Living without Regret (Sermon video)

OldApostlePaulXSmall

Rabbi Sha’ul / The Apostle Paul

A survey was taken of people who are over 95. The question was: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently? The 3 most frequents answers were:

1. I would reflect more.
2. I would risk more.
3. I would do more things that would live on after I’m dead.

Most of us are under 95 and have a lot more tread still left on our tires. But it doesn’t hurt to ask this question at any point in your life — in fact, the earlier the better.

I preached this message at King of Kings in Jerusalem this past week. We discovered the apostle Paul’s response to this question, “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” His answer? Well watch and see my sermon here: Living without Regret

Do you have the ‘grace’ to ‘work out’ your salvation?

Ladder of Grace from HeavenXSmall“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)  [God]has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began….” (2 Timothy 1:9)

The deliverance of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt parallels our own deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan:

  • Their deliverance would not be complete until Israel reached the Land of Promise. Isn’t this true for you and me as well? Yeshua said: “…but he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22).
  • Only the blood of a lamb could save Israel’s sons from death. (Exodus 12:21-23).  Similarly, only  “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) can deliver you and me from death.
  • Israel didn’t leave Egypt empty-handed, but carried out a trove of gold and silver. We too enjoy the riches of God’s grace. “He who did not spare His own Son…. shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
  • The children of Israel were saved when their enemy was buried under the waters of the Red Sea. And we too were delivered when our enemy, our old sinful nature, was “buried…through baptism into death.” (Romans 6:4)
  • It’s God’s plan that each child of Israel arrive safely in Canaan. But it didn’t work out that way for hundreds of thousands;  “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD—to whom the LORD swore that He would not show them the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Joshua 5:6). Let this be a warning to all of us. “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us…. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall…” (1 Corinthian 10: 11,12).

Let’s not become weary. Let’s keep on keeping on. “….Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11).

God wants us to make it to the end even more than we do. That’s why He gives His amazing grace — to motivate us and empower us to work out our salvation and reach the Promised Land.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Isn’t it time you used your Secret Weapon?

BulletXSmallThis is a GUEST POST  from one of my favorite writers (My wife Ann!)

“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

There is a kibbutz (well, sort of..) in the Rehovot area of Israel that is a very interesting place to visit, if you are fascinated with the history of modern Israel.

In the 1940′s the main “industries”  of Kibbutz Ayalon were a laundry facility, where the “kibbutzniks” worked, cleaning clothes for British soldiers and the like, and a bakery where workers kept busy day and (curiously) night.  It was a very noisy laundromat, and the machines in the bakery seemed to be unusually squeaky and clattery as well.  Anyone closely watching at certain times would have noticed a rather disproportionate number of people coming and going from these two places of employment.

What only a few knew was that below those two facilities there was a large inter-connected munitions factory.  Israel hadn’t even been “born” yet as a state and, therefore, couldn’t technically be making weapons.  Their infant survival depended on it though, so a clever system was created for entering, leaving, and signaling.  Right under the noses of the British army, an elaborate weapons cache was building up, and much of Israel’s defense as a young nation was due to this secret place.  One day the British soldiers who dropped by were offered warm beer, while their laundry was being processed.  Their “kibbutznik” host kindly said,  “Next week, if you’d like cold beer, let us know ahead of time you are coming and we’ll refrigerate it for you”.  A clever way to get a heads up.

Today the British soldiers are no longer feared and all of the secrets of Kibbutz Ayalon are revealed.  One can go in and out of the passageways and see all of the working stations, hear all about the codes and secret signals.

You and I have a secret place, and a secret weapon as well.  It’s right where you are sitting right now.  You have a private line to heaven that can’t be intercepted.  You can set battalions of angels into action, stop disease, free prisoners, release God’s power, pray scriptures back to God, intercede on behalf of hurting, broken people.  It sounds fanciful, but it is true!  God has given us an enormous arsenal of weapons as well as defensive shields.

Charles Spurgeon cried out one day, “Look upward, and let us weep!  You have given us a mighty weapon and we have permitted it to rust.”

Let’s pick up this weapon, shine it and sharpen it, and join a global army of prayer warriors that will usher in God’s purposes, his heart and his mind, with power and force.  For this we were chosen and appointed.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance…” Ephesians 6:18a

Oh, God, my prayers often seem weak, sporadic, and late in the game. Teach me to pray, releasing into being the things in your mind and heart, here on earth, as in heaven.  Amen. 

Ann would love to get your comments below!