The Ten Commandments (2) Introduction (2) The Law and our Predicament

The law exposed the depth of Israel’s sinful condition. It exposed the fact that all that God had done for them so far was not enough. Delivering them from Egypt. Embracing them as his people. Giving them the law as the way of life and blessing. All of that was not enough. It did not accomplish what God had wanted it to accomplish. What it did instead was expose the fact that human beings are sinful to the very core of our being. It exposed the fact that we have sinful hearts. It exposed the fact that we are anti-God at the deepest level of our being. Jeremiah summed it up when he said in 17:3 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

All is Vanity: Specifics

Do not make your life about making money. Do not make your life about your reputation. Do not make your life about having as much pleasure as possible. He is saying that all of these things should be secondary in your lives. None of them should be the meaning of your life because, if they are, you will one day come to understand that you have lived for nothing – your life has been empty and meaningless – it has all be a striving after the wind.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Ten Commandments (1) Introduction

You see the Ten Commandments define the life of salvation. Salvation in the Bible is salvation from slavery, to obedience to God’s law. The contrast is the slavery in Egypt. God saved his people so that they might live the life that the Ten Commandments describes and requires. They were given by God to his people out of his love. They were given by God to his people because of his desire to bless them. They were given by God to his people because they are the way of life.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Introduction to Ecclesiastes

What Ecclesiastes says in this passage about the vanity of life is true, but it is not the whole story. It is part of the Old Testament witness that prepares the way for Jesus by impressing upon us that a life that ends in death is ultimately futile and meaningless. The only answer to that dilemma is a life that does not end in death – a life that is eternal. And that is why Jesus came and that is why the other side of the truth that Ecclesiastes focuses on is that it is possible to escape the meaninglessness of life under the sun by a life that lasts forever.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Comfort for the New Year (2)

God works all things together for our ultimate good. And our ultimate good is not a life of ease and this-worldly comfort. Our ultimate good is being right with God and growth in holiness and godliness. Our ultimate good has to do with growing in the knowledge of God and in faith and love and submission to God. Our ultimate good has to do with learning not to be overly attached to the comforts and pleasures of this life and learning to enjoy the greater and deeper pleasures of loving God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Comfort for the New Year (1)

There is something very precious about belonging to Jesus Christ and belonging to God the Father. When we belong to God, we matter to God. Jesus bought us with a price. God the Father chose us to be his treasured possession. He has adopted us into his own family. We are important to God. We are significant to God. We are loved by God. Because we belong to him in these different ways we know that we have value in his sight. And this is something that matters a great deal.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra