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Tag Archives: Christ
A cowboy rode into town, and saw a crowd gathered around a gallows. The hangman standing by, there was a man clothed in leaves and branches. Everything he was wearing BADLY was leaves. The cowboy dismounted his horse, and went toward the crowd. He whispered to another townsman standing there, “Are they getting ready to hang this guy?” He replied, “Yes we are, stranger. This man kept telling us he was a bush, and kept dressing up like he was a bush. We warned him to stop it, but he refused. So we’re hanging him!” The cowboy said, “Hanging him because he says he’s a bush?” The townsman said, “No. We’re hanging him because he won’t stop rustling”.
Yeah, that’s a “dad joke”, or you might think a “bad joke”. But it’s a good introduction to the message today. Every time I turn on the television or radio, I hear people pushing “You do you, and I’ll do me”. According to the Progressive mind so prevalent today we as humans can make ourselves into anything we want to be. If I’m born a woman, I can be a man with enough surgery. If I’m a man, I can have radical surgery and hormones and breastfeed babies. In fact, some say that men can get pregnant. If I wake up and think I’m a kitten or a dog, then what I say is reality. I can bark or meow, and you must treat me as a “furry”.
We want to be God. We think we are God. We Aren’t God.
This mentality creeps into the churches – even our Church. It creeps into your Pastor. I was praying this past Monday and felt like God told me to “Go to the middle of My Book”. So I went to Psalm 117. I kept trying to “get a sermon” out of this text until God reminded me, “You are not God. You are David.” So I stopped trying to make a sermon, and asked God what He wanted me to say. Read with me:… Continue reading
I thought this week to begin preaching through 1 Peter chapter 3. And yet, as I thought to do so, the Lord impressed on my heart that we need to more closely examine this passage – especially since today is Communion Sunday. Focus on these words for just a moment:
1 Peter 2:21 Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps
Christ Suffered For Us
The first part of this text I want to address is “Christ suffered for US”. Let’s define this. First of all, how did CHRIST SUFFER?
First of all, Jesus suffered DEMOTION for us
Jesus is the eternal Son of God, Heaven’s glorious King. When Jesus prayed before going to the Cross, He said:
John 17:5, 24 (ESV) … Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. … 24 … because you loved me before the foundation of the world…… Continue reading
Those who have been saved by the Grace of God should also be gracious and loving to others. 1st John 3:14 states:
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
The Scripture tells us:
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Like recovering Israel, we are to live our lives so as to please our God. God calls His people to have a different type of love from what the secular world has. We have a different Source (our Savior, not our selves), a different sustaining power (God the Holy Spirit) and a different goal (not self satisfaction, but God’s satisfaction). May God bless us as we put Him first in our daily lives. Amen and Amen. Continue reading
Before Sherry and I got old and gray, we used to go hiking down various nature trails. One of the nicest areas we found was around Tennessee’s Reelfoot Lake. There are some beautiful hiking trails there. We’d take our walking sticks, and make a day of it.
Down one trail we followed, we found something I still can’t figure out – even years later. We were about a mile in – very far from the road – when we found a washing machine. There’s something freaky about finding a washing machine – one about 20 years old – down a narrow path that no vehicle could follow.
As I was reading and studying Nehemiah, I got to chapter 7 and said to myself, “Oh great. A washing machine!” The bulk of this chapter is nothing but names – many difficult to pronounce – and numbers. The summary of these figures is in
Nehemiah 7:66-67 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, 67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women…. Continue reading
John 8:17-24 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
No One Ever Spoke As Jesus Did
When a jeweler wants to show off the beauty of his diamonds, he does not put the diamonds on a white, clean surface. No, the jeweler puts the diamonds against a black surface, usually black velvet. The black focuses the eye on the light reflecting through the facets of the diamond. Displayed against the darkness, the beauty of the diamond comes out.
As our Lord Jesus ministered on this earth, the times that His beauty was most seen was when He was seen against a black surface. Many times we see Jesus being approached by those who were under the blackness of sickness and disease. Other times Jesus was seen against the darkness of sinful man. But Jesus shone brightest when He was seen against the darkness of self… Continue reading
Already we see Satan’s hand at twisting the truth. The Pharisees and Scribes are at the Synagogue with Jesus not to worship God, but to find something they can use to “accuse” Jesus. These people have redefined religion, redefined Judaism. The Great or Primary Commandment of the Law (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:29-30; Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:6) is
Matthew 22:37 (ESV) … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
The second pillar of the Law is:
Matthew 22:39 (ESV) … You shall love your neighbor as yourself ..
Jesus said “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). That is, if you were to take the Law of God and condense it, these two commandments are the foundation upon which the Law rests. God’s faith is relational, not ritual. This unnamed man with the withered hand is suffering. If the Scribes and Pharisees were in the same position, they would want to be healed – even on the Sabbath Day. Redefining religion, they make it more ritualistic than relational. The Psalmist knew this, and said “You, O God, do not delight in sacrifice … you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings” (Psalm 51:16). God wants a relationship with us, with His people. He wants us to be in union with Him, loving Him and others…. Continue reading
Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 4 – one of the wonderful prayers of a Prayer Warrior and King named simply “David”.
Psalm 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
One of the greatest weapons that a Christian has is the weapon of prayer. One of the great prayer warriors of yesteryear, E.M. Bounds said:
“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. … Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid … Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labor are required to be a skillful tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other… Continue reading
We are not saved by:
religious ritual, by bead counting, by praying to a saint or to Mary.
We are not saved by animal sacrifices, nor by holy water, nor by
ceremonial baptism (which is but a like figure of salvation – 1 Peter 3:21). We are not saved by genuflection, by a human priest’s blessing,
by last rites, by institutions, by human efforts.
We are saved by Grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast”. It is the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross that saves me. When I received Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing Him to be the one and only Messiah, the Savior, and believed He died for my salvation, and rose from the grave for my justification – then God the Holy Spirit saves me. It is the Spirit of God that causes the Christian to be “born again”. Not as we were, but as children of God.
It is GRACE that brings us to the new birth. It is GRACE that makes the new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Rituals do nothing. The Apostle said:
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature…. Continue reading
According to the Gospels, John the Baptist came as a fulfillment of these prophesies (John 1:23; Mark 1:2-5; Matthew 3:1-3). When John was still forming as a baby in his mother Elisabeth, when Mary came to visit her cousin. As soon as Mary spoke to Elisabeth, that baby John leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41). Elisabeth told Mary,
Luke 1:44 … as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
John was born about six months before Jesus Christ Himself came into the world. His ministry started about six months before Jesus’ ministry started. John was asked at one time if he was the Messiah. John told that he was NOT the Messiah, but that “the One Who is coming is over me, who’s shoestrings I am not worthy to untie” (John 1:27). When John saw Jesus, he told the crowd:
John 1:29-31 … Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
John’s entire mission of baptizing was to make Jesus Christ “manifest to Israel” as the Messiah. John the Baptist told the Pharisees:… Continue reading