Idol

FreeBibleImages

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


Padre

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


Padre

Acts 10

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.”

———

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

Of Sackcloth and Ashes

All over the city people followed the example of the king and pleaded with God to forgive them. God heard their prayers and because he is a God of mercy he spared them and did not destroy Nineveh. The Lord is good; His mercy is Everlasting. Psalm 100:5a (1 John 1:8-9). – Slide 34
FreeBibleimages

Nineveh corrupt and coarse

Set upon evil to obey

Upon the testimony of just one man

Turned to change their way

What brought on this quick remorse?

Made a king – ashes wear?

It was a prophet of the Lord

Who arrived from out the mer

For Jonah reluctant to his duty fulfil

The Lord his heart did convert

And with his mission now complete

Nineveh’s destruction he did avert


Padre

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

Unknown years of Jesus - Wikipedia

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).


Pastor Vince gave an enlightening message yesterday in which he expanded on the passage above. This is the season when followers of Jesus focus on the prophecy and the implications of the child born in the City of David two thousand years ago.

One event in the life of this child that is born to us did tells us much of the fulfilment Isaiah’s prophecy. When Jesus was twelve years old (a year short of is Jewish age of majority) He accompanied Joseph and his mother to Jerusalem for the Passover.

Luke gives us some details in Chapter 2:

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

He will be called “wonderful” – filled with wonders – and here we find a child (yes, unto us a child is born) conversing with the teachers of the temple giving answers to their questions that “amazed” them, and “astonished” Mary and Joseph. That is wonder! Not only that, but his understanding showed Him to be a “counsellor.”

The account ends with Jesus pronouncing that He was in His Father’s house – The House of God – making Him “a Son given” and heir to God. Fulfilled is the prophecy that he is “mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” He is more that just a babe in a manger!


Padre

Tumbling Walls

Wall, Brick, Fragment, Broken Wall

Some placed faith in things made by hand

As Joshua and the Israel’s children entered the land

Behind walls made of stone

They thought, “surely I’m safe at home”

But God, not idols or masonry deep

Would the victory win and keep

And with a mighty stomp and shout

Jericho fell without a doubt


Padre

Martyr

Stained Glass, Man, Holy, André

Herod
By lust driven
On a tray of silver
The martyred John the baptist’s head
Displayed
Mob rule
Shouts and vile threats
Anger overflowing
Led to showers of stones killing
Stephen
By sword
James too perished
Herod’s act cynical
Political favour to win
Through sin
Pilate
Dirty hands washed
He too a crowd to still
Knowing not that Messiah, he
Did kill


Padre

Not Alone

Story of Gideon Images, Mighty Man of Valor

Jerub-Baal, Midian to defeat

Was told his army he must decrease

He sent away all who in heart did faint

But the numbers were still to large

He was to show even more restraint

And so he cut his forces to the core

A mere three hundred – not one more

And with this tiny band

It was God’s victory that was at hand

We too may face opposition strong

But if you feel alone – you are so wrong

For if the Lord is with you

And takes up the fight

You shall prevail through His might


Reflections on Judges 7

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Samson

Jesus, Christ, God, Holy, Spirit, Bible
Pixabay

Judge Samson by his lusts was led
Took a Philistine to his bed
Her intent – his power to shed
Hair of his head, Hair of his head

They cut the thick locks from his head
Power gone – he was weak instead
But the temple where he was led
Collapsed on heads, Collapsed on heads


dVerse

Before Felix: Acts Poem 24

Antonius Felix.jpg
Antonius Felix – Public Domain

Before Felix – Paul pled his case

Revealing the accusations

Were not the case

For the temple he did not defile

But he merely worshiped as was his style

But the leaders a riot incited

Because their hearts were benighted

And the governor – who knew the Way

Deferred judgement for some other day


Padre

Acts Poem 24 from chapter 24.