Battered but Not Broken

Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
 
There are two promises from God here. First, the righteous will endure many afflictions. Not maybe the righteous will be afflicted a little bit on the rare occasion. No. The afflictions of the righteous are many. BUT the Lord delivers the righteous from every one of them. Praise Him for the second promise! There could be no greater comfort than this. Expect many troubles. Trust God for deliverance from all of them. Those who trust in the Lord will be battered, but not a bone will be broken (v. 20). The Lord comes through every time.

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Kansas was Wrong

Psalm 31:15, “My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.”
 
Don’t have all the answers? Don’t even know all the questions? Ever wonder: Where is my sanity and security? The first six words of Psalm 31:15 provide the answer. All we are is not dust in the wind. Our times, short or long, rich or poor, sad or happy, sick or healthy, are in God’s hands. There is no cause to be anxious about tomorrow if you trust and rest in the Father’s hand. We are invited to lay down all our burdens, fears, anxieties, heartaches, disappointments, and victories before the Father. Take advantage of that opportunity. Live underneath His sheltering hand and discover true and lasting rest (Matthew 11:28-30). Trust God the Father. He knows best.

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History is Happening

Daniel 7:1-3, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
 
The first of Daniel’s visions correspond with the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel 2. When Daniel recorded his dream the events were future, but as we read them in 2020, much of it has been explicitly fulfilled in history. The “first future” in Daniel’s prophecy is of four world empires that have risen and fallen exactly as Daniel predicted. The “second future” is one yet to come. We call this the end times. Events which will transpire before Christ’s glory fills the world forever. The explicit accuracy of the prophecies that have been fulfilled provide us with absolute confidence in those that are yet to be fulfilled.
 
Daniel’s prophecy has an immense present and practical value. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah demonstrate why and how we must live in the present, as well as being prepared for the future. Courageous conviction, cooperation without compromise, devotion to God and His Word portrayed by Daniel are just as critical today as they were as in Daniel’s day.

Tonight at 7pm!

Join us this evening at 7pm as we gather for prayer and then time in Daniel 7. Our teens will also be meeting in the Family Life Center at the same time. On Sunday, July 5 our Sunday school and SHinE ministries will resume. The evening services on Sunday will return sooner rather than later, and that means our choir will resume also. Praise the Lord!
 

 


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True Tone

James 5:12, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
 
Plain talk is the best talk. Like Jesus (Matthew 5:37), James calls God’s people to be straightforward, honest, and plain in their speech. This does not mean rude, contentious, or mean. Simply say what is right, in the right manner, and at the right time. Too much talk leads to sin (Proverbs 10:19). None of us are bound to always say something. Silence often is golden. When the time to speak does arise, however, be sensible. Be decisive. Be biblically consistent in word and tone. Trust God for the doing of this and with the results.

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Trust for the Rescue

Psalm 22:4, “Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.”
 
Remember what you know. Follow that course of action when the press of hard days continues to squeeze your life. Psalm 22 is a lament and a Messianic psalm, quoted by Christ during the depth of His sorrow on the cross. Suffering is real and it hurts, and in its midst the only spark of hope we often have is what we already know to be true. God has delivered others (including me) in the past because they trusted Him. Since God is good and He does not change, we should trust Him to deliver us now. Remember what you know. Trust the God you know. He is the only lifeline that will deliver.

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Sacrificial Service

Our text this morning will be Mark 10:32-45. That passage reminds me, in a slight way, of a childhood visit to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, IN. As the Clifty Creek runs into the Ohio River there are several waterfalls along its stretch. The two I remember are not cleverly named – Big Clifty and Little Clifty. Both are basically the same size, being right around 60’, but their beauty compensated for their lack of cleverness. More than that natural beauty, I remember the creek’s velocity as it accelerated towards each falls.
 
Likewise, as the earthly ministry of Jesus nears its climatic conclusion (the Passion Week is just around the corner) there is a frightening resolution about Jesus. Unique to Mark’s account is the vividly detailed snapshot of this event. Mark 10:32 does not simply tell us that Jesus and the Twelve went up to Jerusalem. Instead we read that “Jesus went before them.”

Going on Before

This is no leisurely stroll up to the holy city. Jesus purposefully strides ahead of His followers with an unwavering determination. His resolve intimidated the disciples; not because Jesus normally vacillated. Not at all! His followers were “amazed” and “afraid.”  They were unnerved by His unswerving commitment. They did not fully understand what was happening. We normally fear what we cannot fully explain it. But they sensed His commitment, and they could grasp that it required their commitment.

Jesus came down from heaven to do the will of the Father that sent Him. The “hour” that had been appointed in eternity past was fast approaching, and Jesus had set His face like a flint towards Jerusalem so that He might accomplish His Father’s will. As Jesus marched towards Jerusalem “He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him.” Our Lord described for them, now for the third time, exactly what it meant for the Son of Man to be lifted up.

Join Us!

That will be the focus of our time together in worship. Join us at 11am. You may also follow along online.
 
Just a reminder that next week we will resume our Sunday school classes at 10am and SHinE schedule (10am-Noon on Sunday morning, 7pm on Wednesday night). The vans will return for runs on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, but for children only. No adults on the vans for a little while longer. We apologize for the inconvenience, but are being purposefully gradual as we re-establish our usual routine.

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Saturday with Spurgeon

From the Jaws of Death

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said … Be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.” Daniel 3:16, 18

The narrative of the manly courage and marvellous deliverance of the three holy children, or rather champions, is well calculated to excite in the minds of believers firmness and steadfastness in upholding the truth in the teeth of tyranny and in the very jaws of death. Let young Christians especially learn from their example, both in matters of faith in religion, and matters of uprightness in business, never to sacrifice their consciences. Lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal. Be not guided by the will-o’-the-wisp of policy, but by the pole-star of divine authority. Follow the right at all hazards. When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight. Do God the honour to trust him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle. See whether he will be your debtor! See if he doth not even in this life prove his word that “Godliness, with contentment, is great gain,” and that they who “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall have all these things added unto them.” Should it happen that, in the providence of God, you are a loser by conscience, you shall find that if the Lord pays you not back in the silver of earthly prosperity, he will discharge his promise in the gold of spiritual joy. Remember that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of that which he possesseth. To wear a guileless spirit, to have a heart void of offence, to have the favour and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and inward contention therewith.” An ounce of heart’s-ease is worth a ton of gold.


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Give it a Rest

Hebrews 4:3, “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

Rest is peace. Jesus is our rest. Trust the work accomplished by His crucifixion and resurrection, and you will be at peace with God (Romans 5:1). Trust Jesus daily with the major issues of your life, as well as the minutiae, and you will enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-8). Just as we must choose to trust Christ as our Savior and Lord, we must choose to daily trust Him and enter into His rest rather than stewing in our stress. Have you given your problem to Jesus? Then get your hands (and your mind) off of it. Give it a rest, and rest yourself in the God who is in control.


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Dug Down Deep

Luke 6:48, “He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”
 
Dug down deep is how Jesus described the person who trusts and obeys His Word. The person who learns and lives the Bible has a foundation dug down deep. So when the water rises and the wind blows and the storm beats against that house, it stands firm. Pretty houses on weak foundations are disasters waiting to happen. The foolish man builds his house upon the sand, but the wise man builds on the Rock. How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! Trust God’s Word, and stand steady on solid ground.

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Prophecy’s Purpose

Following His crucifixion, the resurrected Jesus described that purpose like this while talking with a couple of believers on the road to Emmaus: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself,” Luke 24:27.
 
Near the end of John’s visions on Patmos, the overwhelmed apostle fell at the feet of an angel in worship. That when this happened, “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” Revelation 19:10.

Daniel 7

In our study of Daniel we have arrived at chapter seven. Beginning this evening the prophetic aspect of this book takes flight. Daniel’s first six chapters are the historical mixed together with a little of the prophetical. That is reversed in the final six chapters with prophetic visions seasoned with a bit of history. Chapter seven is a panoramic view of God’s redemptive purpose and plan. We will be taken all the way from Daniel’s day to the return of Christ.
 
You are invited and encouraged to join us at 7pm for our prayer time and this Bible study. Our teens will also be meeting in the Family Life Center. This is their first time back together since the COVID-19 restrictions began. Come be with us. You may also follow along online.

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