December 20, 2015 We have come to Worship the King!

We have come to Worship the King!

            What is the most important activity of your day?  Let me give you some hints: Psalm 100.1-5; Psalm 95.6-7, Psalm 34.3, Micah 4.2, John 4.24, and Luke 4.8.  And, why is this the most important activity of the day?  For me, the answers are found in 1 Corinthians 6.19-20, John 17.18, Acts 17.28, Jeremiah 1.5, Jeremiah  29.11, John 3.27, Jeremiah 7.23, and Jeremiah 9.24.  This activity leads to the continual presence of the Holy Spirit, which is important because of Romans 8.14 and John 14.26.  Plus, Hebrews 11.6 promises a great reward!

Worship should be a daily activity of drawing close to the Lord Who is our only hope for escaping the corruption that is in this world because of lust (2 Peter 1.4).  He has saved us to a hope that is certain and indestructible (1 Peter 1.23; Romans 8.24-25).

A. Symbols from the first worshippers.

  1. The Hosts of Heaven’s Armies saw Jesus first!  Luke 2.8-14 tells their story.
  2. The shepherds nearby were curious to see the reality of the angels’ story.  Luke 2.15-20 tells their story.  They symbolize the Jews looking for the prophesied Messiah, needing signs as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 1.22.
  3. The wise men came a far distance to present incomparable gifts to the newborn King (of Kings!): gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Matthew 2.9-11 tells their story.  They symbolize the Gentiles of Psalm 72.10-11 bringing Jesus the gifts of Isaiah 60.6 and Paul’s Greeks in 1 Corinthians 1.22.
  4. What do you suppose was the reaction of the residents of Bethlehem?
  5. So, we might say that the three general classifications of people came to visit Jesus; truly a King for all of the people…for whom He would shed His blood!  Some are brought by the appeal of the storyline.  Others are searching for answers to thoughtful questions.  Still others are curious about the actions of these.  What brought you to Jesus?

B. What is worship?

  1. Not duty, but desire!  Adoration, not subjugation.  Evidence of understanding God’s Lovingkindness (Jeremiah 9.24; John 1.17, 20.15-17).  Is this your ‘frankincense’ (Psalm 141.2; Malachi 1.11)?
  2. Acknowledgment of a gift!  Appreciation from understanding God’s Righteousness (Jeremiah 9.24; Hosea 14.9; 1 Corinthians 1.24).
  3. Statement of a preference!  Manifestation against satan through understanding God’s Justice (Jeremiah 9.24; John 1.18; Revelation 12.10-11).  Is this your ‘myrrh’ for embalming satan’s oppressions and depressions (John 19.39)?

C. Your proper gift.

  1. What is more priceless than gold?  Consider Proverbs 3.15 and 31.10-31 and Jeremiah 9.23.
  2. But, even if you could give these, are they what God counts in worship?  Consider 1 Samuel 15.22 and Hebrews 12.1-2.  For what were the churches in Macedonia renown?  See 2 Corinthians 8.1-5.
  3. What is your best gift in worship?  Romans 12.1-2.  What more could you ever give?
  4. Romans 11.33!
  5. John 4.24!

Praise God!!!  Matthew 23.39!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.

December 13, 2015 Announcing His Coming

Announcing His Coming

            The King is coming!  Announce that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 10.7-8)!  The Scriptures below record the pomp and ceremony of the coming of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

But, why would the King of Kings come to Earth?  Apostle Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 6.1-2, quoting Isaiah 49.8: “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”  He would illustrate this in 2 Corinthians 12.2-10, reflecting on his personal experience with the Jews which Luke discusses in Acts 13.13-14.22.  Paul reminds us of two important things in 2 Corinthians 6.1-2: God’s ‘grace’ is not an empty promise (reflect on Exodus 20.7); and God’s grace is defined as His word of promise and His willingness to use His great power to bring the promise you sincerely believe to reality for you!  Let this soak in before studying God’s help in your ‘day of salvation’.

A. Fire on the mountain.

  1. Exodus 19.16-20 tells of God the Father coming to the exiting Hebrews in their day of need.
  2. He had ‘listened’ to their cries and had ‘helped’ deliver them from Egyptian bondage; Exodus 3.7-10.
  3. At Mt. Sinai, the Hebrews needed to understand how God had already identified Himself to Moses, in Exodus 6.3: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.”  Israel continues today to understand what ‘Lord’ means, even as He illustrated in Exodus 14.14 and 2 Chronicles 20.14-24.
  4. So, why did God the Father come to Mt. Sinai with trumpet blast and fire on the mountain?  To declare that He was with them to ‘listen’ and to ‘save’.  He still is LORD!  Philippians 2.9-11!

B. Fire on their heads.

  1. Acts 2.1-4 tells of God the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples and multi-national people in Jerusalem in the day of their need.
  2. God the Holy Spirit came as ‘a sound like a mighty rushing wind’ and, then, as ‘divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.’
  3. Jesus had described the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus in John 3.7-8.  Perhaps, Apostle Philip illustrated Jesus’ words, and those of Paul in Romans 8.14, as in Acts 8.29, 39-40.
  4. So, why did God the Holy Spirit come to Jerusalem’s multi-nationals with great sound and fire on their heads?  John 12.20-23 seems to be the trigger event for the expansion of the Gospel to the Gentiles through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  He would explain this to Apostle Peter in Acts 10.9-28: “’I should not call any person common or unclean.’”

C. Fire in their hearts.

  1. Luke 2.8-16 tells of God the Son coming to the Jews as King and Priest (Hebrews 7.1-3) to fulfill God’s plan for Israel to be a nation of priests (Exodus 19.5-6).  Jesus came to reveal God (John 1.18, 14.8-11).  Jesus came to save mankind (Matthew 1.20-21) from their sin (Romans 3.23) and its effects (Romans 6.23; 1 Corinthians 11.29-30).
  2. Angelic voices trumpeted His arrival; Luke 2.13-14!  The fire of His star focused upon His location; Matthew 2.1-6!
  3. Like Jeremiah (20.9), the fire of God within cannot be held back!
  4. Like Job (32.18-20), the pressure of God within must be released!
  5. Like David in Psalm 39.3, the burning fire within finds its outlet with the tongue!  Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 2.46-55 illustrates this; Elizabeth in Luke 2.41-45; and Miriam in Exodus 15.20-21!
  6. So, God the Son fulfilled the proclamations of God the Father about His coming to visit His people in Isaiah 7.14 and Isaiah 9.6-7Hebrews 2.14-15 narrows this to a personal intimacy for each believer.  We need this assurance!

D. Fire in our ears.

  1. In 1 Thessalonians 4.15-19, Paul wrote that there would be one final trumpet call on Earth. Believers will hear the trumpet and immediately join Jesus in the air!
  2. In 1 Corinthians 15.50-58, Paul wrote that our perishable bodies will instantly become imperishable and the mortality of death will be forever overcome!  All because of the grace of God the Father expressed by God the Son and affirmed by God the Holy Spirit.
  3. God, indeed, came to save His people – as Father in the Old Testament and as Son in the New.  The Holy Spirit continues the same power of salvation in our temporal lives and for eternity.
  4. The transforming fire of this message in believers’ ears must become the transforming fire in believers’ hearts giving voice to the certain judgment of God someday soon, a message similar to that of Paul in Acts 17.22-31.
  5. God has, indeed, fixed a day for men and women to stand before the Judge to report on the living of their lives on Earth for or against the name above all others, Jesus.  See Revelation 20.11-15 and Matthew 25.31-46 and John 6.47 (KJV).
  6. Our message is captured in the lyrics of the old hymn: “What will you do with Jesus?  Neutral you cannot be.  Someday your heart will be asking, ‘what will He do with me?’”  (What Will You Do With Jesus)
  7. Among the certainties is this: God IS a consuming fire!  Consider Deuteronomy 4.24!
  8. ‘This is our story; this is our song; praising our Savior all day long!’  (Lyrics to hymn: Blessed Assurance.)

Why has God shown up so dramatically?  So man could not miss Him; Exodus 34.10 and Romans 1.20!  How do each of these increase your understanding of God, as He pleads in Jeremiah 9.23-24?  How do you see Him exercising lovingkindness (Isaiah 40.11; Genesis 17.7), judgment (Isaiah 40.10; Acts 10.38; 1 John 3.8b), and righteousness (Hosea 14.9; Leviticus 20.26)?  In John 16.8-11, Jesus said this would be the continual work of the Holy Spirit.  Walk with Him; Isaiah 30.21 and Jeremiah 6.16!

As the Apostle Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 6.1-2, quoting Isaiah 49.8: “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”  You can count on it!

Praise God!!! Matthew 23.39!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015.

(All Scripture references are ESV, unless stated otherwise.)