Grace is Greater

God’s grace is greater than your sin. That’s what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20, “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
 
All those who have experienced this great news are eager to share it with as many people possible. This is true whether you’re an ordinary person or royalty. Nebuchadnezzar ruled an empire renowned for its military, cultural, and artistic superiority. What could possibly be greater than building and ruling such a kingdom?
 
Nebuchadnezzar discovered that answer. When he did, he enthusiastically shared the news with the entire empire. This evening at 7pm we will read and learn from Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony. We also learn, once again, from Daniel’s example. You see, the truth about God’s amazing grace will only be truly appreciated by the one who recognizes his utter sinfulness. In other words, the Good News is so good because the bad news is so bad. Daniel did not shrink back from communicating the TIMELESS TRUTH of God’s grace to his king. That required him to also be willing to describe why his king – like all of us – required grace.
 
Our text tonight will be Daniel 4. The Bible study will be live-streamed. While we have not officially relaunched the Wednesday night service, you are free to join us and welcomed.

Read more...

Nebuchadnezzar Testifies

A humble heart pleases God. The Lord has said this through His prophet Isaiah, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (66:2b)  We read in the Psalms:
  • 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
  • 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” 
Christ Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, the first four having to do with humility.
 
There is no doubt. Humility pleases God. The humble person may enjoy fellowship with their Creator. Sadly, humanity has always viewed humility as our current culture views smoking, something that is hazardous to your health and should be restricted.  We live in a world preoccupied with brains, bodies, and bank accounts. The by-product of all that is a perpetual and persistent self-love fest.

 I Want it My Way!

“Love yourself” is a popular mantra. Not a new one, just one that has become mainstream. Our schoolchildren are encouraged to write essays on “Why I am important” or “Why I love myself.”  Advertising campaigns encourage us to spend our extra money, or even money we don’t have, on ourselves because, “You’re worth it.”  We drive around with bumper stickers that boast about our elementary student who has made the honor roll. The only humor in this is that it all transpires during an age of participation awards! Society has taken “Ol’ Blue Eyes” at his word, and everyone sings to himself, and anyone who will listen, “I did it my way!” Or if they haven’t done anything, “I want it my way!”
 
But in a list of seven things which Almighty God hates (Yes, such a list exists. Just follow the link.), pride is listed first. We also read from the wisdom of Proverbs 16:5a, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord…” and “A high look, and a proud heart…is sin” (21:4). To drive home the point we have the example of King Uzziah, who the Chronicler says was “marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction,” (2 Chronicles 26:16).

God’s Way is Best

Daniel 4 is the text for this evening’s Bible study. Here we have King Nebuchadnezzar enjoying the golden years of his life and rule. The world was conquered, the borders were secure, and all the economic indicators were strong. He had palaces, power, and prosperity. Despite all that, he had a problem. He was troubled, once again, by an awful dream.
 
Daniel was the Lord’s instrument. He interpreted the King’s dream and identified Nebuchadnezzar’s principal problem as pride. Up to this point he had failed to acknowledge that it is ultimately God who rules. The king’s world was bound up in himself. Nebuchadnezzar’s problem was not low self-esteem. He esteemed himself too highly, and did not esteem God at all.  That had to change.  What was the remedy?  Verse 25 provides it. Nebuchadnezzar needed to acknowledge “that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men.” Nebuchadnezzar must look away from himself, and look to Almighty God. This is the proper therapy for all who suffer from a proud heart.
 
Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony is powerful. Not because he was a powerful man but because he finally acknowledged that heaven rules! 

Read more...

Pride or Humility?

James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

We must always ask God to rid our hearts of selfish desires so that we may trust Him to provide what we need, when needed, and in the amount we need. Pride makes us self-focused, causing us to be certain that we deserve all we can see, touch, or imagine. The remedy for self-centeredness is humility before God. We need nothing but His approval, and that is ours in Christ Jesus. Our position in Christ must be reflected in our practical living before others. When we are led by the Holy Spirit instead of sinful desires we will realize that the things we have coveted are nothing but mud pies compared to the spread set by our heavenly Father.


Read more...