Truth Trumps All #2

by admin on September 9, 2014

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” – Luke 24:5

 

These words were originally spoken to the women who came to the tomb on Easter morning but it is a question for every Christian. Why do seek the living among the dead? Why do you search through death hoping to find life?

Who would look for a newborn baby in a cemetery?

 

But that’s exactly what we do when we indulge in sin instead of obeying the Christ. You see, our very souls long for life. Jesus is that life. He is the only source of that life.  For some reason, even after becoming a Christian, we think we can find that life elsewhere. This mentality is not true which means that it is also sin. Believing this lie will just push us down death’s steep cliff.

 

Why do you seek the living among the dead?

 

Why do you desire satisfaction from that which will never give contentment? And why is it so easy to do? Maybe we’re just forgetful. Maybe we have to many things that distract us from the truth. Maybe we’re afraid of what it would mean for us to really believe the truth.

 

Honestly, I don’t know which, if any, of these hypotheses are completely correct. But I think the point is for the question to be too ridiculous to answer. Who would look for a newborn baby in a cemetery? That doesn’t make sense. And so the point becomes not to justify our sinful actions but to give us reason to change those actions and, ultimately, seek a change in our hearts as well.

 

Brothers and sisters let us seek life and contentment from our living Saviour and learn to forsake all else.

 

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14

 

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Truth Trumps All #1

by admin on August 26, 2014

God’s Truths are Like a House

 

In many ways the truths of God’s word are like a house. They provide rest, security, joy, hope, peace, and many wonderful memories. They are well-defined boundaries that we strive to live within.

 

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27

 

We are safest within God’s jurisdiction, within our obedience to him. But if someone doesn’t understand all of God’s rules does that mean he or she should disregard this house?

 

Think about it this way. If you go to stay overnight at a friend’s house for the first time, do you need to know every inch of the house before you trust the house? Do you need to know the reasons the architect(s) did every little thing the way they did? I certainly hope not. However, there are certain areas of the house that you would need to be familiar with: your bedroom (where you will be sleeping), the restroom, the living room (or another room to hang out as a group), and the dining room/kitchen. Similarly, in the house of God’s truth the rooms that we need to know are the same.

 

First, the bedroom. This is our own personal space. It is where we learn about and experience God’s truth on a personal level. It is where we learn to rest in him and trust him for our own self. This may be the most important room of the house.

 

Perhaps next we will discuss the restroom. This is the room that disposes of human waste. In the house of God’s truth, this is where we confess our sin, repent, and find forgiveness because our sin and guilt were flushed down the toilet. It is vitally important that this be easily accessed by the bedroom and the living room so, just like in most houses, there are multiple restrooms in different places throughout the house. The restroom also includes a shower, which again, “cleanses us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9.

 

This brings us to the living room. This is where we gather with the others living in the house. We laugh. We cry. We have a good time together. We’re there for each other when times get rough.  The living room is where we bond as a community. As a family.

 

Last but not least, there is the dining room/kitchen. This is where we feast on God’s truth. We can feast on his word individually or corporately. If we don’t feed ourselves it is inevitable that we will kill ourselves.

 

 

We are safest within God’s jurisdiction,

within our obedience to him.

 

 

As we strive to obey God, these four rooms are vitally important for all of us. However, it is important to note that within these rooms we are given some freedom. What we eat in the kitchen, how we connect with him personally, etc. is for us to choose, hopefully we let him still guide our choice but there are usually a lot of good options. The healthy use of each room is dependent on the healthy use of the other rooms. Let us continue to learn what it means to live within the house of God’s truth.

 

“And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

– Hebrews 3:5b

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In the last days before his ascension, Jesus had a remarkable conversation with Peter (John 21:15-17). Jesus asked, Peter, no matter what happens, no matter if the Romans crucify me again or if they crucify you or if you never see me again on earth, will you still love me? Do you love me as much as I love you?” [paraphrased].

 

Peter would, no doubt, like to respond affirmatively. However, how he so easily denied Christ before his crucifixion was probably still fresh in his mind. Therefore, Peter responds by saying he loves Jesus, just not as much as Jesus was asking. Jesus next response is incredible. I know. But Peter, I’m still going to use you, even when you mess up.” [paraphrased]

 God never uses an excuse

to stop blessing us.

 

The reason for this can be found in Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Therefore, because of his sacrifice, he is free to use broken people like us who would otherwise be unusable.

 

In 2 Samuel 7:18, King David responds to God’s grace by humbly saying, Who am I, O LORD GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?God never uses an excuse to stop blessing us. Therefore, we have no excuse to stop worshiping him.

 

This song is about looking back at our lives and seeing how much God has blessed us even when we may not have realized it at the time.

 

I wish I could say that I love you

As much as you love me

Lord you know when I will fail you

Yet you still choose me

 

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One of the basic principles of the Christian faith is that we as humans are separated from God. However, we cannot blame God for this separation. As Isaiah 59:1-2 explains, Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

 

 

 The good news is that God wanted

to erase the separation between

humanity and himself.

 

 

Isaiah 64:5-7 echoes the same principle.

You [God] meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

 

 

The good news is that God wanted to erase the separation between humanity and himself, and also knew that he was the only one who could do it. Isaiah 59:16 shows, He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.

 

The Spirit of the Lord came down

And taught us what is right from wrong

He showed us the Chosen One

The Messiah, God’s only Son

 

 

Therefore, Jesus, the Messiah, offered to take our unrighteousness when he died on the cross, and give us his righteousness when he rose from the grave. We must only believe it.

 

 

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Behind the song: El Gibbor (The Mighty God)

April 23, 2014

Jesus told us “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” – John 15:18. This implies that if we are His, we will be hated. The real enemy of those who follow after Christ is not persons who hold other convictions but Satan, his demons, and our own sinful nature. […]

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Behind the song: El Hannora (The Awesome God)

April 22, 2014

Nature is a popular place for Christians to go with the intent of deepening their relationship with God. The act of intentionally getting away from the distractions of the modern world and focusing on God’s creation enables us to have a better picture of who he is, and what we can praise him for.   […]

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Behind the Song: Yahweh Shammah (The LORD is there)

April 21, 2014

What’s the opposite of love? This is an honest question. As you formulate your answer let me offer my two-cents worth.   I believe the opposite of love is fear. If I don’t love someone, it’s not because I hate them, it’s because I’m afraid they’re going to hurt me. Now, it’s natural, not to […]

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Behind the song: El Hakkidish (The Holy God)

April 20, 2014

 The song is based on Isaiah 6. The chapter can be broken into three parts. 1)   [vv. 1-5] It depicts when Isaiah was given a vision of the Lord’s throne. This vision was, for lack of a better word, breath-taking. He notices two very distinct things. First, God is ridiculously holy; second, Isaiah is […]

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Behind the song: Adonai El Elyon (The LORD Most High God)

April 19, 2014

Approaching the throne of any king is a very serious occasion, especially when it is the King of Kings. This song looks at the paradox of giving reverence to God as our King as well as embracing him as our Father, for he fills both roles. The song asks questions like: “Who is this God […]

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Freedom Defined

April 15, 2014

Lost. Lost was my middle name And death enslaved me in a cage Guilty. And though his blood was on my hands Now his blood is in my veins The great physician did the impossible And made a way out of no way My debt has been paid My whole identity has been remade What […]

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