August 14-18


8 “And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:8 (ESV)
The Importance of God’s Promise
A friend tells of overhearing two little girls, playmates, who were counting over their pennies. One said, “I have five pennies.” The other said, “I have ten.” “No,” said the first little girl, “You have just five cents, the same as I.” “But” the second child quickly replied, “my father promised that when he came home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents.” The child’s faith gave her proof of that which she did not as yet see, and she counted it as being already hers because it had been already promised by her father. (Otterbein Teacher)
God’s promises in Genesis 17 break the silence of 13 years. Abram had previously been told that he would become a great nation (12:2); now he is told that in fact, he will become the “father of a multitude of nations” (17:4). He is also told that his offspring will be given the land of Canaan, also known as the Promised Land. Much like the girls in the story above, Abraham can count these promises as already his because of God’s faithfulness to keep His promises.

What most stood out to you from Pastor Jim’s sermon on Sunday? What is one promise that you are still waiting for from God?

Praise God for His faithfulness to keep the promises He has made in the Bible. Ask God to help you remain faithful in seasons of waiting for His promises to be fulfilled.


3 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.” Joshua 1:3-4 (ESV)
The Importance of God’s Promise Pt. 2
After an evening out, some parents returned home to their children, whom they had left with the babysitter. They were pleasantly surprised to find the kids fast asleep. When the sitter had been paid-just as she was walking out the door-she communicated this detail: “Oops-almost forgot to tell you. I promised Sammy that if he would stay in bed, you would get him a pony in the morning.” (Ed Vasicek)
The root for "promised" in Joshua 1:3 and the root for "seven" are the same in Hebrew, and since the number seven is the "perfect number," some have conjectured that "to swear" is to somehow "seven oneself," or to perfectly promise. (Vine's Expository Dictionary) God made a threefold promise to Abraham which included approximately 300,000 square miles of land, a seed, and a blessing. God placed His reputation on the line when He reaffirmed this promise to Joshua.

How do you feel about people when they break their promises? Read Joshua 1. How do the words of encouragement God gave Joshua encourage you?

Praise God for the times He has reassured you when you needed to hear from Him. Ask God to help you not live in fear when you are trusting Him with your decisions.


2 “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. Numbers 1:2 (ESV)
The Importance of God’s People
Someone has said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." In Numbers God counts His people because God’s people matter to Him.
The word "number" occurs 126 times in 107 verses in the Book of Numbers which gives us some clue as to why it is commonly designated the "Book of Numbers." In Numbers 1:2, God calls for a literal "headcount.” Henry Morris writes, “The long lists of names and numbers in this book have divine purposes. Among those that might be suggested are: (1) to illustrate God's concern for all individuals and each one's distinct role in God's economy (Ge 1:27); (2) to emphasize that God is a God of order and structure, not chaos and randomness (1 Cor 14:33); (3) to demonstrate His faithfulness to Abraham, fulfilling His promise to multiply Abraham's seed (Ge 12:2+).

When was the last time you took part in a census? Numbers sounds more like a math book than a spiritual journey. Yet, this is exactly what this great book is: one of the greatest spiritual journeys ever taken. Numbers represent people and people matter to God.

Thank God that every single one of us matters to Him as individuals and as the family of God. Knowing that God is a God of order and not of confusion, ask Him to give you simplicity and clarity as you follow His plan for your life.


1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord,” Numbers 6:1-2 (ESV)
The Importance of God’s Plan
In the opening pages of his autobiography, An American Life, Ronald Reagan writes, I was raised to believe that God had a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan.

My mother - a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos - told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn’t let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she added, something good will happen and you’ll find yourself thinking - "If I hadn’t had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn't have happened to me." (An American Life)
Numbers 6 explains what is known as the Nazarite vow. An understanding of this vow helps us understand more about Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist, who were under the vow from birth. God used all of them in unique ways to accomplish His will. Numbers 6 reminds us that God has had a redemptive plan since the beginning of time and there are no accidents in History.

When have you last seen God use a setback in your life as part of His perfect plan?

Praise God for His omniscience(knowing everything). Ask God to help you remember that even setbacks can be part of His plan for using you to bring glory to Himself.


1 On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, 2 the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers' houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached 3 and brought their offerings before the Lord Numbers 7:1-3 (ESV)
The Importance of God’s Plan Pt. 2 Giving
A notorious miser was called on by the chairman of the community charity. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.” “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died? fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?” “No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.” “Well, said the tightwad, I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?” (Landon Parvin in Leaders, Readers Digest)
God planned for worship to be central on the journey to the Promised Land. Ministers of the worship service, with their material support, were required. The support must come from each of the tribes as part of God’s plan for ministry. In Numbers 7:1, the twelve tribal leaders began to bring their gifts on the day Moses consecrates the tabernacle, a procedure that lasted twelve days (Nu 7:78). On the thirteenth day, the Levites were consecrated (Nu. 8), and on the fourteenth day, the Jews celebrated Passover (Nu 9:1–14).
How do you feel your giving impacts God’s Kingdom? Why is important that you see giving as an act of worship to God and not simply giving money to the church?
Praise God for the ministry He has accomplished through our Second family over the years and thank Him for those who have faithfully given. Ask God to show you if He wants you to change how you give or how much you give.