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I can’t wait to talk to Dad – Luke 11:1-13

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Introduction

At our last Men’s Prayer Breakfast I listened as a brother spoke about his dad: in 1984 his dad was operated on to remove a tumor on the side of his face.  The removal changed his appearance but the biggest loss, to his son anyway, was his ability to hear; all hearing was lost on one side and the other ear was greatly impaired.  I found out after breakfast that the brother was four years old when this happened.

Fast forward to September 2013, this same father met with a specialist regarding a new device that might restore some of his hearing.  After the tests were completed it was determined that this man’s hearing will be improved by the device.  The father said “Order me one”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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Show Me – Jeremiah 6:16

Old Paths

Introduction

I am noticing more and more those in their 40s and up lamenting the changes they are seeing in the workplace, the family and even in church.  The lament will start something like this… “There was a time when I…” “Back in the day we…” “Things just ain’t the way they used to be”.

These laments, normally directed towards the younger generation, detail life as it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago to illustrate just how far we have fallen.  I’ll give you an example: two sentences ago my spell check griped about my use of the word “ain’t”; it didn’t used to do that, ain’t “ain’t” a word anymore?  In the good old days it was a word. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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And They Rose Up to Play…

Adoration of the Golden Calf Andrea di Lione, artist

I Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This Sunday morning, referred to as the Lord’s day in Revelation 1:10, will unfortunately be a time when many who call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ forsake His altar and instead, like the children of Israel at the base of Sinai, will rise up to worship the golden calf gods of this world ie. the beach, the lake, the ball field. They will, like Paul says here, rise up to play.

Would to God they showed as much devotion to the one they have been known to call ‘Lord’.  Many Christians have supposed in this day and age, possibly due to the humanistic style of gospel preaching and teaching, that their happiness is paramount in God’s eyes and that, as long as they ‘love’ the Lord, they can do what makes them happy.  Faithfulness in their intentions rather than actions is considered sufficient.  They suppose that being faithful to God’s house is not as important as being faithful to tell others they love the Lord and His church.  Many have supposed that being a faithful servant or bearing the disciple’s cross is archaic and no longer required of the modern American Christian.  Why is this?  Why, my friends, would you suppose that when we have scriptural evidence to the contrary?  Take Luke’s gospel for instance: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Have You Died Yet?

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Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The modern social gospel being promoted across the land in many churches today speaks of a religion that has no costs, brings no change, and seems to give all glory to the wrong party… us.  In fact, to hear most Christians discuss styles of worship, contemporary or traditional, you would think that worship itself was for the sole benefit of man.  The humanism that has crept into the contemporary sermons, has led many a lost soul to believe that they need only to believe and they have their ticket punched for glory.  Most then fall well short of what the apostle Paul called the ‘new creature in Christ Jesus’.

Why is this so?  It goes all the way back to the Old Testament.  Many of our gospel songs speak of crossing the Jordan River as though it was the passage from life on earth to life in eternity in heaven.  This is flawed because unlike Canaan, Heaven doesn’t have enemies to be destroyed.  Rather, the crossing of the Jordan River in the book of Joshua more aptly typifies our passage from the death of sin to the newness of life in Christ Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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No Revival without Reformation

The following is an excerpt written by A.W. Tozer which I shared with a few men of God a while back but felt led to share with you all now. It sums up what is truly the dire need of today among Christians.

No Revival without Reformation – A.W. Tozer

“WHEREVER Christians meet these days one word is sure to be heard constantly repeated; that word is revival. In sermon, song and prayer we are forever reminding the Lord and each other that what we must have to solve all our spiritual problems is It “mighty, old-time revival.” The religious press, too, has largely gone over to the proposition that revival is the one great need of the hour, and anyone who is capable of preparing a brief for revival is sure to find many editors who will publish it…

…I believe that the imperative need of the day is not simply revival, but a radical reformation that will go to the root of our moral and spiritual maladies and deal with causes rather than with consequences, with the disease rather than with symptoms. It is my considered opinion that under the present circumstances we do not want revival at all. A widespread revival of the kind of Christianity we know today in America might prove to be a moral tragedy from which we would not recover in a hundred years. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.”–Hosea 8:12

BiblesRUs

There are over 400 different versions and paraphrases of all or part of the the Bible in the English language today. Some think this is a positive development, but I think it has served to create confusion as to which represents the true word of God. The devil is the author of confusion… 1Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” The production of so many different versions and paraphrases has also led to a culture within modern Christendom of ‘tailored’ Bibles. In other words, man is searching for something to worship that he has control over. This is part of our sinful nature and is not too different from the pagans in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 10:2-5), or even today in foreign lands, who go into the woods, cut down a tree, and carve themselves a god to worship. These efforts by publishers to produce ‘Bibles’ tailored to particular audiences are also copied by many churches who, worshiping the ‘god of growth’, tailor music, sermons, and services to the tastes of the world in an effort to be ‘seeker friendly’.

All of these things are, in essence, putting the cart before the proverbial horse. First, Christ told us in John 3 that man loves darkness rather than light. Our sinful nature would rather the truth bend to our will than the other way around. Second, the apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Paul was explaining that the unsaved man cannot understand God’s word and that it is foolish to him. Fallen man, since the tower of Babel, has been trying to reach heaven on his own efforts or works, to justify himself. But God has preserved His word and we should seek for the truth, not for a version of the truth which will justify our lives. For that kind of ‘truth’ is not truth. The only way we can know justification is for Jesus Christ to save us. Then we will know the truth and the truth will make us free.

Charles Spurgeon said it best, “Strange that there should be men so vile as to use the penknife of Jehoiakim to cut passages out of the word, because they are unpalatable. O ye who dislike certain portions of Holy Writ, rest assured that your taste is corrupt, and that God will not stay for your little opinion. Your dislike is the very reason why God wrote it, because you ought not to be suited; you have no right to be pleased. God wrote what you do not like; he wrote the truth. Oh! let us bend in reverence before it, for God inspired it. It is pure truth. Here from this fountain gushes aqua vitae–the water of life–without a single particle of earth; here from this sun cometh forth rays of radiance, without the mixture of darkness. Blessed Bible! thou art all truth.” (from the sermon ‘The Bible’ delivered Sunday evening March 18, 1855)

“I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.”–Hosea 8:12

Think on these things …

 

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“They feared the LORD, and served their own gods…”

In II Kings 17 we have the record of the ten northern tribes of Israel being carried away captive by Shalmaneser king of Assyria.  It was the Assyrian way to remove a majority of the conquered people and to place Assyrian colonists in the lands they conquered.  When the colonists in this case moved into the land, bad things began to happen to them as the Lord sent lions among them to devour them because they didn’t fear Him.  So the king of Assyria sent one of the priests of Israel back to the land to teach them how they should fear God.  This was basically the blind leading the blind however since when the Israelites had lived there they didn’t live right either.  Before being led away into captivity, the northern tribes had become very idolatrous.  Now this priest has gone back to teach the heathen how to fear God…  Well this passage goes on to indicate that they learned how to ‘fear’ God but they continued to serve their own gods.  The men from Babylon worshiped Succothbenoth, the men of Cuth worshiped Nergal, the men of Hamath served Ashima, the Avites served Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.  This last thing was particularly troubling.  Their worship involved human sacrifice of their own children in order to have a hope of higher status among society ie. “the pride of life”.

“Well what has this got to do with us today?” you might say… My friend here in America we who call ourselves Christians are like these Assyrians. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Wise Still Seek Him

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Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew sets forth an historical account of the visit of the wise men here in chapter two.  Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the king, or Herod the Great.  Herod was the son of Antipater, an Idumean or Edomite.  In other words, Herod was a descendant of Esau and since he was elected king of Judaea in 40-39 B.C. by the Roman senate most orthodox Jews didn’t consider him Jewish.  In fact, he was a very cruel king who by this time had exiled his first wife Doris and killed his second wife Miriamne I due to his jealousy.  He had also killed Miriamne’s mother Alexandra and his two sons by Miriamne I for suspected treason.  He also ended up five days before his own painful death, killing his firstborn son Antipater II.  He was considered by this time to be very suspicious and paranoid by this time of anything that might be a threat against his rule. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14)

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It is Christmas again and we are busy trying to buy those gifts and filling our event calendars with family and church fellowship gatherings.  But we as Christians need to remember that Jesus truly is the reason for the season.  Christ came to Bethlehem to die for the sins of whosoever will.  As I was pondering that thought, I began thinking of one of the first references to the coming and sacrifice of Jesus in Genesis 22.  Abraham was told to carry Isaac to the ‘land of Moriah’ to a mountain ‘I will tell thee of’…  Isaac was likely in his thirties as his mother dies soon after in the next chapter at the age of 127 and she bore Isaac at age 90.  So Isaac, like Christ, goes willingly at the behest of his father to the place of sacrifice.  And, like Christ, he carries the wood that he would be bound to to that place of sacrifice.  By the way, this is Abraham’s fifth altar.  Five is the number of Grace in God’s Word.

It is at the point of Abraham being fully surrendered to God’s will with his knife in the air, that Jesus, in His pre-incarnate state (a theophany), appears and stops the sacrifice from occurring. Jesus says to Abraham, “…now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me .” This is a powerful glimpse at the wonderful plan of God. In I Chronicles 21, God sends His angel to judge Israel with pestilence for the sin of David in numbering the people. He stops the angel from destroying Jerusalem when David repents of this sin at a spot called the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. Gad the seer tells David to build an altar on that spot and offer up a burnt offering. Just a few chapters forward in II Chronicles 3:1 we see “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” Did you see that? The threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite is in Mount Moriah. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Redeeming the Time

With the time change occurring tonight, I thought about the following passage:

Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.   15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

I do believe as a preacher and student of prophecy, that we are indeed in the last days.  Not only are world events fulfilling prophecy but the attitude of the church in this day does as well.  The night before Jesus was crucified, He led His few friends to the garden of Gethsemane to pray.  He told Peter, James and John, “…tarry ye here, and watch with me.”  It wasn’t long before He found them asleep while He had been praying for them and for us.  And then when Judas shows up with soldiers ready to arrest our Lord, Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of Malchus, one of the high priest’s servants.  Jesus stops Peter and says, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)  Like Peter, the church in America has fallen asleep in the last 30 years during a crucial time when she should have been watching and expending all efforts to get the gospel out.  Now, like Peter many in the church are waking up to find many of our values and morals are under attack and we draw our sword and begin to fight the wrong fight. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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