Tag Archives: Jesus

Two Leashes

This morning in my pre-coffee daze, I neglected to grab my dual leash for my dogs. Instead, I grabbed them each their separate personal leashes and got them ready for their morning walk. I always use the dual leash for walks; if you ever tried to walk two dogs without one, you’d easily figure out why it is nice to have a dual leash.  No tangles. No tripping. Smooth sailing with the canines and God.

As I walked to the next block, I realized that I had forgotten the dual leash, but I also realized that the dogs were still walking as if they were using the dual leash. In using the dual leash for years, they developed a habit. They were trained. The dogs knew the path to walk. They knew their limitations. They knew the distances they needed to be located. They had it all memorized. It became a way of life.

In this same way, as we continue to drown ourselves in the Word of God and aim to live it out, we find ourselves not having to think so much on some things. It becomes second nature. Spending time daily in the Word helps us navigate our day better understanding true obedience and better discerning the will of God.

Continue to add more time with God and His Word as you go through the week. Start a YouVersion reading plan. Pick up a daily devotion book. Download the Dwell app. Do whatever works for you to hear and read more of God’s Word. Take small bites. Enjoy big feasts. Remember, God’s Word always produces fruit.

“It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” – Isaiah 55:11 [NLT]

 

 

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Stooping Down in Gentleness

We live in a broken world, a world filled with pain and suffering and things that are not right. From the very beginning, when God created the world, He foreknew that sin would enter the world. He knew that brokenness would be a way of life for us. He knew that nothing could be done to save the brokenness without Him moving in a mighty way.

God sent His one and only Son to save us, to redeem us, to pay a price we could not pay. He reached out to restore us and bring us back into a relationship with Him. Every day we have the opportunity to enjoy a relationship with our heavenly Father. Because Jesus suffered the wrath that was to be our punishment, we can enjoy His “wrap-around presence.” This is because God has stooped down to us to bring us back into His holy presence.

When the world is beating you down, when you are lost in your brokenness, be reminded of the stooping down gentleness of God. Who am I that He would even consider me? Yet, our God moves through the brokenness with gentleness. He does not attack our brokenness, but beautifully works through it and makes us new. Strange enough, when we take something broken and try to repair it, the end result is never something better. Superglue and duct tape only go so far. But we serve a God of the impossible. With God, we are a masterpiece. He makes us great—better than we ever were. With Him moving through us, navigating through the brokenness, each day we are made more into the image of His Son. All because He has stooped down in gentleness.

“You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great!” – Psalm 18:35 [TPT]

 

My Forever Firm Fortress

Life is uncertain. It seems that at the moment you think you have everything together, something else is just around the corner to show you otherwise. You may plan for a “good day” but other things come up. You may think work is going well, your relationships are solid, finances are good, and one thing happens to change your situation. Life is comprised of seasons. Every day brings changes. Some you celebrate; some you grieve. Thankfully all is in God’s hands.

He is a forever firm fortress. May you declare Him your forever firm fortress. While the world is spinning out of control, while people come and go, while nothing seems solid, we can rest in knowing that He is a bedrock. He is a firm fortress. He is a mountain, a pathway, a tower. No matter what comes your way, when you are in His hands, you are safe and secure. In His hands, in His refuge, He is your secret strength and your shield.

No matter what comes your way today, remember that God, the Creator of all, the Maker of heaven and earth, is the champion of your cause. He is your forever firm fortress. There is no better place to be than in His embrace.

“You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause.” – Psalm 18:2 [TPT]

What is Love Series – Love is Kind Outline

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 

or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

2 Timothy 3:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 

heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 

treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

 

KIND

chrésteuomai: to be kind

Phonetic Spelling: (khraste-yoo’-om-ahee)

Definition: to be kind

Usage: I am kind (full of service to others), gentle.

Kindness is an inner quality (ATTITUDE) of compassion, being gentle… caring

Kindness results in goodness (ACTIONS)… serving one another, being generous… doing something because you care

 

KINDNESS

chréstotés: goodness, excellence, uprightness

Phonetic Spelling: (khray-stot’-ace)

Definition: goodness, excellence, uprightness

Usage: goodness, uprightness, kindness, gentleness.

 

Colossians 3:12 (ESV)

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

 

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

Luke 6:35-36 English Standard Version (ESV)

35 But love your enemies, 

and do good, 

To do that which is good

To do something which profits others

To do someone a favor

To do what is right

and lend, 

To be generous

expecting nothing in return, 

and your reward will be great, 

and you will be sons of the Most High, 

for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 

36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Carols Series – Prepare Him Room Outline – Christmas Eve Message

Make Room for the King

“Joy to the World”

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

OUR HEART NATURALLY DOESN’T WANT TO PREPARE ROOM  

WE ARE ALL SINNERS… WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF JESUS

 

Ezekiel 11:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.

 

WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM

Luke 2:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.

 

THE SHUNAMMITE WHO MADE ROOM

2 Kings 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”

 

THE GREAT PROMISE OF GOD

Jeremiah 24:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

 

How can we prepare Him room?

 

#1 Accept the love God offers

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

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.

Romans 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

#2 Draw near to Jesus through prayer and reading of God’s Word

James 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

#3 Honor Jesus with obedience

2 John 6 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

2 John 6 The Message (MSG)

4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

Carols Series: Gift for a King Outline

Gift for a King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

What did they bring? – Gifts fit for a king

  • Gold – King / Kingship [[KING]]
  • Frankincense – Priest / Priesthood / God [[GOD]]
  • Myrrh – Anointing Oil / Death / Humanity & Suffering [[SACRIFICE]]

 

Little Drummer Boy 

Come they told me / Pa rum pum pum pum

A new born king to see / Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring / Pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the king / Pa rum pum pum pum…

So to honor him / Pa rum pum pum pum

When we come…

I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum pum

That’s fit to give our king…

I played my drum for him / Pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for him / Pa rum pum pum pum,

Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum

 

 

1. THANKSGIVING

Psalm 116:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

 

2. LIVING SACRIFICE

Romans 12:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

3. YOUR HEART

 

Matthew 6:21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Psalm 51:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 The Passion Translation (TPT)

14 So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. 17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.  

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Carols Series: Fall on Your Knees Outline

Worship the King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

O Holy Night

O holy night the stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees

O hear the angels’ voices

O night divine

O night when Christ was born

O night divine o night

O night divine

 

Strong’s Concordance

barak: to kneel, bless

Transliteration: barak

Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak’)

Definition: to kneel, bless

Showing respect, give something of value to another

 

Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

Psalm 103:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

Psalm 29:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

A Good Friday Outline

Good Friday 3-25-16

German, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday” or “Mourning Friday.”

If we skip Good Friday, we may forget the cost of salvation.

“When the dreadful cup was before Christ, he did not say, ‘Why should I go to plunge myself into such torments for worthless, wretched worms that deserve to be hated by me? Why should I who have been living from all eternity in the enjoyment of the Father’s love, cast myself into such a furnace for those who never can pay me for it? Why should I yield myself to be crushed by the divine wrath for those who have no love for me, and are my enemies? They do not deserve any union with me, and never did, and never will.’ Such, however, was not the language of Christ’s heart in these circumstances. On the contrary, he resolved even then, in the midst of his agony, to yield himself up to the will of God, and to take the cup and drink it.”– Jonathan Edwards

Jesus dying for our sins is OF FIRST IMPORTANCE says the Apostle Paul– 1 Corinthians 15:3,

Often we are reminded of the ever-quoted verse – John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”(RSV)

Now on Good Friday

  • We rememberthe day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the only possible sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” NASB)
  • We look aheadto a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith(Romans 6:5).
  • We must acknowledge our sinful nature. In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we need to acknowledge our sinful nature. The good news of deliverance through Christ can only make sense when we see how we are enslaved by sin. The Law points out our sin; the gospel of Jesus Christ floods us with grace that leads to salvation and peace and a life with Christ.

On the Cross we see Suffering & Forgiveness, we see Wrath & Mercy

It is important each yearfor us to walk through the Passion, to look closely, intimately at the cost, the suffering, what Jesus did to make a way for each ofus to forgiveness, to overwhelming joy, peace beyond understanding, unfailing love, and everlasting life.

Jesus and His disciples gathered for the Last Supper. He sent the disciples into the city to make preparations. He told them to say, “My appointed time is near” (Mathew 26:18).

As John 13 begins, we read that, “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father.” He washes the feet of His disciples.

Jesus speaks of the betrayal to come. He says, “the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him” (Matthew 26:24). The one who would betray Him – Judas – would receive the bread Jesus dipped. Then Judas leaves. We read in John 13:30, “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” Judas left the Light of the world for the darkness.

Jesus speaks of the denial to come. He quotes Zechariah 13:7, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Peter exclaims, “Even if I have to die with you, I would never disown you” (Mark 14:31).

Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper – Holy Communion. He says, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

He shares the Discourse we read in John 14, and speaks in John 15 about being the True Vine. He promises opposition from the world.

He then speaks of the Holy Spirit to come. He says, “It is for your goodthat I am going away” (John 16:7). He reminds them again that they “will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone” (John 16:32).

“But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Then in John 17, Jesus prays for His disciples and for all who believe in Him. You. Me.

Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. He went alone to pray. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 36:38).

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will” (Matthew 36: 39).

Judas brings the chief priests and Pharisees with a detachment of Roman soldiers. Judas points out Jesus with a kiss (Mark 14:45).

Jesus tells Judas to “do what you came for” (Matthew 26:50). Jesus lets the group know, “I am He” and they fall to the ground (John 18:6).

Peter reaches out and cuts off a piece of the ear of Malchus (John 8:10). Jesus tells Peter to “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 8:11).

“But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way” (Matthew 26:54). “Then everyone deserted him and fled” (Mark 14:50).

Then came the Trial. First with the Jewish authority – Annas – father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest. Second with the Jewish authority – Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. “They all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark 14:64).

Peter follows at a distance (Luke 22:54) and denies Jesus three times. Judas commits suicide, “for I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matthew 27:3).

Then came the Roman phase. Jesus went before Pilate the Roman Governor. Pilate sent him to Herod because He was from Galilee. Then Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate says Jesus “has done nothing to deserve death” (Luke 23:15). He offers to release either Jesus or Barabbas. They select Barabbas to be released.

“The Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they struck him in the face” (John 19:2-3).

 

The crowd yells for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate responds, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 18:6). He washes his hands of it and says, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility” (Matthew 27:24).

The Roman soldiers stripped him, mocked him, spit on him, struck him in the head again and again (Matthew 27:28-30). He gets some help from Simon to carry His cross.

The first three hours of the crucifixion, Jesus faced the wrath of humans.

The soldiers cast lots to divide up the garments of Jesus (Mark 15:24) which fulfilled Psalm 22:18. The thief on the cross “hurled insults” at Jesus (Matthew 27:39).

Jesus asks John to watch over his mother (John 19:26-27).

The last three hours of the crucifixion, Jesus faced the wrath of God.

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land” (Matthew 27:45).

The Father speaks to Jesus (who is taking on all of our sin):

Why have you sinned against me?

  • You are self-sufficient and self-righteous — consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious.
  • You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you.
  • You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip.
  • You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer.
  • You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill your mind with vulgarity.
  • You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your sexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden.
  • With all your heart you love perverse pleasure.
  • You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart.
  • You kill babies for your convenience.
  • You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy.
  • You persecute my people.
  • You love money and prestige and honor.
  • You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world.
  • You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness.
  • You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin.
  • You are never slow to speak.
  • And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment.
  • Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is filled with condemnation and guilt and obscene talk.
  • You are a false prophet leading people astray.
  • You mock your parents.
  • You have no self-control.
  • You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions.
  • You’re a thief.
  • You do not trust me.

Drink my cup!

Jesus drinks. God’s wrath is poured out. He drinks every single drop of God’s hatred of sin. At this point, as Jesus takes on all of the world’s sin, the Father cannot look at his beloved Son. He must turn away.

Jesus calls out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

The response: Silence. Separation.

Jesus whispers, “I’m thirsty.” (John 19:28). Someone puts wine vinegar on a stick and offers it to Jesus (Matthew 27:48).

Jesus cries out, “It is finished.” (John 19:28). He drank the cup of wrath until it was bone dry. Then he yells out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46).

  • The veil is torn (Mark 15:38).
  • The earth shook (Matthew 27:51)
  • The rocks split (Matthew 27:51).

It was a Good Friday.

The mission of Jesus was completed.

The sacrifice of Jesus was accepted.

The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to all. Without the suffering, the sorrow, the blood shed at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

 

Setting Out Outline

2-28-16

Rabbi Jason Shulman said, “There are many books that tell us how to find God but the truth is that God is not lost or hiding. In fact, it is the actual, continuous, omnipresence of God that is so hard for the human mind to fathom.”

 

As we are setting out, we need to be available for God—we need to be able to allow our experiences and the environment to speak to us. We need to pay attention to what is happening around us and within us. Only when we fix our eyes on what He is doing around us and focus within us are we able to continue on the path He has designed for us.

 

For this reason, my morning walks have been such a blessing.

 

Psalm 19– everything that exists praises the Creator

  • The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
  • Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
  • They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
  • Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
  • It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
  • It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

 

Job 12:7-10—“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lordhas done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

 

 

All of life is bathed in beauty and sacredness

We either….

  • Don’t See
  • See, miss message, do nothing
  • See, misinterpret, wrong path
  • See, understand, move forward

 

Why do we miss Jesus?

  • We make false division between sacred and secular– REMEMBER GOD IS EVERYWHERE

 

  • We consider God stuck between the pages of Bible– REMEMBER GOD IS ALIVE
    1. Exodus 29:45 – “Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God”
    2. Ezekiel 37:27 – “My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 

  • We don’t have the kind of relationship that results in recognition– REMEMBER YOU CANNOT RECOGNIZE WHAT OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW

 

  • His appearance is different than our expectations– REMEMBER GOD DOES NOT THINK AS WE THINK
    1. God spoke through
      1. Burning Bush (Exodus 3)
      2. Plagues (Exodus 7-11)
  • Balaam’s Donkey (Numbers 22)
  1. God’s Sign Language
    1. Noah and the Rainbow (Genesis 9)
    2. The Exodus – the pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13)

 

  • We are too focused elsewhere to notice – something else has priority
    1. Fear of Missing Out – DISTRACTIONS
    2. Focused on temporary – PRIORITIES
    3. Don’t understand what really matters –BUSYNESS
      1. Leonard Sweet – “We are so busy. Usually too busy for God.”
    4. To pay attention means you are no longer the center of attention.
    5. Hebrew 2:1– “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

 

  • We do not want to see Him– REMEMBER YOU WON’T SEE GOD IF YOU TRULY DON’T WANT TO – DISINTEREST
    1. Matthew 6:21 – Jesus said our hearts follow what we treasure / pay attention to—“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

 

Examples of Missed Boats

  • Samuel thinks God is Elithe Priest (1 Samuel 3)
  • Birth of Jesus(Old Testament) – the Jews just didn’t get it
  • Pilate– what is Truth? (John 18)
  • Thief on the Cross– “One of the criminals who hung there heaped abuse on Him. “Are You not the Christ?” he said. ‘Save Yourself and us!’” – Luke 23:39
  • Walk to Emmaus(Luke 24) – two fellas walking with Jesus had no clue

 

What does the Bible say?

 

Proverbs 8:34– “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.”

  • Listen – Prayer- Prayer is fully paying attention to God
    1. Show Up
    2. Slow Down
    3. Shut Your Mouth
  • Watch – Requires you to be INTENTIONAL
  • Wait – Requires PATIENCE

 

Habakkuk 2:1– “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.”

  • I will stand on my guard post
  • I will keep watch to see what He will say

Habakkuk 2:20– “The LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.”

  1. Silence
    1. absence of sound
      1. Your mouth is quiet
      2. No noise
    2. absence of movement
      1. You aren’t doing
        1. You aren’t focused on the next thing
        2. You aren’t multitasking
        3. All of you is still

 

Remember the quote from the beginning from Lewis Carroll

“Don’t just do something, stand there.”

 

As we set out, remember Who we are walking with…

 

God walks ahead of us and we are to walk in a way that

our lives cast only ONE SHADOW.

 

As the sun shines down upon your life at this journey point, will there be only one shadow to be seen?

 

Sanctity of Life Outline

The Sanctity of Life 1-17-16

“I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.” – excerpt from the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 1984Ronald Reagan

 

We are supposed to protect the weak and vulnerable during all phases of life.

  • Nearly 50% of pregnancies are unintended; of those about 40% are terminated.
  • There are thousands of kids in state care, only so many foster homes to meet the demand.
  • 18% of seniors live alone, while 43% report feeling lonely on regular basis. Isolated elders have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those not alone.

 

Life is HOLY

Why? Why is life holy? This is a question even the Psalmist pondered…

“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is manthat You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”(Psalm 8:3-4 ESV)

Why is human life holy?

 

  • WE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE (Genesis 1:26-2:25)

 

If we are made in the image of a HOLY GOD, then we too should be holy.

We are image bearers of God – created in the image, shadow, likeness of God.

We are imprinted with godlike characteristics.

“To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.” (Relevant Magazine)

  • WE ARE SET APART – that means we are holy

We are set apart above all creation(Genesis 1:26-28)

We are handmade

Only part of Creation made with God’s hands. Remember, He took the dirt and formed Adam. He took Adam’s bone and made Eve. He gave us breath (the breath of God). Other parts of Creation were spoken into existence but humans He handmade.

We are set apart as God’s chosen people

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Do you not know that you are God’s templeand that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We are set apart for fellowship with God

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16b)

We are set apart and crowned by God with glory and majesty

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.(Psalm 8:4-5).

 

  • GOD VALUES ALL LIFE

You are valuable. “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuableto him than they are?”(Matthew 6:26)

He values new life – He creates new life. He knit you together (Psalm 139). It’s all a part of God’s great plan.

He values young ones – He blesses them and says to let the little children come when the disciples rebuked them. (Matthew 19:13-15)

He values teens & young adults – Paul writes that youth should not be looked down on for being young. Instead, be an example to believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12)

He values the mature adults – You shall stand up before the gray head & honor the face of an old man, & you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:32)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

He values the poor, the widows, the strangers –For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)

If Life is Holy, how is Life Not Worth Living?

The world is filled with

  • Murder
  • Abortion
  • Suicide

This is unnatural death. God’s ways are life, not death.

  • Murder
    • Cain murders Abel(Genesis 4:9-15) – Cain is punished, but God also says that anyone who kills Cain would face vengeance.
    • Ten Commandments– Do not murder (Exodus 20:13)
    • Eye for eye– murder and be put to death (Leviticus 24:21)
    • Cities of Refuge– cities for those who killed unintentionally (Numbers 35)
  • Suicide
  • Abimelechwas injured when a woman from tower dropped millstone on his head and cracked his skull. He considered himself mortally injured and asked his armor bearer to kill him with his sword, which he did (Judges 9:52-54)
  • Samsonpulled down the building to kill the Philistines, resulting in his own suicide (Judges 16:29-30)
  • King Saulwas injured badly in war so he fell on his own sword (1 Samuel 31:4-6)
  • When Ahithophel’s advice wasn’t taken, he killed himself (2 Samuel 17:1-29)
  • King Zimrisaw his city was taken and burned down his house while inside (1 King 16:15-20)

What does God say about death?

See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

LIFE AND DEATH IS IN HIS HANDS

The world is filled with abuse of life

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Economic
  • Mental
  • Sexual

Abuse steals peace. Abuse kills joy. Abuse destroys hope.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justlyand to love mercyand to walk humblywith your God. (Micah 6:8)

Equip others. Empower others. Encourage others. Embrace others.

Speak life. Stand up for and speak for those who cannot stand up or speak for themselves.

 

The world is filled those who misunderstand the purpose of life

            What is the purpose of life? To glorify God.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. (Isaiah 43:7)

            Our greatest desire is to know God, to have a relationship with God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The Most Important Life – Eternal Life

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”(John 3:36)

God values life so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross so we could live forever with Him.

John 3:16says “For God so loved the worldthat he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The worth of a human soul can be estimated only by the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. … It was the joy set before Christ in accomplishing so great salvation, that led him to submit to shame, agony, and death. How do all the treasures and the glories of earth sink into insignificance when compared with the value of a human soul!– Ellen White

 

  • Value Life– everyone is valuable to God’s Kingdom
  • Celebrate Life– praise the Lord for your life and for the lives of others
  • Embrace Life– seek out what God has for your life
  • Speak Life– speak life to others
  • Share Life – share the Good News of Eternal Life

May your life bring glory to God