Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Living Rest In Peace

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”

 

Here we have an inventation from the Lord, all things are ready.It is the great gospel cry,let him who hath ear hear,let whosoever will, come; for today is the day of salvation harden not your hearts.All things ready, all things prepared, all things removed which would hinder our comming and accepting this invite.Jesus has made himself known to us, he’s giving us the opportunity to learn of him. It is finished, the foundation laid, the great invitation now offered, but we must accept it.It’s offered to all who realize the burden of sin,those who are convienced of the evil of sin,those tired of being in and of the world,there is a promised rest,and all are invited.

 

First we must come to this rest, for it is in the best interest for sinners to come to Jesus.We must disassociate ourselves with all that stands between us and the promised rest of the Lord.We must give ourselves up to his conduct, submit to his rule and come to him freely,willingly and on his terms.It’s his rest offered to all, but only given to those who truly desire his salvation.Let us come to him and take on his yoke,laying down our yoke of sin,for his yoke is easy.Take his yoke,for his yoke will free us from the bondage of sin and death. Take on his yoke of a servant, so that we might be diligent in our service to God.His yoke of submission, that we will humbly and patiently wait on our change to come.His yoke of obedience,that we might walk in his commands and his statues; yoked together with his love,that we have love one for another.Take on his yoke and learn of him,his yoke, that is lined with love and carries the hope of heaven.

 

And he will give us rest,enter his promised rest.The rest that comes from Jesus, the rest that is with Jesus, the rest that is in Jesus, in fact the rest is Jesus.It is a living rest in peace that only comes from Jesus He gives it to every soul that comes to him in faith seeking this rest.Come rest from the terror of sin, the power of sin,and the guilt of sin.Jesus Christ our rest in the Lord, we’re all invited in , will you accept the invite?

Loving A Harlot

Hosea 1:2 “And the Lord said to Hosea,Go take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms:for the land hath committed great whordom,departing from the Lord.

 

The church of the living God.The bride of Christ,purchased with the blood of Christ, and yet she has turned to a woman of whoredom.Choosen to be a spiritual beauty,she has become material girl to be sold to the highest bidder.She has become more interested in making money than she is about saving souls, giving birth to children of whoredom.She professed to love the Lord,but she prositutes herself for the things of this world.

 

The Church of the living God,built upon the foundation of Peter confession to Jesus,that Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God,but this message has gotten lost.Jesus gave His life for the Church, He paid for it yet she has wondered into the way of a harlot. The message she preached has changed from one of soul saving to one of fund raising.The church of God revelation has been replaced with the many ministries of mans imagination.So much of the world has been invited into the temple, the temple has been turned from a house of worship, to a worldly prositute, following what ever will bring in the most money.The under shepherds have turn from servants of the Lord, to servants of self.Like a dime store pimp they use the church of God to line their pockets,and fill their lives with the toys of this world, preying on the flock instead of praying over the flock.

 

The Love of God,His church, has turned away from the truth of God’s word, to the empty promises of this world.But God is faithful and He stands with His arms stretched wide open awaiting her return. Let us go back to God, let the church get back to the business of saving souls.Let the men of God be servants of God that they might be better leaders to the people of God.

Santifying The Lords Day

Sunday School Lesson

                                 

Lesson: Nehemiah 13:15-22                                                                                                  

Golden  Text: And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse  themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the  sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according  to the greatness of thy  mercy (Nehemiah  13:22).

 

INTRODUCTION.   Since the creation of the world, God had set aside the  seventh day of the week, or the Sabbath Day as a needed rest for mankind and a  memorial that God was their Creator and Sustainer.  Now that the  Israelites were no longer captives and were free to pursue life as they desired,  they were not observing the Sabbath.  They were working, buying,  and selling in violation of the Sabbath rules.  Israel had gone  into captivity because they did not let the land observe the Sabbaths  established for it, and now the people were violating the Sabbath again.   In this week’s lesson we see how Nehemiah handled this situation  while demonstrating his legendary leadership skills.

 

II. THE PROBLEM  (Nehemiah 12:27-30).  Background for the  Lesson: Nehemiah  had come to Jerusalem on a temporary assignment approved by the Persian King  Artaxerxes (see Nehemiah 2:5-6).  He spent twelve years as governor  in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 5:14) and then went back to Persia confident that  Judah was now stable and spiritually focused.  Some years later,  Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and couldn’t believe what he saw (see Nehemiah  13:6-8).  Most of the people had slipped into the old, sinful  practices and habits that had originally led to their exile.   Nehemiah found that Eliashib the priest had converted some storage rooms  in the temple into living quarters for a former enemy, Tobiah the Ammonite (see  Nehemiah 13:4-7).  Furious about this situation, Nehemiah threw out  Tobiah’s possessions and restored those rooms to their proper use (see Nehemiah  13:8-9).  Another problem that Nehemiah found was that the needs of  the Levites were being neglected.  The Levites were supposed to be  supported by the people’s tithes (Numbers 18:21, 24).  These gifts  had not been given to the Levites causing them to neglect their temple service  in order to farm their lands to support themselves (see Nehemiah 13:10).   Nehemiah then rebuked the leaders in Judah for allowing this to happen,  and he restored the tithes and appointed men to oversee their collection and  distribution (see Nehemiah 11-13).  These offenses, especially by  the leaders were inexcusable considering that they had recently signed a solemn  oath to obey the law and honor temple worship (see Nehemiah 10:1-39).   But their violations of that oath also included desecrating the  Sabbath Day.

A. Jews working on the  Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:15).  Nehemiah writes in  our first verse  In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses  on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes,  and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the  sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold  victuals.”  In other  words, he found the people working and doing business on the Sabbath Day as if  it was any other day.  On the Sabbath Day they were  “treading wine presses” meaning they were stomping on harvested  grapes to make wine; they were “bringing in sheaves, and lading asses”  meaning they were bringing grain into Jerusalem with their donkeys  carrying heavy loads; and the loads that the animals carried included  “wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens (loads).”   The people brought all of these goods and many others into  Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath.  Then Nehemiah said that he  “testified against them in the day wherein they sold  victuals.”  In other words, he warned them against selling  “victuals” or food on the Sabbath Day.  

III. THE REMEDY  (Nehemiah 13:17-19)

A.   Rebuking the nobles of Judah (Nehemiah 13:17-18).  

1. (vs. 17).   When he saw all the business being conducted on the Sabbath, Nehemiah  wrote Then I contended  with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye  do, and profane the sabbath day?”  Strengthened by God’s will, Nehemiah “contended with  the nobles of Judah.”  In other words, he rebuked, or  confronted the leaders in Judah who should’ve opposed evil, but instead they  were part of it (see Ezra 10:14; Nehemiah 5:7; 13:11).  Nehemiah  confronted these leaders asking “What evil thing is this that ye do, and  profane the sabbath day?”  Judah’s leaders may have  thought that conducting business on the Sabbath was necessary for the nation’s  economy, but Nehemiah said it was an “evil thing.”   God said the Sabbath was holy (see Exodus 20:8) but they  had made it common (see Acts 10:15).

2. (vs. 18).  Here Nehemiah reminded the  nobles just how sacred the Sabbath was.  He said  Did not your fathers  thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet  ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.”   Nehemiah reminded these  leaders that because their forefathers desecrated the Sabbath God brought  “all this evil upon us, and upon this city.”  Of  course, when Nehemiah spoke of “all this evil” he was referring  to the Babylonian Captivity.From these passages, Nehemiah  understood why the Babylonian Captivity took place, but the leaders didn’t.  We don’t know if Ezra, who was the nation’s spiritual leader  was still alive or not.  He probably had died by this time leaving  Nehemiah, the governor to correct the disastrous direction in which God’s people  were headed.  Even though neglecting the Sabbath had plenty to do  with Judah’s past troubles, Nehemiah also said to the leaders  yet ye bring more wrath  upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.”   These noblemen, along with the rest of the people were bringing more of  God’s anger against Israel by profaning the sabbath.”   The word  “profaning” here means to pollute.  Yes, God had  been merciful to this remnant, but they hadn’t learned anything from their  history.  They were walking down a path leading to retribution from  God.

B. Closing the gates on the Sabbath (Nehemiah  13:19).   In this verse Nehemiah writes  “And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem  began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut,  and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of  my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the  sabbath day.”  Being both a wise  and practical leader, Nehemiah took things into his own hands.   When darkness began to fall on the city gates before the Sabbath,  Nehemiah “commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they  should not be opened till after the Sabbath.”  As the  governor of Judah, he had the authority to do this.  The Sabbath  began at sundown or evening on Friday and lasted until sundown on  Saturday.  So the gates were closed during that 24 hour  period.  Nehemiah even went a step further to make sure no business  would be conducted on the Sabbath.  He put some of his own servants  at the gates so “that there should no burden be brought in on the  sabbath day.”  This refers to any loads of merchandize  carried by animals into Jerusalem in order to conduct business.

IV. THE SEQUEL (Nehemiah  13:20-22)

A. Discouraging the merchants (Nehemiah 13:20-21).  

1. (vs. 20).  This verse gives us the  results of closing the gates before the Sabbath began.  Nehemiah  writes “So the merchants and sellers of all kind of  ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.”   On more than one occasion, probably on  two separate Sabbaths, merchants camped outside the gates of Jerusalem.   No doubt they did this hoping that the gates to the city would be opened  the following morning, or the morning of the Sabbath, and allow them to enter  and conduct their business.

2. (vs. 21).   After these merchants had camped outside the gates “once or twice” as  indicated  the previous verse, Nehemiah said  Then I testified  against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so  again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the  sabbath.”  These  merchants had set outside the gates on two separate week-ends expecting to get  in to do business on the Sabbath.  Having enough of this, Nehemiah  said “I testified against them” which means that he warned  them.  His warning was “Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye  do so again, I will lay hands on you.”  In other words, he  told them that if they continued to set up camp outside the gate on the Sabbath  he would take action against them.  As governor, Nehemiah had the  authority to have them removed by force if necessary.  As a good  leader, Nehemiah always faced problems head on (see Nehemiah 5:6-7; 13:7-9,  10-11, 23-23) so there was no doubt that he would do just as he said.   The merchants realized that Nehemiah meant business so “From that  time forth came they no more on the sabbath.”  From the  moment that Nehemiah gave his ultimatum and going forward, none of these  merchants came to do business in Jerusalem on the Sabbath  day.

B. Appointing Levites as guards  (Nehemiah 13:22).  In our final verse,  Nehemiah writes And I commanded the Levites  that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the  gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also,  and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.”  In  verse 19, Nehemiah placed some of his own servants to guard the gates on the  Sabbath.  Now he went further and commanded the Levites “to  keep (or guard) the gates.”  But before they could do  this, Nehemiah also commanded that “they should cleanse  themselves.”  Since guarding the gates would be to  “sanctify the sabbath day” this was a sacred duty and it  required ceremonial cleansing for the Levites just as serving in the temple  did.  The word “sanctify” means “to set apart unto  God.”  Nehemiah wanted the people to know that guarding the gates  would keep the Sabbath set apart and holy unto God.  The presence  of the Levites would confirm to the people that the Sabbath was to be kept  holy.  Nehemiah ended our text with a short prayer asking the Lord  to “Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according  to the greatness of thy mercy.”  The phrase  “concerning this also” refers to all the actions Nehemiah had  taken to ensure the Sabbath would be kept holy.  He wanted the Lord  to honor what he had done even though a lot of it was not popular.   But just in case he had acted out of God’s will, he appealed to the  “greatness of (God’s) mercy.”  Note: Christians are not required to observe the Jewish Sabbath,  primarily because everyday should be holy for us.  However, the  early church set aside the first day of the week to remember Jesus’ resurrection  by rest and worship (see Acts 20:7; I Corinthians  16:2).

            

V.  Conclusion.  How far  are you willing to go to honor God on the Sabbath, or the Lord’s Day in  Christianity?  Is gathering with God’s people important enough that  you are willing to set aside other activities in order to hear from your  God?  Nehemiah believed it was important, and we should too.   The Lord’s Day is a day given to us so that we might be reminded of our  identity with Christ.  Furthermore, it was given for our rest, both  spiritual and physical.

                            

    

 

 

 

 

  

So Good; I Just Can’t Tell It All

Psalms 116:7 “Return unto thy rest,O my soul;for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee”.

In these troubled times we can get pulled away from the rest and peace of the Lord by the trials and percieved troubles of this world.We without even being aware of it ,at times begin to focus on that which we don’t have and we don’t thank and praise God for that which we do have.Through it all we must remember that God has been good to us.

 

We must remember that when we were lost in darkness on our way to hell, He sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save our souls.Everything we need God gave us when he gave us Jesus.In Jesus we have salvation, in Jesus He has supplied our every need, in Jesus He our battles are won,in Jesus our enemies must behave, in Jesus we have rest and peace for our souls.So let us return to the Lord,he said in His word “take no thought”, we already have the victory, our needs have already been met,but we must walk in the faith that we have all that we need.Jesus does have all power,and we must live in the faith that we are victorious, and believe that no weapon formed against us shall prosper,that all things do work together for the good to them who love the Lord,and return for the Lord has been good to us.

 

As I look over my own life,even in these hard times, God has supplied my every need.The world said I was unfit to live ,but God felt I was to precious to die.Today as I look back I see that God has been good to me,and woe with me if I don’t preach the gospel of Jesus Christ,the power of God unto Salvation. He has been so good I just can’t tell it all………..