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Monthly Archives: January 2011

The great shepherd

Hello again!

Jesus, the great shepherd:

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Heb 13:20-21)

How can we be equipped with “everything good”? That just doesn’t seem possible. Well, it is possible, because of two main reasons:

1. With Jesus, everything is a possibility (nothing is impossible).

and

2. We can put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians)

“By the blood of the eternal covenant”… I wonder if he’s talking about Jesus? Hmm. Through Jesus, through his death on the cross for you and me, we are saved, and, we can put on the full armor of God (through Jesus).

“working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” God is working in us through Jesus Christ, “to will and to do” his works. I’m not sure what verse “to will and to do” is from, but, if you know, can you please post it in the comment? Thank you.

We are now “pleasing” to God… I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me! We no longer have to try (and fail) to please God, because Jesus (the) Christ did that for us! Once again, I don’t know about you, but I think that will make it a bit easier for me to sleep tonight…

Thank you Jesus!

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The three points of the sermon today

Hello again!

Here are the three points that were preached on today, and the main passage:

2 Kings chapter 1 verses 1:7

Point one: The Axe was borrowed

point two: The Axe-head was lost

Point three: The Axe-head was brought back up with a stick

The reason I’m being so “scarce” about the details of the sermon, is because I want you personally to look up the verse, and see it for yourself.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Pray for us… Not at us

Hello again!

I have found three main “points” if you will, from this verse… Have you ever heard of “St. John, or St. Peter? Just think on those two names for a moment:

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. (Heb 13:18)

“Pray for us”, Now, I don’t know who wrote Hebrews… But, the writing style reminds me of Paul. Have you ever heard of St. Paul? I really don’t like how “people” (catholics) worship “St. John, and St. Paul” (etc), because it simply is wrong, “Pray for us”, not “Pray at us, because Jesus doesn’t matter”, not “Pray to me, because I matter more than anyone”… Peter learned his lesson when he tried and defy Jesus’ will, and, we’re defying his will as well, when we pray to “saints”. Who could be more important than the “sanctifier”? No one… No one can or could be. I’d go so far as to say that, praying or worshiping saints, is as bad as worshiping or praying to idols. We should pray for our pastors, not at them.

“for we are sure that we have a clear conscience”. How can some one be “sure” that they have a clear conscience? Isn’t it possible to sin with out actually knowing your sinning? True, that is possible… But, we are forgiven for even the things we don’t know that we do. {that’s not to say that we should go and sin, because we’re forgiven, that dishonors God, and it shows your not a “true” Christian… Again, that isn’t to say that “true” Christians can’t stumble and fall, the true test is to see if you’ll get back up again.} Here’s a summary:

Human + sinful nature = BAD. Human – sinful nature = BAD. Human + Jesus = Clean conscience and total forgiveness.

“desiring to act honorably in all things”. We not only should desire to act honorably, we should act honorably, in everything we do (“all things”). But that’s impossible! You say. Yes it is impossible… Without Jesus! “With Jesus all things are possible”. However, we need to allow ourselves to be worked through.

“Take the firs steps, and you’ll see how much your blest! Start the change, make a difference, I am told, it won’t be hard. You will see, you can do it! Start moving in the right direction, live holy, live righteous, through Jesus… For he will keep you up.” — Anyonyms

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Leave or stay?

Hello again!

Sometimes, it seems like either our leaders aren’t preaching God’s word, or we aren’t imitating them, as we should. In fact, it not only seems that way, but, the majority of the time it is that way:

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Heb 13:7)

Congregation:

Lets think for a minute here. What exactly is the “word of God”? It’s the Gospel! The word of God is the bible, the bible is Jesus, Jesus is the Christ, the Christ has only one message, and that message is “the Gospel”! If your pastor isn’t preaching the gospel to you every single Sunday/Saturday {or whatever day of the week you go to church} then maybe it’s time to start looking for a new church. We should not imitate someone who does not preach the gospel. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of good God-fearing guys out there, who preach… It’s just, they only preach “good moral values). Albeit, some people lean more to the “grace” side of grace and truth… In other words, you need a lot of discernment in these issues.

Also, it’s important to look at the current “outcome” of your pastors life… What has he done for you and congregation? What has he done for the church? What has done for the church at large, what has he done for other believers? This is also a deciding quality of whether you should leave your church and look for a new one or stay where you are.

If you’ve asked all of these questions of your pastor, and he has “come through clean” then it’s time you got into the miming business….

Pastors:

Quite frankly… Set a good example.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion

Hello again!

Love and laughter, toil and horror… It all depends on which mountain (Jesus through) you chose(s) to climb.

For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, (Heb 12:20-22)

 

Lets pick a few key verses here:

“so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”

“the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering”

God, is a God of both wraith and love. The thing is though, Jesus died for you, and for me, and had all the wrath of God poured onto him so that we could get nothing but God’s all surpassing love.

Can you picture Moses? On top of Mt. Sinai, talking with God, and, in the end of their slightly long conversation, interceding between God and the people. I wonder What that represents? Hmm, food for thought.

“the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering”

I’ve been to Jerusalem, I even went on a tour… Believe me, it may be good for someone who doesn’t mind waiting until 3 P.M. to eat lunch, and doesn’t mind getting  an over all sense of “go away foreigner” , and, doesn’t mind bumping into every one of the people on the street… Because it’s so crowded, but, it’s not good for me. However, “the heavenly Jerusalem”, sounds a bit better… Don’t you think? My. Zion, Heaven, the new Jerusalem, quite frankly, no matter how you say it, it still give you a some what awed feeling… At least, it does me. Imagine your fantasy world, we both know you have one, and now, times all that, by about a million, try imaging that… Not the easiest thing to do, huh? Still, imagine that times a trillion (a trillion times better), and you still wouldn’t have a glimpse of Heaven. Heaven is, “unimaginable”, “Why though, why is it impossible to imagine?” You ask. The answer to that is simple. Imagine Mt. Sinai, horrible, full of lightning, something that even make Moses himself tremble in his sandals. Now, imagine that as, a good version… You wouldn’t ever want to leave you mind.

All this, however, is beside the point, the point is, because Jesus the Christ, died, for you and for me, we can go to the New Jerusalem. All you need to do, is accept Jesus into your life.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Striving for, obtaining, and throwing in the trash

Hello again!

The title at first, may seem a little odd, but I think it will make at least a little more sense after you read this verse:

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (Heb 12:14-15)

 

Lets look at a few key parts to the two verses:

“Strive for peace with everyone”

“holiness without which no one will see the Lord”

“that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled

This sounds a little ridiculous, don’t you think? I mean, how on earth can we have peace with everyone.

How indeed? How on earth can anyone live with one another? It’s impossible. That’s why Jesus intervened. We all hated each other, and God hated our hatred. Not a good situation, huh? Thankfully, we have Jesus, who died for you and me., before gloriously resurrecting. That’s also how it’s possible, for us talk with God, and, see God. Note: It doesn’t say when we’ll see him, in my opinion, we’ll see him in heaven.

This is an important topic that I’m about to write about here, so, if you weren’t already paying attention, I suggest you start doing so now:

“that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled

A quick summary would be “Your sin = other sin”. unfortunately, this somewhat like compounding interest (for those of you who aren’t familiar with this term, it means, frankly, make a dollar, use that dollar to make another, take your two dollars, and make 4, etc).

When you sin, some one will always see you do it, even if that “someone” is God. Frankly, this is what this means:

When you sin, there’s a huge (possible) snowball effect, you start drawing into your self, becoming less “open”. People see this, and start drawing away from you, you lose friends, and family relationships crumble. They start drawing away from you, (depending of course, on what sort of friends and family you have). The result can even be that your friends start drawing away from each other, and start sinning themselves. And now, instead of just you, you have your family, your friends, and your friend’s families in trouble, (once again, this really does depend on what sort of friends and family you have). Hence, your “bit” of sin, has caused a lot of problems. Of course, you can fix these problems, and, you can “stop sinning”, through Jesus. But, if you simply ” let it roam free”, you lose, quite frankly, a lot.

If you have managed to get in this situation, I highly suggest you go to http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The father of Spirits

Hello again!

I suggest you concentrate on the last part of the verse:

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? (Heb 12:9)

look at that last sentence, “Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”

Hmmm, I wonder how that figures? I mean, it’s almost as if it’s implying we were dead before.

Being subject to the “father of spirits” or to God the father (of spirits) is extremely important, as, if you’re a Christian, you’ll know by this point.

I think though, that this verse is also saying we should respect our fathers, of course, it is referring to it in the past tense, but that’s because the author is probably somewhat elderly by this point… (considering how far into the bible it is, as far as Genesis through Revelation). So, we should respect our fathers, what does that even mean? Should we start bowing to him and feeding him grapes? Well, not unless you want to make a joke (about bowing to him). Of course, my dad would probably say yes, and I doubt your father would say no. But, that’s beside the point, the question was “what does it mean to respect our fathers?” Well, it means simply, do what they want, unless it’s sinful, in other words, respect his wishes. But, respect God’s (wishes) first.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A great cloud of wasps… Oh wait! That’s “witnessess”

Hello again!

Picture this, a swarm of wasps is attacking you. Not pleasant. Now, find out why I said that:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2)

Two words: Accountability partner.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

It’s almost as if the author of Hebrews, is saying: Because everyone is watching, do it right.

Accountability partners are good for us, they help us “keep on track with our goals” some times though, when we’re struggling to keep our goals, and an accountability partner calls, you sort of want to smash the phone. Or, you want to grab the receiver so fast you snap the cord.

Sense (some of us) are surround by a great cloud of witnesses (accountability partners) we should lay off our “great weight of sin”. Hence, we can give a good report the next time the phone rings.

Occasionally, it seems like your accountability partners are all ganging up and “stinging” you. That’s good. That means they’re good accountability partners (depending on the questions they ask).

“the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”

The founder and perfecter of our faith. Lets start a list:

What Jesus founded

The world, people, animals, the universe, the plants, Saturn, the Moon, the planets in general, the heavens, feelings, emotions, our faith. Just to name a few.

Jesus founded our faith. In other words, because of his wanting for us to believe in him, we believe in him. Does that make sense? I can understand how it might sound a little confusing. Let me rephrase it:

Human = Dido.  Human + Jesus = faith

Make more sense? Good, let’s move on.

and for the joy (?) set before him”

The joy set before him? That’s a little confusing… How, under any circumstances, could that be joyful? Simple, he wanted kids and a bride, really, really, really, bad. And that as the only way to get them.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Pretending to be rich… Not a good idea

Hello again!

I would encourage you to look for how this can point towards Jesus’ sacrifice for us:

Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked. One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat. (Pro 13:6-8)

“Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless
“One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” “The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth

I think you’ll have noticed the under-lined (etc) words in these verses, I want to try to tell you what strikes. Whose way is blameless? Who on earth would pretend to be poor when he was really rich? What does it mean”the ransom of a man’s life is his wealth”?

Firstly, all Christians are blameless as of today. Why, you ask? Because, Jesus died for, and rose again for us. Jesus pretended to be a “mortal” when he was really God almighty. Don’t get me wrong, he was of course, fully man, but, he was also fully God. Not only just a mortal, but I poor one. When he had all the riches of heaven, I’d call that pretending to be poor. And, most importantly, the ransom of Jesus’ life for you and for me, is his wealth, he gained all of us by laying down his life for us.

Jesus pretending to be poor, while we pretended to be rich, just look at the Pharisees! They sure claimed to be “spiritually rich”, and I think the reality of that is obvious. Jesus was the only blameless person alive, and, because of his sacrifice, “!of his life!”, we are now ransomed and free from blame. The only thing I can think of saying is, “thank you Jesus!”.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Fruit of the mouth, fathers instruction, same thing.

Hello again!

However hard this, as a twelve-year-old, is hard to admit, it’s the truth:

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. (Pro 13:1-2)

Interesting how it mentions how “a wise son hears his father’s instruction” and then “from his mouth a man eats what is good”. You know why “from his mouth” a man eats what is good? Because, his son listened to what his father’s mouth was telling him, and went and bought a cheese burger.

Really though, that’s not exactly what is means. I’m sure at one point you too were a kid, or maybe, you still are one, anyway, I’m sure there was at least once when you heard your mom or dad tell you something, and you didn’t listen, or you wished they would just “get on with it already! I have more important things to do, like, game station.” OK, so maybe that wasn’t exactly what some of you thought, but sometimes, in our life, we get idols, an idol could be anything from a little wooden figurine , of say, Tiger Woods (pretty much a golfer God by this time) or it could be your new car, or even your family (just because I said that, don’t go neglecting your family!!!).  Or, game station, for that matter. Things can distract you, but, you need to always listen to your “father”, your earthly father as well, of course, but mainly your heavenly father, God the father. From his mouth we hear what we are supposed to do in life, it’s our job, to listen and obey, to get rid of any distractions, maybe throw away your little golfing good luck charm, or take 3-4 days off game station.

It’s far more important to listen to your heavenly father than it is to your earthly father, all the same, try to stay awake when your parents are talking to you, preferably listen to. I think parents like that.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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