31 May 2011

Who Is This King of Glory


Psalm 24:1-10

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? It means to bask in the glory of God through creation (eg: the trees, animals, solar system) all things that were made and created by the God of this universe. It means to stand in fear to the awesome power and judgement of God as He dealt with creation through the world wide flood.......through Pharaoh and his people.....and the nations that stood against His chosen children Israel to name a few. It means to be speechless, paralyzed as you reflect on how awesome He is in light of everything else from creation to natural disasters. It means to fall down in shame for my sin as I reflect on the holiness of God to the depravity of man (myself) found in the word of God. It means to stand in awe of His providential plan for sinful man and woman as He said He will send a Saviour...a Messiah to save His people from their sins. It means to stand in adoration of His unfailing love through Jesus Christ and the finishing work on the cross as Jesus bore my wrath and judgement on the cross of Calvary. It means to praise and adore Jesus, the one who saved my soul from Hell. It means to be gripped by His everlasting love and promise of eternal life with the King of Kings and Lord or lords. TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST! WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW AWESOME GOD IS!
  • To be gripped by God is to be completely in love with Jesus Christ!
  • To be gripped by God is to praise and shout His name to the nations for His beauty and love
  • To be gripped by God is to be called one of His children as you cry out “Abba Father” as if you cry out to Daddy I need you!
  • To be gripped by God is to worship the only true King! For all things are His.
We come to a passage of scripture that speaks of the glory of God! A passage that talks about who can enter such a place and live to tell about it! A passage that King David and his people sung as they brought the ark back into the tent of the tabernacle after 70 years of captivity by the Philistines. A powerful Psalm that displays the glory of God! A passage that should concern us and also comfort us as we see what can enter Heaven! WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO ENTER SUCH A HOLY AND GLORIOUS PLACE?..........WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO SPEAK TO THESE GATES?  No man has ever come to the gates and lives to tell about! Adam was banished from the garden because man was defiled and sinful! Guards where put at the garden so that they could never enter in again! THE BIBLE SAYS “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-20. Paul also said “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.” Eph 5:5.  John couldn't have said it any clearer “But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.” Rev 21:27 These passages of Scripture should really burden our hearts or at least concern us for lost souls that are going to spend an eternity in Hell! WHO CAN ENTER THESE GATES AND DECLARE THIS COMMAND? There is only one man who is allowed to enter these gates! NOT Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David or the Prophets........not even the Apostles have a right to speak to these doors. No man can ever enter or approach such gates without being destroyed! We are a fallen race, a fallen generations that is unclean! For “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Which means: we all have missed the mark of God’s perfection found in His holy Law and character. Remember the account of poor Uzzah? When they escorted the Ark back to the tabernacle! Instead of carrying like they were supposed to found in the Letter of Numbers....they placed it on a cart. Seems innocent enough right? Wrong, what God commands is what God demands from His people. “And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry.” Num 4:15 (YOU HAD TO BE A LEVITE). So what happens? The ox stumbled and the Ark was tilted and looked like it was about to fall over into the mud. What does Uzzah do? He touches and holds up the Ark which was God’s holy and glorious presence to His chosen people. A natural reaction anyone would do right? But what happened? “And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.” 1 Chron 13:9-10. God killed Uzzah on the spot! Why would He do such a thing to one of His people? Answer: An unlawful sinner touched the holies of holies.......which was the presence of God’s glory! it would have been better for the Ark to fall in the mud! Because the mud would have been cleaner than Uzzah's sinful depravity! WHO CAN ENTER THESE GATES AND DECLARE THIS COMMAND? There is only one person able to enter these gates and speak to them they way the Psalmist writes! HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST! The Saviour....the Messiah......The Son of God........The Lord....The King of glory! Look what He says to these ancient doors....the gates of Heaven! (v7). The Heavens must have been speechless or amazed that a man would dare speak to these doors with such authority and boldness! Look at the response by one brave soul who speaks up and says “Who is this King of glory” (v8a) “who dares speak to these doors that way?”
I love the answer by Jesus! (v8b). Jesus Christ the God man...............Is our King who is strong and mighty! So strong and mighty He engages in War. Not just any war but the war against evil and the bondage of sin! Do you realize that Jesus singlehandedly defeated the enemy by Himself? He needed no one’s help.......He stood on the front lines when everyone retreated! This is why the young shepherd boy David, is a great picture of our Lord Jesus Christ when he defeated the giant Philistine! This man who spoke to these gates proclaimed that He was the King who has conquered all things by His sovereign power and might! He tells the gate keeper who spoke up that He is a mighty warrior who is the True King of glory. AMAZING PICTURE OF THIS IS PENNED BY JOHN! Rev 19:11:16 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” This is why He boldly proclaims once again these words (look at v9). And once again the gate keeper proclaims “what man dares to speak to these doors” (v10a) Again I love the answer the man Jesus Christ gives (v10b) The Creator God is the King of glory and has come down to dwell in the midst of the city of men as a man........Jesus Christ! This man who stands at the gates commands them to open those doors is Jesus Christ the God man.....And for the first time a man enters in those gates......walks up to His Father with boldness and says “it is finished” and sits down and the Father looks at His son and says “it is finished in deed”. Jesus sits on the throne in all His glory! The King of king’s sits on the throne is all His glory!Not just any King but the One who created all things for His glory (v1-v2)
  • The One that said “let there be light”
  • The One who said “lets create man in Our image”
  • The One that said “it is was good”
  • The One who establishes everything by His authority and power.
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO SPEAK TO THESE GATES? WHAT MAN CAN ENTER THIS PLACE AND LIVE?  You and me......Look at (v3-v6) those who have clean hands and a pure heart! Those who are washed by the cleaning blood of Jesus Christ! Those who put their faith in trust in the finishing work on the Cross! Those who are have an outward expression of an inward change! Someone who has been transformed by the Gospel that saves. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor 5:17. It’s Hands that are lifted up with affections set on things that are pure...lovely...holy and just....a practical holiness which is a mark of His precious grace. A heart that has their affections set on the things of God and glorifying Him. Remember what David said when he was faced with his dreadful sin “create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” This is the true King of glory and we are allowed to enter these gates through His Son........Jesus Christ and his shed blood for our sins. This is what the King of glory did for you and me! He made it possible for us to have clean hands and a pure heart! That’s what the Gospel delivers to sinners who put their trust in Jesus Christ alone. The mighty King who is our powerful and faithful warrior who has defeated the grave and Hell and all things for His GLORY!. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? To be declared his son or daughter! That’s what this King did for me and you! 2Cor 6:17-18 says “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." This man Jesus Christ walked up to those gates and said “Let me in because the King is here”. This is a beautiful picture of our Lord’s great ascent into Heaven.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TOM BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? To realize that the King is seating on the throne in all His glory and He has made it possible for us (fallen sinful depraved people) to enter in through His precious Gospel! John Piper said “The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savouring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savour God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savouring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savour Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel." There is only one man who is capable and allowed to enter into the glory of Heaven and live to tell about it. His name is Jesus Christ the Son of man and we can enter in through His saving grace! Charles Spurgeon said in his commentary of this passage “Dear reader, it is possible that you are saying, “I shall never enter into Heaven of God, for I have neither clean hands nor a pure heart.” Look then to Christ, who has already climbed the holy hill. He has entered as the forerunner of those who trust Him. Follow His footsteps, and repose upon His merit. He rides triumphantly into Heaven, and you shall ride there too if you trust Him.”. The ascended Saviour is seated on the throne and He is calling out to the hillsides and streets.....for people to come and enter into His rest. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? A personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! Who is the glorious representation for creation to see and look upon with adoration and praise! As the Hebrew writer penned “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? Everything!.......Take hold of this wonderful truth and worship Him for who He is! The one and only King!

23 May 2011

Is This You

True Joy Is Found When We Are Content in All Circumstances


Phil 4:10-23

What would be your reaction if you were a resident of Slave Lake? Seriously! What would be your reaction if you lost everything in a fire? What would be your reaction if you were a resident in the path of the flood zone here in Manitoba? Seriously! What would be your reaction if you lost everything to a flood? What would be your reaction if you lost everything because of your lost your job? What would be your reaction if you held your 3 year old son for the last time because he was hit and killed just outside your house? I guess what I'm trying to say is! WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR HEART TO FIND JOY?

• Is it material things?
• Is it success?
• Is it money?
• Is it good health?

BECAUSE WHAT IF I FLIPPED THE QUESTION THIS WAY!WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR YOU TO LOSE YOUR JOY?

• Is it the loss of material things?
• Is it loss of success?
• Is it losing money?
• Is it failing health?

True joy can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ! Not the temporal joy the world offers as genuine joy! SEE IT COMES DOWN TO THIS ONE QUESTION! I’m I content with whatever the Lord allows in my life? Think about that question for a moment!IF THE LORD CAME AND TOOK IT ALL AWAY WOULD I (YOU) BE ABLE TO STILL BE JOYFUL? This requires you to really search your heart because Jesus said....... Would your heart be content if you lost everything and you were only left with Jesus Christ? THE APOSTLE PAUL WAS A MUCH FULFILLED, A CONTENTED MAN ACCORDING TO SOCIETY!He was once a high Priest, A Pharisee (elite),he was rich, wealth, famous, he was a fulfilled man.................. But those things never made him really content or happy! (Phil 3:7-8) "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" None of these things brought him joy or contentment even when I was persecuting the church. None of these things brought him any closer to the Lord. Many people still today think that if they go a little further up the corporate ladder.............Get a higher education, and try to fulfill personal goals that will make them content. BUT THAT’S NOT TRUE! Look around at people you know.......look at the media......look at the sports and entertainment stars! Look at Tiger Woods....Arnold Schwarzenegger.....Britney Spears........Do they display genuine contentment of joy in their lives? A true contented life is a life that looks to Christ as all they need! Jesus must be the expressing image of our joy and when Jesus is at the center of our joy we will always be able to be content with our situation in life! Paul understood this better after the Lord dealt with him! What do I mean? Paul wrote this! “Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:6-10. Contentment means: not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied; to satisfy the mind; to make quiet, so as to stop complaint or opposition; to settle; to make easy in any situation.This is what Paul was trying to teach the church as he penned this letter from a Roman’s prison cell! True joy will always be found in a contented heart that is in love with Jesus Christ!Martin Luther said "Next to faith this is the highest art to be content with the calling in which God has placed you." One writer put it this way “The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right." The Hebrew writer also told us to content!“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.” Heb 13:5-6. Jesus is all we need!..........Not! Jesus plus this, that, or the other! Jesus is sufficient for me in all circumstances of life. If you think money brings you joy! Then you truly don’t understand what Biblical joy looks like. If you think possessions bring you joy! Then you truly don’t understand what true joy is. TRUE JOY COMES FROM A DEEP ROOTED RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST! It’s saying “Christ is everything as you watch your house go under water." It’s saying “Christ is everything as you watch your house or land go up in flames.” It’s saying “Christ is enough as you hold your dying child in your arms for the last time.” This is what a true contented home or Christian life looks like! Why? Because they are completely satisfied in Christ!Finding all your joy in Him alone! Because the closer you are to the Lord the more content you will be in any situation of life. BUT THIS CAN ONLY HAPPEN WHEN WE ARE SUBMITTING TO HIS LEADING IN OUR LIVES! I like how Lecrae puts it! (A Christian performer who wrote this in his song “Background”)

I had a dream that I was captain of my soul
I was master of my fate, lost control. and then I sank
So I don't want to take the lead
Cause I'm prone to make mistakes.
All these folks that follow me gon' end up in the wrong place.
So, just let me shadow You, and just let me trace Your lines.
Matter of fact just take my pen.
Here, You create my rhymes.
Cause if I do this by myself I'm scared that I'll succeed.
And no longer trust in You, cause I only trust in me.

The reality of joy and content only begins and ends with a close and personal relationship with the Lord and depending on Him for everything. PAUL GIVES US SOME ENCOURAGING WORDS AS HE COMES TO A CLOSE IN HIS LETTER!

1. LET US DAILY WALK LOOKING UNTO JESUS (v10)

“I rejoice in the Lord” A contented life is a rejoicing in life in Christ.....not in what this world can offer me! It’s looking to Him for instruction and comfort despite my present situation! It’s rejoicing despite what is happening! This only comes from being rightly related to God and trusting in His sovereign loving, purposeful providence in your life. It’s looking past the hurt......the sorrow that you are presently going through looking on Him and not your finite understanding. John13:7 it says “Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." You may not understand why you are going through these difficulties but look unto Him and He will see you through this time in your life! “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry.” Ps 34:15. A joy of contentment always begins when we are looking onto Jesus.

2. LET US DAILY WALK LEANING ON JESUS (V11-V13)

“I can do all things through Christ” no matter what happens I will always lean on the Lord to help me get through life’s challenges. Paul was completely content as he says “...I know how to be abased” Abased (means); to depress; figuratively to humiliate (in condition or heart), to bring low, to humble (self). Paul knew what it was like to be brought low.....humbled!Paul was so humbled (brought low) he even requested to share in Christ’s humiliation! “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” (Phil 3:10). Paul also went on to say “...and I know how to abound” Abound (means) to superabound in quantity or quality, be excessive; abundance, exceed, excel, increase, to remain (over and above). Paul knew how to get along with humble means (food, clothing, and daily necessities). Paul knew how to live with an overflow of abundance......Paul knew how to be content with much and with very little.....Paul knew where all of his strength came from.......the flowing mercies of Emmanuel’s veins. Paul knew how to deal and raise above all his trials by leaning on heavenly things were Christ Jesus is. We are to set our sights on Christ! “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden (secure, protected, access to the Holy One) with Christ in God.” Col 3:2-3. Paul was strong enough to endure anything ‘ through Him (Jesus Christ) that strengthen me” (v13). Paul was saying we get our physical and spiritual strength from the Lord. God’s power will bring contentment to those who have no strength of their own. There are no short cuts to having a contented life it MUST! It must come by the strength of the Lord. Jeremiah Burroughs said “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

3. LET US DAILY WALK IMITATING JESUS (V14-17)

“you shared in my distress” The Philippians church was an imitating church! They imitated Christ and exalted His name so much! Paul spoke of them to the church in Corinth in his second letter! “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.” 2 Cor 8:1-5. They comforted Paul as he sat in that lonely prison cell. (v14-18). There joy was to their service for Paul and to bring him encouragement! We are to imitate Christ to one another and to those around us! That’s why Jesus said “.........."Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." Luke 3:11. A great example of this found in Zacchaeus! “And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:8-10. Zacchaeus did the exact opposite of someone who thought stuff would bring them joy and true contentment! (Like the Rich man who went away weeping!)

4. LET US DAILY WALK TRUSTING IN JESUS (V18-V20)

 “my God shall supply all your needs” that statement alone should be enough for us to be content and happy........even in the midst of suffering..... persecution........or whatever your situation might be!

• God is the creator that spoke everything into existence for His glory.
• God is the giver of life to all things breathing
• God is the one who sent His only Son to die for our sins
• God is the only one who we are to worship
• God is the reason we are here today
• God is everything to the Believer
• God is all I need!

Our whole existence.....our incomplete lives.......our secured salvation are all gifts from God the Father...the Son and the Holy Spirit! The Triune God keeps...They hold you in the palm of their sovereign hand! Paul wrote “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons (a child who is unloved by the world but loved by God and He comes to take you to his home! How?) through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,” Eph 1:1-11. I can trust that whatever happens He will always be with me through thick and thin. Whether I have abundance or whether I have nothing!Remember what Paul said in (v19) “He will supply according to His riches not yours!” The Pmalmist said “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:4-5

PAUL HAD A CHRIST-CENTERED CONTENTMENT WHICH BROUGHT HIM JOY! We are to do the same in every situation of life!We are to remind ourselves each and every day that “I’m sufficient and content not because I’m independent, but because I’m totally dependent upon Christ!” Remember contentment is rooted deep in the eternal God rather than in the temporal self! You have to choose one! What’s it going to be? Is it going to be in the things of this world which leads to destruction? OR ..........Is it going to be in Christ which leads to peaceful contentment?

15 May 2011

True Joy In Found In Making Right Choices


Phil 4:8-9


When you get up in the morning do you exam your present life (where you’re at today) according to the Scriptures? Or do you just rely upon the world to mold and shape your life today? These are serious questions that each and every one of us needs to ask on a daily basis! See! True joy and peace flows out of a life that seeks the LORD for direction and understanding to how we are to live according to God’s perfect will. So how important is it to examine my life according to the Scriptures? EVERYTHING...............What separates us from the rest of this fallen world?

Ø  Is it where we are born or live?
Ø  Is it who are parents are?
Ø  Is it how much money we have?
Ø  Is it the people we associate with?
Ø  Is it the car we drive or the house we live in?
Ø  Is it the jewellery we wear?
Ø  Is it my vocation or school?
The answer is: NO! The only thing that separates us from the rest of this fallen world is the saving grace through Jesus Christ and the abiding Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said to His disciples “apart from Me you can do nothing” Apart from His saving grace and sustaining love to sinners like us....we are incapable of making right decisions. Our wills want to do what the flesh desires that’s why John said.............For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:16. Jesus said “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38. This is why we need to be extra careful each and every day.......especially in today’s hustle and bustle world. Why? Because we are more accepting and open to the evil that once was shunned by the early church and the puritans of old. This is why the Proverb says “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Prov 4:23. Every single one of us is prone to fall and fail if we do thing according to me and you! This is very evident in the scriptures that I just read! The Lord has made this known to us through His holy Word so that we can better prepare to make right choices in life. LET ME ASK YOU! What is supposed to flow out of our hearts? THE ANSWER: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut 6:5. The Hebrew word for heart is ‘lebab’ this means “inner man or mind, or will” Keeping in mind the heart is a muscle that pumps blood and it has no emotions or feelings. Our love towards God is an active will that we do every day....it’s an active choice we make! We love the Lord with our active minds with our soul and strength! Our active will each day is to display Christ as our greatest treasure. Our active will is to constantly display Christ as extremely valuable and worth dying for. So let me go back to my original question! When you get up in the morning do you exam your present life (where you’re at today) according to the Scriptures? Or do you rely upon the world to mold and shape the person you’re today? See we come to another juicy nugget of information for the Christian life in this portion of Paul’s letter as he addresses the issues of unity and the Christian walk. Remember the resent events in the church that have been taking place here in Philippi (v1-6). Now! Paul moves on to another important aspect or foundation of important information for the Christian life. He addresses the very question I asked at the beginning of my message! Everything we do should never be considered until we consult the Lord first. Seeking His wisdom and strength for what is right and His perfect will for our lives. Sadly though we tend to let the world dictate our actions and influence our active wills on a daily basis!
Things like:
Ø  Sports
Ø  MTV
Ø  Computers and video games
Ø  Much Music
Ø  I Phones and I Pads and I Pods
Ø  Facebook
Ø  YouTube
Ø  Movies and Television
Ø  Twitter
Ø  Farming
Ø  Friends
Ø  School, University or the work place
Ø  Unsaved family and friends
Ø  Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres
Ø  Even the doubt in your own heart (which is you active will)

Sadly many Christians treat their lives like the story I read a while back about the carriage driver position for the Kings Son. Remember that story about the group of coach drivers applying for a job! One of them would be chosen to carry the king’s children up and down a narrow, winding road leading up to the king’s mountain-top castle. With dozens of steep drop-offs and no guardrails, it was a daunting assignment. The king’s chief supervisor asked each candidate this question: HOW CLOSE CAN YOU GET TO THE EDGE WITHOUT GOING OVER? The applicants offered various responses indicating their confidence in skill! One man boasted he could drive the horses at nearly full speed for the entire length of the road, always keeping within 6 inches from the edge. The interviewer was unimpressed. Finally, one driver stepped forward and responded, “Sir, if it’s the king’s children, I want to stay as far from the edge as I possibly can.” This man was hired for the job....HOW CLOSE DO YOU WANT TO THE EDGE BEFORE FALLING OVER THE CLIFF? This is where we need to put up the Yield Sign or the Stop sign and enter with caution! Do you realize that society teaches us (men and women...boys and girls)?
  •  God is a fairy tale and myth for people to feel good about themselves.
  • There is no such thing as absolute truth; and that all truth is equal to all men.
  • Viagra is where it’s at for men over 40
  •  Lady Gaga is a wonderful role model for children (because she expresses herself)
  • There is nothing wrong with Harry Potter movies or books (especially if you don’t mind Witchcraft)
  • Beer promote that this is where the fun happens.
  • Sow your wild oats before you get the ball and chain.
  • Casual sex is lots of fun ...........everybody is doing it.
  • Abortion is safe and there will be no side effects.
  • If it feels good!  How can it be wrong?
  • It won 10 Day Time Emmy Awards.
  • The Twilight Series is what everybody is watching these days so it must be ok.
  • It’s your time to shine...because it’s all about me.
  • Go ahead! Your one click away from experiencing paradise
  • This is the number one best selling Christian book at Hull’s Bookstore.
  • It won’t hurt.....Nobody will ever know!
Look what Paul writes to the church as he sits in a Roman prison cell! Keeping in mind! Paul is talking to believers not the unsaved world! Why? Because Satan already owns them and they are still bound in there chains. Paul gives the Christian some guidelines to follow so that you actively obey God’s commands whether you like them or not! These are active steps to walking in holiness.....something that we are actively to pursue each and every day. but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,” 1 Peter 1:15.........And Peter goes on to say “since it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16

1. PAUL SAYS ACTIVELY SEEK WHAT IS TRUE!
What does this mean? Seeking what is true in the broadest sense as it refers to the Bible..... Truth for the believer begins and ends with the Word of God, anything else is worthy of discernment and caution. Everything that is true is from God because all truth is God’s truth “thy word is truth”. Whatever God tells us to do we should do it because it’s trustworthy and reliable for the Christian life....If the word says don’t do this (whatever your situation might be)! You, don’t do it.......If the word says flee or stand firm or wait in this area of life..........As Christian’s we obey Him because what He says is for our benefit and instruction. His truth isn’t a book of maybe’s or when you get a chance! It’s for our benefit. As Kent Hughes says “whatever is true in every avenue of life, from faith to science to relationships to public life to business.”......................Why? Because He is truth!

2. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHAT IS HONOURABLE!
“Honourable” means......whatever is dignifying...this means a personal moral excellence that is worthy of honor, it’s a careful regard to integrity, righteous character! This is a character that the unsaved world really needs to see desperately in the church of Jesus Christ today! It’s not a character that seeks the approval of man, but of God. The reason being we are His representatives on the earth. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us....” 2Cor 5:20. It’s as if God is speaking through you and me to a lost and fallen world, which is the Gospel truth. Living a life pleasing to God that is displayed in our outward Behaviour because you have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus!
3. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS JUST!
Just” is defined by the character of God......it’s a right thought or action” Basically doing the right thing according to God’s perfect character.
·         If God hates sin! I must hate sin as well.
·         If God is love! I must hate what is unloving.
·         If God is holy.....I must hate what is ungodliness.
·         If God is just! I must hate what is wicked and wrong.
·         If God is true! I must hate what is untrue.
·         It’s saying no! When the world is saying yes!
Prov 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity (moral, innocent); His children are blessed after him. Making right choices not only benefits the Christian, but our family....and that could permeate into the church. The conduct of good men proclaims their sound principles.......You do this God says “his (your) children are blessed” . Good things pass on to the children by making godly right choices.


4. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS PURE!

“Pure” means to properly clean, that is, (figuratively), to be innocent, modest, uncorrupted. This is behaviour is not limited to your sexual purity, but in all areas of your moral life! From your sexuality..... to your actions...... and to your speech. This is your whole being! From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. We are to focus on what is not tainted with evil! (Rom 13:13-14) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry (wild parties, sexual orgies, brawls, riots) and drunkenness, not in lewdness (sexual immorality) and lust, not in strife and envy (jealousy, zeal). But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Rom 13:13-14

5. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS LOVELY!

“Lovely” means what is pleasing, agreeable, kind.....deeds that spring from love and inspires love in others. Paul is speaking of things that put others first over themselves.........it’s a selfless love! 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent love (means to be stretched to the limit, to be laboured) for one another, for "LOVE WILL COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS." It’s the same kind of love Jesus displayed for you and I.............found in CHAPTER 2. Always ready to forgive a brother or sister of insults or unkindness by showing a passionate love toward the body of Christ. Why? Genuine active, wilful love, will always cover a multitude of his or hers sin and your own sin.

6. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS COMMENDABLE!

"Commendable” means worthy of approval, trustworthy, courtesy, deserving of praise, well spoken of, that is, reputable, good report. This is a kind of conduct that is spoken of highly by others about you and me! We as Christians need to be an example to others by living a life consistent to the gospel of peace. Again this goes back to CHAPTER 1 when Paul said “only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel” Each and every one of us is a gospel message, so we are to handle it with care by conducting ourselves in a manner that is worthy of exulting Christ! When people see you...... they think! What a trustworthy person you are.....you’re reputation speaks for itself.

Our active wills are to demonstrate a life that is TRUE....HONOURABLE....JUST......PURE.......LOVELY .........and COMMENDABLE. We are to actively apply these things to our lives .......Look what Paul says in (v9) This is why this portion of scripture is so important to the Christian life! Meditate (means) to attend, practice, to be diligent in, a habitual discipline. This should be our common practice every day! This is where we are to examine our lives according to God’s word. This is where we find unity in the church......and most of all peace of mind and holy conduct. The evidence_______________! The Apostle Paul (v9b). We have him as a testimony for the church. We have his life before our very eyes to see that it can be done. Remember what Paul said earlier? Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” Phil 3:17. You too can make right choices in life.......You too can make holiness more evident in your life.......You too can find victory, unity and peace by following the steps that God has laid out for you and me! As John MacArthur says “Believers must be disciplined to add to their faith the proper attitudes, thoughts, and actions described in this passage. Only then will they develop spiritual stability in their lives.” As Christians all our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God. Yet the enjoyment of them depends on our active will for holy conduct! The Sunday question is: How is your walk doing according to these 6 truths? Are you actively living and displaying these truths in our Life?

10 May 2011

A Mom is __________________?


A preacher began to pray with arms extended and a rapturous look on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..."He would have continued, but at that moment one very obedient little girl (who was listening carefully) leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?"....Church was pretty much over at that point. The things that moms have to put up with on a day to day basis! See, moms are special and there is no one like our moms. Seriously! What would we do without moms?............This is why I’m so thankful for the wife the Lord has given me! A wonderful and great mom to our 5 children! Yes 5........I’m including myself! Her biggest child. J A mom plays a very important part to the family! She is the glue that keeps all things together! As John MacArthur says “To be a mother is by no means second class. Men may have the authority in the home, but the women have the influence. The mother, more than the father, is the one who moulds and shapes those little lives from day one." That statement that John makes is so true! SEE A MOM IS_____________!

 1. DEVOTED TO GOD
A prime example of this can be found in the life of Hannah. 1 Samuel chapter 1&2. She is a wonderful testimony of a person who no matter what the circumstances might be; she was always devoted to God and His sovereign plan for her life. 1 Sam 1:6. Hannah was so devoted to God! She made a promise that would seem crazy or unfathomable for a mother to do this. 1 Sam 1:22, 26-28. A mom who is devoted to God is a mom who is devoted to her husband....children and her duty as a mother of the home!

 2. ALWAYS SELFLESS
Seeks the interest of others above herself....just as Jesus did when he came to this earth to die for sinful man and woman. She will always go without in order to help someone else ........especially her children (her family). Esther was a woman w had this kind of character for her whole family (the nation of Israel). Esther 4:15-16 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!" This is the kind of sacrifice she was willing to make and what many moms do for their families every day!
 3. COUNTED AS BLESSED
Woman receive a blessing God that we as men could never understand.They have been given the right to carry and care for what the Bible calls “the gift of life.” The Psalmist says Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. “ Ps 127:3. The Hebrew writer said Sarah was so blessed for having her son Isaac .......you couldn’t even count the number of people who would come from the line of Abraham through her son. The Bible says “innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” Heb 11:11-12. Another woman that was blessed was Mary! Elizabeth said "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Luke 1:42. But I love Mary’s response But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:43-48

4. DEVOTED TO HER CHILDREN

A mom is always there no matter what! She soaks all her time and energy into the family because a stable home is a good home! And that’s hard work. Choosing what is most important over everything else is a full time job in the home. Her passion and devotion is for her children to know Christ! Look what Paul wrote Timothy in his last letter! 2 Tim 3:14-15 “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." How did Timothy know this? The answer can be found in the 1st chapter of this letter! (1:5). Timothy had a godly mother and godly grandmother who knew the importance of God’s precious word and power of His salvation to sinners.

 5. A NURTURER
Do you realize ladies that God gives you the greatest responsibilities of all to love and nurture His wonderful creation...back to Him!! A prime example of this is found in the life of Moses mother! A mom is always willing to go great lengths to protect the ones she loves. Pharaoh ordered all the male children to be killed. Exo 1:22.......WHY? For fear of the Jewish population Exo 1:20. What did Moses mother do? She put him in basket and sent him down river so that it could he could be found by Pharaoh’s daughter....Exo 2:3-5. What’s really amazing is she was still able to play apart in his life! Pharaoh’s daughter found a Hebrew woman (the mother of Moses) to be a nanny to her own son.......Exo 2:6-10. Moses mom did all this! Because she loved her child and would do anything to keep him from harm. A mother is a person who will go to great lengths to keep their children safe from the evil that lurks outside the doors of her home.
6. VERY FRAGILE AND DELICATE

As husbands we have to handle our wives with special care and understanding as Peter wrote in his epistle. 1 Peter 3:7. We are to be sensitive to her needs, fears, feelings. We are to be tender and show that love that Christ should us (Sacrificial love) “Weaker vessels” means feeble, without strength.........Women (mothers) generally possess less physical strength and emotional strength then men. We are to be sensitive to them and to make them feel comfortable. Men we have to realize that our wives have enough pressure put on them, and the last thing they need is husbands and children who bully them and treat them with disrespect. we are to honor the wife......we are to honor the mother of our children.

 7. VERY MODEST
A godly mother considers others in how she presents herself.........especially towards other men! 1 Peter 3:3-5. Mom’s first passion is to present a beautiful heart to God that is pleasing in His presence......not to take the focus off of Him to self. A mom’s outward appearance should be a reflection of your inward heart! Her beauty should not come from outward adornment, that inner beauty which is your spiritual virtue as a Christian woman. A mother modeled an inner beauty that is a pleasing modest character to her children and the community she lives in....... Why? Because she loved the Lord and wanted to please Him first above all else. By doing this she showed that same love towards her husband and her family...The most effective mother’s are those who possess the inner qualities of gentleness and quietness...Why? Because they receive favour from God..... (end of verse 4). A true inner beauty is far more important than your outward appearance.
8. PRECIOUS TO HER HUSBAND

A wife is so precious ...the Bible says she is worth dying for. Men we are to hold our wives....the mother of our children with great care and honor. Paul wrote “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” Eph 5:25-28. Men we are to give them an environment that is safe and secure....Not one that is hostile and in competition with everything else for your affection. Why? Paul said “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word”, Eph 5:25-26. We are to care for their spiritual needs as an obedient husband to the word! This is to be our honor and duty for the ones He has given to us as wives
 9. AN EXAMPLE OF BEING HONOURABLE TO HER HUSBAND
She demonstrates this to her daughters by preparing them for their own families as Paul wrote in Titus 2:4-5. Mothers are to be an example of godliness to other young women who are up and coming into womanhood. Moms are to be TITUS 2 WOMEN! It’s a high calling that is honoured in the home, especially to the husband. This is a vital part of a godly mother/wife.....Why? Proverbs 31:23 says “her husband is known in the gates,” Her husband in known in the community by the testimony (the honourable conduct) of his wife! Setting Godly standards early in the home so that her children can have a firm foundation as they prepare to have their own families in the future. An honourable mother obeys God’s word even when society tells her otherwise. She follows biblical principles as foundational to her Christian home!

10. GIFT FROM GOD TO THE FAMILY

Moms are the most important ingredient to the family. Again she is the glue that keeps all things together. It amazes me every day the importance the mother plays in the life of the family. The best way to express this statement is found in Prov 31:28-31. She is greatly respected by her children (v28).........Nothing makes a mom happier to know that her family love and respect her for all her hard work! She is praised by her husband (V28)....................What this verse is saying...........Her husband is so fulfilled with her conduct towards himself......His household.........His business and their children and for that he praises her. She is a mother who is Loyal to her family. A Mother who labour’s with a joyful heart. A Mother who is full of wisdom and gentleness. A Mother who is kind to all. A Mother who is an example of godly character.. A Mother who is respected and greatly appreciated by her family. A Mother who fears the Lord with reverence and awe. (Verse 30-31)  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

I love my mother and I specially love my Christian wife who is all these things to my children and me. As Ruth Graham said “As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible." Moms are not just moms.....they are special and deserve to be honoured in the family!As Charles Spurgeon said “I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother.” I’M SO THANKFUL THAT THE LORD GAVE ME A WIFE AND A MOTHER:

·         That is passionately in love with Him.
      ·         That is selfless and considerate of others.
·         That is gentle and respectful towards the family.
·         That is dedicated and devoted to her family.
·         That submits with joyfulness in her heart unto to God.
·         That cares about dressing her heart inside and out.
·         That loves to obey the biblical role for the home.
·         That is a gift to the family.
As John MacArthur says “one of the unique features of the bible is the way it exalts women. Far from ever demeaning or belittling women, Scripture often seems to go out of the way to pay homage to them, to ennoble their roles in society and family, to acknowledge the importance of their influence, and exalt the virtues of women who were particularly godly examples. " I only have two questions to ask! The first question is for the moms !...........Are being a godly example? The second question is for the family!.............Are you enabling the mom to be a godly example? This is dedicated to all the godly mothers and soon to be moms out there! Thank you for being you!........ But I truly want to thank my lovely wife.............

Happy Mother's Day Sweetheart!