Every tree needs a good tap root. We're in a series on the Beatitudes in chapter 5 of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are the foundation of all the principles that Jesus taught that day. And the first three of the Beatitudes are the very source from which the rest are dependent. Today we begin with the Poor in Spirit.
There's an old saying:
"We imbibe the opinions,
we copy the habits,
we imitate the manors,
we follow the customs,
of those with whom we have daily conversation.
Our guest speaker Ken Muck hits the heart of the matter, examining who we really are.
Pastor Ken explores, during this Christmas time, the characteristics of the names given to Jesus in Isaiah. The amazement is that these are not just labels, tags that identify the nature and characteristics of Jesus. They are descriptives of the power behind the names; the power to change our lives and our behavior.
We usually think of worship as being what we do on Sundays. Not so. Today Ken continues in Romans chapter 12 and looks at what real worship is and what it looks like.
This morning Ken chose the shortest passage in the entire bible, Psalm 117, but its focus is to the broadest audience of the entire bible. Us, the gentile nations, and God's love toward us. Listen up to get the connection.
Sometimes even the leadership of a church finds itself in difficult circumstances. In this case it's cancer, and also in this case, it's Nancy. I must say, I was in shock, really not knowing how to react; rather numb. But we are adjusting, and I know it sounds trite that our comfort is in running as fast as we can to the Lord, but it's true. That's not some self imposed salve. It's real. He's real. We thank Jesus, Yeshua, the Lord of the universe, that He has control. And also that His history has been written and preserved for us to glean and find both comfort and direction in these times of stress. Let's listen.
We've been on the subject of the walls of Jericho, entitled "Tearing Down The Walls". When the last item of Solomon's Temple was complete, the glory of God filled the temple. That is what is happening and is going to happen to us. Once we, as the people of God, are finally complete, we will be fully occupied by God Himself, being filled completely with His glory. Amazing. But there's a but. Before that occurs, the last brick of our old self must be torn down. Today we discuss the last brick, hostility toward any of our brothers or sisters in Jesus, or anyone else for that matter.
Over the past few weeks we've been talking about the walls in life we build around ourselves. We just had Easter, the very event which broke down the final wall between us and our God. That's the biggest deal of all; not having any fear of death, as it has absolutely no control over us who entrust our lives to and in our Living Lord. Emphasis on Living.
Death, not so much! One of the things that irritates me about common criticisms or notions that scripture is just a compilation of oral traditions, reverse engineering of history, or just plain fabrications is the fact that professional researchers of historical documents, regardless of their bias, will all concur that the prophetic books of Hosea and Isaiah were written and compiled long before the time of Jesus. And yet both predicted something that not even the best of scholars of their day could anticipate: The permanent removal of death.
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