Harvest Raleigh Church

Loving God, One Another, & Others

Worship Devotional – August 28th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Isaiah 45:22-25

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
    a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’[a]

24 “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
    are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
    all who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
    shall be justified and shall glory.”

All The Earth

Be Thou My Vision

Living Hope

Worship Devotional – August 21st, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Romans 7:21-25

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 

22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 

23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 

24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Wrestling With Sin

In chapter 7, Paul talks about our struggle with sin and the nature of the flesh that leads toward sin. In this passage, you see that internal struggle but, you also see Paul’s response. He’s praising the Lord. While we are here on this earth, we are subject to the law of sin. Not that we are to live in sin but, we are subject to the passions and desires of the flesh. But, we are not eternally bound to the law of sin. Because Jesus died for us, we have new life in Him. There will be a day where we are severed from our bodies and the only thing we will be subject to is the law of God.

If you’re reading this, I would suggest thinking upon this passage for a while. Even go back and read Romans 7. It took me some time to wrap my head around everything that Paul was saying but, the more reflected on it, the more it leads me to hope and joy.

Oh Our Lord

Come Thou Fount

In Christ Alone

Worship Devotional – August 14th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Acts 28:25-28

25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

How Great Thou Art

Before the Throne of God Above

O Praise the Name

Reading Plan Reflections – Acts 9

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

Paul’s influence upon the early church is so powerfully apparent that non-Christians debate whether Paul was a mere follower of Jesus or the actual founder of Christianity. I debated with a Muslim apologist a few years ago, and he claimed that Paul founded Christianity. They say that because of his influence on the church’s history. Besides writing thirteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, he was also very effective as an Apostle, missionary, and church planter.

From our reading plan last week, however, when we are first introduced to Paul, he was a violent persecutor of the Christian church (Acts 9:1). Like most today, a “crucified Savior” was a stumbling block and an oxymoron to Jews (1 Cor. 1:23-24). Paul knows God had already expressed his judgment against Jesus by hanging Him on the cross—case closed (Deut. 21:23), so he thought.


However, on his way to Damascus, a bright light from heaven suddenly shone around him at noon with a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul immediately recognized that this heavenly light was the glory of God. Consequently, he responds, “Who are you, Lord?” The answer to Saul’s question came in the divine glory, “I am Jesus.” He thought he was serving God by persecuting Christians. And he is now faced with the Name that he hated the most. Paul’s conversion was so dramatic that his heart, once filled with hatred toward Christians, was replaced with love, peace, and faith. 
In this brief devotion, I want to draw a couple of observations from one verse, Acts 9:4, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”.

 
First is Jesus’s identification with His people. Before this encounter, Paul had never met Jesus. Did you notice Jesus’s question? Jesus did not ask why he persecuted his disciples. He asked, “Why are you persecuting Me?”. Jesus so intimately identifies with His people that, when they are persecuted, He feels persecuted. Paul understood that our Lord had some kind of intimate connection with His followers, resulting in Jesus sharing our experiences. Isn’t that the best news for all of us? This verse has been the most precious verse to me. It is one thing that we would share in His sufferings (Phil 3:10). It is an entirely different thing that He would share in our sufferings. This kind of relationship is unique to Christianity, while some religions view this as blasphemy. The God who holds all the creation together (Col. 1) is the One who identifies and shares in our suffering and pain.

 
The second is the principle of sanctification. The truth of Jesus’s relationship with His people would be foundational for Paul’s ethics. Perhaps the most overlooked observation, in my opinion, is the implications of Christ’s union on how we treat each other. This verse has impacted how I view my marriage, relationships, and ministry. The same Lord who identifies with my sufferings also identifies with my brother and sister’s sufferings. When the emotions are high, and it is easy to be upset, I start asking myself, do I treat this person the same way if it was Lord Jesus? The One we love and seek to honor the most loves them and has died for them. Should we not love those whom our Lord loves?

 
Pauls says to the Ephesians not to grieve the Spirit of God (Eph 4:30). We grieve the Spirit when we are bitter, angry, clamor, and slander one another (Eph 4:31). Rather, Paul tells us to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph 4:32. Let’s be a church that is kind and tenderhearted towards one another and seek reconciliation because we are people forgiven by God for our sins. I don’t do it perfectly, but it really changed my relationship with my wife and how I interact with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone who feels dishonoring our Lord is unthinkable should treat one another with love and respect.

 
We should also view this positively, based on Matt 25:40. If we serve even the least of the disciples, Jesus says, “You did it to me.” And Heb 6:10, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” It is a great honor to serve our Lord by serving one another. 

Worship Devotional – August 7th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Finish the Course

Acts 20:24

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself,

if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, 

to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Choosing Life Over Life

In the passage, Paul is preparing for imprisonment. He knows that he won’t see the people he’s talking to again. In this moment, he starts talking about his life and its purpose. As I was reflecting on this passage, I started thinking about the fact that as christians we have been given two lives. We have life from birth and we have a new life through Jesus Christ. Both are gifts from God. Paul is clearly choosing the new and transformed life that he has through salvation in Jesus. Our hope like his should be in the life that we have in Christ Jesus and not the one that is of this world. But, the life we have on this earth is a tool that we have to glorify God. God has given us ministry to complete while we are still here. Our charge is to Finish The Course you’ve been given.

Yes I Will

Great Are You Lord

Yet Not I But Christ Through Me

Worship Devotional – July 31st, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

All Glory Be to God

Acts 14:15

“Men, why are you doing these things?

We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, 

who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

Devotion

After Paul heals a man who cannot walk, the people start worshiping him thinking that he is the incarnation of a Greek god. But, Paul rebukes them and redirects them to what they should be worshiping, the One True God. Our God ‘who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them’.

Our worship is a response to what God has done. From creation to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to today. God is doing great things and is worthy of our praise. So, we must not be like the people and misattribute what God is doing and give the glory to men or false gods.

Take some time to think about what God is doing in your life and praise Him, thank Him, give Him the glory.

Open Up the Heavens

Over All I Know

Holy Holy Holy (Jesus Reigns)

Worship Devotional – July 24th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Acts 7:51-53

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 

52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?

And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 

53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

God So Loved

Come Thou Fount

King of Kings

Worship Devotional – July 17th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 148:5-6

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
    For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever;
    he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

All The Earth

What a Beautiful Name

Praise His Name

Worship Devotional – July 10th, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

Lion and the Lamb

Praise His Name (Psalm 148)

Yet Not I But Christ Through Me

Worship Devotional – July 3rd, 2022

150 150 Charles Su

Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
    let Israel now say—
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side
    when people rose up against us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive,
    when their anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away,
    the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone
    the raging waters.

Blessed be the Lord,
    who has not given us
    as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird
    from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
    and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

Oh Our Lord

Come Thou Fount

Cornerstone