Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deuteronomy 13

Deuteronomy 13 “If a prophet arises among you … and says ‘Let us go after other gods…and let us serve them’, you shall not listen…. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve HIm and hold fast to Him.”

Amazing sermon last night, and thinking and praying about all those idols that I think I have to have in order to be satisfied, and I cry. I cry alot.

This morning I was reading Deuteronomy 13 and of course it’s about idols!! [more tears]. It’s a warning against false prophets who preach that it is aok to serve idols. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. God’s people were to walk after the LORD alone with every fiber of their being. God’s chosen people were to listen and obey HIS voice, serve HIM alone, hold fast to HIM. Prophets who preached otherwise, and pointed people to idols, were to be killed for idolatry was rebellion against the LORD.

In that same chapter, if even family members entice others in the family towards “idolatry”, drawing the chosen away from the LORD [called “wickedness”], they too would be killed.

God has not changed…. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And so I wonder about the “prophets” or pastors in the pulpits today…. those who through their sermons point their flocks to idols [albeit ‘good things’ some of them] but idols. Idols of prosperity, putting family before God, sex, health, financial stability, success, education, religious works devoid of the cross, spiritual experiences etc. Those who preach it is fine to “worship a good thing as a god thing” - are preaching rebellion against God. [btw, back in the OT God’s people were under a pure theocracy, so I am not suggesting stoning today].

I think about the leadership here at LBC, and am thankful to the LORD for that leadership. They never waver and faithfully, courageously preach the gospel warning the flock about the idols in our lives and preach repentance, and destruction of those idols. I am reminded of Titus 2:15 “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

As I think on Deut. 13, [causing more tears], I began to wonder if as a “family member” at LifeBridge, “Have I, by my words or actions enticed sisters, brothers to the ‘good things’ — to idolatry?” I grieve if I have. I repent if I have. Had I lived in BIble times, I too would have been worthy of execution.

Last night, we sang an old hymn:

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.


I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.


Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.


View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?


Lo! th’incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.


Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

Though I should be executed, Jesus was executed on my behalf and Jesus ALONE is my LORD and He will keep me so that I will never perish. He continues to intercede on my behalf. It is in Him that I will love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul. In Him, I shall walk after the Lord my God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice and in Him, I shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. And when I fail which is often, I will repent and He will complete the good work that He began in my life. In Him I will persevere to the end. Thank you LORD Jesus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Return of Jesus?

My plans this weekend are fishing at Honey Moon Island with some gal pals on Saturday morning [yes women can catch fish] and on Sunday I am going to a shower for my friend Amanda who will be getting married in June. Sunday evening, I am planning on attending church. But I heard judgment is on May 21st which would disrupt any plans, mine and everyone else. There are those who believe Jesus is returning on the 21st.

Frankly, I don't believe Jesus is returning this Saturday, and I am not here to debate those who do. I believe it is most likely that I will be worshipping with my LifeBridge Church family on Sunday evening. But I could not pass up the opportunity to comment on the return of our LORD and KING Jesus who will return one day. Jesus in Acts 1, we read, said:

"'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority (that is the specific years or dates which some in all ages try to predict of the Second Coming of Christ). But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'"

Jesus IS coming back.
I don't know.

And though no one knows when - two things for sure: First, He is returning. And secondly, even if He tarries, anyone reading this blog will be dead within the next 50-60 years anyway, "Therefore...be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure...."

Until He returns, He has given His followers a mission: to be His witnesses. He has even given us the title of ambassadors and as such we proclaim His gospel message.

The Gospel..the Good News:

Jesus created you (John 1:1-4). He is Creator, King..owns it all.
The Bible tells us that all things are created by Him and for Him and for His good pleasure (Col. 1:16-17; Phil. 2).

BUT all of man has rebelled against God choosing instead to live life as our own ruler (Romans 3:23) with tragic results - "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)

➢ WAGES - that is earned
➢ DEATH in the Bible is not only physical death, but separation from God.

THE GOOD NEWS - the GOSPEL (the message we get the privilege to proclaim as followers of Christ) - THOUGH THE JUST DUE WAGES OF OUR SIN IS SEPARATION FROM A HOLY GOD, “... THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE…through our LORD JESUS CHRIST!

God became a Man -- the unique God Man of the world - Jesus (Phil. 2:5-11)
JESUS – the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” [worthy sacrifice], the Lion of Judah [the rightful Ruler] (Col. 1:15-20; 1 Peter 3:18; Revelation; Hebrews; Romans; 2 Cor. 5:21)
JESUS – who made atonement [paid ransom for His subjects]
JESUS - in so doing conquered death, was raised, and now is seated on His throne ruling His subjects in the heavenlies.
JESUS – has reestablished in His subjects His kingdom.

Those who have put their faith in Him – (and only able to do so by His grace) - now live out “life” as a witness for our King until His return [2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Peter 1:3; Romans; 1 Cor. 15]

And how then shall we live? Read Col. 2:1-15...

....and so while fishing, going to wedding showers, attending church but do so as His ambassadors, on mission, seeking the lost - always.

Matthew 28:18–20: "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Thank you LORD JESUS that you made it possible, by your death and on our behalf and in our place, to be reconciled to God, and to know and enjoy you forever.