Servants of God
Rev.22v9..” For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
John, the writer of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, has just had a very intense experience when these words were spoken to him. He has seen the big picture of the entire world as it related to the ultimate return of Christ. He is given the play by play in a very personal manner, either by the speaking of God, Jesus Christ, or angels, (depending on the verse) Here in Chapter 22, John has seen the final judgement and victory of Jesus, and in a moment of overwhelming adrenaline, he falls down before his translator.
The angel immediately tells John,. “See that you do not do that..” We know from this that it is not Jesus speaking, or John's bowing would have been acceptable. This is an angel, a messenger of God sent to do His will. What he says to John is a real eye opener..”..I am your fellow servant..” We tend to think of angels as being much higher than us in the caste system of God’s kingdom. But by this scripture we see that as far as God views them and us, we are the same. Servants of God Most High.
God gives assignments both to them and us, and He expects us, or them to obey Him. That is what servants do. What humility it must take for this higher created being to tell a man, “I am a servant like you.” Angels serve in the supernatural realm while men are designed to serve God on earth in the physical realm. Both species of being are to obediently accomplish whatever tasks God assigns them. What is our joint assignment? Rev. 22v17.. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”! And let him who hears say, “Come”! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely..”” Acts17v30 “Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked (winked at), but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.”
God’s Spirit calls all mankind to be reconciled to Him. Also, The Bride of Christ, God’s believing people on earth, are to tell others to “Come be reconciled to the Father”! Any person who finds forgiveness in Christ is to tell others to “Come”! Any person anywhere is invited to come and take and drink of their fill of the saving Water of Life! This is the joint mission that men and angels are to be doing on heaven and on earth until time is ended. Someday, we will rule and reign with Christ and we may then be at work with His other created beings too. Until then, we can be satisfied in the doing of His assigned work here on earth as we call others to “Come”!
Rev.22v20..”He who testifies to these things says,” Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. We are commanded to give this simple message today..”Come”! So, let us be obedient in this!
Pray..Father in Heaven, I give thanks to You Lord! I will call upon Your name; I will make Your deeds known among the nations. I sing to You, psalms and praises; I will talk of all Your wondrous works and glory in Your holy name. May all who know You rejoice as they seek You, as they seek Your face forevermore. Come quickly Lord Jesus, Amen. (from Psalm 105)
The Fervent Believer
Psalm 69v9..”Because zeal for Your house has eaten Me up..” John 2v15-17..”When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple..Then His disciples remembered that it was written,”Zeal for My Father’s house has consumed Me!”..”
Jesus, when He returned to Jerusalem for the last time, right before Passover, did a curious thing..He went to the Temple in the evening when no one else was around. Mark10v11..”And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the Temple. So when He had looked around AT ALL THINGS, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve..” I wonder what He was looking for. As God the Son, He had every right to inspect it. Perhaps, He was just looking at the Temple as it ought to be. Peaceful, a place of worship and reverence. A place of sacrifice and prayer, separate from worldly influence.
When He comes the next morning, He sees the Temple being used in an immoral way. People are exchanging money for foreigners to be able to purchase sacrificial animals. Sheep, doves and even some cattle are milling around. Salesmen are shouting out prices and trading there. Animals are leaving their filth inside the Temples outer court and Jesus is overcome with furious indignation. Zeal for His Father’s house consumes Him, and in righteous judgement, He gives to those blasphemous rebels exactly what they’re due, Condemnation and the whip! Mk.11:15
There is a time and place for this kind of outburst. Whenever God’s house is misused, His people should be zealous for it’s proper care..They shouldn’t allow for false teaching or rebellious actions to take place in His sanctuary. It should be a place of holiness, where men can seek God and worship Him in a proper way.
True Biblical zeal can be a hard spiritual thing to put your finger on. Saul was very zealous before he met Christ on the Damascus road, but He was causing “Havoc” among those of “The Way”. Acts 8v3. He thought he was doing God a favor by persecuting those that sought after Christ. His zeal was sincere, just misplaced. Then there is the other side of the issue..Lukewarmness or a lack of zeal, as in Rev. 3v14-22. A faith that has no moorings and is neither hot nor cold. God is looking for appropriate, perfect zeal among His people.
Romans 12v1-21 gives us an excellent measure of Christian zeal. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” V9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good..” If we can apply this whole chapter to our lives, we will be ready for any situation...Either within the body of Christ or in the world. We must be “Zealous for every good work”!
A zealous person will be a person of action. They will desire to see people saved and brought into the Kingdom of God. They will be disgusted by sin in their own person and in their nation. And, they will desire to seek after a continually closer relationship with the Father and His Son. May zeal for our Father’s house consume us too!
Pray..Father, may this be spoken of me, Zeal for You and Your house consumes me. Give me a renewed desire for You and Your word. Reveal to me the things that keep me at a distance from You. And draw me nearer, Precious Lord, to Thee..In Jesus name..Amen
The Power of the Word “IF”
Hebrews 3v6.."But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end..”
“If” is a big word, because it implies there is a negative possibility of..”If not”!
The need for a Believer to maintain belief until the end, while not being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin is the call of scripture. Heb. 3v8 ..”Today IF you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart as in the rebellion..” Heb. 3v14..”For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast until the end”..v15..”Today IF you will hear His voice..” We are only of His House IF we hold firm to the end.
Disbelief is sin, so, how can disbelief come upon a Believer then? Where does it originate? It comes from taking your eyes off of The One you once trusted in for your salvation, and placing it on any other thing. Some other hope..It could be your wealth, your health, your government, or family or a relationship, other religions..It could be any number of things.
Belief is a daily, maybe even a moment by moment calling of the Believer in Christ. “Today, IF you hold fast the confidence..” Today, and then tomorrow when it becomes today, and the next day after that and so on. If you don’t maintain this faith, the Bible describes you as a ‘rebel’! Heb.3v16 “For who having heard, rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?” Those were people that had seen the miraculous saving of their whole people group, who saw the cloud by day and the fire at night. They received the manna and the quail. They saw the water from the rock..Twice! They, in times of despair, fell into unbelief..They are called “those who sinned”.(v17They are those “who cannot enter in because of disbelief”.(v19)
Remember the man whose child was dying in Mark 9v24..He was desperate for a solution to a terrible problem. When Jesus asks if he has sufficient belief to see his child healed he cries..”Lord, I believe,..Help my unbelief”! This is what the Lord wants to hear from his people..Not the arrogance of a pretend faith that is used to impress others, but a genuine repentance and faith that is going to hang on tightly to God in the most trying of situations. We must be honest with ourselves and with the Father when we struggle with fear or disbelief. We must never turn our backs on Him in hard moments but instead cry out..”Help my unbelief”.
A lack of belief causes a lack of rest! Heb.4v1,2..”A promise remains of entering His rest..But the word which they heard did not profit them, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it.” V3 For those who believe DO enter that rest, as He has said..v6..those of disobedience do not enter that rest”. The promise then is resting on God, mixed with faith that He WILL bring you into His rest. He will care for you..Believe that, DAILY!
Heb.4V9,10..”There remains therefore a rest for the people of God”.. v11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
Be Restful and Be Believing my friends..
Pray..In my distress I cried to the Lord. I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. O Lord in my pitiful state, I ask You to help my moments of unbelief. Bring to my mind the many instances in which You have cared for me in the past. Renew in me clean hands and a pure heart that grows in faith and belief in You daily, while removing any doubts about Your great faithfulness toward me..In Jesus name..Amen
Psalm 119v12 ..”Teach me Your statutes..”
One of the purposes of God’s word it seems, is to demonstrate to people what perfect government looks like. Different countries have differing types of governance, some better than others. All of them are flawed to some extent though, because men are the arbiters of them. Fallen men and those who influence them cause them to be self seeking or controlling and eventually the governments themselves become a heavy burden to those that exist under them.
God revealed to the writer of Psalm 119 that His form of government was an easy yoke to bear. The psalmist states that he loves God’s way of leading and structure. V14..”I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies..” Or v18..”I see wondrous things from your law.” How often do you say things like this about the lawmakers and enforcers that have the reigns of government over you?
If the ways of God are followed closely, the statutes and commandments, laws and precepts were strictly adhered to, a person would be more joyful, stable, and more free than if he follows the ways of men. Look at the things God allows in His kingdom..Fullness of Joy, Abundance, Grace, Peace, and Eternal life. Those things are wonderful and certainly not to be dreaded. Maybe that is why it is a good and easy thing to “Meditate on God’s law all the day” and even Love it..(119v48,97) It is Merciful, hopeful, and protective of its kingdoms citizens.
There are some things that are not allowed in this perfect coming kingdom..Rev21v8..”But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death..” Those of the worlds kingdom, those who have no desire for peace with God will have a place they are free to exist in and remain separated from heaven..Those personalities or bad actors would not make for a good kingdom anyway..Not a kingdom that would be desired more than silver or gold for sure.(v72,127) That is why the Psalmist asks that things like those be removed from him and replaced with God’s statutes..”That I may not be ashamed”..(v80)
Only the righteous can enter into heaven. Those who keep God’s commands. 1Cor.6v9,10 Has an extensive list of those that chose not to live by God’s Constitution for the Kingdom. V11 says..”But such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God”.. we should be reading God’s law more often so we can better understand the means of righteous living now and for our future in His Eternal Kingdom..What better knowledge could there be than one that draws us to Love God and keep His commands?!
Read Psalm 119 again with the Kingdoms Laws and Ordinances in mind..Maybe you will see some things that need removing and replacing so that you can be Revived for service in His kingdom today!
Pray, Father, You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord according to Your word. Teach me good judgement and knowledge for I believe in Your commandments. You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes. Seven times a day I Praise You, because of Your righteous judgements..Great peace have those (like me) who love Your law and NOTHING causes them to stumble..Direct my steps according to Your word. In Jesus name..Amen (Ps.119 assorted vs)
Good morning church family!
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*Join us tonight at 6:00 as we study God’s Word. All are welcome!
*Youth study tonight at 6:00 led by Dave.
* Ladies bible study is up and running on Monday nights at 7:00
* Youth Sunday school starts on Sunday morning Feb 7 at 9:20. Isaac will be leading it. They will be studying creation and looking for a solid overview of the Bible. There is opportunity for the adults to pray together while the kids are studying.
* Dave will start the book of Job on Sunday Feb 7 at 6pm.
We are looking forward to growing spiritually together. Come be a part of one or all of these options for seeking the Lord!
Missions Moment: Africa
20.3% of the world's surface area. Of this, 20.6 million sq km are in countries south of the Sahara, and 9.68 million in the nations of North Africa.
Answers to Prayer: Christianity has grown to become the religion of almost half of Africa’s population, and nearly two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa. From 1900 to 2010, Christian numbers grew from 9.1% of the population to 48.8%, and from 7.5 million to 504 million.
The Works of The Lord are Great
Psalm 111v2-4..”The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, The Lord is gracious and full of compassion..”
The Psalms are the hymn book of the Bible, a majority of them were set to music, which was not just beautiful to the hearer but also helped in memorization. Psalm 111 is one I wish was commonly sung among Believers today. “The works of the Lord are great!”
Think about what just some of those works are for a moment..Creation is Great, marvelous, glorious, and to be remembered. His provision of food for all creatures, Men and animal, that’s good too. Ultimately though, this Psalm is clearly pointing to His provision of redemption for mankind. Ps.111v9..”He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name..” We should study on these things..
Before time began, God had a plan to be reconciled to His creation. In particular the highlight of His creation..man. He wasn’t surprised by Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden in any way. God knew that there would be need for a Mediator between Himself and men long before there was a man or woman or even an earth!
God also knew that any covenant He made with men would be compromised, not by Him but by mankind. He even allowed for that!..Ps111v5b..”He will be ever mindful of His covenant..”, (v7) "The works of His hands are verity and justice”.. Verity means the quality or state of being true or real, an inevitably true value. God knows that if men are any thing, they are rarely real, true, or just. God makes a covenant with men, and because He is always Just and True, He keeps the contract whether men do or not. In fact He writes the contract with the blood of Christ and seals it with the giving of His Holy Spirit !
v7b..”All His precepts are sure”.. The Bible tells us that “Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men”..(John2v24) And though men cannot be trusted, Jesus can be, for He is called "Faithful and True” (Rev.19v11) This is a great scripture to dwell on ..We can have confidence in The Savior because His precepts..”Stand forever and ever, they are done in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people..” (111v8,9)
God has made it easy for fallen men to be cared for by His covenant righteousness and sealed by His Spirit. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be redeemed today..Then you too can fall under His graciousness, compassion, and mercy. He promises this and there is no work done by God for man, greater than this..That He sent His Son into the world to redeem men. Praise the Lord!
Pray..Heavenly Father, You have done great things. The greatest of those was sending Jesus Your Son to die for me. I recognize that I am completely helpless to save myself and I turn now from my lifestyle of sin and commit myself fully to the Savior of the world, Christ Jesus. Save me that I may serve you now and in eternity. Thank you for Your grace, In Jesus name, Amen.
How lovely is Your Tabernacle, O Lord of Hosts!
Psalm 84v10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand (elsewhere), I had rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness..
At least three times a year, every obedient Jew, no matter where they lived, was to make a pilgrimage back to Jerusalem. There was no easy means of travel, it would have all been on foot or on animal back. I believe one of God’s purposes for this was to remind the Israelites of the travails of their forefathers during the times of the Exodus, and later those of the exiles to Babylon and back. Maybe to recognize God’s current blessings on them as well.
Psalm 84v6..”Who passing through the Valley of Baca make it a well; The rain also filleth the pools.” The Valley of Baca was a very dry region, and the odds of it raining there were pretty slim. (Baca..weeping or balsam tree). So those who would make the journey, would have to allow for the dry days of travel through dangerous desert areas. Ps.23..”Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..” No matter how a pilgrim returned to Jerusalem, they had to pass thru arid and unforgiving lands. People would be traveling in groups and as they got closer to Jerusalem, the groups would gather into larger and larger masses. Eventually they would look like the Israelites coming out of Egypt and into the promised land.
As they walked, they would remind one another of how nice it would be in the Temple area. They could talk about how blessed they were that they didn’t have to wander for years in the desert, maybe just a day or two. This lifted up their spirits, even in the hard places. They knew that if they could just make it through the dry lands, they could soon rejoice in the rich one. The land where the Lord God of Zion dwelt. As the throng grew larger, they would renew relationships from previous journeys and exhort one another with memories of pilgrimages past. Singing the from “Songs of Ascents” in the Book of Psalms (Ps.120-134) as they went up to worship in “The House of Lord of Hosts”, was part of the yearly experience too.
Once they arrived, after days of trials, they could truly rejoice in seeing their Father’s House again. They would spend their days at rest, recalling how good God has always been to His people, and enjoying the special times of worship in His Tabernacle again.
After the tough travel, it was very easy to say Ps.84v10..”Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand”,(Anywhere else!)..
Dry times come for everyone. After trials, or the Valleys of Baca (weeping) that come into our lives, we should look forward to the House of the Lord, a place to remember His goodness. The times of worshipping God, the fellowshipping with and encouraging other Believers, makes the return trip through the dry valleys easier. We find in His House, His presence, His grace, His glory, and fullness of joy; And we remember again, Ps.84v11b there is..”No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly”.Where the Lord is, there is plenty of living water! (84v6)
Pray. (From Ps.89v6-8) “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence of all them that are about Him. O Lord God of Hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? Or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee? Thank You O Lord, for Your care in the dry valleys of Baca! In our Savior’s name, Jesus, Amen !
God Crowns the Year with Goodness.
Psalm 65v11..”You crown the year with Your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance..”
The Book of Romans reminds us that God’s invisible attributes are made clearly seen by His Creation.(Rom1v19,20) It is hard to see God’s goodness in His creation if we never go outside though. Our modern existence resides indoors more than out so we miss great words of wisdom from God, ones that are given to men through His works.
Some of the writers of the Psalms didn’t have this issue..They worked and even slept outside most times, caring for livestock or living a nomadic or shepherds lifestyle. This allowed them to keep a close eye on the universe. They observed the stars to the point that they could predict weather, times, and seasons from the skies and stars. They observed the movements of tides, animals, insects, the moon and weather to know when to plant or harvest most productively. David’s writing of Psalm 65 is an excellent example of praising the Most High God for His Glory and Salvation all of which was recognized through His creation.
“Blessed is the man You choose and cause to approach You..”(65v4) David saw that not everyone finds the Father. Maybe because of a hard heart, pride, or arrogance, they fail to “Seek the Lord while He can still be found.” In the rainforest area of the Madre de Dios in Peru, we asked an unreached village, “Who made all of the trees and fruits that provided your food?”.They all said “a Creator” or “God”. They didn’t know Who “He” was but they all knew that those Brazil nut trees didn’t magically appear by themselves. One of them, after hearing the Gospel said, “Do you have something about this God that I could take to my village, they have never heard about God before either..” However well,“The heavens declare His Glory, and the firmament shows His handiwork”(Ps19v1), Christ is much easier to find thru a messenger.
Rain and flowing water are another great blessing leading men to wonder about their Creator. (Ps.65v9,10) When your whole existence is dependent on timely rain, you never see it as a hinderance. I watched a desert dwelling man stand in pouring rain and praise God for His blessing of rain. If you never see rain, it is fantastic, and it draws men to God. Do you realize how blessed you are IF you have ever heard the Gospel from a person rather than trying to discern it from nature? Especially since we live so oblivious to the great outdoors.”Blessed is the man You (The Lord) choose..”
God’s provision to us is so great yet it is so common that we often fail to recognize it. Psalm 65v11b “Your paths drip with abundance”. The picture here is, His grace is so abundant that the wagonload of grain spills over the sides as it drives down the path. Every bird is fed, no rodent suffers want, every insect is cared for, while still leaving more for man than he can ever consume.
A number of the Psalms describe the hills and valleys, plants and trees as all giving praise to God. Jesus said that if men didn’t give Him glory even the rocks would cry out. God receives great joy from His creation. He gave it to men to take dominion over and learn about Him from it. Read Psalm 65 this week and then go outside and see if His word is true..It is! All of Creation declares the glory of God! You (since you are a part of creation) should declare it too!
Pray, Lord, as You crown this year, may I not fail to give You glory as I may have in the past. You are great and greatly to be praised. You have provided for my every need and I Thank You for Your abundant supply. By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer me, O God of My salvation, You are the confidence of all the ends of the earth! (Ps.65v5).. In Jesus Name..Amen