The Power of God’s Word in Jesus Christ

Blessings for the week from our pastor

According to Jeremiah 23, the heaviest burden of all is man’s word: man’s opinions, fears, manipulations, lies, promise of peace and prosperity to the wicked.

God’s word is a burden, but a burden that lifts us up on the wings of God’s promises, in the nail-pierced hands of Jesus Christ, to the throne of grace and mercy, to a reconciled Judge and loving Father, an advocating Savior, and an indwelling Spirit.

Praise God for his word! Our Savior said to hold fast to his word, to the things that we have been taught; then, we shall be his disciples and know the truth and enjoy the freedom from sin, Satan, and death that he has purchased from us (John 8:31-32).

Pray for the whole church of God that his people will everywhere hold fast to Scripture, obey every word of God, and fear not man, “whose breath is in his nostrils and of no count” (Isa. 2:22).

Here is Sunday morning’s message. You will be blessed to view this one as it brings us to a profound understanding of the necessity and power of God’s Word in Christ for humanity.

 

Crooked Paths of Righteousness

We walk by faith as the Lord leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. We do not know where the next turn will take us. The path is a straight path concerning righteousness, but some physical paths take us through unknown areas. We cannot see what is around the bend and would avoid the next mile if we could see ahead. We may even think we are sometimes on the wrong path.

We dare not turn around but continue on believing that our heavenly Father has promised to always be with us. We often are taken through the same obstacles we have experienced before. It seems I am going backward to a few months ago after Jerry’s death

I experienced the sun through my darkness for many months but the clouds have returned and are seemingly lingering ~ the spirit of oppression trying to close in.

I have prayed not just for myself but for everyone I know so as to take my mind off myself. In questioning why we must return to the desolate places, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”

“as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.” vs.7

Jesus suffered that we might be partakers of His suffering and His consolation.

These times of need bring the comfort of the promises of His Word and His Spirit.

Many such promises I continue to claim and share here of His divine power in and through us.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Our thoughts take us through Phil.4:6 to 4:8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil. 3:6-8

 “But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor. 2:;16

In any spiritual battle, there will be conflict between the Spirit and the flesh (Gal. 5:17)

This is why study, memorization, and meditation on God’s Word are essential to everyday living.

” And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor.12:9-10

His grace is revealed in power through His Word by His Spirit within our minds and hearts.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

“Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory. Ps. 73:23-24

“The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The Lord will preserve you from all evil.
He will preserve your soul.
The Lord will preserve your going out and your coming in 
from this time forth and even forevermore. Amen.” Ps. 121

I could go on, but these are some that speak to me and keep me close to my Keeper. If you are in need of His presence, I pray these will comfort your heart.

Gracious Father, thank you for keeping me in your Word by the power of your Holy Spirit. Enable me to comfort and encourage those who may be in the same trials I am going through again. Fill us with the faith that is ours in Christ to encourage and pray for one another. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

The Glorious Work of Christ – Finished

“I have glorified you on the earth;
I have finished the work you have given me to do.”

John 17:4

In our study of John 17, we are continuing to uncover the truths of the atoning work of Christ. God planned His covenant of grace before creation. The Father and the Son made this covenant of redemption together to ensure His people would know their  love and share in their glory.

The stipulations of the covenant were fulfilled when Jesus lived in full obedience to the law. Then, in offering Himself as our sacrifice, He became the mediator of the covenant. God, the Father accepted His offering. “And the Holy Spirit undertook to reveal the great salvation and apply it with power to the hearts of those whom the Father had given to Him” (Jn. 17:2). Our Lord Prays for His Own ~ Marcus Rainsford

An Everlasting Covenant
The covenant of grace was promised in the Old Testament. David records in Psalm 89, not speaking of himself, but of the Messiah, chosen from the people and anointed.

Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one,
And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found My servant David;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,

Also My arm shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 I will beat down his foes before his face,
And plague those who hate him.

“But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him,
And in My name his horn shall be exalted.
25 Also I will set his hand over the sea,
And his right hand over the rivers.
26 He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27 Also I will make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall stand firm with him.
29 His seed also I will make to endure forever,
And his throne as the days of heaven.

 He speaks in 2 Samuel 23:5 of the everlasting covenant God made with him.

“Although my house is not so with God,
Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?

God promised to give His Son as a covenant to His people,.

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
Isaiah 42: 5-8

And of this Jesus spoke of  Himself.

As a light to the Gentiles
,To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another, Luke 2:32

John, the Baptist’s father spoke of Him in Luke 1:68-75

God’s part being to give His only begotten Son: His Son’s part being to glorify him upon the earth; and the Spirit”s part to reveal and apply this salvation and God  revealing Himself by His Spirit in a new covenant character as the God of peace in Hebrews 13:20-21

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in [b]you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” Amen.

It is Finished

“I have finished the work you gave me to do.”

Altogether finished is the great work the Father gave His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “transgression” is finished.

The making an “end of sin” is finished.

The “making reconciliation for iniquity” is finished.

The bringing in the righteousness of God” is finished.

The “everlasting righteousness” is finished.

The “sealing up the vision and prophecy: is finished.

The Scripture is fulfilled, the foundation of the Most High is laid, and the topstone shall be Christ – and you and I, sinners, who believe, are the living stones of the building.

Redemption – finished,

The types and shadows – finished.

Forgiveness sealed and finished.

The separation which sin had made between us and God, and between the members of Christ – finished.

Justification – finished.

The distance annihilated, and those “who were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.’ Our Lord Prays for His Own ~ Marcus Rainsford

From start to finish, it was a work only God, the Son – the God/man – could do.

To reject Christ is to reject His finished work and the love of the Father and the Son for our propitiation.  

‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)

He is glorified when we live in obedience to Him and do the His kingdom work here on earth – and our purpose is fulfilled – To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The Shorter Catechism.

Gracious Father, who has proven your love to us, we praise you for your covenant of grace, fulfilled in Christ, your Son.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for glorifying our Father – your Father and ours – in your finished work for our redemption.
Holy Spirit, we thank you for revealing this great work and fulfilling this promise of redemption in us that we may look forward to sharing in your glory forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fram

Image: Google

Jesus, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

(Our pastor’s sermons, praise, and prayer for the week.)

Jesus Accused of All Our Crimes.  Luke 23:1-12The Promise of a Righteous King  Jeremiah 23:1-8

Praise God our Father for sending THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS into the world, the righteous King who justifies us by his cleansing blood and imputed obedience, the King who sanctifies us by his Spirit so that we share in the “fruits of righteousness” through union with him (Phil. 1:11).
Praise our Savior for coming into the world as the King of righteousness, and humbling himself to accept the charges against us, stand good for our crimes before the just Judge, and made full satisfaction to obtain our redemption.
Hallelujah, what a Savior! What wondrous love, lively hope, and an immovable anchor within the veil of God’s presence.
Mighty King and loving Savior, help us to serve you today with thankful hearts, love you for your love, devote ourselves to your praise, speak your truth, and expect you to be faithful.
What a privilege to be a Christian! Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.

Image: Google

“Absorbed in Prayer and Praise”

Everyone is absorbed in something. It may only be “self.”

It is no secret that our minds and hearts soak in what we see, read, hear, and think. Without a desire for what is good and the means to attain it, we are continually saturated with the things of the world. These are our gods ~ second to self ~ and rule our lives. This lifestyle is one of oppression that suppresses all that is good and true and leads to depression and destruction.

But, life does not have to be this way.

God, our Creator, planned a beautiful life for fellowship with Him. Though our first parents rejected Him choosing a life of sin and rebellion, we have a new life provided for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

He gives us His Spirit and His Word whereby we can know Him and receive all He planned for us. He promises to share his bountiful kingdom with us (Luke 12:32).

Through our study of His Word, we are led by His Holy Spirit to communicate with him in prayer and supplication. He continues to pour out His blessings upon us as we acknowledge Him as our Father and Redeemer.

We Do Not Know How to Pray
Romans 8:26-27  teaches us that though we do not know how to pray, His Holy Spirit intercedes through us. Prayer is a matter of commitment and discipline of time with our heavenly Father, seeking His Spirit, His presence, and His will. He calls us to fellowship with Him in His Word so as to know what we should ask.

We ask, believing what He has promised, thanking Him as we wait for Him to fulfill His promise. When we come to Him, in humility and gratitude for who He is, speaking His Word, and interceding for others, we know He hears us. In the process, our faithful and fervent prayers turn to praise.

“But you are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Psalm 22:3

 We cannot but praise Him when we live in fellowship with Him. The more we pray in the Spirit and with understanding of His Word, the more we will praise Him.

Our praise is a witness of Him to others. We can share the joy we have in Him even and especially, through adversity.

The phrase, “absorbed in prayer and praise” is found within the lyrics of the hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns by Matthew Bridges 1851.

Crown him the Lord of peace!
Whose power a scepter sways,
From pole to pole,–that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round his pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

At times, His presence may be overwhelming ~ it may seem as if heaven is opened to reveal a glimpse of His glory. This is a taste of heaven ~ a precious and joyful communion with Him.

More time in prayer and praise leads to a habitual lifestyle of obedience, continual trust, and dependence on Him. It may take years before we experience the depth and height of this life in Christ, but it is worth the practice and the wait.

Gracious Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Make us know your presence and power as we daily seek your kingdom and your righteousness. Let us not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Facing Christ in our Sin

Praise God for his love and mercy, for sending his Son into the world to save sinners, for the perfect, unassailable, all-sufficient righteousness we have through Jesus Christ’s obedience imputed to us;
praise our Savior for giving the good confession when we have denied God’s claims upon our lives;
praise him for his steadfastness in the hour of severest testing and shame;

praise God
that he is the Judge of all the earth and will do right; watches over us with unceasing vigilance, and is working all things for our good and his glory;
praise our Savior that all authority is given to him in heaven and earth, that he rules over all things for his church, and that his name is the WORD OF GOD who is marching and making war;
praise and bless the Lord that the great and mighty King is our merciful and sympathetic High Priest, interceding for us at the Father’s right hand. Pastor Strevel.

 
 
 

 

 

Where Jesus Is

We are excited to publish our granddaughter’s first art book Where Jesus Is.

Today through Friday, you can download and share the kindle version free.
Next week it will be listed for $5.99.
It will be available soon in paperback and hardbound.
We hope to do versions for men and children and audio.

Used as a means for memorization and meditation, we trust the Holy Spirit to use God’s Word in and through us to conform us to His image.

Daily doses serve to prepare us for the rule of Christ within us.

One volume is not enough to express all Christ is and does in us ~ this is only a beginning. Volumes II and III will be available later, Lord willing.

Please pray that we, as God’s children and followers of Christ, will use this little book personally, and with our families, to arm ourselves against temptation and the powers and principalities of this world. He lives forever ruling in heaven ~ and by His Holy Spirit and Word within us, we are His kings and priests in this world. 

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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