Battle of God Monday, Feb 8 2016 

Battle of God

As Christians, we often find ourselves failing at our battle against the enemy. We pray and ask God, “Why are you not here when I need you the most?”

Our text today comes from Deuteronomy 20 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?[b] 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.

From this text we learn that it is God who fights for us to give us victory but not ourselves. Jesus is the captain of the troops. We are Christian soldiers. The army is the church. The officers are pastors. The city is our stronghold. (fill in your sin here). The Hittitites, Amorites, canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites represent pride, lust, greed, gluttony, laziness, wrath, and envy.

The seven deadly sins are not deadly because they are unforgivable but deadly because they are the strongholds that keep us from the peace of God. Our enemy the devil keeps us bound in these sins until we declare all-out war.

The next text is from Joshua 6New International Version (NIV)

6 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:

“At the cost of his firstborn son     he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest     he will set up its gates.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.

The city of Jericho represents our strongholds. (fill in your sin here). Now you may think you don’t have any strongholds but 1 John 1says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

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

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Once again, the battle is God’s. The Israelites that marched around the city represent the church. The seven priests with seven trumpets represent our confession. The ark represents our faith which we carry with us. Please notice the “rest” at night. Once you declare war on your strongholds, confess your sin before God, ask Him to fight the battle for you, you can sleep like a baby. The shout represents our declaration that we will serve God and him only. He is our bulwark. God is a god of details. Notice the six days and on the seventh day victory. This represents the Sabbath (rest, peace, victory). The silver and gold represent the fruits of the spirit: Galatians 5:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Notice that the LORD rebuilds the city. If we refuse to give up our strongholds we cannot have the benefits of His redemption. If we allow bitterness to entangle our hearts we will never come into the fullness of the riches of Christ our LORD. Notice also the foundation set is Christ. Joshua prophesied the coming of Christ. “Unless the LORD build the city it is built in vain.” i.e vanity/pride. The battle is Gods. Glory to Him.

 

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A Common Destiny for All Thursday, Jan 14 2016 

This is like the crescendo in a symphony of Solomon’s Wisdom in Ecclesiastes 9:

  1. We all end up dead.
  2. Being alive is better than being dead.
  3. We live unmemorable lives.
  4. Our emotions vanish with us.
  5. Enjoy life as God’s gift.
  6. Work, plan, learn, teach with all your might.
  7. Chance determines winners.
  8. No man knows when his hour will come.
  9. Wisdom is better than folly.
  10. Wisdom is better than weapons of war.

Solomon’s Practical Counsel Monday, Jan 11 2016 

I took away three things from Ecclesiastes 6:

  1. Failure to enjoy God’s blessings is worse than being stillborn.
  2. You cant take food, wisdom, wealth or desire to the grave.
  3. Newness, uniqueness, strength, knowledge, goodness and time are also not retainable.

Solomon’s Deductions Saturday, Jan 9 2016 

There were five key deductions I took from Ecclesiastes 4:

  1. The unborn are better off than the living and the dead.
  2. Peace is better than plenty.
  3. Overworked and still lacking is futility.
  4. Friendlessness leads to quick brokenness.
  5. Each successive leader has more to measure up to.

Praise to the King Tuesday, Nov 10 2015 

Jude 24-25The Message (MSG)

24-25 And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.

Psalm 89:15-16

Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
    who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
    who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!

Lord, Praise your Holy Name. All things are yours. Thank-you for being with us today.

Praise be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Let our hearts swell in praise and thanksgiving who gives us all blessings, provisions, joys, renewals, powers in the Spirit, and peace beyond the understanding of men. I rejoice in God, Almighty, who answers prayer. I rejoice in the King of kings, Jesus, who rules in my heart today. I praise and thank Him for his free gift of salvation.  May all glory and honor and power be his both in times past, in this present hour, and forever more.  He is worthy of praise.

Rejoice with me in the Spirit of the LORD.

He answers our prayers. He give us light in a dark world. He guards and protects us. He holds us up. Praise and glory to God in the Highest. Angels sing. The horn of salvation rings. Let us rest in Him. Let us know this very hour that our Redeemer lives. Risen, He is! Alive and well in me. God be praised! How righteous are his precepts! Christ the King!

He has made me to know his great and precious promises.  He has made me to know His presence, His light, His love. In awesome power He reigns. His mercy endures forever. Awesome in power is the LORD Jesus. Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say rejoice! Rejoice forever more. Sing praises to His Holy Name, Jesus.  Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD, God, Almighty, King. His Kingdom endures forever. There is no one like Him. Thank-you God for your Son, Jesus. He is so worthy of our praises!  When I am weary, He give me strength.  I fall on my knees before Him.  I hear the angel voices, singing, in unison, “All Praise to God.”

If our soul can know but one minute part of His love, we have it all.  It overflows like a fountain.  It becomes so much a part of who we are that His love becomes the one thing that propels us to love one another. We love because He first loved us. When we think all hope is gone, He is our ever present help in times of trouble.

Only Now Sunday, Oct 25 2015 

Only the present is clear.
Parts of the past have faded,
Becoming a blur.
The future flows by shimmering like an ocean wave.
In …then…out;
For its’ momentary existence.
No amount of rushing can bring tomorrow now.
No amount of wishing can change the past we’ve sown.
Each heartbeat holds the passion of a lifetime within.
For there really is no tomorrow;
Only the moment that we’re in.
By Jessica May Moore

Praise Monday, Aug 17 2015 

Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, the God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

11 Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all.

12 Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

Resisting Sin to the Point of Shedding Blood Monday, Jun 29 2015 

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
    the child he embraces, he also corrects.

Leading People to be Lead by God Sunday, Jun 7 2015 

This is the work of an evangelist. To lead others to be lead by God. We stammer and stutter and think we are unfit for the task and it is true if we try to do it on our own. But the Holy Spirit through faith is able to perform the task with ease. It is when everything falls into place like it was meant to be. Don’t get me wrong. You will have angst as you step out in faith about whether or not you are making the right choice because that is what faith is; “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”

As each step of the process unfolds, as we answer the call, and trust God for the results, we can see some pretty amazing things happen along the way. I used to think God was slow moving. But now I know that there are times when he answers just as the prayer is leaving my lips. Nanoseconds, people!

So, what is God doing as he leads us? He is clearing the path to make our way straight. God is more eager to answer than we are to ask. As we steep ourselves in God-reality we arrive at the place we most want to be-With God. And “With-God”, all things are possible.

Luke 12:22-34

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What does seeking his kingdom mean? How can we seek an invisible place?

We all struggle with questions as we work out our own salvation. When we pray the LORD’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” do we really mean it? Or are they empty words we memorized for when we are in trouble?

Over and over Christ tells us in the bible about what the kingdom of God is like so we can speak out the truth in love to others and that kingdom he spoke of thousands of years ago comes. God reaches into our lives and makes it happen. He literally changes us so we see things differently. Our whole perspective changes. We no longer view the world from a self-centered position. We view the world through His eyes. We see the people starved for  their  Creator. We hear Him at his WORD. We come to know God and His purposes.

What I am telling you is nothing new. It is being told over and over in a million ways by pastors, preachers, teachers all over the world. They are answering God’s call to Peter, “Feed my sheep.”

So this little bit of scripture is a morsel not a meal. God leads us to feed ourselves on Him. He is the WORD. John 1.

Places God Shows Up Saturday, Jun 6 2015 

This morning, and it is right early, I’d like to share with you the places God shows up in my life.

The reason I am doing this can be found in the first few verses of Psalm 105:

105 1-6 Hallelujah!

Thank God! Pray to him by name!
    Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
    translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
    you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
    be alert for signs of his presence.
Remember the world of wonders he has made,
    his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
        O seed of Abraham, his servant,
        O child of Jacob, his chosen.

And in Psalms 19

19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
    Professor Night lectures each evening.

Now, yesterday morning, I watched the sunrise. It was not just any sunrise. There was a lightening storm complete with peals of thunder. It was mostly heat lightening but there were a few drops of water here and there.

During this “lecture”, I tried to take a picture of the lightening. But God just wasn’t having it! Part of the lesson was that it was just for me. That moment was between me and Him. I wasn’t expected to share it with anybody else.

Oh, believe me, I got some beautiful pictures of cloud formations and the moon as He held it perfectly still for the picture. But there was something different about that sunrise because God showed up. In all His glory, He shouted, “I am!”

Then later that same morning, we prayed with a man for a miracle that his wife be cured of alcoholism. Friend, God wants us to notice when He shows up. Everyone in that room knew that God had shown up during that prayer, and afterwards my husband looked toward heaven and cried, “Thank-you, God!”

He shows up in my dreams.

He is in the hugs of a one year old grandson.

He is in the smell of lilacs.

His angels stand guard at my door.

His voice can be heard in the morning chirps of birds.

I see His hand at work in my life every single day: providing, healing, and cleansing.

He is a wonderful God that makes my heart sing.

He does baptize with fire.

He does offer the cup of suffering.

And oh how He loves us!

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