One Thousand Years: Genesage "Bird Brained" (Chp 2:1)

                                                                                                     

One Thousand Years: Genesage

"Bird Brained"

(Chp 2:1)

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The Sparrow

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Today was the sixty ninth year in the Kingdom of God. While Heaven had come to Earth it met with Hell on Earth.

The world had literally fallen out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Nothing was left when the World began again.

It was birthed into a Kingdom, but what had been before, like an afterbirth, was dead and useless. It was no longer needed for the “new birth”.

Slowly the world got better.

The results were sixty-nine years later the Nation of Yisra’el was well on its way to recovery.

That was the good news; the bad news was nothing remained of what man had wrought.

All was gone.

Survivor’s mental and emotional states were still getting around to where they should be, but without a frame of reference, the memories were mostly nightmarish.  Some were learning to move on with life, others held to ideas of the Old World.

The world outside in the One Continent Eretz was still changing.

Changing from chaotic devastation to something resembling creation.

  It was a far cry from where it had been; but judging as to where it was headed, the world still needed time. Time to develop.

As with almost every other day, a sparrow returned to visit. It was morning. In the early mornings the little bird arrived to an open window as if to listen. Maybe he just came to look for food, perhaps to join in somehow.

Either way He would watch the young and old, twelve in all, gather around a long table. It wasn’t too small and it wasn’t too tall; some might have said, it was just right.

The table was low to the ground so the occupants reclined or sat cross-legged. No one fell asleep but all were relaxed when they came. Or at least no one had fallen asleep ….yet. If they had, there might have been a few in attendance that would have enjoyed the idea of someone falling asleep while they were there.  They would have “helped wake them up.” 

So far that hadn’t happened…, yet either.

The sparrow was a character. He looked more like a student than a bird. He didn’t fall asleep either.

He certainly paid attention. He seemed genuinely interested. At times the students appeared more like the sparrow. They seemed intent on looking all around except where they were. Often carrying on conversation, they seemed less interested at times of where they were, than what they were going to do.

Bird brained or human brained there were times when it was hard to tell the difference.

The bird probably would have resented being called “man-brained”.

As the people assembled together in the meeting place, the sparrow was always the first to arrive. He landed outside, wide awake and attentive. Perky and rather chipper, with an open window in front of him, it was an obvious invitation to come in.

So the bird did. No hesitation on his part, he just made himself to home.

The bird would hop up onto the window sill.

While waiting it would dart it's head to and fro, cocking it from one side to the other, to watch the arrivals enter. Scoping them out, the bird eyed every activity. He watched every person that came or went in the morning meeting.

Being eagle eyed by one so small was certainly amusing but he did appear alert….for a bird.

There was nothing particularly remarkable about the little one, just the fact that he showed up whenever everyone got together.  He was always there, he never missed. Nothing unusual per se except the bird knew how to look you in the eye.

In the morning meetings the bird, a sparrow, serenaded the arrivals as they streamed in one or two at a time. Singing a song as sparrows do, no one knew the words to name that tune.

But they did enjoy the sparkling notes of the repertoire the bird could sing. Sometimes some of those in attendance would whistle a tune at the bird.

Or at least they used to.

The first time they did the bird stopped singing and stared.

The sparrow as small as he was seemed to grow in stature as he glared at the one whistling. No longer darting its head or twisting its neck, the bird would hold as dead pan a stare as anyone had ever seen. A stare at whoever was whistling at him. Looking at the bird in the eye, one could almost imagine that the person whistling had said something stupid and the bird took umberance with it.

Maybe he did, no one knew for sure.

They just didn’t whistle when the bird was singing anymore deferring to the little one.

This morning the bird was singing with no competition.

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LastCall What is your orientation toward leadership? (104-1) -Barry Werner

What is your orientation toward leadership? (104-1)

Jesus was a great servant leader, but He was also the Son of God. Do regular leaders, those of us that are ordinary in our gifts and talents, have a chance to measure up? Every Christian leader has the spirit of Christ in them and will make a choice concerning how to live and lead, serving others or serving self. Read 2 Kings 4:1-5:19.

Elisha’s ministry to the widow and to the Shunammite and her son are obvious examples of compassion and servant leadership. The same is true of the incidents concerning the stew pot, the feeding of the hundred and the healing of Naaman, the leprous commander of the Syrian army. Clear parallels exist between these miracles and those that Jesus performed.

Elisha could have demanded some special loyalty, recognition or payment for his services but he chose to freely give and serve those who lived in his sphere of influence. His actions indicate he felt he existed to serve God and others rather than demand that he be served.

A leader can select from two fundamental but opposing orientations toward their organization. They can “take from” the organization as many perks and privileges as possible or they can “put into” the organization their passion to make it great and serve the needs of others. Those that “put into” their organization demonstrate by their actions the core value that God placed them on earth and in a position of leadership to help others live productive and satisfying lives.

Good leaders do good things. Servant leaders do great things. They help others’ lives to matter by serving them. Servant leadership is great leadership. Even leaders with average skills get to demonstrate Christ likeness to the world around them through servant leadership. Every time we demonstrate Christ likeness we do in fact become more like Christ, the greatest servant leader in the history of the world.

What is your orientation toward leadership?

Do you feel the organization exists to provide you a title, job and status or is your passion to use your position to make the lives of those that work with you better and more satisfying through serving them as you meet your organization’s goals?

·       

·       

« Are you a strategic thinker? (103-5)

What is your leadership style? (104-2) »

]

Last Call Digest

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call        

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

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LastCall: We Are The Salt & The Light -Kay Arthur

PRECEPTS FOR LIFE

a Production of

Precept Ministries International

P.O. Box 182218, Chattanooga, TN 37422-7218

1-888-734-7707/ www.preceptsforlife.com

The following is an actual transcript of the PRECEPTS FOR LIFE Broadcast. For the purpose of filling transcript requests quickly, they have received only light editing. If you have questions concerning the material covered in this broadcast, Kay has published a number of books explaining the Scripture in depth. These books may be ordered by contacting the telephone number or address printed above.

 

SERIES: Sermon On The Mount

TITLE: Program 5 – We Are The Salt & The Light – Therefore Persecution Is Coming        

FRIDAY (1/22/10)

          

OPEN 

In all the noisiness of life, in all the rush and all the stress and all the pressure, what do we long for more than anything else? Isn‟t it a quietness? Isn‟t it a peace? A peace that just is like taking a deep breath and sighing and all of a sudden finding everything washed away. How does that come? Well Jesus came as the Prince of Peace. We‟ll talk about it today as we look at the Sermon on the Mount.

 

PART ONE

I‟m on what is called the Mount of Beatitudes. I‟m at the church that is run by a group of sisters here in the Galilee.

You know it was on this mountain that Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) And then He went on to tell us other attributes or the characteristics of those that belong to the kingdom of heaven and the blessings that will be theirs.

And as He brings these “blessed‟s” to a close, He brings them to a close with two things. First of all He says, “Blessed are

the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”

And then He says, “Blessed are you when men will revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My name‟s sake.” (5:9-11) And He tells them to “… rejoice and to be exceedingly glad …,” for He says, “…great is your reward in heaven.” (5:12) He opens the Beatitudes with saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

He closes then by saying, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of God.” It‟s so interesting that just before He talks about persecution, He talks about being a peacemaker. Isn‟t that something? That we are to be the peacemakers. And yet as peacemakers we are going to be persecuted by the world. Well let‟s look at each one of them individually and what I want to do is I want to begin first of all with blessed are the peacemakers.

And I want to take you to Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6 because in Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6 is that wonderful, wonderful prophecy, because it‟s a prophecy that has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. And in Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6 it says this, “For a child will be born to us, and a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Where do we find peace?

Where do you find peace in the midst of all the clamor, in the midst of all the trauma of life, in the midst of the pain and broken relationships and the pressure and the stress, where do you and I find peace? We find peace not in our circumstances, because circumstances are never going to be the same but we find peace, Beloved, in a person and it‟s in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called the Prince of Peace and it says, “…the government shall be upon His shoulders.”

It‟s talking about the government of your life. The stress comes off because you belong to God, because He‟s Abba Father, because Jesus is your Savior, because He is your Lord, because God is sovereign and He rules over all and you can rest in Him and you can trust in Him. He is the eternal Father. He is the Prince of Peace. And it goes on to say, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of His peace.” In other words when you and I believe in Jesus Christ, we have the Prince of Peace living within us.

But that peace

just increases, and increases and there will be no end to the increase of peace in your life and in my life because as we come to know Christ and as we walk with Him and as we live out the character of a child of God and the citizens of heaven what happens is more and more and more the stress comes off, more and more and more the pressure comes off. More and more and more as we mature we learn to rest in Him and to trust in the Prince of Peace and when we do that, what happens in our life?

You and I become more and more like the son of God because as He has made peace with us through the cross of Jesus Christ so then you and I step forward to make peace with others. To bring others into that knowledge of Jesus. I want you to go from here to Luke chapter 12.

And in Luke chapter 12, we see another scripture that is so important for us to understand. In Luke chapter 12 He goes on to tell us in verse 49 and these are Jesus‟ words. “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!” In other words someday there‟s going to be a judgment. There‟s going to be a judgment of all those who do not possess the Prince of Peace, who have not believed in Jesus Christ.

There‟s going to be that judgment and the baptism that Jesus is talking about that is a baptism that is a very difficult baptism that He has to undergo is the baptism of the cross. Because it‟s at the cross that men are made at peace with God. It‟s at the cross that men are reconciled to God. And so He says that He has this baptism to undergo and He says, “…how distressed I am until it is accomplished!”

But when He hangs on that cross, the final thing that He says is, “… tetelestai, it is finished, it is accomplished.” And just before He‟s arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prays to the Father and He says this, “I have finished the work that You have given me to do.” (John 17:26) In other words what He‟s saying is this. It is accomplished, and what He accomplished on Calvary enables you and I to have peace among men with whom God is well pleased.

Now listen to what He says though. He says, “Do not suppose that I cam to grant peace on earth. I tell you, no, but rather division; from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two

against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father and mother against daughter, and daughter against mother and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in law.” (12:51 – 53)

Now why? We think, “OK, He‟s the Prince of Peace. He came to bring peace.” He came to bring peace among men with whom He‟s well pleased but because when He comes into our life He sets us apart because we take on the character, the purity of heart, because we take on the character of Jesus Christ then it causes in the world animosity. And yet what are you and I called to do?

Well you and I are called to be reconcilers of men. We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. “Blessed are …,” now listen carefully, “… the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” As Jesus came to put us who are at enmity with God back in peace with God so, my friend, Jesus commissions you and me to go and to carry out this wonderful ministry of reconciliation. It‟s in the gospel of Matthew that we‟re studying the Sermon on the Mount and the gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus‟ final teaching, with Jesus final instruction and then His words are truly finished because He ascends to the Father.

But His final instruction is this. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. And I want you to go therefore into all the world and I want you to make disciples of all men, followers of Me, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you…” And then He says this, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

I want to take you to 2 Corinthians chapter 5, 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and this is an epistle that was written by Paul to a church that was in conflict with him. And yet although he was in conflict with these people, and although they were mistreating him, and although they were demeaning him you find Paul trying to make peace with this church going out of his way troubled in his spirit until they be reconciled, unable to go about and give the gospel on a trip that he knows that he‟s to do because he‟s so concerned about this relationship.

Why? Because, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 this is what he says, “If any man be in Christ, he‟s a new creature;

old things have passed away; and all things have become new.” And he says, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ….” (II Corinthians 5:17-18)

Now when he‟s talking about reconciling us, he‟s talking about taking 2 things that are separated and bringing them back together. Reconciliation means to unite two that are at enmity with one another, two individuals or two groups. You know of people that just have a job to be reconcilers between businesses and reconcilers between husbands and wives and reconcilers in families. Well you and I are given the ministry of reconciliation. Listen to what he says, “Now these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (5:18-20) Remember He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Jesus came to bring peace between man and God and now He gives you and I the same calling as sons of God. We‟ll talk about that a little bit more and what it means to be persecuted in salt and light when we come back, Beloved.

 

PART TWO

Peacemakers, but persecuted. It seems incongruous, doesn‟t it? But listen to what Jesus says. He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers …,” Matthew chapter 5, verse 9, “… for they shall be called the sons of God.” And, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (5:10)

Now He‟s not talking about a persecution that comes because you‟re mean or because you‟re ornery or because you‟re just stubborn or digging your heels in or because you don‟t know how to behave. He‟s talking about a persecution that comes because you‟re righteous, because you‟re living according to God‟s standard, because you‟re reflecting to others who Jesus Christ is and the fact that He‟s in you and He‟s made you different. He goes on to say, “Blessed are you

when men shall cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (5:11-12)

In other words when you are persecuted then you‟re put in good company because you‟re in the company of the prophets. Now I want you to know that as you and I become like Christ, more and more we are then separated from the world. And in that separation from the world, the world can see the contrast.

But we‟re not only separated from the world and the world‟s seen the contrast and the world not liking what they see because our righteousness, our good deeds, our behavior, our exemplary character then takes away the cloak or the covering that they have for their own sins and their own excuse because here‟s a woman like you, or a man like you, or a teenager like you living in the same circumstances, living in the same situation and yet not being ugly but being kind and being lovely and turning the other cheek and blessing instead of cursing, being gentle and caring about them, being merciful and forgiving.

And they see you and they see that‟s possible but they don‟t want it to be possible so they begin to persecute you. They begin to make up lies against you. They begin to insult you. Some of you know that unfortunately in a day by day existence because you‟re one believer married to an unbeliever or you‟re living with unbelieving children and they seem to gang up on you. And all I want to say is, “Oh, Precious One, Precious One. I know it‟s hard and I know it‟s difficult but don‟t look at today. Look at the future and know this. That there is a reward coming. Know that this is because of the sake of Jesus Christ and your reward will be great.”

As we look at this, as we look at the fact that we are going to be persecuted I want us to go to Matthew chapter 23. And in Matthew chapter 23, Jesus is speaking about the scribes and the Pharisees because He‟s talking to people that are persecuting Him. He‟s talking to people that are enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet they profess to know God. They call God their Father. So what I want you to see is that persecution can come from the world but persecution can also come from religious people and remember He says, “You‟re in the company of the

prophets.”

Well listen to what He says. He says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and you adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, „If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.‟”

He says, “Consequently you bear witness against yourself, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets.” (23:29-30) They‟re sons of those who murdered the prophets because they don‟t like the righteousness of Jesus Christ and they don‟t want others to be followers of Jesus Christ. So you can know and you can expect this, Beloved, that if you are a son of God, if the kingdom of heaven belongs to you, if Jesus is your King, if He is your Lord, if He is your master, you will be persecuted.

So what do we do when we encounter that persecution? Well, I want us to go to Hebrews chapter 11 because I want us to see in this Hall of Faith what God has to say and in Hebrews chapter 11, he‟s talking about people who by faith conquered kingdoms and performed acts of righteousness and obtained promises and shut the mouths of lions and quenched the power of fire but then he goes on to say this, “…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35)

What is he saying? That great is their reward in heaven. He goes on to say, “…others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonments. They were stoned, they were sawn in two…. they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” (11:36-40) Or complete yet, why? Because Jesus was yet to come.

Now listen, if they could do all of that in faith looking forward, you and I can do all that in faith looking backward and knowing what Jesus Christ has done for us, that He has come, that the debt of our sin has been paid in full and you and I can go forth boldly. You and I

can go forth in that strong confidence proclaiming the good news, that ministry of reconciliation that Jesus who knew no sin was made to be sin for us and they can be at peace with God. Now as you and I look at this I want you to go to 2 Timothy. And in 2 Timothy chapter 3 this is what he says, he says, “…indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted …,”

They will be persecuted. “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Timothy 3:12-13) And yet with that persecution you and I have to know and understand this: that we will never go through that alone. In Hebrews 13:5 and 6 He says that, “He will never leave us so that you and I can boldly say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me because our eyes are not on the temporal. Our eyes are on the eternal.”

Our eyes are on the reward. As Paul gets ready to die, he‟s going to be put to death. He‟s going to be martyred because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what he says, “…I am already poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; and in the future there is a crown of righteousness, laid up for me and not only for me but for all those who love His appearing.” And listen to what he says, he says, “At my first defense no one supported me, all deserted me; …” but he says, “… may it not be counted against them.” (4:6-8 and 16)

Why? There is that quality of mercy there. There is that quality of righteousness there. There is that desire to live life on a higher plane and in verse 17 it says, “

But the Lord stood with me … man may have deserted me, but the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion‟s mouth.” And he says and, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;” he says, “to Him be the glory forever and ever….” (4:17-18)

Yes, you and I will be persecuted. It may simply be insults and those are hard to bear but you and I also can know that we are going to have that full reward.

Why? Because we‟ve been salt and light.

Last Call Digest

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call        

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Call Journal

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

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LastCall: Abram is a genuine example -Bob Caldwell

The Victory of Faith

 14:19-23 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.”

Abram takes another step forward in becoming the “father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11). His rescue of his brother’s son, Lot, was a courageous step of faith. He placed himself and all that he had on the line. If this confederacy of kings had defeated Abram, he would have lost everything.

Abram was learning what Paul would later write, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). God was with Abram, giving him an amazing victory in spite of the much larger army these five kings had put together. But Abram’s faith didn’t stop with this military victory. It continues in his encounter with Melchizedeck and the king of Sodom.

Abram is met by Melchizedeck, a man with the same heart as his own, a heart after the “Most High God.” Together they honor God for this victory of faith in rescuing Lot. In faith and gratitude Abram gives a tithe, 10% of all that had been taken from this military victory. This is followed immediately by Abram turning down the wealth of the wicked city of Sodom offered by its king. Abram will not want to take anything from the ungodly who would seek to rob God of His glory in being the One who alone prospered Abram.

Abram is a genuine example of how a life of faith can mature, resulting in ever-increasing blessings from God. This process of faith will give us victories far beyond what we could obtain without God. This type of faith that produces what man could never accomplish points others to see the potential glory God could bring to their own lives.

Genesis 14:1-24

 Lot's Captivity and Rescue

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations,

2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

3 All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).

4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

6 and the Horites in their mountain of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is by the wilderness.

7 Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar.

8 And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim

9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five.

10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains.

11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Abram’s Defeat of the Four Invading Kings (Verses 1-16)

v. 1 Amraphel – He was the King of Shinar which was the land of Babylon and Elam (Gen. 10:10).

Arioch – He was the King of Ellasar, which has been identified with a region in Babylon or Assyria.

Chedorlaomer – The king of Elam, which later would be called Persia. He was the most powerful of the rulers as evidenced by verse 4.

Tidal – He is said to have ruled “nations.” This likely referred to several city states that represented different people groups that he ruled.

v. 2 They made war – Listed in this verse are the five city-state kings who developed a confederacy and sought to overthrow the foreign rule and taxation of Chedorlaomer.

v. 3 Valley of Siddim – This would have been in the area of the Dead Sea.

v. 4 They rebelled – The effort of these five kings to overthrow the rule of Chedorlaomer is what caused this ruler, with his three allies, to attack these cities.

v. 5 Rephaim – This and several other areas are defeated by the invaders as they take a wide sweep to the east, south, over to the southwest, then back to the northeast, gradually encircling and closing in upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Their final attack was coming down from Hazezon Tamar.

v. 10 asphalt pits – The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah must have hid there, as the king of Sodom was still alive and free in v. 17.

v. 12 dwelt in Sodom – Lot had by this time gone from having his tent pitched near Sodom to actually living there.

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. 14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15

He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.

Abram and Melchizedek

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;

20 And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And he gave him a tithe of all.

v. 13 Abram the Hebrew – He is called a Hebrew which was a term derived from Eber, one of Abram’s ancestors (Gen. 10:25). This term was most commonly used of God’s people when dealing with other nations.

Mamre – This Amorite and his two brothers were allies of Abram already, and had no doubt made an agreement to defend each other.

v. 14 his brother – Although it was through bad choices that Lot ended up living among these ungodly people, it did not stop Abram from seeking the well-being of his nephew that was a “brother’ in the sense that Lot was his brother’s son.

trained servant – A trained servant is one who is trained for combat. In these days there was no police, no civil protection, and therefore a great need for being well prepared for self-defense.

Dan – This was not the Dan associated with the tribe of Dan which was located at the northern source of the Jordan. It was the city of the same name that belonged to Gilead, which was in northern Persia, south west of Damascus.

v. 15 Hobah – was a quarter of a mile north of Damascus

Abram Honors God for Victory (Verses 17-24)

v. 18 Melchizedek – The name means righteousness. He prefigured Jesus Christ. King David in Psalm 110:4 told of one coming who would forever establish a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. In Hebrews 5:5-10, 6:20 it is made clear that Jesus was the fulfillment of this eternal, unending priesthood.

Salem – means peace. This was in the area that would one day be Jerusalem and this man was a king of the area. Thus, he pointed to Jesus who would be a King of Righteousness, Prince of Peace as well as a Priest of the Most High God.

bread and wine – This priest of God brought that which would be central to the worship instituted by Jesus Christ, the bread and wine that represented His body and blood given once and for all in His eternal priestly service.

God Most High – is “EL ELYON.” El is God, Elyon is highest or most high. This speaks of God as supreme, the creator and ultimate ruler over all things. This account reveals that even in these ancient times, with no written Bible, God made Himself known to any who sought to know the true God.

v. 19 blessed be Abram – Abram is said to be “of God” meaning that Abram’s blessings were a direct result of his relationship to God. Furthermore it reveals the kindred understanding Abram and this Priest experienced. They both knew the same true and living God.

v. 20 tithe – Abram gives ten percent of all that had been taken from Chedorlaomer as an act of worship and recognition that God had given the victory. This act of worship reveals that the concept of tithing predated the Mosaic Law and is therefore to be considered as an ongoing act of worship even though the Mosaic Law has been fulfilled by the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

v. 21 give me the persons – It would be customary for Abram to have the right to keep both the spoils and the people. This King is trying to create a way to get the people back so he can rebuild his city-state of Sodom.

v. 23 not take anything – Abram left a strong witness to these ungodly people of Sodom. He made it clear that they should look only to God as the one who delivered them, not Abram. Abram’s life of prosperity had been and would continue to be the direct result of God’s blessings—not man.

v. 24 their portion – Abram reveals his just attitude in not taking what did not belong to him. Those who were unbelievers that had helped him were free to take the spoils normally due them.

Last Call Digest

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call        

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Call Journal

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

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LastCall: The New and Living Way -Bob Hoekstra

The New and Living Way

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us. (Hebrews 10:19-20)

Here, life under the new covenant of grace is described as the "new and living way." This could be contrasted with the "old and dying way" of attempting to live under the old covenant of law. The "newness" of grace is not really a matter of time sequence, because the grace of God actually precedes the law in man's history with God.

The "tree of life" in the garden of Eden was God's provision of grace for Adam and Eve. The promises of God to Abraham (given hundreds of years before the law) depended upon the faithful grace of God, not the legal performance of Abraham.

The "newness" of grace is its everyday freshness and vitality. Day by day, by the grace of God, fresh measures of life are abundantly available to those who look to the Lord as their supply. This makes life with God fresh and new every day.

Under the old covenant, only one person, the High Priest, could enter into the intimate presence of God in the Holy of Holies. Furthermore, this was only allowed one day a year. Such limited access would certainly "get old" in the hearts of all who hungered after the living God.

Now, under the new covenant of grace, every believer in Jesus (our great High Priest) can confidently approach the Lord personally any moment of every day: "Having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus." Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which forgives all of our sins, we can speak to the Lord and enjoy His presence in our lives continually.

Jeremiah gave some early insight into this kind of fresh and vital relationship with God. "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!'" (Lamentations 3:22-24).

The Apostle Paul wrote profoundly concerning such "newness." "But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6). This is the "new and living way." This will never "get old."

O Lord of life, my heart yearns for this new and living way. O, how I long to dwell in Your presence day by day! Lord, I confess that every attempt to base intimacy with You on my best performance has always become so old and dying, so stale and lifeless. My soul is stirred with hope in You and this better way. O Lord, teach me to walk by this new and living way, in the name of Jesus, my great High Priest, Amen.

Last Call Digest

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call        

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Call Journal

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

40 Days: Day Eight -Rick Warren

Planned for God's Pleasure

You created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 (NLT) 

The Lord takes pleasure in his people. Psalm 149:4a (TEV)

You were planned for God's pleasure.

The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave him great pleasure. God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight.

Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have? You are a child of God, and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created. The Bible says, "Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children-this was his pleasure and purpose.'

One of the greatest gifts God has given you is the ability to enjoy pleasure. He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it. The reason you are able to enjoy pleasure is that God made you in his image.

We often forget that God has emotions, too. He feels things very deeply. The Bible tells us that God grieves, gets jealous and angry, and feels compassion, pity, sorrow, and sympathy as well as happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. God loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs!

Bringing pleasure to God is called "worship." The Bible says, "The LORD is pleased only with those who worship him and trust his love.'

Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Like a diamond, worship is multifaceted. It would take volumes to cover all there is to understand about worship, but we will look at the primary aspects of worship in this section.

Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being-an inbuilt need to connect with God. Worship is as natural as eating or breathing. If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if it ends up being ourselves. The reason God made us with this desire is that he desires worshipers! Jesus said, "The Father seeks worshipers."

Depending on your religious background, you may need to expand your understanding of "worship." You may think of church services with singing, praying, and listening to a sermon. Or you may think of ceremonies, candles, and communion. Or you may think of healing, miracles, and ecstatic experiences. Worship can include these elements, but worship is far more than these expressions. Worship is a lifestyle.

Worship is far more than music. For many people, worship is just a synonym for music. They say, "At our church we have the worship first, and then the teaching." This is a big misunderstanding. Every part of a church service is an act of worship: praying, Scripture reading, singing, confession, silence, being still, listening to a sermon, taking notes, than music, giving an offering, baptism, communion, signing a commitment card, and even greeting other worshipers.

Actually, worship predates music. Adam worshiped in the Garden of Eden, but music isn't mentioned until Genesis 4:21 with the birth of Jubal. If worship were just music, then all who are nonmusical could never worship. Worship is far more than music.

Even worse, "worship" is often misused to refer to a particular style of music: "First we sang a hymn, then a praise and worship song." Or, "I like the fast praise songs but enjoy the slow worship songs the most." In this usage, if a song is fast or loud or uses brass instruments, it's considered "praise." But if it is slow and quiet and intimate, maybe accompanied by guitar, that's worship. This is a common misuse of the term "worship."

Worship has nothing to do with the style or volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all-fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don't like it all, but God does! If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship.

Christians often disagree over the style of music used in worship, passionately defending their preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. But there is no biblical style! There are no musical notes in the Bible; we don't even have the instruments they used in Bible times.

  

Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.

 

Frankly, the music style you like best says more about you-your background and personality-than it does about God. One ethnic group's music can sound like noise to another. But God likes variety and enjoys it all.

There is no such thing as "Christian" music; there are only Christian lyrics. It is the words that make a song sacred, not the tune. There are no spiritual tunes. If I played a song for you without the words, you'd have no way of knowing if it were a "Christian" song.

Worship is not for your benefit. As a pastor, I receive notes that say, "I loved the worship today. I got a lot out of it." This is another misconception about worship. It isn't for our benefit! We worship for God's benefit. When we worship, our goal is to bring pleasure to God, not ourselves.

If you have ever said, "I didn't get anything out of worship today," you worshiped for the wrong reason. Worship isn't for you. It's for God. Of course, most "worship" services also include elements of fellowship, edification, and evangelism, and there are benefits to worship, but we don't worship to please ourselves. Our motive is to bring glory and pleasure to our Creator.

In Isaiah 29 God complains about worship that is half-hearted and hypocritical. The people were offering God stale prayers, insincere praise, empty words, and man-made rituals without even thinking about the meaning. God's heart is not touched by tradition in worship, but by passion and commitment. The Bible says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men."

Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life.

Worship is not just for church services. We are told to "worship him continually" and to "praise him from sunrise to sunset."  In the Bible people praised God at work, at home, in battle, in jail, and even in bed! Praise should be the first activity when you open your eyes in the morning and the last activity when you close them at night. David said, "I will thank the Lord at all times. My mouth will always praise him."

Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory, and pleasure of God. The Bible says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.'  Martin Luther said, "A dairymaid can milk cows to the glory of God."

How is it possible to do everything to the glory of God? By doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus and by carrying on a continual conversation with him while you do it. The Bible says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

This is the secret to a lifestyle of worship-doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus. The Message paraphrase says, "Take your everyday, ordinary life your sleeping, eating, going-to work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering.  Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence.

When I first fell in love with my wife, I thought of her constantly: while eating breakfast, driving to school, attending class, waiting in line at the market, pumping gas-I could not stop thinking about this woman! I often talked to myself about her and thought about all the things I loved about her. This helped me feel close to Kay even though we lived several hundred miles apart and attended different colleges. By constantly thinking of her, I was abiding in her love. This is what real worship is all about -falling in love with Jesus.

                          DAY EIGHT THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE

 

Point to Ponder: I was planned for God's pleasure.

Verse to Remember: "The LORD takes pleasure in his people." Psalm 149:4a (TEV)

Question to Consider: What common task could I start doing as if I were doing it directly for Jesus?

Last Call Digest

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call        

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Call Journal

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

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