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Daily devotional

March 28 – Baptism as a sign of the goal of God’s creation

“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism.” – Colossians 2:11-12a    Scripture reading: Exodus 28:6-21 In the Old Testament, the high priest was the substitute and representative of Israel, symbolized by the stones on his shoulder and the stones in the breast piece of judgment. Wherever he went, Israel went with him and whatever he did, Israel did with him. The Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament high priest. In whatever He did, He functioned as the substitute and representative of New Testament Israel, the church, His body. Thus, when He died, the members of His body died with Him. Baptism is a sign and seal of our having died and been buried with Christ. Because circumcision in the Old Testament, made with hands, was an identity marker that members of the church had been cut off from the life of the flesh in the world and the flesh in their hearts – the old order of life – and had been placed in the church – the new order of life – Paul calls our having been buried with Christ in baptism the circumcision of Christ, one made without hands. It is a sign and seal that in Christ we have died to the life of the flesh in the world and the flesh that lives in our hearts. Thus, as circumcision was a reminder of what being a member of God’s covenant community entailed, so baptism reminds us of the same. If we are to be a blessing for the world, we need to daily die to the ways of the flesh of the world and the flesh of our hearts. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to show you where you need to die to the flesh so that you can be a blessing to those around you. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 27 – Circumcision as a sign of the goal of God’s creation

“You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” – Genesis 17:11 Scripture reading: Genesis 17:9-14 I have a NEXUS card, which serves as one of my identity markers. It identifies me as a low-risk traveler who can cross the Canadian-American border quickly. It also gives me privileges at certain airports. Circumcision, as a sign of God’s covenant community, is also an identity marker. It identifies males as members of this community and reminds them (and the females) of what being a member of this covenant community entails. As the flesh of the male’s foreskin was cut off, so members of God’s covenant community are cut off from the ways of the flesh of the world. Being circumcised symbolizes that they have been separated from the ways of the world and consecrated to the ways of God. They are to walk before God, in His loving, holy presence in the Holy Spirit, and be blameless, wholeheartedly devoted to God. In addition, circumcision symbolizes that members of God’s covenant community are cut off from the ways of the flesh in their hearts. Outward circumcision is not enough, their hearts need to be circumcised as well (cf. Rom. 2:25-29). Only in this way can God use His covenant community, His church, to be a blessing for the world and to live for the other by being people and places where heaven and earth meet. The hearts of the members of the church need to be circumcised and the ways of the flesh need to be cut out of their hearts. Otherwise, they will be cut off from God’s covenant community. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to daily remind you what it entails to be a member of His covenant community with regard to the ways of the flesh that still live in our hearts. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 26 – God’s second covenant with Abraham and the goal of creation (2)

“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” – Genesis 17:7 Scripture Genesis 17:1-8 When God made His two covenants with Noah, He continually spoke about making "My covenant." In doing so, God was drawing attention to the fact that He would take care that His commitment to Noah, his family, and creation and His commitment to His mission for His glory would be fulfilled. Nothing would shake this commitment. With this second covenant with Abram, God does the same. He continually speaks about “My covenant,” essentially drawing attention to the fact that because He is God Almighty, He will take care of fulfilling the promises He made to Abram so that he and his descendants can be a blessing for the world. Because God’s covenant with Abram is “His covenant” with him, God repeats His promises to Abram in a more lavish and generous manner than before. Abram would become exceedingly fruitful and be the father of a multitude of nations. Consequently, God changes Abram’s name to bring it in line with this fruitful destiny. No longer would he be called Abram, but Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” Moreover, kings would come forth from this multitude of nations of which Abraham would be the father. Furthermore, God’s covenant with Abraham would be an everlasting covenant. The heart of this everlasting covenant is that God would be God to them. In other words, there will always be descendants of Abraham who will live in God’s loving presence in the Spirit and be a blessing for the world by being people and places where heaven and earth meet. Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father that He will fulfill His purpose for you and His church in a new heaven and a new earth. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 25 – God’s second covenant with Abraham and the goal of creation (1)

“I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly…” – Genesis 17:1b-2 Scripture reading: Genesis 17:1-8 After making a covenant with Abram in Genesis 15, God makes a new covenant with him in Genesis 17. Yesterday, we read why this was necessary. By being people and places where heaven and earth would meet, Abram and Sarai had to realize the fulfillment of God’s promise of a great nation through which God wanted to deal with the chaos and disorder caused by Adam. They tried to do this through the flesh of the world and the flesh in their own hearts, leading to uncertainty whether God can still use Abram and Sarai for this purpose. Thus, it should not surprise us that when God addresses Abram, He does so as "God Almighty." He says to Abram that He can deal with the problem of their childlessness, making the barren fertile so that he can be a blessing for the world. Moreover, it should not surprise us that God commands Abram to walk before Him. You need to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. You need to live in My holy presence and reflect My holy glory. You need to be blameless. You need to be wholehearted in your service of Me. You need to surrender everything to Me and be completely devoted to Me. Only in this way can I use you in My mission for My glory and make all things new in a world where My people and My world will once again dwell in My loving presence and be people and places where heaven and earth meet. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to show you what changes you may need to make in your life so that you are living in His holy presence and reflecting His holy glory. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 24 – The flesh of the world and the flesh of our own hearts

“And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived.” – Genesis 16:4a Scripture reading: Genesis 16:1-16 Last week Wednesday, I wrote that if we want to succeed in being a blessing for the world by being people and places where heaven and earth meet, we need to entrust ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, opening ourselves to His entrance into our souls with His Holy Spirit so that He becomes flesh and blood in our lives. For Abram and Sarai to succeed in being a second Adam and Eve who would bless the world and deal with the problem caused by Adam’s sin by being people where heaven and earth meet, they too would have to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. However, our Scripture reading shows us that both of them intentionally choose to live in the flesh when it concerns the fulfillment of God’s promise to make them into a great nation. Instead of waiting on God to fulfill His promise in His time, they take matters into their own hands and try to fulfill God’s promise their way, by having Abram go into Hagar and father a child with her according to the cultural custom of those days. But this is not how we succeed in being a blessing for the world. If we want to bless the world by being people and places where heaven and earth meet, we need to live in the Spirit and not the flesh of the world or the flesh of our own hearts. All the misery that the birth of Ishmael brought about is clearly proof of this truth. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to show you where the flesh of the world or the flesh of your own heart is hindering you in succeeding to become a blessing for the world by being a person where heaven and earth meet. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 23 – The blood of the Covenant

“For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” – Matthew 26:28 Scripture reading: Matthew 26:26-29 On Saturday, we saw that God makes a covenant with Abram according to the custom of those days where covenant partners cut animals in half and then walked between these animals, thus guaranteeing their commitment to the covenant they just made or cut. When the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper, He picked up on the image of the blood of the animals that were used to cut a covenant (cf. also Exodus 24:8). He told his disciples that when they drink from the cup during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him, this cup with wine symbolizes His blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. This shows us that when God swore an oath that if He did not fulfill His promise of giving Abram and his descendants the land of Canaan which foreshadowed the new heaven and new earth, He would cut Himself in half, He meant what He said. For while God did not need to cut Himself in half in order to fulfill his promise of the possession of the land of Canaan, because of our sin, He did need to cut Himself in half in order to fulfill the promise of what this land foreshadowed: the fullness of the eternal kingdom of God. In the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God cut Himself in half in order to remove the obstacle of sin that hindered us from inheriting the new heaven and new earth. Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father for the blood of the covenant that removed the obstacle of your sin so you can receive your reward of faith and enter the coming kingdom of heaven. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 22 – The land of Canaan and the New Heaven and the New Earth

“For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” – Hebrews 11:10 Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:8-16 God is on a mission for His glory to make all things new in a world where His people and His world will once again dwell in His loving presence and be people and places where heaven and earth meet. This means that the Christian life is a journey to this glorious life-giving, light-giving, and loving presence of God, also known as the fullness of God’s eternal Sabbath rest. From our Scripture reading, it would seem that Abraham understood this. We are told that he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Moreover, it tells us that he acknowledged that he was a stranger and exile on earth who desired a far better country than the one he had just left, namely, a heavenly country, a city prepared for him by God. This means that the land of Canaan, in addition to being a real land, also functions as a type or foreshadowing of the new heaven and the new earth. And just as God dealt with the problem of uncertainty in Abraham’s life with regard to the possession of the land of Canaan by making a covenant with him that guaranteed His commitment to this promise, so God also deals with any uncertainty we may have that His commitment to His mission for His glory, resulting in a new heaven and a new earth, will be fulfilled with this same covenant. May He be cut in half if He does not fulfill this promise for us. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to enable you to hang on loosely to this world and the things of this world as you travel the journey to the new heaven and new earth as a stranger and sojourner on this earth. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 21 – God’s first covenant with Abram and the goal of creation

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram...” – Genesis 15:18 Scripture reading: Genesis 15:7-21 I trust you have not forgotten what I wrote about biblical covenants between God and His people. Covenants regulate an existing relationship, often dealing with a problem in this relationship that causes uncertainty. Against this background of the function of covenants in God’s relationship with His people, it should not surprise us that we once again read about a covenant, for there is a problem in Abram’s relationship with his God that causes uncertainty. God has just promised to give Abram and his descendants the gift of the land of Canaan, but Abram is not sure whether this will indeed happen, for he says to God, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Abram wants God to guarantee His commitment of giving him and his descendants the land of Canaan, possibly still in the light of the fact that he does not have a biological heir and that his wife is barren, even though he had believed that God would give him descendants as countless as the stars in the heavens. So, God makes a covenant with Abram according to the custom of those days where covenant partners cut animals in half and then walk between these animals, thus guaranteeing their commitment to the covenant they just made or cut. Except, in this covenant, only God walks between the bloody carcasses of the animals. In doing so, He is swearing an oath: “May I be cut in half if I do not fulfill my promise of giving you the land of Canaan”. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to open your eyes to the deep significance of His covenant commitment to you (and your children). Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 20 – Faith and its reward

“And he said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.’” – Genesis 15:7 Scripture reading: Genesis 15:7-21 Yesterday, we saw that Abram believed God and God counted this posture of faith to him as righteousness. If we want to do justice to our relationship with God, we need to consider His promises to be trustworthy and entrust ourselves to this promising God. That is the way to live in a right relationship with God. Today, we see that God rewards this posture of faith with the gift of land. In Genesis 15:1, God had said to Abram that his reward would be very great. Today, we read that this reward is the gift of the land of Canaan. The land was a sort of second Garden of Eden where the nations would be drawn into the glorious presence of God and begin to reflect this life-giving, light-giving, and loving presence to one another as well by being people and places where heaven and earth meet. God had promised the land when Abram first arrived in Canaan. He had repeated the promise when Abram and Lot had separated. Now God makes the promise again as a reward for his posture of faith. New this time is that the geographical markers of the land are included as well as the fact that Abram’s descendants would first be sojourners in the land of Egypt before they would possess the land because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. This latter fact shows us God’s patience towards sinners. Not all sin warrants immediate destruction; only the full measure of sin. Suggestions for prayer Since faith in God’s promises and entrusting ourselves to this promising God is the means God uses to receive us into His eternal kingdom, ask your heavenly Father daily to strengthen your faith. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 19 – Doubting the fulfillment of God’s mission for His glory

“And Abram said, ‘Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.’” – Genesis 15:6 Scripture reading: Genesis 15:1-6 Do you ever doubt that God will succeed in His mission for His glory, making all things new in a world where His people and His world will again dwell in His loving presence and be people and places where heaven and earth meet? Living in God’s life-giving, light-giving, and loving presence and reflecting this glorious presence to all those around you, it's all yours as a reward, when you consider the promises of God to be trustworthy and entrust yourself to the God of this promise. Abram also has his doubts about a promise of God: that he would become a great nation. How can he become a great nation if he does not even have one child and his wife is barren? Abram is asked to believe this promise, but this promise, humanly speaking, cannot be fulfilled. So God comes to Abram’s help, appearing to him in a vision, telling him not to be afraid, for He is his shield. Moreover, his reward shall be very great. His promise that he will become a great nation is trustworthy. God then takes Abram outside, tells him to look at the sky and try to count the stars. God assures Abram that his descendants would be as countless as the stars of heaven. Abram believed God and God counted this to him as righteousness, i.e. believing God’s promises and entrusting yourself to the God of these promises is an attitude that does justice to your relationship with God. Suggestions for prayer If you have any doubts about the fulfillment of God’s mission for His glory, ask your heavenly Father to remove them. If you have no doubts, ask Him to continue to spare you these doubts. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 18 – Succeeding in being a blessing for the world

“So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” – Galatians 3:9 Scripture reading: Galatians 3:1-14   Israel failed to be a blessing for the world and to live for the other by being a people and a place where heaven and earth meet, but God sent His own Son into the world to do what Israel failed to do. The Lord Jesus Christ perfectly reflected the glorious presence of His heavenly Father by being a person where heaven and earth beautifully met. He perfectly lived for the other with the sacrifices of His life and His death. In Him, all the families of the earth are blessed when they identify with Him and are joined to Him through faith. When they do, they receive the promised Holy Spirit, Who enables them to live for the other by becoming people where heaven and earth meet, because the Holy Spirit reproduces the life of the Lord Jesus Christ in them like a vine reproduces its life in the branches so that God’s mission for His glory is worked out in and through them. What the Lord Jesus Christ did with the sacrifices of His life and His death, He did for you as your substitute and representative. What He has done for you, He now wants to do in you as you entrust yourself to Him, opening yourself to Him entering into your soul with His Holy Spirit so that He becomes flesh and blood in your life. And you can say with the apostle Paul that it is no longer you who live, but Christ Jesus who lives in you (Galatians 2:20). Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to enable you to live in the Spirit, through faith, so that it is no longer you who live, but Christ Jesus who lives in you. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 17 – Failure to be a blessing for the world

“They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them.” – 2 Kings 17:15b Scripture reading: 2 Kings 17:6-23 God encouraged Abram to make a complete break with his past, go to the land of Canaan and be a blessing by living for the other, the nations, by promising him that He would make him into a great nation and that the nations around him would identify with him and his God. In fact, in him, all the families of the earth would be blessed. Were these two promises fulfilled in the Old Testament? Well, the promise of becoming a great nation was fulfilled, even though Sarai was barren and Abraham himself was already 75 years old, and it took another 25 years before Isaac was born. However, Jacob had twelve sons and traveled to Egypt with a family of 70. In due time Israel entered Canaan with a few million people under the leadership of Joshua and reached its high point as a great nation during the time of David and Solomon. But what about the promise of an international community? Did the nations bless Israel? Were they on good terms with Israel and did they identify with this nation and their God? Was this promise fulfilled in the Old Testament? No, it was not, because Israel wanted to be just like the nations. They were idolatrous, worshipping and serving the things of this world instead of worshipping and serving God and their neighbor and living for the other by being people and places where heaven and earth meet, reflecting the glorious presence of their God and drawing others into this glorious presence. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to show you whether there is any idolatry in your life that hinders you in living for the other. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 16 – Blessed to be a blessing

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3  Scripture reading: Genesis 12:1-9 God makes a new beginning and calls Abram and Sarai. He is going to use them as a new Adam and Eve and deal with the problem caused by their sin. He is going to use them to subdue the chaos and disorder caused by sin and to invite humanity and creation into His Sabbath rest by reflecting God’s glory through being people and places where heaven and earth meet. In order to do so, He calls Abram to make a complete break with his past, to leave behind everything that is dear to him and to go to the land that He would show him. However, the whole father’s house leaves the city of Ur and travels to the land of Canaan. They settle down in Haran. That’s why Genesis 12:1 can be translated, “God had said to Abram....” It would seem that God renewed the call that He had made in Ur. He encouraged Abram with the same promises He had made in Ur: the promise of a great nation and of an international community. But the latter promise would depend on a nation’s attitude to Abram. Those who would be on good terms with him and identify with him and his God, God would bless. However, those who would be hostile to him and treat him lightly, God would curse. But God’s overriding concern was that in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed. God blessed Abram to be a blessing by living for the other, the nations. Suggestions for prayer Ask God to show you how He has blessed you. Then ask Him to use these blessings for the sake of the other. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 15 – Called to be a blessing for the world

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.’" – Genesis 12:1 Scripture reading: Genesis 11:27-32 How are you a blessing to those outside the church as an individual and as a Christian congregation, living for the other by being a person and a place where heaven and earth meet? God had also called Noah and his family to be a blessing for the world by living for the other and by subduing the chaos and disorder in the world by increasingly entering into the fullness of God’s Sabbath rest and urging others to do the same. But the chaos and disorder were not subdued because the intention of the human heart was still evil. And so the chaos and disorder only got worse. However, because God had promised not to destroy humanity and creation with a flood, He confused their language and dispersed them over the face of the earth. So, what does God do? Does He give up? No, He does not! He cannot give up because He is on a mission for His glory to make all things new in a world where His people and His world will once again dwell in His loving presence and be people and places where heaven and earth meet. And He had demonstrated His commitment to advance this goal of His creation with a covenant with Noah and a second covenant with him and all of creation. And so, God makes a new beginning. He calls Abram to be a blessing for the world and to live for the other by becoming a people and place where heaven and earth meet. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to enable you to be a blessing for the world and to live for the other by being a person where heaven and earth meet. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 14 – The rainbow as a sign of the goal of God’s Creation

“I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” – Genesis 9:13 Scripture reading: Genesis 9:12-17  We have seen that in the Old Testament the Sabbath was a sign of the goal of God’s creation. For Israel, the Sabbath was the weekly reminder to enter into the fullness of God’s Sabbath rest by being people where heaven and earth meet. It is as well a promise that one day this fullness, where God will be all in all, would descend from heaven on a new earth. For New Testament believers, Sunday is a weekly reminder that they are a new creation in Christ, called to bear witness to this new creation by being people where heaven and earth meet. It is as well, a promise that they will bear witness to the fullness of this new creation when Christ returns. Today, we see that God gives another sign of the goal of His new creation: the rainbow. But signs only function in our life of faith to the extent that we remember them. We need to remember them and allow them to become constructive forces in our consciousness that shape the way we think and behave. However, the interesting thing in our Scripture reading is that God says that when the rainbow is seen in the clouds, He will remember His covenant with Noah and creation. This means that He will act upon His covenant commitment and bring the goal of His creation to fruition in a glorious new heaven and earth where a new humanity and creation will live in His loving presence and participate in His life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to help you cultivate the spiritual discipline of remembering the signs of the goal of His creation. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 13 – God’s covenant with Noah and Creation

“Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you....” – Genesis 9:9-10a Scripture reading: Genesis 8:20-22; 9:9-11 Covenants between God and His people regulate the relationship He has with them and are often meant to deal with a problem that causes uncertainty in the relationship. We read how God did that with Noah before He came with the waters of the flood. After the flood, God makes a new covenant with Noah and his family as well as with all of creation. This shows us another aspect of biblical covenants between God and His people. A new covenant often updates an earlier covenant to the new situation that it is dealing with. You can see this, for instance, with an engagement covenant and a marriage covenant. The marriage covenant simply regulates and updates the engagement covenant to the new situation of the marriage. The new situation of God’s second covenant with Noah, now also including creation, is the new situation of continuing to live in a world that has once been destroyed by a flood. The problem that causes uncertainty in this new situation is the fact that the human heart was not cleansed with the water of the flood. The intention of man's heart is still evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21). But whereas before the flood, humanity’s depravity was the ground for God’s judgment, now this depravity becomes the ground for God’s mercy. God promises to never destroy the earth with a flood again. In doing so, He guarantees His commitment to the goal of His creation. He seals this commitment and guarantees it by establishing His covenant with Noah and creation. Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father that His commitment to a glorious new heaven and new earth is firm and sure. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 12 – The recreation of Creation

“And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.” – Genesis 8:1b  Scripture reading: Genesis 8:1-9:7 After 150 days, God made a wind blow over the earth so that the waters began to recede. The Hebrew word for ‘wind’ is the same word that is used for ‘Spirit’. This reminds us of the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters in Genesis one. This is an indication that as God began with His work of creation in Genesis one, so now He will begin with His work of recreation in Genesis eight. This is confirmed when we compare God’s work of recreation with His work of creation described in Genesis one. After God made a wind blow over the earth so that the waters began to recede, He had the living creatures in the ark leave it and begin to repopulate the earth, reminding us of the way God populated the sky and the earth with living creatures during days five and six of creation. In Genesis eight, we read about God re-establishing the days and seasons, reminding us of day four of creation when He put the light-bearers in the sky to mark the seasons, days and years. In Genesis nine we read about Noah and his sons being blessed and commanded to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and have dominion over it. In Genesis one we read about this same command being given to Adam and Eve. In Genesis nine we read about God providing food for Noah and his family. In Genesis one He did the same for Adam and Eve. Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father for the work of His Spirit in the renewal of creation (Ps. 104:30). Thank Him especially for the spiritual renewal that His Spirit works in you. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 11 – The uncreation of Creation

“...on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” – Genesis 7:11 Scripture reading: Genesis 7:1-24 This past Sunday, we read about human wickedness being so great during the time of Noah that people thought and imagined evil continually. All this wickedness and evil was essentially a disintegration and uncreation of the form and order of God’s good creation. In Genesis one, God saw that everything was very good. Now, in Genesis six, He sees that everything is very wicked. Thus, this uncreation is a return to the disorder and formlessness of before the six days of creation. This is what sin always is. Because sin is an intentional refusal to live in the form and order that God has given to life, it inevitably results in the uncreation of this form and order. Just think how this is manifested in the sexual and gender ideologies of today as well as in your own life. Since all this wickedness is a return to the disorder and formlessness of before the six days of creation, when God comes in judgment He simply completes the uncreation of creation that the wickedness had resulted in. He tears the protective canopy, opening windows in it, and has rain come down for forty days and forty nights. He tears the dry land and has the fountains of the deep burst forth for forty days and forty nights. As a result, creation returns to the formless, watery mass from before the six days of creation. At least, this is all that is seen for 150 days. God completes the uncreation that all the sin and had caused. Suggestions for prayer Ask your heavenly Father to open your eyes to the uncreation of creation that sin causes in your own life and pray for healing. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 10 – God’s covenant with Noah (2)

“But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.” – Genesis 6:18  Scripture reading: Genesis 6:9-21  Covenants between God and His people regulate the relationship He has with them and often deal with a problem that causes uncertainty in the relationship. There are two problems that occasion God’s covenant with Noah. First, there is the problem whether Noah and his family and the animals in the ark will really survive the waters of the flood. In order to deal with this problem and the uncertainty that it causes, God makes a covenant with Noah. Just like a groom pledges his commitment to his bride in a marriage covenant, so God pledges His commitment to Noah in the covenant He makes with him. Noah, his family and the handpicked animals will survive the waters of the flood. Second, there is the problem of God’s goal for His creation. God is on a mission for His glory to make all things new in a world where His people and His world will once again dwell in His loving presence and be people and places where heaven and earth meet. Now that God has decided to destroy humanity and His creation with the waters of the flood, except for Noah, his family and the animals in the ark, will He still be able to achieve the goal of His creation? The answer is Yes! Because God’s covenant with Noah is His covenant with him, God will take care that His commitment to the goal of His creation will be fulfilled. This commitment will be confirmed and established! Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father that His commitment to a new heaven and new earth, where we will live in the fullness of His loving presence, is firm and sure. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 9 – God’s covenant with Noah (1)

“But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.” – Genesis 6:18 Scripture reading: Genesis 6:9-21  I’m sure those who are married have not forgotten their marriage vows. Perhaps, as a groom you made a vow like this: “I solemnly declare to take to myself and acknowledge as my wife _______. And I promise that I will, with the gracious help of God, love, honor and maintain her, live with her in the holy bonds of marriage according to God’s ordinance, and never forsake her, so long as we both shall live.” As the bride, you made a similar vow. Why are vows necessary? Why not solemnize a marriage without vows? Well, vows are necessary because of the fall into sin. Before the fall into sin, there was no need for formally bonded relationships, because there was no uncertainty in the relationship. After the fall into sin, all sorts of uncertainty crept into relationships. And so, because of the fall into sin, we make covenants with each other. We seal these covenants with an oath in the presence of God and each other. God Himself also makes covenants with humanity and His people. Why would it be necessary for God to make covenants with human beings? Well, this is necessary because of the fall into sin. Because of the fall into sin, there often is uncertainty in the relationship between God and us. And so, God finds it necessary to formally guarantee His commitment to us as well as His commitment to His purposes for us and His world. This is also the reason why He makes a covenant with Noah. Suggestions for prayer When you feel uncertainty in your relationship with your heavenly Father, ask Him to take this away by having you focus on His commitment to you, signed and sealed with your baptism, a promise that He will provide you with everything good and protect you from evil or turn it to your benefit. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

Daily devotional

March 8 – God’s decision to destroy humanity and Creation

“So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” – Genesis 6:7 Scripture reading: Genesis 6:1-8 Today is Sunday. A day on which we remember that the Lord Jesus Christ successfully dealt with the problem of sin, death and the devil with His death on the cross, and ushered in the new creation which had been the goal of God’s first creation: a creation where we cannot sin, cannot die, where there is no devil, and where we bask directly in the light of the glorious, loving presence of God. Sunday is also a day on which we are encouraged to bear witness to the new creation that we are in Christ, by resting from our evil ways and letting the Lord work in us through His Spirit. In doing so we begin the eternal Sabbath in this life. Our Scripture reading is also about evil works. Human wickedness was so great during the time of Noah that people thought and imagined evil continually from morning to night. This evil was so bad that God was sorry that He had made the human race and decided He would blot it out from the face of the earth, including the birds in the air and the animals on the ground; with the exception of Noah and his family, for Noah was a righteous man who walked with God and found favour in God’s eyes. In order to keep Noah and his family alive, as well as at least one pair of every sort of animal, God commands Noah to build an ark to house him and his family and the animals. Suggestions for prayer Thank your heavenly Father for this day of rest He gave you. Ask Him to enable you to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life so that you can learn to rest from your evil works and begin in this life the eternal Sabbath. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren....

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