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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Questions

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. (Psalms 15:1-5)

David asks a question of God: Who will live next to God (“sojourn in his tent”)? Who will dwell on God’s holy hill? The blameless one. The one who does what is right, the one who speaks truth in his heart… The one who doesn’t slander, and does no evil to his neighbor. The one who doesn’t take up a reproach against his friend, despises a vile person, but honors those that fear the Lord. The one who never takes an oath that will hurt someone else, but only himself. The one who doesn’t loan but rather lends money, and the one who doesn’t take a bribe. Read over that list one more time, does it remind you of someone?

Jesus is such a perfect fulfillment of this passage, that there is simply no one it can be coincidence. Who was the only blameless one to ever walk on the Earth? Jesus Christ is the only one who you can never truthfully blame for anything. Even when Pilate asked the pharisees why they wanted to crucify Jesus, they essentially replied that “he should just trust them” (see: John 18:29-30). Jesus is also certainly the only one who always does what is right, and who speaks truth i his heart. Not only that, but far from slandering others, He uplifts those others have torn down (i.e. the woman caught in adultery, see: John 8:1-11).  Likewise, Jesus not only did no evil to his neighbor, He specifically encouraged us to love our neighbors – to love all those around us.

Jesus also never took up reproach against one of His friends. You never see Him getting angry when one of His disciples (or all of them, more often than not) don’t understand something He says. He also despises evil doers… Which is why He came to die, to set them free from their evil doing. Likewise with everything else that is listed – Jesus is the embodiment of the passage. He is the one who “dwells” on God’s holy hill of Calvary, where He made atonement for each and every one of our sins. And now, as the last part of the passage states, He shall never be moved. Satan can’t push us around (if you will) when we are in Christ, because when we are in Him, we shall never be able to move away from the place where He dwells – Calvary. So long as we stay there, at the foot of the cross, our hearts and minds are protected by Christ’s blood.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Foundations

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word

: To the choirmaster. Of David. In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:1-3)

What David implies here is quite true; there isn’t anything anyone can do if their foundation, the thing they put their very faith and hope in, is destroyed. This is one of the reasons Paul in his first letter to Timothy called the love of money, “the root of all kinds of evil” [See 1 Timothy 6:10]; because when you make money your foundation (i.e. you “love” it), it’s eventually going to let you down. Even if you make family your foundation, that’s going to let you down in some form or another eventually, too. In 1 Corinthians, however, Paul shows us the only possible foundation that a Christian can have:

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10-11)

Jesus will never disappoint. He’ll never take wings and fly away like money. He is our firm foundation, and the one and only person which we can truly trust with everything. If we try to trust in our-self, we’ll disappoint our-self. If we try to trust in doctors, the doctors will disappoint us. If we trust in a job, or electronics, those too will disappoint us. Only Jesus has given His life to save our’s, and He is the only one we can trust eternally.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Memories

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. Psalms 9:5-6)

All the “enemy’s” cities have been rooted out, and their very memory has perished. How true that is in our lives today. All of Satan’s strongholds within us have been rooted out when Christ sent His spirit into us, and now we have no guilt or shame over them. You could say that the very memory of them has perished… When you think about it, the memory of something is really what keeps us attached (either negatively or positively) to that thing. An alcoholic who’s struggling to break free without knowing Christ may certainly break free for a time, but there will always be a memory of how good it felt in the moment. We tend to hang on to  the “good” moments like that, while forgetting the consequences. This is not how it is with Christ, though. With Him, our memory is washed clean by His death and Resurrection for us.

A memory is really quite powerful, when you think about it. A memory can remind us to not put our hand in the fire, or to call 911 in an emergency. A memory can also remind us of the (no matter how temporary) pleasure that there is in sin. People addicted to something will, even after breaking their addiction, say that there is always a “want” to have that thing again – there’s always a memory that haunts them for the rest of their life. The thing is, God knows this about us. He knows that we feeble humans are drawn to pleasurable things. This is why people often claim that God is cruel in some way to make us like this; make us to seek out some form of pleasure. However, it isn’t cruel of God to have made us like this, rather it’s a blessing. The more we seek, the more we’ll find that all pleasure that this Earth has to offer is temporary. The effects of a drug wear off, a cigarette comes to an end, and a person can only stay drunk for so long. However, Jesus is eternal. God made us to seek pleasure, so that we will realize that only true and lasting pleasure comes through worshiping Him.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Today’s Sermon

Hello again!

Today we heard a wonderful sermon by a wonderful pastor. Joseph Prince seems to like nothing more than preaching the Gospel. In fact, his Church has become so popular due to God’s empowering him to preach sermons that are both centered around the Gospel, and applicable to our lives today, you need to make a reservation just to be able to go to hear him. That aside though, this is a part of the sermon we heard today:

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Walking Perfectly with God

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. (Psalms 7:10)

Now, God certainly does save the upright in heart. In fact, He saves only the upright in heart. The problem is that no one, even David, is upright in either their heart or their actions. David committed murder and adultery, and we all have our own areas of struggle, no matter how big or small we may think they are. However, David doesn’t stop there:

God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. (Psalm 7:11)

God feels indignation at our sin. If the fact that every single day of our life, we make the one and only almighty and all-powerful God indignant doesn’t scare us, nothing will. However, David then goes on to gives us hope in the next verse:

If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. (Psalms 7:12-13)

David is in the Old Testament; he can’t know yet that God will sacrifice His very son for us. Thus, we only have half the story here. God has “whet his sword”, and he already has prepared to pour out His righteous wrath on the World. But Christ came to Earth, took all of our sin and shame – took everything that made God so indignant at us, and put it on Himself. He bore the full weight of God’s sword and punishment, so that now, if we repent and turn to the Lord, we can indeed be called “upright in heart”, and it can be said of us that we “walked perfectly in the way of the Lord all the days of our life”.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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