Harvest Raleigh Church

Loving God, One Another, & Others

Worship Devotional – May 22nd, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 70

Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let them be put to shame and confusion
    who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
Let them turn back because of their shame
    who say, “Aha, Aha!”

May all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
    say evermore, “God is great!”
But I am poor and needy;
    hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
    O Lord, do not delay!

Open Up The Heavens

Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery

Come Thou Fount

Worship Devotional – May 15th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 59:16-17

But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.

For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

God So Loved

In Christ Alone

This We Know

Worship Devotional – May 8th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 48:1-8

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!

His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth,

Mount Zion in the far north, the city of the great King.

Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.

For behold, the kings assembled; they come on together.

As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor.

By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish.

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God,

which God will establish forever.

The Lion and The Lamb

Over All I Know

Exalted Over All

Worship Devotional – May 1st, 2o22

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who make the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

God So Loved

Great Are You Lord

Worthy of Your Name

Reading Plan Reflections – Leviticus

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

From CJ Davis:

Well Harvest, you did it! You successfully read through one of the more thoroughly ridiculed books in the Bible; Leviticus! I remember asking a professor, “What should I get out of Leviticus?” and his tongue-in-cheek response was, “Get out as quick as you can!”  Jokes aside, I’m betting a lot of us are breathing a sigh of relief to have this book behind us.

But I have a confession- it’s my favorite book in the Bible. That’s right. My favorite. I doubt I can convince you in a short blog post that it should be yours too, but I at least want to help offer some perspectives that might make the next read through a bit more exciting. So, let’s take a quick look!

First things first, Leviticus is the heart of the Torah. Moses’s 5-part masterpiece has as its literary and theological center the book we just finished reading. It looks like this:

                                Leviticus

                Exodus                    Numbers

Genesis                                                     Deuteronomy

This alone should warrant some attention from us! Moses was an artful composer of his work, and he intentionally chose to put Leviticus at the central point. Leviticus does something that might have gone unnoticed due to all the blood and lobes and whatnot. It resolves the tension created by Exodus. 40. If you remember, the Israelites had just completed building the tabernacle- the place where God was going to dwell with his people again just like in Genesis 1 and 2. But there’s a hiccup- in Exodus 40:33 it says after the tabernacle was completed, “the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.” Sounds good, right? Until you keep reading… the verse goes on to say, “.. but Moses could not enter into it.” THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM! God is now dwelling on earth again as he has always wanted to, but no one can go into his house! This is where Leviticus steps in. Check out the first line of Leviticus:

“God spoke to Moses from the tent of meeting.” Where is God? In the tabernacle. Where is Moses? Outside. How is man supposed to dwell with God? Now check out the first line of Numbers:

“God spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting.” Did you catch it? Moses is now IN God’s house speaking with him! What happened in between? Well, in short, Leviticus happened.

The book of Leviticus provides the answer to the problem presented at the end of Exodus- “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?”

To understand how Leviticus helps solve the problem of how man is to be in God’s presence like back in the good ol’ days of the garden, we need to spend a minute talking about sacrifice.

This is a big leap for us in our context because it’s so foreign to our everyday experience. But there are a couple of helpful truths that will hopefully clear up some confusion!

There are 5 sacrifices in Lev. 1-5 and they might not mean what you think they mean. The first 3 are the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the peace offering. Essentially 3 ways of saying “thank you.” The other 2 are the purification offering and the reparation offering. Essentially two ways of saying, “I’m sorry.”

Typically we think of animal sacrifice as the animal taking the punishment for sin on themselves and the blood of the animal purifying the offeror. The problem with this is it isn’t what the Bible says. As you read through, you might have noticed that the text never says the animal is punished for sin. There is no transference of sin onto the animal in any of these sacrifices. In fact, the only animal that does have the sins of the people placed on it is the “scapegoat” in Leviticus 16 and it’s the one animal that doesn’t die! The sins of the people being placed on an animal would actually make it unclean and not able to enter the presence of the Lord. So if the death and blood of the sacrifice don’t “take away sins” (Heb. 10:4), then what is it doing? In short, the blood of the animal is purifying the tabernacle to create a clean space for God to dwell. If you noticed, the blood of the animal is never sprinkled on the offeror, it is only ever applied to different elements in the tabernacle. Why is this? Because of verse 17:11, “the blood of the animal is its life.” Essentially, blood represents life and as such acts as a detergent to clean God’s house from the pollution of sin and death.

The next thing to notice about these sacrifices is that they result in God’s presence showing up in deeper and deeper places. When God shows up in the Bible to people, the nerd-word for it is “theophany.” And in Leviticus, we get 3 theophanies that help us move “from the tabernacle” to “in the tabernacle.”

The first one happens in Leviticus 9:23. After the priests have been ordained, God shows up in front of the tent of meeting. This is outside the holy place and all the people can see it! Then Aaron’s sons create a bit of a problem by offering “strange fire” and now God’s house is dirty again. So what is to happen?

Enter the laws about clean/unclean in Lev. 11-15. This culminates with Lev. 16 where we get the second theophany. After the sin of Aaron’s sons has been cleaned up, God shows up again in Leviticus 16:2 but this time it is in the holy of holies ! We have moved inside the holy place! Getting to the heart of things.

After the regulations for holy/common things, we get the 3rd and final theophany in Leviticus 24:1-9. This one is the coolest. It’s inside the holy place, and it is represented by the Menorah and the showbread. The Menorah was a lamp that looked like a tree (think Tree of Life in the garden) with 7 branches and the flames of the candles represented the flames of God’s presence. The showbread, or the bread of the presence, was twelves loaves of bread that represented all of Israel. This bread was to remain in front of the Menorah every day, 24×7, 365. The arrangement of the Menorah and the showbread is super intentional- it is meant to depict the presence of God shining on his people all the time. That’s why Aaron’s blessing in Numbers 6 says “Let his face shine upon you” – it’s a blessing that comes from God dwelling with his people in the most intimate way possible!

This is how the gap is bridged between the end of Exodus and the beginning of Numbers. Because the offerings and sacrifices have purified a place for God to dwell with sinful humanity, he now speaks to them and is present to them as he once did with Adam and Eve. This all points us to Jesus, whose blood (life) provides the necessary purification so that God can not only dwell with humanity, but IN them! As Paul says, we are the temple of God. His presence is able to dwell with and in us because the blood(life) of Jesus cleanses us from the pollution of sin and death.

Maybe you still don’t like Leviticus, and that’s ok. My hope is that by looking at what the sacrifices are really doing, and how they moved ancient Israel into closer proximity with the living God, we will see how the work of Jesus does the same for us!

Worship Devotional – April 24th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 31:14-18

But I trust in you O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!

O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.

Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.

Make your face shine on your servant (v. 16); In the cover of your presence you hide them (v. 20)

Open up the Heavens

Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! (v. 15)

What A Beautiful Name

And worked for those who take refuge in you (v.19)

In Christ Alone

Worship Devotional – April 17th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

He Has Risen

Luke 24:1-12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 
And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 
Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 
But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

How Great Thou Art

King of Kings

Man of Sorrows

Worship Devotional – April 10th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 107:23-32

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters;

they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.

For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.

They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;

they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

He mad the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Nothing but the Blood

Before the Throne of God Above

How Deep the Father’s Love For Us

Worship Devotional – April 3rd, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Throwing Off the Weight of the World

Luke 21:34-36

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life,

and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these thing that are going to take place,

and stand before the Son of Man.”

Don’t be Weighed Down

In this world there are things that are going to attempt to weigh us down. Jesus warns us of dissipation, drunkenness, and the cares of this life. This passage is a warning, but it’s also a call to vigilant faith. If we’re not aware, the things of this world will try to ensnare us. So we pray that God will help us by giving us the strength to resist temptation.

Oh Our Lord

Yes I Will

Man of Sorrows

A Week of Prayer & Fasting For Family Church

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

Let us pray fervently that God would help Family Church as they are about to launch on Apr 10th. Prayer combined with fasting declares our desperation for God more than the basic need for food. If you are physically able, you could abstain from food one meal a day or one meal for several days. Allow the hunger to remind you to seek God in prayer. Let this week of prayer and fasting serve you as a time of adoration and seek God’s help and guidance rather than impressing others or for self-serving purposes. 

If you want some practical tips on structuring your prayer time here’s a link to Pastor Mike’s Meeting with God Outline.

Sunday: Pray for a healthy launch of the Family Church.
Monday: Pray for the spiritual health of the core team. 
Tuesday: Pray that God would provide the necessary finances for ministry needs.
Wednesday: Pray that God would bring more co-laborers.
Thursday: Praise God for answered prayers.
Friday: Pray for God’s protection from the enemy’s attacks.
Saturday: Pray for Unity