Month: April 2016

Jesus us God

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John 6

16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

 

If you struggle with the deity of Christ, give this passage a few minutes of your time.  In our Doctrines study on Wednesday nights we have studied God’s timelessness and God’s omnipresence.  In these studies we have learned from Scripture that God is above time and above space, that is, God as creator of time and space is bound by neither.  This is a difficult fact about God to wrap our time and space-locked minds around.  Before there was time there was God.  Before there was space there was God.  As the designer and creator of time and space God lives above time and space.   (As one of the men said Wednesday night, “This makes my brain hurt.”)

 

In the event described for us in John 6 we see Jesus Christ above time and above space.  His disciples had left to cross the sea without him.  In order to meet them across the sea, Jesus does not charter a boat but walks on the sea.  The limits of gravity and space and water were not limits to the Creator of them all.  While the men were struggling against the storm Jesus was walking on the troubled sea through the wind and rain.

 

Suppose for a minute that Satan, the prince and the power of the air, thought he could drown or destroy Jesus in an earthly storm.  He sure tried to destroy Christ but the Creator was above his creation.

 

Jesus then bids the men not to fear.  This was nothing surprising to the Creator.  Walking on water was normal.  But to the men it was fearful.  So Jesus did them one more favor ever showing them that he was above both space and time.  As soon as Jesus entered the boat it was at its destination.  Here Jesus showed his deity over time.  He was not limited by the time that men are limited by.  It would have taken them much more time to cross the stormy sea but Jesus bypassed time and got them to the shore.  (He even got them to the right shore, the place of their determined destination .)

 

Who is Jesus?  Do not listen to the cults who want to deny that Jesus is God.  In his lifetime, reported by many eye-witnesses, Jesus demonstrated over and over His deity.  To deny the deity of Jesus Christ is to deny the Bible itself.  Jesus was and is God.  He had to be in order to pay the judgment of the Father for our sin.  He had to be God to overcome sin and death.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

 

Sunday is our dinner day at church.  This is always a great day of fellowship for us all.  If we have visitors be sure to invite them to stay.  Bring a little bit extra food to help those who cannot bring something. 

 

Pastor Bill has a service this afternoon at Sunrise Assisted Living.  This service used to have many attendees but it has become much smaller.  Pray that those who come will be encouraged in their faith.

 

My father-in-law is having hip replacement surgery this morning.  Please pray for Ed Alexander during this time.  His last major surgery was problematic with coming out of the anesthetics.  His liver did not come out and he was dangerously ill.  Pray that all goes well for him today.  Already this morning he was witnessing of Jesus to a Jehovah Witness Pilipino nurse.  He had her convinced of the deity of Christ.  He is a great witness of his faith in Christ.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

 

PS

 

Jesus knows what He is going to do

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John 6

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.

Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

 

Here is a story that I have heard since my youngest Sunday school days.  Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish.  I have heard many sermons on this from different points of view and different points of application.  The first point I see in this section is that the disciples did not know what to do but Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do.  They were concerned that they did not have enough money to buy food for so great a crowd and the only food in the crowd was a small boy’s lunch.  The disciples were quite concerned.

 

On the other hand, Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do and was using the opportunity to teach them a lesson they would never forget.  Let’s understand something they did not, Jesus had a lesson that they needed to learn about who He was and what He was able to do.  What do we do when find ourselves in a situation that we cannot see around?  What do we do when we find ourselves tasked with a situation that we are unable to accomplish?  God has put something in our path that we just don’t think we can do.  What do we do?   I am afraid we do the same thing the disciples did; we fret and tell the Lord how impossible the situation is.

 

Our Lord is eternal and omnipresent.  No situation of our lives is new to Him.  Furthermore, according to James 1, God brings trials into our lives for our good and wants us to rejoice in the trials for in them God is going to show Himself powerful.  The disciples saw the power of the Lord Jesus that day.  They saw the bread and the fish multiply.  Their faith was also multiplied. So the next time a situation comes upon you that is impossible for you to do, realize that the Lord Jesus is over your situation and He has a plan in place to make it work.  He will work out your situation and your faith will multiply.

 

Bobbi announced a VBS meeting for two Sundays from now which is also Mother’s Day.  She has changed that meeting up a week to this Sunday.  This Sunday is also our dinner Sunday so the meeting will come before the meal for all involved in VBS.  We have a great theme this year and it will be an awesome time for the kids showing them the power of God in creation and in salvation. 

 

Ben had twenty-two teens last night for Cola Clash.  It was a great night with many kids hearing the gospel.  Keep them in your prayers that the Holy Spirit will call many of them to Himself. 

 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

Worshipping God’s Way – Isaiah 56

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In Isaiah 56 we see two groups of people, the eunuch and the foreigner, who were once restricted from entering the Temple for worship now invited in. When their hearts changed and they became followers of God they wanted to worship on His Sabbath and they wanted to serve in His temple. To the fury of Israel, God invited them into His house which was to be a house of prayer for all nations. In this message, Pastor Steve looks at the elements of worship that are important to God. He also calls the church to embrace all whom God embraces and to never hold at arm’s length those whom God has embraced.

 

To whom or what are we accountable?

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John 5

45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

 

The hearers of this discourse were a Jewish audience who knew that Moses gave them the Ten Commandments and the other ordinances of the law.  This audience did not accept Jesus as coming from God so they were not going to accept His accusations of their sin.  Jesus then turned to Moses, the one whom they claimed to trust and told them that Moses was going to be the one to accuse them.

 

People haven’t changed.  No one wants to be responsible.  In my lifetime we have seen the erosion of law and therefore the erosion of responsibility.  Men and women have gotten away with murder and all other crimes when they had the money to do so.  In order to get a bigger criminal plea bargains are struck and people get away with lesser crimes.  I know one man who has gotten away with many crimes because he knows how to talk to a judge.  Be sure of this, when we stand before God none of us will stand up to Moses’ law; all of us will be accused by it and all of us will fall short.

 

In verse 47 Jesus observed the Jews really did not believe Moses’ writings for his writings pointed to Christ.  People today are no different.  They claim to follow the laws they like but in reality they don’t follow any laws completely.  They pick and choose what laws they like and what laws they don’t like.  We know where we can speed and where we can’t.

 

Jesus’ death on the cross was necessary to bear the judgment for the sins that all who would be saved.  All who reject God’s gift of life will be held accountable for all of their sins according to Moses’ law.  Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.  The world is already condemned by a standard set thousands of years ago.  Look to Christ as the only One who bore the judgment for your sin.  You don’t want to have to stand up before God with Moses’ law next to you.  You will fall short of the glory of God.

 

We meet tonight as God’s house of prayer for all nations.  Join us at 7:00 for prayer.  Kids4Truth continues tonight and the teens have their final night of Cola Clash!  Pray for our kids and for our teens to come to faith in Jesus Christ and to give their lives to follow Him.  Pray for it not to rain as Ben has outside activities planned. 

As I ponder our election cycle I realize that the only thing that can make a difference is prayer.  If God hears us and sees us broken for our sin and seeking Him for answers He will show us what He is going to do for our good and for His glory.  I am no longer going to be worried about who is going to be in the White House.  I am going to be seeking the Lord for His guidance for our country and am going to trust that what happens is His plan and I can rejoice in it. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Be careful who gets the glory

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John 5

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?

 

Seeking the honor of one another is nothing new.  When we look back into history we find many men and women who were gifted in one area or another.  As they received honor from others for their giftedness they took the honor and became great people.  Some of those great people decided that they could lead people in a religious way and started religions.  It is hard for me to imagine people starting a religion but I think it goes back to this teaching of Jesus: people want to give glory to people and not to God.

 

Romans 1 tells us that people fail to retain God in their knowledge and give glory to works of men instead of to the works of God.  In the end they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator and professing themselves to be wise they become fools.

 

There is only one worthy of glory and that is God.  Honor Him, honor the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do not give lasting glory to people.  Their gifts came from God.  When they receive the honor from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God they put themselves in a dangerous position.  God lifts up whom He will and then God puts down whom He will.  We are to be reflectors of His glory, like a giant mirror we are to ever reflect any glory we receive back to Him.

 

The people of Jesus’ day did not give Him the glory that He deserved.  They did not honor Him nor did they find eternal life in Him.  Let us give honor to the Lord Jesus today; to Him who did all of the Father’s will so that salvation may be obtained.  He who for the joy put before Him endured the cross and despised the shame so that we could be saved, give Him the glory and believe in Him.

 

Do you know the Lord Jesus?

 

I am extremely burdened for our children.  They are being faced with wicked indoctrination all the time.  From homosexual teachers to evolutionist teachers, to atheist teachers, all of whom are nice and likeable people, our children are being taught a world-view that is against the Bible. The death of the performer, Prince, has brought out some who have claimed he was a Christian preaching his message of the gospel through his violent and sexual music.  From shared bathrooms to shared locker rooms to the Day of Silence, to the study of perverse novels, our kids are being indoctrinated to accept all people of all sinful bents as normal.  The only ones in the wrong are those of us who say that God has established absolutes of right and wrong that we are to live by.  Keep our kids in your prayers and when you can, point them to the Light.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

 

There is only one belief that matters

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John 5

37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Those who think that Jesus was all love and kindness with no judgment and no harshness need to re-read this teaching.  Jesus explained who He was and where He came from.  He then tells us that God, the Father in heaven, testified of Him.  Even though the people in Jesus’ day never heard the Father’s voice they had the actions and teachings of Jesus but they did not believe Him!

“If only Jesus were here today, then I’d have greater faith. If only I could hear His voice, ask Him questions and hear His answers, then I would believe.”  When Jesus was here and people had all of this fulfilled on a daily basis, they still did not believe.  Why is it so hard to believe in Jesus, to believe that He is God?  Why is it so hard to accept that God the Father sent God the Son to come, to teach, to suffer and to die?  People will accept all types of questionable teachings but won’t accept that Jesus is God.

Then Jesus told them to search the Scriptures but in them alone they would not find eternal life.  Furthermore, when the Scriptures spoke of Jesus those who read them denied it was about Him.  Both then and today people refuse to come to Jesus for eternal life.  How sad that God in love for us sent His Son so that we could have eternal life and we have rejected the Son.  We still want eternal life but try to find it apart from the Son.  Jesus made it clear; apart from Him there is NO eternal life.

Please don’t try to find another way; please don’t patronize those who teach another way.  All who seek eternal life apart from Jesus Christ are eternally lost.  Eternal salvation is only available through Jesus Christ.  (Note: these are His words, not mine.)

God gave us a full auditorium yesterday morning.  We had three visitor families with two them returning for a second week.  As always, I am grateful to God for the church that He has given us to be a part of.  The fellowship again was rich and our joy study in Sunday school was a great encouragement.  The message from Isaiah 56 taught us that when God receives people we must not keep them at arm’s length.  It was a great day together. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Words that are fulfilled – Isaiah 55 10-13

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As we conclude Isaiah 55 we see God’s wonderful promises to accomplish all of the word that comes from His mouth. His word has purpose and intentions and none of God’s purposes will be lost. Then we see God’s promise of His ability to bring joy to areas that were once filled with thorns and thistles. This life change, from a field of thistles to a field of beauty and fruitfulness, can only be done by God. So when God makes this change in a life all will know that God has been at work. Enjoy the words that God fulfills in our lives when we turn to Him and find satisfaction in Him.