Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Study on Psalm 145

"I will exalt you, my God the King;
 I will praise your name for ever and ever.
 Every day I will praise you
 and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of
 his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works
 to another;
 they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
 and I will meditate on your wonderful
They will tell of the power of your
 awesome works,
 and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant
 and joyfully sing of your righteousness."

In fiction readers may come across a literary device called foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is when the author gives clues that allude to events later in the story. The author is able to do this because he knows the entirety of the story. He sits in a position of knowing as the reader is taken on this journey. A good author takes care to lead his reader through an adventure. Making sure that his goals for the reader will be satisfied in the end, mainly that he/she will enjoy the ride, buy the book and recommend it to others. An author never wants to reveal to much of the plot to early. If he does he risks writing a predictable story and thus failing in his task. I heard once that imitation is a form of flattery. Man is created in the image of God. He either wants to be like God or be God. God is the creator, the author, the illustrator and designer of every thing we know. This story belongs to Him. In the beginning He planned the end. “His greatness no one can fathom.” (vs. 3)
The first four words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God”. At this point I imagine a stopwatch and finger pressing the start button. The clock begins ticking and Time begins. God is telling us He was already here. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2A) In 2 Timothy Paul writes, “Share in the suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling not according to works, but according to Hi own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” This verse is important because it make several claims about God.
  • We were called not only before we were born but before time began.
  • He purposed Himself/ had a plan specifically to make humans and then reconcile them to Himself through Christ Jesus, who was present, before time began.
  • And the obvious, He existed to do these things before Time began.

God existed before time. He is not subject to space and time, He created them. He exists outside of them, looking upon His story that is spread out before His view. He sees the present just as clearly as He sees the future. His will is done, the future is already written. The mural of history is His masterpiece; His motion picture will play out exactly how He planned it. He is a perfectionist not one detail was overlooked. The author of life has written the story knowing the whole plot since before the beginning. He had been carefully preparing the world for the climax. The full revelation of God’s plan to reconcile man to Himself, the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In our lives, our perspective allows us only a limited view of God’s Master Plan. That fragment is so small it can sometimes feel insignificant and negligible. For example, God is doing things all around the world, in every country. I only directly witness the things He does in my life and the lives of people around me. Imagine how many thing I don’t see. Now imagine how many groups of believers there are that I’ve never heard of and all the thing He does in their midst. (You get the picture?) God is behind it all. He is composing a song, played by a billion piece orchestra. It’s almost like He’s playing every instrument Himself, skillfully making beautiful music that is a testament to His power and glory. “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1Cor 11:22) Granted sometimes His slaves do not have their lives in tune, but He is not caught by surprise. He is still in control. Now you see that even the most miraculous wonder God does in my personal life is a speck compared to the wondrous work He is doing on earth. In comparison those things may seem so small, there apparent impact on the world is nil. But God see the bigger picture. One day we will all see the whole. “For now we see indistinctly as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but I will know fully as I am fully known.” (1 Cor 13:12)
Before the time of Christ, God was preparing the world for salvation. From the moment of the fall, God has wanted our relationship with Him to be reconciled. He made sure the knowledge of Him would never die out. He always preserves a remnant. This is where foreshadowing comes in.
Colossians 2:16-17 says, “Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is in the Messiah.”
In other words, the tradition was just foreshadowing for the future. The cultural and ceremonial practices of before were part of the recital. The Messianic Age is the big dance.
Hebrew 10:1 says, “Since the law has only a shadow of good things to come; and not the actual form of those realities; it can never perfect the worshiper by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year.”
The passage goes on to talk about how the first established the second. The second being the man who, “after offering one sacrifice for all sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”
Psalm 145 is a foreshadowing of the Christian life, modeled through the praises of King David. I also believe that Psalm 145 gives us a glimpse of how God felt about evangelism and discipleship before the time of Jesus.
Christian are people of The Faith and should therefore be people of action.
James 2:14-18 “What good is it, my brothers if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”
There are many actions taking place in the first seven verses of this psalm. All of the actions in the verses are actions we should do. All the verbs are action we do specifically when share the gospel.
vs. 1: “I will exalt you.” / “I will praise your name.”
vs. 2 “I will praise you and extol your name.”
vs. 2 “I will praise you and extol your name.”
Unbeliever will know we’re different when they see how the Lord is exalted in our lives above our own interest. Our testimonies are a powerful tool given to us to win the lost. Our individual stories of God’s goodness can impact people. We should be sure to praise God and extol his name when we share our testimony.
vs. 4 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.”
vs. 5 “They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”
vs. 6 “They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.”
vs. 5 “They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”
vs. 6 “They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.”
vs. 6 “They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.”
Are you see it now? All of these actions allude to, or better foreshadow the spread of the gospel. First through the testimony about the great act of Jesus from the eyewitnesses. And then through the testimonies of how people lives were changed after hearing the gospel. And awesome account of this event in found in 1 Thessalonians chapter one: “(vs.5) For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance.”
(vs. 6) “ You welcomed the message with the joy from the Holy Spirit.”
(vs. 7) “ As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
(vs. 8) “ For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out, so we don’t need to say anything.”
“For they themselves report about us what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idol to serve the living and true God.”
(vs. 6) “ You welcomed the message with the joy from the Holy Spirit.”
(vs. 7) “ As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
(vs. 8) “ For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out, so we don’t need to say anything.”
“For they themselves report about us what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idol to serve the living and true God.”
Imagine Paul and his boys, going into a town fully expecting to have to do a miracle in order to get the people’s attention. Instead, they get mobbed as soon as they come into view, being bombarded with questions because everybody wants to know what this gospel is that changes people’s lives. Apparently the believers in Thessalonica were living loud because news about them had spread everywhere in the province and there was a big buzz about it. People here their testimonies and saw radical change.
Here some food for thought, does the message ring out in America? People know about the church. People have heard about Jesus. But, do they see a people who turned to from idol to serve God? Is the message ringing out in your neighborhood? Your state? Do people hear us praising God? Are we commending his works to this generation of unbelievers? Do they see God exalted in our lives? Do walk do the street extolling His name?
The knowledge of God the creator survived in Jewish culture because it was passed down from generation and guarded with care. Older men taught younger men about God. Teachers of the law mentor young men through apprenticeship. They nurtured them up into maturity. In this way knowledge was passed down. It became an important part of their daily lives. In Deuteronomy 6, God instructed them, “These words I am giving to you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to you children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and gates.”
The old body reproduces a lifestyle. Verse 4 says, “ One generation will commend your works to another.” If we are looking the foreshadowing, who is this generation who commends God’s works to another. Maybe the Godly Generation of Saints who will commend his works to the unbelieving generation.
  • They will tell of His mighty acts.
  • They speak of the splendor of His majesty.
  • They tell of the power of His awesome works.
  • They celebrate His abundant goodness and joyfully sing of His righteousness.

God is not talking about a specific generation, ( And it is God speaking. “All scripture is God breathed.” ) born between this date and that. Remember He is outside of time. He is not in the future. He is not in the past. He is right now. He spoke to every believer at the same time. His word does not need to be updated as time goes on like these textbooks in college. He spoke at the time the His word was given to every man, woman and child who would ever live until the end of time, all at the same time. All the generation are one church. We most likely won’t be sort by our graduation dates in the end of time. This word means the same for me as it did to someone who lived a hundred years ago. And will mean the same thing for someone who lives a hundred years from now. The methods may change but the message is still the same. “One generation will commend your works to another.” This is how we get down. This is how we live. Christianity is not a club it’s a lifestyle. A history of proclaiming Christ to the world is our heritage. A culture of discipling our young will continue. The Body will live on beyond us.
There are reports that the Christian Faith is declining. It is possible that in America we are dying out. We might not be reproducing a replacement levels. Imagine an America without the Church. All death no salt. If you can imagine America operating virtually no conscience, you can see how dangerous that is. So if we believe this is true. I have some closing questions; if you have the answers people send em in.
  • What is sterilizing the church?
  • Why are we going extinct?
  • Is God in the process of removing our lamp? (see rev)

The answer may be found in the rest of the chapter.
To be continued…..

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Protect Yourself at All Times!

Yesterday, I got to see a dear friend of mine I hadn't seen in awhile. He seems to be doing very well he is an outspoken Christian and the Lord has big plans for him to do battle on the college front. Though he is not perfect I am so exited to see what God's is going to do in his life. I'm always talking to him about warfare. And I've really been trying to help him understand how the enemy is working. Sometimes the enemy works in covert ways undercover, in the dark because I what he's doing is seen his plan may be thwated. (Though truthfully I doesn't matter because I'm sure the Lord protect us from his schemes whether we see them or not) Other times he works overtly; boldly, openly and publicly mocking God and his people effort to win the lost. Towards the end of our conversation he informed me that he was going with a friend to see the new Harry Potter movie. Now, I don't know the facts about the author maybe someone can school me on her. I don't know whether the spells in the book are real spells but what I do know is what's in the book. And how the enemy is seeking to use this popular book series to stear the hearts and minds of the people of earth further and further into rebellion against God.
  • The Harry Potter series is about a young boy who goes to a school of wizardry. (witchcraft)
  • The books get more and more violent as the story progresses. (Frog in boiling water)
  • And I spoil the ending for any of you who just can't let go until you know the end. Harry lives and kills the bad guy. (sacastic: yeah)
The fact is whether there's spell in the book are not. We as follower of God can not condone sin. The Bible specifically mentions witchcraft as something a man (or woman) of God should have nothing to do with. For example: Deuteronomy 18:9-14
"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the destable customs of those nations. No one is to make his son or daughter pass through fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice socery, cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead. Everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and the Lord your God is driving out the nations before you because of these detestable things. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. Though these nations you are about to drive out listen to fortune-tellers and diviners, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do this."

Of course I know someone will say. But I'm not doing any of that stuff what is the harm in just watching it. I'm sure there's a few wicked sites on the internet you wouldn't visit with that rationalization. The fact is the word says: "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness." (Eph 5:11) So if you wanna have a nice clean life, stay away from wicked things. Protect yourself at ALL TIMES!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Trip Inside My Mind: Scary

Ok so I found this “journal entry” I guess? In one of my old notebooks. Would tell you when I wrote it but I honestly don’t know. I do however remember that I wrote it right after having a demonic dream and it was pretty tough period of my life. Gave me goosebumps so I thought I’d post it. I think it would be helpful to somebody somewhere and I goes with some future posts I’m writing. Here it is:

Sometime in the summer of 2009,

The devil doesn’t know my thoughts; he can only see my actions. My action should be driven by the spirit. This new Thorn is good (i meant good skill wise) but he has no real power, none of them do. It’s all fear tactics. I need to correct my habits.
“So I say live by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” That’s a promise in the word of God. The word of God is truth. Any message contrary to that is a lie. Any message that says I can’t IS A LIE! “So I say live by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (I.E. the flesh) For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit.” When I sin it feels like the spirit dies. Sin separates us from God. The flesh (sinful nature) desires independence from God. “Live by the spirit and you will not gratify the sinful nature (or flesh)” Which desires what is contrary to the spirit, which means to be separate from God. Because the spirit wants you to be close to God. “The spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature (closeness to God) There are in conflict.” There is friction that occurs. I am confined to this flesh while I am on earth. I can not exist on the earth with out the flesh. I am stuck with it. When you become a Christian the spirit comes to dwell within you. The flesh and the spirit clash. I am more used to walking in the flesh. I’ve always had it. Walking in the spirit is harder. I don’t feel natural; it’s contrary to what I used to. “So that you do not do what you want.” When you become a Christian you’ve expressed a desire to walk in the spirit and know God. And the spirit of God comes and dwells in you. You want to do this but you’re condition to do that. Bad habits die hard. They were already formed and are hard to break. You don’t always do what you want. I’d like to live a perfect sinless life but I know that is impossible. “But if you are led by the spirit you are not under the law.” The law referred to is the law of sin. The law of the “land” the rules by which everyone seems to be living. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like.”

And that it. A couple point I want to make:
This is a perfect example of a good defense using the offensive weapon of the word of God I’d like to see Satan successfully tempt someone whose meditating on that. Many times we see our weakness and don’t do anything about it. If you have even the suspicion that something might be bad for you please BE AGGRESSIVE and take care of it.(Mathew 5:29 and Mathew 18:9Unfortunately many of the act of the sinful nature listed regularly practices in the church today. Be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Success vs Failure

To succeed in this world means to accomplish something. Align action with purpose and will to achieve a desired outcome. Many men base their identities upon there successes. Some on their failures. In today's world we are taught to believe on of two things about ourselves; that we are one two things a success or a failure. And there is some sort of unwritten code or point system that measures which side of the line you’re on based on the point values of your various successful undertakings and less successful exploits. Not surprising is the fact that those task deemed by the world to be more valuable and thus more worthwhile are the immoral evil action done by men who feel no shame. Men of God are already at a disadvantage when we walk out the door know that the things that bring other men favor within the world we can not condone. It is hard sometimes living a corrupt world where every man is considered either a success or a failure.
But what is a failure. Can it be simply defined as someone who fails? No one on earth can claim they have never failed. Does that mean that we’re all failure? The fear of failure can leave us paralyzed unable to act for fear of loss. And when we fail we can become discouraged and destructive mindsets can be established. Instead of trying harder to succeed often time we guarantee our failure by not trying at all.
Let’s get a healthy dose of perspective.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23) All fall therefore all have failed. As humans we fail everyday. We sin against the almighty God. How can you fail anymore than that! You fail to live up to your potential being made in God’s image for his glory every time you do something that brings shame to his name. (OUCH!) But there is hope in the next verse. “They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Isn’t that verse like a weigh of your chest. Justified by His grace, just say that word. Grace, doesn’t come out like a soothing sigh of relief. Ah, Grace. If it doesn’t it should. In other words the penalty for failing got a lot more bearable when you accepted his gift of grace and mercy. When Jesus died on the cross he said to us all, “You’re failures are pardoned. You’re debt is paid. I got you. Go and sin no more.”
“God presented Him as a propitiation though faith in His blood to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over sins previously committed.” The death of Jesus the spotless lamb was the removal of the consequences of our failures. We are no longer defined by our sin. We are no more sinners than we are failures. And we are not sinners. We are saints who sin. The whole point of the Bible is man finally being reconciled with God after his fall. A person's purpose here on earth is to be reconciled with God and then to bring Him glory. When you accepted Christ that was the ultimate success that goes way beyond their point system. It permanently made you a success in Him. The word says that the angels go nuts every time a sinner comes to Christ. Every regenerated Christian is a success in God’s eyes. Believe it and live like it. We will come across situations where we will not find success. Be comfortable with who you are. Let get comfortable with our failures.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our chains are gone, yet we are burdened

I love the song amazing grace, it gives me such encouragement and freedom when I listen to it. But there are times in our life and sometimes we make it a lifestyle to hold on to our pain, our sin, our past and not live in the freedom which we where given.

There was a church I visited that had the most depressing youth group I have ever seen, they where all saved as far as I knew but they where so held down by guilt and/or old ways of life that they showed no sign of freedom, and if anything they looked more burdened by the word! Their chains had been removed from their necks, arms, and legs, the gate had been open, but they stood there inside the gate!

We get a warning and order in Galatians 5:1 "stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free, and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage." One of the meanings of entangled is "Involve (someone) in difficulties or complicated circumstances." I feel so many times that the devil "Involves" us in these circumstances in order to bring us to a point of bondage again. We like to call them life problems but they pull at us and take up our time so that we are off balance and not standing in our liberty of freedom. We say "I want a breakthrough" and then focus on the next problem when God moves through the first one. And what happens is we get depressed again because of our situation and lose sight that we are truly freed. Doing that only gives the devil a foothold in your life!

But have hope, our chains truly are gone, we really can step outside those gates. Dont allow the things that are happening around you to define your liberty, be free and walk in that. The focus must always be on christ and the knowing that his grace is what washes over us, so be blessed that your guilt and your past is taken care of. Amen