A few Wednesday's ago... With a strong notion from God...We changed from the Wednesday Night Bible Study...To bring the first part of what was to be...One of the most powerful mini-series I've ever studied personally...Bringing us back to the very roots...Of what it means to Accept... And Live for... Jesus Christ!
A Study that kind of made me "Wipe the board clean"...From all that we usually think about Living for Christ...And with a fresh... Biblical... Tradition-challenging Foundation!
We cannot retrace all of the incredible Truths...We have covered thus far... So PLEASE... Go back to Wednesday before last... October 26, 2022...And to last Sunday... October 30, 2022...And get this Study in it's entirety!
This past Wednesday we took a break from our "Walk Thru The Bible" series to cover one of the most powerful and divisive teachings of Jesus Christ as He walked the earth 2000 years ago. One that seems to be all but lost in today's Christian culture. What was this disruptive and disliked teaching of Jesus? The understanding that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord is not simply believing He exists; not simply asking Him to save your soul and then going about your life business as usual with a new addition to your life. But it is truly seeing why your heart, your life, your ways are so destructive to God, others and yourself—so in need of a Savior. It is seeing just how radically His ways of Love differ in beauty and passion from all we have known and wanting His ways more than our own. It is trusting His Character and His Plan to make more of your life than you ever could, and changing the way you live to reflect that trust. It is realizing He Made everything He saved your soul. He is the only reason you live—the only thing worthy of your life's devotion—and then truly giving everything to Him. It is a total change of mind and heart which changes your life forever. Not a sweet little incantation you said one day and now you have a ticket to stick in your back pocket. it is repentance; it is a change of mind and life because He is worth it and He changed everything for you.
Last week we began a two part series about..."The Blood of Jesus!"
Thus far we have seen how the Blood of Christ...Did so much more than bring Salvation! It Also brought...Boldness instead of shame...Protection from Satan...
Oneness with the Father... Became Blood-Kin to GOD! Power to fight sin and work in the Spirit! We saw that "The Blood" of Jesus... Was not just for a One Time Moment of Salvation...But It is to be...Covered Under, Lived In, Empowered By, and Accepted Thru...Every moment of our lives!
Now... For the Second Study...We will look at a lesser known Story from the OT...Which at first...Will seem to be unrelated to our Topic! But as the Story progresses...We will see that it is one of the ...Most powerful stories in Scripture...About Grace, Salvation... And "The Blood!"
Let's jump in!
I have heard many an Old Baptist Preacher...Giving sermons about "The Blood of Christ!"...Usually in a fiery sermon about Salvation!...How "The Blood" is the Only Way to Heaven!...And this is all good... And all true!...But as a NEW Christian... Sermons about "The Blood"...Always seemed somewhat odd... Almost violent at times! Sometimes even leaving me a bit creeped out...As to WHY God Did Things this Way! Rarely was there a full explanation...Of exactly WHAT the Blood of Christ did...WHY God Had to Act in this manner to Save us...
And exactly WHY the "Blood" was so Powerful and Important!
If Jesus had lived in our time, He very possibly could have used this parable: Imagine you wake up from a wonderful, deep sleep to find yourself cruising along on the tracks of a railroad in a passenger train. It's full of people laughing, talking, eating in the dining cars—all going about their day without a care—enjoying their trip. You feel bewildered because you just can't seem to remember how you got on the train. You ask someone near you, "Where did this train depart from?" To which they reply, "Well honestly, I'm really not sure,” and they continue in the conversation in which they were engaged. Even more confused now, you go to another person on the train and ask, "Where is this train headed?" To which they reply, "You know, I just don't have a clue." And they again, continue nonchalantly eating their dinner. After what seems like hours of walking through car after car, seeing countless people just going about their business as usual—talking, reading, playing games on their cell phones—and giving you pretty much the same unsure answers to your questions, you finally stand in the middle of one of the crowed, noisy cars and scream at everyone: "Does anybody know how we got on this crazy train? Does anybody have any earthly idea where we are going? Does anybody even know if someone is driving the Train?" A gruff-looking, irritated man comes up to you and snaps at you, "Look, we've all been on this train as long as we can remember. And, no, we don't know how we got on the train, we don't know where it's going, when it will get there or who's driving it. So you yell at him in a panic, "Don't you think we need to find out? Has anyone even tried to talk to the Conductor?" The grumpy man scoffs back, “We have everything we need. We are having a good time. We really don't care. Could you please just shut up and enjoy the ride?" Everyone turns back around from the drama and goes about their business again.
All of the talk in Christian circles for weeks and months now has been about the many signs of Christ's soon return and how prophecies are being fulfilled all around us. Let me tell you that I agree and it is exciting to see. But as much as it honors God to recognize His Prophecies and to anticipate His soon return, there is a much greater way to honor and please Him than simply becoming infatuated with when it will happen. When we recently spent three weeks learning how Jesus Himself taught us to pray, He taught us the proper mindset in this life—the proper focus and mentality of believers now on earth. In the very first words of the Prayer: Matthew 6:9-10—our calling in these End Days is not to slow down, give up on the world or retreat in waiting. Our calling, our prayer, our passion according to Jesus' model prayer for us needs to be bringing His Kingdom here, now; needs to be finding and doing His Will with renewed fervor now. Looking for "The Blessed Hope" of His Return does not mean “Sitting on your blessed hump!” until He returns; it does not mean sitting on our hands in giddy excitement. It means, living more sincerely, more sacrificially, more purposefully than ever before. It means less discussion and more real love. It means leaving the ways of a world bound for hell and truly living foreign to everything around us because we see such a treasure in His ways. It means becoming a completely surrendered servant to Him rather than a spoiled child wanting to be served. We have been made the literal sons and daughters of God our Father. What does that mean we are to be like in this world? We are to be about His Will while we are here, especially in these most crucial times before He Comes. We are to represent Him; love what He loves; live to be one with Him as Christ is One. Accept and glory in that fact. Join with Him as one in loving and saving this world.
Scenario: Three friends have just been informed...
Beyond the shadow of a doubt...
They have one week before the world will come to an end!
One replies:"Well, I'm going out having every experience possible!
I’ve got drugs I haven’t tried, women, drinking, stealing... Might as well be like “The Purge”… And try it all...Nothing to lose now!"
The Second replies:"Good gravy! I've got to get right with Jesus RIGHT NOW!I'm throwing everything out... I'm going to church this week...I'm done with porn, done with partying, done wasting all my time on things that won't be here in two weeks anyway! I've got to start telling everyone I love, about Jesus!"
The Third replies:"Well... I'm with those I love the most in life...I'm doing what I think I was called to do in this world...I'm walking with My Jesus…I'm loving His people with all I have...I've lived my life getting ready for this moment...
Bring it on! I'm going home to have dinner!"
This is our third and final lesson in our Series about Prayer! We are looking specifically and intently...At Jesus' Teachings and Habits in Prayer alone!
What we are learning in this Series is literally life-altering...If you will take it to heart and apply what you Hear from God's Words!
Let's recap what we have learned so far...To bring us up to our place of Study today:
TIME: Our God Paid the Ultimate Price to give us access to Him...And He deserves more than our scraps in the day!...So we should set aside ample TIME to share with Him everyday!...As well as being in Communion with Him throughout our walk!
POSTURE: Any & every POSTURE in prayer is Biblical & acceptable...Use your whole body to worship and communicate with God!
We have talked about: The Top Four Reasons we do not pray as we should...
#4- Angry at God
#3- God is displeased/Distant from God
#2- Not enough time/Too busy
#1- Prayer doesn't seem to work/Make a difference
We discussed how Prayer... Done Biblically...Absolutely makes all of the difference in the world! In helping us literally know God more intimately...
And in the fact that... According to Scriptures... AND experience: God WILL change the course of the world…On behalf of our prayers!
We have spent several weeks now showing how God's ultimate desire—even above obedience, even above service or giving—is intimacy with His people. How that one thing is literally why we are here, is the reason He gave His life, is why our sins hurt Him so deeply; how our hunger to know Him and our real love for Him are more important than anything else we could possibly give. The most natural thing to study together after learning His true heart and how to hunger and thirst for Him more is how to draw closer—how to become more intimate with Christ. The answer is so simple, and yet so difficult. If you met someone you might like to get closer to, what is the first thing you would begin doing in order to know them better? In order to draw closer? You would spend time with them; talk with them, so you could get to know them and could share with them—get to know who they are and what's important to them. The exact same thing is true with God. If we want to become more intimate and close to Him, one of the absolute most important things we can do is talk with Him—spend time with Him. Prayer is the key to deeper intimacy with God, but it is one of the hardest, most neglected, most underrated things in our Christian walk.
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