True Worship Example


images-1Luke 7:37-38 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

Here is worship.  It was costly… humble… personal… broken… poured out… fragrant!

Jesus had just sat down at the table of a Pharisee to eat.  It would seem that this Pharisee was anything but hospitable.  He did not follow the courtesy customs.  He did not wash the dust from Jesus feet and wipe them.  And, he did not anoint Him with perfume to refresh Him from His sweaty journey.

While Jesus is reclining at the six inch high table, this sinful woman barges in and begins to cry at His feet.  Because Simon the Pharisee did not wash Jesus’ feet for Him, her tears made puddles of mud.  She begins to wipe the mud from His feet with her hair.  Then she pours her perfume on Him.  Notice, this woman is still a sinner until verse 50.

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Can You Forgive Sins?


picture-171John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

Can we forgive sins? The King James calls it remitting which means to release, to acquit, to surrender.  God forgives sins, but you must also.  You are releasing them from the sins against you.  Don’t hold it in your heart.

Are You Hiding?


Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

Genesis 3:8-9 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

This is the first occurrence of a human attribute that is described to God which does not fit. It is not a misprint, bad translation, or a weakness of God. When He asked “where are you” it was not a matter of not knowing where Adam and Eve were but served two purposes:

1. It was a way to open up a conversation with Adam and Eve from the comfort of their own hiding place and give them a moment to explain themselves. He did not accuse them but expressed a desire for them. God was applying therapy. They had developed the first baggage that could have been carried with them throughout their marriage and passed on to their children. But, God opened up that baggage by asking the questions, “Where are you,” “Who is to blame,” and “Did you disobey.”

2. He was playing their game. My grandkids are very small and their favorite game is hide and seek. They have even told me where to hide. I played it their way. God played it their way.

So, did God know where they were all the time? If we are to believe that not only does God know everything but He knows the future, then the answer is yes.

There is a deeper principle here.

1. Sin makes you stupid. When you look at these two verses it is very easy to conclude that God walked with Adam and Even on a regular basis. We really have no idea as to how many weeks, months or even years have past since their creation. Surely, by now, they understand the vastness of God’s knowledge and the limitless sight that He has.

Adam had to be anything but dumb. He was given an assignment by God – to name all of the animals. Could you do that and remember them without the use of a computer or even a pen and paper? And yet, following their sin, they really believed that they could hide from the presence of God.

They hid from the “presence” of God. They attempted the impossible.

2. Sin introduced fear. In verse 10 they were afraid. But, with this fear they experienced shame and possibly guilt. Can you just imagine experiencing these kinds of feelings for the very first time in your lives?

3. Sin reveals the absence of God. Many have tried to explain why sin made such a big deal about being naked. Sin does not keep people from being naked today. This is just my conclusion. I believe that before their sin they were somehow covered with the glory or presence of God and now they were, for the first time, uncovered.

Not only does sin have a price but God cares about your baggage.

The Mark You Want


Tav

Tav

Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

This is an action which God describes upon those who remained pure in the heart of a time where people lived in abomination. Judgement always comes when sin is great. But, God always protects those who are faithful.

What is interesting is that the word for mark is “Tav,” the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In ancient script, unlike the modern script, it looked much like our “t” and is thought to represent the cross.

Just think about it for a moment. How awesome for God to choose a Hebrew letter that looked like a cross to place upon the foreheads of those who remained true to Him. This mark was their salvation, their protection from judgment.

For hundreds of years before Christ the priest would anoint with oil using the sign of the “Tav” or the cross. The Hebrew word for law, Torah, begins with the Tav.

Looking back 2,000 years, the cross is still our mark of protection from the judgment of sin.

Could something be said about it being the last letter of the alphabet and the last thing that was done before judgement came? Maybe. What do you think?

The Crossing


images-23Joshua 3:16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

The water that ran from Adam to the Salt Sea was interrupted with a new crossing. Approximately 1,400 years later John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus in the Jordan in this very spot–Beth-barah, the place of passage, John 1:28. Our sin that runs from Adam and Eve which then leads to the Dead Sea (death) was interrupted by another Joshua, Jesus, when He created a crossing for us.

Knowledge of Good And Evil


Genesis 3:4-7 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the ree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Up until this point in time Adam and Eve enjoyed the pureness of God’s presence. They lived in complete obedience with God’s boundaries. This does not mean that they were slaves to God but, as children with their parents, lived fulfilled and pleasant lives within the safety of God’s oversight.

Was there something magical in the fruit that they eat. My opinion is no. I don’t believe that it was the fruit that had some kind of powers or chemical reaction with their brains. It was the act of disobedience.

When God breathed into them they became living souls. The breath of God is what the bible refers to as the spirit of Man. Man is spirit, soul, and body. God’s Spirit communes with us through our spirit to the soul. It was at the point of disobeying that, for the first time, they made a decision from their lust of the flesh to determine what was good. She saw that the tree was good for food.

It was at the point that she determined that it was good. She became her own authority. When our decision concludes good when God has already deemed it bad, it makes God’s word seem as evil. It was disobedience. Do you see where to knowledge of good and evil come in now? In the decision to eat from the tree Eve became her own authority or elohiym, disqualifying God as her authority.

God’s name, Yawah, is never introduced until chapter 2 when He created man. Genesis 1 refers to Him as Elohiym which literally means authority. He spoke. He created. Now, in chapter 3 man attempts to be his own elohiym, his own authority. It is in this way he attempted to become like elohiym, not Yawah (verse 5).

In Genesis 5:3 Adam begot Seth in his own likeness. If Adam were still in the likeness of God then so would Seth be in the likeness of God. But, not so. Adam and Eve sinned, and produces offspring after their kind of which we are still in the likeness of Adam, inheriting the knowledge of good and evil

It is one of the hardest things to overcome in a Christian life, listening only to God’s voice and not giving in to what our flesh determines good.

The challenge: If Jesus has been asked to come into your life, let Him call the shots. Let Him speak the good into our lives and learn to know your own voice that tries to pick out what is good. It is make God the authority again.

What Is A Sinner?


can't hit it?

can't hit it?

Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The word sinner is much like the word wicked, it paints a picture in our mind of someone who is evil. I can remember back in my Junior High years in study hall that the guy sitting beside me asked me if I thought that his grandmother, who was great to him, baked cookies, and never did anything wrong, was a sinner. I did my very best to explain what I knew then. Just as hard as it was then, many still have a difficult time explaining what a sinner looks like.

The easy definition is anyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their saviour. But, what does the word sinner mean?

Whether we go back to the root word in the Greek or the Hebrew it is still the same. The word means to miss the mark, or go the wrong way. Although, in the Hebrew it is not from the same word as wicked, they have similar meanings. Wicked is to have no direction. But a sinner can have the directions and yet go the wrong way. This does not imply anyone making a mistake. A sinner will attempt to be their own guide.

Paul well defined sin or sinner in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It does not have to be a blaten attempt to be wrong. Even some of the best intentions are wrong. Therefore, we need the help that Jesus offers.

Jesus understood this definition very clearly when He said that no one can get to the Father except through Him.