Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blessing Others

PTL....I was finally able to get sermonplayer to work again. Click here to listen to Faith Soup

Last week Pastor and I used the Ephesian chapter 1 prayers as a basis to pray blessing over the church family as well as our boys, nieces and nephews ect. I love these passages.

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Ephesians 1:15-19, New King James Version)

The Patriarch's Blessing

The Patriarchs spoke blessing over their children knowing the power of the spoken word passed down through generations. Even today Jewish families say a blessing at the Sabbath meal over their spouses and children. The practice of speaking blessing is more than just form or history. I remember when my boys were born I pledged not to call them stupid or dumb and to uplift them. I wanted them to know they were special. Many of you remember the story of our youngest getting a little mouthy when he turned 13. I was determined to get him to be more respectful and I was advocating that Pastor John put his foot down and restore order. As I prayed and pondered it...the Holy Spirit gave me a solution that I thought couldn't be right. He instructed me to thank Joshua everytime he did something good. I rebelled against that thinking he needed a good swift kick in the behind instead. Yet, I knew both our boys did a lot to help both us and their grandparents. So I began my adventure of thankfulness and blessing which puzzled Joshua at first. Maybe he wondered who kidnapped his mother and left this other person behind to take her place. Within a few weeks his attitude changed completely and I learned a valuable lesson. My son did respect us....he wanted to be appreciated back and blessing changed our outlook. The blessing of the Patriarchs was to last a lifetime and it proclaimed God's promise over their life. The Word is filled with promises for us and our children as well. Even when things look bad it is important to concentrate on God's promise and proclaim it over our loved ones.

Aaron's Blessing over the Congregation

God gave Moses a verbal blessing for Aaron and his sons to give the congregation of Israel . Pastors sometimes speak this over the church. Reading this shows what God desires for the church to know about how God wants His blessing to be upon us.

22 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:

24 “The LORD bless you and keep you;

25 The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
27 “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27, New King James Version)

This week ask the Lord how you can be involved in blessing people with your words and your prayers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Blessing of the Lord

God's Blessing upon humanity
The Bible tells us that God spoke the world into existence. His words are powerful enough to cause those things which were not into existence to come into existence. Soon after creation God spoke some more powerful words.

28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28, King James Version)

God spoke powerful words of blessing to Adam and Eve. Humanity was made in His image with the purpose of ruling and reigning with Him. His plan was that we fellowship with Him and that we share His heart for creation. Sin came into the world and marred that picture yet God's plan is still in tact. When we come to Him and allow Him to restore our heart to His we become a new creation ready to walk in His plan.

God shows His continuing plan as He blessed the patriarchs

The Blessing of One Man Changes Everything
After the flood God blessed Noah and his family. Noah had been found faithful in a world where everyone had turned from following God.

1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Genesis 9:1, King James Version)
The enemy had sown seeds of rebellion and discord within humanity against God in order to keep man from fulfilling the call of God. One man held to the love of God and that changed everything for mankind. God protected him from destruction and from the plan of the enemy. The Father's blessing of Noah shows that one person can cooperate with the plan of God and make a huge difference in this world.

God Blesses Abraham: God can call us out of any circumstances and bless us when we commit to follow Him.
1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3, King James Version)

God revealed Himself to a man from a family who worshiped idols and did not serve or have respect for the things of God. Abram was a man with hang-ups but God knew that he was also a man who would be willing to have faith for the impossible. We serve a God who is still in the business of revealing Himself to imperfect humanity. When we read about Abram we see a man who had great faith in God even as he struggled with character flaws. We may not be perfect but if we will yield to God trusting Him to fulfill his promise He will change us and give us His heart. One man's obedience and trust brought God's plan for blessing upon a nation and all of humanity into fruition.

We can certainly see that God blessing has been important to mankind. Next time we'll examine how God can use our words of blessing to others for His good plan.

Here is a special blessing from God that is my prayer for all of you.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, "Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace."'
So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I
shall bless them."

Numbers 6:22-27

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Create A Clean Spirit Within Me

I've had some trouble getting the videos up but I think I'm getting closer to figuring out the problem. The last video I have up is Bro. Todd Murphy of Micaiah Ministries: The Rock: Knowing What to do in the Storm

Psalm 51
We sang Psalm 51 in church Sunday. These words have spoken truth for generations. Sunday service was heavily anointed as our praises ascended heavenward. This song was especially beautiful and impressed upon my mind.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12, New King James Version

I believe God desires to speak to us as He moves in our midst here in the North Country. Last week we talked about things that grieve the Holy Spirit. This week we’ll talk about how the Holy Spirit moves us to repentance

Nathan Confronts David
David was a man after God’s own heart. He loved God and the people of God. He trusted God when he was a shepherd boy no one paid attention too…he trusted God when King Saul became enraged and jealous enough to kill him. He honored the king and refused to touch God’s anointed. He trusted God as God was helping him to establish his throne and conquer land from the enemies of his people. He was a psalmist who worshiped God with his whole heart. Yet there came a time when King David hid something that could have destroyed him if left unchecked. He had an inappropriate relationship with a woman and in order to hide the pregnancy that resulted and he had the woman's husband killed in the heat of battle. Left unrepented of this sin would destroy his relationship with the Lord and hurt others. There were already consequences that could not be changed. Nathan the Prophet told David a story about a man who had many sheep but killed his poor neighbors little sheep for a supper. The little sheep was like a pet and very special to the neighbor. David became upset at the telling of the story and wanted to punish the man. Nathan proclaimed, "Thou art the man!" The truth was out and it was time for David to face it head on.

David’s cry of repentance in Psalm 51 is an example to us of what we can do when we find ourselves in need of admitting our wrong actions and our willingness to yield to God. It shows us that even people who love God with all of their heart have to guard their relationship with Jesus. The story of David, Bathsheba (the woman involved), and the prophet Nathan brings up some questions for us to ponder.

How did a man after God’s heart get into this predicament?
The obvious answer for the avid church goer and Bible reader is that he wasn’t where he was suppose to be. He was suppose to be with his soldiers on the battle field. He had lost his focus. Dig a little deeper and let it make you think. David did lose his focus and that was the start of trouble. He also had issues that he had not dealt with in his life. He was married to many women yet the lure of beauty outweighed the fact that God didn’t approve of longing for another man’s wife. (the fact that OT men married more than one wife doesn't mean that is God's plan...Paul tells about being the husband of one wife) His power and ability to cover up his sin kept him from seeking help from the Lord. Are there areas that we have covered up? How are we treating people? Are we trying to hide something from God? Have we lost our focus? Are there issues we haven’t dealt with in our lives? Do we justify things that our society says is okay but the Word of God tells us are wrong?

Why does God use others to Bring Correction?
The saga of David let’s us know that sometimes God will bring someone to correct us when we have covered up and refused to judge or examine ourselves. His love for us won’t allow Him to watch as we go toward destruction. David was in such a state that he could see the sins of others and even be critical and judgmental while not seeing his own sin. Prophet Nathan was prepared with the famous, “Thou art the man”. You see often when we are in such a state we get critical of others and it becomes easy to focus on that instead of “judging ourselves“.

David's Choice
David had a choice to make. He had the power to have Nathan imprisoned or killed. He could have silence the person whom God had sent to him. It is never easy to hear words of correction but when they are from a heart of love and not a critical spirit they are words that can bring healing and restoration. David’s choice to receive Nathan’s words and to repent and to be willing to deal with core issues forever changed what the enemy meant for evil to destroy him. It restored him to fellowship with God. David penned the words, “take not your Holy Spirit from me”….he never wanted to be without the presence of God in his life.

What am I to do with this story of David, Bathsheba, and the Prophet Nathan?

Stories in the Bible are there for our example. When we see how David fell prey to a sin that separates from God it lets us know that we must protect and guard our heart. (Proverbs 4) We must be willing to examine ourselves and not cover up things that need to be dealt with in our lives. We must examine how we are treating people, if our relationships glorify God, if things that are attracting our attention are in line with God's Word, and we must be willing to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and those that God has placed in our lives.

God has a good plan for our life. We must not allow ourselves to have unrepented sin in our lives. Agreeing with God and changing our actions is not about being "controlled" ....it is about being free.