Shepherd At The Gate

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Like the shepherd at the gate

He knows who is missing – who is late

He is prepared in the wilderness to tread

To seek the lost lamb – homeward to be led

And when all are in the fold secure

He will watch and guide them till they are mature


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Matthew 18: 10-14; John 10

King of Life

It is Easter-time again

With chocolate bunnies and marshmallow hens

But forgotten by many and remembered by few

Is the greatest miracle – God did do

For with the sacrifice of His Son

And following resurrection eternal life was won

For the grave – it could not hold

The King of Life – risen – as it was foretold


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Idol

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And they gathered round

Their sacred idol

It seemed to me

To be rather idle

Despite rituals and blood that flowed

It seemed that Baal

No interest showed

At last the prophet of the Lord

Doused his offering with water

Till it overflowed

And when he prayed

The Lord responded

And Baalists were smitten

Their ways confounded

I Kings 18: 26f


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Give Us A King

Guided and protected by the power unseen

They still insisted on being given a king

To be like all others

Not set apart

Living by image and not by heart

Are we much different than those of old

Sadly I think not, if truth be told

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I Samuel 8

Unclean

Peter saw heaven open and a large sheet lowered to the ground by its corners. The sheet was full of animals, reptiles and birds that the Jews considered unclean and would not eat. A voice commanded him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’

A vision which caused Simon distress

A command which seemed to contradict the rest

In it a message clear and plain

That what the Lord does clean is free from blame

It is true of us – each and every one

For none were righteous – no not one

But we from the mire of filth and sin

Were lifted up and cleansed within

By the blood most holy we were washed

And all the corruption was from us quashed


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Acts 10

Upon A Mat Forgiven

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By faith of friends on him attending

Jesus’ help was what they were intending

But the house was by crowds beset

So they the householder upset

They the roof tore away

And lowered down the mat on which he lay

Jesus’ to him, his sins forgave

But this led the Pharisees to rant and rave

Jesus asked which might be easier

To forgive his sins or healing deliver?

He then commanded the man to stand

Then when he did it was he talk of the land


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Luke 5:17f

Approved

Study to show yourself approved

Steadfast in knowledge

Not easily moved

Reflect on the Word both night and day

Let the Spirit guide you down the narrow way

Let the divine sentence be in your heart fixed

And a ready answer ever on your lips


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2 Timothy 2:15

Toppling Giants

Jesus acknowledged that the greatest commandant of the law was: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10).”

This total commitment to God empowers us. Genesis tells us we are made in God’s image. He is omnibenevolent and we too can love with all our hearts. He is omnipotent and we can find a strength in Him. He is omniscient and we can love in our thoughts and words.

In I Samuel 17 we find young David showing love and respect to God. He is willing to face the giant, Goliath. Not with the armour, spear, and sword of Saul, but with a staff and a sling. He notes that the victory is in the power of God, not in military might. This is shown before all, and the world could clearly see “that there is a God in Israel.” Loving with all his strength came by putting his trust in the strength of the Lord.

Not all battles are with literal giants. Some giants are figurative. Principalities and powers might fall in this category. In Exodus 1, we find a Levite woman facing a unfair and unholy edict from Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He commanded that all baby boy children of the Hebrews be thrown into the Nile. This mother used the benevolent heart of love, and intelligence of mind to defy the Pharaoh’s intent by doing exactly what he ordered. She put her child into the river, but not before placing him in a waterproof basket.

Esther in the book of her name also uses God-given intelligence to overcome Haman. She also shows ultimate faith and heart by risking her life to save her people. “If I perish, I perish” she said, yet the Lord preserved her and her people, in so doing corruption and vanity (giants indeed) were toppled in Haman and his allies.

Moses (the baby in the basket) would throw away a false life of the Egyptian court and “take out (a meaning of Moses)” his people. His commitment his loving with all his soul and being overcame not only the king of Egypt, but witnessed God overcome falsehood (the Egyptian Gods), tyranny, and evil.

Loving with “all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind” can topple giants, whatever those menacing giants might be in your life.”

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This is an abbreviated form of the sermon I gave earlier today.

On This Rock

The Stone that was rejected –

The Cornerstone of those elected

Proclaims that His church be constructed

On solid ground that cannot be corrupted

Of living stones into a spiritual temple

Based on Peter’s declaration central

The gates of hell

Shall not prevail

For the Architect divine

Mastered the design

And it shall stand forever


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Inspired by Pastor Vince’s message yesterday