Archive for July, 2020

A Light In the Darkness (John 1-2)

July 31, 2020

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

This has personally been an amazing week of study as I have had the honor of walking with you through each beginning chapters of the four gospels.  As I sit here today I realize the Lord has directed me each day to write about how Jesus first coming has the potential to impact our lives in the now:

  • In Luke 1 we discovered Christ to be our Messiah in impossible times.
  • In Luke 2 we discovered Jesus coming to rescue us from the worst of times.
  • In Matthew 1-2 we discovered Jesus to be our resting place in vicious times.
  • In Mark 1 we discovered the power of Jesus to give us a new beginning in life.

Today we come to John’s gospel.  John’s gospel focuses on the deity of Christ.  In this gospel we will discover many of the divine attributes of God.  In chapter 1 we discover the following about Jesus:

  • Jesus is the Word of God.
    • He is eternal
    • He is co-equal with God
    • He is the creator of all things
  • Jesus is the life.
    • He gives us our existence
    • He along gives us eternal life
  • Jesus is the light.

It is here where I want you to focus with me.  Certainly we need light in this dark world.  In Christ we discover the answer to how we got into this world (He is the creator).  In Christ we come to understand who is God (1:14-18).  In Christ we find purpose in this life (He is the light of our path).  In Christ we overcome the darkness of this world.  In Christ we become Children of God (1:12).

Oh, there is more:

  • Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

It is Christ who breaks the curse of sin by His payment on the cross. It is Christ who breaks the power of sin.  You and I can live a new life in Christ.  The misery of sin’s shame is no more because we are forgiven.

  • Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel.
  • Jesus is the Messiah.

Brothers and sisters, you and I have only experienced just a glimpse of who He is.  No wonder the darkness cannot overcome Him.  He is the true light and He offers light to the entire world.

Question, as a Christian do you feel like you are in a season of darkness?  Here are four questions:

  1. How is your fellowship with God?  Unconfessed sin leads to broken fellowship.  I John 1:9
  2. How is your faith?  Is God calling you to deeper faith? Luke 1:38
  3. What are you fighting through?  You and I have an enemy, Eph. 6:10-13.  Set your eyes firmly on the Light of the World.
  4. What are you failing to see?  I believe He is taking you to new heights of victory, James 1;2-5.

The words of the Song do it again really sum up what we have been reading this week:

Do It Again

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet
I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ll see You do it again
Oh-oh
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget
Take time to listen to the song on Youtube.

Starting something new (Mark 1)

July 30, 2020

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Mark 1:1

There is always excitement within me when I get to begin something new.  As I wrote the previous sentence I realized that is not a totally true statement because there are times when I am called to new things that maybe I don’t want to face.  For example, when it came time for me to admit I had crossed the half-a-century mark in my life.  I really did not go into depression, but at the same time I did not shout for joy.

Here is a principle I have learned in life: Everything God places before me is for my good.

This morning we consider Mark’s gospel.  Mark begins with powerful words, “The beginning of good news…”

Brothers and sisters this gives me great excitement because I am starting at the beginning part of a journey in which I am going to unpack good news.  I wonder how differently our days on the earth would be if we approached every day with the view that in this day I am going to unpack good news.

For Mark the good news began with Jesus Christ the Son of God.

  • Jesus (Earthly name given by the Father, Matt. 1:21).
  • Christ (Name given in the Old Testament signifying the coming of the Anointed Messiah).
  • The Son of God (This title points us to the deity of Jesus).

Mark invites his readers to begin something new.  This something is a life-time of following Jesus.

In Mark 1 we get a taste of how the process of something new happens:

  • We see Jesus calling out to Peter and Andrew, 1:16-17.

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:16-17

Jesus call was clear:  To follow means Jesus become the Lord of your life.  To follow means you must come off the throne of your life.

Jesus call meant a radical turnaround:  These men would have to leave what characterized them, consumed them, and had been a life-long career.

Later in Mark’s writing we read the words of Jesus:

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mark 8:34

Question:  Have you received such a call and have you signed up for this calling?

  • We see Peter and John fully surrendering their lives to Jesus.

18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 

I love this part of the story.  Jesus was going to take these men (upon their surrender) and use them in greater ways than they ever imagined.  I am sure Peter never imagined as his dad was teaching him to cast a net into the sea for a catch of fish that one day he would cast the net of the gospel (Acts 2) and three-thousand people would be saved.

I love how God uses our talents, our past, and life experiences to fuel the work of the Kingdom. I believe with all my heart that God is calling a new generation of believers to start something new!

But I must tell you, there is one catch, you must close us shop where you are before you can start something new.

I wonder, have I really closed up shop where I am?  Have I really let go of the world or have I tried to carry the past with me into God’s present calling.  I hope you receive this in the spirit I intend it to be in.  God can never fully use you and you can never fully embrace a new beginning as long as you carry around the corpse of your old life.

Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “Any man who puts his hand to my work (the plow) and looks back is not effective (ready) for the Kingdom of God.”

Many who read this are living in the midst of the journey with Christ.  I challenge you to think back to the day you began a new journey with Jesus.  I challenge you to strengthen your pace in this journey, you are closer to the finish than you where when you began.

I look forward to the day when you and I get to cross the finish line!!!  When we do, it will be a new beginning for eternity with God.

Resting in a vicious world (Matthew 1-2)

July 29, 2020

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20

Thanks be unto God for His wisdom, love, and sovereign authority over every affair of this life and the life to come.  Brothers and sisters, I believe with all my heart that nothing happens apart from God’s control.

Psalm 49:5 “Why should I fear in times of trouble?”

Psalm 46:5 “God is in our midst, we shall not be moved, God will help us when morning dawns.”

Now I know there are those who say, if all of this is true, then why does God allow the world to be so vicious?  One must remember God did not create this world as a vicious place (Gen. 1:31).  You and I have a hand in what Adam and Eve started by continuing their pattern of rebellion against God.  The reason the world is in the mess it is in is simply because you and I have been given leadership over our own affairs (Rom. 1:24-25).  We have proven our inability to lead. We must own our mess!!!

Now I know there are those who are shaking their fist at God with a blaming heart.  There are many who ask, why did God not do something or why does God not do something about our world?

Friend, He did something about our world:

  • For 42 generations God called people to turn back to Him, but they would not, Matt. 1:1-17.
  • Jesus came as God’s answer for our mess, Matt. 1:18-21.

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

  • Jesus felt the full weight of this vicious world.

Even as the Magi (2:1-7) came to worship Jesus, King Herod was planning Jesus demise.  God intervened in Jesus life (2:13-15) and Joseph carried Jesus away from King Herod’s plan even as untold numbers of babies were murdered by King Herod (2:16-18).  Through it all God kept the hope of the world alive and on point for His mission, (Jer. 31:5).

Evil cannot win against God!!!

  • Jesus did not flee from this vicious world.  He was raised in the city of Nazareth.

Jesus life was so that He could identify with us (Heb. 4:12-16).  Jesus modeled how we are to live our lives and He taught us how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every part of Jesus life cries out, there is victory in His name in the midst of this vicious world.

  • Jesus died, was buried, and rose again after three days.

I still say, God is wise, loving, and sovereign over the affairs of this life.  I offer you the following Scriptures to consider as you search for a resting place in this vicious world.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah[a]

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
    your blessing be on your people, Psalm 3.

Romans 8:28-38

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It was the worst of times and it was the best of times (Luke 2)

July 28, 2020

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn, Luke 2:6-7

The days leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ were in many ways impossible days (see yesterday’s blog).  From a human viewpoint it was the worst of times.  Consider just  a few of the historical details:  The Jewish people along with most people groups in the world were under the domination of Rome.  In Israel the Jewish people were living with a religious system that had become very corrupt.

Not only do we understand these facts, we learn even more as we turn our attention away from the nation and turn our attention toward one engaged couple, Mary and Joseph.   Brothers and sisters, their world had been turned upside down.  An angel from Heaven had announced that God was giving this couple a child in the most unusual way (Luke 1:31-32).

  • How were they going to be able to explain this to the people in Nazareth?
  • How could they convince people that they were telling the truth?

As the couple were trying to navigate all of this the news came that they were going to have to go to Bethlehem to fill out a national census.  This could not get worse, but it did because Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy.

Are you ready for more?  The little town of Bethlehem was a ninety mile journey through rough territory.  When the couple arrive they found the town overrun with people called to the city to do the same thing they were being asked to do.  Joseph discovered there was no room available.  Oh, it cannot get any worse, but it did, Mary announced to Joseph, “It’s time!”

The only place Joseph coul find for the baby to be delivered was in a stable because there was no room for them.

Yes, now you can say it, these were the worst of times.  But wait, I believe these were also the best of times:

  1. Mary gave birth to The Son of God.
  2. Mary gave birth to Heaven’s answer for our sin, 2:11

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

On this impossible night in history a light shown (the glory of God) into the world.  The Lord had come (Luke 2:14).

Brothers and sisters, you and I once again find ourselves in impossible times.  But at the same time I tell you these are the best of times.  I know this to be true: The gospel shines brightest when it is darkest in the world.

All those years ago the shepherds made the news of Christ widely known (2:17).  They let the world know, the Savior has come.  In our day we must again make it known that the Savior has come to save.  We must join the Messiah in His work.  He is even now working (Matt. 5:13-16).  He is teaching us how to live and how to love.  We must know that the Messiah is coming again (Rev. 21:11, 22-26).

Only Jesus can turn the worst of times into the best of times!!!

Impossible Times (Luke 1)

July 27, 2020

 37 For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Each July, at least for the past several years, the Hal-Mark Channel has aired Christmas movies all month long under the theme of Christmas in July. If you have never watched one of the movies I can summarize all of them for you.  Here goes:

Young man or young woman goes through either tragedy or through a life change that leads them to a small town that loves Christmas.  It is always the Christmas season in those small towns.  Young man or young woman meets someone of the opposite sex in this small town.  The couple fall in love and just before the movie ends, they have trouble and they break up, but quickly it gets fixed and they end the movie madly in love.

Wow, is this how life is really lived?  If one listens to the media he or she believes such a life is impossible because we live in impossible times.

This week we come to the Gospel of Luke in our year-long reading plan.  Dr. Luke is called by God to write a detailed account (Luke 1:1-4) of the ministry of Jesus.

When Jesus entered the world scene it was during impossible times.  Rome was ruling the world and the world was in a mess.  Luke begins his narrative of Jesus life on the earth by sharing with us a few details of what took place in the 15 months leading up to Jesus birth.

One of those events was when the angel Gabriel came to a young virgin by the name of Mary.  He announces to here:

30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

The impossible was about to happen with Mary.  A virgin conceiving and a baby being born who was sinless.  It was impossible but praise God with God nothing is impossible.

The story of Christ coming gives us a glimpse into God’s glorious answer for the impossibilities of our day.  Mary would come to understand what was about to happen to here.  She cried out to God in praise:

50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.

This Monday you and I need to be reminded, the God who came to this earth came to give us glimpse of what He could do and what He did do and someday He is coming again.  But until that day He is extending mercy to all who call on His name.

The Day is Coming (Malachi 4)

July 24, 2020

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch, Malachi 4:1.

Brothers and sisters, I never really intend to do it, but I sometimes allow it to happen.  Yes, I sometimes get tunnel vision.  Have you ever gotten tunnel vision? Here is working definition of tunnel vision:

“the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view”

The tunnel vision I confessed to above is those moments when I get me focused.  In those moments the Lord comes according to Hebrews 12:5-11 to chasten me in order that my vision would change.

Now there are other times when I get tunnel vision in the correct way.  Yes, there is a way to have correct tunnel vision.  According to Malachi this vision is  tunnel vision concerning the Day of the Lord.

The Prophet of God was attempting to turn his nation back to God.  We could say, they had a self-focused tunnel vision.  The Prophet points Israel to the one day in which they should be preparing for.  This day has two implications:

  • This will be a day of judgment for the unrighteous.  There will be the fires of judgment that will also include all the unrighteous from every age, Matt. 3:12.
  • This will be a day of joy for the righteous.  The righteous will leap for joy at the sight of the Second Coming of the Lord, Mal. 4:3-4.

Question: Do you have tunnel vision?

  1. If your Tunnel Vision is focused on you-you will ignore the truth of the Day of the Lord.
  2. If your Tunnel Vision is focused on unrighteous-you will resist the Day of the Lord.
  3. If your Tunnel Vision is focused on righteousness-you will live in light of the Day of the Lord.

In Heaven there will only be righteous people.  But we are not in Heaven yet.  We are called to live righteously here (Phil. 2:1-5) and we are called to reach the unrighteous.  Here are words of Tunnel Vision for God’s people:

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:7-11

 

The Only Reason Why (Malachi 3)

July 23, 2020

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed,” Malachi 3:6

I tried but I could only endure it for just a few minutes at a time.  Each time I tried, I felt like I was being sucked into a funnel cloud of a tornado.  Finally I wimped out and went to bed.

Yes, it is true, I wimped out and gave up trying to watch the late night news.  Now, you could be laughing at me in this moment.  If so, consider what was in my mind.  I was wondering how much lower could our country sink into division and depravity.  I was asking God, how much longer would it be before destruction came from Heaven?  I was also wondering it God’s wrath is already being revealed (Rom. 1:18-24) by God  simply turning our nation over to our own evil inventions.

Do you now see why I could only endure the news for a few minutes at a time?

This morning I honestly found great courage as I opened my Bible to Malachi 3.  I remind you that in Malachi’s day the nation of Israel was also sinking in division and depravity.  She was in that day arguing with God concerning His judgment about their lives.  God was promising judgment against her sins.

Here in chapter 3 Malachi gives his people great hope in the prediction of the coming of the Messiah.  Malachi writes about the coming of  a prophet before Jesus.  We know his name to be John the Baptizer, (John 1:9-15, Matthew 11).

As Malachi writes we come to a verse that almost seems out of place in the text, but what we realize is this, God was the reason why this people had not already destroyed themselves.   Here is the verse:

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”

I have to pause here and write:  Praise the Lord!!!

There are no less than 4 encouragements I take from the truth of verse six:

  1. I have learned to trust fully in the God who never changes.  Lamentations 3:22-23

“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great us Your faithfulness.”

2. I have learned to never give up because of who He is.

   but you are the same, and your years have no end, Psalm 102:27

3. I have learned to be at peace because He is on the throne, Isaiah 6:1-5.

4.  I have learned God has the power to change individuals and entire nations, Numbers 23:19

God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Because of these truths I live my life on the front lines of service to our God. I may from time to time turn off the news, but I will not turn off what God says and I will not turn away from what God directs for my life in these crucial days.

God has called us to prepare a people to meet the Lord.  Yes, John the Baptist did a great job in preparing people to meet Jesus at His first coming, but we can do even greater in these days if we follow Him with confidence and obedience.

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he, Matthew 11:11

Something is Missing (Malachi 2)

July 22, 2020

15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[f] And what was the one God[g] seeking?[h] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[i] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth, Malachi 2:15

A guy went to a very large used car lot with one purpose on his mind.  He had a certain car he had always wanted to purchase and now he had saved enough money to buy a used one.  This guy spent over an hour looking for this car.  He had almost given up when he made his way to the back of the car lot and there is was, the very car of his dreams.  He wondered why it was where it was on the car lot, but he filed the thought away because the more he admired the car the greater his anticipation was to own the car.

He quickly entered the office area of the car lot and asked the price of the car.  The salesman he was engaging responded with heartbreaking news, sir you do not want this car.  The guy responded, oh yes I do.  I have always wanted this car.  The salesman said, sir there is something missing in this car.  The guy could not imagine what was missing on the car.  He asked, what is missing.  The salesman replied, the engine is missing.

In Malachi 2 the prophet of God continued to confront Israel with her sin.  Because of her sin God had removed His fellowship and His favor.  Malachi points out two things that were missing in their lives:

  • There was the absence of Godly leaders in their nation.  The priests had become corrupt, 2:1-12.
  • There was the absence of God’s leadership in their marriages, 2:13-16.

According to Malachi, God’s design for marriage had been replaced by a man-centered plan for marriage.  The view was simply this:  You exist for me and if you do not please me, I am done with you.

Now do not act surprised by what you just read.  This same man-centered view of marriage exists as the prominent view in our world today.

Malachi pointed out what was missing.  The people did not invite God to lead their marriages.  He was the tie that would bind them together in self-giving love.  He was the tie that would lead them to put others before themselves. He was the love that would transform them into the people they were called to be.

Yes, something was missing.  God was missing in their marriage.

I wonder, is there something missing in your marriage or is there something missing in other areas of your life?  Solomon wrote about a three-fold cord that was needed in marriages in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (Check it out).

Brothers and sisters, only when we have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5) can we have true fulfillment in our lives.

God help your people to hunger for what is really missing in our lives.  God we turn over the throne of leadership to You.  Do more than fix us, make us new this day in You.

The value of your gift (Malachi 1)

July 21, 2020

14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. Malachi 1:14

Each year I always find myself struggling with the perfect gift for Sherry when it comes to the many different times in the year when I celebrate her.  Sometimes it comes to me easily and at other times the gift giving comes hard.  Here are four variables that come into the mix when I consider a gift for Sherry:

  1. How much do I really value her.
  2. How much money is available for the gift.
  3. What are my options for the gift.
  4. What is the occasion for the gift.

As I read this list, I realize these same four variables come into play each time I consider giving anyone a gift.  Now you may ask, why are you talking about gift giving?

The reason is because this is exactly how Malachi begins his prophecy to the Children of Israel.  Malachi was the next to last Old Testament prophet (John the Baptist being the last).  He writes during the time of Nehemiah.  Malachi points out the sins of Israel which include corrupt social justice, corrupt priests, ungodliness in marriage, and wicked sacrifices.

Throughout this book there is a kind of argument between God and Israel.   In chapter one the people are sacrificing at the altar.  God says, the gifts they offered were corrupt (1:7).  God had clearly outlined the gifts they were to give (Lev. 9:2-3; Deut. 15:21) but the people were proving how little they valued God.

Question:  Are you in the habit of gift giving?

God said to His people, I am a Great King.  But sadly the people did not view Him in this way.

Brothers and sisters, there is no one like King Jesus.  Paul wrote of God’s love for us in Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us, how will He not also give us all things.” 

The Children of Israel were all about themselves in Malachi’s day.  They told God, this is my best, when in reality it was there left overs.

Brothers and sisters, I want with all my heart to give my best to God.  I encourage you to become a giver to the God who has given you everything (II Cor. 9:6-7).  Each day I consider what I have been given and then I consider what I have to give as I with all my heart give my all to Him.  I know this is your heart as well.

Calling all worshippers to the house(Nehemiah 12)

July 17, 2020

“So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God…” 12:40

In the days of Nehemiah the excitement was building as it came time for the dedication of the rebuilt walls around the city of Jerusalem.  The news began to spread, calling all worshippers (Levites) for the dedication.

Numbers 12 gives us list of some who came to worship.  The worship service was heard for miles away.

Question, how long has it been since you were in worship?  I know COVID-19 has hindered many people from being in worship.

When Covid-19 hit even our church closed its public worship services.  A few of us would come each week and worship together and proclaim the Word of God for multitudes of people online.  While I am thankful I was able to lead in this, I confess nothing replaces being together.

The Bible calls for the people of God to gather together, Heb. 10:25.  The encouragement of our family togetherness cannot be reached staying at home.  The power of the Word together is no where near the same as being together.

I know many of you are saying, I enjoy worshiping at home.  Here is my question: is this really what Jesus establishes the church for?  Check out Matt. 16:18.  I promise you, once you get to the house you will say, it’s good to be home.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON SUNDAY