The Lord’s Rest Pt. 2 (Ex.31:12-17)
The death penalty associated with this Old Testament law calls attention to a grave danger if we don’t perform the behavior. The penalty is trying to say that performing this behavior is so necessary that you must not let it out of your life. You must worship the Lord. The Sabbath worship that is required for Israel and as well for the Church reveals powerful help that cannot be revealed in any other way except worship (a worship that becomes your attitude and habit). The Church’s worship has an inseparable connection with the Lord’s rest introduced on the seventh day of creation. Worship opens up the miracles of that salvation rest. We cannot be bathed with the Spirit of God without the worship of Christ. The Psalmist says blessed is the person who rejects the assembly of scoffers and finds pleasure in the worship of the Lord. That person is like a tree planted by living streams. (Ps.1:3) You cannot find that kind of strength anywhere but in the worship of the Lord. Thank you, Lord for leading us to living water. Help us to drink.
The Lord’s Holiness (Lev. 19:1-10)
“There is no one holy like the Lord.” (1Sam. 2:2) Holy is not determined by the majority or the minority. Being morally upright and law abiding Is not the full definition of the Lord’s holiness and immoral is certainly not holy. Jesus preached that the Father’s standard goes beyond the common culture—the natural accepted way of doing things. God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Holy is looking out for the good of the whole not what is best for me short term. Although, that which is good for the whole, is best for me long term. You shall be holy, because the Lord your God is holy. Christians claiming to be a part of the “holy priesthood” and the Church representing Christ in the world are violating the holiness of God when they choose that which is partisan and good only for the select favorite. Our Holy Lord delivers the best and the most blessed for the world and his people.
God’s Big Surprise (Daniel 6:3-23)
(Faithful Old Folks Needed)
If you are walking for Jesus, the road does not get easier. If you are
trusting in Jesus and you have been tested faithful, the Lord will give
you challenges that are increasing in difficulty. The Lord is building
a team of faithful old folks to help this nation trust his providence.
The Lord will use young folks for great accomplishments but they
need to be led by tested old folks. Thanks be to God for revealing in
Daniel that the Lord muzzles lions of harm for his servants in Jesus’
I Will Prove You (Deuteronomy 8:1-10)
Moses sums up for Israel what the Lord has been doing for them the last 40 years of their journey through the wilderness. The Lord has been preparing them for the Promised Land by teaching them humility. The Lord has been testing them along the way so that they may see the advancement of their trust in God. Israel landed in this 40 year class because they had failed to trust God when the Lord first told them to move into the Land. Israel doubted their resources to succeed. The Lord has been displaying for them his resources helping them to depend on Him. He has fed them with manna that they would know to depend on the Lord’s every word. Moses tells them that the Lord has provided them with clothes that didn’t wear out and has kept their feet from swelling. They must remember that the Lord is preparing them for his service (Ex.19:6).
The Lord is establishing CBC the same way. We are his proofs. Lord, develop our trust. Help us to help others to know your provision in Jesus Christ our Lord. May we know our lessons never end in our earthly journey.
Salvation Is A Habit (Luke 12:21)
Vince Lombardi would often tell the Green Bay Packers that to become a winner requires consistency and discipline starting from what you think because what follows thinking is what you believe, speak and act out. He was illustrating for them the route to a winning habit and character. Lombardi was sharing the lessons of Jesus Christ. Experiencing the fruit of salvation means abiding in Christ (John 15:4). Acquiring the the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:21-22) requires discipline and dedication in the service of Jesus. We need all that the Lord will give us to defeat demonic influences in our lives. Jesus spent so much time talking about money (one half of parables and a significant amount of Jesus’ teaching) because money plays such a vital part of our lives. Because money is major in our lives, Jesus is saying develop the Biblical strategy (Matt.23:23) with our money that helps us be rich towards God while helping us be disciplined and dedicated to serving the Lord. Percentage giving to God is that strategy. Percentage giving is a discipline. Percentage giving is a joyous act of worship. Percentage giving certainly develops the habit of opening up to the saving grace that the Lord desires to pour into our lives.
I Will Return To You (Malachi 3:7)
The title sounds like something we need to say to the Lord as we become aware of how we have gotten off track in serving the Lord. Too often we don’t give much attention to improving and centering ourselves in the Lord’s will. We often feel that we are doing enough activity to satisfy the Lord. Actually, too often we are not doing enough listening to the Lord. Too often we are pursuing our own activities.
“I will return to you” is the awesome promise of God to us! The Creator of the universe-the One who owes nothing and needs nothing-the only One who is sufficient in Himself promises to return to us. Invest in my House. Invest in my Church. Invest in the work of my Kingdom. Help me to be known in the community through your monetary gifts and I will return to you. What we can give to ourselves is infinitely less than what the Sovereign Lord of the Universe will give to us. Lord, how much money do you want me to give?
The Lord’s Morning (Psalm 30)
Putting forth the praise of God is powerful and pleasing to the Lord. We celebrate the Lord because His day always ends in the morning (Gen.1). See the darkness dissolving into morning. See trials and tribulation dissolving into shalom—the Lord’s wholesome peace--the Lord's morning. God’s day always ends in the light (a sanctifying disinfecting light), always ends in victory, and always ends in pleasing solutions. The Psalmist wants the community to know that the Lord’s morning rules. Christians hearing this Psalm in the victory of the Risen Christ know that the Lord’s morning rules. (One glad morning…..)
Life is worth living when I can help somebody know that Jesus is a savior. Life is worth living when I can help somebody know that there is nothing beyond His redemption ability. His loving mercy is active. The power of prayer dedicated to the Lord has always turned sackcloth into clothes of joy. Thank you Lord for one more moment-- one more day-- a few more years that I may lift your name in praise.
Choose To Follow Christ (Matt. 7:6-12)
The Lord stands before these people preaching and teaching that which is holy and precious is not to be presented to dogs means he does not want them disregarded and pushed to the back burner. There is no gift as Holy and Precious as Jesus and he gave himself on the cross for our redemption. He died for us. However sensible it may be to refrain from giving what is holy and precious to animals. The Lord makes it plain that he does not consider us animals. The Lord makes it plain by His ministry to us that he believes in us and expects the best from each of us. If we are to treat others as we want to be treated, this passage helps us see how the Lord wants us to relate to him. Trust him as he trusts us. Believe him as he believes in us. Give of your best to the Master. He has given us the best. Ask the Lord for a right relationship with him and it will be given to you. Seek the best for the Lord and the best will be poured into your lives
In His Great Mercy (1 Peter 1:3-12)
The examples used to demonstrate the Lord’s great mercy were familiar to those who heard them in ancient cultures. The value of 10,000 talents was known to be far more that any human could pay if they had 10 life times to pay it. I believe that Jesus and his Apostles speaking in our presence today would use examples familiar to our modern age like a trillion dollars (a number that cannot be reached if you received a million dollars every day for 2017 years) and light years (light traveling 6 trillion miles in a year—stars and galaxies millions of light apart) to communicate the magnificence of our Creator who created our infinite universe. This is our Lord God who died for us. This is our Lord God who commands our every attention because the “distance” that He traveled for us is beyond comprehension. We need the ministry of the Holy Spirit which comes through His mercy. We need to get this right. This is urgent business. We need the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Follow The Spirit Of Jesus (Acts 16:5)
Angels energized by Christians yielding to the Holy Spirit do not get a free pass from demonic activity. Angels showing vitality through churches to serve the vocation of Christ are targeted with the activity of discord and worldly conflict. Thanks be to the Lord for Christians who use the Word of God through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to call powers and people to serve Christ their Redeemer. Christians, who unite in following the Spirit of Jesus, prosper in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Christians, who follow the Spirit of Jesus, refuse to allow their church witness to be distracted by the devil. Christians, who follow the Spirit of Jesus, make room for the help of Christ for the good of the whole.
Created By And For Him (Col.1:16)
The demonic gets the vitality it uses for idolatry from Christ. Evil is a parasite. Idolatry is when entities try to be independent of the one true God. The entity acts as if it has a task to perform that is not connected to the gospel of Christ. The entity acts as if it can survive without Christ/ without pursuing what is good for the body/whole. These unseen invisible powers must be reminded that they belong to Christ and they have a vocation given to them by Christ that they must follow or they will die. Statues and many other symbols that exert super human destructive power in the lives of the people need to come down because they are not sending the saving power to value all persons. Powers will respect this ministry if the church will carry it forth. Lee and Jackson statues need to come down. These statues are idolatrous. The “wall” needs to be scrapped because it is idolatrous.
The Presence Of The Lord (Rev.2:1-7)
We must be engaged constantly in the business of helping the Lord meet with the angel of our church—the angel of each other and the angel of our self. We must be specific in ministering to the invisible as well as the visible. Our spirits need discipline (Heb.12:9). The only one who can make changes in the Powers manifested in our flesh is Christ. Ask the Lord to make them repent and serve the vocation he gave them. We need the presence of the Lord in our church. The glory of God is necessary for healing and putting down the deception of the devil in our world. Angel of CBC, hear the Lord’s word.
Empty, Clean, And Put In Order (Matt.12.44)
It is not good when the demonic is saying the above (Matt. 12:44). The demonic is saying this is the condition I want. The demonic is saying the entity has been put in order for my existence because nothing is being done to keep me out or keep me from taking over. The person or entity is out to lunch and not tending to the business and purpose Jesus asked his disciples to engage. We have dismissed and ignored the activity of demons and angels stuck on their shelves, as if they don’t exist. We don’t ask the Lord to make them repent or serve the vocation he gave them. Jesus says it is for that reason that they multiply in our personal, political, social, economic, and religious bodies.