September 28, 2014
The Wise and Foolish Virgins
Matthew 24 36-25:13
This is one of the hard sayings of Jesus in the sense that some may misunderstand the setting. Is Jesus speaking about the rapture or the Second Coming? The rapture takes place prior to the Second Coming which Jesus will come to the Mt. of Olives and set up His rule and reign.
Whether the rapture occurs prior to the Great Tribulation or in the middle, the important thing here is to be ready! Are you prepared to meet your God?
What is the Lord saying? He is speaking about the Bridegroom and His Bride. Jesus sets the stage by talking about the parable of the two servants (24: 45-51). The evil servant represents an unbeliever who refuses to take seriously the promise of Christ’s return (2 Peter 3:4). What we sometimes don’t see is that even the unbeliever has to give an account of their life to God!
Then, Jesus provides this beautiful crafted parable. Scripture portrays Christ as the Bridegroom (John 3:29) and the church as His bride (Revelation 19:7). The backdrop to this imagery is rooted in Hebrew weddings, which had three phases.
First, the marriage was legally consummated by the parents of the bride and groom, after which the groom went to prepare a place to live in his father’s house. Next, the bridegroom came to claim his bride. Finally, there was a marriage supper, which could last several days. All three of these phases are seen in Christ’s relationship to the church, the bride of Christ.
We see this spiritually (John 14: 1-4). First, as individuals living during the church age come to salvation, under the Father’s loving and sovereign hand, they become part of the bride of Christ (the church). Meanwhile, Christ, the Bridegroom, is in heaven, preparing a place for the bride of Christ to live in His Father’s house.
Second, The Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) comes to claim His bride (at the rapture) and take her to heaven, where He has prepared a place for her (John 14: 1-3). The actual marriage takes place in heaven prior to the Second Coming (Revelation 19: 6-16).
Third, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will follow the Second Coming, apparently taking place during a 75-day interim period between the Second Coming of Christ and the beginning of the millennial kingdom (Daniel 12:11 compared with Matthew 22:1-14; 25: 1-13). Isn’t it interesting to see how that Jewish grooms paid a purchase price to establish the marriage covenant, so Jesus paid a purchase price for the church (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).
What about their lamps? The word for lamp here is aggeion, which is a receptacle, a pail or a reservoir. The foolish took no oil with them which meant that they didn’t have the light of the Holy Spirit. The five wise took oil with them in a receptacle which indicates that they had the light. How can we know we have the Holy Spirit? What is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul gives us assurance in Ephesians 1:13.
September 21, 2014
Matthew 18: 1-11; 19: 13-14
One of the most important ministries to our church is our children’s ministry. Here are the reasons: (1) I think the older we become the harder our hearts becomes. (2) I think when we see a child give their heart to Jesus, it is for life.
So what is Jesus saying here? Why did God command that children be killed in Ezekiel 9? I believe that these people (Israel) had gone so far away from God that God poured out His judgment upon them. God said that He would visit the sin unto the third and fourth generation. “An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Israel had rebelled and hardened their heart so much that God gave them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). We can see just how far man will turn away from God by what man is doing in the world today (Matthew 24: 37-39; 1 Peter 3:20). Jesus uses parables to pose spiritual questions that are spiritually discerned.
First, Jesus called little children because they represent those who are willing to receive the Gospel (v.3). Children are more trusting. Jesus explains this saying to us. If we want to be with God or Jesus, we need to humble ourselves as a little child literally totally dependent upon God to save us. Second, Jesus explains it as receiving a child is receiving Jesus (v.5-7). This is what I was talking about last Sunday. I would not want to be the one to cause a little child to miss the kingdom of heaven. Those who put other things ahead of God are causing them to miss heaven.
Third, Jesus gives us the reason that we should become like a little child (v.8-11). The purpose of our relationship with the Lord Jesus is to become more like Him. What was the reason for His coming to earth? He came to seek and save the Lost!
Jesus explains the process of approaching those who have not received Him (v.12-20). Jesus was speaking about the church.
Have you asked God for forgiveness? If you can live without asking someone for forgiveness, I would question my relationship with Christ! Just as Jesus forgave, we should forgive (v.35). Romans 10: 9-10 brings it into focus. We must agree with God that He is right about our sin. Repent means turn from what you are doing wrong and pursue God.
September 14, 2014
Honoring God with our Music
Colossians 3: 12-17
Music is the language of the heart. Everyone enjoys music whether they have musical talent or not. It’s amazing how music affects the soul. It penetrates the mind and the soul and reaches deep down into our spirit. Teachers use it to teach and music leaders use it to prepare people’s hearts for the message.
As we come to worship the Lord, what are we to expect and how are we to express our praise to the Holy God of the universe? There are two words that describe God. He is love. He is Holy.
Music has been around a long time. It was part of the worship in heaven because Lucifer was made like an instrument (Ezekiel 28). Our vocal cords are also an instrument to praise God. When looking at this subject there are only two kinds of music, it will either honor God or it will not (Colossians 3:23).
First, let’s look at the prerequisite (v.1-4). We are to seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting. In other words keep the main thing the main thing. What is the number one thing that’s important to every person on the face of the earth? Their final destiny is top priority. What are we to be doing? We are to be admonishing and encouraging one another (v.16). We are to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Second, let’s look at the principle (v.16). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Proverbs), teaching (precepts), and admonishing one another in psalms.” The Psalms are full of rich principles for living just like the Proverbs. We need to get in the Word. Sing the Word. Pray the Word. Listen to the Word. Meditate on the Word. Let your heart and mind be like a sponge! Music is one the best ways of memorizing the Scriptures. Utilize it.
R. Kent Hughes stated, “The height of devotion is reached when reverence and contemplation produce passionate worship, which in turn breaks forth in thanksgiving and praise in word and song.” Psalms 19:14 sums it up. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
August 17, 2014
Honoring God with our Temple
2 Corinthians 6: 1-18; 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
No doubt we are living in a period of time where anything goes. We are to be an example of what Christ has called us to be (Romans 7:18-24). Though we are human and we walk in the flesh, we have God’s Spirit indwelling us to empower us to be like Him. What Paul is saying here is that we are to live our lives as an example before the world. How can we be the temple of God if it is cluttered with things of the world? Do we talk about other things more than we do Jesus? How do we become a temple of God?
First, we have to be saved (6: 1-2). Saved from what? What separates us from God? Sin! Selfish living! Serving other gods! “I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore. . .”
Second, we have to be sanctified (6: 3-13). We are to live our lives so others can see the Lord Jesus in us. Are we about things? Are we about leading others to Christ?
Third, we are to live a separated life (6: 14-18). This is not talking about association, but a union. We are not to be joined together with an unbeliever. This is what I have observed throughout the years. A believer marries an unbeliever. The unbeliever has more influence on the believer than the other way around. They may not keep you from going to church but they will have an influence on your decisions.
Finally, David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where Solomon, his son, built the Temple. Jimmy DeYoung stated, “The Ark was a ‘prototype,’ a model of the ‘one to come,’ Jesus himself.” In Jeremiah, the ancient Jewish prophet tells that in a coming temple – the one Jesus will build and rule and reign from (Zechariah 6:12-13), in that temple there will be no Ark of the Covenant (Jeremiah .3:16). The reason is that the Ark is the model of Him to come. When you have the real thing you no longer need the model. However, in the next Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the ‘Tribulation Temple,’ there will be a need for the Ark. Those preparing for the next temple know exactly where the Ark is located today, under the Dome of the Rock of the Temple Mount (2 Chronicles 35:3). (Joel 2: 28-29; Acts 2:17)
August 17, 2014
August 10, 2014
Honoring God with our Service
Psalms 100: 1-5
Once again we will lay the foundation for our service to God. God created us to have fellowship and communion with us. How much time do we give Him? This can be seen in Moses life (Exodus 3:12). Not only was this Moses’ command but this was Israel’s command as well (Deuteronomy 10: 12, 20). Joshua carried this message to the next generation (Joshua 22:5). God’s Word is to be passed from one generation to the next. The sad thing about the nation of Israel is that they kept falling away from God (Judges 2:19). Samuel called them back to following the Lord (1 Samuel 12:20). David passed the torch to Solomon and tells him to serve the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:9-10).
David honored God with all he had. David honored God with his service (Psalms 71:8; 26:8; 100: 1-4), we are to do the same. How can we honor God? We can serve others. We can help those who are in need. We can help those who are hurting. We can help those who are grieving. We can help those who are lost without Jesus. When we serve others, we are serving God for we are His creation.
Here are the ways we can serve God.
1). We can serve Him in the Sanctuary (Psalms 29:2). Coming together in the sanctuary is very biblical. We are to offer up the sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of our lips (Hebrews 13:5). Paul said not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
2) We can serve Him at School. Students started back to school last week in Alabama and this week in Georgia and next week in Florida. How can we honor God in school? If you are a Christian, you need to set an example for others to see. You need to apply yourself and study hard and do your best.
3) We can serve Him in the State employment. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” The secular world doesn’t always understand us and why we need to show God’s love to them.
4) We serve Him by the self-sacrifices we make. Honor means “precious thing, price, value, splendor, pomp.” God is not interested in what we have as much as what we offer. Are we offering our services to the Lord? God has gifted each of us with talent and ability. We honor Him by singing (Psalms 66:2).
5). We honor the Lord with our substance (Proverbs 3:9). (Psalms 104:1; 8:5; 21:5; 29:2; 96:6; 145:5) August 10, 2014
Services and Other Information
Little Lights were shining on Homecoming Sunday! The day was filled with great music, an inspiring message and good food, food and more food! In attendance and recognized were Charter Members, Betty Hill, Marilyn Edwards, Larry and Pat Courson and Irene Evans. Irene spoke of the humble beginnings of our Church with services held in the historic Lloyd Depot. Rev. Jackie Watts of Fellowship Baptist Church was our guest speaker. A special treat was an inspiring piano solo by his father, Glenn Watts. Special Music was presented by guest pianist and vocalist Jill King, joined by our own Mr. Mike, both during morning worship and during an old fashion sing-a-long after the noon meal.
Let’s all continue to let our little lights shine for our Lord each and everyday!