Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I respect and applaud Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" event in Jerusalem. I also believe it to be a sad indictment upon the modern Christian Church (in general) in America. How embarrassing that a radio/tv host has more prophetic sense of the times than many of the church leaders of America. What a sad contrast: Glenn Beck places his life and fortune on the line for the cause of the Jewish people. Evangelical Christianity has "Rock the Universe" night with Christian Rock bands at Universal Studios, cruises, newer bible versions than the newer one of last year and the closest thing to hell fire and brimstone preaching anyone can get today is Beth Moore and David Jeremiah. But I digress.

As much as I can, being a Bible believer, I support Glenn Beck's stand for Israel. But I could not help but notice a glaring omission: JESUS CHRIST. And therein lies the tragedy and the failure of even the most sincere efforts of Glenn Beck and others. The hope for Israel, as the Hope for America and all people of all races is Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God who is the only way by which man can be forgiven of his sins and redeemed unto God.

Tears came to my eyes as I watched the event unfold. So much zeal but not according to knowledge. Thousands of people looking to God for help and yet failing to see God pointing to His Son, Jesus Christ. Israel, the chosen people of God, struggling for survival - refusing to recall Christ's words when he said: "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold your house is left unto you desolate."

While we should stand with Israel and commend those who support Israel, we can never forget several truths:
1) The Gospel of Jesus Christ is more important than world peace and freedom. Better to live under a Communist regime and die saved through the shed blood of Jesus than to live free and die lost and without Christ Jesus as your Saviour.
2) World peace will only be established upon the literal return and literal rule of Jesus Christ from the throne of David. And we are soon to see these glorious events unfold!
3) Israel will continue to suffer, even more so through the Tribulation, until they receive their once rejected Messiah: Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God.
4) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with passion and power!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Isaiah 1 -"...sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.....your country is desolate."

I consider it an honor to open in prayer on such an important date as this, April 15th. And it is on this date that we are reminded of both the tyranny and the childish incompetence of our government. Our government has long ago ceased to be a government of the people, for the people and by the people. April 15th reminds us that our government is a now a detached & wicked group of ruling elites who view the American citizen as a purse to be plundered and a people to be manipulated. BUT - as much as we decry April 15th, it is not the date that has hurdled us down this road of national perdition. Rather - we lament our demise today because of dates that represent the rejection of Almighty God.
June 25, 1962 Engel v. Vitale - reciting of prayer in school
June 17, 1963 Abingtown v. Schemp: Bible reading rejected in school.
Jan 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade - Where our nation decided murder of the unborn was more convenient than moral abstinence and purity.

**** These are the dates that live in our national infamy.

As a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - I declare that we pray, not for Republicans/Democrats, not for Left/Right, not for Taxes, Economy, War on Terror or any of these other issues.......NO Today we pray as a people humbled and sinful before our Creator - we pray as a people that know and confess that the only One who knows how to fix our country is the Founder of our country: Almighty God in the Person of Jesus Christ.
We - gathering here today we must repent and seek real revival in our own lives.....
· We Must Flee to Christ Jesus for our Personal Salvation
· We Must Repent to God for our Carnal and Selfish lives
· We Must demand of our leaders an understanding that God and Righteousness are not campaign cliché's but the only and true hope of our Nation.

*******We must understand our greatest fear is not China, the Collapse of the Dollar, Obama - - NO! Our Greatest Fear is to Fall into the Judging hands of God whom we have rejected and insulted.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Genesis 2.1-17

I - Verses 1-3: Two Key Things.

1. The Seventh Day i.e. Sabbath {NOT for Christians - it was given under the Law in Exodus 20.8 & was a sign between God and the nation of Israel in Exodus 31.13}

A. Type of our Salvation - Matt 11.28

B. Type of the Millennium -Is 11.10

C. Type of God's Daily Blessings - Jer 6.16

*** We can "apply" this in that it is wise and healthy to dedicate Sunday to the Lord .

2. Sanctify i.e. Sanctified - Jude v. 1 {The Law of first mention shows us the meaning - it means to be set apart for God's use or purpose.}

*** That should be the description of every Christian's life: set part for God's use and purpose.

II - Verses 4-6: The Lord God. {Up until this point it has only been, God. Now we see the wording, "Lord God}

Lord/ Jehovah: self existent one the reveals himself.

*** NOTICE - that the revealing aspect only comes after creation: Romans 1.19-20

III - Verse 7: Man is Formed. {There are a couple of things to be noted} · Man is Triune - salvation is whole man

· Man is created with age - all creation

· Man's environment in Eden was much different than today - which throws off carbon & geological dating.

IV - Verses 8- 14 Eden and the Garden. ST: There are two things here: 1. Eden is the Middle East

2. God's intention and plan is a Literal Land Kingdom here on Earth and the Middle East will continue to bee the hot spot of Earth until Christ sets up that Literal Land Kingdom.

EXAMPLE - 4 Bible Empires, Ottoman, Crusades, Imperial Britain, Napoleon, WWI, WWI, Cold War, War on Terror, WWIII, Armageddon.... *** The Bible is far more up to date that we want to believe or realize!!!!

V - Verses 15-17 Two Trees. ST: There is a difference between "speculation" and "biblical speculation." We are going to engage in the latter!!! **** What were the two trees in the garden of Eden around which so much trouble gathered?

1 - The Tree of Life: Olive Tree. ST: A "few" reasons why:

· Noah Ark, Gen 8.11, Olive Branch brought back by the Dove a type of the Holy Spirit

· Olive Oil for lamp in Tabernacle

· Paul speak of our union to Christ as being grafted into a tree - Olive Tree

· Mt. of Olives in Christ's ministry:

Second Coming Discourse Ascension Return

2 - The Tree of Knowledge: Grape Tree (vine) ST: a few reasons why: · Noah blessed by Olive/Cursed by Vine ·

Ez 15 states "Vine Tree"

· Jesus is called 'True Vine (Jn 15) vs. the false vine of the earth (Rev 18)

· Wine connected with Drunkenness & Nakedness:

Adam & Eve, Noah, Lot

· Type of Blood forbidden by God

CLOSING: regardless of what the trees were we come back to the same formula. God's blessings are on those who ARE what He wants, DOING what He wants, WHERE he wants.

Monday, January 10, 2011

REMINDER: Following Christ as a disciple means following the overall lifestyle he modeled for us. It means practicing the kinds of activities and life choices he practiced. Being able to do what Jesus "would do" in any given situation is based upon living like Jesus "did live" in every aspect of life.

I - Christianity includes the "bodily" component - IN FACT -you cannot have a full Christian experience without recognizing the reality of the body any more than you could have a "full Christ" without recognizing his real, concrete bodily nature;
****There is "concreteness" to the Christian life that is often over looked.
"Incarnation" - "Cross" - "Resurrection"
SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES: Gen 2.17,Proverbs 3.1-2, 3.7-8, 14.30, 16.24, 17.22 I Cor 15.44 Romans 8.13 I Thess 5.23 I John 4.2-3

A) When we fail to integrate our bodies by scriptural means (i.e. spiritual disciplines) into our Christian practise we lose the full power and vitality of the Christian life. WHY? Because the Christian life is meant to be lived - IN THE BODY ( II Corinthians 5, I Corinthians 15 - Philippians 1.20 " now also Christ shall be magnified in my body.")

B) When we fail to recognize the involvement of our bodies we fail to see sin’s concreteness or true nature and reality.

**** Sin and Spiritual Growth has a "concreteness" in our body that can be observed:
• Angry with your wife - roll your eyes
• Lust- hold your stomach in, change the inflection of your voice, instinctively brush your hair
• Covet/Materialism - nervous, frustration until purchase something
• Lying - feel it in our stomach…..
• Depression - sleep, facial expressions
• Over-Extended - easily mad, physical expression

II - Spiritual Disciplines are "tools" of grace that help us address the concrete reality of sin and need for spiritual growth in our life –
(Fasting, Solitude, Silence, Celebration, Meditation, Memorization, Service, Schedules) - are all concrete tools to help us address concrete problems.
*** It is vital to understand that it is "grace" and the direction of the Holy Spirit that infuses these tools with real spiritual power.

III - Spiritual Disciplines practised over an extended period of time guided by Biblical truth and the Grace of the Holy Spirit are great tools for concrete growth in our spiritual life

A) Exposes our true weakness and areas of need.

B) Allows us to bring Christianity out of the theoretical.

C) We learn to "grow" in grace

PLAN: The Power of Scheduled Spiritual Activities
Genesis 2.2-3, Exodus 12.1-2, Lev 23.6, Deut 16.10, 16.13, Acts 3.1, I Cor 16.1

A. Schedule theme to pray about throughout the week.
B. Schedule 3 quiet times: not talking at God but listening reviewing a portion of scripture or even reviewing something that was preached.
C. Schedule 1 Day of Thanksgiving: sharing your thanks, having a thanksgiving meal, journaling, praying.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christianity can only truly make a difference in our lives if it succeeds in two thing:
it must answer the problem of “Personal Depravity” before God.
John 3.3-8
Second, it must answer the problem of “Personal Development” towards God.
Romans 12.1-2

The Solution to both is met in and through Jesus Christ!
We are Redeemed/Regenerated through the finished work of Christ.
We are Transformed/Grow through the ongoing work of Christ.

MAIN POINT: Following Christ as a disciple means following the overall lifestyle he modeled for us. It means practicing the kinds of activities and life choices he practiced. Being able to do what Jesus would do in any given situation is based upon living like Jesus lived in every aspect of life.
EXAMPLE – Being able to play the piano at concert level is not based upon will power in the moment but hours of practice and “discipline.” The concert pianist lives a certain kind of disciplined lifestyle that allows him to play wonderfully in the moment. But it is the discipline that produces the beauty not just the desire or mere will power.

So then being a disciple of Christ is about pursuing a life style i.e. physical/bodily activities that assissted by God's grace produce the kind of Christ-like character we desire.

We have the faulty idea that failure is due to lack of will power when in fact it is mainly due to a lack of spiritual training.
– If I am incapable of bench pressing 200 pounds I do not blame “will power” but rather a lack of “muscle build up.”
EXAMPLE – Controlling my tongue is not just a matter of “will power” but rather a matter of spiritual training or the lack thereof.
**** Remember – that in the spiritual realm, just as in the physical, there is cause and effect.

We often try to start with the fruit rather than the seed. By that I mean that simply desiring to control your temper won’t work. Self control is the “fruit” not the seed. Loving your spouse more Christ-like is the “fruit” not the seed. Spiritual disciplines, assisted by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit, are the “seeds” from which grow the “fruit” we desire and God intends.

This Week's Spiritual Discipline: Scheduled Spiritual Activities.
**** Not by accident or emotion; but rather, a scheduled and intentional approach to our spiritual formation in Christ.
2 scheduled times of spiritual reading (scripture, biographies…).
2 scheduled times of prayer &thoughtfulness: journalling, music, quiet walk (30 minutes each).
Journal your thoughts, ideas, feelings
FINAL NOTE: Don’t be surprised or discouraged by failure. You only realize your muscles are not ready to bench press 200 pounds when you try to pick up 200 pounds!