Saturday, February 6, 2010

They Looked to Him And Were Radiant

Ps 34:5 - "They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed". Sara pointed out this verse to me as we were reading this morning. There are a lot of scriptures that say or imply look to Jesus. Heb 12:1-2a - "Therefore we also since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." I like the verse in Jn 3:14 - "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." The serpent was the remedy for the poison and death that the children had received from the bites of the snakes that were loosed into their camp as a judgement. Those who were bitten were to look to the bronze snake that Moses lifted up so all who were bitten could see. All of mankind has been bitten and injected with the poison and death of sin and the Sin Nature. Jesus was lifted up on a pole so all that would look to him would be healed and saved from the poison and death of sin. Fix your eyes on Jesus!!!!! Look to Him He is your remedy for all that ails you!!! Put your trust and faith in the cross for your deliverance is there and only there can it be found. I like what this verse points out about about those who look to Jesus, they were radiant and their faces were not ashamed. Radiant is the Hebrew word "nahar" which means to to shine, beam, light, burn. It also has a meaning of a stream or something that flows. This is what describes a Christian. Their life shines, beams, lights and burns with the image of Christ. From their life flows a stream or a river that touches everybody around them. Their faces change from being downcast to one that looks up because their shame has been removed. Rev 22:1 "And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb". Ezk 47: 1 -"Then He brought me to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east". Ezk 47:9 - "And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there, for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes". When we look to Jesus out of our lives will flow the river of God which is the Holy Spirit. The throne of God in this earth is the heart of a Christian who is looking to Jesus not only for healing but looking to hear every command. Also the temple of God is not a building but people. Christians are the temple of God and from His throne and from His temple flows His Holy Spirit. And wherever the Holy Spirit flows people will live and be healed. This is the radiance that flows from the life of a Christian. The most radiant thing in the universe is not the sun but the Church of the Living God. Those who are looking to the Son and out of them flows the beams and light of the Son. We are the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. We are the light of the world. Can you see what God has called us to. The sun gives so much to the earth in the way of bringing life. How much more should the Church of the Living God bring life to this earth and to all those around you everywhere you go. Jesus told his disciples "i will make you fishers of Men". According to Ezk 47 and the vision that Ezekiel saw, the river that flows from the temple of God heals fish. May we come to the understanding of who we are and what we are called to be in and through Christ. May you be blessed today and may Jesus radiate through your life today!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

God's Amazing Grace

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relived. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed." My sin has gone I've been set free my God my Savior has rescued me. And like a flood His mercy reigns amazing love amazing grace".

Eph 2:8 - "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith not of ourselves it's the gift of God".

God's grace is truly amazing. Grace can be defines as God's Devine influence that changes the heart of man reflected through the appearance of man. His grace was given to us by the means of the cross. At the cross God's judgement against our sin and His love and mercy for us met. Through what Jesus did on the cross we have the means by which we are saved from sin and thus saved from hell. Hell on earth and eternal hell. This is God's grace. All men must access or bring God's grace to themselves by the act or means of your faith. Faith also is given to us by God. We receive faith to receive grace by hearing the message of the cross through men and women who have received the message of the cross. The means of grace or grace was given at the cross and what Jesus did there for us. The way we attain this grace for ourselves is through the act of faith. Faith is hearing, believing and obeying the word. Jesus is the word made flesh. So we must hear, believe and obey Jesus. The agent that brings grace into the life of the one who has acted on the gift of Faith is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings into reality the Grace of God. Grace is not just forgiveness of sins its deliverance from sin. The Holy Spirit sets us apart, saves, protects, and delivers us from sin and changes us to be like God. He changes us from the inside out. He starts with our hearts which because of Sin is wicked and dark and a rebel against God and his way. The wicked heart of man has no faith nor any means by which to get faith. When our inside is changed then our outside appearance will follow. Our words will change. Our minds and the way we think will change. Our actions will change. This is what grace does for the believer. May the message of grace and faith bring you to saving grace and faith. God's grace is truly amazing!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Childeren and Parents

Eph 6: 1-4 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord".

We had a lot of discussion Sunday morning about the family, and in particular, children obeying their parents. The verses for today start with a command for children to obey their parents, which is the right thing to do. Also children are to honor their parents which is the first command with a promise. The promise to the children that honor their parents is that they would live long on the earth. The last verse today is a command for fathers (parents) not to provoke your children to wrath, but to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. My charge today is to parents myself included. Are we being disobedient to Gods word while at the same time demanding that our children be obedient to us. Although Paul addresses the children first in his commands of how the family should operate, the chain of authority starts with the parents first and then comes the children. Unfortunately this has gotten backwards in many homes where the children are the authority and the parents are the children. The roles have reversed which is why our homes are being destroyed everyday. If that's the case for you it's not to late to cry out to God and to begin to put things back it order in your home. When homes are out of order, there is all kinds of confusion, anger and frustration. Many homes are ticking time bombs waiting to go off at any moment. Parents listen to Gods word for you today.

If we expect our kids to honor us, my first question to you is are you an honorable person. Are you someone that is worthy of honor. This is something to think about. To honor someone is to revere or to show respect. Do you live a life that demands respect. Are you demanding respect from your kids and yet not living a respectable life. Jesus Christ deserves the greatest honor because he lived an honorable life by laying down His life for others. Jn 12:26 - If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him [My] Father will honor. Jesus states that if anyone serves me Him will my father honor. Serving Jesus is the fastest way to get honor because God himself will honor you.

Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath! Could it be that our children cannot honor or obey us due to them living a provoked life that is full of wrath. Father here can be the male figure in the home or in the case of no male being present it could also mean mother or the parent that is in the place of authority. The term here points to a position of honor. We call God our father and this is how Jesus taught us to pray by addressing God as our father. Provoke means to arouse or exasperate. To annoy or irritate to anger or wrath. How often do we see kids walking around with chips on their shoulders and looking annoyed or irritated. Some kids live this way. We are quick to judge the kid but not so fast. Could it be the condition is being caused by the parents provocation. We must look at the word and let the word be our mirror as to what may be really going on. The word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. We've already established where some of cause of provocation comes from. It comes from parents who are not living lives that are honorable in front of their kids. The next verse gives us some more details as to where provocation comes from.

Fathers bring up your children in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord. Have you every looked at the words "bring up". Well we are to bring our children up from a place of adolescence, immaturity, and infancy to a place of being mature and molded into what God has called them to be. Bring them up is to bring them to a standard that you have set and that they have not yet attained. What kind of standard are you bringing them up to. The standard that you have set for them or that God has set is in the person of Jesus Christ and His word. The standard that you have set for them better be the standard that you live for yourself. As Christians our standard or pattern is Jesus Christ. We should never settle for less than Jesus in ourselves or in them. The way we bring them up to the standard is to train and admonish. How frustrated it one day you woke up and you were placed in a job that required you to know calculus. Your sitting at your desk with this project that is needed by the end of the day and you are staring at a problem that involves you to have a knowledge of calculus. Think about what you would do as you set there looking at this problem. How would you feel as the end of the day approaches and the fact that you would be found to be a failure and the consequences that come with that. Depending on your nature you would do one of two things, you would run around like a mad man trying frantically to learn calculus, etc., or you would simply lay down and sink into a deep depression. This is often where our children are. They wake up everyday to life and like the person in our example above they have no training in how to deal with life and the impending deadlines that they are pressured to meet. We are called to train our children to reach the standard of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do. Training is hard work and takes consistency. The scripture commands us to exercise ourselves to godliness. In training there is a trainer. How motivated would you be to go to the gym and exercise if your trainer was about 200 pounds over weight, sloppily dressed, etc. Is that what kind of trainer we are to our kids. We expect them to come up to a certain standard that we are not setting ourselves. Are we demanding our kids to submit to authority when we are not submitted ourselves. Well you are setting the pattern and you are bringing them up it. The other way we bring them up is to admonish them. Training and admonishment are very similar words but to admonish means to exhort or encourage. Sometimes admonishment takes on the form of a rebuke. To encourage means to give courage or bring to courage. Again this is our responsibility as parents. Encourage your child to the standard of Jesus Christ.

I pray that we are all found to be striving for the standard that has been given to us by the word of God. Don't settle for anything less. By faith lay hold of the promises of God. Like Noah did in his day build a boat to the saving of your household. Our boat is the standard of Jeus Christ. Set the standard in your own life first by seeking and serving Jesus with all your heart. Then bring your children to it through training and admonishment. Our pattern is Jesus Christ and His word. By the power of the Spirit and His Word we can all attain and reach the goal of being and looking like Christ in this lifetime. God Bless you as you build your boat!!!