Month: June 2015
Enjoy our celebration of the work of Jesus Christ as portrayed through biblical readings and music. This was done on Easter Sunday.<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131002430″>Resurrection Sunday 2015</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
2 Chronicles 36:5–10
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God.
6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.
7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.
8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
10 At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
The days of Judah after king Josiah are sad days that go from bad to worse. The kings who followed Josiah led the nation farther and farther from God and closer to captivity and slavery. As we read these six verses we learn gruesome details that no one rejoiced over. The final king mentioned is Zedekiah who rejected the words of the prophet Jeremiah until the city was destroyed, the king’s sons were killed before his eyes, and then his eyes were burned out so the last thing he ever remembered seeing was the murder of his own sons, one of whom should have been the next king.
We all know that the danger of not learning history is the fear that it will be repeated. If God is God and people are people then we have to admit that society is not far from repeating the failure of the nation of Israel. The mockery of God, His word and His people is at a fever pitch. A man can have a sex change and the media loves him. A Christian has one failure exposed in his past and Christianity as a whole is mocked and ridiculed.
I fear for our country because it was founded on Christian, biblical principles of law and justice. History revisionists want to change what the God-fearing founding fathers meant. The rule of law and justice has been eroded. Righteousness is no longer something to protect. Religious freedom is being replaced by public opinion which will lead the people away from religious freedom to sexual tolerance.
Here is my question from today’s passage: When will God determine that we have strayed far enough from Him and send us into some sort of bondage where all freedoms will be lost? We need to pray for God’s patience and mercy upon us. His wrath cannot be far away. When the wrath of God falls it is not pretty, it is not nice, no, it is very painful upon all who must endure it. Walk in righteousness and peace with God so that when He judges the godless we will remain at peace in our own hearts. (Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azzariah did.)
Tonight is our midweek prayer and Bible study time. As always, I invite you at least to come for prayer. The first 45 minutes is our prayer time. If you can stay for the study, great. If you cannot stay we will all benefit from our prayer time together.
Have a great day in the Lord,
2 Chronicles 34:18–21
18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
19 Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes.
20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying,
21 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.”
Josiah was made king when he was eight years old. When he was sixteen he began to make changes in the nation leading it to seek the Lord. Josiah would have been the great-great grandson of Hezekiah. His father and grandfather and great-grandfather were wicked kings who forsook the Lord. Over 60 years had transpired since the revival of Hezekiah and the Temple was again in disarray. When the servants of the king were cleaning the Temple they found the scrolls of the Law of Moses and read them before king Josiah.
When the Law of God was read, Josiah knew that the nation was in trouble before God. He rid the nation of idolatry, led the nation in humble prayer and restored the sacrifices and the Passover. God responded by again showing His mercy and holding back His wrath in the face of the kings and the nation’s repentance.
Notice with me king Josiah’s respect for the Law of God. We can learn something from this. We have several copies of God’s law both in paper and electronic form. Do we read it with fear and trembling when we see our nation and those around us living diametrically opposed to it? Are we examining our own lives in the pages of God’s law looking for where we come up short and in humble repentance seeking God’s face asking Him to hold back His judgment?
Let’s look at Josiah’s respect for the recovered Law of God and let’s look at our own attitude toward our Bibles. Let’s compare and contrast our attitude verses Josiah’s attitude. Then let’s look at God’s response to Josiah and God’s response to us. How are we doing?
Thank you for your prayers. Continue with me in dependent prayer seeking God’s face first and foremost. Pray for God to be exalted through changing lives in our VBS. Pray for God to be exalted in our efforts to proclaim Him. Pray for God to purge us so that He can work in the hearts of the children and the parents who come.
It was fun to watch the Blackhawks win last night. Apparently there were people up partying all night in the streets of Chicago. I guess I am too old to enjoy that or maybe it is a priority thing. Nonetheless, it is a good time to be a fan of Chicago hockey. One fan who got to touch the Stanley Cup said it was the greatest moment of his life. It would be pretty awesome but far from one of life’s greatest moments. As a follower of Christ, my name is forever recorded in a far more important place. The Stanley Cup is amazing, but the Book of Life of those washed in the blood is truly a forever recording. The day of my salvation was the most amazing day of my life and has effected every day since then and will continue to effect every day forever.
Have a great day in the Lord,
2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 39
Yesterday’s message was taken from the narrative of the life of King Hezekiah who was called the greatest king that Israel ever had. As we learned, Hezekiah brought back the worship of God in the Temple, he brought back the atonement sacrifices, and he brought back the Passover celebration. For the first time since Solomon’s days, 250 years, Hezekiah brought unity to at least six of the Tribes of Israel as multitudes came back for this glorious Passover celebration.
Hezekiah was king when Sennacharib came with 125,000 troops against Jerusalem and mocked the God of Israel and the people of Israel. Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed together and God sent His death angel killing all of these enemy soldiers in their sleep.
Hezekiah developed a deadly condition, probably a stomach tumor, which was destined to take his life. He prayed to God for more life and God hearing his prayer granted him fifteen more years to live.
He built cities, aqueducts, and brought back the tithe to care for the priests and Levites. He was indeed a great king.
However, after his deliverance from death an emissary came from Babylon with gifts to rejoice in his healing. This emissary came to find out what had happened and how it happened. It was the perfect opportunity for the king to show off the power of God. Instead, Hezekiah showed off his own riches, all of them, to this emissary from Babylon. At this moment of his life, the king stopped depending upon God and showed off his seeming own success. Babylon attacked Jerusalem and all of the kings riches were lost in the next generation.
I ended the message with seven lessons that we can learn from king Hezekiah.
The timeless truths evidenced in the life of King Hezekiah are this:
- God wants us to worship Him.
- God wants us to worship Him with clean hearts.
- Worship of God brings unity, joy, and gladness to those who worship Him.
- Worshippers of God today find forgiveness of sin at the altar of the Cross of Christ.
- Worshippers open their hearts and their possessions to God.
- Worshippers find the provision and the protection of God. God takes care of those who by faith worship Him.
- Whenever we take credit for the provision of God, we are in a place of danger of losing God’s provision and His protection.
We did have a great day in church yesterday. I was thrilled with the friend that Desiree brought and why she came. Desiree shops in her store and this woman wondered what Desiree had that enabled her to be joyous in her difficult life. When Desiree told her that it was Jesus Christ, this woman wanted to find out how she could have what Desiree had. Pray that this friend will receive the faith to believe.
We began our summer series on Transforming Prayer. This is going to be a transformational time for our church. Do what it takes to join us for adult Sunday school this summer. God is going to change us through this series. BTW, we need to be transformed in our prayers.
It is good to be back. Thanks for your prayers while we were gone.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Chronicles 26:3–5
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.
4 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
5 He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.
While travelling these past two weeks, I have been reading from Kings and Chronicles about the rise and fall of kings in Judah and in Israel. There is a recurring theme throughout these historical records, which is clearly stated in this passage.
Uzziah was indeed a great king. But his greatness was not from his own power or ability but from God. As long as Uzziah sought the Lord and fully depended upon Him, God made Uzziah great. Uzziah is mentioned in Isaiah 6. The king had to die for Isaiah to see the greatness of the Lord above the greatness of the king.
However, in the latter days of Uzziah he began to take credit for his greatness, took his eyes off of the Lord of heaven and did foolish and sinful things. Pride is a great enemy and Uzziah was taken by it.
I will be spending time this Sunday and this summer focusing on our need to live dependently upon God. We long for independence not realizing that full independence takes us away from faith in God. We may have measures of greatness in us, but if we do they came from God. As long as we seek the Lord in full dependence upon Him, He will make us to prosper. There is no prosperity of life, true prosperity that is, apart from gaining the riches of God from God.
Thank you for your prayers for us in our travels. Our family has traversed the nation, coast-to-coast this week. Justin left Denver and went to the west coast while Caleb and Lindsey, along with my dad and I, left Denver and went to the east coast. Whew, that is a lot of driving!
Caleb and Lindsey have a nice apartment in Virginia Beach, Virginia where she starts a new job on Monday. Caleb has already begun his new job as an ESL teacher. Pray with them as they transition this chapter of their lives.
Ben and Anna’s wedding is now available online at www.graceforlifebc.com under the heading for “sermons.” It was a beautiful wedding that exalted the Savior and brought the two of them beautifully together. They get back tomorrow night.
Pray for RU tonight that God will bring those in who need to come to Him in full dependence upon Him. Pray for the workers to come ready to minister the grace of the gospel to those who come.
Sunday we begin a new Sunday school lesson series from the book, Transforming Prayer, by Daniel Henderson. This is truly a life-changing series that I hope many will commit to. Our church does not need better programs, it needs more of the presence and power of God Who alone can prosper what we do.
Tomorrow is a church work day. Come for as long as you can. There is much to do.
If you are interested in passing out flyers for VBS, some of us will be doing that around 10:00- 1:00.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday,
12 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.