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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Faith Promise Sunday Romyen Church Bangkok

It is my delight to present the Bible message on this very important Faith Promise Sunday.

Thank you, Pastor, Elders and Church mother, Chuanpit Kowae.

God is a missions God.  God’s Church is a missions church.  Spirit-filled Christians are missions people.

A church’s health is significantly determined by their devotion to missions. 

Healthy congregations are increasing in their global influence for Christ.

I have a very important question for you, following the reading of today’s Bible passage.  2 Corinthians 8:1-5

8And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 

Here is this very important question.  How can anyone give beyond their ability? 

It is impossible to do……unless faith in God is in action.

Romyen Church, it is our time to live and give by faith for this new year.  We have done so in the past.  We will do so today and in the days ahead.

It’s our turn to live by faith.

Consider the word of the Lord through His prophet Daniel.

32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.  Daniel 11:32

In this generation we will not be seduced but we will stand firm and take action.

Hebrews 11:6              With faith it is possible to please God.

1 Corinthians 13:13     Faith is one of three permanent essentials.

We might divide Biblical revelation regarding faith into two categories:  faith that pleases God and faith that doesn’t please God.

There is a faith that pleases God and a faith that doesn’t please God.

Faith that doesn’t please God.

1.  Dead faith              James 2:26

2.  No faith                  Mark 4:40

3.  Little faith               Matthew 6:30

4.  Faith that drifts      1 Timothy 6:21

5.  Weak faith             Romans 14:1

6.  Lacking faith           1 Thessalonians 3:10

7.  Failing faith            Luke 22:32

Faith that pleases God.

1.  Great faith              Matthew 8:10

2.  Saving faith            Luke 5:20, 7:50

3.  Healing faith           Luke 8:48

4.  Precious faith         2 Peter 1:1

5.  Increasing faith      Luke 17:5

6.  Being full of faith   Acts 6:8

7.  Footsteps of faith   Romans 4:12

8.  Walking faith          2 Corinthians 5:7

9.  Living faith             Hebrews 10:38

10.  Word of faith       Romans 10:8

11. Family of faith       Galatians 6:10

12.  Joy in faith            Philippians 1:25

13.  Established faith  Colossians 1:23

14.  Firm faith             Colossians 2:5

15.  Working faith       1 Thessalonians 1:3

16.  Patient faith         James 1:3

17.  Encouraging faith 1 Thessalonians 3:7

18.  Growing faith       2 Thessalonians 1:3

19.  Sincere faith         2 Timothy 1:5

20.  Fighting faith        1 Timothy 6:12

21.  Kept faith             2 Timothy 4:7

22.  Sound faith          Titus 1:13

23.  Assuring faith       Hebrews 10:22

24.  Professed faith     Hebrews 10:23

25.  Praying faith         James 5:15

26.  Tried faith            1 Peter 1:7

27.  Victorious faith    1 John 5:4

28.  Overcoming faith 1 John 5:5

29.  Holy faith             Jude 20

R. L. Brandt, now with the Lord, is one of the role models of faith who influenced my understanding of faith. 

Brother Brandt saw the faith stories of the Bible revealing three general aspects:

  1. The Word of faith – Faith is not positive thinking.  It is hearing the voice of God.
  2. The Work of faith – Faith always requires action.
  3. The Wonder of faith – Faith beholds the wonder.

Consider Romans 10:8-10

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  Romans 10:8-10

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);    because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,       you will be saved.    10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  Romans 10:8-10   Here is the Word of faith.  It is in your mouth and in your heart.       This is the work of faith. ConfessBelieve that Jesus is LordBelieve in your heart that God raised him from the dead     The WOW of faith.  You will be saved!      

You will see this pattern over and over again in God’s word.  Matthew 14:28-33

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”              29 He said, “Come.”        So Peter got out of the boat     and walked on the water and came to Jesus.        30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”        31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”      32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.        33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”   Peter asks for a word of faith.   And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  Hebrews 11:6     The Word of faith from Jesus to Peter is, “Come.”     The Work of faith by Peter is “got out of the boat.”   The Wonder of faith – Peter walked on water       The Work of faith includes sustaining the word through times of doubt and fear.  And turning to God for sustaining grace.       The Wonder of faith – Jesus graciously rescues us in our moments of doubt.       The Wonder of faith – the wind ceased.         The Wonder of faith – those in the boat worshiped him, “truly you are the Son of God.”

Romyen Church, like the Macedonian churches, we can give beyond our ability. 

We can live and give by faith.  As we prepare our Faith Promises, listen for the word of faith.

Posted on 8th February 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Holy Spirit Vision 2020

The Christian life is totally Holy Spirit dependent. 

Everything God does in you and our world of today He does through the Holy Spirit.

Comments 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
Fifth, there is a maturing in the relationship between the Spirit and the spirit.           Second, the Spirit’s wisdom is secret and hidden from the natural mind.                       Third, this wisdom is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.                     Fourth, this is not the spirit or wisdom of the world, but the Spirit from God.   His Spirit helps us understand the things freely given to us by God.             First – God’s Spirit communicates with my spirit.   23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:2318 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22     Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.    But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.    12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.   14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.  

Developing my spirit’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is of paramount importance to the Spirit led life.

I set my mind on the things of the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

I regularly ask God to keep my spirit sensitive to His Spirit.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3

I regularly pray in the Spirit.

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Ephesians 6:18

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.  Jude 1:20

MCA Life Groups

Further Study

LISTEN:  MY STORY

Tell of a time when you knew something that without the Holy Spirit you wouldn’t have otherwise known.

LEARN:  DIGGING DEEPER

  • Which do you develop more, your spirit, soul or body?  Why?
  • Please read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
  • What verses there speak to the mind and reason?
  • Does the cross make sense to the mind? Does the cross make sense to the spirit influenced by the Holy Spirit?
  • What strategies do you know for setting your mind on things of the Spirit?
  • What strategies do you know for keeping your spirit sensitive to His Spirit?
  • How may your life group help you pray in the Spirit?

LIFT:  PRAYING WITH ONE ANOTHER

  • Please pray, one for the other, for the three strategies you discussed above.

LIFE:  TAKING IT HOME

  • What specific action might you take this week to prioritize your spirit being influenced by the Holy Spirit?

Will you mention one person you will invite to your life group this week?  Please pray together for that person and your upcoming invitation.

Posted on 18th January 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Training Myself in Godliness

We are seeking the guidance of the Lord regarding those things we should start, stop or continue.

Let’s make two categories for our conversation; temporary or eternal.

With no one being perfect, everyone has behaviors, beliefs and attitudes they should start, stop or continue in the things that are temporary.

With no one being perfect, everyone has behaviors, beliefs and attitudes they should start, stop or continue in the things that are eternal.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 carries this sense of the temporary and the eternal.

Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 

Bodily training is of value but only for this present life.

Training in godliness is of value both for the present life and also for the life to come.

Please take action on at least one temporary thing in your life to start, stop or continue.  Temporary things have some value.

Today’s message is designed to help us take action on starting, stopping or continuing things impacting our eternity.

As I understand it, there are three primary views (with millions of variations) of salvation, each with different perspectives of what impacts one’s eternity.

God gives everyone faith that can be placed in Jesus for salvation. God gives faith to some people who are guaranteed salvation. God gives everyone faith that can be placed in Jesus for salvation. 
This faith is placed in Jesus for salvation through any number of actions. Often, Water baptismHoly CommunionPenance It is predetermined by God that only a select group will be given faith and placing that faith in Christ alone is a response to the salvation God predetermined.  Faith alone in Christ alone all done by God with no human action. This faith is placed in Jesus for salvation by trusting in Christ alone.  Faith alone, in Christ alone accomplished by God and requiring placing trust in Jesus.
Faith in Jesus must be continual with repentance of sin leading to the sacraments. Faith in Jesus is a one-time act.  Since you are saved by God’s action, repentance does not lead to salvation but is a response to salvation. Faith in Jesus must be continual with repentance of sin as the evidence of that faith.
Unconfessed sin separates me from the sacraments which separates me from faith which separates me from salvation. Because you are saved by God’s action alone, unconfessed sin isn’t related to salvation.  It is related to a reward system in heaven. Continuation in unconfessed sin is evidence you are no longer living in faith alone, in Christ alone.
What I start, stop and continue evidences if I am continuing in faith and has significant impact upon eternity. What I start, stop and continue has little or no impact upon eternity. What I start, stop and continue evidences if I am continuing in faith and has significant impact upon eternity.
Kent – I can’t live with the idea that salvation is not by faith alone, in Christ alone. Kent – I can’t live with the idea that God intentionally created people he doesn’t love, predestined them to live a life separated from God, and then punishes them in eternal hell.   I also can’t live with the notion that unconfessed sin in the non-elect sends them to hell.  Unconfessed sin in the elect is forgiven by God before it happened, while it was happening and after it happened. Kent – I can live with faith alone, in Christ alone as evidenced by confessing sin and walking in righteousness.   A danger is drifting into viewing repentance as a work of the person rather than repentance flowing from God’s gracious gift of faith.

Although controversial to some, there are tremendous Christians in each of the three primary perspectives of salvation. 

Unfortunately, there are also many people who are eternally at risk in each of the three primary perspectives.

Because my beliefs, behaviors and attitudes impact my eternity, I will:

START – I will practice the confession of my sins to Jesus

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

STOP – I will practice repentance

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19

CONTINUE – I will supplement my faith

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In these ways I will train myself in godliness, which is of value in every way, both in the present life and in the life to come.

Posted on 4th January 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Toward an MCA Way

Toward the MCA Way

Much of the mission and vision of all local churches are revealed in the Bible.  In this way, all local congregations have the same mission and vision.

The MCA Mission is in our Constitution and Bylaws and can be summarized as ministry to God, saints and the world.

MULDOON COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY, INC. recognizes that it’s three-fold mission is:

  • to be a corporate body in which people may worship God (God);
  • to be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son; (Saints) and
  • to be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (the world).

Virtually every local congregation, both orthodox and protestant, whole-heartedly embrace the same mission.

Let’s consider some of the uniqueness’s of an MCA Spirituality.

The New Testament Experience is to be our Experience

Well known Presbyterian author, Eugene Peterson brought his Assemblies of God background into his work.

This is the hermeneutic Peterson always puts before us. He’s as well schooled as anybody when it comes to “What does it mean?” And his scholarship has helped more than a few young seminarians like me come up with some important answers to that question. But this question is always in service to the second question, the “How can I live it?” question. In one of his later works, Peterson writes about his Pentecostal upbringing. Although he has a few critiques of the tradition of his youth, he notes that Pentecostals are fiercely devoted to the idea that every last detail of the Book is intended to be lived. And with that simple stroke of his pen, I gained a deeper understanding. How can I live it?  https://jasonbybee.com/2018/11/09/eugene-peterson/

MCA’s favorite Pentecostal theologian, Robert Menzies, tells of a Chinese pastor who said, “When reading the book of Acts, we believe this story is our story.”

  1. We read the book of Acts as a model for our lives.
  2. We understand that the baptism in the Holy Spirit, promised to every believer, should not be confused with regeneration or conversion, rather it is a prophetic empowering.
  3. We link speaking in tongues with the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:17-21 is a model for MCA Spirituality today.

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

We Equip those God Grafts into the MCA Church Network.

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-12

President Lyndon Johnson said, “We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.”

It is easy to claim to be an equipping ministry without being disciplined to actually require equipping.

  1. We believe in the Spirit’s gifts in the person seated next to us.
  2. We resist the cultural pressure to “hire talent.”  We seek to equip and release MCA constituents who are called by God.
  3. When excellence and equipping conflict, we hope to always choose equipping.

Our Highest Desire is to Experience the Presence and Glory of God

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

We resist a consumer, people-based church design that asks, “What attracts people?” and seek to emphasize, “On whom does God desire to place His glory?”

We seek distinction by experiencing the Lord going with us.

14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”  Exodus 33:14-16

Posted on 2nd January 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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This Changes Everything: Righteousness

In placing your faith in Jesus for salvation, you are transformed (this changes everything) from darkness to light.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Receiving God’s gift of faith (given to all who will receive) God considers you righteous.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  Romans 3:21-26

Also consider that Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness.

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”  Romans 4:3 (a quote from Genesis 15:6)

Your faith (a gift from God) is counted as righteousness. 

Your faith, counted to you as righteousness, also faces the facts of your life.

19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.  Romans 4:19-25

Genuine faith is accompanied by removing everything from our lives that cast a dark shadow when presented to the Light.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Start Stop Continue
Thanksgiving (4) Sexual immorality (3) Thanksgiving (4)
  All impurity  
Do not partner with the sons of disobedience (7) All covetousness Do not partner with the sons of disobedience (7)
Walk as children of the light (8) Filthiness (4) Walk as Children of the light (8)
Discern what is pleasing to the Lord (10) Foolish talk Discern what is pleasing to the Lord (10)
  Crude joking  
  Let no one deceive you (6)  
Expose the unfruitful works of darkness (11) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness (11) Expose the unfruitful works of darkness  (11)
Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise (15)   Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise (15)
Make the best use of your time (16)   Make the best use of your time (16)
Understand the will of the Lord (17) Do not be foolish (17) Understand the will of the Lord (17)
Be filled with the Spirit (18) Do not get drunk (18) Be filled with the Spirit (18)
Address one another with Psalms (19)Hymns Spiritual songs Singing Making melody with your heart to the Lord Giving thanks always (20) and for everything to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ Submit to one (21) another out of reverence for Christ   Address one another with Psalms (19)Hymns Spiritual songs Singing Making melody with your heart to the Lord Giving thanks always  (20) and for everything to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ Submit to one (21) another out of reverence for Christ

Since by faith in Jesus for salvation everything has changed, I, by faith in Jesus have things I will start, stop and continue.

The faith that saves you is the faith that sanctifies (purifies) you.

Posted on 27th December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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This Changes Everything: You are the light of the world

Experiencing Jesus changes everything.

  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.  Isaiah 9:2
  • for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…Ephesians 5:8
  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  1 Peter 2:9

Jesus said of Himself, “I am the light of the world.”

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

Jesus is the spiritual and moral light for all creation.  Because of Jesus we know:

  • Who                      I am part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.
  • Why                       I am this because Father God loves me.
  • Where                   I am in the kingdom of the Son God loves.
  • When                    I am here for such a time as this.
  • What                     I am a child of God.

Let us turn our attention to Jesus’ being the light of the WORLD.

Consider the international and cultural expansiveness of the birth narratives of Jesus.

  • Shepherds       Jewish priests ensuring sheep worthy of sacrifice on Passover
  • Magi                Probably Zoroastrian priests from Iran
  • King Herod      Edomite raised as a Jew
  • Quirinius         Roman aristocrat – Governor of Syria
  • Angels             “to let it be known how this event is regarded in heaven and should be  regarded on earth.”  https://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/2-13.htm

The angel’s message is insightfully stated for God’s eternal purposes.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

The original expression in Luke 2:10 is insightful, ευαγγελιζομαι υμιν χαραν μεγαλην, 

I evangelize unto you great joy. 

Evangelization is included in Jesus’ birth announcement.

We see Jesus’ global evangelization even at His birth as Jewish priests, Persian priests, roman aristocrats, Edomites and angels are included.

Encountering Jesus changes everything.  We are changed from darkness to light.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatthey may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:14

As the light of the world, Jesus’ followers are sent into all the world.

15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The Light that changed everything for us is sending us into the world to see everything change for those who believe our report.

As the light of the world, I am a light bearing change agent

I go into all the world reflecting the Light of Jesus.

18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.[f] For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Jesus left home and the nations came to His Light. 

You and I are to leave home and watch God bring the nations to His light reflected in us.

This changes everything.

Posted on 21st December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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This Changes Everything: Come to the Light

Placing my faith in Jesus Christ for salvation changes everything because it positions me in God’s marvelous light.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  1 Peter 2:9-10

Since placing faith in Jesus for salvation changes everything marvelously, every human in history turns joyfully to the Light, correct?   No. 

The god of this world is an active agent working to blind our minds to keep us from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

Because this is true, praying for the defeat of the blinding one, his blinding work, and all related blindness is important and necessary.

Some people are completely blinded to the gospel of the glory of Christ while other people have partial blindness. 

Similarly, some people are in total spiritual darkness while in others the light casts dark shadows.

God alone is darkness and shadow free.

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

Into the reality where very human experiences darkness and shadows, John writes:

19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”  John 3:19-21

The Apostle John reveals the facts of the case.

  1. Light has come into the world.
  2. People loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
  3. Everyone who does wicked things hates the light and

Does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

  • But whoever does what is true

Comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

Coming to the light changes everything.

The English word for the darkness we love rather than the light is the word sin.

When I sin, I create a brand-new reality, seen most often in the Bible as a stain, weight or debt.

Sin Creates Sin is Removed Bible Example
A stain I am cleansed Psalm 51:4
A weight My burden is lifted Leviticus 16:22
A debt My debt is paid or remitted Matthew 6:12

When I come to Jesus, the Light, He changes everything!

Jesus cleanses my stain.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Jesus carries the weight of my sin.

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

Jesus pays my spiritual debt.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”  Matthew 18:23-35

Why is Jesus willing to cleanse my stain, carry my burden and pay my debt?

Jesus’ eternal motive is His infinite love.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

I invite you to come to the Light by placing your faith in Jesus and watch Him change everything.

Posted on 14th December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Psalm 85: A Psalm for Advent

In Advent we prepare ourselves for God.

Uniquely, God did arrive, has arrived, and will be arriving. 

God’s work in me is done, being done and will be done.

This is similar to Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

IS WAS IS TO COME
What is God doing in me now? What has God done in me in the past? What will God be doing in me in the future?
What do I do now to respond to God’s current action in me? What do I do now to respond to God’s previous action in me? What do I do now to prepare for God’s future action in me?

Psalm 85 is often considered during Advent. 

You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath
    and turned from your fierce anger.   Restore us again, God our Savior,
    and put away your displeasure toward us.  
Consider the amazing work of God in the past. (Was) Showed favorRestored the fortunesForgave the iniquityCovered all sinsSet aside all your wrathTurned from your fierce anger     Restore us again Put away your displeasure
Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.  
In the present, Lord:  (Is) Will you be angry with us forever?Will you prolong your anger?Will you revive us again that we may rejoice?Show us your unfailing loveGrant us your salvation    
I will listen to what God the Lord says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
    but let them not turn to folly.
We expect the Lord to speak. He promises peaceTo his peopleTo his faithful servants Do not turn to folly
  Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land. 10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps.  
The promised future (Will be)
Salvation is near to those who fear himHis glory will dwell in our land   Love and faithfulness meet togetherRighteousness and peace kiss each otherFaithfulness springs forth from the earthRighteousness looks down from heaven   The Lord will indeed give what is goodThe land will yield its harvestRighteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps    

Psalm 85 might be considered during Advent, in part, because of the long experience of not seeing God present or participating and yet the inspirational hopefulness in His promised arrival.

In 1744 Charles Wesley was considering the plight of hungry and orphaned children through the lens of Haggai 2:5-9.

My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

Out of his heart for God’s promise through Haggai and his longing for the struggling children, he wrote the hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.”

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

— Charles Wesley

Posted on 11th December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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This Changes Everything: Into His Marvelous Light

Jesus' Birth Changes Everything

Everything changes when Jesus, the Light of the World, is born. 

Changes, both visible and invisible, comprise the comprehensive spectrum of transformation produced in the incarnation.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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As you can see, the visible portion makes up an incredibly small fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum. Less than 1% of all light that reaches us is in the visible spectrum. By most estimates it comes out to about .0035% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

https://www.quora.com/What-percentage-of-the-light-spectrum-are-humans-able-to-see-with-their-eyes

We don’t see over 99.7% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum nor do we see more than that the spiritual spectrum.  The vast majority of what God has done, is doing and will do are outside of our vision capacity.   

Although we have the concepts, many of the things God does are not visible and in a sense we are blind to it.

Even though we can’t see all the forms, shapes, textures, nuances and shades, we know by the character of what we can see, how beautiful God and His work are. 

What can you see in your blind spot?  AMAZING things.

The darkness of Genesis 1 is removed by the creation of natural light. 

The spiritual darkness of John 1 is removed by the birth of The Moral Light.

The darkness is dark.  The Light is brighter by far.

God’s light is insurmountable, non-destroyable, irresistible, non-over-come-able, undefeatable, indefatigable and eternal.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:4, 5

Nothing in all creation can eliminate the Light.

This marvelous light that changes everything is from God.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

The Light that changes everything is Marvelous.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  1 Peter 2:9-10

We were, at one time,

  • An unidentified and undervalued people  – now a chosen race
  • No ministry for or before God – now a royal priesthood
  • Belonging to no one – now his possession.

That we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The grace, mercy and love of Christ that calls us out of darkness changes everything.

Some of the following concepts are from https://www.biblestudytools.com/

Atonement                  The deepest of cleansing. 

The point is apparently that the surface of the skin can demonstrate a deeper sickness underneath as can the surface of a house; both need to be cleansed of that deeper sickness as does the human heart of its sin.

Expiation                     Punishment taken by Another

Guilt is said to be expiated when it is visited with punishment falling on a substitute. Expiation is made for our sins when they are punished not in ourselves but in another who consents to stand in our room. It is that by which reconciliation is effected. Sin is thus said to be “covered” by vicarious satisfaction.

Propitiation                 I am covered

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

Redemption                I am set free from sin and satan and have been purchased by Jesus

Redemption includes the ideas of loosing from a bond, setting free from captivity or slavery, buying back something lost or sold, exchanging something in one’s possession for something possessed by another, and ransoming.

Sanctification              The act of making something holy

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification:[b] that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body[c] in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Justification                 My sins are pardoned and God considers me righteous

It is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands. 

Regeneration              We are made spiritually alive

The instantaneous act of God whereby a person goes from spiritual death to spiritual life.

Adoption                     We are children of God

In the Bible, adoption is one of several family-related terms used to describe the process of salvation and its subsequent benefits. God is a father who graciously adopts believers in Christ into his spiritual family and grants them all the privileges of heirship. Salvation is much more than forgiveness of sins and deliverance from condemnation; it is also a position of great blessing. Believers are children of God.

Union With Christ       Christ indwells us

Christian experience is more than an imitation of the life and teaching of Jesus. It is the present experience of the risen Christ indwelling the believer’s heart by the Spirit. Both Johannine and Pauline literature refer to this reality by emphasizing the inclusive and corporate personality of Christ.

The birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus changes everything.

May I help you place your trust in Jesus for both the visible and invisible effects of Jesus, the Light?

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:12, 13

Posted on 7th December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Psalm 80: A Psalm for Advent

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Psalm 80

A Psalm for Advent

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
    Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might
    and come to save us! Restore us,[a] O God;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!  
God is one who leads like a shepherd.            
 











Elohim
O Lord God of hosts,
    how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
    and our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!  
Israel understands their great difficulties to be the results of God’s anger.  
Tears
More tears
Become the object of contention to their neighbors
The laughingstock among their neighbors      

Elohim
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea
    and its shoots to the River.[b]
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it. 14 Turn again, O God of hosts!
    Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15     the stock that your right hand planted,
    and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.  
The vine is Israel.  Genesis 49:22, Isaiah 5:1                                      














Elohim Sabaoth (God of armies)
16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
    may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
    the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!

The hope of Israel is a very unique Man.  
The man of your right hand   The son of man (Daniel 7:13, Matthew 12:8)
18 Then we shall not turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call upon your name! 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
    Let your face shine, that we may be saved!


Sabaoth Elohim Yahweh (See Psalm 46:10, 11)

Bible Commentator, Matthew Henry, envisions the Psalm 80 vine as both Israel and the Church.

The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for this change in God’s way toward them. And it is well or ill with us, according as we are under God’s smiles or frowns. When we consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble confidence, be committed to thyself.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/80-8.htm

Posted on 4th December 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post