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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Power of High Praise

Sing to God, play music to his name, build a road for the Rider of the Clouds, rejoice in Yahweh, dance before him.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord; exult before him!

Sing hymns to God; all heaven, sing out; clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
Enjoy God, cheer when you see him!-Psalm 38:4 (Jerusalem Bible, ESV, MSG)


When we praise the Lord, we are making a way for him.  When we worship God, we are opening a door for God to walk through.  Singing to the Lord invokes the in-breaking of the kingdom of God.

God is a covenant God.  God only does things in partnership with his children.  When we praise God, we are welcoming him to come and set things in right order on the earth.

When we sing praises to God, we are making a highway for him to come down into the earth on.  We are removing anything that would obstruct God's coming.  There is a time to repent for what we and our people have done to s…

God Notes

The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
-John 10:10

God is positive.

God is optimistic.  God is a "glass half full" person.  God sees the best in people- what they could be with grace.  God is hopeful and merciful.

God's love is relentless and crazy(1) by human standards.  One poet described God's relentless love as "the hound of heaven".

What are you thinking?

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. -Philippians 4:8That's life!

"I have come that you might have life", and, "I am the life", Jesus said.  Are you getting his life?  Do you have it?  He came to give us a life.  The Christian's life is life in Christ.    Go …

Stressed Out?

“Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest.
-Isaiah 55:1-3

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
-Matthew 11:28-30

Halt.  Stop.  Stop it.  Freeze.  Before you take a negative thought, before you say something negative, and before you beat yourself or someone else up... just halt.  Hey there, ho!  Can you hear me?  You look tired, thirsty, hungry, and lonely.  God sees you and so do I.

W…

Before You Call, I Will Answer

Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.

I will answer them before they even call to me.  While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
-Isaiah 65:24 (CEB, NLB)

Did you know that God is waiting or standing in your future, anticipating your needs and waiting for you?  We don't make God aware of something, so that he can help us.  He already knows and has the answer before we ask, before we seek him.

If our whole life is about walking with God and being discipled by Jesus, then we can expect all our needs to be met.  Instead of being far off from God and crying out for vision, we are close to God and have provision.  In every situation, we can expect provision.  In every providence, God is provider.

God knows when you are going to have a bad day and places provision in that day and time.  You don't see it or recognize it, before you need it.  God is already catching you, with arms held out, when you sta…

Oikos: Baptism, Family, and House

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
-Acts 2:39

Oikos baptism

Oikos (household) evangelism, led to household baptisms in the book of Acts.  The father got saved and the whole household (wife, children, and perhaps servants) got baptized.  Nothing in the text indicates that the father carefully led each of his family members to Christ before they were baptized.  As far as we know, all of these family members were baptized just as infants are today, in some of our denominational traditions, before they understood the gospel messege and have repented and believed.  Read the story in Acts 16.

Household baptisms also occurred on the day of Pentecost.  Read Acts 2:36-40:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Je…

Oikos: Spiritual House & Household Evangelism

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

 -1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)

Spiritual house

"You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house..."  Peter tells us that we, as Christians are God's new temple.  We are not the stone blocks.  Wayne Grudem wrote about the meaning of Oikos in 1 Peter 3:5, stating that the spiritual house is,
"an amorphous 'building' that continually takes on the changing dimensions of God's assembled people.
Spiritual (pneumatikos) when applied to 'house' and 'sacrifices' does not mean 'immaterial' (for the believers are not immaterial persons!), but rather 'influenced or dominated by the Holy Sirit; sha…

Oikos: Household

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.-1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)

House 

Your house, my house, the house of God.  We say, "in the house", to mean dwell.  Before the church, the Bible's writers referred to the temple as God's house (Isaiah 2:3).  Even Jesus used that language, referring to the temple (Matt. 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46).

After Jesus rose from the dead and the day of Pentecost,  when the church was born, a shift took place.  The house of God, or the dwelling place of God was no longer the temple in Jerusalem, but was now the people who are in Christ.

Rather than being a fixed place, location, or house; the dwelling place of God was and is now super-portable.  The people of God are now the house or temple of God.  We no longer go to a place where God dwells, but God dwells with each one of us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When the churc…

Get Yourself Free

Get yourself free like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from the hand of a fowler.
-Proverbs 6:5

As Christians we are set free to live in freedom.  "It is for freedom that he has set us free".  Jesus paid the price and now we have to live the life... with God's help and the help of others.

We don't save our selves but we steward the salvation God has given us.  Viktor Frankl, who survived a concentration camp, during World War Two, said that freedom is the choice we make after something happens to us.  He set us free so that we would be free to make good choices with how we live, talk, and think.

When something negative happens, like a disappointment or an offense or a loss; we get to choose, will we go negative and grouse, murmur, pout, wine, and grumble?  Or will we exercise faith and focus on God, what can be, and find the silver lining in the dark cloud, or make lemonade out of the sour situation?  Freedom gives us that choice every day.

When we are in a neg…