Archive for November, 2012

Stop! Think! and Be Grateful!

Posted in Scripture on November 28, 2012 by nmpreach

Maybe Stop! Drop! and Roll!  should be changed to Stop! Think! and Be Grateful!

This morning, we looked at John 14 and specifically the phrase “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (vs. 9).

Often times, I find myself reading texts and moving past phrases because I’m aware of what the text says.  I have to force myself to simply quit reading and start “chewing.”  Jesus brings Christology and Theology together in the phrase above.  In other words, if we want to know God,  we must look to Jesus.  If we want to know how God interacts with Creation, we should observe Jesus in action.  The chapter goes on to speak of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology).  Needless to say, there’s a lot going on.

Our focus was simply to begin to “digest” the phrase in verse 9.  Although there are many things that could be said, here’s a few things that are important:

1)  Although Jesus relates to the apostles, something that sets Him apart is His union with the Father.

Of course, Jesus had been offering a relationship with God to those around Him.  But as He prepares to return to the Father, the teaching takes a slight turn.  One might perceive momentum being gained as John is getting closer to describing the cross and the ultimate sacrifice.  So Jesus speaks of His special unity with the Father, before sharing with the apostles they would do “greater things” (v. 12).  In chapter 15, he will admonish His followers to remain in Him and be successful.  Not doing so would lead to failure.

2)  Often times, we choose to think of Jesus in the spiritual sense but fail to recognize His humanity.

Sure, Jesus was Divine – fully God.  But He was also fully man.  Of course, that causes problems for those of us with finite brains.  We believe by faith.  But we’re challenged by limitations.  Thinking of Jesus simply as One who had an “in” with the Father is a huge miscalculation.  Ultimately it would devalue the sacrifice on the cross.  To put it another way, we must understand Jesus’ full humanity to appreciate the pain, suffering, and sacrifice made.  When Jesus spoke of being One with the Father, He referred to His own humility and choice to be obedient – even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2).

As we read Scripture, it’s important to not just read, but to meditate, to allow it to germinate, and eventually take hold in our lives.  What appears to be a simple and straight-forward phrase turns out to have so much contained inside.  Phrases like “make man in our image” (Gn. 1:26), Jesus as “the Great High Priest” (Heb. 4), etc. cannot be glanced at and then forgotten.

Take time to stop, think, and be grateful.  It will do you some good!

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Quotes (13)

Posted in Words on November 27, 2012 by nmpreach

Are you enduring life or embracing life? – Pastor Mark McKinney

We can’t die for anyone’s sins, but we can embrace selflessness, sacrifice, and suffering. – Alan Hirsch

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.  – King Solomon

Mondays are a gift from God. – Pastor Mark McKinney

 

Anyone out there?

Quotes (12)

Posted in Words on November 20, 2012 by nmpreach

A good leader will, in time, disappoint everyone. Keeping peace at all costs is not good leadership, it is simply the fear of man ruling us. – Michael Spencer

SO TRUE!

It’s going to be a good day! – a wise young lady named Kaitlyn Crow (love her!)

Many of the tensions we wrestle with today are because God was faithful yesterday. He answered our prayers & thus here we are.. & so is He! – Cristine Caine

Man, how I need to hear this!

A lot of people will help you step in it, but they won’t be around to help you out. – Leonard Sweet

Where have all my friends gone?  🙂

Enjoy!

 

Another Chance to Vote!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2012 by nmpreach

Yesterday, those in the United States of America had an opportunity to elect our leadership for the next four years.  Although the time limits in congress are different, the President will govern for another four years.  Millions of people cast ballots for the leader they believe provides the best leadership for our great country.  Once the ballots were counted, some were ecstatic.  Others disappointed.

This election has been deemed “the most important election of our lifetime.”  I would simply disagree.  In fact, you get to vote again.  And the good news is, you don’t have to wait four years.  You can vote today.  This is the most important vote you will ever cast.

This vote is a little different.  You have the chance to affect the rest of your life and not just the next four years.  No one can vote for you.  You must vote yourself.  Elections have consequences.  Consider that before you cast your ballot.  Ready to see the ballot?  Here you go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will you choose to live for today?

_______  Jesus Christ of Nazareth

_______  Mankind

Where will you place your hope?

_______  Jesus Christ of Nazareth

_______ Mankind

Consider wisely.  What you choose today will affect how you live tomorrow.  The Creator of the universe will count the ballots.  And rest assured, your vote will count.

 

 

 

Quotes (11)

Posted in Words on November 6, 2012 by nmpreach

Some of you are participating.  Some, not so much.  🙂  Here’s another chance:

You are the most important & difficult person you will ever lead! – Todd Clark

Sometimes God has to let your dream die so that His vision for you can come alive. – Stephen Furtick

You CANNOT rebuke a devil you continuously grant access to your life. – Bishop Jakes

And a bonus:

Special thanks to daylight savings time for cutting Sunday evening service in half. – Unappreciated Pastor

 

What’s yours?

A She-Camel in Heat

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2012 by nmpreach

Reading from Jeremiah 2 this morning I was asking myself about sin.  Do I take my sin seriously?  Do people in general understand what our sin does to our relationship with God?  With one another?  Do I?  I know we talk about it from time to time.  We speak about the seriousness of it.  Sometimes we feel guilty.  And there are even times where we commit to changes in our lives.  But the tendency I think is to revert to what comes naturally.  And what comes naturally is sin.  Therefore, there is a constant battle of sin versus righteousness taking place within one’s life.

Understand I’m not talking about living in sin.  In other words, living in bondage to sin is something man does prior to conversion.  However, meeting Christ and allowing Him to break those “chains” allows a Christ follower to no longer live in bondage/slavery to sin.  Cf. Romans and 1 John

Although we no longer live in slave to the power of sin, we still fail miserably at the life God intends.  It’s because of our flesh, our humanity, our sarkx (Grk.).  I believe the enemy puts great effort into minimizing what sin does to our relationships.  If he can convince us “it’s just a little white lie” rather than calling sin a sin, he has us right where he wants us.  If he convinces us to become so angry with our brother that we place ourselves in God’s position, we have become murderers (Again, his victory) Cf. Matt. 5:21-26 I could give other examples, but you get the idea.

Jeremiah 2 speaks of Israel’s idolatry – following after false gods rather than acknowledging the One who gives life.

They (the Israelites) say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’  They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?  Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble!  For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah. (2:27-28 NIV)

The prophet compares God’s people to being a wild donkey in heat craving something for herself rather than what’s good.  It’s what we do with sin.

The first step to victory is to realize the damage being caused.  In other words, if something is harmful, don’t do it.  If something is destroying you, quit.  If you want peace, stop returning to the tree and picking fruit.  When we realize the devastating effects of sin upon our lives, it’s only then that we can see the lies of Satan for what they really are.  Let’s stop fooling ourselves and let’s recognize our failures.  Quit buying the lie that it’s only this one time.  This one time will get you killed!  Ask Adam and Eve.

Thank God for grace!