24 November 2011

You Might be Celebrating Thanksgiving in Haiti if....

We had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with over 70 missionaries and NGO workers today.  The fellowship was awesome.  The food was divine.  The children had a great time.  It was fantastic to be able to spend time with others who 'get it' and are completely free about it.  Life in Haiti is no joke - life in Haiti as a 'blan' (non-Haitian) is no joke either.  Unless you've done it, you will never 'get it' - never.

To give us a little laughter before dessert - and now to give you all some insight you otherwise wouldn't have, the children of Heartline Ministries presented us with a "You Might be Celebrating Thanksgiving in Haiti if...." routine.

Here's the WHOLE routine.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

1Thessalonians 5:18

And in all things give thanks, for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

22 November 2011

Tuesday Teachings - Repentance - Part Two


What does repentance provide for the believer?

Romans 3:20 - 26
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 


Repentance provides justification or right standing with God. Justification is a change in a person's standing or relation with God. It is an act of God that frees penitent sinners from the guilt and penalties of sin.

Justification is God's answer to repentance and faith.

In "Repentance - Part One", we looked at the plight of the Israelites, God's chosen people, after their disobedience and departure from God. We read how utterly disgusted God was with them and that He said He would not help them anymore. We saw their repentant hearts toward Him. Here is His answer...

Judges 11:21
And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.


To justify is to declare righteous. When God justifies a person, he acquits them, not based on their innocence, but of His own love and grace.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


Because men rebelled against God and entered into sin, there is a separation between man and God. All men are sinners by nature and are condemned by a holy and righteous God.

WE NEED JUSTIFICATION!

God transfers the guilt of the believer onto His account.

The death of Jesus made justification (righteousness) and forgiveness of sins possible.

2 Corinthains 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 


How do we receive justification? How does it work?
1. Grace...

Titus 3:7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 
2. Blood...

Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

3. Faith...

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

What does justification do?

1. Removal of the penalty of sin...

Romans 4:7
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 

2. Condemnation is gone...

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

3. Peace with God...

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

4. Christ's righteousness is ours...

Romans 4:5 
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 


2Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


Repentance is necessary.

God commanded that all repent. Repentance must be a conscious decision to turn from sin and follow God. It is necessary for salvation; necessary for a walk with God. God desires repentance for us that we no longer go our own way.

Repentance should LOOK LIKE REPENTANCE.

Repentance justifies the believer. It is received through faith, His Grace and His Blood.

Repentance and Faith in Christ remove sin and condemnation and provides righteousness and peace with God.

15 November 2011

Tuesday Teachings - Repentance - Part One


Hebrews 6:1 - 2
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Repentance from dead works and faith in God are two foundational issues in the life of a believer.

Repentance is the first step. It must be taken in order to even enter into a true relationship with God. It is taken in faith. Faith is the substance of the christian's whole life and walk.

Acts 17:30 
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.


God commands us to repent. If we don't repent, then we are in sin. Then we have to repent! :-) There is no choice or option given here. We do not have the luxury of choosing NOT to repent. It is a command. We do not have any options to repenting. We can't just go make God some brownies instead. That's not repentance, that's making brownies. Confession is not repenting, it's confession. Being, or saying you're sorry is not repentance. It is being or saying you're sorry.

Both repentance and faith are gifts from God the Father to us - we turn from our ways to follow Him.

Both repentance and faith go beyond our initial experience of salvation and work actively throughout our walk of sanctification.

What does 'repent' mean?

From Webster's Dictionary:
REPENT', v.i. [L. re and paeniteo, from paena, pain. Gr. See Paint.]


1. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.

2. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God's holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.

There is an implication of conscious moral separation from God; a personal decision to forsake sin and enter fellowship with God.

It is a conscious decision to make a 180 degree turn and go the other way, forsaking all that we thought was good and right in our own way and choosing to go a different way.

Have you ever been lost while driving? I am usually pretty good as long as I can see the position of the sun and know what time it is, 
(thank you Boy Scouts). Well, I never let on to my family that I am lost unless it's completely hopeless. They usually hear something like, "Oh, don't you just love this dirt road, it's so beautiful out here today." But if the sun has set or there are serious clouds and we are on a road she has never seen before, and every curve is to the left, my wife knows we are probably lost. But she never says anything. Thank you, honey. I like to try new roads and find shortcuts. I know some of you are laughing right now because either you or your spouse or your parents do this too. But sometimes I get so lost, the only thing left to do is turn around. I was going in the wrong direction. I had gone astray. I had to turn around. Completely.

Why is repentance important?

Well, as we saw earlier, it is commanded. It is also essential for salvation:

Mar 1:15 
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.



Luk 13:3
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.



Act 11:18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Repentance is something that God himself desires for all of us. He is patient with us. OK, He's more than just patient. The Word says He is longsuffering! Sounds like a true father to me!

2Pe 3:9 
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


If we do not repent before God of our ways, then we are choosing to go our own way. Our own way will lead us in the wrong direction. In fact, our own way goes against God's way or away from God Himself. Who wants that? A friend of mine likes to rap. I told him he should use this in one of his songs. If we go our own way, we will surely go astray.

Isa 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Our own way leads us astray. Because of this, we should indeed choose repentance and follow God.

Repentance calls for a renunciation of self confidence and will initiate a confidence in God.

Judges 10:15 - 16
And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. 
And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.


Try reading the rest of this passage to get an idea of what the Israelites were going through. They had turned their backs on God. He told them that he wasn't going to help them anymore. They repented. They realized what they had done to God and told Him that He could do whatever He wanted with them, (duh) but just please save them from this current attack. We must confess that we have sinned, turn from it, put it aside and place our confidence in God.

It is key here that they got rid of all their idols. Repentance should look like repentance. There are times when our sin involves other people, directly or indirectly through actions. Sometimes it is only known between us and God, through our thoughts or feelings toward others. Either way, repentance should look like repentance. Something should look different. It should be a visible change; visible to God or others.

Act 26:20 
But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.


'Works meet for repentance' = Put away the idols.

1Thessalonians 1:7 -8
So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.


The Thessalonian Church had a faith in God that was heard about in other places; so much so that Paul didn't even have to preach in some of those places. People were believing simply because of the repentance and faith of the believers in Thessalonica. Repentance should look like repentance. We must repent and turn to God.



11 November 2011

THANKS !

To all the veterans I know, and many more that I don't know....

Thanks!

10 November 2011

Throwback Thursdays - Open Air Video

Here's a video of me doing some Open Air Preaching 3 years ago in Easton, PA.

Things have definitely changed since then.  I was very nervous to preach open-air, until I started doing it.  Never would have done it if God hadn't said 'go'.

Apologies for the poor sound.

08 November 2011

Tuesday Teachings

We are starting a new Tuesday post theme: Tuesday Teachings.

It's self explanatory really.  Posts on Tuesdays will be teachings from the Word.

So, here's the blog post line up so far:

Saturdays and/or Sundays: Weekend Worship - Posts, usually videos, to get you into the spirit of worship.
Tuesdays: Tuesday Teachings - Teachings from the Word of God.
Thursdays: Throwback Thursdays - reposts from our own former blogs - or those of friends - oldies but goodies.
Fridays: Friday Fix or Friday First - Things we miss about wherever we are not that week or what we or the children experience for the first time.

Anyone have any ideas for Mondays or Wednesdays?

Comment on the blog (not Facebook) with your ideas and we'll go from there.

We'll be starting Tuesday Teachings next week.

Next Tuesday: "Repentance - Part One"

"Get it Off!"



07 November 2011

2e

Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.


James 1:12