections and because of His great love for you He warns, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

 

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.

 

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Ezekiel 7

Day 1546

Sow to the Spirit!

Ezekiel 7

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, June 10.

 

Our actions have consequences. We know this is true, but we often ask God to unravel the moral fabric of the universe to let us off the hook, protecting us, even healing us, from the consequences of our own lifestyles and choices. We cry out for mercy, yet justice requires that we be judged according to the standard of our own actions, just as the prophet explained to Israel in Ezekiel 7:3-4, and 27:

 

Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you. For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will bring your ways upon you, and your abominations will be among you; then you will know that I am the Lord! … The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord.

 

God’s character is revealed by His justice. Jesus reinforced God’s standard in Matthew 7:2, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Furthermore, Paul established this in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

 

Seize the moment and sow to the Spirit by loving others and forgiving them of their sins “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Justice was fulfilled through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross where God’s mercy and justice kissed. Got Grace?

 

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.

 
 
 

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The Call to the Great Community 7

 

REST: The Invitation of the Easy Yoke of Jesus Christ.

 
 
 
(Send off for Pastor Ken & Tina sabbatical)
 

You can watch the entire service by clicking HERE.

 
 
 
 
 

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Ezekiel 6

Day 1544

Recognize God at Work!

Ezekiel 6

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Saturday, June 8.

 

As a teacher and communicator, I don’t like being misunderstood. It’s especially difficult when malicious motives are imputed upon me by others. As a pastor, my heart’s desire is to equip, encourage, and empower people in their Christian lives, but like a medical doctor, there are times when I must say difficult things to truly help a person. The longer I’m in my current ministry context in New Castle, Indiana, nearly fifteen years now, the harder it is to be misunderstood. Moreso, after thousands of years of salvific history, imagine how much worse it must be for God when He is misunderstood by His people. This is why God utilized the recognition formula – “then they/you will know that I am Yahweh” – eighty-seven times, seventy-two of which are in Ezekiel, and four of those usages are found in Ezekiel 6:7, 10, 13, and 14:

 

The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord. … Then they will know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them. … Then you will know that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, … So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate and waste than the wilderness toward Diblah; thus they will know that I am the Lord.

 

God stated the “recognition formula” because He was intentionally acting to prove His power to His people and the surrounding nations. We find this in the exodus story (Exodus 14:18; 16:12), as well as in the times of Isaiah, such as 1 Kings 20:13 and Isaiah 49:26. No one likes to be misunderstood, and that includes God so pay attention to His work in your life.  

 

Seize the moment and be still, knowing that He is God and He will be exalted in and through your life to the ends of the Earth (Psalm 46:10; Acts 1:7-8).

 

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.

 

 

 
 

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Ezekiel 5

Day 1543

Bear the Burden!

Ezekiel 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, June 7.

 

Ezekiel’s personal discomfort was not yet completed. Just as God commanded the prophet to lay tied up on his sides for 430 days, eating defiled food and drinking small amounts of water, next, in Ezekiel 5:1-4, the Lord instructed him to make another prophetic sign of Jerusalem’s impending destruction:

 

As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair. One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. Take also a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes. Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.

 

This was not a barber’s tool that Ezekiel was commanded to use, but a soldier’s sword. The distinction was intentionally stated in God’s command to the prophet, making it clear that the sharp sword was symbolic of the military defeat of Jerusalem. Just as Jeremiah was tasked with embodying the Babylonian Empire’s rule by wearing an oxen yoke, so Ezekiel was commanded to bear the burden of the people’s hardship at the edge of a sword. While you may not be called upon to do such symbolic acts, you are called to demonstrate the work of God by how you live your life.

 

Seize the moment and bear the burden of other’s hardships as a way of showing them God’s love – “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

 

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.

 

 

 

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Ezekiel 4

Day 1542

Willing to be Uncomfortable!

Ezekiel 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, June 6.

 

You’ve heard it said that you aren’t supposed to lie down on the job, but what if God told you to do it. Ezekiel was commanded to lie down on his side. While that may not seem like a big deal, listen to God’s divine directives to the prophet in Ezekiel 4:4-8:

 

As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it. For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year. Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

 

I can’t imagine how exhaustingly difficult this would be, not to mention how mind-numbingly painful. God called Ezekiel to not only speak a message that would not be received, but to act it out. In addition to being tied down for 430 days, he had to eat food that was defiled, having been cooked over cow’s dung (9-17). God had a purpose in instructing Ezekiel to do all of this; he acted out the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, providing a prophetic sign of God’s judgment. To do so, he had to be willing to become uncomfortable.

 

Seize the moment and be willing to be put in uncomfortable positions to serve 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.

 
 

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Ezekiel 3

Day 1541

Mission Impossible!

Ezekiel 3

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, June 5.

 

God sent Ezekiel on what appears to be an impossible mission. The prophet received his divine directive in Ezekiel 3:4-7, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. … yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me.” How would you feel if God asked you to do something that was impossible? In Luke 18:27, when the disciples were feeling overwhelmed by the mission of God to save souls, Jesus bolstered their faith, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

 

When God asks you to be a part of an impossible mission, He is not entrusting to you the results of His divine directive (those are His!), but the process of being faithful to the task. The Lord told the prophet that his only criteria of success was fidelity to Him and His Word, as He explained in verses 17-19:

 

Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, “You will surely die,” and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.

 

Seize the moment and trust God to do the impossible – to save souls. Your job is to be faithful to the mission of God, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, so that one day you may hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

 
 

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.

 

 

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Ezekiel 2

Day 1540

Gain a Right Perspective of Fear!

Ezekiel 2

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, June 4.

 

Fear is about perspective, because, as a primal emotion, it is designed by God to alert us to prospective danger. Fear is intended to assist us in this life, not rule over our hearts and minds. Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” By emphasizing the eternal danger inherit to disobeying God, He diminishes the mortal danger that can come from disappointing people. Jesus elevates our personal ambition from merely surviving in this life to living forever with God in Heaven, which then causes us to see threats differently, ultimately, bolstering our courage to remain steadfast in difficult circumstances. God gave the prophet a right perspective of fear when He called him in Ezekiel 2:4-7:

 

“I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they listen or not – for they are a rebellious house – they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.”

 

Seize the moment and gain a right perspective of fear – “By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:17-18).

 

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.

 

 
 

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Ezekial 1

Day 1539

Trust the Hand of the Lord!

Ezekiel 1

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, June 3.

 

The call narrative of the prophet Ezekiel covers the first three chapters, and it began with a time stamp and location ping in Ezekiel 1:1-3:

 

Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.)

 

First, we learn that Ezekiel is a priest who had been living in exile, probably for five years assuming he was a part of the first wave of exiles with King Jehoiachin in 597 BC. Second, we learn that Ezekiel was thirty when he received this initial vision of God’s glory in 592 BC. This is important, because, according to Numbers 4:30, that was the age a priest began his official service in the temple.

 

The kings were being punished, but God was still calling forth priests and prophets in exile. Even though the temple would not have been destroyed yet, as that was still six years away, this was a declarative statement that “the hand of the Lord” could reach His people in exile, and, in fact, He would rescue them from captivity, like He had done from Egyptian slavery. Just like at the Exodus, the vision of Ezekiel invoked the fear of the Lord because of its explicit supernatural reality – “such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:28; cf. Exodus 24:16). This would have given them great hope because God was with them.

 

Seize the moment and trust that the hand of the Lord can reach into your circumstances.
 

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.

 

 

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