Sunday, June 28, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015
El-OLAM - Everlasting God
Not defined by time, always has been, continual, from before the existence of created things, before the beginning and after the end, God of antiquity (old), not confined by humanly limits of time, perpetual, eternal, never to be moved, for ever.
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
· We are mere mortals and our days are numbered, yet sometimes we think we will live forever and that we are our own God.
· God wants us to see that He is the almighty and the El-Olam (The Eternal and Forever God)
· He wants us to understand that our days are numbered and therefore should fear, revere and obey Him who has been from the beginning.
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
· He has set eternity in our hearts that we should fear Him and seek Him.
· There is an emptiness that we possess that could only be filled through a relationship with the Eternal God. (share personally—no relationship, drug, car, money, sport or anything else could fill that void)—I find when I am feeling down (like this past week) that only God can truly comfort me, because I know that through Him we have the comfort of the promise of eternity because He is eternal, and if we are His sons and daughters we will share in that.
· We must enter into a true covenant with Him if this promise is to hold true. We cannot live a double life or live a lie and think that we walk with God. We also need to know that this a relationship with God is not based on a set of rules, but is a relationship that is real and lived out—not imagined or based on a feeling.
1. An Everlasting Covenant
(an agreement between two parties / a relationship)
For Christians, here is what this agreement / relationship looks like practically:
1. God expresses His love for us (John 3:16)
2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior (Luke 19:10)
3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13)
4. Gave the Gospel "the power" to bring salvation (Romans 1:16)
5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)
6. Be faithful until the end (2 Timothy 4:6-8, Revelations 2:10)
God has done His part; will you do yours?
If visiting, ask someone here to study this out with you.
Paul: A living example
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a] but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
--counting the cost (how much he must suffer for my name)
--Living it out
--Never say quit attitude (even when opposed by disciples)
--Jesus promises that He’ll be with us always (no need to quit or fear or back down)
· Close the back door (if it gets hard…if I don’t like it…) You said “Jesus is Lord”, you made a forever deal with God, honor it, fight for it.
· You belong to God now, your life is not you own, this is a forever decision you made. You are free to leave anytime but you have to understand that the consequences are heavy and are eternal.
· No one here is perfect, but God is and His promises hold true to the end of time. As much as He said He would shepherd you and guide you at the beginning of your journey, He still is guiding you now. Are you trusting Him to guide you always? Are you still willing to follow closely.
· It’s easy to think we have it figured out as you get older as a Christian, or to think we now have certain rights we did not possess before, or perhaps that we don’t need to be obedient to our calling anymore.
2. An Everlasting Reward
A New Heaven and a New Earth
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Worth Fighting For: The Crown That Will Last Forever
Paul’s fight is just like ours
1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.