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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

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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

 

 
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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

 
 
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