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Incarnation Contemplation - Simeon & Anna

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Simeon and Anna were elderly people who had anticipated the appearance of the Messiah for many years. Here are their stories.

 

Luke 2:21(VOICE) Eight days after His birth, the baby was circumcised in keeping with Jewish religious requirements, and He was named Jesus, the name the messenger had given Him before His conception in Mary’s womb. 22 After Mary had observed the ceremonial days of postpartum purification required by Mosaic law, she and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. 23 They were fulfilling the Lord’s requirement that “every firstborn Israelite male will be dedicated to the Eternal One as holy.” 24 They also offered the sacrifice required by the law of the Lord, “two turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

 

Jesus was circumcised as the Law required on the eighth day. After Mary waited the required 40 days for purification, Mary and Joseph took the baby to the Temple in Jerusalem. As the firstborn male, he was to be dedicated to God. Two turtledoves or two young pigeons was the sacrifice for poor people who did not own or have the ability to purchase a perfect lamb. However, they were dedicating THE PERFECT LAMB! At this time, He was given the name Jesus which means “Jehovah is generous. Jehovah saves.” God’s free gift of grace was purchased by Jesus on the cross to save us from our sins, a generous gift indeed. Before Jesus created the world, before He spoke everything into being, He was “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8b (KJV). This means that even before Adam and Eve could sin and be deceived, God in His mercy, had cleaned up the mess of sin. In God’s timing it was as if Jesus had already gone to the cross.

 

Luke 2:25 While fulfilling these sacred obligations at the temple, they encountered a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was a just and pious man, anticipating the liberation of Israel from her troubles. He was a man in touch with the Holy Spirit. 26 The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Anointed One. 27 The Spirit had led him to the temple that day, and there he saw the child Jesus in the arms of His parents, who were fulfilling their sacred obligations. 28 Simeon took Jesus into his arms and blessed God.

 

Simeon means “obedient, listening” in Hebrew. Simeon definitely was an obedient listener, hearing the Holy Spirit. For us to be enabled to hear the Holy Spirit, we must be obedient listeners. We must listen intently and intentionally. Simeon heard the Spirit in his heart assuring him he would live to see the Messiah. Somehow the Spirit prompted him to go to the temple that very day and hour that Jesus was being dedicated. There he saw baby Jesus in his parents arms and KNEW this infant was the Son of God. He was filled with hope, peace and comfort.

 

Luke 2:29 Simeon: Now, Lord and King, You can let me, Your humble servant, die in peace.

30 You promised me that I would see with my own eyes

what I’m seeing now: Your freedom,

31 Raised up in the presence of all peoples.

32 He is the light who reveals Your message to the other nations,

and He is the shining glory of Your covenant people, Israel.

 

Simeon now can rest because he not only believed that the Lord was in control but he had seen that the Lord was in control.  He had been allowed to see the promised Hope, our freedom the chain breaker, the One who delivers us from the prison of sin. He also acknowledged in his speech that Jesus was not for Israel alone. He was to make the message available to other nations.

 

Luke 2:33 His father and mother were stunned to hear Simeon say these things. 34 Simeon went on to bless them both, and to Mary in particular he gave predictions.

 

Simeon: Listen, this child will make many in Israel rise and fall. He will be a significant person whom many will oppose. 35 In the end, He will lay bare the secret thoughts of many hearts. And a sword will pierce even your own soul, Mary.

 

Jesus would have a polarizing effect on people. They would either recognize Him as the Messiah and be raised to walk with God, or they would reject Him and ultimately fall. He will be a significant person now seems to be a humongous understatement. Our entire western calendar revolves around Him. Granted, His life was unique, but one ordinary person can have a tremendous impact as well. I do not know how many days I have left, but I am determined to use my influence on behalf of God to the fullest extent of God’s ability within me. Exposing our secret thoughts is an intimidating and somewhat ominous proposition especially if we have not yet experienced God’s saving grace. Jesus makes our sin and failure apparent to us in order that we may see our need of Him and His availability to us when we surrender to Him.

 

Mary’s heart would be broken as she saw her innocent Son crucified. However, we know the rest of the story, that she would see Him raised from the dead!

 

Luke 2:36 At that very moment, an elderly woman named Anna stepped forward. Anna was a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for seven years before her husband died 37 and a widow to her current age of 84 years. She was deeply devoted to the Lord, constantly in the temple, fasting and praying. 38 When she approached Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, she began speaking out thanks to God, and she continued spreading the word about Jesus to all those who shared her hope for the rescue of Jerusalem.

 

Anna in Hebrew means “favor or grace, God has favored me”. God certainly favored Anna in allowing her to see the baby Savior. Anna’s husband died when they had been married only a brief time. What sustained Anna much of the time was not physical food, but prayer. She made the food for her spirit the priority rather than her physical appetite. At this point she was 84 years old. She, also, immediately knew that Jesus was the Messiah. But for her, it wasn’t time to go and rest. She now felt compelled to go and share the good news of this Messiah wrapped in the tender skin of a baby.

 

39 After fulfilling their sacred duties according to the law of the Lord, Mary and Joseph returned with Jesus to their own city of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. 40 There Jesus grew up, maturing in physical strength and increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God rested on Him.

 

After a brief sojourn in Egypt, they returned to Nazareth where Joseph worked as a carpenter. Jesus had to grow up and get stronger just like any other child. He had to satiate His hunger, hydrate, and eliminate just like the rest of us. He had to obey His parents (those He created). He was fully human yet fully divine.

 

APPLY THIS TO YOUR LIFE:

 

1. Remember that Jesus came with the cross already in view. Incarnation is not only about a baby in a manger.

 

2. Are we expecting Jesus to break through the clouds as if it could be today? And are we excitedly anticipating His moving in our lives right now?

 

3. No one knows how many days or years they have left to serve the Lord, but we can choose to live each moment with Jesus’ influence flowing through me in this life.

 

4. Anna had lived with an appetite for the Lord. Once she met Him, she was rejuvenated to share about Him with everyone. Share the Good News today!

 

Incarnation Contemplation - Birth and Shepherds

Posted on December 20, 2015 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Luke 2:1(VOICE) Around the time of Elizabeth’s amazing pregnancy and John’s birth, the emperor in Rome, Caesar Augustus, required everyone in the Roman Empire to participate in a massive census— 2 the first census since Quirinius had become governor of Syria. 3 Each person had to go to his or her ancestral city to be counted. 4-5 Mary’s fiancé Joseph, from Nazareth in Galilee, had to participate in the census in the same way everyone else did. Because he was a descendant of King David, his ancestral city was Bethlehem, David’s birthplace. Mary, who was now late in her pregnancy that the messenger Gabriel had predicted, 6 accompanied Joseph.

 

The Roman emperor wanted to have an accurate count of every family in order to impose taxes on them. The fact that Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem reiterates that he was descended from King David and fulfills the Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem in Hebrew means “house of bread”. Jesus would later be called the Bread of Life. He also compared Himself to manna at one point. John 6:35 Jesus: I am the bread that gives life. If you come to My table and eat, you will never go hungry. Believe in Me, and you will never go thirsty.

 

Luke 2:6 While in Bethlehem, she went into labor 7 and gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the baby in a blanket and laid Him in a feeding trough because the inn had no room for them.

 

Jesus was laid in a feeding trough, which goes back to the Bread of Life again. The Eternal being placed in a feeding trough because He is the food, the life source of man. I am sure the inns were packed because David had many descendants (as the Lord had promised him) that had to travel there. However, how often do we have so much “stuff” crammed into the inn of our heart, that Jesus is crowded out of our consciousness?

 

Luke 2:8 Nearby, in the fields outside of Bethlehem, a group of shepherds were guarding their flocks from predators in the darkness of night.

 

Shepherds were the least of the working class in that day. They were on one of the lowest rungs of society’s ladder. These particular shepherds may have been guarding the flocks used for sacrifices in the temple. That God chose to announce the birth of His Son first to this group of people shows that He has no favoritism of class. His interest is solely in the hearts of humanity, not where they are on the socio-economic strata. He invited the shepherds to be the first to worship the perfect Lamb of God. They were allowed VIP access even before the Magi, the wise men, from the east.

 

 

Reformation Study Bible:

Shepherds were a despised class because their work prevented them from keeping the ceremonial law, and as they moved about the country it was common for them to be regarded as thieves. They were considered unreliable and were not allowed to give evidence in the courts.

 

Luke 2:9 Suddenly a messenger of the Lord stood in front of them, and the darkness was replaced by a glorious light—the shining light of God’s glory. They were terrified!

 

When angels appear, the first response is to fall on your face afraid. Imagine how you would respond if you were out in the middle of nowhere on a pitch black night, and suddenly the sky lit up like daylight!

 

Messenger: 10 Don’t be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy, news that will affect all people everywhere. 11 Today, in the city of David, a Liberator has been born for you! He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! 12 You will know you have found Him when you see a baby, wrapped in a blanket, lying in a feeding trough.

 

Angels almost always begin with “Fear not!” because their appearance can be overwhelming. This angel declares he has something good to tell them. Joyful news of the Messiah’s birth. All three namesLiberator (Savior), Anointed One (Christ or Messiah), and Lord (used for God in the Old Testament)were used to describe the baby that had been born in Bethlehem. The shepherds themselves had probably been born somewhere better than a stable. To their astonishment, they were told that this Baby King was born in a stable and would actually be lying on hay where the cattle fed!

 

Luke 2:13 At that moment, the first heavenly messenger was joined by thousands of other messengers—a vast heavenly choir. They praised God.

 

14 Heavenly Choir: To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God!

And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God!

 

I imagine the shepherds were now shaking in their sandals. If one angel was terrifying, how much more fearsome would an army of them be? But this army was announcing peace, not war.

Peace had come for all people who bring pleasure to God. You will have peace when you give God pleasure. When you are not a peace, the question is “are you giving God pleasure or are you breaking His heart because you are not being or becoming what He created you for?” We need to ask ourselves, “What pleases God?” Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Walking humbly with God would involve surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus, in other words receiving the gift of salvation with the full realization that there is no way you could ever earn it.

 

Luke 2:15 As soon as the heavenly messengers disappeared into heaven, the shepherds were buzzing with conversation.

 

Shepherds: Let’s rush down to Bethlehem right now! Let’s see what’s happening! Let’s experience what the Lord has told us about!

 

The shepherds were eager to go and see what the angel had reported to them, this awesome baby King.

 

Luke 2:16 So they ran into town, and eventually they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the feeding trough. After they saw the baby, 17 they spread the story of what they had experienced and what had been said to them about this child. 18 Everyone who heard their story couldn’t stop thinking about its meaning. 19 Mary, too, pondered all of these events, treasuring each memory in her heart.

 

20 The shepherds returned to their flocks, praising God for all they had seen and heard, and they glorified God for the way the experience had unfolded just as the heavenly messenger had predicted.

 

The shepherds didn’t just talk about going to Bethlehem, they did it right away. They found everything just as the angel had described it. Then they became a holy news crew spreading the Good News to all who would hear them. I’m sure the people were wondering, “Could this really be the Messiah?” Mary wanted to file these memories in her heart, perhaps to be able to recount these wondrous things to Jesus as He grew.

 

The shepherds’ response is to glorify God. They did not chalk it all up to some kind of psychological breakdown but realized they had seen something divine and totally real. At some point they may have wondered, “If we tell people this, will anyone believe us, or are we going to be locked away forever?” But God revealed Himself to them in such a mighty way that they could not doubt the reality of the encounter. No matter what happened they were going to faithfully announce this Good News wherever they went no matter the consequences.

 

APPLY THIS TO YOUR LIFE:

 

1. Make room amid the busyness of this season, for Jesus to break through into your thoughts and actions. Do not relegate Him to the stable of your life.

2. Do not confine Jesus to two or three holidays in your year or even one day a week. Celebrate and worship every day with your entire being!

3. Remember that Jesus revealed Himself to the lowest of society. We should tell His story with words and actions to all people groups.

4. Seek peace with God through a relationship with Jesus, and continue to have peace in your life as you obey God.

5. Spread the Gospel even if people discourage you by their response. As Christians we are here to please the Audience of One. It is our job to present the way to salvation, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw the person.

 

Incarnation Contemplation - Annunciations

Posted on December 16, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The Lord sent an angel to make three very important announcements. Zacharias and his barren wife would conceive the forerunner of the Messiah, John the Baptist.  Gabriel informed first Mary, then Joseph about their roles in the birth of the Messiah. These ordinary people were an integral part of God's extraordinary plan of redemption for a lost and fallen world.

Zacharias was a priest serving in the temple, taking his turn (only one in his life) to enter the Holy of Holies. His wife, Elizabeth, was past the age of childbearing and they had no children. God’s messenger shocked and surprised him by appearing in the Holy place and speaking to him.

 

Luke1:13-17 Messenger: Zacharias, your prayers have been heard. Your wife is going to have a son, and you will name him John. 14 He will bring you great joy and happiness—and many will share your joy at John’s birth.

 

15 This son of yours will be a great man in God’s sight. He will not drink alcohol in any form; instead of alcoholic spirits, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the time he is in his mother’s womb. 16 Here is his mission: he will turn many of the children of Israel around to follow the path to the Lord their God. 17 Do you remember the prophecy about someone to come in the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; someone who will turn the hearts of the parents back to their children; someone who will turn the hearts of the disobedient to the mind-set of the just and good? Your son is the one who will fulfill this prophecy: he will be the Lord’s forerunner, the one who will prepare the people and make them ready for God.

 

This son came to be known as John the Baptist, who would be the one who announced the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. It is significant that Gabriel stated that John would be “filled with the Holy Spirit” even before he was born!

 

Luke 1:26-29 Six months later in Nazareth, a city in the rural province of Galilee, the heavenly messenger Gabriel made another appearance. This time the messenger was sent by God 27 to meet with a virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David himself. 28 The messenger entered her home.

 

Messenger: Greetings! You are favored, and the Lord is with you! [Among all women on the earth, you have been blessed.]

 

29 The heavenly messenger’s words baffled Mary, and she wondered what type of greeting this was.

 

Mary was favored in the sense the God extended grace to her for the assignment of bringing forth the redeemer of the whole world.

 

Luke 1:30-34 Messenger: 30 Mary, don’t be afraid. You have found favor with God. 31 Listen, you are going to become pregnant. You will have a son, and you must name Him “Savior,” or Jesus. 32 Jesus will become the greatest among men. He will be known as the Son of the Highest God. God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David, 33 and He will reign over the covenant family of Jacob forever.

 

Mary: 34 But I have never been with a man. How can this be possible?

Mary, understandably, was astonished at the news that she would be pregnant since she and Joseph were not married yet, and she was a virgin. She must have been terrified and confused. Also, she would have no one to share her troubles with since probably no one would believe her. Keep in mind, this was a private conversation between Mary and Gabriel. Talking to anyone else, surely they would have deemed her crazy. Or worse, stoned her as unfaithful to her betrothed.

 

Messenger: 35 The Holy Spirit will come upon you. The Most High will overshadow you. That’s why this holy child will be known, as not just your son, but also as the Son of God. 36 It sounds impossible, but listen—you know your relative Elizabeth has been unable to bear children and is now far too old to be a mother. Yet she has become pregnant, as God willed it. Yes, in three months, she will have a son. 37 So the impossible is possible with God.

 

Gabriel answered Mary’s question, and assured her of God’s power to perform this miracle in her by telling her of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. I find the statement in verse 37 particularly comforting: "So the impossible is possible with God." AMEN

Mary (deciding in her heart): 38 Here I am, the Lord’s humble servant. As you have said, let it be done to me.

 

Hearing the angel’s answer to her question, Mary submitted and committed herself to the process of conception, pregnancy, and birth of the Redeemer Jesus in accordance with the Father’s will. She must have known she would be subjecting herself to ridicule, gossip, and even the possibility of stoning or banishment. At the risk of all these things, she humbly submitted anyway.

 

Luke 1:38b-45 And the heavenly messenger was gone. 39 Mary immediately got up and hurried to the hill country, in the province of Judah, 40-41 where her cousins Zacharias and Elizabeth lived. When Mary entered their home and greeted Elizabeth, who felt her baby leap in her womb, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Elizabeth (shouting): 42 You are blessed, Mary, blessed among all women, and the child you bear is blessed! 43 And blessed I am as well, that the mother of my Lord has come to me! 44 As soon as I heard your voice greet me, my baby leaped for joy within me. 45 How fortunate you are, Mary, for you believed that what the Lord told you would be fulfilled.

 

Mary quickly took a trip to visit her relatives and see for herself the miracle of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Mary may have needed to avoid prying eyes and whispering lips as her own pregnancy developed. John, who Gabriel foretold would be filled with the Spirit in the womb, leapt when Mary greeted His mother. An UNBORN baby was the first to recognize the Savior while HE was yet UNBORN. This is a strong argument for the fact that an embryo is already the person God is forming inside their mother.

 

 

Embryo John’s reaction, caused Elizabeth who was also filled with the Holy Spirit to rejoice as well. Elizabeth called Mary “the mother of my Lord,” which says that she already believed Jesus would be the Messiah. The Holy Spirit prompted Elizabeth to honor Mary’s faith in believing the Lord.

 

Luke 1:46 Mary: My soul lifts up the Lord!

47 My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!

48 For though I’m God’s humble servant,

God has noticed me.

Now and forever,

I will be considered blessed by all generations.

49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me;

holy is God’s name!

50 From generation to generation,

God’s lovingkindness endures

for those who revere Him.

51 God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.

The proud in mind and heart,

God has sent away in disarray.

52 The rulers from their high positions of power,

God has brought down low.

And those who were humble and lowly,

God has elevated with dignity.

53 The hungry—God has filled with fine food.

The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in their hands.

54 To Israel, God’s servant,

God has given help,

55 As promised to our ancestors,

remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.

 

Mary broke out rejoicing in song, humbly praising the Lord for all He was doing through her. In the Magnificat, she was announcing prophetic reality that God would bring forth, in the fullness of time, the bringing down of the proud and elevation of the humble. He would fulfill His promise to Abraham to redeem His people. Galatians 4:4-5 (NASB) “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

 

Annunciation to Joseph:

 

Matthew 1:18 So here, finally, is the story of the birth of Jesus the Anointed (it is quite a remarkable story):

 

Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, son of David. They hadn’t married. And yet, some time well before their wedding date, Mary learned that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, because he was kind and upstanding and honorable, wanted to spare Mary shame. He did not wish to cause her more embarrassment than necessary.

 

In the Jewish culture of that day, parents chose a mate for their children, sometimes while they were still quite young. From that point, they were considered engaged. When they came of age, a date was set for the wedding and the man began preparing a place for his bride to live. At this point they were considered “betrothed” and if they decided not to marry, the man would need to divorce his wife. With the assumption that Mary had been unfaithful to her betrothed husband, Joseph could have had her publicly humiliated and even STONED TO DEATH as an adulteress! So Joseph was going to do an extremely kind thing in divorcing her quietly and sending her away from the prying eyes of their home town.

 

Matthew 1:20 Now when Joseph had decided to act on his instincts, a messenger of the Lord came to him in a dream.

 

Messenger of the Lord: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else—rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonderworking of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will have a son, and you will name Him Jesus, which means “the Lord saves,” because this Jesus is the person who will save all of His people from sin.

 

God sent an angel to explain the situation to Joseph in a dream. I’m sure Mary had tried to give Joseph an explanation, but he probably found it hard to believe. God sent Gabriel, the angel announcer of Heaven, to let Joseph know not to fear going ahead with the plan to marry Mary because it was part of God’s redemptive plan. He let Joseph in on a bit of the divine masterplan.

 

Matthew 1:24 Joseph woke up from his dream and did exactly what the messenger had told him to do: he married Mary and brought her into his home as his wife 25 (though he did not consummate their marriage until after her son was born). And when the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus, Savior.

 

Joseph realized this dream was truly from the Lord God and obeyed what the angel told him. Joseph restrained his physical, human desire for intimacy and kept Mary chaste until after Jesus was born. He named the baby Jesus as the angel had instructed him.

 

Matthew 1:22 Years and years ago, Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus:

 

23 A virgin will conceive and bear a Son,

and His name will be Immanuel

(which is a Hebrew name that means “God with us”).

 

 

This miraculous birth fulfilled one of the many prophecies concerning the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, Jesus. Zachariah and Elizabeth were blessed to be chosen by God to bring forth the forerunner of the Redeemer. Mary and Joseph were given the honor and responsibility of parenting the very Son of God.


APPLY THIS TO YOUR LIFE:

1. Whatever your situation, it is not hopeless. Our God is still mighty. He answered Zachariah's prayer for a son. When you are aligned with His will, He still answers prayer today. Seek His answer to your needs.

2. Mary's response to God's plan for her was humble.  When God uses you in a mighty way, remember to give Him all the glory and credit. You are just the vessel to carry His blessings to others.

3. Joseph obeyed the message from the angel immediately and completely. This is true obedience. Ask yourself whether or not you are obeying God wholeheartedly.


 

Worship - House of Prayer - Hanging on His Words

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is our last post for the series on Luke 19 - Worship.  Stay tuned in the next few days for posts on thankfulness!


IV. House of Prayer (Luke vv. 45-46)

a. Matthew 21:13 “…for all people”

b. Isaiah 56:6-7

c. Place of joyful prayer

d. Not just the edifice: we are the temple, living stones

V. Hanging on His every Word (Luke vv. 47-48)

a. Mary of Bethany

b. Proverbs 12:15


 

Worship – House of Prayer


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

PRA'YER, n. In a general sense, the act of asking for a favor, and particularly with earnestness.

1. In worship, a solemn (reverent and sincere) address to the Supreme Being, consisting of adoration, or an expression of our sense of God's glorious perfections, confession of our sins, supplication for mercy and forgiveness, intercession for blessings on others, and thanksgiving, or an expression of gratitude to God for his mercies and benefits. A prayer however may consist of a single petition, and it may be extemporaneous, written or printed.


Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Luke 19:45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”


Jesus’ deity was appalled at the money changers taking advantage of people, and his humanity responded bodily as well as verbally. His whole being was addressing the offense, body, mind and spirit. The money changers’ insatiable appetite for profit totally disrupted and gave static to the atmosphere of prayer in the Court of the Gentiles. Jesus is cleansing His house, but He is also defining the purpose for which the Temple was built. At its very core, the Lord’s house is a house of prayer. According to Isaiah 56:6, it is a house of prayer for all peoples, not just the Jews. Do we enter His house with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise? (Psalm 100:4) No we usually are thinking about our own needs. Our intention is “what can You do for me?” rather than “what should I do for You.” The temple is the place dedicated to prayer. However, it is not the only place we can pray.

1 Peter 2:5 declares we are “living stones being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,” and 1 Corinthians 6:19 asks “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” Living stones can also be translated living temple. Therefore, each believer should be a house, a person of prayer. We should be living demonstrations of this truth. I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Never quit communicating with God. We are constantly thinking of Him and others, and hopefully we are in the third position. I like the old acronym for joy.


Jesus First

Others Second

Yourself Last


By making ourselves last, we give God the opportunity to elevate us to first position.


APPLICATIONS:

1. Keep our sole focus on the object of our worship (Jesus, the audience of One)

2. Let your intentions be guided by His intentions

3. Do nothing that distracts or disrupts other people’s worship

4. Be more focused on your interior glow than your exterior glow

5. Enter in an attitude of thanksgiving and praise

6. The house of God, Jehovah, is inclusive not exclusive, an anti-clique zone

7. Tenaciously, incessantly, ravenously hunger to spend time with your very best Friend, (God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

 


Cross References

Isaiah 56:6-7 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

 

1 Kings 8:25 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

2 Chronicles 6:20 that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.

Jeremiah 7:11 Amplified Bible (AMP) Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes [a place of retreat for you between acts of violence]? Behold, I Myself have seen it, says the Lord.

Matthew 21:13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Mark 11:17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

Matthew 6:5 [ The Lord's Prayer ] “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Jonah 2:7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

Luke 18:10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

Acts 3:1 [ The Lame Beggar Healed ] Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

Acts 22:17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance

1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

 

Reformation Study Bible

Luke 19:45, 46 All four Gospels speak of Jesus driving traders out of the temple precincts, but the first three place it at the end of Jesus’ ministry and John at the beginning. There were probably two cleansings (Mark 11:15 note). The merchants in the temple courts were money-changers and sellers of sacrificial animals. Only coins from Tyre were accepted in the temple, and money had to be changed before an offering could be made. It was convenient to have them close to the temple, but their presence in the temple courts themselves made true worship difficult. The traders would have been in the court of the Gentiles, the only place Gentiles could go to pray.

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

The Cleansing of the Temple (19:45-48)

This event is like a stick of dynamite in the relationship between Jesus and the leadership. As if throwing a flame onto oil, Jesus raises the issue of his authority most directly by his act of cleansing the temple. In fact, the leadership clearly sees this as the issue, as 20:1-8 makes clear. Their plotting in verses 47-48 follows the cleansing and shows the action's importance in pushing them to act. In the other Synoptic Gospels, when the trials of Jesus start it is his attitude toward the temple that is the prosecution's launching point.

 

Luke's version of this event is very concise. He does not supply many details the other Gospels include, especially the descriptions of how physical Jesus' actions were. Rather, Luke goes right to the heart of the event, focusing on Jesus' rebuke with its Old Testament allusions: "It is written," he says, " `My house will be a house of prayer,' but you have made it `a den of robbers.' " The quote combines Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. Isaiah expresses the hope that the temple will be a house for all the nations, while Jeremiah condemns the Israelites' hypocrisy and injustice as they worship at the temple. (Interestingly, here Luke does not develop the point about Gentiles, even though he loves the theme.) The Jeremiah speech is one of that prophet's most scathing. It calls the Jewish people "robbers," bandits just like the thieves of Luke 10:30.

The warning also illustrates the danger of combining religiosity and commercialism at the expense of true worship—a danger to which we also must be sensitive today.

 Nothing has changed between Jesus' declaration that the nation's house is desolate (13:34-35) and his weeping for the nation upon entering the city (19:41). The nation's rejection, like the plot against Jesus, has hardened into resolve—and as sin calcifies it becomes even more dangerous. The "Jesus problem" goes in search of a "final solution." But like the Iron Curtain, this attempt to control the situation through isolation and containment will fail; even death cannot hold God's agent back from doing God's will.


Worship – Prayer – Hanging on His Every Word

Luke 19:47 (NASB) And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

Luke 19:47-48 (Amplified) 47 And He continued to teach day after day in the temple [porches and courts]. The chief priests and scribes and the leading men of the people were seeking to put Him to death, 48 But they did not discover anything they could do, for all the people hung upon His words and stuck by Him.


Jesus invested His time in the common people, and they in turn protected him from the wrath of the religious governing authorities. The people “hung upon His words and stuck by Him.” They listened attentively to the Lord. They would not entertain negative comments about Him. They did not allow themselves to be distracted from the voice of their Lord. Nor did they allow the extraneous voices of the authorities sway them.


Reformation Study Bible

Luke 19:47, 48 The temple was a normal place for teaching. Jesus’ opposition now includes a new group—“the principal men of the people.” Evidently prominent lay people had now joined the priests and the scribes.

IVP – Intervarsity Press commentary

The leaders begin trying to kill Jesus before he becomes even more dangerous (the Greek means "to destroy"). The plot to get Jesus, originally raised in 6:11 and 11:53-54, is hardening. Something must be done. Jesus is appearing at the temple daily. But because of his popularity the leaders cannot yet act. All the people hung on his words. Believing they have power, the leaders are in fact powerless to act until they get a break. That break will come from within the ranks of Jesus' inner circle.

Matthew Henry Commentary

How respectful the common people were to him. They were very attentive to hear him. He spent most of his time in the country, and did not then preach in the temple, but, when he did, the people paid him great respect, attended on his preaching with diligence, and let no opportunity slip of hearing him, attended to it with care, and would not lose a word. Some read it, All the people as they heard him, took his part; and so it comes in very properly as a reason why his enemies could not find what they might do against him; they saw the people ready to fly in their faces if they offered him any violence. Till his hour was come his interest in the common people protected him; but, when his hour was come, the chief priests’ influence upon the common people delivered him up.


 

Luke 10:38-42 Amplified Bible (AMP) Mary and Martha

38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.

39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.

40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!

41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;

42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

Hanging on His every word is exactly what Mary was doing in this story. She was not just listening with the organ of her ear; she was soaking up His words like a human sponge which is the appropriate response to the Word of God. Martha was serving the Lord with her deeds of hospitality, but Mary was serving the Lord with her heart. Martha was distracted by the “practical” responsibilities that society expected of her. Mary’s response to the Lord was more intimate and focused.


Apply this to your life:

1. Carve out time from your busyness to read the word in a focused manner

2. Listen to what the Lord says through His servants at church: pastor, Sunday School teacher, worship leader, etc.

3. Spend time soaking up the words of the Lord in order to have more energy for service.

4. Make time alone with God a priority each day


Reformation Study Bible

10:40, 41 Martha’s preparations may have been unnecessarily elaborate. Mary knew that listening to Jesus was an extraordinary opportunity, to be given preference over other concerns (see Mark 9:7).


The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

Looking to Jesus: Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

This short passage is capable of being misread in a couple of ways (Alexander 1992:167-86). First, it is not about women; it is a passage on discipleship. Its point is not that women can get too easily caught up in the busy work of keeping the home. What is said to Martha about Mary would be equally true if Mary were male or even a child. The fact that two women dominate the story would have been shocking in the first-century context, where men often dismissed women as marginal, but the account is designed to make a point about all disciples. Second, the point is not that activity like Martha's is bad. The choice Jesus discusses with Martha is between something that is good and something that is better. Life is full of tough choices, and Jesus is stressing the relative merits of good activities here. For conscientious people, such choices are often the most difficult and anxiety-filled.

The fact that Jesus commends Mary and has a meal with Martha shows that Jesus is concerned about all people.

Martha is not comfortable with Mary's approach to Jesus' visit, since she could use another hand in the kitchen. She requests Jesus' aid: "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me." We know that Martha's viewpoint is questionable not only because of Jesus' reply but also because the text says she makes the comment while being distracted by all the preparations. In fact, in Greek she asks the question in such a way that the Lord is expected to give a positive answer (note the particle ou). The Lord does care, and Martha fully expects him to tell Mary to get up and help.

Jesus commends the hearing of the word at his feet. To take time out to relate to Jesus is important. The language of the passage recalls Deuteronomy 8:3 (Wall 1989:19-35). In a sense Mary is preparing to partake in the "right meal" (Deut 6:1-8). What she has done by sitting at Jesus' feet will remain with her. This meal will last. Jesus is not so much condemning Martha's activity as commending Mary's. He is saying that her priorities are in order. To disciples Jesus says, "Sit at my feet and devour my teaching. There is no more important meal."


Cross References

 

Deuteronomy 8:3Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:1-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 Now this is the instruction, the laws, and the precepts which the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land to which you go to possess it,

2 That you may [reverently] fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, and keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be watchful to do them, that it may be well with you and that you may increase exceedingly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

4 Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].

5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.

6 And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then]

7 You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

8 And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes.

 


 


Worship - Crying Out

Posted on November 15, 2015 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Spirit-led abandonment – Spontaneous, unrestrained, uninhibited Spirit-led surrender. Risking everything in a quest to glorify God.


 

Abandonment – abdicating myself from the throne, my control, in favor of the Lordship of Christ, and trusting that God knows better than me


 

Crying Out (Luke 19:37-40)


A. Rejoicing

B. Praising loudly – singing, cymbals, etc.

1. 2 Samuel 6:5

2. 1 Chronicles 13:8

3. 1 Chronicles 15:16, 28

4. 2 Chronicles 5:12-13

C. Psalm 150:5

D. Stones would cry out – Luke 19:40


 

Luke 19:37-40 (NASB)

 

37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting:

 

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”


As soon as the people saw the Lord Jesus, they began exalting him with tenacious exuberance. They were not deterred by the Pharisees’ criticism. The exclamations of the people were, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” The crowd’s exaltations acknowledge Him as Lord, Messiah, and King. The religious authority of the day pipes up and says, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” The Pharisees did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore, they thought His disciples were blaspheming. If He were the Messianic authority, the Pharisees would be under his rulership. The Pharisees did not like the idea of submitting to anyone. Jesus said, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” If we fail to praise Him, the very landscape will take over our praises.


 

Reformation Study Bible


Luke 19:38 A quotation from Ps. 118:26, but with an explicit reference to the King. Luke alone has the words “peace” and “glory.” He does not have “Hosanna,” which his Gentile readers might not have understood.


 

Psalm 118:26 (NASB) Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;

We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.


Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary


 

TENA'CIOUS, a. [L. tenax, from teneo, to hold.]

 

1. Holding fast, or inclined to hold fast; inclined to retain what is in possession; as men tenacious of their just rights. Men are usually tenacious of their opinions, as well as of their property.

2. Retentive; apt to retain long what is committed to it; as a tenacious memory.


 

EXU'BERANT, a. Abundant; plenteous; rich; as exuberant fertility; exuberant goodness.

 

1. Over-abundant; superfluous; luxuriant.

2. Pouring forth abundance; producing in plenty; as exuberant spring.

 

Matthew 21:9

The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”

 

Matthew 21:15

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant

 

Mark 11:9

Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;

 

 

Mark 11:10

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”

 

John 12:13

They took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”


 

Reformation Study Bible

21:9 Hosanna. A Hebrew expression meaning, “Save, now.”


 

 

All four gospels acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, Luke referencing Him as King and the others with Hosanna meaning “save now,” and calling Him “Son of David”. All of these clearly refer to Jesus as being the fulfillment of messianic prophecy. The crowds were acknowledging that Jesus was God’s anointed One sent to rescue them. However, they did not have a full understanding as to the sacrifice that would entail.


 

Following are some references to praise. These are quoted from The Voice translation. Note that the earth, the land, the skies, the seas all praise and point to the Lord. Paul even says in Romans that mankind is without excuse because nature alone points to a sovereign Creator. However, we are commanded to “make disciples of all nations”. Are we pointing others to the Lord Jesus? Are we giving Him the praise He is due? Are we timid with our praise or are we shouting and clanging cymbals?

 


 

2 Samuel 6:5 David and all the Israelites were joyous before the Eternal; and they were accompanied by wooden lyres and harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. (An instrumental party accompanying praise)


1 Chronicles 13:8 David and all Israel rejoiced with all their might with songs, lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets as a celebration before God. (A joyous celebration with crescendos of trumpets)


 

1 Chronicles 15:15 The Levites picked up the covenant chest of God and carried it by wooden poles on their shoulders as the Eternal commanded them to do through His prophet Moses. 16 David told the leaders of the Levites to select their relatives as musicians and singers in the parade, playing instruments such as lutes, lyres, and cymbals and raising their voices in joy.


 

2 Chronicles 5:12 all the Levitical singers (Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and their relatives) were wearing fine linen, standing east of the altar, playing cymbals, harps, and lyres, along with priests blowing 120 trumpets. 13 In unison, the musicians and singers with trumpets and cymbals and instruments praised and glorified the Eternal.

Levitical Choir: He is good! His loyal love will continue forever!

At the sound of the music, the Eternal’s temple was filled with a cloud, the glory of God,


 

1 Chronicles 15:28 All Israel celebrated the chest’s journey to its tent, rejoicing with the sound of trumpets, clarions, and cymbals, and worshiping with harps and lyres.


 

Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shout of His justice, for He is the True God, an honest judge.


 

Psalm 65:13 Meadows are clothed with frolicking flocks of lambs; valleys are covered with a carpet of autumn-harvest grain; the land shouts and sings in joyous celebration.


 

Psalm 66:4 The entire earth will bow down to worship You and will sing glory-songs to You; they will sing praises to Your name!


 

Psalm 67:5 May the people praise You with their whole hearts, O God; may every man, woman, and child on the earth praise You.


 

Psalm 69:34 All God’s creation: join together in His praise! All heaven, all earth, all seas, all creatures of the ocean deep!


 

Psalm 98:4 Raise your voices; make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth. Let your joy explode into song and praise;


 

Psalm 148:7 Everything on earth, join in and praise the Eternal;

sea monsters and creatures of the deep,

8 Lightning and hail, snow and foggy mists,

violent winds all respond to His command.


 

Psalm 150:5 Praise Him with crashing cymbals, loud clashing cymbals!


 

Romans 1:20 From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people



 

 

APPLY THIS TO YOUR LIFE:


1. Praise the Lord wholeheartedly, joyfully, and sometimes even loudly!


2. Remember Who Jesus is: The Son of Almighty God, equal with God, Creator of the Universe.


3. The entire creation DOES praise God. Do not let it outdo your praise!


4. Let non-believers hear/see your praise as a testimony to the Lord’s power in your life.

 


 


 




 


 

Worship - Full Surrender

Posted on November 6, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Luke 19:32-36 (ESV)

Luke 19:32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.


The thing that jumps out at me here is that the owners of the colt gave it up willingly as soon as they were told Jesus needed it. There is no arguing or bargaining recorded here. The fact that it was being commandeered on behalf of the Lord was enough. The Lord has an insatiable, unquenchable desire for our full surrender. The people gave their cloaks as a provision for a saddle. They threw their cloaks on the road perhaps to protect the donkey’s feet, so the donkey would be calm and docile rather than stepping on a stone and bucking. Also, this is akin to rolling out the red carpet. The people were giving one of their most valuable possessions for a dirty donkey to walk on. Who knows where those hooves had been! These were peasants. There were not aristocracy that had two or three cloaks. They just had one. At their personal sacrifice, they were providing for Jesus’ comfort.


This “triumphal entry” was foretold in Zechariah 9:9:

“Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion!

Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Look—your King is coming;

He is righteous and able to save.

He comes seated humbly on a donkey,

on a colt, a foal of a donkey.”


 

Reformation Study Bible (courtesy of BibleGateway.com)

19:35, 36 throwing their cloaks on the colt. The clothing evidently served as a saddle.  The clothes on the road formed a triumphal carpet.

 


Other references to full surrender:


 

 

Matthew 10:38-39 (AMP)

 

38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me.

39 Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].


The one who does not believe in Me and My way of doing things is not worth My time or energy. Whoever is holding tightly to this life will lose it. There is too much focus on now, and all their treasure is here. The sum of their value and valuables is in earthly things that moth and rust corrupts instead of being heavenly things that moth and rust cannot corrupt. Matthew 6:19-21 (VOICE) “Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The only thing that I see that will transfer from earth to heaven is people. Investing our time and energy into people rather than things will reap a great reward, both now and eternally. Everything that we have here, the earthly remnant of things, pales in comparison to what the King of kings and Lord of lords has laid aside for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose and are living in their divine purpose. Whoever pours their life into what Jesus has asked of them and from them will have the life that God intended for us from the beginning. John 10:10 (VOICE) “The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.”

 

 


Matthew 19:27-30 (AMP)

 

27 Then Peter answered Him, saying, Behold, we have left [our] all and have become Your disciples [sided with Your party and followed You]. What then shall we receive?

28 Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, in the new age [the Messianic rebirth of the world], when the Son of Man shall sit down on the throne of His glory, you who have [become My disciples, sided with My party and] followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And anyone and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for My name’s sake will receive many [even a hundred] times more and will inherit eternal life.

30 But many who [now] are first will be last [then], and many who [now] are last will be first [then].


 

If you withhold something, something will be withheld from you. But if we give our all, all that we have, all that we are, and all that we are going to be; then as followers of Jesus, Jesus gives all that He has, all that He is, and all that He will be. That’s the Jesus rate of exchange. If we give our all and are totally abandoned to the Lord in praise in worship; there will be reward, if not now, certainly in Heaven. We abandon ourselves, not seeking reward, but in confidence that He has already and will continue to bless us. So many people think they need to do what they do in their interaction with the Lord in self effort. They think they need to “work up” praise and worship. It’s not coming from their relationship with the Lord. Self-effort is for display, but Spirit-led abandon it intimate with the Lord. It may not even be an outward expression. The abandonment does not have to express itself within the limitations of our natural senses. It can be a deep heart felt thing. If you are poured out by the Spirit and totally abandoned to that process, then the Spirit will refill your empty vessel that has been poured out and wrung out for Him.

 

 


Apply this to your life:


1. As Christians, we are the Lord’s very own special treasure. All that we are, all that we will be, and all that we think that we own, are the Lord’s. We are just stewards.


2. The people allowed the Lord to use their donkey and their cloaks, and we need to be willing to give whatever the Lord needs.


3. We make our choices in agreement with God’s way, and we use our voices in agreement to champion God’s ways.


4. The loudness that we hear in congregations is a personality expression.


5. Worship may be a quiet communion with the Lord or a boisterous expression of praise. BOTH are acceptable to the Lord.


6. Worship is never supposed to be a chore. It should be a rest in your lover’s arms and enjoying and trusting the safety of His embrace. We should not be afraid to be vulnerable, but be completely comfortable being transparent.

 


New Series: Worship - Luke 19:28-48

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Our next few Bible Study Blog posts will be based on a sermon series preached last spring by Pastor John Tyler. We had done some sermon prep research for him, but now we are going back and fleshing out our basic information. The major points of the outline were originally given to us by Brother John. However, the sub-points are ours. This outline will give you a sneak peek. We hope to have the first installment “Preparation for Worship” posted by the end of this week.


Worship entails prayer (listening and talking), thanksgiving, praise, intercession, petition, giving, anything we do in response to the grace we have received from the Lord God.


Noah Webster 1828 dictionary definitions:

WORSHIPED, pp. Adored; treated with divine honors; treated with civil respect.

WORSHIPER, n. One who worships; one who pays divine honors to any being; one who adores.

WORSHIPING, ppr. Adoring; paying divine honors to; treating with supreme reverence; treating with extreme submission.


I. Preparation (vv. 28-31)

a. Sent 2 disciples ahead to prepare

b. Disciples followed His instructions

c. Prepare the way (John the Baptist) Mark 1:2-4

d. Prepare your heart – Psalm 5:3

II. Full Surrender (vv. 32-36)

a. Man surrendered his colt just because Jesus asked for it

b. People gave up their cloaks to make a path for the Lord

c. “Whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39

d. Matthew 19:27-30 “Whoever has left…”

III. Crying Out (vv. 37-40)

a. Rejoicing

b. Praising loudly – singing, cymbals, etc.

i. 2 Samuel 6:5

ii. 1 Chronicles 13:8

iii. 1 Chronicles 15:16, 28

iv. 2 Chronicles 5:12-13

v. Psalm 150:5

c. Stones would cry out – Luke 19:40

IV. House of Prayer (vv. 45-46)

a. Matthew 21:13 “…for all people”

b. 2 Chronicles 6:7

c. 2 Chronicles 6:29-30

d. Isaiah 56:7

V. Hanging on His every Word (vv. 47-48)

a. Mary of Bethany

b. Proverbs 12:15

c. Jeremiah 29:13

d. Matthew 7:24

e. Matthew 12:42

f. Matthew 17:5