Cross found on all donkeys' backs?
There is legend that the crosses on these donkeys appeared after Jesus rode one into Jerusalem (read Matthew 21:1-11). There is no evidence that this is true. The dark stripe in the form of a cross was a trait in these donkeys long before Jesus lived. However, the fact that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem is very important. It fulfilled a prophecy that was spoken 500 years before Jesus lived, and showed He was the Messiah (read Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9).
Dear Prayer Partners
1} President Obama and his advisors
2} the men & women serving in our armed forces and their families
3} Bobby- a missionary in Haiti who was flown back to the states with a broken back
4} Holly- recently gave birth to a son
5} Hailey- has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is unable to work due to it
6} Margo- recovering from a stroke
7} Dan- has Leukemia & an inoperable brain tumor, the tumors in his stomach and lung have been removed successfully
8} Christine- recently gave birth by an emergency C-section and her new son is in critical condition
9} Living Waters A/G looking for a youth pastor with a vision to reach the youth
10} Dennis- having problems breathing
11} The Holm Family- death of a loved one from cancer
12} The DeRien Family- death of a loved one
13} The Fraley family- death of a loved one
14} Eugene- is battling cancer
15} Schimmica- husband is having an affair
16} Kevin- has some serious dental problems and is recovering from emergency oral surgery
17} Faith- is hospitalized after a heart attack and partial amputation of right foot, has a serious infection in heart, lungs and kidneys and is back on dialysis
18} Chantella- is expecting her 1st baby in the spring
19} Julianne- having difficulty with her pregnancy
20} Marc- family problems
21} Tom- problems with weight control
22} Achan- has HIV, an infection in her lungs and gall bladder is shutting down
23} Rick- has bulging disc in his back
24} Noah- a toddler having complications from heart surgery, has a very high fever
25} Frank- fighting depression
26} Gloria- hospitalized after passing out at work
27} Chaplain Sam- recovering from eye surgery
28} Chaplain Jay- preparing for a missionary trip to Uganda next year
29} For all the unspoken and personal requests that people have
30} For us at Highway Mission Outreach that we will continue have the doors opened to share the gospel and the needed finances to carry out the ministry of the mission and as we plant The Cross-Roads Chapel
31} For Michael Frankland, Gill Ainsworth, Mark Ainsworth, Tracy Ainsworth, Tony Wood, Eileen Walsh, and Elaine - break down strongholds in their lives
Opening Our Hearts to God
Psa. 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable before You, O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer.
Acts 13:22-23 - And when He had deposed him, He raised up David for them as king, to whom also He testified and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to My heart, who will do all My will. (23) From this man's seed, God, according to promise, brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.
~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~
Both of the above passages are related to David. Psalm 19:14
is a prayer of David, while Acts 13:22-23 is a description of
David. In David's prayer, there are the “words of my mouth”
and the “meditation of my heart,” or the thoughts of the
heart. He prayed that he would not only be kept in his words
outwardly, but also be acceptable to God in his thoughts
inwardly. The words of the mouth are an expression of the
thoughts of the heart. The heart is the root problem.
Whether or not one outwardly says the right words is not the basic problem. Whether or not one has an outward attitude in his speaking that is right is also not the basic problem. The
thoughts of the heart are the basic problem. The thoughts of
the heart constitute the root problem and cannot be overlooked. David did not merely pray, “God, may the words of my mouth be acceptable before You.” He added to the prayer, “May the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You.”
David's prayer was for the thoughts of his heart to be
acceptable before God. This is why Paul could later testify
that David was a man according to the Lord's heart. A person
who is according to God's heart allows God to touch his heart. If you will not allow God to touch your heart, it will be hard for you to be one who is according to His heart.
Many Christians ask, “Why is it wrong for me to do this? Why
is it wrong for me to say this? Why is it wrong for me to
express myself this way?” Brothers and sisters, whether or
not you are doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or
expressing yourself the right way is not the real problem.
Rather, is your heart right when you are doing such a thing,
saying such a word, or expressing yourself in such a way?
What is the condition of your heart? What is the condition of
the root? Even if you are right in every outward thing, it is
still possible for your heart to be wrong. God is touching the condition of your heart and asking about it. He allows many winds and waves to beat upon His children for this very reason.
He uses these things to touch your heart and to expose the condition of your heart.
By C.H. Spurgeon
"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called" (Isaiah 54:5).
JESUS, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours.
Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house. His manhood also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us.
He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "our Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, call him this morning, "thy Redeemer."
Thank you for your support and continued prayers for these new believers and this ministry!
In His vineyard,
We Shall Worship the Lord!
By John Piper
Do you delight more and more in the majesty and glory of God? Does your heart incline to worship God more consistently and intelligently and earnestly and intensely today than it did five years ago?
Is your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ abounding more and more so that you use your gifts more and more effectively to strengthen their faith and stir them up to love and good works?
And do you feel a greater burden for the lost? Are your prayers for unbelieving relatives and friends more consistent and earnest? Are your efforts to give a reason for the hope that is in you more bold, less ashamed? Are you becoming a world Christian with a zeal for the final mission thrust of the church to reach the hidden peoples?
If you can answer yes, we are making progress as a church. If not, we are failing in those areas. But at least we have goal and a definite Biblical theology behind it.
But it is not new. Listen to the way another pastor and teacher describes the meaning of membership in the church:
Membership, therefore, involves a personal obligation to promote the objects of the body as expressed in the covenant.
These objects are three:
1. The social, united worship of God...
2. The perpetuation and diffusion of the gospel...
3. The sanctification of its own members...
The church, thus comprehensive in its scope, looks upward to God, outward upon the needs of a lost world, and inward to the processes of sanctification in the souls of its own members; the neglect of any one of these grand objects of its organization imperils its whole design.
This is our philosophy of ministry. The quote is from Hezekiah Harvey, who was born in England in 1821 (The Church, 1879, reprint 1982, pp.35-36.). There is nothing modern or trendy about the priorities of our church. They have been around for two thousand years. They are tried and true, and it shouldn't bother us at all that they are not new.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Many of us recall from our flannel-graph Sunday school
classes the story of the short, little man who climbed into
a sycamore tree to get a glimpse at Jesus. As I revisited
this story recently, I noticed that Jesus calls Zaccheus a
"son of Abraham," and I was struck by how discordant this
title would have seemed in its application to Zaccheus.
Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel was called by God
to leave his homeland and follow God into a land that God
would show him. Scripture tells us that "Abraham believed
God and it was counted to him as righteousness" (Genesis
15:6). How then could Jesus count a scheming, conniving,
tax-collecting swindler as a "son of Abraham"? What was
the great demonstration of faith by this much-hated man
that would prompt this commendation of Jesus?
As we examine the details of his story we begin to get
glimpses into Zaccheus's faith. Understanding his place
in society as a chief tax collector gives us our first instance
of faith. As a chief tax collector, Zaccheus would have had
many "junior" tax collectors working for him. In a town like
Jericho, which was quite prosperous and large, Zaccheus
would have been very rich, and would have had quite a
large business profiting off of cheating fellow Israelites out
of their money. Yet prosperity did not insulate Zaccheus
from being hated by his countrymen. After all, he profited
from a system prone to abuse, which rewarded tax
collectors for excessive collections.(1) Thus, the Jews saw
tax collectors as mercenaries and thieves, and a Jew to be
in business with the Romans meant utter ostracism from
the Jewish community.(2) So we can understand why Luke
points out that all who heard Jesus invite himself over to
Zaccheus's house for dinner grumbled and muttered.
Zaccheus was not a popular guy in his society.
But hearing the news of Jesus's arrival in his town, this
much-maligned man pushed his way through the crowds,
hoisted up his garments in a most undignified manner just
to get a glimpse of Jesus. Zaccheus had obviously heard
the stories about this Jesus--his healings, his radical love
and acceptance, and his remarkable, authoritative teachings.
He had heard about Jesus, but now his curious faith
compelled him to see for himself if all that he had heard
was really true.
We also glimpse Zaccheus's faith at work in his response
to Jesus inviting himself over for dinner. Jesus extends
gracious acceptance to one despised. In response,
Zaccheus overflows with generous gratitude: "Lord, half
of my possessions I will give to the poor" (Luke 19:8).
Jesus has asked for nothing but hospitality from Zaccheus,
and in response, Zaccheus, the very rich man, willingly
surrenders half of his wealth. This is not an attempt of
Zaccheus to earn Jesus's favor by works, but rather a faith-
motivated response to Jesus's love and acceptance.
Zaccheus's willingness to let go of half of his wealth
demonstrates a faith that trusts in God's gracious provision.
God's graciousness towards him prompts his faith-fueled
Zaccheus's faithful response goes beyond gratitude as he
seeks to restore justice to those whom he has defrauded.
It wasn't enough for Zaccheus to give away half of his wealth
in response to Jesus' grace and acceptance; he insists on
repaying those he has defrauded. Now, the Old Testament
requirement for restitution is for the amount defrauded plus
one-fifth.(3) Zaccheus doesn't simply meet the letter of the
law; he exceeds it by offering to repay four times as much
as he has defrauded others! Four-fold restitution will
impoverish Zaccheus, as he's already committed to give
away half of his wealth. In response to Jesus's gracious
acceptance, Zaccheus parts with his wealth as a sign of
his faith at work--a sign of his salvation. Jesus declares,
"Today, salvation has come to this house, because he too
is a son of Abraham" (Luke 19:9).
Like Abraham, Zaccheus responds with faith. Abraham
believed God and it was "counted as righteousness"
(Genesis 15:6). Abraham's belief in God prompted action.
His faith compelled him to follow God's lead even though
that meant leaving family, land, comfort, and security. In
the same way, by voluntarily impoverishing himself,
Zaccheus demonstrates that he too is a child of Abraham
because he lives by faith--faith that demonstrates its true
character in action.
Has your faith motivated you to action? Has it filled you
with gratitude so that you abundantly give of your time,
your talents, and your resources? Has it shown up through
visible and tangible demonstrations of love and justice? Or,
is faith a random, disjointed collection of ideas that make
no claim on the way you live your life? As we remember
the story of Zaccheus, will it be said of you and of me:
"Today salvation has come to this house, for he, too, is
a son of Abraham?"
(Margaret Manning is associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.)