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Help Us to Obey (Ezekiel 23:49)
"Ezekiel Chapter Twenty Three Verse Forty Nine And they shall return your. Lewdness. Upon you. And you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. So, this is the last verse in a long chapter. The depicts God's people as two women. One Who represents Samaria? The capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel among God's people. And the other who represents Jerusalem the capital of the southern Kingdom of Judah. God's people there. And the whole chapter describes how. God showed his judgment how God showed his judgment on the northern Kingdom of Israel Samaria. By delivering them over to the Assyrians. And then how God showed his judgment among the southern kingdom, his people in Judah specifically that capital Jerusalem by delivering them over to the Babylonians. and. Then you get to the very end of the chapter and Gajah says very clearly. Very plainly after forty eight verses of this depiction of women who have committed adultery who have committed idolatry as God's people. At the very end God says, you shall bear the penalty for your central. Trie. A. You shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry as you hear that phrase. I just think this is a simple principle. I think about going into details a a discipline conversation that heather and I were having our children recently. And we've had this conversation up million times. It seems like with different children I when you disobey. There will be consequences like it is not good to disobey. Is Good to obey that leads to good things when you disobey that leads to bad things and that's The Clear simple principle that God is saying over and over again in the book of Ezekiel. And he says it right here you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry idolatry. Is, not, good, it does not lead to good. Immorality disobedience is not good at does not lead to good. This seems so basic yet how often? Do. We need to be reminded of this. As we are tempted every day to disobey in different ways. And God says to us in his word by his spirit over and over and over again, it is good to obey it is not good to disobey. So in a fresh way today Oh God, we pray. Help us. To choose that which is good. Today. Or, if we're listen this is we're gonna bed and night stowe wake up in the morning remembering that it's good to obey listening this at the very beginning of our day or somewhere else like as always we have time left in this day God, help us to choose that which is good. Help us to obey you help us to trust you help us to worship you alone. God please keep us from idolatry immorality disobedience and all that flows from it. Today and tomorrow in the next day to choose obedience. In every second in every moment and every decision every word and everything we do by Your Grace Oh God help us to choose obedience and to experience your goodness. And God, even as we pray this. We we. Know Our tendency to disobey. And we are so thankful. Jesus. We praise you. All timidly for bearing the penalty do our sinful idolatry. help us never to get over this. That you Jesus have paid. The price endured the penalty the judgment that we deserve four, our sin on the cross. All Glory be to your name that we don't have to be afraid. Of the judgment, we will experience all ultimately in eternity because you have paid that price for us. All Glory to your name. So all the more help us to live in obedience today. Elvis to experience your goodness today as those who've been forgiven of sin free from sins power help us to walk in Worship Review in obedience to you in love for you in all that we do help us to choose obedience life love for you and everything we do today and tomorrow and the next the next day please in every moment we pray in Jesus name in the name of the one who is paid the penalty of sin for us in his name we pray.
Care for the Sojourner (Ezekiel 22:67)
"Zeki after twenty, two verses, six and seven. Behold the princess of Israel in you everyone according to his power. have been bent on shedding blood. Father and mother are treated with contempt in you. The sojourner suffers extortion in your midst. The fatherless and the widow are wrong in you. This is the beginning of a paragraph of a list of specific ways. That God's people have dishonored him. By dishonoring others. Have not glorified him by ignoring people in need extorting people in need treating people with contempt. How from Ver- six the people with power have used that power for their own gain and for others hurt. Such a clear reminder. When God entrusts power influence leadership to anyone. He intends that for the good of others not for the harm of others and yet. We are all tempted in this world to take power influence that we have. and to use it to harm others verse seven father and mother are treated with contempt in you. Dishonoring of. Fathers and mothers in a way that goes directly against God's Word God's designed for children and parents. The sojourner suffers extortion in your midst all throughout scripture, we see God commanding his people to care for the Sojourner, the immigrant, the one who is away from his or her homeland in your midst. Care for the Sojourner, the fatherless and the widow or wronged in you another two groups of people the. Orphan and the widow who got over and over and over again tells people to care for and provide for. So, we're. Provoked to pray God. Be Glorified in US. We pray in the way we love care for treat an honor others around us particularly people in need around us but. God with with any power or influence, you've given to us. Please help us. To use that power. Influence for others. Good God please keep us. From using power and influence Ns for selfish gain. God I as leader in your church. God I just. Provoked Apprai- please help me in every way to use my leadership in your church for every other posture. Leader in your church helps to US leadership in your church for the good of people around us never for selfish gain gutter. Pray for this for every person listening right now help. Them to realize. Any power or influence, you have given them. And help us to see how we can use that for others good for our own gain. or We pray that you would help us to honor our fathers. And mothers. God help us to be. Children and parents who glorify you with the way we love. One another in our family's. GotTa repay their to help us to care for emigrants and our midst. Regardless of where we live in the world. As people from. Other places who've been oftentimes driven from their homeland for a variety of very painful reasons God we pray you'd help us to care for them well to love them as we love ourselves. Connery pray for orphans. God. Help us to be faithful to your command to look after orphans and widows in their distress. God please help us to care for them to provide for them. We pray. Out Across our churches for the growth of. Foster Care Ministries adoption ministries. Lord for. Your. Character and love and provision for orphans to be on display in your church. In the way, we are caring for children in vulnerable situations. God We pray that your character in love will be on display in the way we love and care for widows. God for just like I of the chapter five details for widows to know your love in your provision and your sustenance. Through us as your church we pray. God please help us in all these ways and so anymore got please help us today. When it comes to any power influence we have. Our family relationships with parents children. Among emigrants around among orphans and Widows God, please help us to reflect your love and your character. Help us to glorify you with the way we love an honor. And listen for others. Good. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Crying Out for Salvation (Ezekiel 21:6)
"Ezekiel Chapter Twenty one verse six. As for you son of man grown. With breaking heart and bitter grief grown before there is. This is God. Telling Ezekiel to grown with a breaking heart in bitter grief before. People before God's people. And just to go on the next I when they said he why you grown useful say because the news that it's coming, every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble. Every spirit will faint. All needs will be weak as water behold it's coming and will be fulfilled declares the Lord God basically judgment is coming. So God is telling Zico grown before them like see this is a time for groaning that there is reason for broken hearts and bitter grief. because. If people do not turn and trust in God repent of Sin, then their destruction, their judgment is coming so. I'm reading this and I'm just. Driven to ask in my own life and in your life. Like are are you and I ever groaning? With Breaking Hearts Over People In our lives friends. Coworkers neighbors, family members. Who? Are separated from God by their send right now and have not. Turned entrusted in Jesus. Like, there should be times when we are groaning. With breaking hearts and bitter. Grief. Certainly before God, calling out crying out for their salvation. And then to an extent. Before our friends. And neighbors and CO workers and. Family members. To say to them with broken hearts, please turn and trust in Jesus. So. Do we weep and grieve and grown to use this word from Hezekiah Chapter Twenty one verse six for the lost around US knowing. That judgment is coming. For All who do not trust in Jesus. God We pray. That you would. Help, US. To grown like this. God give us your heart. Breaking hearts in this sense for the lost around us for those who are apart from you in ten who have not been reconciled to you through Jesus God we we think of individual people right now and just want to encourage wrestling. Let's just think of names and faces. Of family members and friends and neighbors and CO workers right. Now, God we we have all these different names and. Faces, people. In our. Minds. God break our hearts for their souls. We pray break our hearts for their lives help us to grieve in grown for their salvation for their repentance Scott and we pray you to help us what does this look like in our relationships with them. To help us to plead with them. The, trust in you. To plead with him to turn to you and God we pray they would go really is right now for your salvation for them. please. Please save them. You just reflecting on Second Peter Three yesterday you love them. You don't desire anyone to experienced judgment for all come to repentance cowdery pradier bringing about God please bring about the power of your spirit open their eyes help us to be faithful to share the gospel with them to plead with them for them to trust in Uganda. We pray for this kind of grieving and breaking hearts and groaning in us as you people got. A reprieve this for the people right around us for people far from us God, we grown today for the Moghal people in India one point seven, million of them God. We grieve over the fact that none of them are followers of yours none of them know the Gospel none of them know your love in Christ God changed that we pray please among all these Muslim Moghal people in India please God. We pray you'd change that. Go break our hearts for the nation's break our hearts for. People right around us that we might grown grieve and plead and work to share the Gospel with them and that you might show La God, you're supernatural power in saving please Oh God we praise save them all these names. Faces coming our minds and the Moghal people of India. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
Formless and Void with Nancy Guthrie
"Episode we talked about what was happening before the beginning. If we can talk about before the beginning last time we were in genesis and we talked about Trinidadian relationships before the beginning. So we kinda stopped and paused there but the verse continues in the beginning God he does something and he says he creates the heavens and the earth, and so let's just before. We get to one to Let's stop there God creates the heavens and the earth. So when we're talking about this work of creation in the heavens, the earth what is being distinguished here because the days are going to go on to detail this, and so what does it mean to start with? God created the heavens the earth before we get to without form and void. What does that mean? God creates everything that a good place to start is having the earth just a general designation for. The is it. The raw material? Is that everything that exists before I mean what is has the earth one thing I would say it's what we can see and what we can't see. So the visible creation, the invisible creation. Yeah. So I mean one, we can look we this may be connecting back to our last episode a little bit of talking about some concentric circles and who got his before creation, his father son, and Holy Spirit and Trinidadian relations in creation redemption salvation is we can see that when God creates the heavens and the Earth Paul speaking of a similar theme when he's talking about the incentive of Christ in Colossians chapter one when he says he is the image of the invisible God. So this God who existed before creation in he is the first born of all creation he is Eternally Begotten Son. For by him, all things were created in heaven and on Earth visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers aurthorities all things created through him and for him. So Paul here is taking this genesis one in into Meta theme of creation that God existed before all things that he is Osei distinctive himself father son and Holy Spirit, but the sun is participating with the father in creation by. The Holy Spirit is the one who is through whom all things are coming into being well as part of this part of maybe even some confusion around how to read. This would be that heaven is used in a different way. There's different ways that heaven or heavily language it's deployed in the Bible and you see it even here in Genesis One, you have the heavens as the expanse meaning probably. The visible sky or what's sometimes called the Firma you have the heavenly places is sometimes what we may be closer to thrones or dominions the spiritual, the unseen realm, and then you have sometimes what is called just heaven which would be the place of benevolent presence the place where God, rules and rain. So Heaven language is is a little bit confusing because I think a lot of times the average reader of the Bible just things about heaven as the place you go when you die but the guy, the guy the heavenly yes Harps and angels and clarifies say wait. You're working against a lot sometimes. Is. Very wispy word in the mind. So but it doesn't stop there God creates the heavens and the earth, but it says something specific about the earth. It says the earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters now I have to tell you. As an early reader of the book of Genesis, this was absolutely confounding to me. Because, you don't even think about like when you hear the story of creation when it gets put on the Flannel Board and Sunday school, you go right to the days this part not on the table. Not. Imagine what it would look like, right? Right right. The face of the deep and formless and void, and so what is happening here? Why is this a part of the story? What are we to learn from this verse when it comes to first God's creative act in action in the world what's happening here? So. He speaks. All of creation into being and it is this uninformed matter. And I've come to see this is actually a beautiful thing that this is here I get what you're talking about about like it i. Don't know about this I think mainly because we think so much about creation it was made perfection. And so but we're seeing in the second verse of the Bible. There's actually three problems with creation as it was originally spoken into being. You mentioned it. There's a, there's this formless snus. And then there's this void or emptiness. and. Then there's darkness. But of course, you didn't complete versed to. Because there's also hope right right that this spirit is hovering over the these dark waters and we realized, okay, God is at work and he is doing something good i. think it just goes against our instincts. We we've had it. So ingrained into us that the original creation was perfect that to introduce the idea that that the earth wasn't just spoken into being perfect that the work God did and and I would say even. Even even when we see what we continue to see in genesis one that. What God spoken to being we need to think of the original creation, not in terms of perfection, but in terms of potential. Because we're gonNA, see God do a work in the rest of Genesis one in terms of bringing form to the formless snus and filling the emptiness and illuminating the darkness. But even then it's not quite yet perfection they're still it's still potential.
For the Sake of His Name (Ezekiel 20:9)
"Ezekiel Chapter Twenty Verse Nine. God says, but I acted for the sake of my name. that it should not be per famed in the side of the nations among whom they lived. In who site I made myself known to them and bringing them out of the land of Egypt. Slimming read the first part of that verse again, and just answer this question as you hear it. Why is God doing what he's doing among his people? Why is God disciplining them judging them. And why is God even in the midst of his discipline judgment promising to restore them Why is he doing it Verse Nine Ezekiel Chapter Twenty. But I acted for the sake of my name. Same language in verse fourteen, I acted for the sake of mine name that it should not be profane in the side of the nations and who side brought them out. You get down verse twenty two in the same chapter I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name that it should not be profane in the side of the nations in whose side I had brought them out. Why is God doing what he is doing? Why has done what he has done? Why will do what he will do for the sake of his name? Oh listen closely like. This truth. Is. Fundamental in scripture and essential for understand the Christian. Life. Why has God done? What he is done? Why is God doing what he is doing? Not, just an Ezekiel but today, why will do what he will do in the future? Here's why for the sake of his name that's direct from his mouth God does all that he does ultimately for the sake of his own name. For the sake of his glory specifically among the nations. This is what we see from cover to cover in the Bible God is zealous for his name to be exalted among all the nations. In case, you're wondering what is that? Is that really true like just looked at the end of the Bible where the sovereign God of the universe has orchestrated all things to culminate in what? Every nation tribe tongue and people gathered around his throne seeing praises to his name. That's the whole point. That's the whole point of history, and that is the whole point of each one of our lives. We. Live. For the glory of God's name. That's that's what should drive us from the moment. We awake to consciousness in the morning and all throughout the day to the moment we fall asleep at night, and even that we're praying that God would be glorified as re, sleep? I we exist for the glory of God's name this show, Dr. every thing we do in our lives and our marriages and our families like how do I love my wife further glory of God's name Love My kids for the glory of God's name. How do I carry out my work whatever you do your job? How do you do it for the glory of God's name Sweat I Corinthians ten, thirty one says whatever you do whether you eat or drink like. Whatever you have for breakfast eat breakfast for the glory of God, do it all for the glory of God and so we pray God us our lives. Today we pray to glorify your name utilize every day to glorify your name, spend our lives for your namesake not for Our Name. God forgives for our pride. Forgive me for my pride. Forgive us for. Every desire to promote our own name for own name to be seen in this way or that way God rid all desire for the promotion of our names from us God help us to live for the rotation of your name alone glorify yourself and all that we do today we pray to point people to you. Tell people about you to reflect you with their lives helpless to run from sin for Your glory helps to love other people as ourselves for your. Glory helpless to do everything. We do today for your glory among the nations among all the peoples gotta replay for that hollowing of your name among all the nations show your great glory among the Khasi People in. India got almost a million of them. Many of them who are leaders and mosques leaders in the Muslim community God, We pray for the Causey people show your salvation through the name of Jesus among the causes people of India. We pray among every people group in the world throughout the world to the ends of the Earth among all the nations tribes, tugs, people got the name of Jesus to be known and enjoyed and exalted we pray. For the sake of your name we live today for the sake of your name we pray all these things for the sake of everything we do for the sake of your name and everything we do. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
History of Atheism
"On this episode Five Missing Church history, we are trying something a little different usually talk about things within theism and we were very much interested into theistic tradition. But today, let's talk about the opposite of that and the history of atheism. Well, you could say atheism goes all the way back to the very beginning a back to the garden. You can say it goes back to the psalms. Isn't it psalm fourteen verse one that says the fool has said in his heart, there is no god. But what we're talking about on this episode is the history of Atheism in the modern world as an English term. The first time we see it is in the middle of the fifteen hundred s, but we see especially in the modern world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If we look at today's landscape, the latest poll I saw goes back to twenty fourteen, but it says that just under three percent of Americans claim to be atheists. Now, if you throw into that category, the so called Nuns, these are folks with no religious. Affiliation and really no religious inclination. Then we're up in the twenty percentile you might call them practical atheists. So we've got confessing atheists and practical atheists where do they all come from? Well, back in the seventeen twenty s we find an atheist, but he seems to be a literary creation is Tom Puzzle and this figure Tom Puzzle a fictional literary creation which show up in the pages of various magazines in the colonies and he would be used from time to time to comment on current events or to add some color to current events. But what we really find in the seventeen hundreds and into the eighteen hundreds is the precursor to atheism, which is deism. So theism of course believes in God who created the world, a god who is active in sustaining the world see ISM has with the idea of sovereignty in providence that God is controlling his universe controlling. As R, C sproul would say every single molecule there are no maverick molecules and also very active in the lives of people and in his universe through the doctrine of Providence God is intimately involved not only in creating the world but sustaining the world and bringing it to fruition and fulfilment of his good pleasure as theism. deism removes God from the daily life and removes God from actively involved in sustaining creation. God sort of creates the earth sort of like you start a top rate and you get it spinning then you just let it go. Well. That's what God did. He created the world and then he just lets it go. He's a little removed. That's DEISM. A precursor to atheism in what we see in the nineteenth and twentieth century as deism floats around especially in the academy and gained traction among the sort of intellectual and philosophical class we see the various philosophical schools that promote atheism. We see this in Europe and we see it in America. We see it didn't thinkers like Frederick Nietzsche who come to the conclusion that God is dead and we killed him that we have arrived at a point in the modern world, where God is no longer tenable thesis and out of that comes a very desperate despairing dark philosophy and worldview called Nielsen. We see it in some of the schools of thought that her apparently more sophisticated in the twentieth century we see it in the logical positive ISM and in some of those more scientific or properly, we should say scientism worldviews that want to reduce everything that is knowable to what is observable by the five senses and so creation the act of creation God himself, the transcendent world, the spiritual world, the world of faith all of this is outside of the. Realm of science according to scientists, and so God is not part of that equation. Well, that's a brief sketch of the history of atheism and I think we're taking right back to psalm fourteen one. Aren't we? The fool has said in his heart, there is no god.
Character of God: God's Hot Nose
"Are two verses in Exodus Thirty, four verses six and seven were God proclaims about himself. Five attributes five characteristics that are fundamental to who got Bible is I two we discussed in the last two episodes. That God is compassionate. That is he cares for us like a mother cares for a child and secondly that God is gracious. That is that he sees in us in humanity something that's valuable and worth showing favour to even though we often prove the opposite. These first two characteristics kind of Nice and they give me warm fuzzies. Many people in our culture have a default belief that if they believe in God either want to believe or just do believe that he's charitable and generous and good that he has pathos in that way many people with there's a being Burnett Energy Permeating Compassionate and gracious and what they, what describing is a being with pathos who's moved the third attribute the one right at the center of the five. Is a bit different. God proclaimed about himself that he is slow to anger and actually. That isn't really inaccurate. Thank you tend to center because it's the only one that isn't positive as such or you could say it's a stating a secondary. It's addressing something about God about how God response the anger is not a basic attribute of God it's. Responsive pattern of God's behavior. In response the evil but actually it's thirty six can bring it around and say, but slow to anger. That's what's Court. Character slow? Tang. Which means that when he gets angry, it's measured strategic. It's for a certain reason. But why an angry God. At all I mean angry people. Are Scary. Angry people are fun to be around. Angry people cause problems right What anger means to us is different. What anger meant to ancient Israelites the associations with anger way that we even talk about anger now is different than our grandparents would have talked about anger a person who is truly good. We'll get angry sometimes. If you're familiar with the Bible, you'll know there are. Loads of stories and poems about God being angry. And not just you know a little frustrated we're talking lightsout hit the mat you're done cutting. And today we're GONNA look. At many of those passages. I'm just called this the problem of God's wrath for modern readers Bible. There are some narratives where God gets angry and then he acts in some way that's terrifying and with you start to stack up these stories and take them out of context, you can end up with a pretty distorted portrait of God. Because? What the God of the Bible wants us to see about him is that yes, he gets angry at evil and violence and human suffering. But what's core about his character is how he responds and that is with patients in with four sites that God is slow to anger joining us. Here we go. We'll hello today I have the pleasure once again to talk with to Bible scholars like usual Tim McKee, how you doing today today? Yeah Good Sunny Day, and also Chris Ikea. Hey. We've been together talking through five attributes of God that God describes himself with, and they come from a narrative in exodus chapter thirty, four God is talking with. Moses. On top of Mount Sinai, we talked in depth about the context of these verses and and we jumped into two of the five attributes today. The third attributes Tim, which is yes in Hebrew it's pronounced etiquette I am and it's translated in English traditionally as slow to anger those, we're going to see the actual Hebrew figure of speech used really fascinating. What means slow to anger, but it doesn't say slip anchor in Hebrew. You know these five character traits of God and exit thirty four six are arranged a little symmetrical mirror design. So the first two are pair we've talked about those Compassionate and Gracious. and. Then the last two are full of loyal love and faithfulness, and so those two pairs surround one character trait in the center that consists of two two words and slow to anger How important is that? This is a Cayenne and that sort of angers in the middle O- Well, it's cool. Because it just means. It reflects intentional design of the communication. It is interesting that the first two compassionate gracious our conceptual pair as well addressing in emotional response being deeply moved and then graciously being generous loyal love is important pair with faithfulness because they have to do with loyalty and reliability, and then this center one here think it's in the center because it's the only one that isn't positive as such. or you could say it stating secondary. It's addressing something about God about how God response say it this way? Yeah. In the four character traits godless is compassionate. Gracious, loyal, and faithful. But he does sometimes get angry and that is a reaction of God, it's not a part of his nature. It's something he reacts to and so fact that he has to be slow to anger marks. It s kind of than the others that's I don't know the. So I've thought about in the past I. Know You guys have any thoughts about that that make sense to me that anger is an attribute of God. It's a reaction. A reaction has a negative connotation to, but it's a response at times but Compassionate Gracious. Full of low eleven faithfulness. Those are maybe more how we think of attributes of a person or of God although in the Hebrew. And I know you'll talk about this. It's not stated as a negative necessarily. So at least there's something unique about this one that is a bit different than the others I wonder too. If it's at the center because of the surrounding narrative, maybe it's a main point in what's happening with Moses and the people more than the other words are really significant to in the narrative but maybe slow to anger really defines that God is deciding to hold back his response of anger in this moment, because the context of this narrative is that while God is working with Moses to secure this covenant what would you call it assist the Covenant Partnership Covenant Argument Yeah that the remainder of Israelites are abandoning it breaking the first of the ten commandments creating an idol. Yeah and if anything's GonNa make God a bit angry that would that would be one thing. and. So that's what you're saying Chris says that the context here is God is justified to be angry but right in the center of all these attributes, he points out the actually slow to anger.
God's Sovereignty on Display (Ezekiel 17:24)
"Ezekiel. Chapter Seventeen verse. Twenty Four All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree and I make high the low tree. Dry Up, the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I, am the Lord I have spoken and I will do it. This is the last verse in chapter that uses all kinds of different images and parables really that we don't have time to get into here in the short podcast but the reason I read this verse one lead us to pray according to this verse. Is the sheer sovereignty of God on display in the words of Ezekiel. Seventeen twenty four listen to it again. All the trees of the field. So know that I am the Lord I God says bring low the high tree. And I. Make Low tree high. I. Dry up the green tree I make the dry tree flourish in other words. Or not a tree, yours high or is low is dependent on who? It's dependent on God. He is the one who is sovereign over the height of trees and then whether or not they're green or dried up when another flourishing or an empty God is sovereign over that. The whole picture that we have in this verson course all over scripture is that everything? Exists under the sovereignty of God. That God is in control with authority over all things. and. And this is A. Reminder for every single one of us today. There so many implications of this. But let's just let it lead us to prayer Oh God. We pray that you would help us to understand. What it means to live. Under your sovereignty. To understand all things under your sovereignty. God we praise you for your sovereignty. We praise you the you are ultimately in control of all things that the world is not spinning out of control even when. So many circumstances around us. Right around US far from us. Seem like they're out of Control God we praise you that you are on the throne and you are ultimately in control even the things we don't understand God we praise you. That you are ultimately sovereign over everything and so we submit to you. Oh God our lives. Depend on you. We can do nothing without you. So we pray that you would help us to grow in humility. Help us to grow in. Glad submission to you. If you are lord of all than you are indeed Lord of our lives, and so we lay down our lives before you and we pray help us to follow you help us to obey you help us to hear and understand your word and live according to it. God is we look to our future and our lives. Future in her family's future in our country's future in the world, we say all of our trust is in you it's not in riches. It's not in this or that leader it's not in our possessions. It's not in anything. This world offers us all of our trust is in you you're our hope all of our hope is in you. Even think about your sovereignty and averse like Romans Eight, twenty, eight, you're working all things together for the good of those who love unit called according to your purpose. That's only true. We can only believe that if you are sovereign over all things and so we praise you praise you for your sovereignty over all things, your power and authority to work all of them together for the good of those who love you and have been called according to your purpose the. The limits of your sovereignty and what that means we cannot exhaust so. Oh, God, we we cannot fathom. The implications of your sovereignty over all things but based on Zeki Chapter Seventeen verse, Twenty Four. We pause right now and rephrase you as the Lord of all we humble ourselves before you and we say in submission to you not are will today but yours be done only keep us close to you trusting in you pointing to you. Seeing everything to Lens of who you are. Mesa God centered people who live in the light of your sovereignty over all things. In Jesus name, we pray in the name of the one who has all authority in Heaven and on Earth in Jesus name we pray.
No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper
"Isaiah chapter fifty, four verse seventeen. Actually. One morning when I was doing my walking God kept putting this on my heart. You wouldn't think get a whole four part series out of one scripture but praise God we did. No weapon but no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper. And every tongue. Horizon Gainst you in judgment. You shall show to be in the wrong this piece righteousness security and triumph over opposition is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, those and whom the ideal servant of the Lord. Is reproduced now we're gonNA take this scripture apart this weekend and We're going to do four different teachings from Liz. Each one will be different. A separate message in its own. But I want to start by just say a few things about this scripture. No weapon that's formed against you shall prosper every tongue that rises up against you in judgment which none of us enjoy that dewey nobody likes being judged or criticized. Is showed to be in the wrong but on the practical side for Christians Life, how do we show those who judge and criticize us that they're wrong? Do we ourselves. Do we. Get Mad at them and say equally bad things about them. Now none of that works does it You know the Bible says that when Jesus was insulted, he didn't offer insult and return. When he was abused he didn't abuse in return, but he trusted himself and everything to him who judges fairly. So the bottom line is the way that we show those who judge and criticize us that they're wrong about us. is to behave in a godly way. Instead of letting the devil did through them caused us to act like him. I must say that again. What we're so tempted to do is We're not gonNA talk to me like that. If you think you're going, do that then I'm going to do this to you I'm GonNa. Cut you out of my life. I'm going to tell everybody what you did to me. Well, we're doing when we do that is. First of all, we don't war with human beings. The Bible tells us that that our war is not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers of wickedness in high places. Now, that doesn't relieve people any of us of our responsibility to not let the enemy work through us, but the bottom line is, is all evil everywhere in the world all bad things that happen. The source of those is. An entity that the Bible calls the Devil Satan, the evil one, the deceiver, the wicked one on and on and on. We don't like to talk about the devil who likes to talk about the devil but the sad thing is in some churches because talking about the devils a little unpleasant, they talk about the devil and I was in a charge for a Lotta years and went on a regular basis and I never even realized that the devil was real. I thought he was some kind of Halloween character put on. Red Suit carried a pitchfork and had a long tail and that was the devil I mean, I, knew that there was a devil but I didn't know that he could be our was a real problem in my life and so the first thing you WanNa do when somebody judges and criticises you is pray for them. Because they need an understanding a revelation of how dangerous it is to judge and criticize other people, which is a very dangerous thing to do I know none of you do it. So I don't need stop and have a sermon about that right here. But I'm just throwing it out there. It's a very dangerous thing to do because the Bible says that the way you judge others you'll be judged in the same white, the white you criticize others you'll be criticized in the same way. So always remember that if you want. The, benefits of this scripture to work for you see a lot of times we read a scripture and we wanna take the benefits. But we don't want to do the part. That we need to do to have those benefits. You know we have. We have a bad habit of just picking parts out of. Well, no weapon formed against me shall prosper the Bible says that. The devils under my feet. He's defeated no weapon formed get. You shall prosper every tongue that rises against you judgment. You shall show it to be in the wrong but the way you do it is by behaving in a godly way. So they can't find fault with you. Rather than leading what the enemies doing through them cause you to turn around and act just like the enemy to
The Everlasting Covenant (Ezekiel 16:59-60)
"Ezekiel Chapter Sixteen versus fifty, nine and sixty. For thus says the Lord God. I will deal with you as you have done. You who have despised the oath in breaking the Covenant Yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth. And I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. these two verses come at the end of a long chapter. That's. Really hard to read in many ways as God describes his love for his people, his relationship with people like relationship between a husband and a wife, a husband who cherishes his wife husband who adorns his wife with beauty and honor, and then his wife turns from him and runs after all kinds of other lovers and basically see this imagery of unfaithfulness and adultery all throughout this chapter and judgment that flows from that as God speaks to his people who have run after other idols instead of him and taken all the grace he is poured out on them all the goodness he's bestowed on them and used it to run away from him. and. Yet here at the end in this picture of just judgment do God's people he says yet, I will remember my covenant with you. In other words I will remember my promises to you in the days of your youth. It before you had done this I promised to love you and to redeem you. I promised to love you and I will establish God says for you an everlasting covenant. In other words I am going to be faithful to my word. And this is why When we read the Bible, we have an Old Testament and in New Testament all covenant God initiating his relationship with his people with his covenant people, the people of Israel and in the new covenant. God sending Jesus to seal this everlasting covenant that was promised all throughout the Old Testament to centers who kept turning away from God and God ultimately says I love you so much. I'm coming to you myself to pay the price for all your sin against me to make it possible for anyone anywhere. No matter who you are what you have done. This is the greatest news in the world anyone anywhere no matter who you are what you have done can be restored to relationship with God forever. How's that possible after you and I all of us have turned aside from God and run after so many different things people in this world how can we be forgiven of our sin against God and restored to relationship with him forever everlasting all of eternity. How's that? Possible because of God's faithfulness. And God's love. Because of God's faithfulness. To send his son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. So. God, we read this. Chapter Sixteen and we. Praise you for your love. We Praise You oh God for your faithfulness. We praise you Jesus four coming living the life. We couldn't live life of perfect obedience to the father and then dying the death of we deserve to die on cross for our sins for all of our unfaithfulness got I think about all my unfaithfulness, you all my sin against you all of our sin, against Shoe Geez we praise you for paying the price for our against you for making it possible for us to be restored to relationship with you as your bride as your body in union with you for all of eternity. God. Words can't even begin to express our gratitude for your steadfast love and faithfulness for your covenant with us with all who trust in Jesus all Glory beat your name and we pray in light of this in light of this. Truly amazing, astounding overwhelming grace God, help us to live today in faithfulness to you by your grace by your power by the work of your spirit in US help us to walk faithfully you. Joy You fully as the bride of Christ the body of Christ as sons and daughters in your family got help us to enjoy fully by walking humbly and obediently with. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Expecting better than average
"What if you demanded the best from yourself instead of just putting up with average. What if you never said anything negative again. Yeah can you imagine how would change your life? If you never again, what about if we never again complained about anything? What if you really believe the devils a liar and you never listen to him again? The Bible's Fuller Scriptures about doing your best. You must love the Lord Your Guy with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind with all your strength. We can't, be part time Christians. Is Not a Sunday morning event. This takes everything you got, and those of you that are here they you know that this is Friday morning. And he'll be back tonight and probably in the morning, and then you'll probably go to church on Sunday morning. I was want to read you one scripture second Timothy, two, fifteen study and eager to do your utmost to present yourself to God approved tested by trial a workman who has no caused to be ashamed. In that good. Do your utmost. You know I've been saying this lately I really like this I'm GonNa. Say It to you to I. Don't know what it is. We think we're doing here on earth but I'll tell you. The amount of time that we're going to live here is so pathetically small compared to eternity. and. I'll tell you there's just so many things we get all uptight about that just really just don't make any difference at all when you really look at it and I think that we need to spend more of our here time getting ready for their. And then I don't know what you think, but I think Jesus is coming back soon. I mean. There's not too many signs left to be fulfilled. And I don't know that it'll be in my lifetime but I, have a feeling it's going to be soon. You might say, well, the Apostle Paul it was going to be soon. Well, it's gotta be sooner now than it was then. Next thing one talk to you about is make an investment in yourself. You're having a bad day. Now this may sound odd but when you're having a bad day, just go do something for yourself. Okay this is gonNA take a while. But you know what? Truthfully the flesh is so stupid when you're having a bad day, you WANNA punish yourself make it worse. I mean, you say, well, what can I do for myself? I can't go shop and every time I have a bad day. Well I'm not talking about being foolish but I mean, if you're having a bad day, go outside and take a walk. And, I was walking the other morning and I thought. I thank God. For something I'd never think in far before my life I don't think I. Thank. God. Thank you for color. Just imagine if everything was one color even if it was your favorite color, it would still get boring. Color. I. Mean there are so many different colors. In the world. I mean just a walk can make you realize how amazing God is. and. When you realized how mazing God, is it'll make any bad day better. Don't you sit home and think about your problem get out take a walk. Drink a cup of coffee and here life coffee drink a cup of tea if t do something. Go, get a pedicure. Dave pedicures. Just, in case you guys I'm Never GonNa go get a pedicure. Well, you're what you missed out on getting your feet rub feels really good. Man You. Can't that I can't go do that I got all kinds of problems in my life I can't just. Go be silly. Jesus help me. Do. You Not Know First Corinthians six nineteen and twenty that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within you. Whom you have received as a gift from God, you are not your own your about with the price purchased with the preciousness and paid far made his own sold in honor God and bring glory to Him in your
The First Step Act, Chuck Colson, and the Churchs Work of Restoration
"I'm old enough to remember that time way back in two thousand, eighteen when Democrats and Republicans worked together. Really it happened and resulted in a major bipartisan criminal justice reform bill called the first step act which sought to reduce the number of people in overcrowded federal prisons and improve conditions for those behind bars. When he endorsed the bill President Trump said this we're all better off when former inmates can receive and re enter society as law abiding productive citizens at last month's Republican National. Convention Ivanka trump called the first step act the most significant criminal justice reform of our generation? I don't think that's an overstatement. A major feature of this bill is that it reduces mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, especially low level nonviolent offenders, and for those already serving time for crack cocaine related offenses the reductions were retro active in just its first year. First Step Act has literally changed thousands of lives according to a recent report from the United States sentencing commission the sense is. More than seven thousand Federal Prisoners Dean able to safely return to their communities were reduced as the libertarian publication reason rightly noted the first step to act as a modest but very real first step towards comprehensive criminal justice reform and I'd add that as part of the legacy of Chuck Colson and the very good work of prison fellowship, this bills and example of the Church's work of restoration. God us. Chuck Colson to transform the way that many political leaders especially conservative political leaders thought. About criminal justice while imprisoned chuck learn just how empty and even counterproductive the lock them up and throw away the key rhetoric that he wants espoused really was the call that God then placed on Chuck's life was to bring the Gospel to prisoners and their families through prison fellowship but that quickly expanded to include prison in criminal justice reform. He quickly realized that being tough on crime was pointless unless we were first smart about crime being smart about crime lead Chuck to campaign against. The three strikes and you're outlaws that swept the US during the nineteen nineties he knew that such laws would only lead to overcrowded prisons, unaffordable system building and maintenance, and eventually the court ordered releases of thousands of prisoners because of political pressures instead of Prudential Wisdom, we've seen some of that even recently God use Chuck Solid, conservative Christian and law and order credentials to advance this new message people who may not have given other activists. The time of day respectfully listened to him many. Hearts and minds were changed not just because of Chuck Colson Passion or is incredible ability to articulate. But because he took people with him back into prison to see for themselves, what he saw to borrow modern fraiche chuck move the Overton Window in other words that acceptable range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population and so decades later years after Chuck Olson's death at a time of deep and painful political division. The first apt act garnered bipartisan support, Chuck's legacy of giving people. The moral permission and the intellectual justification to do the right thing in this area is something that Christians should seek to emulate in every aspect of life and culture. Of course if we're going to do this, we have to I know what the right thing is, and then we have to learn to talk about issues in ways that might be heard about a year ago that vision drove us to launch. What would you say a video resource designed to help Christians Converse on our? Culture's most challenging questions. Now, our personal stories might not be as dramatic as Chuck Colson was, but we can still strive for the same humility
The Souls Final Feast
"Thing have I asked of the Lord. That will I seek after that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life. To Gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. And to inquire in his temple. Psalm. Twenty, seven four. God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul he comes. And lift the load of sand and feels our heart with gladness and gratitude. You. Turn for me my. Mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth and closed me with gladness that by glory may sing your praise not be silent Oh Lord my God I will give thanks to you for effort. Sold. Thirty eleventh or twelfth. But our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope. Wire you downcast Oh my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me hoping God for I shall again praise him my salvation and my God. Some forty, two, five, and six. I wait for the Lord my soul waits and in his word, I hope. Some one, thirty five. In the end. The heart lungs. Not. For any of God's good gifts, but for God himself. To see him and know him and be in his presence is the souls final feast. Beyond this, there is no quest words fail we call pleasure joy delight. But these are weak pointers. To the unspeakable experience. One thing. If I asked the Lord. And that will I seek after That I may dwell. In the House of the Lord, all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty. Of. The Lord. And to inquire in his temple. Twenty. Seven four. In your presence. There is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore Psalm Sixteen Eleven. Delight yourself in. The Lord. Psalm thirty-seven Four
The Promise of a New Covenant (Ezekiel 11:18-20)
"Ezekiel Chapter Eleven versus eighteen to twenty. When they come there. They were removed from it all it's detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart. And a new spirit I will put within them. I'll remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh. That they may walk in my statutes, keep my rules obey them. And they shall be my people and I will be their God. These, these verses are like. Drinking Water in a desert when it comes to reading through Zeki Lange's seeing God's. Just and righteous judgment upon sin and idolatry and immorality among his people. And yet in the middle of chapter eleven here we see this promise. That God is even in his discipline, God is accomplishing purpose and will one day restore his people to himself remove these detestable things and abominations for among them. Then, we'll have a new spirit in them. Remove the heart of stone. God says removed from their flesh I'll give them a heart of flesh that they may walk in my. Keep my rules and obey them. They shall be my people I will be their God. Now, this is one of couple of places in Ezekiel or we see prophecy. Promises of the new covenant. which by the way is what tested means Covenant between God and his people that Jesus would make possible as we get into the New Testament of the Bible. and. The book of Ezekiel in the sense especially as we read about judgment after judgment after judgment from God. Is a clear reminder. That we need God to do what we cannot do ourselves. We need. God to save us from our sins. Forgive US cleanse us from our sins. We need God to give some new spirit. Put a new spirit in us that enables us to walk in his statutes, keep his rules and obey them. We can't do that on our own where we got to be so careful. As followers of Jesus says those who've trusted in Jesus not to live like we can obey God's statutes and rules walk in his ways in our flesh on our own we need his spirit inside of us. Leading, guiding, directing, helping, empowering us to live according the life he's call to, and that's exactly what the spirit of God is. Four. So I just want to encourage your Dan WanNa pray accordingly that you would not live today in the flesh meaning in your own attempts to say God into do what he has called us to do but the you and live in the power of the spirit of God in you who enables you to walk in God's statutes and keep his rules and obey them that you. I would live spirit filled spirit directed Holy Spirit empowered lives and God may be so. We we we praise you your grace. We. Praise you for your provision for our salvation is we praise you for doing what we could not do. We we praise you for doing what we could not do none of us. The best of US could not do none of us can keep all of God's rules and statutes and laws. We have all rebelled against you God and Jesus. Alone perfectly obeys perfectly fulfills your law. We praise you, Jesus. As the senlis perfect son of God. WHO CHOSE TO PAY THE PRICE FOR OUR SINS on? Across Rose from the dead and victory over sin and the grave, a Sinden Heaven and set your spirit down. into our lives as we trust in you as we look to, you place our faith in you. You've put your spirit and so with your spirit us, we pray today lead us. Guide US direct US enable US empowering us. By your spirit to live the full abundant life, you've called and created us to live. We just confessed today in a fresh way. We can't experience that kind of life on our own. We need you your spirit in us to empower us to live the abundant like you've called is to help us to walk in your statutes. Today help us to keep your rules to help us to obeying your good laws today by the power of your spirit in us make us spiritual people who are led by the spirit of God guided by the spirit. Comforted by the spirit of God directed by the spirit of God, Spirit of God have your way in our lives. Today we need you WanNa John. Fifteen five way we say we can do nothing without you Jesus without your spirit leading us. So lead us with the heart and spirit you've given to us for our good and for Your glory. Pratice in Jesus name. Amen.
Luther and Difficult Times
"On this episode of five minutes in Church history, we are returning to spend some time with a good friend of ours Martin Luther, and we are looking at Martin Luther. And Difficult Times actually luther had many moments of difficulty in his life. But one of those moments was the peasants revolt of fifteen, twenty, four to fifteen five. Other uprisings in Germany immediately prior to the reformation. But in fifteen, twenty, four to twenty five. This was a much larger insurrection historians estimate that as many as three hundred thousand peasants were involved in this rebellion at various times and in various places. One of the flashpoints for this was in a place called Swabia. Swabia is in southwestern Germany. It's pretty far away from Pittsburgh, a good four hundred or five hundred kilometers or so to the south and slightly West it's down near Munich. It's beautiful country with rivers and. and. Snow. Capped Mountain peaks and fabled castles dotting the landscape in. Swabia is the city of Berg. Will in a few years after this peasants revolt will come into play in a major way and Luther is life. But back in fifteen, twenty, four, fifteen, twenty, five, the peasants in Swabia produced a document called the twelve articles of the peasants in Swabia. It called for in. The list of serfdom they raised various points of contention. and Prince's of the land. It's prefaced with an idea that this is rooted in the Gospel and that their understanding of the application of the Gospel has led them to this. So they published this and this was right in the throes of the peasant rebellion, and of course, the Lord's in the prince's were responding and both sides were claiming luther. Luther was brought into it in fact even the Roman Catholics. Sitting outside of Germany and watching all of this we're blaming Luther for this tumult and for this troubling time in Germany. So Luther responds he writes text that is simply titled a reply to the Twelve articles of the peasants in Swabia. He addresses his thoughts and advice to the peasants. He addresses advice to the nobles and he walk through each of the twelve articles and then he gives a conclusion. To bottom line his advice to the prince's Luther says this for rulers are not appointed to exploit their subjects for their own profit and advantage, but to be concerned about the welfare of their subjects. His bottom line chastisement of the peasants comes a little bit later in his document when Luther says. Preface, that is the preface of their document. You are conciliatory and claim that you do not want to be rebels. You even excuse your actions by claiming that you desire to teach and to live according to the Gospel, and then Luther says your own words and actions condemn you. So Luther was trying to draw attention to both sides of the issues they were having and draw them back to the. Table. So to speak to discuss what Luther says to pursue natural law and to pursue justice and he said to both parties used to do so without assuming that God is on your side and rather just act whether you are Lord or Prince or whether you are a peasant in a way that is keeping with the natural law of God has revealed in the natural order and in the pursuit. Of Justice. So Luther will give us the final word here in a classic statement now dear people there is nothing Christian on either side and nothing Christian is at issue between you. Both Lords and peasants are discussing questions of justice and injustice in natural or worldly terms. Furthermore, both parties are acting against God and are under his wrath as you've heard for God's sake. Then take my advice take A. Hold of these matters properly with justice and not with force or violence and do not start endless bloodshed in Germany for because both of you are wrong and both of you want to avenge and defend yourselves. Both of you will destroy yourselves and God will use one rascal to flog another.
Heading into the Election, What Would You Say About the Tough Issues of 2020?
"Year ago the Colson Center launched an ambitious project that would equip Christians with answers to our cultures toughest questions, the kind of questions that tend to generate more heat than light whenever they come up the kind that many Christians tend to shy away from with this resource we hope to see Christians running into those conversations about God, Morality Truth and culture not running away from them. While the what would you say project is a reality. It's a video series with each video answering a single difficult question with answers that are trustworthy, credible, understandable, most importantly sharable among the questions we've tackled just in this past year our. Science and religion opposed to one another as critical theory biblical. When does life began? Does ripe justify abortion does the existence of intersex people proved that there are more than two genders how about this one was Jesus is socialist or does porn improve relationships to the Crusades? Prove that Christianity is a violent religion. You know all those easy questions that Christians get these videos can be found at either what would you say dot org or by going to the? What would you say channel on Youtube while they're you can hit the subscribe button and join over twenty three thousand other people who have joined are what would you say? So for these videos have been viewed over a million times now over the next twelve weeks or so with the election season in full gear, we've planned to set videos to tackle the various political and policy questions and issues that are front and center on everyone's minds. These videos will not only equip Christians for conversations about the presidential campaign and the place of faith in elections in the Public Square. But also about those issues that are central to state and local ballots, including abortion restrictions, education economics, race, and civic responsibility. For example, to videos already available address questions that many young people have about economics questions that have led this emerging generation to lean more socialist direction these videos are is. The answer and this capitalism only benefit the rich and over the next few weeks, we're going to release videos at tackled two questions having to do with the political side of abortion i. what happens when someone says I don't like abortion, but I don't think it should be illegal for everyone and according to a recent study. There's a significant number of Americans who think that abortion is wrong but are reticent to make any legal changes to its status including to even to horrific practices such as later term abortions. This is an issue on the Colorado ballot this year shamefully my state is. One of only nine that remain in which later term abortion is allowed. In fact, our states most famous late-term abortionists kills over two hundred so-called viable fetuses a year. That's why by the way we've scheduled, what would you say video on the issue of late-term abortions and early October and other series of what would you say videos? We'll tackle questions about voting. Why should Christians vote what if I don't like any of the candidates? Should I vote anyway and of course, how should we respond to that old line I'm not gonNA vote my vote won't make a difference anyway each what would You say video is short and it's sharable only about four or five minutes long. It's animated and interesting well researched solidly grounded in Scripture and based and a Christian worldview each what would you say video will leave you with three or four memorable points to help you weighed confidently into these tough conversations and to help you prepare for the craziness of the next several weeks we've created a downloadable full-color what would you say booklet based on the videos and entitled Your Guide for talking about the tough issues of two thousand twenty this resource walks you through hot button issues such as abortion. Critical theory whether Christians should avoid politics. My voting is just the beginning of our civic responsibilities. This booklets available with any donation to breakpoint in the Colson Center. Simply come to breakpoint dot org slash September at breakpoint dot org slash September. Your gift will help us continue to produce what would you say videos and quipping Christians with the answers they need for our cultures, toughest questions and whenever you give while send you the what would you say guide to talking about the tough issues in twenty
A New Way To Respond To Old Problems
"Another way that you can make a day better if it's not going to good. Are Actually, you don't even have to wait for it not to go good some of these things if we would do them on a regular basis, we wouldn't experience as many bad days and have to fight them off how about doing something new that will keep your life from being stale and stagnant because nothing has changed for the last twenty five years. I'M GONNA. If you don't like change well, get ready for. Boring. And then. If, we stop learning and growing were breathing but not truly alive. Joyce Meyer said. Oliver Wendell Holmes said a mind stretch by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. Now, I believe that learning. Can actually add a little exciting element. To our life every day maybe the biggest thing we need to learn is a new way to respond to old problems. So here's a little story for you. Once upon a time complained or father that her life was miserable and she just didn't know how she was going to make it. She said I'm tired of fighting struggling all the time. It just seems after one problem is solved. Another one comes right on top of our father who was a chef took her into the kitchen and filled three pots with. Water placed each one of them on a high fire wants a three pots began to boil. He placed potatoes in one pot eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot it then let them sit and boyle without saying a word, his daughter, the daughter Moan and Groan complain and she was impatient wondering what was he doing after twenty minutes? He turned off the burners It took out the potatoes. Put them in a bowl full the eggs out, put them in a bowl. Then he ladles some of the coffee out into a cup turn into her and ask his daughter. What do you see? She's potatoes, eggs, and coffee look closer. He said touched the potatoes touched the eggs, SIP the coffee. So she did in noted that the potatoes. were. Soft. Go take an egg and break it and after pulling off the shelves she observed that it was hard. He Nice go to sip the coffee and it brought a smile. The rich aroma brought a smile to her face. Father what does this mean? What are you trying to teach me? He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee at each face the same adversity, the boiling water however. Each one reacted differently the potatoes went in strong and hard and came out soft and weak the egg one in fragile with a thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior. But when it was put in the boiling water, it came out hard. However, the coffee beans were unique after they were exposed to the boiling water they change the water and created something new. So when you have. Problems and you know we do have problems and. I'm well aware that some of you have some serious problems going on in your life right now. and. If you're not in this building, surely many watching TV I've gone through. Terribly difficult times in my life, but we have to be so careful that our problems don't make us. We can win be where we don't just start having a give up attitude. and. Then we also want to make sure they don't make hard and harsh. Leave us with a bitter attitude. What we WANNA do we have problems is let God use them to change us and then let us change the world around us because of what God has
A Forgotten, But Essential Aspect of the Doctrine of Creation
"So here is the question for today, what is a crucial but often forgotten essential about the Christian doctrine of creation what's something? That's absolutely essential to a meaningful coherent Christian doctrine of creation but that we often overlook forget. Well the doctrine of creation can be summed up in one sentence in that is that the triune God without opposition or equal and without the use of pre existing materials created the world by his will and for his good pleasure. And so. There's a lot each each one of those phrases is loaded one of the things that. Most people pay attention to is the idea that he did us. No pre existing materials a Krio Hilo. That is the reason for that is is to because God is truly sovereign over that which he created. It is not that he is one of many deities that who he happens to be the one that created the world, and that the world is made out of some kind of pre existing material are divine stuff in which he had to battle it and defeated and subdue it, which would would really impune on the docket of God's sovereignty. We don't find any of that in genesis chapter one. The thing that I would say many people forget is that last expression that he created a according to his good will and pleasure that is God has freedom he is a free gone nick would have been just as glorious if he had never created at all. It would have taken away none of His Excellency's. Throughout all eternity he had remained. The sum total reality it isn't that he got lonely in created because he was a perfect society of fellowship of Father, son and Holy Spirit that love one another with a perfect love that all of the glories and Excellencies were already experienced in a maximum way. No He created as an act of of pure grace. It is a gratuitous action. Created A world different than they one that he did if he had so chosen and if it had been according to his goodwill and good pleasure. So we want to preserve the freedom of God in creating. Because I. think that is just as essential because you do have some who thinks that God some somehow needed to create in it some creation fulfill some lack that he had and the Bible makes it very clear that neither of those things are true. That God is. Complete. Insufficient enough himself and we add nothing to his caloric. Now, we have been graciously given the privilege of glorifying him. In, but that is a gracious privilege and so I think that is something that is forgotten. The freedom of God in. Create. That's So I think that's a really good point. I might maybe a little follow up question here if we lose God's freedom and creating what do we lose about God like how how does that compromise a not only a coherent view of God but are persuasive you have got well. You for example, this means that everything God did he did by necessity being not have done? That for some reason whether it's internal or external, he was somehow compelled that he could not have done otherwise. A I think we all recognize intuitively that this puts a constraint on the character of our the the nature God in a way that doesn't sound very godlike, right? Though so It is no infringement are no restriction on. God to say that God always operates within the constraints of this nature. Words. God. Is a good. God. God is a Holy God God is a righteous God. So therefore, he always operates righteously lovingly. In a way that is pure. But within within that framework of his nature, there are an infinite number. Of others and infinite number of options available to him. He could have not saved Ken keithly. I still would have been just as glorious as he is. But he he ordained a world in which I would be six. This, this was a free act on his part. and. So regardless launch where one. COMES OUT ON. The calvinists. Debate. In everywhere non kind of in between the point is is that I think all of us want to preserve the freedom of God in this way yeah. Absolutely. Well, Dr Keithly that I think a really good answer to the question what is crucial but often forgotten essential about the doctrine of creation
God's Heart Towards Sin (Ezekiel 9:4)
"Ezekiel chapter nine verse four in the Lord said to him pass through the city through Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who cy and grown over all the abominations that are committed in it. This this whole chapter is a. Feeling of saying sobering every chapter in Ezekiel, just to see the judgment of God upon Sin and Ezekiel Chapter Nine, but this I in particular is talking about the remnant. Of people who are faithful to God who are spared judgment and the book of Ezekiel, and here there describes a listening to language pass through the city through Jerusalem, put a mark on the foreheads of the men who cy and grown over all the abominations that are committed. Put. A mark on those who are are grieved over sin in and around them who are. Groaning and sighing and lamenting the presence of sin. So I read this and then I pictured. Your Life, my life, our lives today in a sinful world. And how easy it is for you are to become. desensitized to send. Like to to see sin. To see any kinds of whether it's gossip. Sexual. Immorality. Evil according to scripture and to think it's not that big a deal. I just want to lead us to pray. The God would. Make US sensitive descend and give us his heart, his mind, his perspective God. We we pray that. God please. Make. US Men and women who grieve and side and grown over sin in our lives on over our tendencies. To Send our temptations that we are prone to give into God help day eight Sen in our lives and help us day sin around us. God please. Keep us from. Becoming desensitized to send make us sensitive to sin that when we see it, we hate it and we lamented and we grieve over it and we. Live accordingly, the were compelled to turn away from sin in our lives. The were compelled to share the gospel. There were compelled when we see a brother or sister struggling and send to love them enough to call them back to encourage them and their relationship with you to turn from sin. When we see friends, neighbours co workers, family members who are lost in sin that you would give us your compassion for them. In a way that leads us to share the Gospel with them. Gallery pray live. With. This kind of sign an groaning and grieving over sin in the world around us we we pray. That if you were going through today in marking those who cy in grown over said. that. Our lives would be sense that you would. You would marcus by your grace in this way even I pray that. She's sweet. Praise you for taking the payment do our sin upon yourself. None of us could stand apart from your grace and your mercy. We all deserve your judgement and we praise you for grace and mercy and your love for us. So help us to live like this like we've been saved from sin we turn phony run from and we grieve over it. In the world around us. Make us more and more your people like this we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Behold the Glory of God (Ezekiel 8:4)
"Ezekiel Chapter Eight Verse Four. And Behold the glory of the God of Israel was there. Like the vision that I saw in the valley. The Reason I read this verse is because will this this whole Chapter Ezekiel Chapter? Eight Is Basically, a tour and sense. That God takes Hezekiel on and God shows he is equal all what's called the great abominations that God's people were committing against him all of their sins described over and over again as abominations. But the reason I read verse four one elitist to pray according to behold the glory. God of Israel. Poll the glory of the God of Israel was there like the vision that I saw in the valley the whole picture here is that Ezekiel sees. Such a clear contrast between God in all of his glory in all of His Holiness and all of his splendor and beauty and purity. Imperfections. And that enables him to see. How horrible? These abominations are the sins are against God. Like when we see the glory of God, the more we know the holiness of God, the more we will hate, send the more. We will see how serious sin is. So, if we ever find ourselves being casualness in things since no big deal. It is. Definitely, an indicator that we have lost sight. Of How glorious God is. The more we see. No God for who he truly is the more we will hate sin in our lives and see it as the abomination that it really is, and so we pray God. Help, US. We want to see and know your glory more and more and more and more. We're GonNa all throughout Ezekiel and. Other places bidding your word recently an X. thirty three and thirty four and I kings nineteen. We we praise you for these demonstrations of Your glory revelations of Your glory that you gave to. Moses and Elijah and Ezekiel and Isaiah an old testament and then what we read in John Chapter One verse fourteen that we have senior glory in Jesus and even for those of us who have not seen him face to face like those. Disciples did in the New Testament we praise you for the picture we have of Your glory in Jesus on the words of scripture in the words of scriptures. So we praise you for your glory and we say we want to see and know your glory more and more today got opener is wider. Got To pray this over every single person listening right now open their eyes wide open my eyes water to see more of your. Glory see more of your beauty and your splendor and your perfection your purity who you are got Elvis the see you more and more and more clearly, and in this got help us to hate sin Mar and more and more severely helpless aided I was to run from. It was to flee from help us not to flirt with and help us not to give in to temptation to it got elvis to run from San re pray. God help us to confess sin quickly when we sin against you. And to to hide in your grace and abrasion you all the more for your grace. God We. Pray the you would help us to see you more truly. Completely fully holy. And to see ourselves more, right lean. More humbly. To See sin in all of its severity. and to turn from it. So the We might know you. And Love You with all our heart soul in mind and strength and enjoy you to the full in all of your beauty and glory and splendor and holiness and purity and perfection 's all glory bdo. Name. Oh God help us to see know your glory more. In. Jesus name we pray. Amen.
International Panel Warns Us to Tap the Brakes on Gene Editing, but That Wont Stop Us
"Disasters are mostly by definition unavoidable, but we can often take basic steps to mitigate the damage such as not building in flood zones are on top of major faultlines mitigating manmade disasters. Hand is almost entirely avoidable, but quite often we don't because we're victims of our own ideologies and collective pride. For example, last week a panel of genetics experts issued a direct and stark warning against editing genes of human embryos that are destined for implantation. The panel, which consists of experts from ten different countries was jointly convened by the US National Academy of Medicine the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society. The present state of gene editing said, the panel's report is simply too risky for both individual embryos and the human race as a whole while technologies such as Christopher are fairly precise and targeting and editing certain genes. They wrote recent ventures have demonstrated that fairly precise isn't. Good enough for instance, when researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London US crisper recently to edit eighteen human embryos in order to study the role of a particular gene in the early stages of human development about a half of those embryos contain what they called quote major unintended at it. Now, that phrase is a euphemism for harmful mutations and genetic damage, the kind that could lead. To birth defects and even life threatening medical problems like cancer and not to mention could permanently enter the gene pool to other studies were also cited in the same report and one researchers attempted to correct gene mutation that causes blindness in the other the attempt was to prevent certain heart defects. However, researchers found that in both experiments, a significant percentage of the treated embryos suffered chromosomal damage one. Genetics expert described these failures this way if human embryo editing for reproductive purposes, germline editing were spaceflight. This new data would be the equivalent of having the rocket exploded at the launch pad before takeoff. Still once again, this new report focus only on the technical failures of gene editing. Once again, any discussion or even any acknowledgement of the many ethical questions inherent to this very idea of. Gene editing were completely avoided. So now and what's become far too typical of the scientific culture of our age in which philosophy ethics are completely divorced from technology and science research proceeds with an ethical framework of utilitarianism built on a philosophy of scientism or to put it more. Simply gene editing will continue because you know scientists are only real hope to solve problems and if we can do. Something we should, and so even though this panel admits that it could be years before the technical difficulties of gene editing are ironed out experiments will continue and should continue though quote initially limited to serious genetic disorders that are caused by DNA variants and a single gene and should be used quote on when the alternatives for having a biologically related child that is unaffected by the genetic. Disorder are poor. Look Scientific. hubris is indeed a very tough train to stop certainly an international panel of experts admitting that gene editing dangerous and unnecessary but we should proceed anyway as long as it's with caution that's not going to stop any eager scientists around the world, much less the governments and corporations who are funding them. Now, the sincere desire to eradicate dangerous diseases including genetic diseases understandable. It's even noble. The longing to heal is just a reflection of God's image in US ethically sound and medically safe treatment should always be pursued but we should never proceed without a full awareness of the human temptation to become like God is genesis three puts it determining good and evil after all couples are already genetically screening donor sperm to create designer babies and governments like China have. Already. Demonstrated their willingness to experiment on entire ethnic groups we are a world and too often h church that proceeds with the most invasive and inhumane technologies without adequate or in some cases any serious ethical reflection now, there is still time to prevent the potential manmade catastrophe of gene editing time itself however won't be enough unless we have the will to say,
Bring Us to Repentance (Ezekiel 5:5-6)
"Ezekiel chapter five versus five and six. Thus says the Lord God. This is Jerusalem. I've sat her in the center of the nations with countries all around her. And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations and against my statutes more than the countries all around her for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. This is a sobering chapter of scripture, these verses. Extremely sobering as God is talking about. His judgment on his people specifically in Jerusalem. And the way God compares his people. With the surrounding nations, he had put them in the middle of the nations that they would be light that they would show the goodness of God as they followed his law. They would show that God's ways are good and better than anything else in this world and the people of God had not only not done that I not followed God's laws got statutes. They had rejected his rules and they were living in greater evil than even the countries around him didn't even have God's law. Wow. There's so much here that leads us to pray but particularly, WANNA lead us to pray. God would make our lives and us as his church like a holy. And pure that we would not reject his rules that we would walk in his statutes and we would show the goodness of God. The goodness of God's Word God's truth God's ways that are so much better than the ways of this world that would be evident in us as his people God may be so we pray. God, forgive us for ways we individually. And as your people. Reject your rules and. Don't walk in your statutes God. Please bring us to continual repentance when we turn from you. When we walk in disobedience to your word God we pray for. contrite hearts. Then are humble and quick to repent. When we sent even A. Conversation I had this morning just about. Sin In our lives and how serious it is and turning from and running from it. God. We pray you'd help us not to be casual with within help us to hate to even that which we would be tempted to classify as a small center. No big deal. God. We pray that we would see Sen. As the horrible offense than it is to you. And even as we pray that God, we praise you for saving us from our sin. Jesus we praise you for dying on the Cross for our sin in all of its horror for taking the judgment we deserve upon yourself even as we read Zeki Chapter Five, we think. Who Shudder to think of where we would be if we endured your judgement for our send. Thank you, Jesus for saving us from the judgment we deserve and re pray that based on your salvation with the power of your spirit Ns the you would help us to walk in your statutes and to obey your rules to live cording to your law, your word and in this way to show. People, around us. That you are good that your ways are good. The your word is good. Oh God may that be evident in our lives? May We walk in obedience to you today as we do? May We reflect your goodness your love your wisdom ultimately your glory in the world around us God may be so we pray in Jesus name.
What was Before the Beginning?
"Most people start reading genesis they, they don't stop to go what was happening before the beginning right in saying and she's ready. The. Question to the book, start the Genesis starts realtime action with the beginning I mean. So you're already in the flow of it. So this is kind of stepping back and saying, okay well, what was happening before that actually started? So who was there? I mean They're a bunch of stuff going on. There are a bunch of people there. was there a big you know meeting talk about it with turtles way down who was there? Yes. So The way I understand it I think the way the Bible describes it is there was nothing everything is dark for was void try to. If you can nothingness like nothing nothing nothing nothing other than got. Got The. Only thing that there is got is the only thing that is a being that is in existence in he is entirely created actually had somebody asking me question the other day here at the church. I pastor now and they said jt glad you're here I've wrestled. This is a this is a kind of an older saints who've been walking the Lord for forty fifty years. And he said to me, he said agent at this intellectual question for the entirety of my walk with the Lord. Laird, God come from. In ease asking the question like who made godwit gut come into being, and that's a very common question in the Christian response to this is God didn't come from anything didn't start anywhere. He is the thing that is probably most distinct about God in this is what we learned last year in the apostles creed is that he is the maker he is the he is the one who has unmade. His created exists entirely distinctly enough himself in Trinidadian relationship father son and Holy Spirit. So the first thing we want to say before we even get into Tyrian ISM if you want to go down that path is before anything. got. Yup. Yeah. That's and it's pivotal because specifically when we're talking about who got is reference to these first chapters of Genesis, we often use the language of creator creature distinction right exactly, and that might be one of the most important distinctions. Bible makes in that we have in theology is that God is entirely. In of himself yeah. Absolutely. that. He is qualitatively different. Than anything else he is utterly unique. As. One of the ways when I teach this that I get people to sort of have this hit home as I say, right you gonNa make a chart and on one side you're gonNA. Label call them things that are created and then on the other side you're GonNa label it things that are created and then on the left hand side things that are created for you right? Right God. And then on the right hand side where you're going to write. Everything else like there's there's nothing that was not the did not That does not have got us its origin. Yeah. Yeah. So We. Start there with talking about God is Creator in Genesis clearly displaying this, that God is creator everything else is created but who is this guy jt? You mentioned it kind of when you were talking about that. This is trinity right God his father son and Holy Spirit, and so are we talking about three different gods up they're all discussing with one another are we in collaborating with one another are we talking about one God who has three different roles? Who are we talking about when we're talking about this God who is Father Son and Holy Spirit? Yes. I think there's just clues that are given to us in genesis some people like to go to genesis worn twenty six or the texts says, let us which shows some kind of divine plurality. There's lots of ways to to interpret probably better for us on suggest to go to the New Testament Charles spurgeon has analogy where he talks about God has always been trinity, but it's kind of like walking into a room where there's furniture everywhere in the old. Testament, the lights are off in a new testament. You're turning the lights on none of the furniture was placed there during the New Testament it was there the whole time, but you can now see it better. So canonical, it's actually probably better for us to to move our way backwards if God is if there's only one God. In he is trinity and that's what we see clearly in the New Testament in the churches confessions than that must be the same God who existed before creation, and so the way that we understand Trinitaria relations in the New Testament is that there are three persons in one God. Our definition for Trinidadian is is that God eternally exists as one essence in three distinct persons, each of whom are fully God yet, there's only one God so. Policy for a second. Could you could you go back and say our definition of the trinity is just kind of repeat that real slowly? Yes. So our definition of the Trinity is God. Eternally exists supposing there that he that's what we've just been talking about. He is eternal. He has not come into being he is the Creator and maker of all things. So so always been always will be it's right. Okay and and never will never came into existence never has ceased existing never will cease to exist
Demonstrate God's Word in Your Life (Ezekiel 4:4-8)
"Zekiye chapter four versus four through eight. Then, lie on your left side and place the punishment of the House of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. FRY signed to you a number of days three, hundred, ninety days. Equal. To the number of the years of their punishment. So long. Shall you bear the punishment of the House of Israel? And when you've completed. You should lie down a second time but on your right side and bear the punishment of the House of Judah. Forty days I assign you a day for each ear and you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm Baird and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold I will place cords upon you. So you cannot turn from one side to the other till you have completed the days of your siege. And so much we could talk about in these verses but the basic picture is God is calling Ezekiel as a prophet to do two things one to prophesy about the city. So to speak the words of God and to tell what God has said to him to the people and then second to demonstrate these words with his life. He's specifically talking about the punishment of the House of Israel the punishment of the House of Judah, basically God's judgment on Israel and Judah and how he would take action specifically lying on his left side for three hundred ninety days. On his right side for forty days representing the number of years associated with judgement punishment toward the House of Israel and the House of Judah we don't know specifics of how this would play out like for all those three hundred ninety days on the left side and forty days on the right side. But basically. Lying there for long periods of time on those days, unable to turn from one side to the other as a demonstration is an illustration is a picture of the words he's speaking. Now, how does that lead us to pray? Why want wants to think about our lives, your life, my life today this week. So again, we're seeing this over and over again, there unique things about Ezekiel Old Testament prophets but there are also parallels to our lives as women who have received the word of God and have the spirit of God and us have been commissioned to proclaim the word of God, not just with our words. But with our actions with lives that are fluctuation of the words, we proclaim the words we believe the words God has spoken. And Specifically. I was reading this and as I. WanNa lead us to pray I was thinking about people who are going through difficult times difficult circumstances. Could it be than even or difficult circumstances situations we walk through? That there are things we are portraying about who got is in the midst of hard times that are intended by God to be a reflection of the truth we believe. Of the word that we hold fast to just like we see in Paul throughout the New Testament saying I, fill up what is lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions. He's not saying that he experiences suffering in the exact same way as Jesus did, but he is saying that he shares in the sufferings of Christ he shows the supremacy. Of Christ, he shows the joy of Christ that even when times are hard and difficult and he is holding fast joy and peace and courage and confidence in the middle of that he is displaying Christ he is reflecting the word of Christ in his life. So God, I pray the you would help us all today to embody you word. To reflect your word, not just with our mouths Oh God. Yes. As we prayed recent days help us to reflect your word with our mouths helps to speak your word to give witness to your word to warn people of coming judgment to share the good news of Your Grace and gallery. Pray that amidst whatever is going on in our lives. Right now, you would help us to reflect your word in our lives. Guttering, we pray that you would help us to reflect your joy even in the middle of suffering. We pray the you'd help us to reflect your strength and our weakness. Gharib, we pray that you help us to reflect your peace amidst so much unrest. Around us. Maybe specifically in our circumstances or just unrest in the world gunnery prayed help us to reflect your piece. Got Re pray that our lives would be demonstration today and this week of the truth we believe and we hold fast to God 'cause you're a word to be clear in our mouths and clear in our lives we pray. In Jesus name. Amen.
Jonathan Edwards and the Call to Prayer
"Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel observed that the opposite of love is not hate it's indifference and hopelessness like so many of us feel right now in the midst of this perfect storm of pandemic and justice political unrest rioting can lead us to indifference after all. What can the typical person do about all this crazy stuff going on but Christians cannot succumb to hopelessness and we're never allowed to retreat into. Indifference to love is the very first and greatest commandment I god and then others we are Peter Rowe born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We might not feel like that's true. But it is the Great Jonathan Edwards a leading theologian and perhaps America's Greatest Christian? Philosopher served in pastoral ministry in the Eighteenth Century during the height of the enlightenment and an essay he wrote. Entitled a call to United Extraordinary prayer a humble attempt. How's that? For a title Edwards argued that for the Christian to maintain their love for God and for others defined by whole ball avoiding despair regular prayer was essential. However, Edwards was clear that prayer does not bring hope to believers by guaranteeing that God will line up with us in our request. Rather prayer aligns the believers and our request to the Kingdom of. God and it does so in at least three ways first per- teachers are hearts and minds too long for God's Power and glory here's Edwards there is much in what we have seen of the glorious works of God's Power and grace to put us in mind of the yet greater things of this nature that he has spoken of in his word and to excite our longings and our hopes of their approach the. Of His presence that is knowing in believing the one true. God of the Universe is meant to excite us towards greater prayer for the continuance increase and greater extent up such blessings. Second prayers, the principal means by which Christ Kingdom advances again, here's Edwards so it is. God's will through his wonderful grace that the prayers of his saints should be one great and principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ's. Kingdom in the world what an astounding thought. So often we ask but other than pray what can I do as if praying isn't doing something, but it is it's even effectual. Saint James says in his epistle and finally our prayers are not merely that God would save our nation but that he would pour out his spirit on our nation through the church. But that God would appear for his Church Road Edwards. And mercy to miserable men carry on his work in the land and in the world and fulfill the things he spoke of his word that his church has been. So long wishing and hoping and waiting for the restoration that we long for is not for some pass good old days as a country. But rather for a restoration to the purposes of God, We pray for God to heal our nation to revive. The church even as we long for and await the day when the Lord will return restoring his creation and making all things new these words of Edwards describe at least in part by a few thousand of us have been gathering virtually each of the last few weeks every Wednesday morning between now and November the fourth, which is the morning after the twenty twenty election for a time of national