Monthly Archives: September 2019

The Gospel According To Zechariah

The Gospel Message According To Zechariah

Zechariah was an Old Testament book but predicts the coming of the Righteous One. Jesus Christ came and fulfilled this prophesy as well as the other ones that were long before written of Him.

The Scripture says in John 1 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Years earlier in Zechariah it says “For I am coming, and I will live among you, declares the Lord.”

When Jesus came on the scene, for the first time in human history The Lord took on human skin, living among human kind side by side for thirty three years.

Ancient Jews knew no one could see God face to face and survive that experience. Not even Moses could

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18-23]

Yet Jesus became the very face of God dwelling in human skin. When Philip asked to see God, “Show us the Father” he said. Yet Jesus replies

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 14:9 –

Unlike the past, the people in Jesus time were seeing the Lord their God face to face. Unlike the past, He did not reveal himself this time on a mountain with the fiery glory and dark cloud of Sinai, nor was it a flaming bush- this time His glory entered human likeness. He suffered the pains of humankind

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:4-6 –

God was walking in skin identifying on a personal level with the very people He many times had spoken to through the cloud, through visions, through dreams and the prophets. He was now in the flesh (human skin) on the scene.

Many find this hard t grasp. What about the God of Heaven? Was he still existing as He took on human form in Jesus. Of course He was! God is Spirit and cannot cease to exist in His eternal form that is vast and cannot be contained,

Solomon even said thousands of years before ““But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. (1 Kings 8:27-30)

Let us understand the significance of a temple for the Jews. The Jews used this temple Solomon made as a place of worship and “God’s dwelling place”

When the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, this was not just devestating because a magnificent building was destroyed, but this was the very center of Jewish worship and where God chose to dwell among the people.

When God got angry at the people’s sin and forsaking him to other gods he kept His Word:

then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them —that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’”

2 Chronicles 7:20-22 –

Yet there came a point where Jesus became God’s Glorious Temple among the people, what does Jesus say

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

John 2:19-22 –

The literal temple they thought he was refering two was the second temple that was rebuilt after the remnant returned from Babylon. Yet Jesus was not refering to a building but Himself. He was crucified for the sins of the people, becoming the perfect sacrifice- not a goat, bull, or lamb- but He became the final sacrifice to totally remove sins!

Later on in Zechariah it says: “See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. (Zechariah 3:9)

What is this stone? Jesus often spoke saying “The stone the builders rejected has become the corner stone.”

10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

Mark 12:10-11 –

Jesus quotes from Psalm 118

Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Psalm 118:19-24 –

“open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord” and “This is that gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.”

Yet Jesus said he was the “gate”

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:7-10 –

Through faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ we can find forgiveness and salvation from sin-

For: But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (Romans 3:21-22)

Romans 3:21-22 fulfills the prophesy in Zechariah in the OT as well where it says

“Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

Zechariah 2:11 –

Through the Gospel, salvation and adoption into God’s Holy Family have become possible not just for Jews but the rest of the world, for

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:12-13 –

“Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” 1 Samuel 10:3-7 Sermon

Today’s Sermon.

“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 1 Samuel 10:3-7 –

After Saul was anointed as king, Samuel gave him some basic instructions to first do then after “Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”

First he was to encounter three men going up to worship God at Bethel who would give him two loaves of bread, and he was to accept them.

Secondly, he was to go to Gibeah and meet a group of prophets, then the “Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you.”

Yet these literal events in the Old Testament can teach us something today. We must first receive the bread of the Word of God and spend time worshipping him. When we first do that we invite the Spirit to come powerfully into our lives too. Then as a result of this touch of God’s power on our lives, then we can proceed and go on to “Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”

Our first priority is to seek the Lord in our personal alone moments as we start our day, and we will receive power from that to do everything else we set our hearts on doing for Him. Our relationship with Christ should come first, and our alone time receiving “The bread” of God’s Word- “for man does not live on bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God” as Scripture says.

We then through that invite the Holy Spirit into a new day to use us for the work Jesus Christ would have us do. When we do that, we receive power to do all things God would have us do and invite His powerful presence into our lives!

Sermon: When Godly Good People Die Young.

Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God. The other events in Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and the other things he did, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Ahaz his son succeeded him as king. [2 Chronicles 27:6-9]

King Jotham appears to be a very good king that wholeheartedly follows the Lord to the end. His father was Uzziah. Unlike Uzziah, Jotham does not appear to be poisoned by pride from his success.

Uzziah (also known as Azariah) as a result of his pride was struck by the Lord with leprosy and had to live isolated, and his son Jotham took his place to rule.

We see though Jotham only reigned sixteen years before Ahaz, his son took the throne. It has been thought that Jotham died in his prime around the age of fourty years old.

Seems odd that a good man like Jotham would die so young. Yet Biblically we know that long life is not always a sign of the Lord’s pleasure with someone.

For example Enoch in Genesis was taken by the Lord so he was seen no more.

Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24)

Then we see good King Josiah in 2 Chronicles 23 comes to a seemingly early death when he dies trying to engage Pharaoh Neco in battle.

Isaiah the prophet who lived during the time of the kings, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah wrote

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2 –

Isaiah saw this happen most likely with king Jotham but by inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote these words.

Sometimes God allows the unrighteous to live long and the godly to die young. Yet is that something to be sad about? We surely are to some degree grieved to lose loved ones, yet we have hope as believers in Jesus Christ the world knows nothing about. Yes, the blessed hope of eternal life, knowing that death is not the end of our lives. Death only removes us from the earth and ushers us into the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, our eternal home.

Isaiah says “righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”

Surely death for us who have been bought by Christ Jesus is not a bad fate, for it may spare us trials later down the road far worse then a shortened life span. Also death is never the end for a Christian but the door to immortal eternal life. Though the wicked may live a hundred years, that person will die and face eternal judgement.

So we must remember this, and though the sorrow of losing someone precious hurts tremendously, it does not have to lead us to overwhelming despair.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 –

The Masters Unusual Means Of Silence

Today’s Sermon: The Masters Unusual Means Of Silence.

Luke 24:13-16

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

Ah behold, “Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.”

So true it can be for us, when our Saviour withdraws his experiential presence and we may feel as if he was no where to be found. When his voice is silent and his presence seems hidden from us. Yet we see here “Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”

Though he tested their faith and so often too tests ours. He tests us just as he did them. What shall we do when we cannot feel his presence or discern His hand in our present problems or challenges?

Shall we not still hold fast in faith knowing “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)

For we serve a faithful Lord and a faithful God. Yet God often hides himself, and we must earnestly seek Him and praise Him even if He seems far off.

As He did with King Hezekiah, He withdrew His presence yet not entirely, he hides often in His perspective place to watch what we might do- like a parent watching a child from another room.

But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

2 Chronicles 32:31 –

God delights in our faith. When He seems absent but we continue to do His Will and live by faith.

God’s seeming quietness can cause fear, or in other cases make us careless in our ways,

“Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?

Isaiah 57:11 –

Yet let this not be the case with us believers. For we do know our masters will and his presence or feeling of absence should not alter our faithfulness or undermine our obedience.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:42-51 –

So whether he seems near or far, Jesus is Lord and deserves our full devotion and willing service. We must praise Him even if our praises seem to not reach His ears. Shall we only pray or praise when we “feel” He is listening- for we know the truth is greater then our feelings and we know He is always listening.

Let us not be chided by him when He seea us doubting and then like these disciples says: “25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25)

Though He may seem far, He is often indeed still nearer then ever! Praise be to Him who wisely knows when to speak to us and when to silently hold his silence, for the Lord uses both His words and silence in his teaching curriculum. It is for our good when he uses one and it is for our good when he uses the other. For He promises to use all things for our good!

Canaanite King Had It Coming

Interestingly enough, this Canaanite king does not say “Now my gods have paid me back for what I did to them.” No he says “Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.”

The man hits total rock bottom in his life and comes to grips God has repaid him for his cruelty. The Scripture does not say this or tell us how this man responded to his awareness of his sin in his last hours of life. Yet it is possible he repented and maybe perhabs turned in faith to Israel’s God and found mercy from Him.

God was incredibly merciful even in the Old Testament times to a soul who humbled itself before him. We do not know what happens though with this man and can only really wonder. Yet the timeless truth is God is rich in mercy even when we sink to our lowest and darkest moments- if we humble ourselves. No matter how deep the sin is, God’s grace is deeper for them who will humbly acknowledge their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jesus is able to cleanse even the worst offender who is willing to be cleansed and have their guilt removed. Yet the arrogant will not let themselves be cleansed, they say “But I am a decent good person!” And “But how could God punish me for my sins? I am not that horrible!”

This attitude keeps a person truly from God’s free gift. The Lord’s generous offer to cleanse us. Some may fear coming to grips and facing their guilt, so they in fear of truly facing the fact God sees them as a sinner. Yet, this is fear that keeps one from God’s mercy and generous forgiveness!

Surely all our sins are putrid and odious to a Holy God! Surely we all have reasons God could eternally condemn every one of us! Yet listen, God may be saying of some who read this now something like He said of his people of old

Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:13 –

God’s mercy is a free gift and when we by faith turn from sin to Jesus Christ we are saved!

Appreciating The Season Of Life You Are In

Life seems to have it’s unique seasons just like the weather. There is an element of beauty in each season of weather- yet we can find the beauty in the unique seasons and situations God has us in.

Many people associate autumn and fall with the leaves turning beautiful colors before they fall off for winter. We associate winter with snow and the beautiful white it covers the earth in. Spring is known as flower season and summer we are seeing lots of green and doing many outdoor activities.

Yet there are downsides to each season too, especially winter with it’s extreme cold and summer with it’s scorching heat. Yet in every season there is some beauty unique to itself. Each season has something that makes it neat.

Yet life is like that. Many are discontent with where God has them and what season they are in. Sometimes God may leave us in a season so we can learn some important lesson before he moves us on to the next season of life.

Yet “God has made everything beautiful in it’s time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Some get so worked up about wanting a different situation in life that they miss out on the enjoyment of the here and now. There are singles who wish they were married and on the other hand married people who miss having the time and flexibility when they were single. There are blessings and downsides to any situation in life we can find ourselves in. Some complain about the job they have, while others complain they are unemployed. The truth is life is never here picture perfect like these photos.

In the photos you can see the snow yet do not feel it’s biting chilling cold. In the photo of the summer, you see the green and lush leaves but do not feel the mosquitos biting you or the heat.

We often picture something in our mind and see only the “good to it” without knowing the challenges it has to it. So with that being said, how can we go wrong when we let God be God and move us into the season he sees best when he decides to do so and learn to enjoy where we are presently at

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13 –

Parasitic Bitterness

Youtube Video

https://youtu.be/gCQHfN5xq14

Bitterness is alot like a parasite I learned about from someone years ago. I read more on the parasite. The parasite will eat the tongue of a catfish and then feed itself with what the catfish tries to eat. Yet sin unchecked in our lives can take control of us and live it’s life out of the actions of our hands and words of our mouth.

Jesus taught in Mark 7 that the words of our mouths reveal what truly is in our hearts.

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)

When our hearts become infested with evil things, wrong thinking and poisoned attitudes, our words will come out and reveal what is growing on the inside.

You can tell a lot about someone by the words they speak. Often you can tell a person is bitter or resentful when they use profane words often or gossip.

Jesus Christ came to free us from sin and pay the penalty of our sin so we could walk out of newness of life.

Facets Of The Emotion Of Anger

Youtube Video

Human anger has various facets. There is quickness to anger, excessive display of anger and unresolved anger. This video will try to unpack these today.

We must understand God’s anger is not like ours. In Psalm 86:15, Psalm 103:8, Jonah 4:2, Nahum 1:3, Psalm 145:8, Numbers 14:18 and Joel 2:13, we see God is slow to anger and often relents to bring disaster.

This is too all our benefit. For God does not often treat us as we would others who anger us and he is more patient then we are often with others

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:3-9 –