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Monthly Archives : March 2018

Preparing for Easter …… March 25, 2018

     Next Sunday we will enjoy and celebrate Easter – a day equivalent to Christmas in importance to the Christian. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus who is our only hope for salvation. For thirty-three years he lived as flesh and blood, walking upon the very earth He created. He experienced everything a person born of flesh experiences: temptation, weariness, rejection, hunger, happiness, sadness, and just fill in the blank __________. Yet in all his experiences He NEVER sinned. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 ESV  Jesus, the only Son of God, was born to take the punishment of sin on our behalf that we might experience saving grace from God. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God!!! John the Baptist described him like this, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV  In order to understand the seriousness of sin from God’s perspective, we read in Hebrews 9:22 (ESV), “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”  That is why in the garden when Jesus said, “My Father , if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” Matthew 26:39 ESV” , God was silent, except perhaps to say to Jesus’s ears only, “Son, there is no other way.” Then Jesus replied, “not as I will but your will be done.” Matthew 26:39b. Then came the cross of Calvary. I need not describe the pain and agony experienced there, for you have heard and read of it many times. One fact of the cross to always remember: JESUS DIED THERE. As flesh, he experienced death, not because of his sins, but ours. For our sakes he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV  Remember the statement Jesus made just a few minutes before He died? “My God, my god, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46b. I believe at just this moment, when all the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus, God looked away; for God does not and will not have fellowship with sin. Perhaps Jesus knew for just a moment the separation that sin causes between us and God. But the cross wasn’t the end!!!! Jesus was buried, and three days later He defeated sin and death. He broke the chains that enslaved us by rising from the very grave that tried to claim Him. Imagine Satan yelling to his demons of death, “HOLD HIM!!!! HOLD HIM!!!”
     Christ arose, and we have reason to celebrate this fact, especially if you are in the family of God, being forgiven, saved, and redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. So let us prepare to make this next Sunday a day of celebration, not just at church, but the whole day with family or fellow Christians.

Prepare Your Heart This Week:
     In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15 ESV

     People are hopefully more open to church at Easter and Christmas than any other time of year. Seize the moment. Be more intentional this week to prepare your heart to reach out and invite those who may not attend church. Pray that God will put in front of you people you can invite to join in this celebration. Remember you are inviting them to a celebration of life made possible by Christ alone. Be ready to share with anyone the reason for the hope of life you have in Christ Jesus.

Anticipate:
     With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26b

     Within the world we live, there is much that seems impossible concerning spiritual matters. When evil seems to be prospering around us and things look dark, let us not grow weary. Always remember GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK. We may not see it from a human perspective nor understand how God is working, but his is working. What seems impossible to us is always possible with God. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26b “All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23b  I am not teaching “name it and claim it”, nor a prosperity type gospel. I am teaching that God is greater that any circumstance in life, and nothing is impossible to God. We serve a great God and we need to seek how He is working, with anticipation, in things that can only be explained by God.

Believe:
     Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29 ESV

     There are many verses about believing, but always remember this is the most important work you can do. The reason for this is that  what you believe will determine how you live. While believing in the resurrection this week, let this belief bring you to praise and worship of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Person of the holy Spirit. Meditate upon this intentionally this week by thinking often of it and arranging things in your life to remind you of this wonderful ….. RESURRECTION DAY!!!! Celebrate it every day this week intentionally. Let your waking breath thank God for it, and then throughout the day do the same. Find a scripture that you could use to celebrate it by reading or quoting it often through the day. What you believe is important will occupy your mind. Doing this will make you more mindful of the importance of Resurrection Sunday!

     In closing, let me encourage you to do one more thing. Plan for next Sunday after church to do an intentional celebration with family or friends. Have a dinner, release balloons with scriptures attached as a witness to anyone who might later find one of them. Go online and find things you can do to celebrate this day in a special way. If you make this day that important to you, other may wonder why, which will give you opportunity to witness. For sure it will make a lasting impression upon your children, for what is important to you is what you will teach is important to them. Have a blessed coming EASTER CELEBRATION DAY!

Because of His Grace ~ Paster David

Jesus In Matthew …. The King …… March 18, 2018

     Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born KING of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2 ESV

     The wise men searched for Jesus in Bethlehem, and when he was found, they bowed down and worshipped him as king. Jesus was only about two years old at this time. Jesus had not yet done any miracles, was not yet crucified, and had not risen from the grave. But they worshipped him none the less because they knew he was more than just a mere child; he was a king! Unlike the wise men, we have read of the miracles, and believe by faith that he died and rose from the grave after three days. Perhaps we’ve even seen a miracle (something that can only be explained by God). Truth is, as a Christian, you are a miracle. God has made you alive in Christ. You were once dead because of your sin and now you will live forever. You have been twice born. Born in the flesh and then born again of the Spirit. The non-Christian may have knowledge of him but does not worship him, for to worship him is to show him great honor.  The question we must ask ourselves today as Christians is, “How should we honor, glorify, and worship him as King?”

Honor Him:
    To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. 1 Timothy 1:17 ESV
     When you honor someone, you recognize them as a person of great value. This person would take priority over all others. At a meeting or dinner they would be moved to the front of the line and given a special seat to be recognized by all as the guest of honor. In short, you would give this person the best of everything. This is how Jesus should be honored as King in our lives. The throne of our hearts should not be occupied by us, but rather by Jesus, as the guest fo honor in our lives. Man it never be said that we give lip service to honoring Jesus. Jesus’ description of some religious leaders was less than flattering, and hopefully this doesn’t reflect how we honor him. This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me.  Matthew 15:8-9 ESV

Glorify Him:
     In Revelation 4, John describes a scene that was shown to him in heaven where all those around the throne were giving glory and honor to the Lord and God. In verse 8, day and night there were those saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” In verse 10 there were twenty-four elders that fell down before His throne and cast their crowns before him. These elders said, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor, and power, for you created all things and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11 ESV May we as Christians use this example as a school master in teaching us how we should glorify and worship Him even now.

Worship Him:

     Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission (Webster’s Dictionary, 1828).

     A person will worship what or whom they love. This is the most important part of worship… LOVE. It is this that makes worship heart felt rather than just an outward expression or act. The real place of worship for the Christian is in the heart. When Jesus was asked what is the greater commandment, he responded with this, “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  How can a person see the heart, should and mind? Only by what that person reflects as important in word and action is evidence of what is inside of them. How we live on the outside does not change what’s on the inside. How we live on the outside is a RESULT of what is on the inside. People will know that you worship God, not because of something you do in church, but how you live everyday. So worship out loud, not just with words, but with your life.

Because of His Grace ~Paster David

Jesus In Malachi…. The Needed Savior …… March 11, 2018

     Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord come. And will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. Malachi 4: 5-6 ESV

     In Luke chapter one while Zechariah was doing priestly duties before the Lord, an angel came and told him that he and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a son. The Angel describes what this son will do, and who he would be like. And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Luke 1:17 ESV  This son’s name was know as John the Baptist, the for-runner of Jesus- needed Savior for a world lost because of sin.
     In Malachi we see God’s faithfulness and man’s bent toward sin. God loves Israel even though they have sinned and have complained constantly against Him. Man left to himself will never have hope and this is the reason God was going to send a needed Savior. God wants a people that will serve and worship Him with their lives. Jesus, the Savior of the world, made this possible. John described Jesus like this, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV Jesus makes the impossible … POSSIBLE.

Makes it possible to be FORGIVEN:
When John was born, Zechariah told of his purpose in preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High: for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God. Luke 1: 76-78. ESV  The forgiveness of sin is made possible by the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1: 7 ESV John tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: 9 ESV

Makes it possible to have a NEW LIFE:
     Sin no longer defines you, for you have a new life in Christ Jesus if you follow him and by faith believe. Sin equals death but Jesus equals life everlasting. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might WALK IN THE NEWNESS OF LIFE. ROMANS 6:4 ESV

Makes possible a HOME IN HEAVEN:
     In my Fathers house are many rooms….. 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: 2a … 3  You and I were the reason Jesus came. By coming He created in us a clean heart that we might do what we were created to do; to praise and glorify God. Not only are we to bring God praise and glory in heaven we are to do so each day that we live.

All that was told by Malachi concerning the coming Savior happened. I am thankful I live on this side of the cross for I have hope that lives within me. …. Hope because I’m forgiven of all my sins, and I have a new life in which to walk everyday anticipating my future home in heaven. Live strong for He has made the impossible ….. POSSIBLE!

Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

Jesus In Zechariah …. Our Coming King …… March 4, 2018

Return to me, says the Lord of host, and I will return to you, says the Lord of host. Zechariah 1:3 ESV.

Zechariah is an interesting book as it tells of the dreams and visions of Zechariah concerning the people of Israel. In his dreams he sees the returning of God’s people after being in captivity, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the coming King (Jesus). It is a book of history, instruction, and of things to come. The Bible for us today can reveal and point to our past failures, instructions for rebuilding, and living our lives knowing we will be with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for all eternity. But as in Zechariah it is not dependent upon our abilities but rather the Spirit of God. ( Zechariah 4:6 ) Let us always remember that as foretold in Zechariah, Jesus came into the world and is the ultimate King.

The King came:
     Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have come to worship him.  Matthew 2: 2 ESV
Wise men sought Jesus in order to worship him, and those who are wise today, still do. Not that he is missing, but rather, that we might learn to live as he modeled life to be lived. Jesus did not come to be king of this world, for he already ruled over all creation but came for the purpose of dying and taking the consequence of our sins upon the cross. Jesus made it clear when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36 ESV Jesus also made clear his purpose in coming when he said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” Luke 19: 10 ESV

The King is here:
     Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 ESV
     Jesus spoke these words just before he went back to be with his Father in heaven. He is with us via the Holy Spirit. When teaching of His return to Heaven, Jesus made this promise: These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:25-26 ESV The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian, and as Christians we are the temple in which He dwells. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV  King Jesus, lives in you via the Holy Spirit.

The King is coming again:
     And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is he one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. Revelation 22:7 ESV
     God has never left nor forsaken us. He had a plan from the garden, to the present day, and into the future. God’s desire for us is to live in accordance with His word and follow Him, having no other gods ruling our life. To have joy, peace, and real happiness is to make Him King of your life. This does not imply you will never experience conflict or difficult times in life; for Jesus, who walked before us, did. He suffered the consequence of our sins and made abundant life possible for all who would believe and follow after him. If you have strayed from Him,…. return to Him…. He is returning, and we will all give an account for our lives. May the Lord find all who go by the name Christian waiting with anticipation and faithfulness living the way He has called us to live: Living to bring Him much glory!!!

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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