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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Today’s Sermon

Hello again!

Today the Pastor preached on Matthew 6:9. He had already preached through the entire book of Matthew, but decided to go back to the Lord’s prayer, and preach five sermons on that.

Perhaps somewhat obviously, his focus in the sermon was prayer, though in the beginning of his sermon, he did also talk for a bit on gay marriage (and how it is wrong). I suppose that was simply what was on his heart at the moment. Regardless, the main message was on prayer. His main points where these:

  • Prayer should be done while expecting to receive a response.

Here, he brought out how whenever Jesus’ disciples talked to Him, they were in a sense, “praying.” e.g. His disciples didn’t say, “Lord, who sinned that this man was born blind? Him, or his parents?” Only to walk off before Christ answered them. That being said, the pastor also noted that not all conversations Jesus had where prayer; the Devil wasn’t praying to Jesus in the desert while tempting Him to sin. The difference between His disciples and the Devil, being that His disciples where “communing” with Him, while the Devil most certainly was not.

  • Prayer is our way of talking to God.

This may be seen as an obvious point, but the pastor brought out here that talking to God really is no small matter. We often take our ability as Christian’s to talk with God for granted, because we can’t actually see God, and therefore sometimes feel He doesn’t deserve the respect of someone who we can see, even if the person we can see isn’t the being that created you and then died for you. – The pastor’s main point here was to bring out that we should treat prayer with great respect.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Todays Sermon

 

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Changed Lives, and Barley

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.” And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” (Ruth 2:13-19)

Ruth, “ate until she was satisfied,” and even then had left-overs. She was given everything she could handle, and then some. And why? Not because of anything she had done, but because of Boaz. Boaz “sacrificed” food and income (Ruth did take home an entire “ephah” of barley) for this women who wasn’t even an Israelite. In fact, as the foreman of Boaz’s field (see: Ruth 2:6) so quaintly pointed out, she was a ‘Moabite from Moab’. She deserved nothing, yet he gave her so much.

The next part of the passage is just as wonderful as the first; Ruth comes home so loaded, that the first words out of Naomi’s mouth are, “Where did you glean today?” She doesn’t even say hello, just jumps straight to the point. To which Ruth replies with a simple little sentence: “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”  Naomi asked where Ruth had gleaned, because it was so glaringly obvious that Ruth had found someone different; someone willing to offer such gifts to a complete stranger.

Jesus has given us everything that we need; He has satisfied us completely, through His death and Resurrection, and has given us abundant gifts. Now, we ought to be like Ruth: since we cannot bring our Boaz with us when we meet people, we should instead show them our changed lives. Ruth’s huge bundle of barley was right out there and obvious,  so too should we show how Christ has changed our lives. – By not living as the “World” lives, but by being transformed into the image of Christ by the renewal of our minds.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Schedule Change

Hello again!

Due to a busier schedule, I have decided to move posting on Goldenbible to Saturday and Sunday. I may still post on weekdays, but that depends on various things.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Hello again

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Boaz then addressed Ruth: “Listen, my daughter! Don’t glean in any other field. Don’t even leave this one, and be sure to stay close to my women servants. (Ruth 2:8)

Boaz has no real reason to take an interest in Ruth. Just the opposite, in fact; he has every reason to tell her to get out of his field and head elsewhere. But he doesn`t do that, instead help protects and takes care of her.

Jesus was put in much the same situation as Boaz is in this passage; someone who isn`t anywhere near worthy of His attention (us) is trying to “glean” something from His “field” (the Bible)… And He not only takes notice, but promptly proceeds to take care of us in every way.-Proceeds to die for our sin. And, of course, our response should be just as Ruth`s was:

At this she fell prostrate, bowing low to the ground, and asked him, “Why is it that you’re showing me kindness by noticing me, since I’m a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10)

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

Beauty in Misery

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning. (Ruth 1:19-22)

This is something which happens to every true Christian who was temporarily caught in a sin trap, and is now free again: they go away full with Christ, and return empty and desolate; leaving the very place where God provides for His people; the cross for us, is never a good idea. However, even in the worst of circumstances, there is always some good. In this case, Ruth joined God’s people.

That being said, Naomi’s husband and two sons still did die in Moab. Sin always forces us to give far more than we want to, and it’s only by God’s mercy that any good can come out of it at all. Paul tells us this quite clearly:

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)

In chapter six, Paul somewhat completes his train of thought by telling us that we have died to the sin nature, and so can no longer live in sin. (We can still fall temporarily into sin, but we cannot live in it anymore).

The point is this: God can bring beauty in misery, but it is never a wise idea to test God. It is better by far to pray for strength to stay free of sin.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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