Pray we and our children are disciples loving the Lord, People and the Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)Praying Scripture SeriesPrepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, May 20, 2018 in Poland, OH

Okay, let’s have a quiz. Those that receive sermon notes can get ready to fill in the blanks.

Who can guess the following:

Books of Old Testament – 39. (Have these as blanks in the notes)

Books of New Testament – 27.

Total number of books – 66.

Chapters in Old Testament – 929.

Chapters in New Testament – 260.

Total number chapters – 1,189.

Verses in Old Testament – 33,214.

Verses in New Testament – 7,959.

Total number of verses – 41,173.

Words in Old Testament – 593,393.

Words in New Testament – 181,253.

Total number of words – 774,746.

Letters in Old Testament – 2,738,100.

Letters in New Testament – 838,380.

Total number of letters – 3,566,480.

The shortest chapter is Psalm 117.

What book, chapter and verse contains all the letters of the alphabet except

“j”? Ezra 7:21

Longest verse: Esther 8:9 is the longest verse.

Shortest Verse: John 11:35 is the shortest verse.

Fun fact:

There is no word more than six syllables in the Bible.

We are now in a new sermon series and I have thought about verses that I have been convicted to pray. These are passages and verses which God has convicted me to pray for myself, my children and my descendants.

I have been sitting in my office talking with people, and I think this has happened on repeated occasions, when they tell me about their children and they say something like, I am going to let them choose on their own which faith to follow. I don’t think it is right for me to pick Christianity for them!!! Now, you must know that up until this point the conversation was going very well, very well. They are agreeing that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. They are believing Scriptures like John 3:16, and John 14:6 Jesus says, I am the way the Truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except by Him. Now, how can you believe that and not want your kids to believe that? Do you realize what a contradiction and a lie that is? The first mistake here is that the father is called to be the spiritual leader of the home not the mother. Now, if you are a mother and the father is not, then maybe it falls to you. But the father is in sin and needs to repent. But fathers, let me tell you to go home and read Ephesians 5 and 6 and when you see that it says that you are to love your wives as Christ loved the church and submit to her and be devoted to her and then you are to be the spiritual leader of the home in this way you are to be the leader. Or, what about 1 Peter 3:7: You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. Now, I don’t want my prayers hindered, do you. So, men, we gotta straiten up and take our job as the spiritual leaders seriously.

Today, let’s talk about loving the Lord, loving others and His Word.

My theme and application:

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Let’s read Matthew 22:37-39:

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

  1. We must love the Lord with all of our being and love our neighbor as ourself.
    1. Let’s talk more about Matthew 22:37-39.
    2. My prayer is that we will live this passage. I pray this for you. I pray this for myself. I pray this for Mercedes and Abigail. I pray this for my descendants not yet born.
    3. I will pray like this: Lord, I pray that Mercedes and Abigail will live out Matthew 22:37-39 that they will love You and love their neighbor as themselves. I ask that we will remember from the parable of the good Samaritan that even our enemy is our neighbor (Luke 10).
    4. Now, I would love to take apart that passage more and so I will, just a little. If my prayer is that I live this passage and my children live out this passage then I should know the passage.
    5. In the previous verses Jesus is asked as a test what is the greatest commandment. That is in verses 34-36.
    6. In verse 34 it says that the Sadducees were silenced by Jesus. Jesus had such wise answers they could not trap Him. So, then they came with another question.
    7. They send a “lawyer” or a “religious lawyer” to trap Him. They wanted Him to choose a law.
    8. They wanted to trap Him.
    9. In verse 37 Jesus responds… It is interesting that Jesus did not have to respond. Jesus chose to respond. Why did Jesus respond?
    10. A question that I must ask, do I respond when questioned?
    11. Do I respond in a defensive way? It is really valuable to be able to respond without being aggressive. It is valuable and important to respond lovingly.
    12. In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus follow this up with the parable of the Good Samaritan. That was a different question during a different occasion. Still, the passage is truth that even our enemy is our neighbor.
    13. Matthew 22:37 is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:5 which we studied a few weeks ago.
    14. Verse 39 is a quote from Lev. 19:18.
    15. Again, I pray this become I believe we need God’s help to live this. I pray this passage because I believe it is in our interest to live this passage.
    16. Living this passage is God’s way and God’s way is best and our way is not.
    17. Living this passage, living God’s way is always best for society as well.
    18. We are to love the Lord our God with all of heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. Jesus used the word “mind” when Deut. 6:5 used the word “strength.”
    19. We are to love others. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We take care of ourselves and we must take care of our neighbor’s needs.
  2. We must love His Word.
    1. John Quincy Adams said: “I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year. My custom is to read four or five chapters every morning immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. In what light soever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
    2. I have prayed something like the following, “Lord, I ask that Meagan and I, Mercedes and Abigail and all of our descendants will hold true to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I ask that we will understand that all Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, reproving, rebuking and training in righteousness so that they are thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
    3. However, loving the Word of God has been a conviction from other Scriptures too. Psalm 119:11 says: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV) I believe this passage is about memorizing the Bible, but more than memorizing, I think this passage is about making the Bible a part of me. The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and so it must follow that if I make the Bible a part of me I am making God a part of me. Now, He already is a part of me in that when I received Him, I received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; see also John chapter 14-17), but as I make His Word a part of me, His character is becoming a part of me. It is not unlike a child working in the workshop with his father and then the child grows up and his father has died, but that child now a man, is working in the workshop hearing his father’s voice telling him exactly what to do. We, in making the Scriptures a part of us, can hear our Heavenly Father’s voice as we live from day-to-day. How did Jesus respond to temptation? He responded with the Scriptures (Matthew 4). He responded to the devil himself with the Scriptures!
    4. Prayer is also one of the most intimate activities we are involved in. I once heard a pastor say, “I won’t pray with a woman, who is not my wife, if it is just the two of us.” He said this because prayer is intimate. I once heard someone say, I think it was John MacArthur on his radio messages, “intimacy is into-me-see.” So, praying Scripture is powerful.
    5. We must pray Scripture, we must love the Word of God, we must value the Scriptures and we must submit to the Scriptures.
    6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Theologian killed by the Nazi’s in World War II. There is a great biography about him out right now. He was a brilliant man who would not cave to the Nazis. Many other German churches were going along with Hitler’s anti-Semitic comments but he would not. He was trying to organize churches that stayed true to Scripture. There was a time that he came to New York City to study. His impressions of our American church were not good.
      1. By this time Bonhoeffer is in his lower twenties and has almost, if not, completed his PhD. He wrote: “[The Union Students] talk a blue streak without the slightest foundation and with no evidence of any criteria… they are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”
      2. On another occasion he wrote: “In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.”[1]
  • You see Bonhoeffer came to the U.S. soon after a pastor in New York City made some waves. His name was Harry Emerson Fosdick. Listen to what Eric Metaxis writes about him: Fosdick had been the pastor at New York’s First Presbyterian Church when in 1922 he preached an infamous sermon titled, ‘Shall the Fundamentalist Win?’ In it he laid out a kind of Apostles Creed in which he expressed his serious doubts about most of the historic assertions of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, the resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the atonement, miracles, and the Bible as the Word of God. This sermon was the opening salvo in a battle that would rage particularly hotly through the 1920s and 1930s. The local presbytery immediately conducted an investigation, but as a son of the moneyed East Coast WASP establishment, Fosdick had little to fear. His defense was conducted by another establishment scion, John Foster Dulles , who would serve as Eisenhower’s secretary of state, and whose father was a well known liberal Prebyterian minister. Fosdick resigned before they could censure him, and he was given the pastorate of the fashionably progressive Park Avenue Baptist Church, where John D. Rockefeller was a prominent member and whose foundation’s philanthropic arm was run by Fosdick’s own brother. [2]
  1. When we start compromising Scripture that’s what happens. But the Bible teaches us to use the Bible to teach, correct, rebuke and instruct in godliness. Bonhoeffer came to America and his first impression was this mess with Fosdick. He thought we were all people who compromise Scripture. Ironic that usually, even then, it was the European churches that were known to compromise Scripture. But Bonhoeffer, even coming from Europe, saw what was going on in this church in New York City and didn’t like it.
  1. There is another Scripture which I have been convicted to pray which I wish to talk about today. 2 Timothy 2:15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
  2. So, I will pray something like: Lord, I ask that myself, Meagan, Mercedes and Abigail and our descendants will live out 2 Timothy 2:15. I ask that we will all Be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as a workman or woman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
    1. By the way, it is okay to paraphrase the Bible.
    2. This passage is saying to be earnest as we work so that we can accurately handle the Word of Truth.
  • We as Christians must get into the Scriptures more and more.
  1. We must not compromise the Bible.
  2. We must live it. It is not enough to believe the Bible, we must live the Bible.
  3. We must study the Scriptures so that we “correctly handle the Word of Truth” as Paul said.

God’s ways our best. They are best for me, they are best for my family, they are best for us. I believe that. If I believe that I must pray that my descendants live and submit and surrender to God’s ways. First, I must pray that I do the same. God’s ways are found in His Word.

Swindoll shares:

The Bible can change not only a life but an entire lifestyle. Most of us have heard the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but few of us have heard how the Bible played a very vital part in that historical event. The Bounty was a British ship which set sail from England in 1787, bound for the South Seas. The idea was that those on board would spend some time among the islands, transplanting fruit-bearing and food-bearing trees, and doing other things to make some of the islands more habitable. After ten months of voyage, the Bounty arrived safely at its destination and for six months the officers and crew gave themselves to the duties placed upon them by their government.

         When the special task was completed, however, and the order came to embark again, the sailors rebelled. They had formed strong attachments for the native girls, and the climate and the ease of the South Sea island life was much to their liking. The result was mutiny on the Bounty, and the sailors placed Captain Bligh and a few loyal men adrift on an open boat. Captain Bligh, in an almost miraculous fashion, survived the ordeal, was rescued, and eventually arrived home in London to tell his story. An expedition was launched to punish the mutineers, and in due time fourteen of them were captured and paid the penalty under British law.

         But nine of the men had gone to another distant island. There they formed a colony. Perhaps there has never been a more degraded and debauched social life than that of that colony. They learned to distill whiskey from a native plant, and the whiskey as usual, along with other habits led to their ruin. Disease and murder took the lives of all the native men and all but one of the white men named Alexander Smith. He found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by a crowd of women and half-breed children. Alexander Smith found a Bible among the possessions of a dead sailor. The Bible was new to him. He had never read it before. He sat down and read it through. He believed it and he began to appropriate it. He wanted others to share in the benefits of the book, so he taught classes to the women and children, as he read to them and taught them the Scriptures.

         It was twenty years before a ship ever found that island, and when it did, a miniature Utopia was discovered. The people were living in decency, prosperity, harmony, and peace. There was nothing of crime, disease, immorality, and sanity, or illiteracy. How was it accomplished? By the reading, the believing, and the appropriating of the truth of God![3]

Pray the Scriptures.

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Eric Metaxis. Bonhoeffer Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy.  Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tenn. 2010. (page 99)

[2] Ibid. page 102.

[3] Swindoll, Charles R. Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Pages 50-51. (referenced from Keith Miller, Edge of Adventures)

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Mother’s Day, the Faith of a Godly Mother (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-15)

I want to wish every mother here a happy Mother’s Day.

I have some quotes about mothers which I wish to start with:

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces that she never did care for pie. Teneva Jackson

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother.” George Washington

You never realize how much your mother cares about you until you look in the attic and find every letter you ever sent her, every finger painting, clay pot, bead necklace, Easter chicken, cardboard Santa Clause, paper-lace mother’s day card, and school report since day one.” Pam Brown

Just because 1 mother can take care of 9 children doesn’t mean 9 children will take care of 1 mother.” Catholic Social Services

One pastor writes:

I smile as I remember the Mother’s Day card I saw that was really cute. It was a great big card written in little child’s printing— little first-grade printing. On the front was a little boy with untied sneakers. He had a wagon, and toys were everywhere. He had a little cut on his face and there were smudges all over this card . It read, “Mom, I remember that little prayer you used to say for me every day,” Inside, “God help you if you ever do that again.”[1]

But more seriously:

Everybody has heard of Martin Luther; but who knows the name of his mother, the wife of a coal miner who often went hungry so that little Martin might attend school?

—W. G. Montgomery[2]

And now allow me to share an illustration that will relate specifically to today’s message:

This Mother Prayed 60 Years

 Dr. John F. Walvoord, in the chapel of Dallas Theological Seminary, one day told of a mother who prayed for her son for 60 years to be saved. One week before her death, the mother received a long-distance call from her son saying that he was saved. [3]

Praise God for the spiritual care from a mother! Generally, it is more the mother than the father who teaches and models the faith for the children.

A few weeks ago I began a sermon series on Scriptures that we can pray for our children. Today, I wish to talk about the faith of a mother and grandmother passed down.

My theme:

Pass on your faith.

Let’s read 2 Timothy 1:5:

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

  1. First let’s look at 2 Timothy 1:5:
    1. Notice that Timothy had sincere faith but notice where that faith came from.
    2. The adjective translated “sincere” means without hypocrisy. It really means, not good at acting.
    3. His sincere faith came from his mother and even his grandmother and Paul is certain that it lives on in Timothy. Timothy’s faith was a heritage. Think about that for just a moment.
    4. Timothy was Paul’s companion as they traveled through many areas starting and pastoring many churches. In Acts 16 we first see Timothy. But Timothy is already a disciple by the time Paul meets him. Then Timothy begins to travel with Paul.
      1. Would Timothy have been that great help to Paul if it weren’t for his mother and grandmother and their faith?
      2. What incomparable value can a mother have in passing on her faith to her children? We can never put a price on the intangible.
  • In Phil 2:22 Paul writes: But you know of his [Timothy] proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child servinghis father.
  1. Where did this come from? I am not discounting his father’s role, but his mother and his grandmother passed on a heritage of faith to Timothy. It is because of this faith that Timothy was able to serve as a son with his father with Paul.
    1. What great value did Timothy have with the apostle Paul?
    2. How can we ever know?
  2. Life Application Study Bible shares: Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians: He became a Christian not because an evangelist preached a powerful sermon but because his mother and grandmother had taught him the holy Scriptures when he was a small child (1: 5). A parent’s work is vitally important. At home and in church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility. Jesus wanted little children to come to him (Matthew 19: 13-15). Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, do your part in leading children to Christ.[4]
  3. Now look with me at 2 Timothy 3:14-15:
    1. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    2. From infancy Timothy was taught the Scriptures. This is most likely the Old Testament although it is possible that the Gospel was in there as well. This tells us exactly how Timothy’s mother and grandmother passed on this heritage of faith, or at least one way this was passed on.
      1. Timothy was taught the Scriptures.
      2. One source says about this:

At least in pious Palestinian Jewish homes, boys were normally taught the “sacred writings” from around the age of five; teaching Scriptures to the children was commanded in the Old Testament (Deut 6:7; cf., e.g., Ps 71:17; 78:5–7). Other peoples were often amazed at how well instructed Jewish children were in their ancestral traditions.[5]

  1. So, one way that Timothy caught this heritage of faith was that he was taught the Scriptures.
  2. All throughout the Old Testament parents are instructed to teach their children the Scriptures.
    1. But is teaching enough? No, I don’t think so. I think his mother and grandmother must have lived the Scriptures. The Christian life must be taught and caught. It is not enough to be full of information. We must model the Christian life. I read this the other day:

For a moment, let’s pretend you work for me. In fact, you are my executive assistant in a company that is growing rapidly. I’m the owner and I’m interested in expanding overseas. To pull this off, I make plans to travel abroad and stay there until the new branch office gets established. I make all the arrangements to take my family in the move to Europe for six to eight months, and I leave you in charge of the busy stateside organization. I tell you that I will write you regularly and give you direction and instructions. I leave and you stay.

Months pass. A flow of letters are mailed from Europe and received by you at the national headquarters. I spell out all my expectations. Finally, I return. Soon after my arrival I drive down to the office. I am stunned! Grass and weeds have grown up high. A few windows along the street are broken. I walk into the receptionist’s room and she is doing her nails, chewing gum, and listening to her favorite rock station. I look around and notice the wastebaskets are overflowing, the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed for weeks, and nobody seems concerned that the owner has returned. I ask about your whereabouts and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells, “I think he’s down there.” Disturbed, I move in that direction and bump into you as you are finishing a chess game with our sales manager. I ask you to step into my office (which has been temporarily turned into a television room for watching afternoon soap operas).

“What in the world is going on, man?”

“What do you mean, Chuck?”

“Well, look at this place! Didn’t you get any of my letters?”

“Letters? Oh, yeah—sure, got every one of them. As a matter of fact, Chuck, we have had letter study every Friday night since you left. We have even divided all the personnel into small groups and discussed many of the things you wrote. Some of those things were really interesting. You’ll be pleased to know that a few of us have actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs. One or two memorized an entire letter or two! Great stuff in those letters!”

Sound a little familiar?

Jesus, the Lord, goes to the bottom line when He said, in effect, “I left you an example of what you should do—carry out my directions, fulfill my commands, follow my instructions.” That’s obedience. That’s doing what we are told to do.

  1. Since Paul says that Timothy had sincere faith I am thinking that it was taught and it was modeled. Paul says that this came from his mother and grandmother. Praise God for the influence of mothers and grandmothers.
  • Would we have had the godly instruction Paul sends to Timothy if it weren’t for his mother and grandmother and their heritage of faith?
  • There are many other examples of mothers in Scripture
    1. Hannah prayed for a son and God gave her Samuel (1 Samuel 1-2) Would we have had this great prophet and priest named Samuel if it weren’t for his mother? Samuel anointed the first two kings of Israel.
    2. In Exodus 2:2-3 it was Moses’ mother who hid him from the slaughter of Hebrew babies. Of course, there are many more examples in the Scriptures. Would it have been Moses who led the people out of Egypt if it weren’t for his mother?

Close:

I read this the other day:

A good friend of mine, who was raised by a godly pastor’s wife, tells me that when he was rocked to sleep at night by his mother, she didn’t sing to him just little ditties and lullabies, she sang him the hymns of the faith. When he was in the crib, he remembers her leaning over and singing to him “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”; “And Can It Be?”; “More Love to Thee, O Christ”; “My Jesus, I Love Thee”; “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” She sang the deep songs. And he says, “I remember. I remember those hymns. In fact,” he says, “When I got into church, I had heard and learned most of the hymns,” a contribution in that young man’s life that he’ll never forget.[6]

That sounds like the faith which Timothy learned from his mother and grandmother. What better heritage can we pass on to our children than our faith? Eternal life is so much more valuable than any material possessions.

The reciprocal is also true. We must take care of our mothers.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross the Scriptures say this:

John 19:26-27:

When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Jesus made sure his mother is taken care of. This Mother’s Day take care of your mother. Take care of your children’s mother and encourage others to take care of their mother.

I do realize that this may be a sad Mother’s Day for you, for your mother has gone to be with the Lord. I encourage you to reflect and maybe even write in a journal about all your mother passed on to you.

Also, you may have had other maternal roles in your life—a grandmother, an aunt, a family friend or teacher. God uses many more people to pass on faith to children and young adults as they grow up. If you can thank them as well and thank God for mothers.

Now maybe you are a visitor here and you don’t know Christ.

God loves you as a mother loves her child:

Isa 49:15:

Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you…”

Do you know Jesus as your savior? Jesus died for your sins. He died on the cross for the wrong things you and I have done. He died on the cross and rose again.

If you would like to receive Christ all you have to do is confess your sins to God, Believe in Him, accept Him into your life and commit to Him.

Pray

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 399.

[2] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

[3] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

[4] Tyndale House Publishers. Life Application Study Bible NLT (LASB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 158747-158751). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[5] Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (2 Ti 3:14). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 398.

New series, Scriptures to Pray for your children

Introduction to the new series: Leading Children Spiritually Means Knowing, Obeying and Passing on the Bible  (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

Prepared and Preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Opening about the power of Deuteronomy:

I recently heard a sermon by Colin Smith on Moody Radio. “The program is called Unlocking the Bible” and it was the April 2 episode. Evelyn Queen recommended that I listen to it. So, I did. He talked about being in seminary and he was required to read all of Deuteronomy at one time. Deuteronomy is 34 chapters, so that is quite a block of time. However, as he read this book all in one setting he noticed the great love of God. Did you know that in Deuteronomy 17:18 it says that when they select a king he is to write out this entire book? In Deuteronomy 31:11 they were instructed to publicly read Deuteronomy every 7 years. This is a powerful book of the Word of God. However, this is also a neglected book of the Word of God. So, today we will talk about Deuteronomy 6:1-9.

The reason I am talking about this particular passage is I am introducing a new sermon series. I have been convicted to pray Scripture from a very young age. I would learn Scripture and the Lord would convict me to pray these passages. Sometimes God would prick my heart with a passage and it would become part of my prayer life. I have learned Scriptures by praying them. Tony Evans says that when we pray Scripture we are praying God’s Word back to Him. So, over the next few months I am going to be preaching on Scriptures that I have been convicted to pray for my children and descendants. These are not just Scriptures that I pray for you and the church, though I do, these are Scriptures which I pray for my descendants. This is really a sermon series on leading Spiritually, though I am calling this series the “Scriptures to Pray for Your Children” series.

In the next couple months we will have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Soon after you will have family vacations. Think about the ripple effects spiritually of parenting:

Max Jutes was a no-account horse thief, drunkard whose 1299 descendants were studied. 310 became vagrants, 440 lived in debauchery, 180 became prisoners, including 7 murderers, 100 alcoholics, 60 habitual thieves, and 190 prostitutes. Contrast this with the family of the great 18th century preacher, Jonathan Edwards. A study done by A. E. Winship revealed that of 1700 descendants, 13 became college presidents, 65 were professors, 100 studied law (one dean of a law school), 30 became judges, 66 were physicians (one dean of a medical school), 80 held public office, 3 were US senators, 3 became mayors of large cites, 3 were elected governors, 1 was vice president of the US and 1 became Controller of the US Treasury. Long term studies of just these two lives and families show we are the products of over 100 years of our forefathers’ actions and decisions and that WE affect our descendants’ lives for over 100 years.

  Name some “ripple effects” you’ve seen go on for generations in your family, good and bad (Deut 5:6-10; Gal 6:7-10). Do you believe you can break bad cycles and be life-giving as you pass on a godly legacy?

Today my theme is: Leading Children Spiritually Means Knowing, Obeying and Passing on the Bible  (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

This sermon series will be about Scriptures we can pray for our descendants.

First, let’s agree to value the Bible and value passing on the faith.

The application is not just for parents. All of you can pray Biblical prayers for the next generation.

Please read with me Deuteronomy 6:1-9:

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

  1. In Verses 1-3 we see the setup of the Great Commandment.
    1. Notice that in verses 1-3 we see the repeated emphasis on parents teaching their children spiritually.
    2. Moses is passing on the commandments, statutes and judgments to them.
    3. Moses says that the Lord has commanded him to teach them.
    4. Moses was commanded to teach them so that they might do them in the land where they are going to possess.
      1. Hit the pause button after verse 1.
      2. Right now, most of Israel is younger than 60 years old. This is because everyone who was 40 and younger has died off in the wilderness. There were three people who could keep living: Moses, Joshua and Caleb. We see this in Numbers 14:20-38. They were sentenced to die in the wilderness because of their lack of faith that Israel could take the land.
  • Now, it has been 40 years of the people wondering around the wilderness. But it is time to go in and take the land.
  1. However, Moses is giving instructions.
  2. Deuteronomy is a sermon, or a series of sermons, given by Moses to the people before they enter the land.
  1. In verse 2 we see a purpose. Moses is to teach the people so that they will obey and this includes their sons and grandsons.
  2. Verse 3 is urging them to listen and obey.
  3. I notice a repetition in these first three verses that if they listen and obey they will multiply and live long on the earth.
  4. Israel’s life in the promised land is contingent on their obedience to God.
  5. We, today, are not Israel, but we will usually be blessed by obedience to God and His ways. We will naturally be cursed when we disobey God’s ways.
  6. If you do not believe the previous statement look what happened to David’s family after his sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel chapter 12 and following.
  1. In verse 4-5 we see the Shema.
    1. Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear.”
    2. Notice first the simple statement “The Lord is One.”
    3. This may seem basic to us, but not to them. Think about it, most societies in that day and age were polytheistic. They believed in many Gods. But this is saying that there is one God and He is the Lord. Notice the repetition: The Lord is our God. This is the Lord. This “Yahweh” is our God. This is the unique name for the Lord as opposed to “Elohim” which is translated “God” the second time.
    4. Theology matters.
    5. Then we have three words to describe our love for the Lord. They are nouns:
      1. Heart
      2. Soul
  • Might
  1. This means we love the Lord with all of our being.
  2. They did not have a word for the brain at that point so they would use the word for heart. Jesus would quote this and include “mind.” We see Jesus quote this in Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27.
  3. As an interesting note, the only individual in the Old Testament—of whom it was said that he turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might—was King Josiah (2 Kings 23:25).
  • In verses 6-9 we see the idea of taking every opportune time to talk about the Word.
    1. Verse 6 says that these words should be on our heart.
    2. What words, the words of Deuteronomy, Moses’ sermon, but we could apply it to all the Bible.
    3. Verse 7 tells us to teach them diligently to our sons.
    4. In Hebrew we have one word that the NASB translates as “teach” and “diligently.” This word carries the idea of engraving. As we recite something over and over again it is like it is engraved on our heart.
    5. Pastor, author and Theologian J.D. Greear writes that many parents talk about their teenage or adult children wandering away from the Lord. They will talk about how they would bring them to church. But he would ask about the family life. This next generation has a hypocrite meter on them.
      1. Are you leading the family spiritually?
      2. Are you taking every opportune time to talk about the Bible, God and the spiritual life with your family?
  • Are your prioritizing not just Sunday morning church but spiritual disciplines with your family?
  1. Are you prioritizing Christian community with your family? I am talking about prayer partners, small groups, mid week Bible study, Sunday School.
  2. Do you model Biblical repentance with your children?
  1. You may do all of the above and your children may still wander from the faith and that is why we pray, pray and pray they come back.
  2. We must pray spiritual prayers. We must pray Biblical prayers.
  3. Remember, however you stray from the faith your children will take it to the next level. That is a documented fact. We can trace it. In the 1980’s people viewed church commitment as Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. Now people view church commitment as a few times a month. If you are skipping church to go fishing, hunting, to a football game, or because you do not feel like getting up, and suppose you have that excuse once a month, I guarantee, but by the grace of God, your children will give that excuse double. Or, actually, they will grow up and see that church really is not that valued if it is skipped for sporting events and hunting, so they will get rid of it altogether.
  4. Actually, there was a study that showed that the more liberal, what we call mainline churches, are dying fastest because the children grow up and think church is just about moral values and they can have those without church.
  5. One wites: “The reason for this emphasis on the children is clear. Deuteronomy is always aimed at the next generation. It takes the present (next) generation back to the past and brings the past afresh into the present. The children are now the ones before whom all the choices are laid, and some day their children will be there and the divine instruction will confront them (e.g., 30:2). Can they learn afresh what it means to love the Lord wholeheartedly?” (Dr. Contable, soniclight.com)
  1. Let’s make some applications:
    1. I always have to think through how a message can encourage. This was rather difficult with this message. However, I hope this message is encouraging in that God has given us everything we need to lead Spiritually in His Word. Listen you have every resource you need to lead your family spiritually. The Bible, the church and most of all the Holy Spirit.
      1. Application:
    2. We must study the Word of God.
    3. We must love the Lord God with all our being. We must love Him with all our heart, soul and might (verse 5).
    4. We must do our best to keep all of the Lord’s commandments (verse 2).
    5. We must do our best to listen and be careful to obey God’s commandments (verse 3).
    6. We must understand and take seriously proper doctrine that God is one (verse 4).
    7. We must have the Word of God on our heart (verse 5 and see also Psalm 119:9-11).
    8. We must teach the Word of God to our children and grandchildren wherever we are and at all opportune times.
    9. We must repent.
      1. Let me explain. Many of your children are grown and maybe your grandchildren are grown. Meet with them and apologize for not being a spiritual leader when they were being raised.
      2. I think modeling repentance goes a long way. Say something like:
        1. You know when you were being raised I worked a lot. I valued working and building the business rather than leading the family in a Biblical way. That was not right. I am sorry and I ask your forgiveness.
        2. You know as I was raising you I did not lead family devotions. We did not pray much as a family. I am sorry, please forgive me.
  • You know when I was raising you I allowed sports to be prioritized over our church commitment. That was not right, I am sorry. Please forgive me.
  1. As another application: our job as parents is never complete. I hear to many parents think that it is none of their business to say anything once their children are raised and out of the house. So, they will not say anything when their adult children stray from church. I think that is Biblically wrong. I think that is wrong for society as well.
    1. Would you not say anything if your children were shooting up heroin with their children in the back seat of the car?
    2. Would you not say anything if your adult children were drinking and driving?
    3. Why do we view spiritual things differently?
    4. This is eternity.
  • The idea of teaching children is repeated all throughout the Old Testament. Why have we forgotten that if faith is important we want to pass it on.

This sermon series will be about Scriptures we can pray for our descendants.

First, let’s agree to value the Bible and value passing on the faith.

I read the following:

A Japanese girl who studied at an American college enjoyed living in the United States, but one thing she longed to see was the inside of a true Christian home. She spent her Christmas vacation in the home of one of her classmates, and she had a delightful time. As she was about to leave, the mother said, “How do you like the way we Americans live?” “Oh,” said the girl, “I love it! Your home is truly beautiful. Yet, there is one thing I miss.” A faraway look came into her eyes as she continued, “I have been with you to your church and have seen you worship there, but I have missed God in your home. In Japan we have a ‘god shelf’ in every home, so we can worship right in our house. Excuse me, but don’t you Americans worship God in your homes?” Her host felt convicted, for there was little to reveal that theirs was a Christian home, not even a time when the family prayed and read the Bible together.

Dr. Constable shares:

One day in a seminary class, I asked my students to suggest some ways that parents can perpetuate the knowledge of God in their children. A young man proceeded to explain that his wife had grown up in Brazil, where her parents had practiced the custom of writing down evidences of God’s faithfulness to their family, and putting the paper into a matchbox. At the end of each year they glued that year’s matchbox onto others from preceding years. While the girl was growing up, she saw her parents construct a house made out of these matchboxes. When the family ran into trouble, they would open up one or more of the matchboxes, read the record of God’s faithfulness, and be encouraged.

Friends of ours used to keep a special gallon iced tea jar on the counter in their kitchen. When God showed His faithfulness in some dramatic way, they wrote what happened on a slip of paper and put it into the jar. Then, when the going got tough, they opened the jar and reminded themselves of how God had been faithful to them in the past.

Do you know Jesus?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

All Paths do not lead to God

 

All Paths Do Not Lead To God (John 3:18)

(John 3:18; 14:6)

Prepared and Preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Poland, OH 

Another time, another place, I was in high school, it was 199—–, we won’t finish what year it was, I was in high school and I was talking with a fellow senior about Christianity. She said, “I make my own religion Steve.” Another time, another place, I was working at Jack’s Aquarium & Pets. They were a local pet store in the Dayton area. I loved that job! I was in eleventh grade and at this time I was growing in my faith. I was beginning to take my faith seriously. We were opening the store, cleaning the dog cages, the cat cages, the cages for all the small animals, snakes, etc. I remember doing this while I was having conversation with another high school employee. I said to a co-worker that someone was a Christian and she responded, “Everyone is a Christian Steve.”

These high school students have good Theology, right?

How many think these views are correct? Raise your hand if you think you can make up your own religion…

Raise your hand if you think everyone is a Christian…

What is wrong with those views?

Those viewpoints do not fit with truth or Christianity, do they?

We have been studying Theology together since January, so think about what is wrong with those views. First, it is obvious everyone is not a Christian. Second, the point of religion is to earn our way to Heaven. If we have to earn our way to Heaven then we cannot make that up because we have to earn our way to Heaven by what God requires. But the Bible teaches that we cannot earn our way to Heaven and if we could earn our way to Heaven, Jesus would not have needed to go to the cross. Christianity is not about a religion. Christianity is about a relationship with God who sent Jesus to pay our debt and thereby save us. We cannot make this up. We need Jesus’ death and resurrection to forgive us for our sins. We need atonement, we need justification, we need redemption, we need what only Jesus provides.

A few months ago, I attended a seminar through the C.S. Lewis Institute on this subject and Dr. Andy Bannister shared, he asked, “How do we navigate the religious diversity?”

One way is to say: every religion is essentially the same… We can’t say the mountain illustration… This is that, God is at the top of the mountain and we all go up to the top. Each religion goes a different path. But the illustration Fails: Dr. Bannister climbs mountains and every path doesn’t lead to the top of the mountain. Some paths lead the wrong way… Where do we stand to see that every path leads to the top?

The top, no that doesn’t work… we would have to float several hundred meters above the mountain.

If God is at the top of the mountain we don’t want to worship Him because that is the wrong god. These things that flatten religions and say every path leads the same way it takes away the doctrine. Every religion is exclusive. Truth is exclusive. We see exclusive claims in the Bible.

This is why Theology is important. So, today let’s talk about the God of the Bible versus the god of the koran.

My theme:

All Paths Do Not Lead To God (John 3:18)

Application: Make sure you are on the right path.

(I have taken the points below from Dr. Banister’s seminar)

  1. The Bible teaches, God is relational.
    1. Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8).
    2. Rev 21:3: the dwelling of God will be with men. God is described as a Father, Friend, husband.
    3. The whole Bible is about God desiring a relationship with humans.
    4. Banister shares that in the Koran god is not a relational god. Allah is distant and remote. No relationship is possible with him The Koran borrows stories from the Bible but takes away the relationship nature.
  2. The Bible teaches, God can be known.
    1. Jeremiah 9:23-24: Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
    2. The Koran:
    3. Allah does not reveal himself Only his commands are made known in the Koran.
    4. No invitation is made to know God.
    5. Muhammad did not even know God.
    6. In the Bible God reveals Himself time and time again.
  • The Bible teaches God Is Love.
    1. Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    2. God made the first move.
    3. John 3:16 teaches this: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  1. The Bible teaches that God suffers for us.
    1. Isaiah 53:4: God carried our sorrows and took up our infirmities.
    2. Jesus suffered and died for us. Jesus suffered and died to be in a relationship with us.
  2. The Bible teaches that God handles Justice and mercy without compromising either.
    1. This is really important.
    2. Bannister shared the following: The Koran talks about the justice of god and Mercy of god a lot.
    3. Many religions talk about Mercy and justice.
    4. But Mercy and justice conflict with each other. They are conflicting.
    5. In the Koran: Mercy is always offered at the expense of justice and justice is always offered at the expense of Mercy.
    6. One is ignored. This is a contradiction in most religions including Islam.
    7. The Koran never reconciles this. In Christianity this problem is solved.
    8. In the Bible: There is justice and mercy. The punishment is on Jesus. In Christianity, God does not exercise mercy and forgiveness at the expense of justice, but through His justice.
    9. God offers mercy and forgiveness through justice. Jesus takes our place. Every sin will be revealed. Jesus pays our price, or if we reject Him than we pay. Either way, justice will be paid.
    10. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) He helped people escape from the Nazis. He was captured and taken to Auschwitz. Some escaped. They were going to make an example of 10 people who were locked up to die being starved or dehydrated. Maximilian took the place of one of those men. There is no other God besides the God of the Bible. He is unique.
    11. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.
    12. Trinity: Love requires a subject and an object. It makes no sense to say there is love without saying there is someone to love. The Trinity solves a lot. It shows that God Is Love and there is love in Himself. Since God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit He can be love even before He creates things. Otherwise, He would have to create things in order to love. He did not have to create me in order to love.

Conclusion:

Who knows John 3:16?

Who knows John 3:18?

John 3:16-18:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:18 shares that it is important to not reject Jesus. Rejecting Jesus bring judgment. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting God. Knowing Jesus is knowing God.

Do you know Him?

 

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

Easter Sunday, Christ is Risen!

Easter Sunday 2018

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Choir Anthems:

Did you notice the choir anthems? Did you notice the words? They were composed of some of our favorite Easter hymns. They have such rich truth. I want to begin by reviewing the choir anthems, think about these words:

The King is Coming:

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

Christ Arose:

He Arose! He Arose! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

Rejoice the Lord Is King

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King Adore! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice! Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice, Rejoice!

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Crown Him with many crowns,
The lamb upon His throne:
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns

All Music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life!
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
Who rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown Him King of Kings

The King Is Coming with Amazing Grace

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the streets
All the builders’ tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors
In the courtroom no debate
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes thro’ the gate

Happy faces line the hallways
Those whose lives have been redeemed
Broken homes that He has mended
Those from prison He has freed
Little children and the aged
Hand in hand stand all aglow
Who were crippled, broken, ruined
Clad in garments white as snow

I can hear the chariots rumble
I can see the marching throng
The flurry of God’s trumpets
Spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal robes are now unfolding
Heaven’s grandstand’s all in place
Heaven’s choir now assembled
Start to sing “Amazing Grace”

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Jesus is our King! To quote another hymn, we serve a risen Savior, He is in the world today…

Jesus’ resurrection is one of a few things that separates Christianity from other faiths.

POSSUMS AND THE GRAVE

I have heard that possums are smart animals. You wouldn’t think so because you hardly ever see one except when it’s dead on the road. There’s a joke that goes, “why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the possum that it could be done!”

But possums, it turns out, are smart. They won’t enter a hole if there’s just one set of tracks going into it. They know there’s something in there. But if there are two sets of tracks. The possum will enter and not be afraid.

The message of Easter is that we can enter the grave – we don’t have to fear death because there are tracks leading out of the tomb. Paul preached the proclamation of Easter: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

This is the message that we need to hear this Easter. Jesus is risen!

So, now, let’s read the passage that gives us the resurrection account, read with me

Matthew 28:1-10

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  1. Notice first that women went to the tomb.
    1. Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to the tomb.
    2. All 4 of the Gospels record this and this a proof of the gospels. Jesus even uses the women later in verse 10 to tell the rest of the resurrection.
    3. Now, these women are very upset. They are mourning. Jesus, whom they were following, had been crucified and now they are going to put spices on His body. The Jewish people did not do anything to prevent the decay of a body. Within three days the body would be decaying. Yet, not in this case.
  2. Verse 2 records a great earthquake and an angel had descended and rolled away the stone.
    1. I believe this earthquake was caused by the angels.
    2. Why did the angel roll away the stone?
    3. Jesus did not need the stone rolled away. The stone was rolled away to let the world in, not to let Jesus out!
    4. Verse 3 describes the angel and notice in verse 2 the angel is sitting. Sitting means that his work is complete.
    5. In verse 4 the guards, these Roman trained guards were shaking. The word used to describe them is the same root to describe the earthquake, seisma.
  • In verses 5-7 the angel tells the women what to do.
    1. The angel acknowledges that they are looking for Jesus.
    2. The angel tells them that He has risen.
    3. The angel tells them to look in the tomb.

In the villages of Northern India a missionary was preaching in a bazaar. As he closed, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, “You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”
The missionary smiled and said, “I should be pleased to hear what it is.”
The Muslim said, “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave.”
But the missionary just smiled and said, “That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindreds and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”

  1. The angel tells them to go and tell the others.
  2. Notice again the commonality of the Gospel. Jesus uses women to tell of His resurrection.
  1. Now, they see Jesus in verses 8-10
    1. Notice that they see Jesus and they fell at His feet.
    2. This means humility, but it also means they realize He is not an apparition. They realize He is real. They then worship Jesus.
    3. We must worship Jesus. This is why we worship on Sunday because Jesus rose on Sunday.
  2. This brings me to something else I want to talk about: why does the resurrection matter? What is the importance of the resurrection?
    1. In 1 Cor 15:3-8 the Scriptures write about Jesus appearing to the disciples and later over 500 people all at the same time. Again, Jesus showed many that He has been resurrected.
    2. Later on, in 1 Cor. 15:13-15 the Scriptures tell us that if Christ was not raised from the dead our faith is in vain! This means that our faith is useless. Later on, in that same chapter, the Scriptures write about our hope in the resurrection. You see, because Christ rose from the dead we have hope. We have hope that when we die it is not the end. We have hope that when our family members and friends who are Christians die they are not gone, but with Christ in eternal paradise. We can see them again because they will have resurrected bodies as Jesus did. Paul wrote, “Where O death is your sting.” (1 Cor. 15:55) There is no sting because we have eternal life in perfect bodies.
    3. Also, Christ’s resurrection shows that this is not simply His normal body coming back to life. No, this is a renewed body. In John 20:11-18 Jesus enters a room when the doors are locked. It seems as though our resurrected bodies may not be as limited as our current bodies. Jesus’ resurrected body will not die. Neither will yours. If you are a believer in Christ, you will have an eternal, perfect body.

Close:

Our bodies are weak and frail. That is why we die, but the resurrection gives us hope as death no longer has a sting. This happened because Jesus went to the cross. The cross is something that has caused many to stumble. To think that a King should die on a cross!

Cicero, the Roman author and orator, said, “Let the very name of the cross be far away from Roman citizens, not from their bodies only, but from their thoughts, their eyes and their ears.”

But the cross was the way that Jesus died. In His death He paid the penalty for the wrong things we do and then He rose from the dead, the first fruits of the resurrection. Our bodies are frail, but because Jesus went to the cross we have this hope that someday we will have perfect, eternal bodies in an eternal home where there is no death.

One once wrote:

He is risen!

Christ is risen! Sing it out with joyful voice!

He has burst the three days’ prison, let the whole wide earth rejoice! Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.[1]

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

 

 

 

[1] “Resurrection Victory”

Jesus Enters Jerusalem the People Are Ready for a King

A few years ago I ran my first Marathon. Marathon is named after the Battle of Marathon which took place in 490 B.C. The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming νενικήκαμεν (nenikekamen, “we have wοn”), before collapsing and dying.

Do you ever think about victory? Victory is exciting, isn’t it?

Look at this passage with me:

Hebrews 10:11-12:

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God…

Today, we are going to look at a passage where Jesus humbly enters the city of Jerusalem. He is hailed as King. He accomplishes His ultimate victory by doing something counter intuitive; He dies for the people He came to save.  He brings victory through death. He offers the one sacrifice for all time.

Luke 19:28-44:

28 After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.36 As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. 37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting:

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

  1. In verses 28-35 we see the Preparation.
    1. Notice that the Bible says, after He said these things, or after He said this. Jesus had just given the parable of the money usage. Recall that Jesus had been in Samaria for a long time. While there Jesus told many parables and we have talked about some of these.
    2. Another source tells me this: The elevation at this point is about 2,600 feet, and from it you have a breathtaking view of the Holy City. The Lord was about to do something He had never done before, something He had repeatedly cautioned others not to do for Him: He was going to permit His followers to give a public demonstration in His honor.[1] You know what it is like to travel and then you come to this gorgeous view. That’s where they are at, they are about to enter into Jerusalem.
    3. Now, Jesus sends two of His disciples on a mission. They are to go into this other village and find a colt and just take it. When asked they are to say that their Lord or Master has need of it.
    4. They do this, it happens just like Jesus says. They go to the village and someone does ask and they take the colt, like it’s no big deal.
  2. In verses 36-38 we have the adoration, this is the parade actually.
    1. As Jesus went along people were spreading their cloaks on the ground. Look again at verses 37-38:

As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting:

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

  1. Notice that Jesus receives worship.
  2. I once had a Jewish Rabbi ask if Jesus ever said He was God. Well Jesus did say that He was the Messiah (see John 4:26), but Jesus also received worship. Angels told the people not to worship them (Rev. 22:9). Jesus received worship.
  3. By the way, still notice the commonality of the Gospel. The people worshipping Jesus were the common people. This was a grassroots event. After all Jesus had been going to the common people and He had healed many of them. Jesus is now worshipped.
  4. There is a parade going on. Jerusalem’s population would swell for Passover and it is now during this time that these people are all worshipping Jesus.
  5. One thing I liked about the marathon is it was like a big parade. As I ran along there would be people on the side of the road cheering you on. In this case everyone is cheering Jesus because He is the King, the True King, the eternal King. In fact, throwing their coats on the road was something that meant, “I surrender to you.” It was symbolic of letting the person on the donkey walk over you, but instead of yourself, they walked over your coat. This was submission.
  6. Jesus is now worshipped. This was the adoration of Jesus.
  • In verses 39-44 we have the condemnation by Jesus.
    1. The Pharisees missed Jesus once again. They asked Jesus to make the disciples stay quiet and Jesus said if they were quiet the rocks would cry out.
    2. Now, Jesus approaches Jerusalem and weeps over the city. Then He pronounces judgment.

42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

  1. This was Jesus’ condemnation.
  2. Following this Jesus will go and cleanse the temple.
  3. Then Holy Week will continue until, as our King, He dies in our place and then He rises again. He was our sacrifice and that is why we meet today. He is Our Mighty Savior, worshipped by common, ordinary men and dying for us.

Close:

Hebrews 10:11-12:

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God…

The question is do you know Him? I talked about Marathons and the battle of Marathon. The messenger died. Jesus died for us and, in a metaphorical way, Jesus calls us to die to Him as well.

Luke 9:23-24:

 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

Jesus is the King, surrender to the Mighty Savior today.

As we go through this week, take a few moments and pray about surrender. If Jesus came back right now, what is something that He would ask about, some thought or action? Repent and surrender. Or, what is something you haven’t done that you know He wants you to do? This week take some time and reflect on your spiritual life. Grab your Bible, a pen and paper and take some time and ask God to show you some things to work on. Read Psalm 42 and pray that you desire God like the Psalmist.

“During World War I, a British commander was preparing to lead his soldiers back to battle. They’d been on furlough, and it was a cold, rainy, muddy day. Their shoulders sagged because they knew what lay ahead of them: mud, blood, possible death. Nobody talked, nobody sang. It was a heavy time. “As they marched along, the commander looked into a bombed-out church. Back in the church he saw the figure of Christ on the cross. At that moment, something happened to the commander. He remembered the One who suffered, died, and rose again. There was victory, and there was triumph. “As the troops marched along, he shouted out, ‘Eyes right, march!’ Every eye turned to the right, and as the soldiers marched by, they saw Christ on the cross. Something happened to that company of men. Suddenly they saw triumph after suffering, and they took courage. With shoulders straightened, they began to smile as they went. You see, anything worthwhile in life will be a risk that demands courage.” [–Gordon Johnson, “Finding Significance in Obscurity,” Preaching Today, Tape 82.]

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

 

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

 

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Mk 11:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.