“I Am Your Shield, Your Exceedingly Great Reward” (03-22-2020)

“I Am Your Shield, Your Exceedingly Great Reward” (03-22-2020)


“Come, Jesus, Lord, with Holy Fire”

1) Come, Jesus, Lord, with holy fire,
Come, and my quickened heart inspire,
My conscience purged by blood;
Now to my soul Thyself reveal,
Thy mighty working let me feel,
Since I am born of God.

2) Let nothing now my heart divide,
Since with Thee I am crucified,
And live to God in Thee.
Dead to the world and all its toys,
Its idle pomp and fading joys,
Jesus, my glory be.

3) Now with a quenchless thirst inspire,
A longing, infinite desire,
And fill my craving heart.
Less than Thyself, oh, do not give,
In might Thyself within me live;
Come, all Thou hast and art.

4) My will be swallowed up in Thee,
Light in Thy light still may I see
In Thine unclouded face:
Called the full strength of trust to prove,
Let all my quickened heart be love,
My spotless life be praise.

This week’s hymn is “Come, Jesus, Lord, With Holy Fire” by Charles Wesley. This is an excellent hymn that exemplifies a hunger and thirst for the Lord and His working. The tune, once you get it, is buoyant, joyful, and even invigorating (at least for me!). :)

The first line of the song is probably taken from Matthew 3:11 where Jesus is described as the One who can baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire. Though I am sure commentaries are all over the map on what fire signifies, at least Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown refer to it as the “fiery character of the Spirit’s operations upon the soul”, which I feel like most of us have experienced. There is a certain excitement, fervor, and energy that comes when we have the Lord working mightily within us. This is what I feel like our brother Charles was invoking the Lord for. Because we have been born of God, born of the Spirit, washed in His blood, we can ask the Lord to come in and inspire us again.

Some precious thoughts that are contained in this hymn: it is so good to be dead to the world and all its toys, and for Jesus to be all our glory, joy, and hope. Verse 3 says, “Less than Thyself, oh, do not give” where the writer had a realization that he could seek after lots of other spiritual ‘things’, but what he really wants is to just have MORE CHRIST. AMEN!! Lord, give us all more of Yourself, and Yourself alone!

May the Lord inspire such a joy and fervor in all of us!

— Ian K

“Lift Up Thine Eyes, My Child”

(Lyrics by Hannah Bontje; tune of “Crown Him With Many Crowns”)

1) Lift up thine eyes, My child,
Away from where you stand;
Away from failure and regret
Out to the promised land.
No longer face defeat,

No longer feel dismay;
Lift up thine eyes from where you stand
Out to the promised land. 

2) Look out from where thou art
And see the blessings giv’n.
See how My promises remain
Despite where thou hast been.
From northward to the south,
From eastward to the west,
Look out from where thou standest now
And see the blessings giv’n. 

3) Arise, My child! Arise!
Leave all you trust and know!
Step out by faith and not by sight
Into this land unknown.

In providence divine,
Full care is rendered thee;

Arise, My child! Step out by faith
Into this land unknown. 

4) Walk throughout all the land,
Receive all that is thine!
According to the length and breadth,
Enjoying Christ divine!
The promise surely made,
His fullness to possess!

Walk on! Receive all that is thine!
Christ, your inheritance!

This hymn was written out of inspiration from Genesis 13:14-17 when the Lord, speaking to Abram after he and Lot separate upon their return from Egypt, tells him:

“Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”

I was struck by the four different commands God gives to Abram: “Lift up your eyes”, “look from where you are”, “arise”, and “walk through the land”.

“Lift up your eyes…” I was touched by these tender words to Abram following some hard situations that must have left him feeling ashamed and defeated. He had given his very own wife to Pharaoh when they were in Egypt, and when that situation got sorted out and they returned to the land, there was strife between Abram and his nephew Lot. Abram let Lot choose which part of the land to settle in, and Lot went ahead and chose the best piece of the land! How defeated Abram must have felt! But this is the exact moment the Lord tells him to “lift up his eyes”. When I read this command, I was so thankful we have a God who doesn’t want us to dwell on our failures, mistakes, and hard situations but rather to lift our eyes to Him and all He has in store for us. My hope and prayer is that I, too, would live a life with eyes lifted to see what He wants me to see.

“Look from the place where you are…” God wanted Abram to look out at the vastness of the land before him and know that He was giving it all to him. I was so impressed how Abram’s failures and mistakes didn’t change anything. The Lord promised, and so it would be. “For all the promises of God find their ‘Yes’ in Him.”

“Arise…” From the beginning with God’s first call, Abram’s journey was characterized by faith. This moment is no different. Lot had just taken the best portion of the land, yet God tells Abram that he will receive all that lies before him. How could this be? God doesn’t explain how He will do it, but rather tells Abram to “Arise!”, leave all that he trusts and knows, and step out by faith once again.

“Walk through the length and breadth of the land…” Last week, Rex shared how this land is a picture of all the riches of Christ enjoyed through the Holy Spirit. When God tells Abram to walk the land, He’s exhorting him to experience and enjoy all the riches of the land before him. I am inspired by this exhortation to experience and enjoy all the riches of Christ through the Spirit all my life. God has given us Christ as our land, as our inheritance, and by faith we can possess the fullness of God which dwells in Him!”

— Hannah Bontje

Children’s Content

“Father Abraham”

  1. Father Abraham had many sons
    Many sons had Father Abraham
    I am one of them and so are you
    So let’s all praise the Lord.
    Right arm!

  2. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm!

  3. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm! Right Foot!

  4. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm! Right Foot! Left Foot!

  5. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm! Right Foot! Left Foot! Chin Up!

  6. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm! Right Foot! Left Foot! Chin Up! Turn Around!

  7. Father Abraham …
    Right arm! Left Arm! Right Foot! Left Foot! Chin Up! Turn Around! SIT DOWN!!

Coloring Page



“I Am Your Shield, Your Exceedingly Great Reward”

Message given by Timothy Bontje and Peter McNaughton for March 22, 2020

GENESIS 15 — New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram Promised a Son

15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,

“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”

2Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” 8He said, “O Lord God, how may I know that I will possess it?” 9So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

17It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,

“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”


We are fragile. Things we thought were stable can change overnight. These facts have become especially clear over the last few weeks. Formerly, we were used to doing what we wanted when we wanted. Now we are daily asked to change our behavior, to do things others recommend for the well-being of other people. As these realizations and requirements force us to look beyond our selfish wants, we pray that our gaze would keep expanding all the way to Christ. He is not fragile and will not change. His yoke is easy. What a time to pray for people around us!  Take this time to pray for health and safety. Pray that the current disruption of every-day life will result in many finding Christ. Pray for the gospel to spread in our city, state, nation and world. Specific names may come to you. Mention their names to the Lord in your prayers.

7 thoughts on ““I Am Your Shield, Your Exceedingly Great Reward” (03-22-2020)

  1. Good morning everyone and praise the Lord!

    Hopefully you enjoy all the content from this morning’s message! Please leave comments or inspirations or other thoughts that came to you while going through this content.

    Though we would like everyone to use our Facebook group, if you would prefer to leave your comments here on the website, that is fine! Your comments will also be copied into the Facebook page so everyone there may enjoy it too!

  2. Ephesians 1:15-23 TPT
    Because of this, since I first heard about your strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your tender love toward all his devoted ones, my heart is always full and overflowing with thanks to God for you as I constantly remember you in my prayers. I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him. I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones! I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age, but in the age that is coming! And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ and has given him the highest rank above all others. And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it!

  3. “Abram Promised a Son” —
    What an Abram experience? At times, probably often, I (we) see our situations and try to qualify God’s promise with my (our) reasonings & answers; until He appears again in 15:5 ‘He took me outside and said, now look…’.
    HE –> took me –> outside –> said –> now look –>>> Seeing what HE sees!

  4. What a blessing we have such a shield. The Lord wants us to come out of all the material and natural things and come into Him. Praise the Lord we can have such a life full of faith, enjoyment and growth to maturity. How different these three men are, (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) but how wonderful the Lord kept His promise with them. Through all they went through the Lord still kept His covenant with them. What a picture of our relationship with Him.

  5. Thank you for being there on Sunday morning during these uncertain times. Valerie, Jason and I appreciate this.

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