Because He First Loved Us Wk 2

The Cost to Christ

Jakob Davis

 

Good morning brothers and sisters, it’s good to see all of your smiling faces on this beautiful Sunday morning. In case you missed it, or if you need a refresher, last week we talked about OUR sin, OUR  decrepit condition of a nature. We went over how Scripture details that all are found guilty in sin, marred and entangled within it as a cursed inheritance from our forefather Adam. We went over how even though Scripture calls those who are within sin “slaves of sin” it doesn’t mean that we are being forced to do something we don’t wanna do, in fact, quite the opposite. We desire to serve our flesh and allow it to master us. And unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing that we can do about it within our own strength.

Before the eyes of God our best, most righteous works are nothing but filthy rags and trash before Him. For how could we measure up to the one for Whom the word holy was used to first describe? How could we measure up to His expectations and how could we satisfy His wrath? We couldn’t, we alone still can’t. Our desire and actions in serving our corrupted flesh rightly condemns us to a death that we do truly deserve. What hope is there?
 

The Incarnation & His Perfect Life

Even to God’s own people, Israel, it looked hopeless! The children of Israel had faced down and fallen to the Babylonians in the Book of Jeremiah, the Temple had been destroyed and desecrated, they had gone into exile and had miraculously been released to go home to their lands after over 70 years. And yet when they returned home and began the work to rebuild the temple the manifested Spirit of God didn’t come with them. His manifested presence that had been upon the first Temple never returned after its departing in Ezekiel 10, before the judgment of the people of Israel. The last of the Old Testament prophets, Malachi, closes the portion of His book with a prophecy of what is to come, a last message of hope. Malachi 4: 5-6 reads this,

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

And with a final word <snap finger> the lights go out. The prophets, God’s divine messengers stopped talking, God stopped talking. For 400 years the people heard nothing from God, made worse by the fact that they had been conquered three different times and dispersed. First the Greeks under Alexander, then Ptolomy, then finally Rome. Bound under captivity and servitude to foreign nations and powers, the people of God wept, begging God for relief, for a release from their overlords, for the power of God to be shown again and for Israel to be glorified amongst the nations. The hopes of the peoples of God were growing ever dimer, strengthened only by prophecies of a king to come that would be a great conqueror and would bring all the nations of the world under His dominion. And that was exactly what they got, what we got, just not in the way we thought He would come.

400 years after God stopped talking, a young and unmarried woman is visited by the angel Gabriel, giving her the news that a king would be born to her, that He would inherit the throne of His father David and that He shall reign over the house of Israel forever! He would be called the Son of God, the Holy One, and His name would be Jesus. Luke 1: 30-33 says this,

“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

 Yet you might think that a King such as this would be born in the lap of luxury, I mean His father was King David was it not? He’s the Son of God! Yet this young woman and her betrothed husband were not royalty, they were commoners and carpenters. And he would not be born into the lap of luxury but into a humble beginning. Detailed in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 2 Verses 6-7:

“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Something for us that we must understand is that this was not a simple babe. He was not just another man or just a holy man. He was God. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, the apostle John records this, John 1 Verses 1-5

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life as the light of men. And the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

And Verse 14 of the same book and chapter,

            “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

God Himself, the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, came to dwell in flesh stepping out of glory and honor for a purpose only He would know, until it became revealed by Him. Both fully God and Fully man. Yet He was tempted as we were, understanding and sympathizing with our weaknesses and tempted at all points, yet wholly and totally without sin. He was undeserving of the destruction for which mankind was destined, walking a perfect life, performing the work that His Father in heaven had set before Him to do, possessing a clear conscience with God His Father. Yet He, in all of His righteousness and holiness did not withhold Himself in any way from us. But rather bore a cost that we could not.
 

The Cost

And what was this cost? It was the deaths that we deserved, bearing the iniquity and the sin of us all. In a hammer stroke of symbolism and literality, the high priests of Israel, those who were holy before their own eyes, delivered Him up to be judged before the Romans. And yet they stood for us, stood for mankind, offering up the Son of God to be judged for our iniquity. In the Gospel of Mark these events are recorded, Chapter 15,

“Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.  Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.”And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!”  But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.”

 

When it says He was scourged, we might think of something far more pleasant than what was actually the case. The thing He was “scourged” with was called a fragrum and it was perhaps one of the most brutal and cruel devices of punishment and torture besides the crucifixion itself. We likely have a good picture of what it might look like, a handle with cords of leather proceeding from the handle itself. Yet on the end of each of these pieces of leather were nails, pieces of sharpened bone meant to puncture into the skin and become embedded, and perhaps the worst of all, metal hooks which would lodge themselves into the skin of their victims and would pull chunks out of the body when the fragrum was violently ripped away. There are ancient records of the tool leaving ribbons of skin hanging off the body and tearing down to the bone.

And for most of us we know what happened. We know that Christ, after His scourging, was led through the streets of Jerusalem, being mocked and scorned, carrying a cross that weighed near 300 pounds upon a torn and destroyed back and shoulders. And when He arrived to that cursed mount of Calvary, He was laid upon the cross He had just borne, and nailed to it, not with nails as we understand them, but rather with some akin to a railroad spike. Once He was hung, every single breath that He had to take, He had to muscle Himself up on those spikes through His feet. For six hours, He withstood the blood loss, He withstood the constant and ever present mocking and ridicule, He withstood the sheer pain of it. Yet not just physical pain, but emotional pain too. Everyone that had followed Him, His closest friends had abandoned Him. He hung on the cross all alone, dying.

Luke 23:39.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”  But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

 

This last conversation with Jesus before His death, shows mankind a reality. We can be like the first criminal who blasphemes God, showing no faith or remorse, but rather expecting God to save us. Or we can be like the second, who understands his sin and iniquity, and in faith comes to Christ humbly. And with one final breath Christ commends Himself into the Father’s hands, dying in the place of the murderer and insurrectionist Barabbas.

 

The Plan

But you see this was all the plan, executed perfectly and without error, just as it was intended. You see God wasn’t reactionary to our Fall, He didn’t say to Himself, “Oh darn, humanity done and did it, I better go fix it.” No, rather Christ knew and waited, for as it says in the Book of Galatians Chapter 4 Verse 4-7:

“But when the fullness of time had come, God (that is God the Father) sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

 

In the fullness of time? Christ came in the fullness of time to break the shackles and the binds of the slaves! Let me read verse 7 again,

 

            “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

           

Our identities as slaves to sin have been destroyed! Atoned for! Covered, with the precious blood of Christ. Christ’s atoning work upon the Cross and His resurrection broke the shackles of death and sin, allowing all those who would call upon His name to come into the newness of life as a son and heir of God. 1 Peter 2:23-25 says this:

 

“Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

 

To think that we are deserving or entitled to something so precious, so merciful would be a tragedy! We do not deserve this, at all! Yet Christ died for us. For you, for me, for all who would come to believe on His wonderful and powerful name and to live in righteousness and restored relationship with God.
 

Illustration & Explanation

So you’ve undoubtedly seen the absolute mess of rope tied and wound through this front row of pews. Today we’re going to continue our theme of different illustrations with an active image of our lives. Would my voluntold volunteers come on out? As you can all see, these brave souls are fully blindfolded, completely and totally unable to see. Today they are going to be navigating through this sort of “rope course” to the way out that we can all see (crack a grin). They all have their instructions, but we as a congregation cannot help them. Please do not laugh when Beorn hits his head trying to climb under the pews, or when Aria gets frustrated and starts talking to herself. Just observe. (Begin the illustration)

For those who did not see it or perhaps understand the symbolism of this illustration, this “rope course” that hardly is one, was to symbolize our lives, our natures, our entanglements in sin. No matter how hard we work, how much we think, how much we try to muscle our way out of circumstances, we can’t, for without Christ, without the Cross there is no way out. Yet when I saw them get frustrated, become upset, or need help, I went to them to lead them out. In much the same way, Christ finds us wherever we are in our entanglement with sin, offering help and salvation in His hand. And that help and salvation, leads to and proceeds directly from the Cross, where He paid our blood debt owed to God.
 

Application

Earlier I read the verse from the Gospel of Mark which detailed Christ being handed over to the Romans and His crucifixion. Yet in those same verses there was a man, a man who had been arrested and was awaiting death for his crimes, who, without a doubt, was guilty of them. His name was Barabbas, if you don’t remember. His name quite literally means, “son of the father”. We are Barabbas, guilty of our own sins and deserving and bound for a death that we do deserve. No one would argue against his deserving of death! Yet Christ was sacrificed in his place, in OUR place. A man, totally innocent and undeserving of punishment, yet willing to take it upon Himself in our place so that we might be declared righteous before the eyes of God and able to come home.

 

 Last week I closed us with a verse from Isaiah 53, a verse that should have left us with some hope, much like it did for the Israelites. The verse in question verse 6, reads this:

 

            “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

 

This week I would like to read the rest of that Chapter of Isaiah so please turn with me to Isaiah 53. The Word of the Lord,

 

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness, and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes are we healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

 

As we go into our last song, and as we go out into the world today, may your mind be cast back to the great and terrible cross which the Son of God went to gladly for both you and I. My prayer for you, is that each and every single one of you would know the love of Christ in that while we were yet sinners, bound and destined only for death, Christ died for us, taking into His own body our sin and suffering our death. There are undoubtedly some of you that are out there that look back upon your sin and think “I don’t deserve this, I deserve death. Forgiveness is not something I want, for how could there be enough for me?” Perhaps you’re looking at your sin right now and allowing it to stonewall God calling out to you. My dear friends, I plead with you, Christ pleads with you, all of heaven pleads with you, come home. I speak from experience when I say I know this feeling, the guilt, the painful remorse. Come home, come home to a Father who loves you, to a Savior who died for you. Come home, the altars are open, there will be men waiting at the stairs to pray with you, who join with Christ and myself in pleading for you. Let us pray.

 

Benediction

A Psalm of David,

“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your Lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight – That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when you judge. Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

 

Amen, Go in peace
 
 
 

Resources:

 
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Because He First Loved Us Wk 1

The Condition of Mankind

Jakob Davis
 

I wanna tell you a story, a true story. A story about a young boy turned into a young man, desperately lost and searching for anything that might bring him a shred of pleasure and peace. You see this boy hadn’t been born to Christian parents, but still grew up going to church. He had the same Sunday school lessons taught to him as many of you did, yet when this world came and broke his little world, he couldn’t cope, couldn’t reconcile what he had been taught about God with what he was facing now. He came face to face with death, the cruel sting of it, robbing him of that last shred of childhood. So, what do you suppose went first? His small and ungrown childish faith. He blamed God for everything that had happened in his life, the bullying, the suicide of his cousin who was more like a brother, the at times tumultuous and rocky home life. He blamed God for the evil that he saw within the world, for the evil that was within his fellow man. And where do you think he sought peace?

He sought it in friends, in women, in trouble and unrighteousness. Lying and manipulation were practically a language for him as was anger and rage. After all, these things gave no peace, only a momentary release and distraction from the pain. Each and every death and disaster in his life drove him further and further into that life, a life where the rule of me was the only rule that mattered. A life whose goal was self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction, which viewed others as dispensable and nothing but pawns and means to ends which he set for himself. Fiercely independent, yet ultimately reliant on others for strength and validation. Nothing within him desired after God, or what God deemed and said was righteousness, in fact the only feelings he had towards Him were contempt and hatred. He persecuted those who believed in Him, actively attacking and lambasting the faith of others, seeking to convince them and himself of the truth that he thought he had. He was stuck, bound, slave to his nature, a nature which desired what was against the God he once knew, and yet he didn’t care.

That young boy, that young man, was me. I desired after nothing but what pleased me and what pleased me, what pleased my sinful nature, what pleased my corrupted flesh was unrighteousness. And yet that is precisely what we are talking about today. Sin, more specifically our sin, our sinful nature, the things which from our birth we have been slave to. Before we begin, examining a portion of the Book of Romans, I wanted to open with this truth about my life. What we are talking about today is without a doubt, a very difficult topic to talk about and a very difficult to accept truth. I want you all to know my heart before I begin, a heart that does not judge nor condemn you for a life that you lived or very well may still live in, for I have lived a life of unrighteousness and there are very, very few things that I have not done for me to judge you upon. My brothers and sisters, dear friends and dear strangers, please join me as we turn to Romans 5:12. The Word of the Lord,

 

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

 

Through just one man, sin came into the world. Who is this one man? Verse 14 tells us outrightly, it’s our forefather Adam. For from him, we inherited a malignant cancer. But what was the mode that we caught this plague, this corruption? Was it from committing sin? Practicing unrighteousness and disobeying God as our forefather Adam did? I assume we all know of David, the man who defeated Goliath, who desired to see God’s kingdom be exalted above all, who followed after God to his end, the declared “man after God’s own heart”. In Psalm 51:5, our man David had this to say,

         

          “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”

 

Our paragon of a man, perhaps one of the most virtuous men in all of Scripture, gives us the origin of how we came to inherit sin, not to Genesis as St. Paul did in Romans, but more simply to our births. We were given it, as a cursed inheritance from Adam. We, through no sinful action of our own at the moment of our creation, became accursed and guilty of God’s judgment upon mankind. But this inheritance was not only the guilty verdict of death, but an invasive and malignant cancer that would bind our will and desires to it, to total unrighteousness. In the Gospel of John our Lord Christ said this, Chapter 8 Verse 34,

 

          “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”

 

And yet as we know from our beginning verse of Romans 5:12, all are guilty of sin. So according to Christ, we are all slave to sin, bound to its will and its way. Yet, it is likely that our understanding of slavery carries an understanding akin to being forced to do what we do not desire to do. Yet this could not be further from the truth! Our sinful and corrupted flesh desires and longs for that sinful and unrighteous release. We serve and served sin gladly and with no knowledge or understanding of a better way! For how could we know, except it was preached unto us, and how could we understand if not for the illumination of the Holy Spirit within us? Perhaps you remain unconvinced. St. Paul, early in the Book of Romans quotes a few Old Testament passages to drive home the unchanging nature of this point. Romans 3:9-12:

 

“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not, one”

 

Not even God’s own people, the Israelites, can escape this. I want to stress that the sinful nature is not our natural state! We were fashioned by God to be in relationship with Him! Our current nature is not new but the corruption of our original nature! We all find a commonality in our final destructions and destinations, both God’s people and the Gentiles, that’s us, for if we all cannot understand, how can we come to appease and find forgiveness in the eyes of God? It is not by our lives or our works as some might suggest, for we know from the teachings of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit and a corrupt tree cannot bring forth the good fruit. For as it says in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 64 Verse 6:

 

          “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;”

 

Our works are nothing for the judgment that awaits and awaited us. We cannot seek to appease or satisfy the righteous requirements of God placed upon us. Our hands are metaphorically and quite literally tied, bound for our final destination, that is eternal death.

We all, whether we can admit it to ourselves and others or not, have sinned, have fallen short of the glory of God. But not just fallen short, we have all brought upon ourselves the wrath of God. For why shouldn’t He who is holy and perfect in all things, seek righteous judgment upon the sinful ways of the thing which He has dominion and lordship over. I cannot overstress to you enough that we do not deserve mercy, we do not deserve grace, we deserve death. That’s what we deserve, our final destination in our sins. Ephesians 2:1-3 says this:

 

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in what you once walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

 

We who were and are children of wrath deserve exactly the same, yet righteous wrath. For how could we measure up? How could we appease and satisfy requirements that we could not desire?

 

Application

As we move into the closing, I want to leave you with just a single point of application, something simple, but something that must be accepted if one is to understand anything about what comes next. We, all of us, you, me, everyone outside these walls and doors, are broken. All of us, bound before a holy God at an impossible breaking point, totally and utterly destroyed, enslaved to our sin, a nature that we wish to serve. That’s the application, that truth, that understanding of who we are. For many of us we understand what might be coming next, Who is coming next. But I wanted to spend this morning talking directly about who WE  are. For how can we understand salvation and the One who brings it, if we can’t grapple with, understand, and accept what we were being saved from, that being ourselves and the enemy.

 

As we leave today, I’m asking you all to do something, something much more hands-on than what we are used to on a Sunday morning. Beneath your seats or in the storage compartments on the back of the pew in front of you is a piece of paper. While this last song plays, I want you to think about your sins, who you were and who you might still be, sins that you have confessed to God, and sins that you may not have. When you’re done, write them down on that piece of paper and fold it however many times you’d like and either leave it in your pews in the same spot you found them, or take them to the offering basket on your way out of the sanctuary. This will remain totally anonymous and no one but God and yourselves will know what you wrote. If you’d rather do this in the privacy of your own home, take a piece home and bring it back next Sunday and when we collect the offering, place it in the basket. I don’t often like to reveal my hand, but these seemingly insignificant pieces of paper are vital for the next sermon. As the worship team begins to play I’d like to read to you our final verse, a verse for us to meditate on as we think on who we are and who we were. From the Book of Isaiah,

 

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

 

Benediction Prayer

A Psalm of David,

“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your Lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight – That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when you judge. Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and  in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence…”

Amen

 
 
 
 
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Jeremiah 28

Day 1497

Trust the Fidelity of God’s Word!

Jeremiah 28

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, April 22.

 

It is God who raises up prophets, but what happens when you aren’t sure if someone is being faithful to God? In Deuteronomy 18:20, God gave Moses clear guidance on what to do about a prophet who presented their own words as if from God, “But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.” God doesn’t make idle threats about protecting the fidelity of His Word.

 

In Jeremiah 28, when the prophet had put on himself a wooden oxen yoke as a prophetic sign to the people, a man named Hananiah, who was claiming to be a prophet, broke the yoke off Jeremiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Even so will I break within two full years the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations’” (10-11). This message opposed Jeremiah’s former prophecy, but God can’t contradict Himself, so who was right? God answered that question by giving Jeremiah a message to clarify which word was from Him, “Listen now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord’” (15-16). God was faithful to protect the fidelity of His Word and to uphold the honor of His messenger. Today, if someone claims to speak for God, but his or her words are not lining up with the Bible, then that person is not God’s spokesperson.

 

Seize the moment and trust God to protect the fidelity of His Word! Be noble like a Berean and line up everything you hear with the Bible (Acts 17:11).

 

God bless you!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.

 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 1441

The Protection of the Redeemer!

Isaiah 54

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, February 26.
 

Isaiah 54 reminds me of the promise in Jeremiah 29:11, which should never be taken out of its context of verse 10, “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” Yes, God does have a good plan for your life, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be international turmoil, national disaster, or personal hardship along the way. In fact, God’s promise of redemption and abundance in Isaiah 54 is set in the context of after “the destroyer” has been destroyed, after the seventy years of exile have been completed, as God testified in verses 7-8, “For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you.”

 

The destroyer is any tool in God’s hands to bring about His righteous judgment, so, never forget, that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). No matter what you are facing, God’s promises will prevail, as declared in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me.”

 

Seize the moment and put yourself under the protection of the Redeemer – there is no weapon, which has been formed against God’s people or His will, that can thwart the finished work of Jesus on the Cross.

 
 

God bless you!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.

 

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Seize the Moment – Day 1429

The Victory of God!

Isaiah 46

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, February 14.

 

In ancient times, wars between nations were considered the battle grounds of the gods. In Isaiah 46, Yahweh took on the Babylonian gods, overtly calling them by name in the first verses, then contrasting them with Himself in verses 1-4:

 

Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle. The things that you carry are burdensome, a load for the weary beast. They stooped over, they have bowed down together; they could not rescue the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity. Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from birth and have been carried from the womb; even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you.

 

Bel, also known as Marduk, was the principal god in the Babylonian pantheon of gods. He was a storm god associated with fertility and creation. Nebo was his son and was popularly paraded during Babylonian festivals. Isaiah portrayed them both as idols, false gods who burdened their worshippers. Then he contrasted them with Yahweh, the true God who bears the heavy burden of His worshippers. God declared of Himself in Isaiah 46:9-10, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’”

 

Seize the moment and trust Jesus for every victory – “He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Colossians 2:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 2:14). It is done!

 

God bless you!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.

 
 
 

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Advent 2023 (Wk 3) The Christmas Word

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To see the edited version, click HERE.

(The sound has been edited and some things were taken out at the beginning.  Sound issues are mostly fixed)
 

To see the original streamed version, click HERE.

(Includes first song, announcements, Advent candle lighting.  Sound is up and down.)
 
 

To see the original program, click HERE.

 
 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 1337

Focus on what Matters Most!

Proverbs 31

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, November 14.

 

Did you know that in today’s world you can be busy doing nothing? Are you utilizing the precious time you have to focus on what matters most? Proverbs 31:10-31 captures a description of “an excellent wife,” but what it really does is teach us what the life that embodies wisdom looks like. The conclusion of the matter is found in Proverbs 31:30-31, with a characterization of a person who lives according to the fear of the Lord, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” These are the concluding words of the book of Proverbs, a summarization of the theme of Solomon’s wisdom – a wise person lives according to the fear of the Lord.

 

Take some time today to meditate upon this description of a godly life, seeing how important the wise use of time is for each of us. How are you investing your time? What matters most to you? If time is your best expression of love, to whom are you giving this exquisite gift? If I were to write a short story about your life, what would it sound like based on how you are investing your time and energy? Are there things you would like to change? Consider taking active steps today to do this because you do not know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. Today is a gift!

 

Seize the moment and apply the wisdom of Proverbs 31: focus on what matters most by cultivating the character of a godly person, and you will reap a harvest of praise to God by bearing the good fruit of the Spirit in your life, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

God bless you!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.

 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 1336

Ask God for His Will to be Done!

Proverbs 30

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, November 13.

 

What are you asking God for and why? What are the motivations of your prayer life? In Proverbs 30:7-9, Agur petitions God, “Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” He asked for a life of integrity, and a life of contentment. Both of which he desires so that he may honor God with his life. Motives matter when we petition God, as James 4:3 explains, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

 

Prayer is a gift from God. He desires to be in a personal relationship with you, and He wants to hear from you. We are to approach God in the name of Jesus, which means we are to ask Him in accordance with His character and will, as revealed to us through His Word (John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24). In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in a new way:

 

Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

 

Seize the moment and apply the wisdom of Proverbs 30: ask God for His will to be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven!

 

God bless you!

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 1285

Today’s song focus will be

What a Beautiful Name

 

Colossians 1:15 (NASB95)         

 

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

 

Brooke Fraser Ligertwood had been writing songs before she was even a teenager. She came to the Lord at the age of 15 in her home country of New Zealand. She later moved to Sydney, Australia where she joined Hillsong Worship, helping to write songs like ‘Desert Song’, ‘Hosanna’, and ‘None but Jesus’. In 2015, she co-wrote “What a Beautiful Name” with Ben Fielding, which went on to receive a Grammy award. She said they wanted to create a song that brought a balance of sound theology and personal lyrics of what that means for the individual worshipper.

 

What a beautiful Name it is. 

What a beautiful Name it is

The Name of Jesus Christ my King.

What a beautiful Name it is

Nothing compares to this.

What a beautiful Name it is

The Name of Jesus

 

We need to wake up each morning declaring our worship to the One who gave everything for us so that we could have the abundant life that can only be found in Him.

 

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.

 

If you would like to listen to this song, click on this link:

 

What a Beautiful Name

 

Verse 1
You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

Chorus 1
What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Verse 2
You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

Chorus 2
What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Bridge
Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

Chorus 3
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Tags
What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus

 
 
 
Lyrics found at:
 
 

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Missionary: Jim White

Faith (And what it takes to live in Faith)

from Missionaries Jim & Teresa White
 
 
Teresa shared, thanking the church for their support during a time of deep loss and for a time of renewal in Newfoundland. Teresa also shared about some changes in their mission outreach into “the hood” of their city in the Dominican Republic.
 
Jim wanted to share about Faith and what it takes to live in Faith…. For many, when the hard times come, they walk in doubt.
 
The Bible teaches that we are to be like Jesus when we walk on earth.
 
1 John 2:6; 4:17; We bring the Gospel of Life with others. You may be the only “Jesus” that others ever see. If we are living like Jesus, then others will meet Jesus. We are the hands and the feet and the love of Jesus on earth!
 
We should live each day as if it were the last day for us on earth. How would you change your daily life?
 
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Run is such a way that you will not be disqualified.
 
We are to run the race with great intent. Our goal is to see Jesus face to face!
Our first thought of the day, our thoughts at work or with others and our final thought of the day – is it Jesus?
 
Philippians 2 – we are to think of others more than we do ourselves.
 
God has given us everything we need to be like Jesus. He honors effort. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling…
 
Evil today is rampant. It’s not isolated, it is everywhere! It is not going to get better. From here on out it is going to get worse. Are you prepared? We hear about Christians being in other countries, but it is beginning to happen here. Satan has more freedom in out schools while Christians have to fight for the privilege to do things there!
 
Evil is expanding across the globe and Christians are beginning to lose faith. They are impatient and don’t want to wait on God.
 
There is a goal we need to focus on: to see Jesus face to face. We need to be willing to give up everything. To go where God sends us!
 
We started the mission field dirt poor with rats and cockroaches, and now we are blessed with a nice (although unfinished home), but if He asked us to give it up tomorrow, could we? We need to be ready and willing…
 
I spent 60 days in a Haitian prison and was accused of being a terrorist. I was cleared by Homeland Security and ATF. I was a political pawn. It was the perfect storm. There were many demonic “coincidences”. 60 days was a miracle. The consulate expected me to be there for at least a year and maybe more. They even told me it was a miracle. And many miracles happened while I was in prison. God does things in our lives like he did for the apostles!
 
Paul considered himself to the be least of the apostles, yet he did so much more.
 
We have to be prepared for what’s coming…
 
Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
 
The only way we can be intimate with Jesus is through His word. Not by asking Him for things! Just by showing up and reading His word and talking to Him!
 
I was never afraid while in prison. Although I was never given a number (which meant they could make me disappear), but God protected me with others who took care of me.
 
A lady gave him a pamphlet, “How do die in a foreign prison.” He wouldn’t take it because God had already assured him that he wouldn’t.
 
I don’t need to learn how to die in prison, I need to learn how to die in Christ! The worse thing you can do when faced with death as a Christian, is to beg for your life. Death is the doorway to being with Christ!
 
Like Paul, I would rather be with the Lord than with you…please don’t take offense at that.
 
Around the world we see evil being taken as good and good as evil!
 
We are all given the ministry of reconciliation, not just the pastors! We will all be held accountable for those in our circle of ministry where we live, and for the truth He has given us.
 
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
 
Jim shared a story about an event in the jail and the healing of a nonbeliever there and how God used that to lead him to Christ.
 
Another story was about a man in the prison who was so depressed that just waiting to die. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Jim was sharing with others about how simple it is to receive Christ. Many were saved and began preaching the Gospel. That night this man told Jim that he needed Jesus, but he didn’t know how. Jim told him to just speak to Jesus and tell him of his need. He began to pray and pour out his heart. He changed from being so depressed to being full of joy! The whole cell of men celebrated.
 
He was still sad because he had murdered someone and would never see his family again. Jim prayed a simple prayer for him. He was released 3 days later. Another miracle. He was asked to pray for many people after that!
 
Faith is not complicated. Faith is believing that God is who He said He was and that He will do what He said He would do!
 
We just need to be faithful, no matter what comes your way. He will deliver you!
 
Death is a door. If we die in Christ, we are delivered. We have no need to fear!
 
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
 

You can watch the message by clicking HERE.

 
 

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