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Monthly Archives : August 2017

Jesus In Proverbs …. Our Wise King … Proverbs 20:26 … August 27, 2017

A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them. Proverbs 20:26 NKJV

     The concept of living under the rule of a king is foreign to us who vote for our leaders. We play a large part in who governs us in our land. But a king is appointed and given ultimate authority over his subjects. If he is a good king, the people and land prosper. If he is a evil king, the people live under a burden, and the land does not prosper. So how do you differentiate between a good and bad king? A good king has many good traits, and a bad king would obviously have evil ways. A good king is a servant leader, merciful, and very wise. These are just a few traits that describe the King of kings and Lord of lords. (1 Timothy 6:15 ESV) To make clear of whom we are speaking, we are speaking of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world, but is a kingdom of invitation. In becoming a part of His kingdom, we submit ourselves to His authority over our lives and are willing to follow him as King and Lord. His kingdom is a kingdom built on love and was established based on love from the beginning of time. So let’s look at the three good traits listed above of a good king, and better understand Jesus as King.

 
SERVANT LEADER:
     For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and gave his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 ESV Jesus gave the ultimate example of being a servant leader when He came and served those whom He would call into His kingdom… which was not of this world. A good leader will always be an example to those who he/she leads. Jesus gave the invitation, “Follow me,” which involved taking up a cross. He would lead the way in this by taking up His cross and defeating all the consequence of wickedness. Jesus followed the will of His Father by dying for the sins of the world. He sacrificed Himself; and when following Him, we should become living sacrifices to God. (Romans 12:1)

 
MERCIFUL:
     Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 The throne of Jesus is one of mercy. He became like us, being born as a man, yet totally God. When we approach His throne, He is not as one who doesn’t understand, for He has experienced all that comes with being flesh and its temptations, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4: 14-16) He has defeated wickedness by living wise and overcoming sin.

 
VERY WISE:
     There will be a day when all will gather before the throne and Jesus in his wisdom will know who is part of His kingdom and who is not. When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angles with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and will separate people one from the other as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25: 31-34 ESV …… Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angles.” Matthew 25:41 ESV ( Read Matthew 25:31-46 for this full account. ) As the wise king in Proverbs 20:26, He will sift out the wicked. This is not wickedness based on our standard of goodness or wickedness, but God’s standard. To be wicked before God is to have rejected His Son, His teachings, and His sacrificial death for our sins upon the cross. God is very wise in who is and is not a follower of His Son King Jesus.

 
     Accept the invitation to follow, making Jesus King and Lord of your life. Choose you this day whom you will serve. My prayer for you is, that you will be wise in your choice.

 
Because of is Grace ~Pastor David

Jesus In Psalms …. The Worshipped Savior Psalms 66:4 … August 20, 2017

     All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Psalms 66:4 ESV

     Keep it simple. Let everyone simply give the Lord our God and Savior worship and praise. Many times I fear that we try to overthink God. The fact is that God is greater than our minds could ever comprehend. I know there are times when God doesn’t make sense, and people may have questions and attempt to understand what He is doing or why He doesn’t act in a certain way. But in simple faith we must believe His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. The book of Isaiah addressed this in chapter 55 verse 9 , “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my way higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (ESV) The proof of this statement is the fact that He sent His only Son to die in our place for the consequence of our sin. Think about it. Let me make this comparison. How would you react to a friend with whom you had a wonderful relationship, that wounded you and created a debt in the relationship beyond what words could describe? Would you say, “I will sacrifice my only child to pay this debt and restore what was lost due to my friends poor choice?” Honestly…. I don’t think so. Yet in reality that is exactly what God did…. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. In the book of Psalms we find much concerning praising God and more. But today I would like for us to focus on praise. Simple praise by not trying to over think the reality of who, what, where, when, and the whys of God…. Just simple praise.

PRAISE HIM AS SAVIOR!
     Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Jude 1:24-25 ESV  This verse says so much as to the power and authority of God and what He does in your life…. “keeps you from stumbling”. It also states what He will do… “present you blameless.” Justified… Just as if I’d never sinned. He is able to do so because He has the authority to make it so. Therefore our lips should praise him with song and worship Him for this great thing He has done. Do not try to make sense of it; just praise and worship Him with much thanksgiving.

 

PRAISE HIM AS FREIND!

     Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:13-14 ESV When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 ESV

     Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole HEART. Psalm 111:1

     My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my SOUL also, which you have redeemed Psalm 71:23

     I will sing praise with my spirit but I will sing with my MIND also. 1 Corinthians 14:15b ESV

     This is how to praise Jesus as a friend /Savior . You praise him with heart, soul and mind. Everything within you needs to cry out to Him in praise. The closer you are as a friend the more you will cherish and enjoy speaking of how He redeemed you. Realizing you could never pay Him back, you sing His praises. That is much of what you see in the Psalms… written by those who have come to simply praise him.

 

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In Job …. The Suffering Savior … August 13, 2017

     In the book of Job we read the account of his life and suffering, resulting from his godly testimony. The very first chapter gives a very good picture of the life and character of Job. In this chapter his losses were overwhelming, but the chapter closed out in verse 22 stating, “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” In fact, in verse 20 and 21 it says he fell to the ground worshiped and spoke of the blessedness of God’s name. In chapter two Job’s health was severely attacked with sores from his head to his toe. The pain had to be overwhelming, and yet at the end of verse 10 it states, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job’s suffering was not the result of sin in his life but the cruel desire of Satan attempting to prove that Job followed God only because of His blessings. Satan, as always, was wrong.

     Suffering is not necessarily a word used to encourage those who do not know Christ as Savior to come to Him. Many people are already suffering for a host of reasons: consequences of bad choices, unhealthy living, and situations not even of their own making. Inviting them to come to Jesus, and informing them that doing so may bring suffering, does not seem like an attractive invitation. But this invitation is exactly the invitation that Jesus spoke to those who would followed Him. Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 ESV….. And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 ESV  When Jesus spoke to Ananias telling him to go to Paul after Paul’s Damascus road encounter, Jesus told Ananias concerning Paul, these words. “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must SUFFER FORTHE SAKE OF MY NAME. Acts 9: 15-16 ESV

 
     I believe there is one of two reasons a person suffers: because of sin which is the mother of all suffering, or for the purpose of bringing God glory. The reality is that very few, if any, will travel for any length of time through life and not experience some type of suffering, or at the very least witness it in the life of another. Even God, who became flesh, being totally God yet totally man, experienced much human suffering. Isaiah 53:3 described the coming Savior of the world like this. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. War causes much suffering, and there has been a war from the garden of Eden to this present day. The battle ground from where this war is raged is …your life. Who is the enemy? Satan. Part of his strategy in this war is attempting to convince you that God, not him, is your enemy. Satan tries to convince man that God is the author of suffering, not Satan himself. Some would call it psychological warfare, and they would be correct. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV However, be encouraged, for the battle has been won and suffering will one day be no more. Jesus, God’s only Son, has conquered death / suffering and is in the process of freeing those who have been imprisoned by Satan. In this process let us focus on two points.

IT WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY JESUS
Jesus suffered for us and took the penalty of our sin. It was foretold in Isiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (ESV) It was remembered in 1 Peter 2:24 ESV…. By his wounds you have been healed.

 
SUFFERING IN THIS WORLD DOES NOT COMPARE
     The suffering you experience now is nothing compared to the joy of being in His presence for ever. For I consider the suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18 ESV

 
     Let me close with these thoughts from scripture.

     For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:18 ESV 
     Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 1 Peter 4:16 ESV
     And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8 :28 ESV

 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In Esther …. Our Advocate To Approach the Throne… August 6, 2017

     Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV

     In the book of Esther the Jewish people were all condemned to die because of the craftiness of an evil decree made by man named Haman. Esther herself, being a Jew and the Queen, approached King Ahasuerus and in doing so risked her very life; for at this particular season in time no one was to approach the throne unless summoned by the King. Esther went as an advocate for the Jewish people seeking an audience with the king to speak on their behalf. Esther, being his bride and loved greatly by him, was received and offered her whatever she would ask even up to one half of his kingdom. Esther, by approaching the throne, was able to intervene and save the lives of the Jewish people.

     Are you aware there is another crafty and evil one (Genesis 3:1) who desires death for those whom God loves greatly? Through his craftiness, sin and death became a reality and not just a decree in this world. God, not willing for evil to have the ultimate victory, made a decree that would overcome Satan’s evil plot, nullifying his death grip in the lives of people. There are  three things which you must be aware of for this degree to be a reality in your life.

Be Aware Of The Crafty One.
     Satan is doing a very good job deceiving people today just as he deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. Many believe they are doing ok and living what they consider to be a good life that will one day make it possible for their entrance into heaven. With this thought let me ask you a question. Have you ever done anything worse than eating a piece of fruit? Really!!! Have you??? Take a moment and read Genesis chapter three. This is exactly what Adam and Eve did and it cost them dearly, and the cost is still the same today. Death and separation from God caused by the sin of disobedience and pride. Pride is the mother of all sin. (Proverbs 16:18) Satan fuels the lie that our lives are no one else’s business, but remember every decision we make has a consequence. Other lives are always affected by the choices people make. You choose evil; you will reap evil (Galatians 6:7) and many times those closest to you reap the consequence as well. Look at the affect it had upon Adam when Eve chose to listen to Satan. (Genesis 3) Look how it still affects our world today. This is a closing verse for this point…. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV

Be Aware of God’s Decree.
     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 ESV – – – – Jesus said to him, “I am THE way, and THE truth, and THE life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV – – – – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 ESV God’s degree was not mere words but action in order to bring about the end result …. forgiveness and life. God gave his Son as a sacrifice for sin because there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22b ESV

Be Aware of How to Experience God’s Decree.
     The first thing a person must do is CONFESS AND BELIEVE. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 ESV
     The second thing a person must do is acknowledge their sin and REPENT AND BELIEVE. Jesus began his ministry with these words. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark1:14-15 ESV
   The third thing to do is REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED. Peter, in Acts chapter two, was proclaiming all that God did and is doing because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. There were men listening who were cut to the heart and asked Peter, “What shall we do?” (vs37) And Peter said to them,“REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of you sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 ESV.

     These three steps informing us how to experience God’s Decree is not a formula, but a path to begin your journey with Christ. The thief on the cross simple said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42 ESV To which Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 ESV It is a matter of the heart, and it is apparent in the thief’s heart in Luke 23:39-41. In his heart he confessed, repented, believed and was baptized by grace. Grace that enables us to come before the throne of God made possible by Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is seated at the right hand of His Father. Just as the scepter was lifted up that Esther might approach the throne as an advocate for the Jewish people ( Esther 4:11 … Esther 5:1-2 ) So is Jesus our advocate and was lifted up on the cross, raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Therefore we, who are in Christ as His bride that He loves greatly, might approach the throne. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV
     Let me end today with a simple prayer of thanksgiving …. Thank you Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit for this great privilege of coming before the throne by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9.

 
Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

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