Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good Ground

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit; some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. -Matthew 13:8

In Matthew 13, Jesus gives us the parable of the sower. He tells of seed sown that fell by the way side, some fell upon stony ground, and some fell among the thorns. However, some fell on good ground, nice fertile ground. Some seed did not have a chance. Some seed sprang up, but did not have much root, no deepness, and eventually withered away. Some seed fell among the thorns and were consquently choked out. But, I am interested in that good ground.

There's more to growing plants than just broadcasting seed. Soil must be prepared if one wants all seed to grow. All seed will be good seed, but they can only grow in good soil. If the soil is rocky, then the plant will not grow well. If the soil has weeds, then the plant will not be healthy. If the soil is hard, then the seed will not be able to sprout and only be good for the birds. Only in clear, loose soil will a seed have a chance to sprout and grow. Soil must be prepared. Rocks need to be removed. Weeds need to be pulled. Tough dirt must be tilled.

Jesus explains that our hearts are like soil and the word of God is like seed. If our hearts are hardened, then the truth can't reach us. If our hearts are troubled, it's like stony ground. If the cares of this world are distracting us and we are full of worry, then it's like the seed falling amidst the thorns. We must prepare our hearts to receive the seed. We must remove the rocks. We must weed the ground. We must till the hardness of our hearts.

But, let's talk about that good ground. If we open our hearts to Jesus, trust in Him, accept the Word as truth, then we can grow and bear fruit. In that good soil, the Word can sprout and as the roots grow and reach deeper, we will be able to see the fruit that God has intended for us. Sprout. Grow. Take root. Reaching deeper and deeper.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Believe It?

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? -Isaiah 53:1

Do you believe the report? Do you believe that the old 1611 KJV Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired word of God? Do you believe it from Genesis to Revelation? Do you believe it from beginning to end? In and out? Back and forth? Do you?

What do you believe?

In this great chapter, you will find the cardinal doctrine of Christianity, the basis of our belief. Here we find the building blocks of our belief...of solid doctrine.
Doctrine? But, why?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a
good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. -
Hebrews 13:9

We should be strong in our doctrine, in our belief, so we are not carried about with strange and weird beliefs. Still, why? So that we may be made perfect, or capable and thoroughly equipped to do what God wants.
be-lieve [bih-leev] verb. to have confidence or
faith in the truth of

1.) The Verbally inspired Word of God.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? -Isaiah 53:1

Again, this old black-back book is the infallible, inerrant, inspired word of God. From cover to cover, there are no mistakes. Each word, big and small, has significance and meaning. Each word was inspired from the Holy Ghost to the author. Each of the 66 books is of importance and each compliments one another. Each word was divinely inspired by God Almighty. Inspired literally means "God breathed", therefore; God breathed each word that we read from Genesis to Revelation.

If you don't believe creation, then you don't believe in a Creator. If you don't believe in the virgin birth, then the need for a savior doesn't make much sense. If you don't believe in a heaven or hell, then it won't make much sense for salvation.

In verse 1, Isaiah poises the question, "Who hath believed our report?" Do you believe it?

2.) The Virgin Birth.
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. - Isaiah 53:2

I'm interested in the part that says a root out of dry ground.

You must believe in the virgin birth. From the fall of man in the garden, God put a curse on Adam, and his seed, and his seed, etc. From that first man, sin was passed through the blood on down the line through the annals of time. Even you and me. We were born with bad blood, a blood disease called sin. When we are born, we all are in desperate need of a blood transfusion.

But Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit not of the sin-sickened seed of Adam. If Jesus had been born of by Mary and Joseph was the biological father, then Jesus would have been under the same curse as everybody else and in need of a saviour. He would not have been able to atone for our sins.

But, thank God, Jesus was not like me and you. Jesus was not born into sin like me and you. Jesus was born spotless for the purpose of atonement for mankind. Amen.

3.) The Vicarious Death.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. - Isaiah 53:3-6

vi-car-i-ous, [vahy-kar-ee-uhs], -suffered in the place of another; taking the place of another

He did it all for you (and me). If you don't have the blood of Jesus on your heart, then you have the blood of Jesus on your hands. He bled and died in our place. He who knew no sin, became sin so that there would be a way. He cried, "I thirst" so that you and I may never thirst again.

He bore our griefs. He carried our sorrows. For you, for me, for the young, for the old, for murderers, for thieves, for kings, for beggars, for the sins of the world.

4.) The Victorious Resurrection.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. -Isaiah 53:8-10

Jesus paid it all. Beaten, mocked, shamed, tortured, and put on public display until He died on that old rugged cross. Yes, He died. Don't you think the devil had thought he had won when he saw our Lord hanging there lifeless on the cross? The they placed Him in a borrowed tomb, sealed a stone at the door, and placed guards to keep watch. Don't you know the devil was claiming a victory?

But on that third day, something supernatural happened. And He arose from the grave!

If the resurrection had never taken place, then all would have been in vain. Every thing we believe hinges on that victorious resurrection. Jesus even had the stone rolled back so we could see that tomb was/is empty.

5.) The Visible Ascension.

"Why stand ye here gazing..."

He left on a cloud and I'm just old fashioned enough to believe He's coming back on that same cloud. They saw Him ascend into heaven. If they ever had any doubts (mmm, Thomas), I know that it all disappeared if not by then...definitely then.

6.) The Vital Return.

And He's coming back just like He said He would.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye
know, and the way ye know. -John 14:1-4

Do you believe it? The report has been given to you. Believe it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thy Word

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Psalm 119:105

In a dark world, His word is a lamp. In a dark world, His word is a light. I once was blind, but now, by His word, I see. I once was lost, but now, by His word, I am found.

Stumbling through a dark world, it's comforting to know that the Word of God will light the way. Like awkwardly tripping around a darkened room, the pathway through this wilderness is full of obstacles and pitfalls. But, the Word of God shines a light along the way.

A light of safety. A light of security. A light to point the way to righteousness. A light to shun the way to unrighteousness. A light to be seen. A light to be known.

God's applied word to our lives is a reflective light to a dark world. Jesus said,

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." -Matthew 5:14

God's light will be seen. Like a city on the side of a hill, propped up and alive, God's people will be noticed. In a world that is constantly searching, groping around in the dark, God's work will be seen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Especially the Parchments

The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. -2 Timothy 4:13

What's important to you? What's dear to you?

Paul is in prison about to be executed. He is writing a letter to young Timothy and he says, "Timothy, when you come here, bring me my coat that I left." He said, "Bring me the books, too." But, I like this, he said, "Whatever you do, don't forget to bring the parchments."

Paul must have thought, "Hey Timothy, it's cold in here, bring me my coat." He might have thought, "There's not a television, no library, no gym, bring me the books." But he said, "Above all else, I need the Word of God."

What's important to you? Is the Word this important to you? Facing adversity, discomfort, fear and loneliness, Paul wanted the Word of God.

Jeremiah was persecuted, mocked and laughed at. He said, "I'm not going to speak anymore in His name. I'm through. I'm finished. I'm going to quit. I'm going to close the book." Have you ever been there? Have you ever thought that? Have you ever let the world cause you to cower? Have you ever heard the devil tell you that it's over? To tell you to quit? But Jeremiah said, "His Word was in mine heart. And it was like a fire shut up in my bones," he said, "I can't quit." Jeremiah said, "He couldn't quit."

Paul said he fought a good fight, but he still wanted the Word of God. He finished the course, but he still wanted the Word of God. He said the time of his departure was at hand, but he still wanted the Word of God.

Whatever you may be facing today, don't forget His promises. Don't forget the parchments.

Will Return Shortly

Thank you for your prayers and your patience. We will return to blogging shortly. Thank you for staying with us. May God continue to lead and guide and we will always lift the name of Jesus and praise Him for He alone is worthy.

God bless all of you,
Bro. Jeff