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Monthly Archives: May 2013

All Scripture is Useful For…

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:13-14)

I love passages like this, because, even though they’re in the Old Testament, they teach something from the New Testament. For example, in the first verse David is crying out to the Lord, and asking that God would keep him from being dominated by sin. Essentially, David does ask God to keep him from sin, but he specifically asks that God would keep him from being dominated by sin. David knows that he’ll sin, but he’s asking that God would keep sin from dominating his life. This a concept (i.e., that even as Christians we will still sometimes fall to sin, but that God can and will keep it from dominating our lives) that is taught in the New Testament as well… In fact, we can see it in various different passages, for example:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Likewise, in the second verse David is asking God to let his words and meditation be acceptable before God. Now, this particular bit is actually teaching more through contrast with the New Testament then through comparison… By that, I mean that in the New Testament we see that, if we are Christians, our words and what we meditate on are (or at least should be… Naturally, as mentioned earlier, we will stumble) acceptable to God.

In conclusion though: We can see New Testament truths and events all throughout the Old Testament… In small things, such as the two bits of teaching that were mentioned, and in big things. The ‘biggest’ thing of all, that we see constantly being foreshadowed all throughout the Old Testament, is the Gospel. We see it foreshadowed  in Abraham, when he is told to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. We see it foreshadowed also with Joseph, who, to keep the people from starving, was betrayed into the hands of evil men, only to then be exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh… In short, almost every passage in the Old Testament points forward, or elaborates upon, something in the New Testament… The two testaments aren’t meant to be read separately, but rather to explain various things in one Testament or the other.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Theology

 

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Today’s Sermon

Hello again!

Today the Pastor preached on Luke 10:38-42. He said various things on the passage, but the main take-away I got from it was this:

We shouldn’t “classify” people are a “Martha” person, or as a “Mary” person… That is to say, we shouldn’t judge people based upon if they seem to us to be listening to God or going their own way. Rather, we should accept that some people simply are less mature than us in their faith, and that some people are simply more mature than us in their faith. However, we should never assume one or the other. It is very possible for a strong believer to simply be going through a bad time, while someone who normally is not at all mature in their faith can be going through a time of closeness with God.

So then, how did the pastor apply this in a way that could be actually used to benefit us? He said that, though we shouldn’t judge others, we should try to determine if we ourselves are like Mary in or faith, or if we’re like Martha in our faith… Meaning that, are we currently listening to what God’s will for our life is (like Mary), or are we kind of just going or our own way (like Martha)?

I think that’s a question we should all be asking ourself. However, I also think it’s important to always keep in mind that we can only grow in our faith, because of what Jesus has done for us. Indeed, in my opinion it’s only by focusing on Jesus’ finished work for us on the cross that we can ever mature in our faith.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Todays Sermon

 

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Spotless in His Sight

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from my guilt. So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. (Psalms 18:20-24)

Now, David was certainly not righteous. In fact, he was one of the farthest things away from righteous… When you commit adultery with the wife of one of your own soldiers, and then kill the soldier (see: 2 Samuel 11), you’re pretty far gone. So then, the question naturally comes, why is it David is claiming such innocence? The answer is simple: Because he is innocent!

Now, it is certainly true that Jesus had not yet come, much less died for our sins. However, even back then, you could believe in the Messiah. You can see foreshadows of Jesus all throughout the Old Testament, all someone would have to do to learn about the Messiah, and come to faith, would be to come would be to open up the Scriptures. Now, that being said, belief alone certainly doesn’t save you. If belief alone that Jesus would at some point come did save you, then Jesus would never have needed to come… So, why then do I say David is innocent?

Because, in God’s sight, time means nothing. To God, Jesus died a million years ago, He died today, and He will die and rise again a million years from now. To God, a couple thousand years means nothing. Just because Jesus died thousands of years ago does not make the event any less meaningful for us. Likewise, just because David lived quite a while before Jesus was even born, it doesn’t make the event any less meaningful to God.

In conclusion: You, me, and even David are considered spotless before God. Not only that, but we will always be considered spotless before God.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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