" I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify
Scriptures: Revelation 22:16-17
Many times a person can be described in one word. We think of Christopher Columbus, we say discoverer. We think of Thomas Edison, we say inventor. We think of George Washington, we think president. The Bible describes Jesus very uniquely, it calls us Him: The Good Shepherd and the lamb, High Priest and the sacrifice, stern and yet gentle, King of Kings and also a servant. Today we read in Revelation 22 that it describes Jesus as "the root and the bright and morning star," two objects that are very different.
Jesus is local and also universal. A root stays for the most part in one location, it is not seen unless it's unearthed. A star can be seen from around the world, it is there in the sky but you must look for it. Jesus is working here with us locally and His power extends to the ends of the earth. He is working within us, while meeting the needs of all mankind.
Jesus is hidden and yet revealed. Roots are hidden; they do their work in the soil. The deeper the roots go the stronger the tree that results. As humans we cannot fully understand all that He is and all that He does for us, yet when we allow Him to work within us we become the best versions of ourselves. Stars are revealed as they shine bright in the sky. They are hidden mysteries to God's grace, mercy and forgiveness. Jesus was revealed, the Bible tells us "we beheld His glory." Jesus was the revealed nature and personality of God.
Jesus was here on earth temporarily and yet He wants us to be with Him for eternity. He came to this earth temporarily to save us: He blossomed for a purpose. His grace still shines down on us, like a star His mercy endures forever. His desire is to spend eternity together.
So what about us? We can attend a local church, and yet we have a universal impact! The Holy Spirit is working within us: buried deep in our hearts and souls, He is revealed by our actions, words and appearance. This natural body is temporary, but the real you will live forever. So how can one word describe the life of a Christian? It cannot! You are important locally and universally. Your faith is personal and also public. You are in this world, but not of this world! Do not let the world define you with one word!
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
Scriptures: Judges 13:1-5, 1 John 2:16
Samson's story was tragic: he was called to begin the deliverance of his people. He began, but did not fulfill. On road Samson chose he found: destination disaster. Samson pleased himself first! We have all plans for our lives, but if they are not God's plans we are settling for second best! God's plans for our lives always superceed what we could ever accomplish on our own.
Samson took the Spirit of God for granted. The Bible shows us that Samson was a blessed man, he was given God's spirit from birth! Instead of embracing this calling, Samsom became a slave to the things he toyed with.
Samson ignored his weaknessess. His weaknessess, desires for women, were apparent to everyone but him, but he refused to admit that he had any. He allowed his weakness to overtake him.
Samson did not realize what his mistakes were until it was too late and he ended up blind (lust of the eye), bound (lust of the flesh), and humiliated (the pride of life).
So how do we avoid being overtaken and ending up in a disaster? We must acknowledge our flaws: we need to be able to determine what in our lives has the most potential to ruin our lives? What are we doing or seeking that could be our ruin? We need to seek help and counsel: "he who thinks he needs nothing or no one needs more than he can imagine." We need to assimilate God's truth into our situations and into our lives. When we connect with the Word, we connect with God! It's time to keep God's story alive in our lives, we can always turn back to God and make our lives into heroic epics, instead of disasterous destinations!
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
In life we have to be careful to avoid making assumptions that keep us from living fully and trusting God completely. Assumptions can be costly for our success in life. Today we will look at six common assumptions that we keep us from being successful and feeling free.
Assumption #1: "I must be competent and successful before I can be happy with myself." We must remember that God is in the process of equpping us to be competent. We are in the process of becoming who God wants us to be and He gives us joy for the journey.
Assumption #2:" It is easier to avoid certain difficulties than to face them:" We tell ourselves that just avoiding our problems will be the answer instead of confronting them, but do problems go away when we avoid them? No, problems follow us, they don't just go away. We need to seek God's strength and face our issues.
Assumption #3: "I must live life preparing for the worst." We feel like we must always anticipate the worst for every situation causing us to focus on the bad, dangerous and feared. We miss the positive things happening in our lives and like Job said: "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me," is Job 3:25.
Assumption #4: "I have been shaped by the past and it is too late to change." We must remember that our past does not get in God's way! We let it get in our way, but God is not hindered by our past mistakes, we are "new creatures in Christ!"
Assumption #5:" I have no control over my happiness:" God is very interested in our happiness, the Bible tells us so! He desires for us to have joy and to live peacefully.
Assumption #6: "It is easier to keep doing things the way I am doing them than to try things a new way." This thinking defines our future because we will keep getting what we already have. We must be willing to experience change so we c
So how do we define irrational assumptions that are keeping us from moving forward and being happy? We compare the thoughts to the Word of God and allow His word to speak directly into our lives. Its time to stop living by assumptions and live by faith!
Scripture: Mark 8:22-25
Biblical miracles come in all shapes and sizes: Your miracle could be in the making!
In these verses from Mark, we read the Jesus performed a miracle in a man's life which seemed half complete. The man said: "I see men walking as trees." Why did he do this? Because God does not fit in our molds, He works in mysterious ways. Before this moment we never heard the blind man speak, but Jesus had him speak his miracle: because our faith is connected to willingness to speak about it!
Sight and understanding does not always come instantly: God reveals himself progressively. When we hear the word "miracle" we expect instant gratification, but God works with time. What Jesus wants to do in your life is unique, the question is: will you be around for the completion of the miracle? Will you hold on until the miracle is complete or will you give up while its in the making?
God uses time to reveal His plan. We can expect things quickly, so what happens when things do not happen in our time frame? Do we question our value? Do we become filled with frustration? Do we compare ourselves to others?
Your miracle is in the making: believe with your heart that God has more for you. Realize that there is an inseparable bond between the heart and the mouth. Remain faithful and give God time to complete the miracle. Do not give up halfway through the miracle, because things will become clearer soon.
Scriptures: Joshua 2:1-13
God is doing some big things in our church and there are great moments ahead! Are you ready to be a part of something life-changing? Great moments start in some unexpected ways: revival has surprising twists and turns. Rahad was an unlikely servant of God.
In these verses from Joshua, we read that in the city of Jericho the spies found a safe place in a very dangerous city. They found refuge in the house of harlot where at first glance it might appear that this was the wrong choice, but God led them to this home. Why would God direct them this way? Having men go into this house would not attract attention; many military men would visit this house because of Rahab's occupation. It would just seem like any other day. Secondly the house was on the city walls: it was an escape route. Finally, God had plans for Rahab beyond her current situation!
In Jesus Christ your past does not determine your future, but your choices do! People that are low on mankind's list are high on God's list. Rahab was seen to the world as a harlot, God saw her belief in Him and saw her as His child. In a moment of crisis Rahab turned to the Lord: she took a risk on God!
Rahab survived the battle of Jericho and joined the Israelite community. She had a chance to start over: she married a Jewish man named Salmon. She gained respect because of her choices. Because of her choices, God blessed her life! She was included in Jesus' family tree: He literally descended from her! She is one of two women mentioned in Hebrews 11: the heroes of faith chapter! In Jewish tradition, she is remembered as one of the four most beautiful women who ever lived.
If God could use Rahab, He can use you! There are great moments ahead, so it's time to get out of your past: let it go! God is doing big things now and there are more to come: it's time to be a part of it!