Dear members of Grace CRC,
It is good for a church to be reading the Bible together. We join in engaging God’s Word and we can speak about how it is at work in our lives. Every year I like to provide several Scripture Reading Guides so that we can grow together in faith.
We begin this year with the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. Then in January 2019 we will read through the Gospel of Mark together Then in April (after Easter – Apr 19) we will read the Letter of Ephesians. In this way we engage God’s Holy Word through an Old Testament book, a Gospel and a New Testament letter. Each speaks powerfully to us of his love and saving grace.
We begin with Deuteronomy because it is the call of God through Moses (the author) to be renewed in our faith. It is a “Covenant Renewal” document structured similarly to those used in the nations of that day. It inspired the people then and it inspires us today to renew our commitment to our God and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we read through Deuteronomy it is good to know the historical context:
Moses and the people of Israel are on the East side of the Jordan River where it flows into the Dead Sea and they are about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. At this point Moses transfers leadership to Joshua. Then Moses’ gives his farewell address to the people – his last words. This is Moses’ heart-felt passionate plea that the people would be faithful to their great God and so experience the fulfilment of his blessed promises and care. He reminds the people of the covenant God made with them Mount Sinai. He repeats the Law. He stresses that God has pledged to be their faithful God and that in thankful response they need to dedicate themselves to be his obedient people. Moses makes it clear that there will be blessings for those who walk thankfully with their God and curses for those who foolishly deny God and seek their own way in life.
Here is a quote from the NIV Study Bible “Introduction to Deuteronomy”: “The love relationship between the Lord and his people and the people and their Lord pervade the whole book.” The Book of Deuteronomy calls us to total commitment to the Lord in worship and in life. May you be richly blessed as you read and reflect on God’s wonderful Word.