Joy to the World Sunday, Dec 16 2018 


Joy to the world
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing


Joy to the world
Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the earth receive her king
Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the angel voices ring
Joy to the world, now we sing
Let men their songs employ
Joy to the world, now we sing
Repeat the sounding joy

Oh oh
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The light of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the earth receive her king
Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the angel voices ring.

Advertisements

Gloria In Excelsis Deo Saturday, Dec 15 2018 

Angels we have heard on high,
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tiding did you hear?
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

See him in a manger laid
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

I Can’t Get This Song Out of My Head Friday, Dec 14 2018 

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King! Christ, by highest heaven adored:
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the favoured one.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King! Hail! the heaven-born
Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the son of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King !”

My Trickle, My Ocean Thursday, Dec 13 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of Ezekiel chapter 47 verses 1-4:

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around [a]on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

What do we find here in the scripture? Ezekiel is being shown a vision from the LORD. He is looking at the “front door” to the Temple of God.  When you want to meet with someone, you go to their house. You go first to their front door. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me.  Jesus is the “front door” if you will and we must go “through Him” to get to the Father.

In the vision Ezekiel sees water flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east. Remember how Jesus told the woman at the well, “If you would have asked me, I would have given you living water.”

John 4:7-14 There *came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus *said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She *said to Him, “[a]Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

And remember at the great day of the feast when He said in John 7: 37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “[a]If anyone is thirsty, [b]let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From [c]his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Notice it says in Ezekiel 47:1 the water was flowing toward the east, for the house was facing east. What do we see when we face the east? The sun rises in the east. Jesus said in John 8:12 12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

And the water is flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. If we begin in the east on a map and begin to make a circle counter clockwise toward the south the vision begins to unfold. In God’s house, i.e. heaven where is Jesus?

Acts 2:33
33 Therefore having been exalted [a]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

Now in Ezekiel 47:2 “He brought me out by way of the north gate. So what comes out of the north? The farther north you go the more barren it becomes.


..and led me around [a]on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.”

When a woman has a baby, sometimes when the water breaks it starts with a trickle from the “south” so to speak, “down there” or “down under”. God, Himself is able to give “eternal birth” through Christ Jesus. Remember Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.”

Ezekiel 47:3
When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.

The man here is Jesus leading him on through the Christian life.  He doesn’t start out in the deep water. No-no. He begins his long journey in water that is ankle deep. As new Christians Christ doesn’t start out by telling us all the secrets of the universe.  He understands that we are but flesh and will only be able to “wade” as it were in the beginning.

1 Corinthians 13:11
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [a]became a man, I did away with childish things.

Ezekiel 47:4
Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

You see as you walk through your Christian life you go deeper and deeper with Christ leading. You become cleaner and cleaner. The Holy Spirit, whom Christ is dipping you into one step at a time is convicting you of more and more sin in your life. God said in 1 Peter 1:16 
16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

And in Leviticus 20:7 
You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.

Do we all start out knowing all about the doctrines of Christ? Do we know all about salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification? No!

Romans 8:29-30 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see in a mirror [a]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

John 14:12 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

My Fig Tree Tuesday, Dec 11 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of John chapter 1 verses 45-49

45 Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and *said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael *said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”

Notice how Jesus greets Nathaniel: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”

Straight away, He announces his position, i.e. Israelite or one of God’s chosen people. And he also announces his character: “in whom there is no deceit!” The King James version says, “no guile!” We know from this record in scripture than Nathaniel was sincere.

Psalm 51:6
Behold, You desire truth in the [a]innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Psalm 86:11
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

There is no purpose in praying or seeking God or trying to receive blessing from Him if you hide in your heart some secret sin. If there is something you continue to do even after the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes to you.

Notice that Nathaniel is concerned about these things. Jesus told him, “I saw you under the fig tree.” What was he doing there? He went there to pray, to study his scriptures, to test himself, to seek God. It was the middle of the week, which was not a time when most men would be doing this. But Nathaniel wanted to “think” so he found a quiet place and alone, or at least he thought he was alone he pondered the deep things of life. This was a central part of his life. It wasn’t just something he did on the day of worship.

We can learn from Nathaniel to take time to be with God, to seek God, to fellowship with Him. Take time to be holy.

Notice how Nathaniel starts out questioning Philip when he is first told about Jesus, “Can anything “GOOD” come out of Nazareth?” Nathaniel knew his scriptures. He knew that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth. He straight away questioned Philip in order to test what he was saying against the scriptures.

And we should also test people who come to us and say, “Oh, I had this wonderful experience. Come and see.” You might be led into a cult or complete disaster. Remember we are called to “test the spirits whether they be of God.”

Nathaniel was using his critical thinking. He was not guilty of credulity. He was not gullible of a false teacher. But he was also not guilty of contempt against anything and everything thinking he already knew it all like the Pharisees were. He listened. He went to “see”. He was not governed by prejudice. But he knew that everything must be brought to the bar of the scripture.

Now look at Jesus’ response to Nathaniel, “I saw you under the fig tree.”

Imagine Nathaniel’s shock.

The lesson here is the our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life before the creation of the world. He knows all about you. He knows your seeking, He knows your heartbreak.

Jesus said to Paul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me. It is hard to kick against the pricks.” He knew his heart. He knew his motives. He knew his destiny.

Jesus is like the father of the prodigal son. He runs to meet us. He will take you by the hand and lead you on.

What is your greatest desire above everything else? Do you have a fig tree? Do you know that you are known of Him?

1 Corinthians 8:3
but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see in a mirror [a]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Galatians 4:9
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless [a]elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

Do you know that He loves you? Do you know that He is dealing with you?

Philippians 1:6-11

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 [a]For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my [b]imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the [c]affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may [d]approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless [e]until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


God’s Choice Monday, Dec 10 2018 

The scripture for today is John 1:40-42 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and says unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jona: you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Cephas means Peter which means stone or rock. There is a very great lesson to be learned about the story of these two brothers. Take first Andrew who introduces his brother, Peter to Jesus. He also introduced others to Jesus. He is not really very well known as a disciple. He introduced the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus before the multiplying of the food that fed thousands. 

Peter on the other hand held a position of leadership among the apostles. Matthew 16: 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon [a]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are [b]Peter, and upon this [c]rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Peter preached very powerfully in Acts even after he was told by the Pharisees to stop preaching in the name of Jesus.  In the spiritual realm there are laws which do not operate within the natural realm. It was the same power that gave Peter the power to preach as was given to Andrew to tell others about Christ.

Peter also “fed thousands” through his preaching.

The LORD gave the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who all received the same amount no matter what time of day they began working. You don’t keep ledgers or books in the spiritual realm. Being a retired accountant this was a very difficult lesson for me to grasp. God is sovereign and he can give grace to whomever He chooses.

The rock is not Peter but rather anyone God chooses.  He chose Moses. He chose David. He chose Abraham. He chose Mary. He chose Jacob. He chose you. John 15:16 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

God’s Actions Sunday, Dec 9 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the gospel of John chapter 1 verse 16:
16 For of His fullness [a]we have all received, and [b]grace upon grace.

When Jesus baptizes us with His Holy Spirit at once He begins a work in us which includes many facets.

  1. Conviction of sin
  2. Understanding of scripture
  3. Quickening
  4. Regeneration
  5. Unction
  6. Anointing
  7. Sealing
  8. Sanctification

In addition to all of these the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We abhor even the thought of sin. It becomes unthinkable. There is joy unspeakable. There is power to witness. This is that “unction” to tell others, to testify, for “we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Remember the woman at the well who after speaking with the LORD, left her pot, went into the city and told everyone about her “experience” with Christ. When we become Christians we understand who Christ is and why He came to this earth. We know His purpose. We have assurance of our salvation. The Spirit of God within us bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Our strength comes from God who made the mountains and the seas. There is no need to go on “searching” because we have found Christ. We know the reason for our hope. The Spirit teaches us “all things”.

Others see the fruit of our rebirth. The actions of God are evident. There are many ways God brings us to himself just like there are fingerprints or snowflakes. We are His workmanship. Each individual has his or her own unique experience. But we all “know” Him for it is God who saves us from our sin.

My Midterm Thursday, Nov 15 2018 

Those of you who have been following along with our recent study of scripture may be pleased to join me in assessing our progress in understanding just how these lessons apply to our own individual lives.

  1. Have you received of the “fullness” of Christ?
  2. Or even more importantly, do you continue to receive of the “fullness” of Christ?
  3. Are you concerned by the moral condition of the world around us today?
  4. Are you putting experience above the scripture? or tradition above the scripture? or revelation above the scripture?
  5.  Are you satisfied with something less than the scripture?
  6.  Are you afraid of the supernatural?
  7.  Do you quench the  Spirit?
  8. Do you interpret scripture in light of your own experience?
  9.  Are you afraid of religious excess?
  10.  Are you vibrant with spiritual life?
  11.  Have you tested yourself in the light of the scriptures and not in the light of your own experience?
  12.  Is your worship always orderly, like clockwork, nothing spectacular?
  13.  Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Without the fullness of Christ, we will never be able to answer the questions and concerns of this present day. Acts 18 & 19 show that there are grades, steps, stages in the Christian life. First babes in Christ, then growing in grace, then spiritual maturity.

My Regeneration, My Joy-Part 5 Wednesday, Nov 14 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of John Chapter 3 verses 1-6

The New Birth

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

The regeneration that we get is a secret work of the Holy Ghost. We know from the parable of the sower who sows his seed and it grows “he knows not how.” It is like wind that you cannot see but the effects are evident. Regeneration is a profound work on our hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

The law is written on tablets of stone that if it is followed will appear clean on the outside but on the inside, not so much. But regeneration is written upon the tables of the “heart” which is the very center of our personality which represents change on the inside that shines forth to the outside.

So morality is a periphery work that makes you “look good”. The worldly focus is upon “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But morality is stagnant, does not grow, and kills. Christianity is the center, the source. It “is good”. True beauty: 1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Christianity changes us into the same image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

This baptism of the Holy Spirit is from the LORD and brings growth and life.

Romans 8:2-4

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Philippians 2:12-13

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Jude 1:24 -25

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

My Regeneration, My Joy – Part 4 Tuesday, Nov 13 2018 

The scriptures for today begin in the book of Luke chapter 3 verses 4-6:

 “as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

And also 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown [l]a perishable body, it is raised [m]an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, [n]earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, [o]we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

We have been studying the contrast between morality and Christianity over the past 3 days. We are beginning today’s study in light of the phrase, “And the rough roads become smooth”. Now, I would like you to notice that this point is not the first point. It says in verse 5 above first, “every ravine will be filled”, second, “every mountain and hill will be brought low”, third, “the crooked will become straight”, and now fourth, “and the rough roads smooth.” As you see it comes in stages, in a certain order, because you cannot make the roads smooth until they are straight. You cannot make them straight until every mountain and hill has been brought low, and you cannot do that until every ravine has been filled. This is a description of the Christian life. Regeneration is a process. Sanctification is a process.

Last time, we discussed how Christianity is a “life giving force.” This is illustrated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. And so we have another contrast of the earthy (moral man) and the Christian (spiritual man). The promise is that “we will bear the image of the heavenly.” vs 49.

To be continued. Next time we will be discussing the “Secret Work”.
 

Next Page »