When America was “Great”

The following email was from a friend.

The subject:
Super Bowl 14 Years ago. – this will bring a tear.

This may be the last time you’ll ever see something like this at an NFL game.   Super Bowl 2005…..

This video was shot 14 + years ago. There has been quite a change since then. 

PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

After watching the video, my thoughts flashed back to the beginning and the sequence of the change. My comments are below.

Thank you for sharing this.
 
Yes, it brought a tear.
But more tears have been shed over losing our devotion to God.
 
Before there was a Super Bowl, an American flag, and patriotism, there was a church that met every Sunday.
 
Sunday was observed as a holy day. 
That day was hollowed and observed as the Lord’s Day.
  
Before there was football, there was loyalty and obedience to God.
 
Now, the doors are closed to the worship we once knew.
 
We need to cry for what we lost before America lost her greatness.
We need to repent and in faith, find our way back to God.
 
“Rivers of waters run down my eyes,
because they do not keep your law.”
Psalm 119:136
Gracious Father, have mercy upon us and save us. You are our only hope. Turn us back to you ~ we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power;”
Psalm 110:3

Where Were You Yesterday?

Yesterday was the Lord’s Day.

Where were you?

Were you worshipping in His house?
Did you hear the Word of God preached?
Were you in prayer and fellowship with His other followers?

Many of God’s people have been scattered this year.
Many are living in confusion.
While some Christians are meeting secretly in other countries because of persecution, many in America who could be, are not worshipping at all.

The following video is a much-needed sermon for all people and nations.
Preaching from the Gospel of Luke yesterday, our pastor and we who heard his anointed message were blessed to have a special glimpse of the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as the “chief cornerstone.” He is still as active today as He was in His resurrection. Please watch and share it with others, especially those who are not sitting regularly under the preaching of God’s Word.

The prayer following the sermon was equally as dynamic, a prayer we were all praying. Listen and be blessed.

 

“On the First Day of the Week”

“Now on the first day of the week ….. they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1

Where we go the first day of the week will determine how our whole week will go.

Mary came prepared to anoint a dead body. She found instead, a living Savior. Did she expect to leave the spices on the outside of the tomb? Had she even imagined she would not have access to her Lord. She came with all she had to worship Him and found exceedingly abundantly more than she could have asked. He found her seeking Him. She left an empty tomb to tell her brethren He was alive.

If we meet with the Lord of lords on His day, we will want to bring Him home with us for the whole day and be back in His house at the end of the day. We will want to bring others to encounter the living Lord and Savior on His day.

He will be with us the remainder of the week.

And we prepare our spices during the week for the next Lord’s Day. What we take to our worship is harvested from His Word and prayer from one week to the next.

We do not bring our praises and adoration to a tomb. The stone from our heart has been rolled away by the power of the gospel and He lives forever in the new heart and spirit He has given us (Ezekiel 36:26). We gather with other blood-bought souls who desire to spend the day with Him.

If you had not already planned today to be with the Lord and His family, find a church that preaches and lives the truths of the atoning work of Christ. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness, in spirit and truth. If you do not yet know Him, ask the Father for His Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to you in His Word. Worship Him today with His people and look for Him to be with you this week. (If you do not have such a church, send me a message on my CONTACT page and I will help you find one close to you. This may be difficult but I am willing to give you pointers on where to look.)

How we spend the Lord’s Day is a precursor to how we will spend eternity. How precious is the Lord Jesus to you on this day?

Glorious Father, where can we go, but to Christ, for the abundant life you and He prepared for your children before the foundation of the world. By the power of your Spirit, draw your people to your houses of worship today. Speak to us through your Word. Fill us, send us, and spend us for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

An Excavation of John 17 ~ Unearthing the Truths of the Atonement

As I have read through the Bible every year for years on end, grace has abounded to me in wisdom and understanding. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, the finger of God pointed out certain truths. Light was shone on the things that seemed to matter each year as I read.

In the Old Testament, the chapter I could not get through without lingering and memorizing was Isaiah 53.

In these last days, even as I meditate on other parts of God’s Word, I have not been able to get past John 17.

Memorization and meditation have required me to stop so as to know that I am standing on solid ground. That is not enough. This hard surface needs to be broken up. There are layers here, a covering over of the truth hidden for centuries. The atoning work of Christ has been trampled underfoot. Buried deep within the world’s way of education are the nuggets of truth we now have to dig for.

John 17 is a source of one of these truths, but without this main one, revealed in Jesus’ open prayer to the Father in heaven, none of the others are explainable. And now, at this point, I am not able to speak of what is hidden here. I just know at this time in my life, in this new age and stage, I cannot go anywhere, be anywhere ~ even alone ~ without having my Father’s revelation in the twenty-six verses of this chapter of John’s gospel.

I have for weeks been eating, drinking, sleeping with these words recorded the last night of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion. I sense here the means of finishing my course with joy ~ the treasures hidden here are worth every moment of my thought and time, meditation, memorization and documenting.

I invite you to pray, to join me in reading, studying, meditation and memorization. Lend me not only your ear but share whatever you uncover of this lost treasure so that I can record our findings. I have read commentaries, but so far, these do not speak of the deeper truths I am looking for. Sometimes, we are the few our Father puts to the task.

As I venture to be a part of a small prayer group in our church and to perhaps begin a ministry for Christian widows, I believe this project of John 17 will be a major source of wisdom and knowledge and also, for our other series and books. I will post again on this subject as the Lord leads. Thank you for your prayers and comments.

Gracious Father, as you woke me this morning, you reminded me how we begin each week. “Now upon the first day of the week, ….. they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices they had prepared, and others with them. And they found the stone rolled away.” I come from the empty tomb having worshipped my risen Lord and Savior yesterday. I come to this day with pick and shovel, to be “about my Father’s business.” I desire to find in this day those truths needful for faith and obedience and, as those who are taught, “to speak a word to the weary.” I pray we all seek to discover the truths of life you have given us through your written Word and your precious Living Word, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

The Christian Sabbath ~ A Sheep’s View

I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.

We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)

The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.

How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.

The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.

It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath.  “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).”  (The Bible Dictionary)

The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of  God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.

They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.

This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.

We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:1-6

Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Image: Google

Love the Lord? Love His Day

As simple as it may sound, I love the Lord’s Day because I love the Lord.

It is, and has been for centuries, the day of celebration of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. As our heavenly Father rested after His work of creation, and set aside the seventh day as the Sabbath, so, we rest in Christ and set aside the new day of worship on the same day of the week that He rose in victory from the grave, creating new life for His people.

This day is the day that I remember His atoning work on the cross for me.  All who are a part of His redeeming work meet together to give unto Him the glory due unto His name. I see this day as a new beginning; starting the new week in Christ and with His people.  Actually, at times it seems that this is the eighth day— ending the previous week with a day of praise for all that He has done —-and the first day, both rolled into one.

Years ago, when I realized that this day is a gift to His people, it became a goal every week for me, a projection from one Lord’s Day to the next, with every day between as a day of preparation for the next Lord’s Day.  As mentioned in another post, each Lord’s Day is a taste of heaven, a prelude to that day when we will be worshipping our Lord eternally.  Then everyday will be a day of rest and worship.

“And upon the first day of the week,
when the disciples came together to break bread,
Paul preached unto them.”
Acts. 20:7

Today is the day that I will celebrate my Lord Jesus Christ, His person, His work; the day that I will praise Him, serve Him, love Him and His people as we meet together; the day that I will “hunger and thirst” for Him and His righteousness, be filled more and more with His Spirit; and be in awe as I hear His Word proclaimed in power.

This day I will, together with God’s people, participate in the Lord’s Supper, “remembering His death until He comes.” Besides all this, He amazes me with great and mighty things I have not yet known, asked, or imagined (Jeremiah 33:3).

Again, I ask that you share your comments about how the Lord leads you on this day.  What difference does the Lord’s Day make in your life, now?  What impression does the Lord’s Day make in your life for eternity?

May you be blessed today as you “delight yourself in the Lord and His Day.”  Isaiah 58:13-14

Dear Lord, fill us with your Spirit today and every day in preparation for each Lord’s Day ~ in preparation for that eternal Lord’s Day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

The Life and Power of Humility (pg. 7)

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Jesus, on this day of the week, was raised in the power of the life He would give to those who follow Him. The Holy Spirit is still able to work the life of humility in us,

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongs to God.”
Psalm 62:11

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Jeremiah 32:17

“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow.  It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us.  Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”

“According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
2 Peter 1:3

But as many as received him, to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:”
John 1:12

The power needed to become the sons of God is the same power needed for humility.

The life God bestows is imparted not once and for all, but each moment continuously, by the unceasing operation of His mighty power.” Humility Andrew Murray

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power
to us who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power,”
Ephesians 1:19

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Ephesians 3:20

Gracious Father in heaven, let this be our praise to you for the life of Christ that you promise your children. What you require of us, you have the power to do in us. Pour out your Spirit of humility upon us and make us to know your continual presence with us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

Image: Google

 

The Starting Point for Happiness

A sermon may put you to sleep. It may pass over you without leaving its mark — or it may very well pierce your heart, lodge within your soul, humble you and change your life. Such was last week’s message from our pastor as he began Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.

If you have studied Jesus’ Sermon recorded in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospels, you may know that the word Blessed is a description of a true follower of Christ.

In the Christian language Blessed translates Happy. Jesus’ teachings were radical in His day and in ours to show by His own life and His Words that the kingdom of God begins in the hearts of those who are humbled before Him.

This sermon serves to awaken again the desire to share what I have studied and written about the subject of Humility. It has been a constant study since 2014 through Andrew Murray’s Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness; when I posted A Broad Review of his book — a chapter every month that year.

Since then, I have been using that Broad Review, (published in 2017), with its main points, to saturate my mind, to meditate, ruminate and perpetuate the truths of God’s Word concerning the character of humility that is desperately needed in our hearts and lives. The humility of Christ within us is our blessedness and happiness.

Please watch ~ more importantly ~ listen to this sermon and visit with us this week for snippets of the reality of Humility that you may have never known or heard.  May the Lord bless your week. Fran

The Glory of the Lord’s Day

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For many years I have been convicted of what God not only says but what He implies in His own Word, about this day. With the conviction, has come more revelation, more understanding, more commitment, more discipline, and more joy.

In His Word, I see a continual pattern of God’s will, His working, and His way established for His kingdom here on earth. As His children and joint-heirs of His kingdom with Christ, His Son, we not only have the privilege of the written law, but we have the law by His Spirit written on our hearts and in our minds.

He not only reveals through His written Word what He wants us to know about Him and His kingdom but also by His Spirit works it in our hearts and lives.

The Pattern of Rest
The pattern from the beginning of time with His creation is continued through the work of redemption until we are brought to our final destination on what will be an eternal Lord’s Day.

The first was a resting from the Father’s labor; the second, the Son resting from His labor; and the third, a resting for His entire kingdom, as the Holy Spirit works in us, preparing us for that eternal rest in glory.

There is much that I could include in this document, but a lot of it would be what Jesus’ apostles, the early church fathers, the Puritans, the Reformers, and theologians have said. Documented in different Confessions, are the statements of faith concerning the Sabbath. Remember that what I write is all from “a sheep’s view.”

It is part of studying these, especially in the memorization of the Shorter Catechism with Scriptural proofs, that my convictions have been confirmed. Continuing to review these in prayer I seek to know and obey God’s word and glorify Him in this present day.

I share today a scheduled Bible reading from Luke 23:52-56.

“This man (Joseph of Arimathaea) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

Jesus had finished His work of redemption and His body was laid to rest until the day of His resurrection. It was the day of preparation for the Sabbath. Why was Jesus’ death scheduled for this day?

I have not searched this question, nor do I write here of its significance, except that it was God, the Father’s plan and He established the Lord’s Day in covenant with His Son as the Christian Sabbath, the day in which we would weekly celebrate the risen Lord and Savior.

Those who stayed around after Jesus’ crucifixion was Joseph, one of the counselors, who had not consented to Jesus’ death, and the women who had followed Him from Galilee. The apostles, in fear, had scattered. Joseph asked to take care of Jesus’ body, and the women returned home, and prepared spices and ointments for His burial.

But these would never be used because when they returned after the Sabbath, the law of a seventh-day had been displaced by a new law of life in Christ’s resurrection.

They rested the sabbath day according to the commandment, while Christ was establishing a new covenant for God’s people. He was resting while they were resting, but in a different rest for a different purpose.

Living in Projection of the Eternal Sabbath
Preparation for the Lord’s Day and the practice of it today is in the fulfillment of God’s promises for an eternal sabbath. When we live, projecting from one Lord’s Day to another, we are practicing and preparing for Christ’s glorious return and eternity with Him.

We go through each day of the week, in private worship, and making preparation under this projection, look forward to spending the day in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, as He has appointed in His word.

God had appointed Joseph to ask for and prepare Jesus’ body for burial. We are commanded by Him to observe the day in His honor and in celebration of our new life in Him. We are to worship God through Him and the Holy Spirit in spirit and truth each Lord’s Day.

We take part in the body of Christ, the church, in communion with His risen body, through the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day, remembering His death until He comes again.

Would I have waited to see what or who would have been there for Jesus after His death? How do we now remember His death and resurrection? This is no longer a question for me  but in response to His sacrifice for me, mine is a sincere desire and commitment to spend the Lord’s Day with Him, without any division of time for other things.

How do you prepare for the Lord’s Day?

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Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath

The following sermon, based on Luke 6:1-11, helps to explain why the Christian Sabbath was changed to the first day of the week. It all relates to the authority of Jesus Christ as Lord of the Sabbath;

And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Luke 6:5

In Christ Alone