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Monthly Archives : July 2015

Heaven Focused…Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth.  Colossians 3:2 ESV
      I have heard it said,” Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.”  In fact, I remember stating this when I was younger.   Today, I do not believe this to be a true statement.  I do not believe a person can be too heavenly minded when it comes to a life in Christ.   The verse we are studying today tells us to set our mind on things above…..to focus our attention upon things above.  Why should this be our focus? Because verse one states, “Where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”  When seeking  those things which are above,  it will requires focus because it should involve your whole mind.  Continuing to read through chapter 3: 5-10, it teaches us  how we should and should not live.  “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you must put them all away: anger wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (verses 5-10 ESV)   Living the lifestyle as described in these verses will not reveal Christ to you;  in fact, worldly thinking / living will fill your mind with reasons why certain biblical teachings are not applicable.  That is why we must set/fix our mind on things above.  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. bearing with one another, if one has complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of  Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. There is so much today that will steal away our focus or busies our mind robbing you of mental peace.  There really is no great secret in having a mind of peace.  When you worry, it brings great stress to your body. When you rest, it renews your mind.   Let your mind rest upon Jesus and all that He has done for you.   There are other gods in which people put their trust, but there is only one God that was, is, and always will be.  Hebrews 13:8  teaches, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (ESV)  When your world may come crashing down, look to heaven; for all that is important is seated there.
By His Grace ~ Pastor David
Christian Liberty/Freedom…Galatians 5:13 ESV
For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 ESV
     I once heard someone say, “Freedom is not freedom to do what you want but the freedom to do what is right.”  Of course the next question becomes who determines what is right?  As christians we believe this question and standard is answered by the Bible.  Please understand that the freedom I am speaking of here is not the freedom that we adhere to as a nation but freedom in Christ.  Individuals may have what they call freedom in this world but be in bondage to sin and death.  All freedom is authored by God both physical and spiritual.  But in reality there is no physical freedom without spiritual freedom.  Sin will always places people in bondage and take away freedom …. spiritual and physical.
      Paul says in Galatians, For you were called to freedom.  But  who is doing the calling…answer Jesus.  Come unto to me, all who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give your rest. Matthew 11: 28 ESV  You see there is a standard by which God will judge the world and that standard is his law.  But because of sin, it is impossible to keep this law; and  ultimately, we are all sentenced to punishment.  In fact, we could and would absolutely wear ourselves out trying to keep this law.  Christ did for us what the law could not accomplish in our lives…. make us free from the law of sin and death.   There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 ESV  
      
     A person might reason if the requirements of the law are fulfilled in Christ, then I am free to do whatever I want.  I personally believe that the person who is genuinely freed from the consequence of their sin and love God, will not want to live in this reasoning.   Paul addresses this logic by saying, Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.   In Romans 6:1 he says, What shall we say then?  “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!   
      
       Paul tells us  we should live….as servants.  But through love serve one another.   What is the purpose of this service?  Paul say in 1 Corinthians 9:19 “I have made myself a servant  to all, that I might win more of them.”  Paul is referring to the gospel of Jesus which is the good news to anyone who will hear it.  We are to live this way in order to bring glory to God.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace; whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength God supplies-in order that  in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV
        May we live in the freedom in which we have been called, never just for ourselves but with a servant’s heart, to bring much glory to God!
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Faithful to Pray and Worship…Daniel 6:10 ESV
 

     When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem.  He got down on his knees three times  a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10 ESV
     Daniel was a man that honored God and pleased God with faithful dedication to love and serve him.   Daniel lived in a very difficult time as Babylon had sieged Jerusalem and took him captive.  He was chosen to serve in the palace of a king that did not honor God.   Men from the palace were assigned to train and teach  Daniel the literature and language of the Chaldeans to prepare him for this service.  This education was to take three years.  During this period daily food that the king would eat would be provided for Daniel but, Daniel did not want to defile himself with the kings food.  But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.  There fore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. Daniel 1:8 ESV   I make this point to give you a glimpse of Daniel and his relationship with God desiring not to dishonor God even in the food that he ate.  Even in a very difficult time, Daniel honored God.   Now let’s fast forward to another king .… The king was Darius.  Darius was impressed with Daniel and was going to set him over the whole kingdom.  Others were not so excited about this and made it a point to find something in which they could accuse Daniel.  When they could not find anything, they decided to convince the king to make a law that said you had to worship him and no other gods for thirty days.  They did this because they knew that Daniel was faithful to pray to God daily.   After years of being in captivity and in the courts of those who did not honor God, Daniel had remained faithful to God.  The men that approached the king with the idea of worshipping him for thirty days and no other god, convinced him it was a good idea.  The consequence for worshipping any other god….death in a den of lions.   But this didn’t deter Daniel for When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem.  He got down on his knees three times  a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10 ESV     Even with consequence of death Daniel worshipped and prayed to God for God was who he lived for.  What can we learn from Daniel?
        The decision of the land does not affect our prayer and worship of God. “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had a windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem,”  Daniel lived in plain sight for God as he did everyday before this document was signed.  He did not go into hiding or close his windows but left them open.  He did this not to bring attention to himself but to continue to honor God.
        He bowed down to God and not man, “He got down on his knees three times  a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God,”   God is God and he alone is worthy of our prayers and worship and deserves no less even in difficult times.
        He did not change his daily practice of prayer,  “He got down on his knees three times  a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God,”   as he had done previously.   Nothing had changed for Daniel, He continued in his daily practice just as before.  The laws of man did not regulate his lifestyle or belief in God.  If anything did change I believe it would have been the intensiveness of his prayers.
The concluding point ….press on remain, faithful, and know God has not moved…He is still on His throne.
Because of His Grace~ Pastor David
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