Meditation Monday

It’s been just a little busy at home and church that I have taken a break from the blog, but I am back with Meditation Monday, where I post some meditations from the sermons that were preached at Watson Chapel Baptist Church

Yesterday’s sermons were powerful at Watson Chapel Baptist Church. In the morning we learned of the love that Paul had for the Corinthians.  A love that spoke the truth to them, a love that just didn’t drop them by the wayside. Paul genuinely loved the Corinthians and desired for them to live a life worthy of the calling. When I think about Paul I examine my own heart. Do I feel the way Paul did about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Examine your heart too.

In our evening service we were in Genesis 3 learning about the curses God placed on Adam and Eve for their disobedience. We see a picture of Judgement and Grace. A God who punishes sin and the same God who will provide a way for forgiveness of sins. He is such an awesome God.

But one thing that Pastor Todd said has been brewing in my mind is when he talked about why God cursed women with pain in child birth. He said “one possible explanation God cursed the women with pain in child birth is because of the pain it was going to cost God to birth spiritual children.” Meditate on this today. We serve a gracious God who would send His own Son to die for us.

Soli Deo Gloria

Book Review: Biblical Portraits of Creation

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Biblical Portraits of Creation Walter C. Kaiser, Dorington G. Little Weaver Book Company 2014 164 Pages Paperback

When people hear about a new book on creation, most will automatically think it has to do with an apologetic for creationism. Honestly, who can blame them, the Christian community is busy defending creationism in our skeptical world. I am glad there are great tools on how to defend the creationist position. But what exactly is the creationist position? What kind of claims does the Bible make about the Creator and creation? If you are not exactly sure or you want to read an excellent book that will lead you in the right directions Biblical Portraits of Creation is a must read.

Kaiser and Little do a thorough and excellent job exegeting the Biblical passages concerning creation and delivering to us in a readable and understandable way. Each chapter was constructed and delivered as sermons given to us in book form to learn from. The wealth and depth of knowledge of Ancient Near Eastern history and the Biblical Languages is worth buying the book.

Kaiser and Little also do an excellent job weaving the Old Testament into the New Testament. We learn that the Creator, through Christ, is making new beginnings and new creations. God is taking fallen and dead creatures and making them alive In Christ. Finally, how can we talk about creation without mentioning the new heavens and earth.
This book is packed with treasure from beginning to end. I highly recommend it.

Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? ‘Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel? ‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?’ “Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. (2 Sam. 2:27-30)

How many times do we read in the Bible that “obedience is better than sacrifice”? To be honest I am not quite sure, but it is quite a bit. As I was doing my devotions this morning in 1 Samuel, I began reading about the sons of Eli. The NASB version of the Bible calls them “worthless” but I can imagine if we were to see them on the streets where we live we would call them thugs. The sons of Eli were taking advantage of the sacrificial system in Israel, eating the the portions they were not suppose to and taking advantage of the people. Abusing their power and position the Lord gave them.The Lord had enough of Eli’s sons and sent some one to deal with them. Which leads us to this portion of Scripture and a powerful lesson for us who are followers of Christ.

Did I Not Reveal Myself?

The first question the Lord asks is “did I not reveal myself?” If you are not familiar with the Old Testament, the books of Leviticus and Numbers are pretty clear and specific how the priests were to approach the Lord on behalf of the people. God revealed to them how he wanted things done, very specifically. But the sons of Eli were disregarding God’s revelation and doing things their own way. In Hebrews 1 we read that in the past God spoke in various ways but is now speaking to us through the life of Christ and in 2 Timothy 3 Paul tells us God speaks through His Word, the Bible, God’s revelation to us. So did God reveal Himself? Yes. 

God goes further and reminds them, not only did I reveal myself to you, I also delivered you from the bondage of Egypt. I gave you a land for your own possession. Then I chose you, the tribe of Levi to serve me as priests before the people. Have I not provided for you? You sons of Eli are privileged to serve in my tabernacle. As believers could not God, say the same of us? Have i not delivered you from sin? Have I not chose you to be my witnesses of the Gospel? Am I not a God that provides for you? 

Why Do You Kick At My Sacrifice?

If I have done all this for you why do you kick at my sacrifice? In our day, it could read, why do you spit in My face? Eli’s sons did whatever they wanted and Eli did not correct them. By their disobedience to God’s revelation, God said they were kicking God’s sacrifice and offerings. They were spitting in the face of God and saying what I want is more important than what you want, selfism. Now before we judge Eli and his sons, how often do we put what we want before what God has revealed in Scripture? How often do we disobey God’s eternal truths for temporal enjoyment?

Why Do You Kick My Son?

Obedience is better than sacrifice? God doesn’t want some external religious rituals, He desires that we serve Him from the heart. When God says “obedience is better than sacrifice” is He saying His sacrifices are worthless or his commands are not important? Of course not! God is saying I want you to follow me from an obedience that flows from the heart. I want you to follow my Son and obey Him, with an obedience that is from the heart. Why? Because if the Lord has your heart He has you. As we live our life and are confronted with decisions to follow Christ or disobey Him, remember God wants an obedience from the heart and only God can bring a heart transformation. I know when I am faced with a decision to trust God and obey or do what I want and disobey, I will heed this passage and hear a voice with the question, do you want to kick the sacrifice of my Son with your disobedience?

 

 

 

 

Remain Faithful To The Gospel

Here are a couple of great articles. As Christians we are comissioned to spread the Gospel. As we share the Gospel we need to make sure we stay faithful to the message of the Gospel. We must never add to or take away from the Gospel. Ed Stetzer provides us with some excellent insights.

Beware of Obscurantism.

Avoiding the Pitfall of Syncretism

Meditation Monday: The First Mission Trip

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This weekend we had a guest speaker from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. David James is the team leader over the Collegiate Ministry in Arkansas and shared with us from Acts 1:1-8.

The First Mission Trip

What was the first Christian mission trip? I must say it is always nice to be reminded of the Gospel. Jesus leaving the glories of heaven to live a life that we couldn’t and die in our place to provide life for dead sinners like me. Jesus left heaven on the first Gospel of Grace mission trip to “seek and the save the lost”. Let this truth sit in your heart and mind for a minute…

Leaving Comforts

Jesus left the comforts of heaven. Now we cannot even begin to understand what this means. We get glimpses into heaven from the Scriptures, but we still cannot begin to understand the glories of heaven that Jesus left to live a life on earth. He not only came to live on this earth, but he lived a humble life. He wasn’t rich with money and servants. His life-focus was to complete the mission the Father sent Him on. He lived life on earth as a servant and suffered a criminals death, leaving the comforts of heaven. Amazing Grace indeed!

Forsaken

Jesus not only left the comforts of heaven but he was forsaken. Jesus was forsaken by his followers. His followers jumped ship when the hammer dropped and Jesus was arrested. Jesus experienced loneliness. Jesus was not only forsaken by his followers, but as He was bearing our sin on the cross the most perplexing words ever spoken came forth “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In some way or another Jesus experienced a lack of presence from the Father. What this means and how this happened is beyond our understanding, but Jesus experienced the height of forsakeness so that we wouldn’t have to. Amazing Grace Indeed!

The Mission Reloaded

After the Resurrection, Jesus was among His followers and He gave them a mission. His followers are commissioned to be His witnesses in this world. We should always be on a mission trip. Now i don’t mean you should be boarding a plane to go to different countries, although international missions is one way we fulfill His mission. But our life is a mission trip, the mission doesn’t stop when you depart the plane, leave the church or go off to work. When our life is on mission we are constantly being sensitive to God’s Spirit and working around us and looking for opportunities to share the message of the Gospel to this lost and dying world. Jesus left the comforts of heaven and experienced a level of forsakeness that we can’t even imagine, completed His mission and is now gathering a people for Himself. Jesus then commissions His people to live your life like you are on a mission trip on this earth. Amazing Grace Indeed!

Allowing God to Redirect Your Adventure

joshnnomi:

great thoughts!

Originally posted on debraburchfield:

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Paul’s plan was to go back to the churches they had planted on the 1st missionary journey and strengthen the brethren. His great desire to check back on these early converts was natural and understandable. In essence, these were his spiritual children. Children are meant to be birthed into this world with much love. But every mother that has every experienced natural childbirth knows, this love relationship carries a high price of labor, blood, sweat and tears – literally. The same can be said of Paul’s sacrifice spent to birth these early Christians – literally. Travel during this time wasn’t like it is today. You simply didn’t hop in a plane and strap in. It was arduous and physically exhausting. Most of it spent sailing and walking with many perils along the way. Paul put it this way: “.. .in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger…

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