Day of Prayer and Fasting

Day of Prayer and Fasting – Idaho Falls Rescue Mission

Tuesday, February 21, 2017.  All are invited.  The tables in the SonShine Room of the City of Refuge will be open to gather around for prayer during the noon hour.

Here is a suggested list of prayer requests.

The community to whom we minister to daily

  1. Those needing forgiveness, healing, and hope for past life trauma
  2. Those needing deliverance and victory over dominating sin addictions
  3. Those needing health treatment and physical strength
  4. Those needing reconciliation among broken family relationships
  5. Those needing new, loving, accountable relationships (spiritual mentors and church families) based upon God’s truth and joy
  6. Those needing determination and strong work ethic to pursue jobs
  7. Those needing guidance, wisdom and grace for personal, family, and legal issues
  8. We need Jesus in our midst, bringing good news to the poor, freedom for the captives, and healing for the broken-hearted.
  9. Pray that residents will be delivered from evil, led away from spheres of temptation, and brought into Christ’s marvelous light
  10. We need the community to be discipled and then in turn to become disciple makers for Jesus to the glory of God the Father in our city.

Christian case managers ministering seven days a week

  1. That they would experience the daily provision, favor, and love of the Father
  2. That they would grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ
  3. That they would be daily nourished in the Lord’s word, wisdom, and strength
  4. That they would be bearing much spiritual fruit as they abide in Christ and worship among God’s people, not forsaking the assembly
  5. That they would taste in greater abundance divine answers to prayer
  6. That they would be front-line, in-the-trenches evangelists for Jesus Christ in all facilities and events connected with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission
  7. That God would be their shield and protection
  8. That God would be an ever-present refuge for their troubles
  9. That they would not be weary in well-doing, receiving ongoing encouragement from the Comforter
  10. That case managers would be filled with godly discernment in handling lies and deceit and loving patience in enduring immaturity and childishness
  11. That case managers would be connected in vivid supernatural ways to the resources of God’s people all over the city

Night workers

  1. Pray for their protection, rest, wisdom, and discernment.
  2. Pray that God will grant them favor and power in the unexpected.
  3. Pray that God’s shalom will flood the facilities at night.

Supervisors

  1. Pray that they will be given heavenly strength and wisdom in wisely managing their staff, the residents, and resources at each one of the facilities.
  2. Pray for guidance in handling staff and resident issues
  3. Pray for God’s provision for gaps in staff coverage, repairs to old structures, and miracles in the midst of hopelessness
  4. Pray for God’s will and God’s glory to be manifested.
  5. Pray for effective use of donations, funding, and maintaining of buildings.
  6. Pray for the continual filling of the Spirit
  7. Pray that all the facilities may be havens of both God’s truth and love.

Administration, executive, and board of directors

  1. Pray for health
  2. Pray for success in the thrift programs
  3. Pray for Spirit-filled vision, effective communication that promotes purpose and unity
  4. Pray for increasing partnerships with businesses and local churches on the behalf of reaching the poor
  5. Pray for ever-widening circles of volunteers.  Pray that all of our volunteers will have their cups running over with blessing for what they do!
  6. Pray for the development of work enterprises, multiplication of discipleship groups, and a future, vibrant, Christ-centered recovery program
  7. Pray that Jesus Christ will be in everything and the Father will be glorified in everything that is done.

 Pray for the city and downtown revival

  1. Pray for pastors as they declare biblical truth and Jesus love in pulpits all over town.
  2. Pray for full-scale purpose, commitment, and training in a strategic plan of city-wide making disciples of Jesus Christ.
  3. Pray that every church family will be a loving, gospel haven of rescue, recovery, and restoration and an equipping ground for the great commission.
  4. Pray for spiritual awakening and revival in the city of Idaho Falls.
  5. Pray for the police, probation and parole officers, and Bonneville County jail guards.
  6. Pray for the network of social service and counseling agencies.
  7. Pray for business partnerships and the economic prosperity of the city.
  8. Pray for the doctors, nurses, and all the caregiving and mercy ministries in town.
  9. Pray for all our teachers.
  10. Pray for our civic leaders.
  11. Pray for our journalists and reporters.
  12. Pray that Jesus will reign as King in the city.  Pray that we will all grow our roots deep by the life-giving river.
  13. Pray that we will turn over the keys of our city to the King.
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Choose Life

This morning with Emmaus Road Church along the river in Idaho Falls . . .

Today, Pastor Beau taught from the text, Deuteronomy 30:11-20.

His talking points:

  1. God is Near, Through His Word
  2. Life and Good
  3. Death and “Evil”
  4. Choose Life

Pastor Beau made a case for the fact that one of the greatest benefits for the people of God is the nearness of God.  One of the saddest aspects about our modern society is that people don’t know who is God, where is God, and how to appease God. Beau read to us a sad prayer uttered back in the 7th century B.C. about a worshiper who had no clue.  In contemporary thought, Beau illustrated the same heartache by a Wikipedia description of the movie, Eat, Pray, Love.  Many have no idea how to come near God.  But the reality is that word of God’s gospel is so near to us, starting with what Moses says here in Deuteronomy.  Beau recommended readings from Daniel Block’s book, The Gospel According to Moses.

To follow God, it is not a prosperity gospel, but nonetheless there is great blessing – great hope, peace, and joy.  To not obey God is to invite death and “evil”.  Beau made it clear that God is not the author of moral evil.  If He brings evil, it is in the sense of destruction or calamity.

Moses is at the conclusion of his ministry.  The next generation is constantly on his mind.  He beseeches the people to choose life by holding fast to God.  Notice that is covenantal, marriage language.  God is faithful and trustworthy.  He keeps His promises.  So how are we doing daily?  Let us make regular, daily, habitual choices in our time, entertainment, friendships, etc. that follow God.

Beau told us that he cannot give to us any better words than the biblical exhortation of Moses:  “Choose Life!”

___

I am thinking . . . there is the urgent expectation of decision, which results in fundamentally altering the course direction of our lives.  The children of Israel have a choice, either to follow the gods of their own making and their surroundings or to follow YHWH.

Some might think this to be a difficult proposition.  But Moses persuades us that this decision to love and obey the LORD is fully within the range of human possibility and actuality.  We can do this, truly through the full provision of gospel grace.  And not only can we do this, we must do this, because all future prosperity or peril hinges on our obedience to the commandments of God.

YHWH is our very life and length of days.

My questions related to today’s text in Deuteronomy 30:11-20:

Observation

  1. What are the two things that Moses notes about God’s commandment in verse 11?
  2. How close is God’s word to you?
  3. What does Moses set before the people in verse 15?
  4. In verse 16, obedience to God is revealed in what three ways?
  5. What are two other synonyms for God’s commandments (v. 16)?
  6. If Israel does not heed Moses, what will happen?
  7. This passage is not about choosing between the “better” and the “best”but about what?

Interpretation

  1. How is anyone really able to please and obey the LORD?  What enables a person to obey?
  2. Is God’s word easily understood by everyone?
  3. What are the points of access to God?
  4. What is the difference between God’s transcendence and His immanence?
  5. Do you need an earthly mediator to be the conduit of God’s word to you?
  6. How does the apostle Paul quote and interpret Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:8?
  7. How does your personal obedience affect your family lineage?
  8. What is the ultimate source of life?  death?

Application

  1. Have you ever said that what God asks of you is too hard for you?
  2. Is there any commandment from God that is impossible to obey?
  3. Do you think that God’s will is unclear?  Are you having a hard time figuring out what God wants you to do with your future?
  4. Does God speak in secret? (Isaiah 45:19)
  5. Do you feel that God is inaccessible to you?  Do you feel that others in town might have a secretive and better passage to God than you?
  6. Why do you feel that God is shutting you out?
  7. What are major spiritual decisions facing you today?
  8. Do you consider God’s rules as just decrees for you and your community?
  9. If you have made bad choices in your life, do you think it is too late for you to have a good life?
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Would you pray about this?

Greetings in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Grace and peace to you. 

Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Elon Todd Wood.  Most people call me by my middle name.  I was born in a hospital along the banks of the Snake River in Idaho Falls back in 1969.  I became a child of God at a very young age because I had the privilege to grow up in a Christian home.  Early on, my parents taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ and surrounded me with teachers who loved the Lord.

Upon graduation from high school, I had a keen sense of calling from the Lord that He desired for me to submerse myself in cross-cultural missions.  I went to college to receive theological training, completing a B.A. in Christian Missions, an M.A. in Theology, and finally a Master of Divinity.  Shortly after, I completed a pastoral internship with great cowboys at Grace Baptist Church in Elko, Nevada, and then I immediately came back here to my home area in 1997 to pioneer a new church plant, Berean Baptist Church, in Ammon, Idaho.   I went from a church planting missionary status supported by churches and individuals all over the country to where the church plant became fully self-supporting. I pastored at Berean Baptist Church for almost 20 years, dropping my financial salary in September of 2015, continuing to preach the Word on Sundays until I eventually presided over a beautiful church service in the call of a new pastor in July of 2016. 

I am writing to you concerning a new calling that the Lord has placed upon my life.  Back in September of 2015, Dr. John Oakley, executive director of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, extended the invitation for me to be a case manager within the downtown organization.  Working in a gospel rescue mission has opened my eyes to a whole community of people who struggle with addictions, mental issues, legal difficulties, family fractures, brokenness, and homelessness.  Because of their unique issues, they can feel marginalized from family, church, and community at large. 

Because the Lord has uniquely wired me with a heart of mercy for listening, counseling, writing, teaching, and coaching, I feel burdened to serve and minister as a missionary discipleship chaplain among the poor in downtown Idaho Falls. I have been called by God to bring gospel mercy to those in the margins.  Over the past year and a half, my burden has only intensified.

I am writing you for this simple reason.  Will you prayerfully consider in partnering with me?  I am trusting in faith that my position as a missionary discipleship chaplain with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission will be financially supported by God’s people as you see this urgent need.  I covet your financial support and your prayers as I seek to continually bring Jesus to the poor.

Roots by the river,

Todd Wood

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Beware

This morning with Emmaus Road Church along the river in Idaho Falls . . .

Pastor Beau Floyd taught Deuteronomy 29:16-29.  He began the message by stating that it is confession time.  The church family called out some of our idols.

Beau’s exposition of the text followed this outline.

Revelation: A Warning Against Idolatry

  1. A Warning Against Individual and Corporate Idolatry
    1. A Description of the “Poisonous Root”
    2. God’s Judgment on the “Poisonous Root”
  2. Revelation for the Next Generation and the Nations
  3. God Conceals, and God Reveals

In the first point, Beau emphasized that either in judgment or warning, God’s intention is to get His people to direct their eyes to Him.  Now our tendency is to easily point out the idols in other people.  But do we know what are our idols?  And is there anyone in our lives who knows our weaknesses and would tempt us to draw away from God?  The “Poisonous Root” boasts, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.”  In modern lingo, this is basically saying, “Jesus and I are good, but I can reject truths and do things that are unbiblical.”  Beware the messenger of a false gospel.  Paul echoes this in Galatians 1:6-9 (I think also of the “uprooting” of false teachers in Jude 12).  There are “spiritual” leaders out there who claim to be nourishing but they are actually sending poison.  God will judge these people because He is a jealous God (I think of Exodus 34:14).  God is passionate that your heart be not given over to a false god.

In the second point, Beau pointed out how the rulers and leaders are deported in judgment.  But there is a faithful remnant (poor as they might be) who will continue to proclaim the gospel to the next generation and the nations.

And third, Beau concluded the message with Deuteronomy 29:29.  There is much that we don’t know about God.  For example, Beau illustrated this with the life of Job.  Job didn’t understand what was going on during all the heartbreaking mess in his life.  So how did God answer him?  He gave questions to Job (I went to the concluding chapters of Job and circled 41 questions marks).  Frankly, God is the One who asks the questions.  And we don’t know the answers to any of them.  Are there difficult circumstances in your life that you don’t understand?  Remember.  When God doesn’t answer our questions, it is not because He doesn’t love us.  He is simply so much bigger than us.  And He does have a plan.  And He is altogether good.  Also, in regards to the things that you do know by His grace, hold fast to that.

Here are some interesting quotes that I came across associated with today’s text:

  • “No man is an island”
  • “As a community, Israel would stand or fall; as a community, it would experience blessing or cursing. . . . The health and vitality of the whole community depended on the health and vitality of the religious commitment of each individual within it.” – P.C.Craigie
  • “There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God that sounds more dreadful than this.  O that presumptuous sinners would read it and tremble!” – Matthew Henry
  • “Let us seriously ponder these things in the divine presence. Let us honestly search out the root of all this lamentable failure, and have it judged and put away, that so we may more faithfully and unmistakably declare whose we are and whom we serve. May it be more thoroughly manifest that Christ is our absorbing object.” – C.H.M
  • Timothy Keller authored a provocative book entitled, Counterfeit Gods:  The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters (2009). He delves into theological idols, sexual idols, magic/ritual idols, political/economic idols, racial/national idols, relational idols, religious idols, philosophical idols, cultural idols, and deep idols of power, approval, comfort, or control.

My questions related to today’s text in Deuteronomy 29:16-29:

Observation

  1. What two things are you called upon to beware in verse 18?
  2. To say, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart”, leads to what?
  3. The curses of the covenant are written in what?
  4. What cities are listed in verse 23?
  5. How does the text describe LORD’s first action in verse 28?
  6. What are the things which belong to the LORD?  And what belongs to us?

Interpretation

  1. What were the idols in Egypt?  The idols of the Canaanites?  What do idols look like in modern-day Israel?  What about in American culture?
  2. Can one bad “root” (v. 8) lead to a whole community “uprooted” (v. 28)?
  3. Where does the New Testament talk about a “root of bitterness”?
  4. Can your name be blotted out from heaven?
  5. What and where are Admah and Zeboiim?
  6. How do you interpret verse 29?

Application

  1. How is the Church tempted to turn away from God and serve the gods of the nations?
  2. What idols personally tempt you?
  3. Is a Christian free to sin presumptuously?
  4. How might your sins affect others?
  5. What has God revealed to you?  And what do you still not know about God?
  6. Are there some things that you will never comprehend about God?
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Moses summoned Israel (Deut. 29:1-15)

This morning with Emmaus Road Church along the river in Idaho Falls . . .

Pastor Beau Floyd taught Deuteronomy 29:1-15.  He began the message by asking for the purpose in why God reveals Himself to us, followed by the question over what is revelation.

God reveals Himself in various ways so that we might have relationship with Him.  He can show Himself mightily in the signs and wonders or declare His love by taking care of the small needs in our lives, like not letting our clothes wear out.  His revelation stretches from the great to the mundane.

Truly, God gives us everything we need.  For Israel, He provided victory from enemies.  He gave them land where they could build and live with their families.  And the list goes on.

Therefore in light of all God’s gracious dealings, the leaders of Israel all the way down to the little ones were to stand in covenant with Yahweh.

In light of today’s message, I renewed my covenant with Jehovah God.  Today.

It is for us to share with our kids what God has done.  It is time for us to pay attention to the divine details. It is time for us to take up our cross daily and live as the Lord’s disciples.

My questions related to today’s text in Deuteronomy 29:1-15:

Observation

  1. Where is the land of Moab? Horeb?
  2. What did Israel see in Egypt?
  3. How many years were the children of Israel in the wilderness?
  4. Who are Sihon and Og?
  5. Why are the Manassites only a half-tribe?

Interpretation

  1. Why is LORD in all capital letters?
  2. Why did the LORD not give Israel a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear? (v. 4)
  3. How come Israel did not eat any bread or drink any wine? (v. 6)
  4. What does it mean to prosper in all that you do? (v. 9)
  5. Are there multiple covenants?  (By the way, I really appreciated Pastor Beau’s discussion on this today.)
  6. What should be the relationship to the sojourner? (v. 11)
  7. “Whoever is not here with us today” (v. 15) – who could that be referring to?

Application

  1. What have you seen with your eyes concerning God’s work in Idaho Falls?
  2. Who will you share that with this week?
  3. Are there words of God’s covenant that you have not kept?  Where do you need to return to the heart of God?
  4. How would you describe a daily walking with God in covenant?  How do you intentionally seek to do this daily?  In a personal way?  In community with others?
  5. How do you include your spouse?  Your kids?  Those who work with you or for you?
  6. How is God establishing you and those around you who believe in Jehovah?
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The Joseph story

  • “It is through affliction rather than prosperity that God’s people bear fruit (2 Cor. 6:10, 12:9-10; Heb. 12:11).”(67)
  • Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession“(Gen. 48:4) – “The grace of this catches us off guard–what God has called his people to do, he undertakes to fulfill himself.  What he demands of us, he does for us.  Such is the way, of course, that God’s gospel works.  All that he demands of us–not only multiplying but the entire keeping of the law–he himself undertakes for us in his Son.”(69)
  • “Even when evil seems to triumph most horrifically, God is there.  He is with his people.  He is working out his redemptive purposes.” (72)
  • “Joseph responds, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?’ (Gen. 50:19).  The answer to that question had to be no, for Joseph knew that he, a man, could not rule or judge in the place of God.” (72)

– quotes taken from the Gospel Transformation Bible

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Emmaus Road Church

In the church service this morning at the Emmaus Road Church meeting place situated along the banks of the Snake River in Idaho Falls, Pastor Beau Floyd taught through Deuteronomy 28:1-14, fleshing out the blessings for covenant faithfulness.

God’s purpose is to bless His people for His glory as a testimony to the nations.

God’s people are . . .

  • Blessed at Home and at Work (vv. 3, 6, 8)
  • Blessed in “Fruit” (vv. 4, 11)
  • Blessed in Provision (vv. 5, 12)
  • Blessed in Travels (v. 6)
  • Blessed Sevenfold Against Enemies (v. 7)
  • Blessed in Identity (vv. 9-10)

Pastor Beau taught the text within the scope of Israel’s covenantal relationship, applying certain aspects to the Church and yet carefully separating our thinking from the hastily drawn conclusions of pursuing a personal “prosperity gospel” based on greed or a collective American militarism based on pride.

Our God is good.  Every good thing about us and what we have is directly sourced in God.  As John the Baptist stated in John 3:27, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”  And Jesus declares to us in John 15: 5,

I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

This week, we must not doubt God’s goodness and His steadfast love (hesed), that only sets us up to pursue the empty pleasures of false gods, tragically placing us out of the realm of God’s rich blessings.  We must trust and obey our loving God.  And may the blessings that we experience be an attractive witness of God to those around us.

Do you need a blessing from God?  Don’t work for it.  Just ask your loving Father.  To Him be the glory!

“Blessing, true blessing, real shalom, is ours for the asking–as long as we resist the urge to try to help pay for it.” – Mark D. Futato

 

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