Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

God’s Display Case

Scripture Read: Esther 1:1-4  Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, [2] in those days as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was in Susa the capital, [3] in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his princes and attendants, the army officers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of his provinces being in his presence. [4] And he displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days.


Display -   רָאָה, רָאֶה, רְאוּת [ra’ah /raw·aw/]   1 to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider; use the perception of sight to view objects and make judgments based on the perceptions

Riches - כָּבֹוד kaw·bode  glory, honour, glorious, abundance, riches.

Splendor -  יְקָר [yâqar /yek·awr/  price, value, preciousness, honour, splendour, pomp.

Majesty -  גְּדוּלָּה gâduwlah,  1a of man. 1b of God’s greatness (as an attribute).

Thinking about this in a different context. I should be showing God’s greatness and preciousness and His abundance for all to look at, to see, to inspect – so people can make judgments on them and be persuaded to make a decision. Isn’t that why the Holy Spirit is producing the character of Christ in me? Yes it is! Like this king – I have a treasure house and it need not be protected. I should show all of it to everyone. Lord help me to display Your Riches, Splendor and Majesty to all I come in contact with. Thank You Lord. I love You.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Word of Light

Scripture Read:  John 1:24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’

Application:  There is so much here to say. Not only is that statement of John’s that affirms Christ existed before he did – remember John was conceived months before Jesus. There is also the question of whether they knew each other as they grew up – they were cousins. But what really speaks to me Lord is – even if they had met before – John did not recognize the Lord. The two statements here are a beautiful picture of Your grace and enlightenment. You place us where we should be so that we can recognize the light, and You make it clear how we can recognize Your Truth. John, by baptizing would be confronted with the Light of Christ, and then You even make it clear how he can know for sure. I see the same principles in my life. All that I went through was to prepare me to recognize Your light. Then through Your vessels and Your word you help me clearly understand Your Truth. My wife dropped one of her college classes just when I did. That placed her in the lounge at the same time I was there. I was able to share Your Word with her and she responded. Then as we both studied Your Word we grew toward You and each other. You have made recognizing Your light so easy on us by Your Word. Help me Oh God to stay in Your Word all my days that I might always see Your Truth!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning to be the best guide

Scripture Read: John 1:19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”


Make (εὐθύνω euthynō)  to make straight, level, plain, to lead or guide straight, of the steersman or helmsman of a ship, to  prepare.

Way, (ὁδός, hodos,)  a way, road, a travelers  journey. John the Baptist had the task of a fore-runner preparing the way for Jesus. He was to proclaim the coming of Jesus, and to prepare men for it by calling on them to repent and summoning them to be baptized.

I think it is a good idea for me to compare what I am doing with the task of John. He was preparing the way for the first coming. How different should my message be? It is basically the same. I am to guide people to the Truth of our Savior and have them ready for when He returns. Like John I can do nothing concerning the salvation – but I do have a lot to do with how they get it and what to do after they receive it. How is your life Nate? Are you being the guide you should be? Are there areas in your life that would hinder any facet of your guidance. Am I making sure of the clarity of my guidance to those that are lost? Am I helping to guide the new babes to maturity after their salvation? I know what I feel in my heart and my desire – but sometimes it feels as though my flesh just is too strong. Help me to look anew at my message Lord! I want to be like John.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All of God not just part

Scripture Read:  John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Application: Consider three key words.

Grace( χάρις charis} That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, it is joyous being, “charm,” understood not in terms of the beautiful but of the element of the delightful in the beautiful,

Truth (ἀλήθεια alētheia) What is true in any matter under consideration, that candor of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit, Etymologically ἀλήθεια has the meaning of non-concealment. It thus indicates a matter or state to the extent that it is seen, indicated or expressed, and that in such seeing, indication or expression it is disclosed, or discloses itself, as it really is.

Realized (γίνομαι ginomai)  to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being. This verb is mid. deponent intrans. primarily meaning to begin to be, that is, to come into existence or into any state; and in the aor. and 2d perf. to have come into existence or simply to be, to bring into concrete existence.

Notice that grace in this section is tied to truth. That which is joyous, sweetness, delightful is balanced by being free of biased. It is the real delight, or joy not tainted by sin and it’s lust. These two facts of Who God is are brought into existence for us to see through Christ. He alone reveals the grace and truth that the Father is. That is why it does not fit well into our mind – we cannot understand it without Christ to make it concrete for us. If we do not want the reality we turn away. If we accept it for what it is – we respond to the light. I must receive all of Who God is – not just the parts I like or understand. Jn 4 speaks to this = “spirit and truth” No custom God – He is as He is! “I am” That’s the point! Help me Lord to just accept the reality of You. Then I will see real life!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What will you do with your will?

Scripture Read: John 1: 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Application: Right (ἐξουσία exousia)  1 power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases. the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises, it denotes the power which decides. All relationships are the reflection of the lordship of God in a fallen world where nothing takes place apart from His ἐξουσία or authority. 

Believe (πιστεύω pisteuō)  Used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul, “to rely on,”

Will (θέλημα thelēma)  what one wishes or has determined shall be done. God’s will is expressed in the singular because the concept is shaped, not by individual legal directions, but by the conviction that this θέλημα of God is a powerful unity. The third petition of the Lord’s Prayer: γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς expresses not merely submission but consent to a comprehensive fulfilment of God’s will in keeping with the hallowing of His name and the coming of His kingdom.

God has empowered me to exercise His authority purchased by Christ and is now in me to live as a full child of God. This happened because I rely on the work of Christ for my redemption. All of this is done by His will, not mine. Does that remove free will? Not exactly – Perhaps this is a will that is exercised inside His plan – so His plan of redemption is set and no one can change it. I would still possess free will to only receive or reject. The way of the plan is set. I cannot manipulate it. That’s what Salvation by grace PLUS anything does – it tries to change the will of God when it comes to how a person is redeemed. No – my will is given to me to respond to His planned will – but not change it. I realize the debate goes on – but as for me I will hold to two realities – In the end – All is under His control and I will spend my time praising You Lord for giving me this right. Thank You that in Your will you enlightened me to salvation. I LOVE YOU LORD!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

He’s the Light we are the witnesses

Scripture Read: John 1: 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

Application: Witness (μαρτυρία martyria) -  a  testifying,  what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge. The other passages (27) are dominated by the specific sense of the evangelistic witness to Christ’s nature and significance which aims at faith.

Testify (μαρτυρέω martyre)  to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration. 1a to give (not to keep back) testimony. The witness is simply to the nature and significance of His (Jesus) person.

True (ἀληθινός alēthinos) -  that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine. opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended.

Enlightens (φωτίζω phōtizō)  to give light, to shine, Illumine, render evident, to give understanding to.
Here is the perfect description of what we are to be doing. I am to give a report of what I have seen and experienced. It is not my reporting that causes people to understand or become enlightened. It is the Truth of Who Christ is that does that. He is the one that enlightens, yet He has left me with the task of being the vehicle that the chance of enlightenment must come through. I share, by my works and words what I know to be True = Him – in turn He enlightens the heart of the listener and they respond with the faith that God has given them. Like Peter said we must be ready at all times – and we must live in a way where that hope is clearly seen in us! Let me walk this way Lord.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Don’t exist – Live!

Scripture Read: John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. [4] In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Application: Life – (ζωή zōē) =  the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate, of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, In the strict sense, this use is not metaphorical, since operative power is of the very essence of life itself. 

Light – (φῶς phōs) =  the light, light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality, that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly. The light symbolism should not be restricted to the person; the teaching is included.

Darkness – (σκοτία skotia)  the darkness due to want of light, used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery in hell. Not only is there darkness in the world; the world itself is darkness (Jn. 8:12; 12:35, 46; 1 Jn. 1:5 f.; 2:8 ff.). It is for this very reason that no cosmological dualism develops; it would disrupt the radicalism of thought. In John, too, darkness is a sphere = power, but it is not, as in Gnosticism, a substance too; it is the world’s proper nature in which this flourishes. Darkness puts up no effective resistance. The thought that it cannot understand light is modified here along the lines of historical decision: the world is darkness as it asserts itself as such against the light. Its nature is due to guilt, not fate.

Comprehend – (καταλαμβάνω katalambanō) =  to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to obtain, attain to, to make one’s own, to take into one’s self, appropriate, to understand. It is also used in the negative sense “to overpower,” Jn. 1:5: The darkness of separation from God has not succeeded in overcoming the light, It has not been able to vanquish the power of His light. By the very existence of this light the whole sphere of night is overcome and deprived of its power.

Christ is the possessor of all that life is. All that life holds is transparent to all because it is in the Light – He is that Light. The very opposite of that light not only cannot understand it but cannot overcome it. We live in that Darkness and only see the Light when we embrace the Life that Christ is!!!  So many confuse life with existence. Christ does give existence but desires to give so much more because He is life! This is why so many are in misery – they have settled to exist instead of live! Holy Spirit I need to stay in His Light – Strengthen me to do so is my prayer! Thank You Lord for Life!