When Pastor Bill and I plan out sermon series, we try to pick sections of Scripture that might connect with what you might be experiencing. As we continue to walk through this pandemic, we thought about places in the Bible that might speak to our current feelings. After quite a bit of discussion, we settled on the stories of Israel in the wilderness.
Are you familiar with Israel’s time in the wilderness? Around 1400BC, the Israelites had been under Egyptian slavery for about 400 years. In their agony, they called out to God for deliverance. The Lord appointed Moses to lead them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. But before they went into the Promised Land of Canaan, they took a major detour through the wilderness.
For the next 40 years, they lived a life of major limitations and restrictions. They didn’t always know if they would have enough food or water. So, they had to learn to trust that God would provide. They didn’t always know where they were headed. So, they had to learn to trust God’s direction as they wandered in the wilderness.
Can you see all the connections to our current situation? We are living in a time of major limitations and restrictions. We don’t know what is going to happen to our economy. So, we just have to trust in God’s provision. We don’t know what direction we should go next, as we feel like we are aimlessly wandering. So, we have to trust in God’s guidance. This pandemic is our wilderness experience.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t always responded to this situation with faith in an almighty, all-knowing, loving God. Instead, like the Israelites, I have doubted God and gotten frustrated and complained. But that’s why I’m looking forward to this series. I want to know how God would have us respond to our moment in the wilderness. I want to know what it looks like to trust the Lord and walk in his ways.
As our own wilderness experience continues, let me paraphrase something that Moses said to Israelites that can maybe help us make sense of what we are enduring:
The Lord led us through this wilderness to humble and test us to know what was in our hearts. He humbled us causing us to hunger and then fed us in remarkable ways, to teach us that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).
I invite you to join and participate online for worship this Saturday at 5:00pm or Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30am.
Sharing Christ’s victory,
CURRENT SERIES – GOD IS HERE
ICYMI – Last weekend, Pastor Kevin Hundley wrapped up the series with a message about how people view Christians’ opinions on sex. The goal of God’s design is faithfulness and commitment between husband and wife and a healthy home for children. In other words, God’s goal is love. Click here to read or watch this message.
Coming Up This Weekend – This weekend, Pastor Ben will kick off our new series, God is Here. Even in times of uncertainty, we can be certain that God will provide for our every need. Join us on Saturday at 5:00pm or Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30am. You can join in for all of these services online.
Biblical Storyline Lecture – This Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30pm, we continue our Biblical Storyline Lecture series with a talk led by Pastor Ben called “Living as a Christian in Today’s Culture”. This opportunity will be online only. You can join in at victoryofthelamb.churchonline.org (the same place you join in for online weekend worship).
Online Bible Studies – Pastor Bill and Pastor Ben are offering online Bible studies to help you grow in your faith during this challenging time. Pastor Bill is leading a study called “Joining Jesus on Mission” on Tuesday evenings, and Pastor Ben has a study to dive deeper into sermon topics on Wednesday mornings. To learn more about these studies and get involved, go to votl.life/online-bible-studies.
Victory Shirts Available – We’ve got an opportunity for you to share Christ’s victory with others through what you wear. We’re working with IdealLogos (a local screen printing business) and Joe Till (a designer in our congregation) to offer you new shirt designs for purchase! You can click here to view and purchase through Sunday, June 7.
Small Group Communion – We are happy to offer the Lord’s Supper in a small-group format (approximately 25 people) starting this weekend. For your safety, we will utilize individual Communion packets for these opportunities. Pastors will share a short devotion, give the Words of Institution, and encourage you to take the Lord’s Supper at your seats. You can click here to sign you to come take Communion. (Note: if these times do not work for you or if they fill up, we’ll provide additional times soon!)
Reopening Plans – Last Tuesday, Pastor Bill gave us an update about Victory’s plan to reopen worship at partial capacity. You can view and read this update by clicking here. The most important piece we need to put in place are our volunteers! You can find your fit on a serving team at votl.life/serve. As soon as we have volunteers trained and safety materials arrive, we can set a date for a partial reopen of our worship services. Thanks for getting involved and for your patience as we make plans to keep you safe while helping you grow in your faith.
This Week’s Bible Reading – This week in the Biblical Storyline Plan, we read Isaiah 54-66 and Jeremiah 1-13. Supporting videos for this week included Gospel of the Kingdom and Overview of Jeremiah. Learn more about this reading plan and get involved at votl.life/bible.