Obey Your Leaders

Read: Hebrews 13
Text: verse 17

You can make your elders rejoice. Or you can make them groan. How you respond to their care can make their hearts sing or it can make their hearts heavy. God is giving you the responsibility to make your elders happy. Not by gifts or flattery or over-the-top respect. But by being diligent and serious about living the Christian life, by cooperating with their leadership and by complying with the word of God as they bring it to you.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Ninth Commandment (1) “Do not bear false witness”

This is at the heart of what Jesus did to bring about the prophecies of a world of justice and wellbeing for all. To bring about that vision for the future of the world, Jesus began with the heart of the matter – he dealt with the root problem of all the selfishness and cruelty and injustice in the world. He dealt with sin. He broke the power of sin. And he called men and women and children to believe on him, repent of their sins and live out of the renewing power of the gospel.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

An Assignment for Obadiah

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-16
Text: verses 7-16

What we need to fear is disobeying God. If we are doing what God tells us to do, there is no reason to fear and the Bible makes is clear that God expects his people to have the kind of trust in God that excludes fear. As Psalm 118:6 expresses it, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Jesus speaks of this as well in his farewell message to his disciples. In John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Eighth Commandment (3) Money and the Christian Life

How much should we give? Enough so that it can be described as being rich in good works, as being generous and as being ready to share. Enough so that it can be described as fleeing the love of money, and pursuing righteous, godliness, faith and love. Enough so that it consistent with godliness with contentment. Enough so that it can qualify as “storing up treasure … as a good foundation for the future, so that [we] may take hold of that which is truly life.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Famine, Rain and Ahab

Ahab did not care for the sheep that had been entrusted to his care. They were perishing because of his stubborn sinfulness, and Ahab was more concerned about his horses. But Jesus was and is the opposite. He leads his sheep in paths of righteousness. He gives his life for his sheep and he is committed to see to it that not one of his sheep will perish. See the great contrast between King Ahab and parched and barren land under his rule, and King Jesus and the kingdom of life and flourishing under his rule. And order your life accordingly.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Eighth Commandment (2) Property and Wealth

What that means in practice is that our use and enjoyment of our possessions will nurture our relationship with God rather than diminish our relationship with God. If we receive God’s gifts with thanksgiving it will increase our love for God and our respect for God. If we receive God’s gifts without thanksgiving it will be a barrier in our relationship with God. So there is a way that our enjoyment of our possession contributes to having God as our only God. And that is a beautiful thing. It contributes immensely to our enjoyment of our possession if that enjoyment treasures the love and generosity of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

A Dead Boy Brought to Life

God is revealing something of himself to us in this story and in similar stories. He does not act according to our expectations. There is much about God and his way with the world and with his people which is incomprehensible. There is much about God and his way with the world that is counter-comprehensible – it is the opposite of what seems to make sense. God’s ways with his people are often the last thing that you would expect. They often seem to be the opposite of making sense.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Eighth Commandment (1) “You shall not Steal”

Now in connection with the Eighth Commandment we see that we the sin behind the sin of stealing is greed, an excessive desire for money and things – a desire that is stronger than our desire for the worship and pleasure of God. And here we come to the place where we are all guilty of breaking the Eighth Commandment. The word greed may not resonate with our experience, but excessive desire for money and things describes all of our experience to some extent.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Widow of Zarephath

This is how the good news comes in the Bible. It comes with a summons to surrender everything to God, and to trust that he will keep his word to give all that is necessary in return. The good news that Elijah brought to this Gentile woman included a demand to offer all that she had to God and to trust that God would be true to his promise to provide all that she needed. And then we are told, “And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Seventh Commandment (6) Flee Sexual Immorality

Again it is important to remember that self-control does not come easily. It is not that the gift of self-control makes it possible for us to exercise self-control with ease. It can be a long battle. For some people it is harder than others. People struggle for self-control in different areas. And yet here again, there is hope for progress because of the good news that Jesus died and rose again so that we might be enabled to live self-controlled lives.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra