Tuesday, December 6, 2016

You Are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Names of God: Yahweh Tsidqenuw

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Yahweh Tsidqenuw

Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 

Tsidqenuw means righteousness.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ (Jeremiah 33:16) 

What it reminds me?  We are righteous not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has done.  2 Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that Christ took our sin upon him and He gives us His righteousness. Today let's look up to God rather than inside ourselves to find a righteousness that changes us from the inside out.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sermon Notes from "The Power of Songs"

Here are my sermon notes from my message today at Hesston MB. 

Advent: The Power of Songs
Luke 2:19 & Selected Verses

Introduction: This advent, we are focusing on head, heart, and hands.  As a church we talk a lot about discipleship in the area of head, heart, and hands.  But what exactly is meant by the heart in Scripture?  How do you understand “heart”?

Read Luke 2:19

Thoughts on the heart:

·         21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

·         Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

·         The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

·         and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

·         “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33)

·         We tend to equate “heart” with emotion, as in a movie tugging on our heart-strings or someone speaking from her heart. When we use “heart” to refer only to our emotions, I’d offer that we are referring to heart with a lowercase h. But when Scripture refers to the heart, it’s referring to much more than just our emotions. Heart with a capital H refers to the core of a person…My heart is the center of who I am, encompassing three very human activities: thinking, feeling, and acting. It’s helpful for me to visualize a wheel with three sections, or spokes, and a hub in the center. I picture those three spokes as my mind, my emotions, and my will. Then I look at the hub. That core is my heart. An engaged heart brings balance to the interplay of the three spokes. As a human being, I am involved every day with thinking, feeling, and decisively acting, and it’s the business of the heart to synchronize all three. Without engaging my heart, I’ll be imbalanced in the direction of being overly cerebral, excessively emotional, or exceedingly impulsive. (Matt Heard, Life With A Captial L pg. 89)
Power of Songs

·         Can you remember the song that was playing during the best of times (new job, experience, favorite memory, song that played during a first kiss, wedding, birth of a child)? Or how about during the worst of times (illness, disaster or accident, death)? Do you have a “go to” song when you exercise, clean the house, prepare for a big game, study, work, relax?

·         The reality is that there is something about music that moves us, more so than other things. (Darren Enns)

·         Music, however, reaches the mind and the heart at the same time." (Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship)
Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55)

·         Vs. 46-47-Glorify & Rejoice-

o   “The Magnificat,” as the song is called, consists almost entirely of Old Testament allusions and quotations. The same is true of the songs of Zechariah and Simeon[1]

o   Lord, God my Savior

o   Vs. 48-He has been mindful of his servant, generations will call me blessed

§  Vs. 49-Because Mighty One has done great things (angel appeared to her, born of a virgin, son of God)-in 1:37-For nothing is impossible with God.

§  Holy is his name

·         Vs. 50-Mercy to those who fear Him

o   What is mercy? God not giving us what our sin deserves (Gospel Transformation Bible)

o   Mercy is not based on whether we are good or bad, it is freely given by God to us his people. Throughout Scripture, we see a God who shows mercy even when his people mess up. 

o   Not frightened but awe, respect, honor

·         Vs. 51-54-Mighty Deeds

o   Scattered the proud

o   Brought down rulers from thrones & lifted up the humble

o   Filled hungry with good things but sent rich away empty

o   Helped servant Israel

§  The grace of God works contrary to the thoughts and ways of this world system[2]

·         Vs. 55-Remembering

o   Merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever

§  Covenant God made with Abraham-Genesis 15-God alone passed through pieces ratifying the covenant. It was not dependent on people’s response.

Song of Zechariah (Luke 1:67-79)

·         Vs. 68-Praise the Lord, the God of Israel

o   Why? He has come, Immanuel-God with us. He has redeemed his people

·         Vs. 69-Salvation

o   The Messiah was to be Israel’s horn of salvation (v. 69). The horns of an animal symbolized its power. Thus the Messiah would be strong and would deliver the nations from her enemies[3]

o   Vs. 69-For us in house of David (see this in Luke 1:32 & other verses too)

o   Vs. 71-From our enemies & those who hate us

o   Vs. 76-Prophecy of his son, John

§  Prophet of Most High, Prepare the way

§  Vs. 77-Give knowledge of salvation

·         Forgiveness of sins

·         Vs. 72-Mercy to our fathers

o   “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9:15-16)

o   Vs. 78-Because of tender mercy of God

o   Vs. 79-To shine on those living in darkness & shadow of death, To guide our feet into path of peace

·         Vs. 72-73-Remember

o   Covenant with Abraham--Genesis 17:1,2,7-When Abram was ninety-nine years old, …Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

·         Vs. 74-Rescue

o   Hand of our enemies

·         Vs. 74-75-Enable us to serve Him all our days

o   Without fear

o   In holiness

o   In righteousness

Closing: 3 Gifts-“Ever Be”- Your love is devoted, like a covenant of old, Your love is enduring, with mercy for today, Faithful You have been and faithful you will be, You Father the orphan, Your kindness makes us whole, And you shoulder our weakness, And your strength becomes our own, you're making me like you, Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame, And known by her true name and it's why I sing Psalm 34:1 “his praise will always be on my lips”

[1] Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 206). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 174). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[3] Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 207). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tweets and more tweets

This is a now a regular feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts and this usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
Richard F Lovelace: "Spiritual life flows out of union with Christ, not merely imitation of Christ." @rayortlund
The One who never was plagued by “me, me, me” gave Himself selflessly so that we might be united with Him in spite of ourselves. @rjgrune
Saul was an imperfect king Israel wanted from God, but Jesus is the perfect king God wanted to give His people. #thegospelprojectkids
The only one who can assign value to you is the One who made you. He says you're priceless! @RelevantChris
Broken people need less Should / Just impossibility and more Because / Therefore security. @blingfortheking via @keylifenetwork 
Some wisdom from @DrSteveBrown re: election-"some of you put too much faith in men & some of you put too little faith in God."
Every Bible imperative has a Gospel indicative. "I can" because "Jesus did." @JeremyG220

Friday, December 2, 2016

Favorite Book Friday

Today's Favorite Book Friday is a Christmas book.  It is by the author of my favorite kid's Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones.