Today’s Sermon

f-15_eagle_short_takeoff_in_afterburner

The sermon for July 15th is now on the New Life web-site. In this sermon, Rozina talks about bucket lists.

Click here to listen on your browser, here to download the mp3

Advertisements

Reflection on Mark 6:14-29

salome-head-of-john-baptist-02_orig.jpg

Scripture

Deeply grieved, the king regretted his promise to her, but since he had made his vow in front of his honoured guests, he could not deny her request.

Observation

King Herod hears about Jesus and what people are saying about Him. Some people insist that he is John the Baptist resurrected. Herod believes this and becomes disturbed.

Previously, Herod had had John arrested because John was publicly rebuking Herod for his immorality in marrying Herodias. At a feast for Herod’s birthday, his stepdaughter danced for the assembled dignitaries. He was delighted and promised her whatever she requested. At her mother’s urging, she requests John’s head on a platter. Reluctantly, Herod acquiesced to her demand.

Application

Our words can imprison us and others so we should be careful about what we say. Where the text says “The king regretted his promise,” an early Syrian version says he was “tied in a knot,” a very graphic description.

Our words have power to free us or enslave us.

A year ago I made a promise to “try to” do something. It seemed impossible at that point, but the promise seemed to be led by the Holy Spirit. For six months, I prayed daily for the grace to do what I had said I would try to achieve. Finally a breakthrough came as the Lord lifted me to a higher level of faith.

A vow uttered from the human soul constricts us or “ties us in a knot.” A godly promise can take us upward and higher. The difference is the source of the promise, whether it is energised by the spirit or by the flesh.

When we discover that we have spoken foolishly we should immediately take it to the Lord and seek His direction. His ways are higher than our ways, and His wisdom exceeds all human wisdom. He will show us how to be free of a fleshly promise or vow.

Prayer

Thank you Lord that you set me free from foolish vows and promises. Help me to control my tongue and only make declarations that honour you. Amen.

Reflection on Ephesians 1:1-14

niagara-falls

Scripture

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father- the Father of our Lord Jesus- all because He sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts.

Observation

God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He chose us and joined us to Himself, adopting us as His children.

The cascading riches of His grace flow over us and release wisdom and insight. God’s long range plan is that He will make all things new through Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the first instalment or deposit for what is coming- all to the glory of God.

Application

Because of Jesus we lack nothing. Everything we need for salvation and eternity has been given to us.

God is not reluctant in His giving. He lavishes grace upon grace over us. His grace is like a mighty waterfall that keeps flowing over us. It is superabundant- more than enough, more than is reasonable.

It is all because He loves us and desires us to see His love for us. He is like an old billionaire who falls in love with a young woman and showers her with jewellery and all kinds of extravagant gifts.

God’s graces are more than mere physical baubles. His first grace is the promise of eternal life. We are guaranteed a place in heaven, a “mansion.”

But there is so much more than even this:

  • the gifts of wisdom and insight

  • the power gifts of the Holy Spirit

  • the fruit of the Holy Spirit

But Paul tells us all of this is just a deposit or an engagement ring. There is so much more to come.

Prayer

Lord God I thank you for your overflowing, superabundant grace which you lavish on me daily. Please help me to look to your cascading, flooding grace and to rejoice in you every single day. Amen.

We All Know Somebody Like This

From Babylon Bee: 

Man Who Can Quote ‘Princess Bride’ At Will Struggling To Remember Single Bible Verse

Brought to you by 

TEXARKANA, TX—According to sources close to local man Matthew Franco, the 39-year-old believer knows every single line from the classic film The Princess Bride by heart, yet struggles to quote a full Bible verse without having to look it up to refresh his memory.

The Christian man quotes the film throughout his day, responding to coworkers’ interactions by reciting lines like, “As you wish,” and “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!” but always finds himself struggling to recall whatever Bible passage he’s trying to remember.

According to his friends and family, he’s watched the film 17 times this year already, mouthing the lines along with the actors as Westley attempts to save Princess Buttercup from the weaselly Prince Humperdinck. However, not one of the people who know Franco can recall a time he’s sat down for a time of personal devotions and Scripture reading.

“Yeah, I just don’t have the time to sit there and memorize a bunch of Bible verses that I may or may not need to use throughout the day,” he told reporters as he commented, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something!” on a friend’s Facebook post. “I’ll just Google what a verse says if I really need to reference it.”

At publishing time, sources had confirmed that the man who’s “a little shaky” on his recollection of John 3:16 has the entirety of the film Tombstone “hidden in his heart.”

Reflection on 2 Samuel 6:1-23

Ark of the Covenant

Scripture

David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments- lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.

Observation

David goes to bring back the Ark of the Lord and to locate it in Jerusalem. They place the Ark on a new cart, and then David and the people dance and sing before the Lord as they make their journey.

But the oxen stumble, and Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark. The Lord strikes him down. The Ark is then left at the home of Obed-Edom.

After three months it becomes known that the Lord is blessing Obed-Edom because of the Ark, so David decides to complete its return to Jerusalem. Again there is much celebration, but this time David heeds the commandments of the Lord about how the Ark is to be carried.

As David dances with abandon, his wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, is disgusted by his lack of dignity. As a result she remains barren for her whole life.

Application

It is good to celebrate God in our worship. Worship should always be a celebration of God’s grace. The more instruments, the more singers, the more participants, the better. Let us sing and dance to the Lord as often as we can.

However, worship must be holy. When worship lacks integrity or becomes self-seeking, it can become dangerous. In this passage, David failed to observe God’s rules for moving the Ark, and a man died as a result.

This is not to say that worship should be legalistic and overrun with rules and traditions. We do need to make sure that individually and corporately we are living lives that honour the Lord before we pick up an instrument.

Then we can boldly come into the presence of the Most High God and rejoice in Him.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to worship you. May we always be mindful of your eternal holiness as well as your unfailing love so that we worship you in Spirit and in truth. Amen.