King David promised God that he would build a temple for him, so that no more the Ark of the Covenant would be carried around and would have a stationary place to reside at. But, towards the end of the king’s life when he decided to erect this temple God resisted him and requested that one of his sons be the one to build this temple. It is a good thing that we build our homes in God, because our families need God. And, when we build our homes in God he promises to give eternal salvation to them as with Cornelius and his family(Acts11:13-14). King David’s son Solomon decided to take on the charge of building this house for the Lord and the specs of the house were “the inside ceiling was was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the Temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet)”. This temple had a porch which was overlaid with pure gold. To the front of the porch 2 huge pillars and unlike the other parts of the temple, the pillars had human names. The temple took 7 years to build. Solomon searched out the best material for this temple. Solomon ordered the people Jew or non-Jew to anytime they were going to pray to kneel towards the temple.

1 Kings 7:20-22
20 On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. 21 He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin[a] and the one to the north Boaz.[b] 22 The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.

Now, the two pillars that stood in front of the temple porch were named Jakin and Boaz and they were to symbolize those who keep watch on the house no other item or fixture had a human name. Each house needs a pillar to hold the structure of the house. Someone has to be the pillar. Now the name Jakin; the right hand pillar, means “He will establish”, and it attributed to three influential leaders, one was the 4th son of Simeon found of the Jachinites, a priest in David’s time, and a priest in Nehemiah’s time. And, Boaz; fleetness meaning swift or rapid, who married Ruth was in the direct line of descendants of the Messiah. Throughout time we have come across people who hold pillar position, such as Aaron and Hur, and Peter with the church. During the battle with Amalec each time Moses’ arms would get tired Aaron and Hur would pick them up allowing God’s people to have victory during the war (Ex17:11-13). Jesus told Peter out of his confession he was going to build the church (Mt16:18). Jesus also told Peter that he was one who had to feed the church (Jhn21:16), and as pillars we are the ones to nurture the foundation we are holding. As pillars, sometimes we will find ourselves holding on by ourselves making sure the foundation does not move. We are built into the pillarship of foundation of the Apostles, they held the foundation of the church (eph2:20).

 

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Worthy home “peace”

Matthew 10:9-15

9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

God supplies all our needs when we make it a priority to do his will!

One of the things that is rewarding is when you work on a project, say building a shelf, repairing a broken pipe, searching for that wanting item for the right price, or helping a child learn a school problem and achieving the desired outcome. It is a great feeling of accomplishment, when you set out to do something and it gets down the way you want it to. Jesus sent out his disciples with that same mindset, that they would accomplish that what he sent them to do. The disciples needs as they went out on their mission was going to be satisfied, whether they would need food, money, clothing or what ever they would need it was going to be done. When we ad-heed to the mission God has for us the same goes for us, he will provide everything we need to accomplish what we are commanded to do. We do have a mission! In Matthew 28:18-20 and it reads “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen”. And, in order for us to do what we are supposed to God promised that all our needs would be met. Paul said that God would supply all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Ph4:19). David said that the righteous is not forsaken nor do they beg for bread (Ps37:25). One of the things that qualifies us to having God supply our needs is our decision to do what he calls us to do, many have their needs met because of their efforts and chance in life.

But, when one is passion to doing God’s will they are classified as a worthy person to his kingdom. Now, according to the dictionary one of the definitions for worthy is weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much. And, we become Christ like when we seek to do the will of the Father (Ro6:4). As Christ followers we weigh the same, we are all the same, and we are going to encounter others in Christ. Our homes need to reflect who we are in Christ, because it is one thing that we are worthy before the Lord and our homes are havoc. When we are out seeking to do the will of God it is when his peace rules our homes. The word peace in our text today means exemption from the rage and havoc of war, and if we notice today how many people are filled with rage it is astronomical. So, it is possible that while we are believers that our homes could be filled with rage and havoc. Jesus said my peace I give you not like the world I give you (Jh14:27). In order for much of the rage in our society to seize, the people of God have to rise to the expectation. We are peace makers, but before spreading peace to other homes are homes need to be in order (Mt5:9). 

 


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

 

Short of the Promise land

Numbers 32:5-7

Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them?

Becoming prosperous and obtaining all the goodies this life can offer is tempting.

Today, we have the opportunity to acquire riches that at other times were unreachable. Back in the 80’s the minimum wage was about $3.35 per hour, and today we can find jobs with the minimum of $12.00 per hour. Only the rich could offer cell phones back then, and today anyone even homeless people can obtain one. Riches of this world are becoming easier then ever to get. Jesus taught us that this world’s riches choke the word of God (Mt13:22). It is easy to fall in love with today’s riches, I mean who does like to speak to another person over a video from thousands of miles away. In fact, two young men were playing a game thousands of miles apart, one was in the US and the other was in London, and the one in the US started to get seizures. The young man in London was able to find the address of his friend and send first responders to save him. So, falling in love with today’s riches is easier to do then ever, but the bible tells us not love this world otherwise the love of the Father is not in us (1Jhn2:15-17). Paul tells us that through the craving of the riches of this world many have gone astray (1Tim6:10).

Now, the people of Israel were promised a land which flowed with mild and honey when they came out of Egypt. They wondered through the wilderness many years trying to get to this land. And, when they were getting close to the land, the land became tempting to keep them from continuing their journey. The children of Gad and of Ruben became enticed with the land and decided not to continue to land God promised; they found the land better then the one God had promised. Now, what is better then what God promises? God’s promises are true and they are precious (2Pt1:4), they enable us to escape the world’s corruption. Gad and Ruben fell into the trance of this world and did not experience the promises of God. The riches of this world are temporary Solomon tells us that they will make themselves wings and fly away (Pro23:5). But, God’s promises bring about a promising future and hope (Jer29:11). And, when we choose the riches of this world rather then his promise land, well it brings a distaste savoir to him, and God was not happy with the children of Gad and Ruben. 

Settling for something short of the promise is not what God expects from us. We are to press forward for towards God’s promises, because they are true and faithful (1Cor1:9). They are yes and Amen, God’s promises (2Cor1:20).

 


God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Num23:19.

 

A change always comes about when God selects one for his purpose. The bible teaches us that many are the called but few are the chosen (Mt22:14), and when one is chosen it is because of some great impact is going to happen. Every once in a while there comes someone whom God chooses to do something extraordinary. The preparation process at times may seem odd or a bit strange for this chosen for the extraordinary. Luke the writer of Hebrews shares this desire that God equips us with every good thing for the work of the ministry or purpose (Heb13:20-21). Paul the apostle states that God has ordained apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, evangelist for the edifying and building of the saints for the extraordinary (eph4:11-12). There is a process that the chosen need to go through before what God has called to us to do becomes a reality.  One thing is for sure and that is that once God has chosen someone there is no turning back, he will complete it till the end (Ph1:6).  

Daniel 4:36-37

At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Nebuchadnezzar was a young man whom took after his father and became the greatest king in Babylonian times the people ever seen. He began his military career and moved quickly to becoming the greatest captain the Medes army every seen. His military skills were superior to anyone and everyone in those times. After his fathers death he became king and took Babylon from it being almost in ruins to becoming the city of lights. The city became famous for arts, philosophers, educators and engineers. Nebuchadnezzar married a Medes princes and created for her the hanging gardens in the back yards of their castle, which are known today as one of the seven wonders of the world. He was seen by the people of Judah as a favorable light, because he set Jeremiah free along with the poor when he conquered Judah (Jer39:11-12). 

This king’s favor towards God’s people brought favor from God to him and made him a chosen one(Jer27:6-7). God’s plan with Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) began with the revelation of his chosen via a dream; the dream of a statue and his kingdom the head of gold. Then God deals with the images or idols in his life when he sends the three young men into the fiery furnace. And, after, God deals with Nebuchadnezzar’s priorities of belief when sends Daniel into the lions den. And, finally God deals with Neb to humble himself and recognize who the Lord is when he sends him to seven years of a mad life with the animals of the fields. In order for the extraordinary to happen one needs to be a chosen, and to be a chosen one needs to go through a process of change.   

Ambassadors of Christ

The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” (Nm20:7-8)

FAith

In a shadow

Believing that God can do and does on our behave is both a benefit for us and for others as well. People feed of our faith, for instance four friends were taking their friend who was paralyzed to see if Jesus would heal him in Mark 2:3-5, and He did just that because of their faith.  Jesus spoke that our faith has to be like the mustard seed that when it grows it grows to be a tree where birds take refuge in (Mt13:31-32). Faith is something that has to be articulated, with our tongue we tell mountains to move and they have to obey(Mk11:22-23). Jesus said that whatever we ask the Father in his name he would do it (Jhn16:23). 

Now, all the people that were with Moses were waiting to see what he would do to get them water, and so his action would whether they would believe God or not. And, all that Moses needed to do was to follow the instruction given by God to speak to the rock, but he did not. Moses instead of speaking to the rock, which would have cause a faith movement with the people struck the rock with his rode (Nm20:9-11). People believe when they hear the faith things we speak, and see God do according to what we ask. When people see us do the work, they do not need to believe in God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” The word of faith is in our heart (Ro10:8), but we need to speak it otherwise it cannot come to a reality. Moses’ faithless act caused the people not to believe in God and he nor Aaron could not enter into the promise land(Nm20:12). There is a price to pay for those in the shadow of our faith see no faith.

 

 

1 Peter 1:1-3

Sanctified by the Spirit


 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

After the ascension of Jesus Christ and the beginning establishment of the church with the apostles in the forefront, God was not finished with the selection process of his kingdom members. The instructions to the apostles and to those who read the scriptures was to go and make disciples of all the nations (Mt28:19). God beforehand knew and knows whom he selected (Jer1:5). His selection process is based on your heart, and he searches it to see if you are one of the chosen ones (Mt22:14).  And, just like God rejected Esau and chose Jacob (Ro9:11-13) knowing there hearts, He chooses you. God is in search for the exile ones, those whom have been rejected by others; the ones who used to be belong but not anymore. He gives a real purpose to those who are purposeless. 

Now, the work of the Spirit of God is to sanctify the chosen ones, and this he does through guidance in prayer, through the scriptures and fellowship with other believers. But, the question that to often is misunderstood is, what is sanctification or holiness? According to Vines dictionary it holy means to be separated to God.  It is similar to a magnet which sides either attract and creates a positive union, or it un-attracts creating a negative appeal. When we are sanctified by God’s Holy Spirit we are attracted to everything to belongs to his kingdom (ph2:13). He will repel sin from our lives by placing conviction in us (Jh16:8). The Spirit of God leads us to being obedient to Jesus Christ, and that is when we need to repent we must come to him for the forgiveness of sins. When we are the chosen we do not need to be washed with his blood, but we need to be sprinkled just to keep us separated for God. 

 

A Christmas Witness 

Mary & Elizabeth

Throughout the year many things have happened in our lives that points directly to God’s intervention. And, no matter what others say, deep within our hearts we know God had something to do with what happened. Our call to speak about what God has done is always on and it comes with blessings (Is52:7). The things that happen to us have the purpose for us to proclaim them from the roof tops (Mt10:27). There is a children’s song that says “Go tell it from the mountain, that Jesus Christ is Lord”, which charges us to do just that. We ought not to be shy or scare of giving credit to God for doing such wonderful things in our lives

Luke 1:23-25 23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

For the women of Israel it was a curse and a shame to be barren, and so was Elizabeth until her old age. But, God took this season of shame away from her and blessed her with a child like he did to Sarah, Abraham’s wife(Gen17:14-16). Elizabeth, when she became pregnant and gave birth she hid herself, though it was not customary for an Israelite to whom God did such a wonderful thing to to hide. 

It seemed to becoming a pattern with the people of Israel to not share what God had done as in the man whom Jesus healed near the pool of Bethesda. He was lame for about 38 years and on the Sabbath day Jesus healed him. But instead of giving glory to God and sharing he turned against Jesus (Jh5:14-15). 

Mary found out that Elizabeth was pregnant and that she was in seclusion and decide to come and visit her.  Mary’s fire of testifying drove her to Elizabeth and her seclusion. The scriptures says that when Mary came into Elizabeth’s house the baby inside Elizabeth leap out of joy and she blessed the seed inside Mary (Lk1:40-42). 

Elizabeth came out of seclusion and witnessed about the true meaning of Christmas. 

 

God is Lord of all. His seniority over everything created and not created exceeds anything or anyone that is moving up in status. Although there are hierarchy in creation even with man, but everything and everyone is under God. The scriptures tell that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev19:16) and this title was written on his vesture on his thigh. The message that Jesus spoke gave him tribute to being the Lord of all, and Peter relates this to Cornelius and his family in Acts 10:36. Paul says that at the mention of Jesus’ name every knee will bow and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord (ph2:9-11). Even of the most highly regarded celebrations we can hold, Jesus continues to be Lord, just as noted when the disciples were picking off corn grains during the Sabbath and were confronted by the religious (Mark 2:23 & 28).

Luke 13:11-13

11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

The Lordship of Jesus Christ is vast through our entire lives. The word Lord means KURIOS is the Greek word translated to “Lord” and that word meant master, possessor, supreme authority, king, or OWNER.” This women who was plagued with this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years came to worship, like every other day and did not expect to be heal; it probably was a Sunday like every other. Her demonic induced disease of bend over is today known as ” Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic progressive form of arthritis distinguished by inflammation and stiffness”. Jesus is Lord over any sickness and it was probably the first time Jesus met this lady, so he healed her there was no pre-planned arrangement. As we analyze this healing and the day it took place, we notice that Luke introduces Jesus by his earthly name “Jesus” when he heals this women. When he introduces the person in charge of the synagogues Luke uses the word ruler, and then immediately refers to Jesus as Lord (Lk13:14-15) placing Jesus as Lord over the day of Sabbath. Jesus is Lord of all (Col1:15-20)! Thomas recognized this after he put his hand on Jesus’ thigh and felt puncture holes in his hands after Jesus resurrected (Jh20:28).

Thanksgiving is a time to show our gratefulness towards God who has, though we are not worthy, provided us with all the necessary things to survive. Throughout the year He has blessed us with clothing, food, homes and jobs for which we need to show our appreciation. And while God calls us to take a leap of faith and leave everything behind; that is mother, father, sister brothers, wives (Lk14:26), he promises us that we do not have to worry because he will provide those things a hundredfold (Mk10:28-30). But, while we are reminded that God supplies all our needs and gives us reasons to be thankful, there are things that we are not so willing to release to him. Things that we hide throughout life that encompass a sense of selfishness for which we will not show any appreciation towards God, we will manifest only until we decide.

Luke 4:26-27  26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[g] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

Jesus tells these religious leaders that a prophet is not with honor in his own town, when he is addressing how difficult it is for those who love money to enter into God’s kingdom. It does not matter one’s economic status any person can enter into God’s kingdom, as long as the love for money is not prioritized in that person’s life. God sent Naaman the leprod to Elisha be healed. Naaman was the captain of the Syrian army even though he was plagued with leprozy. He along with his army invaded Israel and took captive many people, and for himself took a young girl as a servant to his home. In order for Naaman to lead the army he needed to cover his entire body so that his leprosy would not be seen. This young girl understood that God uses his prophets in might ways to heal, and so she was not shy to recommending Elisha to heal her master (2Kgs5:3). Naaman requested permission from the king to go and see Elisha, and when he went to see him he told him to just wash in the Jordan 7 times and he would be healed(2kgs5:10-11). Naaman did as Elisha told him and was cleansed of his leprozy. He returned to Elisha and was so grateful that he did not have to wear his mask, because he was cleansed that he wanted to bless him with a gift(2Kgs5:15-16). But, Elisha did not want the gift that Naaman brought to him, because all that God wanted was Naaman’s heart. Naaman was released from his mask, and no longer that thing that plagued him under the mask; leprosy, was going to be present. So, thanksgiving is about really giving God thanks for the things that he has set us free from, and not just for the add on blessing he provides.

Expecting God’s rule on earth is what everyone should be doing. We work and live as Christ will come tomorrow even though we do not know the hour or day when he comes (Mt25:13). Even though we are witnessing plenty of signs that something is going to happen; we believe Christ is coming, we do not know when it will happen. It is not entrusted into us to pin point the hour (Mt24:36), it is only in the Father’s time when Christ is coming. But, we do know one thing and that is Christ is coming, and we should be living and working as he was coming today. The bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is coming back to take his church; we call this the rapture (Jh14:1-3). And, after the rapture the bible speaks that a great tribulation will occur. A period of seven years when the earth will experience changes like never before, and men will experience God’s wrath as depicted in the book of Revelations. A brief list of things that will happen on earth that we do not want our family and friends to experience are; one third of man, trees and living things will be wiped away, a giant meteor will fall from the sky, people will be killing people, Christian persecution will escalate to the highest level, diseases like never before will be rising.

Luke 19:15-20

15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

So, the people during this time of Jesus thought that God was just going to come and reign without holding man accountable for their actions. Jesus needed to clarify to this people that, because God has given us so many talents to use we are some day going to give account for them. And, this is called the “Judgement Seat of Christ”(2Cor5:10), where a reward will be given to man for his works. The servants in this parable were given talents according to their abilities (Mt25:15), and immediately there were supposed to get to work. The reward for our work is weighed in heavenly volume and not earthen. All three of the servants were given bags of money to negotiate and for their rewards they were to be placed as rulers of cities. One of the servants chose not engage in making gains with their talent, although he could have had others helped him. Rewards for serving the Lord are great. God has very big rewards for people who engage in serving and making gains on their talents (1Cor3:12-15).

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