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  1. The Speaking Dead (Hebrews 11:4-6)

    June 29, 2013 by Pito

     

       Abel, being dead, is still speaking. He is speaking of righteous sacrifices and he is speaking of justice. His life cried out for proper worship and his death cried out for proper vengeance.

       Will you be speaking after you are dead? I pray that we all will be speaking throughout the rest of human history as our descendants and others who follow us in the faith manifest the influence of our words and conduct in an ever growing and glorious Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. This is our legacy to the future.

      Enoch and Elijah are the only two men who did not die physically. Even Jesus, the spotless and pure Lamb of God, died and what a death it was. Like Abel, Jesus’ blood is also crying out, but His blood speaks better things than that of Abel. Jesus” blood cried out for the justice required by the Father and it cried out mercy and grace to justify sinners. Jesus’ blood cries out from the ground every time the gospel is preached, every time we declare the goodness of God in Christ Jesus.

       There is coming a day when we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of the deeds done in our bodies. Christians should not fear that day but look forward to it because Christ will judge us as His children, according to familial compassion. When God recompenses our comparatively paltry works with the gift of eternal life, we will be full of gratitude for eternity.

       Our initial justification is on the Table before us. Through this sacrifice God has declared us righteous in His sight. We are accepted in the Beloved. Let us partake with joy and a thanksgiving that leads to eternal life, to our final justification at the consummation of all things.

    “Let him that is thirsty come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


  2. Faith Perseveres (Hebrews 11:1-3)

    June 23, 2013 by Pito

     

        The hall of heroes of Chapter 11 challenges us to persevere as they did, in faith. We are to do so because apostasy is a real threat to real people in the Church. The warnings given to us in the book of Hebrews are not hypothetical. Christians were really considering returning to Jerusalem to the sacrifice of bulls and goats.

       We believe God’s Word because it is true and because God has given us eyes to see, even though Jesus is not physically before our eyes. Apart from this gift men will not come to Christ. Apart from this gift Christians will go back to Jerusalem just in time for the war, the judgment. God calls us to persevere, not to fall back into that from which He rescued us.

       We are to persevere by faith through the curse on creation. We are to persevere by faith through the consequences of our own sin. We are to persevere by faith through persecution for righteousness sake.

        We persevere by faith when we are sick, when we travel, when we work by the sweat of our brow, when we lose a loved one. Through all the effects of the curse, we persevere.

       We live by faith though the consequences of our own sin. The vast majority of our troubles we afflict upon ourselves. Therefore, let us not blame others or our circumstances, or our God. Let us not be easily offended. Let us take responsibility for our sin and move on in the purposes of God. Let us be determined to persevere through the consequences of our own sin; to confess, to be instantly cleansed, then to

      “…teach others thy ways; so sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

       We are to persevere by faith through persecution. Jesus told us that we would be persecuted because He was persecuted. The servant is not greater than his Master. God trained Job to trust Him by taking things away from him, his children, his wealth and his health and it was not because he did anything wrong.

        We see God’s loving discipline all through this chapter and we see it all through the history of the church. We should not be surprised. Jesus said, “I  have chosen you out of the  world, therefore the world hates you…”

      Through the times of our sojourn here, we live by faith. We are assured that He died for our sins and that He rose from the dead and that He is putting all His enemies under His footstool. The fact that we have gathered here this morning is evidence of His grace working in history. We are His people and He is our God and nothing will ever change this. Romans 8:35-39.

     

     


  3. Life Under the Loom (Ecclesiastes 3:10-15)

    June 16, 2013 by Pito

     

       We here, under the sun, view life as we view a great tapestry on a loom. We see only the knots and snarls, not the magnificence of the design or the beauty of the whole. But by faith in the Sovereign Creator, we can see. He tells us all that we need to know and that is enough.

      Jesus even came and lived under the loom with us and by His Spirit is still with us here. He knows life from the underside. God gives His children the ability to be joyful in the midst of vapor, smoke and mud.

       To the vast hordes under the sun, life is imbecilic chaos because they walk by sight. If one walks by sight, then it is understandable that they should try to find meaning in drugs, music, art, power and money. None of these things, being vapor, satisfy the longings of human hearts. Only Jesus can do that and they had rather perish than come to Him.

       The bottom line is that God is in control, no matter what we see or think we see. He decided the day of our birth and the day of our death. He determines the seasons of life. He is behind bullets on the battlefield and cars on the highway and poisons in our cells. He is in charge of it all. When we quarrel and when we are at peace with our brothers. He is behind our grief and our relief. Our laughter and weeping are all from him. He gives and He takes away and gives again.

        Our words and our silence accomplish His will and no man can say to Him, “What do you think you are doing?” He never goes on vacation nor blinks for a nano-second.

      The foundation of all intelligent joy is to not lean on our own understanding but to trust Him, no matter what. He knows the beginning from the end and everything in between. We can’t even find our car keys half the time. Whatever it is, we leave home without is regularly. We fail to return things we borrow. We forget to thank those who have been generous to us. We even lose our lists of things to do.

       So seeing all this, what shall we do? We throw up our hands—in joy and have fun. We eat the fruit of our labors, we fellowship in the Spirit with each other and we look each other in the face and say, “It’s all beyond me.”

      So let us feast together at His Table and not worry about anything. Remember who is in control and enjoy this cup of blessing, because next we meet our Lord face to face and then we shall know as we are also known. Therefore, let us drink the wine of forgiveness and be glad.


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