Faith comes in Obedience

Text John 2:1-11
Thought : The servant’s faith was revealed through their obedience despite not understanding.

jesus-changes-water-wine-crafts-800x800Imagine that you were a server in John 2. Jesus is about to perform his first public miracle. To date, Jesus is just the son of a Carpenter (as man sees him) and has yet to reveal his power. John has proclaimed him as the Lamb of God but that is not front page news yet. So here Jesus is, at the wedding and per mother Mary’s request, he tells the servers to fill the water pots. With water. I don’t know about you but I don’t like watered down drinks. Yet this is the command, with water they are filled. To the brim. By the way a side note, Jesus never gives more than we can handle, to the brim, not more. Maybe we get panicked when we feel full to the brim but it is in these full times that he begins to work miracles. Back to the story, think about the faith of the server that followed Jesus words, dip out water (that’s what went in) and give it to the governor as wine. Now I wonder at what point the water changes, but more importantly at point did the servers change. You never can come to Jesus without change. There’s a phrase used, “but the servants knew”, see there is the change. These servants saw what Jesus did. They knew now that there was something different in Jesus. When we follow Jesus he not only will fill us to the brim but will leave us changed and ready to be used. What if the server argued that water will not work, what if he doubted the miracle. We all can learn more about Jesus as we follow his word.

Knowing God and Seeing God….

download (5)To begin with, knowing God personally is the only way we sinners can be saved. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). After healing a blind beggar, Jesus later searched for him and found him in the temple, and the following conversation took place: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” asked Jesus. The man said, “Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus replied, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” The man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he fell on his knees before Jesus (John 9:35–38). Not only was the beggar given physical sight, but his spiritual eyes were also opened (Eph. 1:18) and he received eternal life. His first response was to worship Jesus publicly where everybody could see him.
Today as we look around we see people putting their faith in everything. What is your faith in?
Hello

Hello

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We all love our name… really we do, that’s is how we have known it was time for dinner growing up! Ha, Even if that name called was not the name on our birth certificates we love that name. All through our life our name is used in applications, and interviews and report cards. Even at Chick-Fl-a they ask us what our name is for the order. We love our names. Luke 16 Jesus tells the Pharisees what he thinks about them and their separated hearts and heads. The “rich” man and Lazarus is as the story is told in Sunday Schools. This “rich” man is not in fact Rich at all, he is currently as when the story was told in hell paying the price for his sin’s. He had a redeemer that paid his sins and was revealed to him in the Old Testament, but this man did not accept this. He trusted in his own works and “fell short of the Glory of God”. Today, he is still paying for his sins. Today he is still, as in Luke 16, asking for someone to tell his living relatives about Christ. Today, we have a name, will we in heaven? Revelations 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”

Question: Does God know your name? Why?

The Eyes of Jesus

Luke 22:54-62 The viewpoint of Peter, He was the one that in Luke 22:Did the sun and moon stand still34 was told that he will deny Christ, He was the one that defend Christ in the garden and yet here we find him of in the distance, alone, yet surrounded by people. Have we felt this way? Alone, yet around by people? Remember that Peter was Jesus number one follower, they were always together and now from a distance Peter is denying that he even knows Christ. Check out these words, vs 61 and the Lord turned… Wow what words. Imagine the scene here, Jesus is off being questioned and under the keep of the guard’s who are more than happy to make him less than happy. Jesus in the midst of his trial heard the 3rd crow and looks at Peter, what were his eyes like? What was he saying with them? Were his eyes filled with disappointment, sadden heavy

hearted? Were they glaring into the very soul of Peter? Thinking about the eyes of Christ, these are the same eyes that

That saw Mary, looking down at him the manger

They saw the wise men bring gifts from afar

They read the scrolls in the temple as he taught the Scribes

They witness the descending doves from Heaven as John the Baptist baptized him

They look at the servants as he told them refill basin with water,

They got some dust in them as the straw was removed from the roof top as the lame man came down,

They were first thing that the blind man saw as Jesus healed him,

They looked into the eyes of women on the ground, reaching down with forgiveness

He smiled with his eyes as he witnessed the faith and gratitude of the healed lepers

He looked into the eyes of Martha as she rubs the ointment on his feet,

He looked at Zacchaeus as he scurried down the tree, He looked at the crowd having compassion on them

He looked at those gathered around a dead man’s cave and his eyes filled with tears as he commanded it be rolled back, and here in this text, they are looking across the way deep into the eyes of Peter. What are Jesus eyes looking at today, in your life?

 

Budapest Visit part one

downloadWell, I want to say thank you to everyone that has prayed and did pray for our trip to Hungary. It was without a doubt a great time! This was my third trip to Hungary and each time I am there longer and learn more and more about the great need for the gospel. One event that showed us this great need is a trip into Budapest we had with Dr Green and Mark Allen the missions director of my sending church. It was the last day for Dr Green and his group to be in Hungary and as in time past we were in Budapest to enjoy the great food at a local restaurant that Dr Green loves. We traveled from Romania all day and planned to stay with missionary Jim Pranger for the night before Dr Green flew back to the states. For time sake we went downtown directly, this was a mistake. We had the van full of all the luggage while downtown. So here is the picture, an out of country van with out of country plates filled with suitcases, we should have just painted a red target on the side and had a sign that said “Van filled with valuables”. Yes, as you can guess by now we were stolen from. Several IPads and phones were taken along with a host of other things. The most important and potentially dangerous item taken was Senja’s insulin. Senja had about a day’s worth of insulin with her so that was our time frame to get more or catch a flight back to the states. This worked out well for us already being in Budapest.

to be continued…

Ps 2 and my response to the recent shootings

Psalm 2

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“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Psalms 2:1

How appropriate for this to be next in line to discuss. At the time of this post it is just a few days after the shooting spree at an elementary school in Connecticut. (As I spoke with my wife concerning this matter, of course the open realization is fresh, I reminded her that our own kids were in the same amount of danger the week before as they are now and that we need to trust God regardless.)

 

This Psalm opens up as many do with a question of the evil that is around! Why? writes the author, why? Why do the heathen… let’s talk about that… heathen. Defined as “one who worships idols, or is unacquainted with the true God” in the 1828 Webster. Why do you not understand that we live in a lost world and then get shocked when the lost, do lost things? Thy are lost, as in without hope of understanding, they inhabit and live within a spiritually dead body in complete darkness of truth.

YES! It is horrible that many little 5 year olds have died, but this is not the result of a nation with loose gun laws it is a result of a nation with no God, denying the very existence of a God, let alone the GOD. I have and 5 years old and she is wonderful. She is a blessing from God and I am required to be a steward with her life. She is not mine to own, she mine to manage for the glory of God. However when horrible things happen we as a nation should not declare that more control is needed, but more repentance of the sins of this nation. “If my people, which are called by name, humble themselves……”

This writer asks the question, why are there crazies in the world and he answers it like this. “Be wise now therefore…. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling” vs 8-10. So this remains to be the question floating around out there, How can this happen? How can a man enter a school and murder these sweet kids and teachers? Simple, he was a heathen that raged and did not serve the Lord with fear and trembling. He acted outside the Biblical principles of the WORD.

Why are the Christians of today so lax in witnessing? Why are we so stuck on the things of this decaying world? I challenge you to follow what is said here in Psalm 2 and “serve the Lord”.

This means just as Jesus instructed, with all your heart, mind and soul. What do you feed your heart? What goes into your mind? Is it a reflection of Christ? Does what you do and say reveal the Saviour? As for your soul, who does it belong to? Let me tell you now that Christ died for you; he loves you and wants to save you. Confess with your mouth, repent and be saved and thy entire house. If this happened to Adam Lanza, the gunman’s house he would not have killed so many.

Petra –City in the Rocks

Petra –City in the Rocks

CaptureEnclosed by towering rocks and cliffs of soft red and cream colored marbled mountains, Petra is located south of the Dead Sea about 100 km by road. Carved by the resending waters of the great flood, this range of mountains becomes a focal point of History and is scattered all the way through Scriptures. If you were to ask a researcher to list five great cities of old, Petra conceivably would not be on the list: it finds itself sprinkled throughout times gone by.   In the Bible, this city is located in the heart of Mount Seir. [1]Mount Seir is known as the place that Esau made his home (Genesis 36:8; Joshua 24:4). It was named for Seir, the Horite, whose sons inhabited the land (Genesis 36:20). The children of Esau battled against the Horites and destroyed them (Deuteronomy 2:12). Mount Seir is also given as the location where the remnants “of the Amalekites that had escaped” were annihilated by five hundred Simeonites (I Chronicles 4:42-43). Mount Seir is also referenced in Ezekiel 35:10.

Wikipedia describes Petra this way:

Petra is an “[i]Arabian historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an, that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.”

Petra was “established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.”

Genesis14:6 tells us that it is a place in the wilderness.  It was built as a resting point from the Kings Highway to the Water Parting trade route. It can be found, figuratively, “in the middle of nowhere.”

[2] Avi Rubin, a former airborne commander in the Israel Defense Force, says this with reference to Petra: “Petra might be the ultimate defensive position in a regional war” because of its location. The city carved out of the mountains as a resting place for travelers. This resting spot became a very wealthy and very cross-cultural in nature.  It is part of Jordon today, but in the time of the Bible being penned, it was part of Edom or Esau (the father of the Edomites, Genesis 36:9) and a city that connected Horeb and Kadesh-barnea (Deuteronomy 1:2).

Its location is of such importance that according to Rubin, “[ii]It is an outstanding defensive position. Airborne assault would be most difficult. It is what I would call a natural defensive position. The Roman legions, the Crusaders, the Arabs and now the IDF, Iraq and the Jordanian army all recognized this… The most important defensive feature is called ‘the Shiq,’ which is about 2,000 meters long. It is a narrow passageway, which leads into the city. It has very high, sheer walls, which will protect the Israeli population as they enter the city from the west (more on this later). The rocks of Petra can help protect from gunfire, bombing, artillery and perhaps even absorb some radiation.”

This Shiq that he refers to leads to the Kasni, a structure that is completely carved out of the mountain as on large room and several underground tombs fit for a king. It is not completely know how this was carved with the tools and technology of the day, but it was and is still there. It said to be one of the greatest achievements of the day. The Kasni itself stands over 39 meters high, looking all around are ancient buildings that once housed a city of people.

Petra is literally a dugout hollow of the mountains. Used as a central trading spot in the time of its economic heights and located in the middle of all the major trade routes of the day. It is not completely know how the Kasni was built, however, it is believed to have been carved from the top down leaving behind the tomb of Kasni.  The building of this great mystery must have required many workers, supervisors and surveyors to plan and execute the building of this tomb. Leaving the Kasni behind, you enter into the great city of Petra. Today this land is not much more than a tourist attraction. However, this will change as Petra will once again find its place again in the pages of history.

Many challenges were faced in the building of this city including the management of water supplies. The rainy season of March through May could drop many feet of water on the city and drown it all. To overcome this there was a great tunnel leading to a dam away from the city. They also carved out gutters along the mountain that acted as vast water management for the city. The design and thought that went into planning the water system of Petra is one of the greatest designs of the ancient times. Located at a bottom of a basin, they designed these channels to flow water into the city to last for the whole year by saving water in great cisterns. They mastered the hydraulic engineering that was needed to sustain life in the desert. They have over 200 cisterns in the city providing water for over 50,000 people plus the traders that came and went.

Because of all the trade that took place in this desert, religion became over shadowed by a little bit of each country that came though the city. They worshiped gods from Rome and Egypt and Babylon as well as others. It is believed that city and the Kasni was built around the time of Christ’s birth but there is not enough information to clearly see when. The Israelites upon leaving Egypt and crossing the Red Sea circled this land for about 38 years time before God directed them northward to Canaan.  The exodus of the Israelites was 1313 BC and the great city was not built until about 1000 years later.

Petra is believed to be a location that Israel will flee to during the end times as a place of shelter as previously mentioned. It is a place of old that God will use again in His story. More recently, Petra has indeed been placed back in the headlines when the [iii]US Government has stepped in to provide up to $477 million dollars to aid Jordon in rebuilding Petra to a status of inhabitable. It remains unclear as to how exactly this city will come back to life but the location and size of the city in past history shows us that it is capable of providing substance to a people living there.

Bibliography Page

Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible

Gills Commentary on the Bible

Adam Clark commentary on the Bible

http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_Petra_Edomites_ruin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Seir

http://www.wnd.com/2001/04/8961/

http://amazingdiscove