Monday, April 13, 2009
Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. - 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
What are your thoughts? Sanctifying Thinking. To sanctify our thoughts means to make our thoughts line up with what is right before God. It means we must have holy thoughts. The scripture says avoid every kind of evil. This means that we must yield ourselves to God so that he can sanctify us in our entirety. My actions as well as my thoughts must line up to God.
To have sanctified thoughts means I must daily consecrate my thoughts to God. I don’t dwell on stinking thinking and instead I allow my thoughts to be set aside for God’s purpose. I set aside my agenda or what I want to dwell on in my thoughts so that God can have the control.
When the thoughts that would make me dwell in the wrong places tries to rise up, I am reminded to avoid all kinds of evil. The evil to avoid is allowing the enemy to feed us lies and us believing it. We need to ask God to help sanctify (make right) our thinking so that we can think the right thoughts and not dwell our thoughts on things that are not praiseworthy and excellent.
As we go to worship this week, let us go seeking a change in our thoughts. What are your thoughts? Are they thoughts on the negative, defeated ways or are they thoughts about the victory that is waiting for us? Lord help us to move from stinking thinking to righteous thinking. Help us to move from being shortsighted in our thinking to seeing the whole picture in our thoughts. Help by setting our thoughts aside for your purpose and your ways.
THE STORY OF THE CROSS
Written by Jewel D. Williams
February 24, 2009
Before Adam and Eve, it was void, no light, no sky and no sea
That was before God said, “Let it be”
God had not yet created man,
Yet he had on his mind salvations plan.
He Knew Adam and Eve would take sins fall,
So his Son would have to become the way for all.
Through the history of time God continued to tell of his plan,
Of how he would use His Son to redeem man.
The prophets told he would send his Son; it was just as Isaiah said,
They told he would be born, suffer and be raised from the dead.
He would be rejected of men,
Yet still he is God’s only way of freedom from sin.
They would accuse him of blasphemy and say he would destroy the temple in three days,
They did not understand he told of his death, resurrection and his being the truth, and the way.
They held him in high regard as they laid palms before is feet,
But turned quickly to shouts of Crucify Him! Crucify Him! before Pilate’s seat.
Jesus stood before the priests and the elders, refusing to say one word in his defense,
It seems odd, I’m sure, but shortly it would all make sense.
They mocked him, cast lots for his clothes and placed a crown of thorns upon his head,
They really did not understand the King they mocked would surely rise from the dead.
So they beat him, with many lashes.
Not knowing by his stripes healing would be afforded to the masses.
They made him carry a cross to Golgotha’s hill,
Jesus was only doing His Father’s will.
His disciples had all fled, with Peter denying him for a time of three.
Jesus did not let this stop him from going to the cross for you and me.
Between two thieves his cross was set,
One of them was given a promise of paradise, which from Jesus he would get.
The nails pierced, the spear tore, out came blood and water, a cry that he had finished it all,
Then into his Father’s hand his spirit would be placed; was the words of his final call.
He died that very hour as the veil was torn from top to bottom revealing the holy place,
This symbol was to all that God opened to man a right to approach the holies of space.
It would have been sad had Jesus died, never to be seen again,
He told that in three days he would be raised and seen of men.
The time had come for the two Mary’s to go to the place where Jesus should be,
They wondered who would remove the stone, so Jesus they could see.
To their surprise no stone blocked the way,
The tomb, it was empty where Jesus lay.
The angel told them he was no longer dead,
For he had kept the promise he first said.
He was alive! He was the Risen King,
Oh Death! Oh Death! Where is your sting?
The King of King, the Lord of Host,
Offers salvation to all not, just most.
On God’s mind before the foundation of the world, was a way to save from sin,
Jesus offers to all that come life more abundantly, and a way to win.
Death could not keep Jesus in the grave,
He is the one who releases us; we are no longer sin’s slave.
Christ is risen today,
To show salvations way.
Because of the plan from God’s mind and heart, to Christ’s love on the cross,
Man can be free; and I no longer have to be lost.
Christ arose on that first Easter day,
He arose to be in our hearts, to stay.
Psalm 133 - A Psalm of Harmony
Show Yourself Friendly Retreat (Part 4)
Question: So what happens when we begin to look more in line with the makeup of the triune God? Let’s look at the next point in this scripture. I first said that it is pleasant and wonderful for us to dwell together. This is because this is what is pleasing to God for when we do, we look like his children, like we belong to him. Now the scripture tells us what happens when we are in harmony, what it looks like. It tells us that to be unified or living in harmony is like precious oil.
Living in harmony is like…. precious Oil
…For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe…
Is fragrant - fragrant holy oil, was strongly perfumed and diffused its odors to all those that were standing near when it was poured on the head of Aaron. Specific directions were given for making the holy anointing oil. They could not simply use anything, they had to use that which God instructed them to us. This was to show the excellency of holiness of God. The spiced oil in the tabernacle was one that had to be welcomed because of its fragrant smell. This is a reminder for us that Christ's name is as ointment poured forth, and that our good names as Christians should be like precious ointment, because we belong to him. He first anointed us with the oil of his Holy Spirit so that you and I could be like sweet fragranced oil that is evident by all those around us. Others should “smell” our scent and find it pleasant.
“A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1.
Is plentiful – The oil was so plentifully that it ran down the face even to the collar, or binding of Aaron’s garment. That is how we are to give of ourselves. We are to be willing to give abundantly of love, forgiveness, encouragement, and so forth. What comes from our mouths should be like the oil as it runs down the face of another and covers them with our blessings, not our curses.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." – Luke 6:38
Is consecrated/holy - Aaron and his sons were to be set apart for the priest's office, with ceremony and seriousness. Our Lord Jesus is the great High Priest, called of God to be so; anointed with the Spirit, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ; clothed with glory and beauty; sanctified by his own blood; made perfect, or consecrated through sufferings, (Heb 2:10). Because of that:
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:5
All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices. We are washed in the blood of Christ, and so made to our God priests, (Re 1:5, 6). We are also then clothed with the beauty of holiness, and have received the anointing, (1 Jo 2:27) and the merit of Christ is applied to our souls. This consecration signifies the admission of a sinner into the spiritual priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (Ex 29:38-46). Aaron could not offer sacrifices unto God until he had been anointed and the proper procedures were carried out. You and I cannot be lively stones, priest for Christ until we allow all that would hinder us from being his to be removed. If we have any hatred in our hearts, any sin in us we must release it so that we can be sisters united in Christ, working together in the unity of the Spirit. Have you every thought about the fact that God sometimes allows us to go through these difficulties in relationships not so that someone else will change, but that we can become more like him? He uses these situations to sharpen us, and shape us more into the image of his son.
Is costly - This costly oil was precious and not to be used for any common thing. Holy love is, in the sight of God is of great price and it is precious. Christ’s love to mankind was part of the oil of gladness with which he was anointed above others. The ingredient’s that went into making the oil that was used to anoint Aaron was costly. Yet this was worth the cost because it was part of God’s plan. In order for you and I to be anointed as a holy people, Christ paid a great price. Yet God said it was worth it so that you and I can be in harmony with him and therefore in harmony with one another. Because this was such a great cost to Christ, God does not want us taking this lightly the opportunity we have to be united with him and with each other. That was part of the price he paid. He paid the price so that you and I could be reconciled to him and to one another.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. "Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. Say to the Israelites, 'This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. Exodus 30: 22-31
Is Empowering - this oil was a composition made up by a divine direction; God appointed the ingredients and the quantities. This was not done by man but made holy by God. Therefore, we are told to love one another, the ingredient that makes us family, not by our doing but by the Grace and appointing of God. This is God’s grace working in us. They were not admitted (Aaron and his sons) to minister until there were anointed, set apart, consecrated, nor are our services acceptable to God without this holy love, if we don’t have it we are nothing.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing – 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
Our unity with one another should be like precious oil poured upon the head. This can only happen when we have godly love one for another. It should pour forth in abundance. I heard once Sis. Cynthia James say a great test of your love is shown in how much you love your enemy? I add a step, how great your love is shown in how much you can love those that have hurt you, or mistreated you. Can you be like Samuel and say I will not sin against God by not praying for you.
Our unity or harmony with one another should be a sweet smell so that others around us will know the scent. The fragrance is “Holiness”. It should first be a sweet smell to God. My love should be plentiful and evident to those around me. It is consecrated to God for his holy purpose, which is to draw others to him. They will know we belong to him by how we love one another. We must remember a great cost was paid so that you and I can have fellowship with each other, and we cannot take this lightly. We are empowered to love by the Holy Spirit. Nothing we do matters without the love of God first for him and then for each other.