How do we obey the 5th commandment to honor Mom and Dad over a lifetime?
I found pastor Mark Driscoll’s insights helpful so I added to them to come up with the following outline:
Obeying this Commandment comes with a promise:
“So that it will go well with you and you will enjoy a long life in the Land.” (Ephesians 6:2)
Which stage are you in? How are you honoring your parents or becoming honorable parents?
This week I am preaching on the 4th commandment . . . God’s invitation to rest, celebrate, and enjoy the gift of life on a weekly basis. Last week I was with Anglican pastors on a leadership program that created space for us to slow down, celebrate the beauty of creation, enjoy fellowship, games and laughter, and spend time with good friends and our good God.
So as an encouragement and reminder that resting is a God thing, here are a few pallet-cleansing scriptures that show God’s heart and desire for us to rest:
Seeking to Obey God’s Great Command to Rest, ~ David
The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger invites us to lift our eyes to see God’s greater reality amidst our every day lives. The God who is “I am”, the “Creator of all things”, (Gen 14:19) in whom “all things hold together” (Col 1: 17), at whose Name “ten thousand upon ten thousand angels bow down in adoration and praise” (Rev 5: 11), and who holds the whole universe “in the palm of His hand” (Isaiah 40:12), became a baby, submitted Himself to time and space, to the sneers and skepticism of those He created, to disease, discomfort, and ultimately to death.
Why? So that He might “live the life we should have lived and die the death we should have died” (Keller). Jesus came and gave his life as a substitute for ours. He took the punishment we deserve for rebelling against God and in exchange offers us His righteousness, inheritance, and privileges as members of God’s family. And He offers this gift of grace . . . for free. Our sin, regret, and shame in exchange for His unconditional love, grace and joy.
If you are unaware of God’s power or presence in your life, unaware of His love for you or His will for your life, come and receive . . . If you are burdened by guilt, weariness, disappointment, failure, loneliness, or the loss of a job or a loved one, come and receive Christ. He rose from the dead and is alive today. He is Emmanuel, God with us. When we decide to receive Him, individually, by faith, He takes up residence by His Spirit in our lives. He changes us into the people we always wanted to be, He promises to provide everything we need, and someday we will live in heaven with Him forever.
This is the gospel, the good news, the invitation of Christmas.
This Christmas way we be humble enough to receive the One who entered time and space as a man and who now reigns as “the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings” and “who reigns forever and ever” (Handel).
Receiving the Gift of Jesus with You, ~ David
TAt first I saw God as an observer and my Judge,
Keeping track of the things I did right and wrong,
So as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.
But later on when I met Christ, life became rather like a great
bike ride. But it was a tandem bike.
When I invited Christ into my life He humbly took the
back seat and helped me peddle when I asked for help.
I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places
but life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I didn’t really know where I was going.
Life was predictable and about arriving to the next destination.
But when He took the lead, I learned He knew a lot more about
life and bikes and adventure than I did.
He new beautiful long cuts, up mountains, through rocky places at
breath-taking speeds. He went slower at times when I wanted to go fast,
and faster than I could imagine when I thought we should go slow.
Sometimes when I got anxious, I would yell out: “Where are you
taking me?” He would glance back over his shoulder and say with a
smile, “ Keep Pedaling . . . and trust me.”
So I had to learn to trust. And as I did, I grew to love the ride. I
forgot my old life & entered into the adventure He had planned.
He took me to people with gifts I needed, gifts of healing and joy.
At some point He told me to start giving the gifts away to people we
met. And When I did, I found that in giving I received, my joy
increased and my burdens became lighter.
I did not trust Christ at first to take control of my life. I thought He
would wreck it.
But slowly I realized, with Him in front, this ride of Life was better than any
I could ever have asked for or imagined.
Somewhere along the road of life, I found myself more and more just
tapping Him on the shoulder and saying, “Thank you.”
"[Most churches] are very much unlike the spiritually vibrant and relationally rich mission stations described in Acts 2. The 'ultimate concern' of most [21st century] church goers is not the worship and service of Christ, but rather survival, self improvement, or success in their family and secular vocations. Church activities are just another spoke on an already full wheel of life dominated by secularization and self absorption. Some may repeat the catchwords of a theology of grace, but they have little if any awareness of the depth and power of Christ's love and purpose for them. Since their understanding of the gospel of grace is marginal or unreal, anchored not in Christ but to an imagined state of goodness in their lives, they know little of the dynamic power of Christ and so have very little incentive to follow or trust Him on a daily basis.
This religious existence does not satisfy their consciences nor their hearts at the deepest level so there is both an underlying insecurity in their lives and a seeking of meaning and purpose a part from Christ and His Kingdom. Consciously they defend themselves as dedicated Christians who are as good as anyone else, but underneath there is deep despair, a 'theology of works', and a deep self-rejection." - Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of A Spiritual Life page 204-205
This week in my devotions I came across a favorite verse from Isaiah:
“On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine, the best of meats and the finest of wines” (vs 6).
I am reminded again of how Thanksgiving Feasts are a foretaste of heaven . . . friends and family around a table, old stories and jokes revisited, great food, perhaps a roaring fire in the fire place, with laughter, joy, delight and gratitude abounding. I pray that you may have celebrated a Thanksgiving like that this year and are reminded that God promises we get to do that forever! However, Isaiah’s next verse is also just as encouraging:
“On this mountain [The Lord} will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations - He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.” (vs 7)
The reality for many is that holidays like Thanksgiving are not always a time to rejoice. Memories of loved ones who have died, past mistakes, broken relationships, illness, or financial stresses can make holidays a painful time. What a promise the Lord makes to us: He is Sovereign. He is Emmanuel – ‘God with us’… The feast at the end of the ages comes with the assurance that death is defeated, tears of shame and sadness will be wiped away forever, and the Lord will indeed “make all things new”.
As we head into Advent and Christmas, may the God who has in store for us more than we can ever hope or imagine sustain us through the joys and sorrows of this present life until we reach the Great Banquet and feast with Him forever.
Looking Foreword to That Day with You, ~ David
“So how should Christians engage the world?
For one, it should be clear at this point that good intentions are not enough to engage the world well. The potential for stupidity, irrationality, cruelty, and harm is as high today as it has ever been in the past. God save us from Christians who are well intentioned, but not wise.
As to strategy, for engaging the world, perhaps there is no single model for all times and all places… but at the beginning of the 21st century there is a growing recognition that the old models of engagement no longer work, if they ever did. There is a yearning, especially among the young, for a different way; a way that has integrity with historic truths of the gospel and the witness of the Spirit and that is adequate to [engage and influence] the present challenges.
In opposition to the ‘defensive against’, ‘relevance to’, and ‘purity from’ paradigms [currently on display in the Christian market place of American life], I suggest a model of engagement called ‘faithful presence within’ [based on Jeremiah 29:4-7].”
- James Davison Hunter, To Change the World page 276
Oswald Chambers writes:
"The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we
do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the
purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks?
Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son.
Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold
of God's purpose and die away of self-pity, and all the so called Christian sympathy
we are given will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the
pierced hand of His Son, and says - "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and
shine." If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the
world, then thank Him for breaking your heart." - My Utmost for HIs Highest
As we celebrate Jeanne Baetjer's life and commit her to the Lord this weekend, I have been reminded of some gospel realities that I often forget amidst the busyness of daily life. As an encouragement I wanted to share a couple with you...
"All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades...but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:6b-8) When it comes down to it, our lives are more fleeting than our prideful hearts care to admit. This doesn't mean we aren't valuable; but death reminds me I am less in control than I think I am.
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live." (John 11:25) How we end is more important than how we begin. If we end with Jesus, we will live forever. If Jesus has that kind of power, perhaps I don't need to sweat the small stuff as much.
"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2) This world isn't our home. Jesus has one planned that will last forever. Travel lightly.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev. 21: 4) Mourning, grief and loss are temporary. Nothing is hopeless. Redemption is possible for every situation. God is faithful. "Wait and see" is a truth to live by.
"To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen." Jude 24 - 25. Because of Christ, our joy will last forever.
Over the course of the Fall the preaching series and the Bible studies will dive into the gospel of John. The goal is to take a look at “Jesus in real life.” Have you ever noticed how we may feel uncomfortable talking about Jesus, praying to Jesus, or breaking the barrier and actually sharing our faith in Jesus with someone else? Like any relationship, growing and personal comfort with another takes time. The first goal of the Fall Bible study and preaching series on John is to help Christians learn more and more about the Jesus we say we believe in. And to learn to actually interact with Him more and more on a daily basis.
The second goal is to provide a framework for those who are unsure, questioning, or looking for answers about the Christian faith. For many, our Sunday morning liturgy structure provides a safe framework for learning about Jesus. The Bible Studies will offer opportunities for discussion, questions, and learning in a non-threatening environment.
In addition, I am thrilled that we are launching Alpha this fall. Alpha is specifically designed to provide an easy framework for learning, questioning, and growing in understanding of who Jesus is and what the Bible says it means to be a Christian.
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”