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Monthly Archives : June 2017

Fathers Day …. My Two Dads .. No Three ….. June 18, 2017

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name Matthew 6: 9 ESV

     Last August I lost my second dad. I say my second dad because he was more than just my father in law. We became close over the years and had many long conversations about life and day to day events. I lost my first dad when I was twenty years old. He and I were best friends, and he has never been forgotten by me. Both men were influential in my life, and I have been so blessed to have the joy of experiencing them both. When my second dad died, I wrote the following tribute to them.

     My Two Dads…… Some men are fortunate to have one dad in life, but I’ve been blessed to have had two. I lost my first dad when I was twenty years old. He was my very best friend, and I still miss him to this day. He and I would talk long hours into the night, and we discussed many things. I could tell my dad anything … mistakes and failure I’d made, dreams and hopes I had, and he loved me even in my mistakes and encouraged me in my dreams. He was the best. I still love him so much that at times my heart secretly still hurts. Yesterday, I lost my second dad. My second dad came into my life when I married my wonderful wife Mary. Over the years I stopped referring to him as my father- in- law; I just called him “dad” and would introduce him as the same. He would say when introducing me: “This is my son- in- law, but I think of him as a son….” I was blessed. He was a man of great compassion for his family until he breathed his last breath. I learned many things from him over the years for which I am blessed and thankful . One evening he and I were talking and I told him I wish he could have met my dad. He paid me the greatest compliment he could have ever given me. He said, “I have met your dad because I met you.” Well, now I have had the influence of two dads that will forever be with me. If any one would ever say to me in the future, “You remind me of your dad,” I would have to reply, “Which one?” This hurt reminds me of when I lost my first dad, and it is a hurt that is felt more than seen. However, there is a part of me that smiles inside because my two dad’s have finally met. I love and miss them both but one day….. :o) We will all be together again because…. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

   In actuality, I have three dads. Three because I have been adopted by the Heavenly Father that recognizes me as his adopted son/child. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father! Romans 8:15 ESV …… And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying,”Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:6-7 ESV There is strong meaning in calling Him “Abba Father.” It was the name by which Jesus addressed him in the moment of intense emotional agony in the garden before Calvary. (Mark14:36) While I want Christians to understand their personal relationship with God the the Father, I want to remind them that we should also view God the Father in reverence and respect. When Jesus’s disciples ask him to teach them to pray, which is talking to God, Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:

“OUR FATHER” Oh how sweet to be able to address God as our Father. He who created the universe wants me to recognize myself as one of His children. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; 1 John 3:1

“IN HEAVEN” The place where God is going to bring all His children that we might worship Him forever. This was made possible by his sacrificial love and the giving of Jesus, His only Son, to die for our sins and take God’s wrath that was meant for us. Jesus spoke of this promise, “In my Fathers house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:2-3 ESV

“HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME” Luke 11:2 ESV This means we recognize the preciousness of the name of God. We have been commanded not to take His name in vain. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Exodus 20:7 ESV In fact, if you study all the names the Bible uses in a descriptive nature of God, you will know how important his name, GOD, really is. It is almost indescribable, but God uses the meaning of these names by which he is described to help us to understand who He is. May we begin to comprehend this and sing out as the Psalmist did in Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Happy Fathers Day, to my Heavenly Father who loves me beyond measure.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In Nehemiah …. Our Protective Wall, Rebuilt ….. June 11, 2017

     The walls around Jerusalem were destroyed because the people had sinned against God. Sin caused them to lose the protection of God and, in more than one case, to be taken into captivity. God, knowing the condition and vulnerability of His people, placed on Nehemiah’s heart the desire to rebuild the wall— a wall of protection that is just stones unless fortified by the power of God’s protection. Always remember, God will not have fellowship with sin; and when in willful sin against God, protection is lost. Through out the Bible we see this reoccurring theme. People begin well; but because of the tendency toward sin, they fall away from God and then His judgement. The wall around a city is for protection against the enemy for those living in the city. When we are in the will of God, by having Christ in our lives, we are surrounded by His protection. A spiritual wall, so to speak, protects us from our enemy who desires to destroy us. I heard it said many times over the years, “ For Satan to get to you he must go through God to do it.” That is a true statement if you are born again in Christ and living daily in his will. If God is not alive in your life, He is not there for Satan to go through. As people without a physical wall of protection would be vulnerable to their enemies, the person without Christ in their life is vulnerable to Satan. Also the Christian who willfully sins against God is in serious danger; for God does not have fellowship with sin. God is Holy and we should worship Him in Holiness. This means to live in love with His presence in our lives and to desire His presence more than anything else. You must remember that as a Christian you are the Bride of Christ, and to live in willful sin would be liken to having an affair with the world. Would you stay in fellowship with your spouse if they were having an affair? This should give you a visual picture and understanding as to why God removes the protection of relationship when you live in willful sin. As Nehemiah led in the rebuilding of the wall, remember it was built one stone at a time and each day the enemy began to take more notice of the wall and desired to stop the work. So it is as a Christian building a spiritual wall in relationship with God. Satan will take notice and want to stop the work. So what are some principles of building we can do in fortifying our lives in the protection of Christ?

HAVE A STRONG FOUNDATION

     Jesus said, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47-48 ESV Peter was asked this question by Jesus in Matthew 16: 15-18 ESV, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you , Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you- you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. As a Christian, you are the church, and if you are not building upon Jesus, then you are building on sinking sand.

USE THE RIGHT MATERIALS

     As your relationship with God grows, it does so because you are using the right materials to build the wall of His protection. The material needed…. HIS WORD!!!!!!! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11 ESV … 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 your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 ESV

LEAVE THE RESULTS TO GOD

     God completes the work in all our lives…… For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV ….. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 ESV

Jesus is the wall of protection in the life of every Christian. He did not build this protection for us to go into hiding but rather to move with the confidence knowing that He is with us every step of the way. Jesus told us, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole of creation.” Mark 16:15 ESV With the fact that Jesus is with us, we know that we are never alone. Jesus himself made this promise to us in the last part of verse 20 in Matthew 28, “I am with you ALWAYS, to the end of the age.” (ESV) Thank you, God, for your Son who saved/redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit which lives in us. This gives us the confidence in living for you and knowing we can walk successfully and purposefully a life displaying the truth of you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Psalms 32: 10 ESV As Christians, let the light of his love surrounding us make it evident to the world that we have experienced the Gospel. The gospel that Jesus saves!!!!!

Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

Jesus In Ezra …. The New Temple …. June 4, 2017

     Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
 
     When the Jewish people disobeyed and were unfaithful to God, he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take them captive. In this process, the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and laid in ruins for many years. After this captivity, God used three men to help rebuild all that was destroyed. Zerubbable rebuilt the Temple, Ezra led the people in the study of the Tora, or, law of God, attempting to restore the people in the ways of God, and Nehemiah led in the rebuilding of the walls. In the work of these three men, it is interesting to see a parallel of the building of lives that has been destroyed by Satan. It is through disobedience / sin that our lives are destroyed and lie in ruins. Adam and Eve, who, in God’s presence, once walked, were separated from Him, as are we, because of sin. Adam and Eve’s bodies, before sin, did not know suffering, nor experienced the destruction and pain that comes as a result of sin. This curse of destruction, suffering, and death continues, as we are all conceived in sin. All but one… he was conceived by the Holy Spirit ….. Jesus ….. the Son of God. Jesus came to rebuild the temple in our hearts, teach us the way to live, and surround us with Himself, that we might live victoriously under his protection. Let us evaluate exactly how this rebuilding takes place in the life of all who return to God.
 
OUR BODY~ GOD’S TEMPLE:
     In order for this Temple to be built in our hearts, we must first lay the foundation of Jesus in our life. There are popular teachings today saying there are many ways to God, but this is not true. Jesus, in his own words, speaking of himself, made this very clear. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  To believe there is another way to God is like saying, “Jesus, you really were not necessary, nor needed.” We must recognize and believe who Jesus Christ is to become a part of all that God is doing in restoring lives unto himself.  When asked by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16 ESV ….. Jesus responded to Peter by saying, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 ESV  It is essential to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. If you do not believe this, then you are building on sinking sand, and Satan will bring you down. Another thought on this point: if you are not a Temple of the Holy Spirit, then whose Temple are you? Let that thought sink in, for you are a servant to either Satan or God. If you are a servant of God, it is because you were bought with a price. (vs:20)
 
GOD’S WAYS AND TEACHINGS:
     Jesus taught us how to walk in accordance with all that God wants us to do, and it all hinges on love. When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as your self. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 ESV  Love is the motive in all that God does, and He wants us to do the same. Learn to love, and you learn the ways of God; EVERYTHING HINGES ON LOVE. (1 Corinthians chapter 13)
 
LIVE SURROUNDED BY GOD’S PROTECTION:
     If it is the love of God that redeems us through Jesus, and love is the way God instructs us to live, then it is in the confidence of God’s love that we live protected and secure in Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV …… No one will ever be able to take us from His protecting hand. (John 10: 28-29)

The Temple in the Old Testament was the place for the people to experience the presence of God. This is why they wanted desperately to rebuild it, learn His ways, and live under his protection. God made it possible for us to live in His presence by being present in us; to learn of His ways by the Holy Spirit teaching us, and to know that He is faithful and will never leave us nor forsake us. With this blessed truth, may we live glorifying God in our bodies.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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