Kellie, Isabella, Isaiah, and Pastor Chris

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend

What a wonderful week we just came out of!  It began with those who came and observed the Lord's Supper on Thursday night, commemorating the final supper between our Lord and his disciples.  Followed by Saturday night, Sonrise, and 10:45 worship.  It was a great week with the Lord and His people.  I hope that you enjoyed it and grew together.  Remember, every Sunday is the Lord's Day, Resurrection Day!

Daily Word, April 27, 2011 - "Psalm 117"

Psalm 117
"Praise the LORD, all nations!  Extol him, all peoples!  For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD!"
One of the shortest psalms in scripture and yet it teaches us much about worship.  At church this week, we begin a series about worship.  This series is designed to help us understand worship from God's viewpoint.  In this study, this particular psalm spoke to me.  What does it tell us?  It tells us that worship is a deserved offering to God.  We worship for many reasons in the modern church.  We worship so we don't have to hear an hour of preaching, we worship so we can stay attentive during the service, we worship because it is our particular style of music, and the list goes on.  But real worship isn't about people or even me.  Real worship is about something, dare I say someone, much greater.  The Psalmist says to praise and extol the Lord, why?  Because "great is his steadfast love...and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."  Because of who God is, because of what He has done, we worship!  It is time that the bride of Christ turn their worship and attention toward the One who is worthy of it.  Praise the Lord, all nations!  Extol him, all peoples!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily Word April 21, 2011 - "The King"

John 19:16-22
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When we left off last time, the Jews were telling Pilate that they had no king, except Caesar.  I claimed that this was a glimpse into their hearts.  But notice what Pilate does.  Having delivered Jesus to them to be crucified, marched him up the hill, and strung him upon the cross; he then has written above his head "King of the Jews".  This truth of who Jesus was, was inescapable.  No matter how hard they tried to run away from the truth of who he was, it continually was put in front of them.  Still today, the truth is inescapable that he was and is the King of God's people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Daily Word April 20, 2011 - "The Conversation - Part II"

John 19:12-16
12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic [1] Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. [2] He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
After the reality of who Christ was, the Bible says that Pilate sought to release him.  But at every turn, the crowd screamed for his blood all the more.  Remember that their charge against him was that he was blaspheming God, by claiming to be God.  But this is not a capital offense with the Romans, in fact, it is no offense at all.  So now they change their charge.  "Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."  In simple terms, 'He is a threat to Rome.  He is setting himself up as a king over Caesar.'  It is interesting that Pilate does not dispute this claim.  Instead, he makes a prophetic claim, "Behold your King!"  Now there is no doubt that in this moment he was being sarcastic, and yet was he incorrect?  But what is more interesting is that the Jews responded in a manner which shows their heart.  "We have no king but Caesar."  This was true, Jesus was not their king.  Though they were God's people, God was not their king.  They had lost sight of the spiritual and had fully turned their eyes on the physical.  This man was saving them of their sin, and yet they could not see him for who he was.  Do you see Jesus for who He is?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Word April 19, 2011 - "The Conversation - Part I"

John 19:1-11
19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
John is an interesting gospel writer, because he often shows us the heart of individuals through the conversations that take place.  He seems to take us into the inner circle and allow us to hear things that perhaps other gospel writers left out.  With that said, for the first part of this week, as we turn our attention to the work of Christ on the cross, I want us to see a conversation that took place between Pilate and Jesus.  In these first verses, we see that Jesus has been given over to Pilate.  Pilate receives him and he tells the crowd, 'do with him what you are wanting to do (crucify), but the Jews respond that only Pilate has the authority to crucify him.  Their reason for wanting this done, "he has made himself the Son of God."  What they were saying was 'He thinks he is God.'  Now Pilate is not the nicest of guys, in fact, he was known for his cruelty.  And yet, John shows us that Pilate saw something in this man that puzzled him.  I wonder if he did not have a searching heart, if he did not see more to life than what he was experiencing.  He says to him, "Where are you from?"  He was wondering, 'are you really the Son of God?'  But Jesus goes silent, perhaps because he knows Pilate is not ready to receive the truth, perhaps because he has resigned to the truth of what is about to happen.  This silence was deafening to Pilate and he says, 'Don't you know who I am?  I have the authority to release or crucify you.'  But here was Jesus answer to Pilate's question.  He tells him that the only authority he has, is given from heaven.  This was implicitly saying, 'I am indeed the Son of God, and what is about to happen, I am in control.'  In this moment, he didn't seem to be in control, and yet, he was.  Indeed, this man was the sovereign, eternal Word of God in flesh.  How will Pilate respond?  When faced with the truth of who Christ is, how do you respond?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Word April 13, 2011 - "Through Many Tribulations"

Acts 14:22c
"...through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of heaven."
It is funny that so often we measure success and even God's will according to how smoothly things go.  We think, "Oh, this is way to hard, it must not be God's will for my life."  Or the opposite, "Everything is perfect!  This must be the will of God."  In our passage, Paul has just been beaten for his preaching of the gospel.  Beaten so severely that they thought he was dead.  But instead, he gets up and goes and continues to preach the gospel some more.  When he is done, he takes a breather to encourage the other saints who had not received this punishment.  What does he tell them?  "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of heaven."  In other words, "It's all part of it guys, don't worry about it."  Oh to have the attitude nad mindset of Paul, to be able to endure and know that sometimes before the crown comes the cross.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Word April 4, 2011 - Isaiah 6:1

Isaiah 6:1
"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple."
Our guest speaker, Bro. Jeff Anders, said last night - "Anytime God has ever done anything or used anyone, first he revealed himself to them."  As I thought about that statement, the examples were limitless.  There was Abraham, Moses, Noah, Elijah, Elisha, Samuel, Nathan, Joshua, and so many more.  What a marvelous thought, that before we could receive the battle instructions, first we saw the commander.  One thing that really spoke to me in this verse was the position that Isaiah saw the Lord.  Yes he was high and lifted up and the train of his robe filled the temple - speaking to His holiness (His utter distinctness).  But notice that he was "seated".  He was not standing or walking around.  He was not pacing as though the crisis had caught him off guard or by surprise.  Rather, he was seated, which speaks to his being "comfortable" or "controlled".  He was in complete sovereign control of the crisis.