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THE LORD’S FAMILY FELLOWSHIP

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FATHERS’ PRAYER, PRAISE, and LESSONS FOR HIS FAMILY

Genesis Eight: A Tremendous Testimony of God’s Faithfulness

SATURDAY, November 8
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: God’s Deliverance of His Children

1. Genesis 8:1-5: “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.”
 A. “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts.” During difficult trials or tribulation, have you ever wondered if God had forgotten you, yet when you looked back after they subsided, you could see how God had brought you safely through the storm firmly planting you upon His rock of salvation? Let us, then, be assured and ever mindful of God’s faithfulness to us, His children, and if we lapse into forgetfulness or deem ourselves unworthy of such care, we have but to remember how even in the time of God’s severest judgment, He provided a way of escape for His child, Noah, by preserving his life amidst death, even sealing him in unto this preservation. So too will God provide and deliver each of His children during the most fearful of tempests. Jesus even tells us in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” As God’s children we must trust Him, just as little children totally trust their parents.
  1. Psalm 32:6-10: “Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not reach him. Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me from trouble; Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.”
  2. Job 36:6,7: “He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted. He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous.”
  3. Psalm 33:18-22: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in Thee.”
  4. Psalm 34:15-19: “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
  5. Luke 12:6,7: “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
  6. Isaiah 49:15,16: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
  7. Psalm 86:13: “For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
  8. Psalm 30:3-5: “O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
  9. Psalm 118:1: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
 B. “… and God caused a wind to pass over the earth and the water subsided.”
  1. Proverbs 30:4: “Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!”
  2. Psalm 135:5-7: “For I know that the Lord is great … Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; who makes lightnings for the rain; who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.”
  3. Exodus 14:21: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided.”
 C. “… and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.” The waters flooded the earth for 5 months.
 D. After passing through the most violent storm the world has ever experienced, “the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.” For regardless of our surrounding circumstances, even if a ferocious storm rages around us, if we trust in the Lord for all things, He will give us a peace that surpasses all understanding. For wherever God leads us, if we trust in His perfect wisdom that He knows best, we will always enter into His rest. However, let the Israelites’ judgment serve as a warning to us of God’s judgment on those who in unbelief do not trust in His provision. The Israelites’ ungrateful hearts rejected God’s perfect will for them. Consequently, both fearing and complaining, their dreadful whines reached the Lord’s ears, provoking Him to anger towards them.
  1. Hebrews 3:7-12,18-19: “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart; and they did not know My ways”; as I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.”’ Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God…. And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.”
  2. James 1:5-8: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
  3. Isaiah 57:20,21: “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its water toss up refuse and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”
  4. Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
  5. Hebrews 4:9-11: “There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall through following the same example of disobedience.”
  6. Ephesians 4:11-16: “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
  7. Psalm 37:7-11: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”
  8. Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls.’”
 E. Mount Ararat is in modern Turkey where the area’s elevation is over 17,000 feet.

SUNDAY, November 9
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: The Flood Abates

1. Genesis 8:6-12: “Then it came about the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.”
 A. Since ravens are voracious scavengers, it stands to reason that Noah, curious to know of the condition of his surroundings, would send out the raven to see if it could survive outside the ark. When the raven failed to return, he then sent out the dove, who has a much more selective diet, to see then if it could survive outside the ark. The gentle dove brings back an olive leaf, which is used now as a symbol of peace. Indeed, a humble, gentle spirit brings peace and rest.
 B. Realizing that Noah was on the top of a high mountain, we may wonder why Noah and his family, after being cooped up for so long, would not have rushed out of the ark for some fresh air and sunshine. Certainly, he was eagerly anticipating their departure. However, as we will see, Noah waited upon the Lord to tell him when and where to go. Knowing that Noah was a very devout man of God, we know that he was in the habit of communing with Him, so undoubtedly prayed now for God’s direction.
  1. Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
  2. Psalm 130:5,6: “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.”
2. Genesis 8:13-19: “Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.”
 A. Again it is important to realize that Noah waited upon the Lord to tell him when to leave the ark. This is quite admirable when we consider that he had been in the ark for 375 days. This serves as a crucial lesson for our preservation, that in all our ways we should acknowledge our Lord, both in looking to scripture and obeying it as our rule of conduct in all things, and in prayer, beseeching God for His guidance. God has an appointed time for all things, and we would be wise to wait upon Him for each step we take. Notice also that God does not confer with us as to what we deem best and allow accordingly, but ignores our foolish desires, giving us, instead, the very best for our lives. God waited until it was completely dry so that Noah could plant his feet firmly upon a rock.
  1. Psalm 40:1-5: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord. How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with Thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count.”
  2. Psalm 62:1,2: “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
  3. Psalm 27:13,14: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
  4. Habakkuk 2:1-4: “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the Lord answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay. Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.’”
  5. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11,14: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace…. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end…. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.”
 B. May we embrace and walk in the truth of this next scripture. Psalm 25:4,5: “Make me know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day.”

MONDAY, November 10
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: Noah Worships and Sacrifices to God

1. Genesis 8:20-22: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.’”
 A. Now in response to God’s covenantal faithfulness to him and his family for the preservation of himself and his family, Noah, overflowing with gratefulness, offers burnt offerings to His Saviour. This act of worship was in response to God’s goodness and mercy, and indeed, confirmed God’s means of salvation which took the blood of a clean unblemished animal to atone for sin, thereby pointing, once again, to the coming redeemer—that unblemished lamb, Jesus Christ, slaughtered on behalf of our sins, thus bringing life to those who believe and obey. However, let us pay particular attention to the fact that even though there were but a few clean animals left to populate the earth, Noah takes from these for his sacrificial offering. This, coupled with the fact that Noah had indeed even prepared for this sacrifice by taking upon the ark seven clean animals, clearly shows us that Noah had habitually worshipped the Lord in this way, according to God’s design for worshipping, as had his ancestor Abel, and all succeeding patriarchs. So it was not according to what Noah felt would be best in this unusual circumstance, but according to what God required. Notice also, that instead of checking out his new surroundings or beginning to make a new home for himself, Noah worships God before attending to his own comfort. What a great example for us to follow, in that we give God preference in all we do, putting Him first in our lives, by worshipping Him before we attend to our personal needs.
  1. Matthew 6:25-33: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ … But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
  2. Exodus 29:18: “And you shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the Lord: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord.”
 B. God did not look so much upon Noah’s offering as acceptable but to Christ who would soon offer Himself up for us.
  1. Hebrews 9:11-28; 10:14-23: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once of all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, not to bear sin, to those who eagerly await Him, for salvation…. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and upon their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

TUESDAY, November 11
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: Our Acceptable Sacrifice Is Our Obedience

 A. So what does God desire from us now? Are we sacrificing in accordance with what He desires for us? Is our sacrifice pleasing to Him? Remember, that although we may think we are sacrificing to the Lord, unless it is in accordance with God’s desire, it will not be a soothing aroma to Him, but a stench in His nostrils.
  1. Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”
  2. 1 Samuel 15:22,23: “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.”
  3. Romans 12:1,2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
  4. Romans 6:12,13,16-19: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God…. Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”
   a. We should listen to the Holy Spirit in everything, ever vigilant in our spiritual watchfulness, yielding ourselves as servants to God that we might be sanctified—holy.
   b. Philippians 4:8,9: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”
  5. 1 Corinthians 6:19,20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
   a. Once we are His, His Holy Spirit dwells within us; therefore, we should daily crucify ourselves that God may sit upon the throne in our hearts.
  6. 1 Peter 2:5,9: “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
  7. Hebrews 13:15,16: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
  8. Romans 12:4-16: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in you own estimation.”
  9. Ephesians 5:1-5: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
  10. Colossians 3:12-17: “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
 B. When we are filled with His Spirit, we become not only acceptable in His sight, but a soothing aroma to Him, and a sweet aroma to other Christians, but most importantly, to those who are perishing. For we should be spreading the sweet knowledge of Him everywhere we go.
  1. 2 Corinthians 2:14,15: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
 C. When we give to those who give to us on behalf of the Lord, it is also an acceptable sacrifice to God.
  1. Philippians 4:14-18: “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”

WEDNESDAY, November 12
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: We Receive God’s Unmerited Favor

1. Genesis 8:20-22: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.’”
 A. Man has been wicked since the day of Adam and is just as wicked now as at the time of the flood, because without God’s Spirit the intent of man’s heart is to do evil continually. The flood is used to teach us that God does punish sins, and indeed God warns us that another terrible day of judgment is coming, but although this should terrify our souls, it cannot sanctify; only God’s Holy Spirit can do that. For although we all deserve judgment, God in His great mercy has provided a way of escape from His coming wrath, reconciling us unto Him.
  1. Isaiah 48:8: “… and you have been called a rebel from birth.”
  2. Psalm 58:3: “The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth.”
  3. Deuteronomy 9:4-6,24: “Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people…. You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day I knew you.”
  4. Psalm 103:8-18: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us; nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant, and who remember His precepts to do them.”
 B. Can you imagine how frightful it could have been for Noah and his family every time it rained? Again, in God’s mercy towards His children, He gives His covenant of grace that our faith may be strengthened and confirmed in that God’s order of seasons and time has now been set and will not change.
  1. Jeremiah 33:20-22: “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day, and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’”
 C. The entire lesson on Noah is a testament of God’s faithfulness to His people and clearly depicts the work of the Trinity on our behalf. Recounting what we have studied thus far, Creation depicted God as our Father, the ark the redemption through God the Son, and the sealing of Noah in the ark depicts God the Holy Spirit sealing us safely in Him. God the Loving Father first created us and provided for all our needs. God the Son redeemed and delivered us from our sins, the power of the evil one over us, and finally from death itself, while His Holy Spirit sanctifies, securing us in Him. And amazingly this is not due to our worthiness or our merit but solely due to His mercy and goodness towards us. And like Noah, our first response and continual response should be to worship Him, obey Him, and serve Him all the days of our life.

THURSDAY, November 13
Prayer
Praise: Just As I Am
Lesson: Come to Jesus, the Lamb of God!

 A. There are many who say that they cannot follow a God of such wrath who metes out such cruel justice by assigning souls to the damnation of the flames of hell! Yet quite frankly, most have at one time or another struggled with the issues of eternal damnation, seriously questioning how a loving God could possibly allow so many to suffer for an eternity. But in the light of God’s Word, truth dispels any misconceptions that the character of God is anything but holy, righteous, just, loving, good, kind, and merciful towards us. Just in recounting all the history we have learned thus far, we know that God created man in His own likeness and placed him in a home that had been carefully designed for every need and pleasure. Yet man chose to reject His Father’s goodness and rebel against the most perfect and loving of all Fathers. Therefore, man condemned his own soul by his own sin. And being a just God, what recourse could our Father take other than the one He has followed? Being holy, He could not ignore the hideousness of sin, nor allow rebellious immortal souls to abide in His holy presence. Just consider, as rebellious and unholy as we are, we do not want to live with continuous rebellion in our homes, and since God is totally holy, how much more atrocious would our rebellious presence be to Him and to those who are His? He certainly does not need man, for He is all-sufficient; so why would He not just destroy the whole lot of us? Yet God who was totally sufficient without us, totally sinless, bore our sins that we might be reconciled to Him. Just like Noah, God provided a way of preservation from the wrath of God, and He calls to sinners, “Come thou and enter into the ark.” Remember, Noah was considered righteous because of his faith, believing in God’s provision, not because he was righteous in and of himself. God says in Romans 1:17: “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’” And in Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
 B. Remember in Matthew 27:46 when Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Sin causes alienation from God, yet God, who was totally sinless, came in the flesh and experienced this horrible alienation when He took our sins upon Himself. And why, but that we would not have to face such hopeless desolation. So the righteous Judge Himself, whose Holy Being can do nothing other than condemn sinners to eternal banishment from His presence, feels for the ones whom He Himself must condemn, pardons us, and instead takes our judgment upon Himself so that we may be spared and reconciled to Him. We deserved merited punishment, yet we received unmerited grace. We demand justice when we are wronged, yet He gives us justification.
 C. Justice means “the virtue which consists in giving to everyone what is his due; practical conformity to the laws … in the dealings of men … merited punishment.” Justification means “remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment, or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ.”
 D. God therefore justifies us by His grace and mercy, making us righteous or right with Him that we may enter His holy presence. Is this measure in accordance with what we deserve? I should say not! For the penalty of sin is death, a death we ourselves deserve. And so we should not be astonished at those who crucified our Lord; let us remember that it is our very own sins that caused Jesus to be crucified, as He was nailed to the cross, so were our sins. Our sins are no less wicked than those of Noah’s day, and God’s wrath towards sin is no less severe; therefore, God came in the flesh and paid the penalty of our sins, bearing the judgment and suffering that was rightly ours, so as to make a way for our sinful flesh to be reconciled to Him. There is no one or no other god that would sacrifice so much for such unworthy creatures as we are. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Is it not incredible that the Most Majestic, Holy God would subject Himself to hunger, grief, sorrow, humiliation, rejection, betrayal, disgrace, scourging, pain, excruciating suffering, and finally the worst of all, alienation from His Father’s own presence that we might be freed from the power of sin and death, indeed alienation from Himself? “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  1. Isaiah 53:3-12: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”
  2. What manner of god do we perceive and worship? What kind of god would do this for unworthy, filthy sinners like ourselves? None other than a good, merciful, and loving God, that’s who. And what manner of people should we then be? 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:10-12: “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth … and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls…. For the one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
  3. God is calling in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
  4. Should not the following reply from “Just As I Am” be our reply to His call?
 
 Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me
 And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
 Just as I am, Thou will receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
 Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
 Just as I am, Thy love unknown, hath broken every barrier down;
 Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!