Archive Page 2

28
Apr
09

Jesus – the Bread of Life

anadamabreadWhat are you trying to fill the hunger in your soul with?  Money can’t do it.  A facelift, tummy tuck, Botox injection, hair weave, and breast implants won’t do it.  An affair won’t do it.  Neither will a new car, nor home.  A night out with the girls or guys at a club won’t do it.  It has to be followed by another night and another night and another.  A great meal on Saturday night has to be followed by a good breakfast in the morning.  A new outfit has to be followed by even newer clothes the next year.  These material things are not enough to fill our souls.

In John 6:35; 47-50 Jesus said to a crowd of people focused on finding soul satisfaction in material, temporal things the following, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.”

Do you hear what Jesus is saying?  “I’m the bread of life.  You can be filled and satisfied in me.”

In these verses Jesus refers to the manna provided by God in the wilderness for the children of Israel.  In Kent Hughes’ commentary on the Gospel of John he mentions the similarities between the manna, a kind of bread, and Jesus, the “bread of life.” (pg. 206)

Manna was white, like fallen snow.  Jesus was the holy Son of God, without sin.

Manna was on the ground, easily accessible.  All a person had to do was get out of their tent and go get it.  In the same way Jesus the bread of life is here for you.  You can come and receive of him, or you can walk on by.  I’m sure people stepped on the manna in the wilderness.  In the same way you can trod upon Jesus or pick him up and receive him as your Savior.

Manna was a kind of bread that had all the carbs, nutrients, and proteins that a person needed to be filled.  Jesus has everything you need to be truly and completely filled.

It’s interesting that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and Bethlehem means “the house of bread.”  Jesus is the bread of life.  Isaiah 55:1-3 – Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

21
Apr
09

A.W. Tozer’s Education

I hear people say sometimes, “I wish I was smarter than I am.”  I’ve actually said the same thing. Did you know you can be if you want to be?aw_tozer2

One of the greatest pastors and authors of the 20th century was AW Tozer.  31 years of his ministry was spent pastoring the Southside Alliance Tabernacle in Chicago.  While serving there he wrote 9 books.  The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy were his greatest works, and are growing in popularity still today.  He had a weekly radio program – Talks From a Pastor’s Study.  He was a well-known conference speaker, and he served as the editor for the Alliance Witness – the main publication for the Missionary Alliance denomination.

Amazingly, AW Tozer never graduated from high school.  He tried it for a few weeks, but he figured he could learn more on his own.  And that he did.  He was a voracious reader; gobbling up everything he could get his hands on.

Part of his weekly routine on Monday and Wednesday was to take a trip to the local library.  His arms would be loaded down with books, either returning them or bringing back a new batch to digest.  One church member reflected, “You could tear the house down and Tozer wouldn’t know it.” (The Life of AW Tozer, James Snyder, pg. 68)

His great spiritual strength though lay in his desire for God’s presence.  When he preached those in the congregation could sense the power of God.

So, college or no college, you can be smarter.  Choose today to be a life long learner!  Remember leaders are readers!

14
Apr
09

KGB Summer Day Camp

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We’re really pumped about this year’s camp.  Matt Gallant will be returning as our camp director.  This was a wonderful surprise for us.  Matt was recently married and had moved to Savannah, GA.  We thought he would be gone for good.  But he’s back, and he’s coming with his new wife McKenzie, who has also worked at our camp before.  Both are really gifted musicians and know a ton of fun songs for kids.

Along with great music, each day will include swimming at the incredible Bull Run Regional Water Park. Kids will also learn new Bible stories each week and enjoy a bunch of other stuff – horseback riding, crafts, games, Olympic Day, field trips….

Help us spread the word.  Space will fill up fast, so register as quickly as possible. You can do that on our home page.  Click on the summer day camp link.  You’ll also find answers to most of your questions.  

02
Apr
09

Complaining Will Make Your Life Bitter

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Exodus 15:23 -24 –  When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.   And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

You need water.  It’s essential to life.  I don’t like to drink, but I know I have to.  Out in the wilderness the children of Israel were three days without any – about to dehydrate.  Then they came to Marah and saw water.  Imagine what joy!  They made a quick dash to the water, but when they lapped it up they found it bitter, undrinkable.  How disappointing!

At this point they had a choice.  Would they complain or call on God?  They had witnessed the plagues, the parting of the sea, the Egyptian army defeated.  Even more, God had led them to this place with his cloud.  Surely God was up to something.  But, instead of calling on God, they chose to complain. 

Like the Israelites, we often give our mental, emotional, and verbal resources to complaining when life gets tough.  We grumble.  We whine.  You know what complaining will do?  It will make your heart bitter like the waters of Marah. Over time you get stuck in a continued cycle of frustration and complaining, frustration and complaining, until it makes the whole flavor of your life brackish and bitter tasting.

We too are in a sense in the wilderness in this life on the way to the Promised Land, our eternal home.  I don’t want to be like the Israelites.  They complained for most of their 40-year journey.  In the journey of my life I don’t want to waste my mental, emotional, and verbal energy griping and complaining.  I want to use it in a more positive way. 

What’s the alternative?  Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Whatever the circumstance, good or bad, you can always rejoice in the Lord, in who He is, and what He has done. 

24
Mar
09

Polyamory or Marriage?

cloudkingdombymissyg0hh3Has the joy run out in your marriage?  Evidently, for many couples it does slowly over time, so much so that institution of marriage is often laughed at, made fun of, and undermined.  Just be present when someone announces they’re going to be married and listen to what others around say.  “Well, you better run while you can.  Oh, so you’re ready to give up are you?  About time you got yourself a ball and chain.  At least you’ll have someone around the house to help you do some cooking.”

I’ll never forget the little placard my grandma had over her stove.  It said, “Kissin’ don’t last.  Cookin’ do.”  I remember reading that as a little kid and thinking, “How depressing!”

Many today are actually trying to redefine marriage.  The latest thing out there is something called “polyamory”.  Poly” is from the Greek meaning “many” and “amory” is Latin for “love.”  Polyamory, “many loves” is the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  Often those in a polyamorous situation all live in the same home, sometimes with members of the same sex.  They have another fancy word they use called compersion.  It describes the supposed joy that a person feels when their partner is having pleasure even if that means with someone other than themselves. 

Sleeping around with different people doesn’t bring happiness and pleasure, but jealousy, pain, confusion, and over time it dulls the senses, makes the soul shallow, and robs a person of the joy of giving themselves fully to another.  Can you see how broken this is? 

God design is for marriage, one man and one woman together for life.  In this way the Christian marriage is a witness to the broken world that has confused lust and sensuality with love.  In a world that’s making up fancy words to justify their sin, the Christian marriage exists to point to a better way.  It reflects to the world Christ’s love for his people the church.  So, we can’t give up on it.  We have to stick with God’s plan.  This world needs us.  If you want to be a witness to the world, just get married and have a bunch of kids and stick it out and be faithful, love, provide, care, and put yourself second.

How can Christ bring joy back into your marriage?  Most likely the unhappiness in your marriage stems from you being hurt over something.  You got offended and you’ve not said anything.  You’ve held onto it, and stewed over it. 

Dear follower of Christ, will you look again at what He has done for you, and all that he’s freely forgiven you of?  He bore your sins on the cross in your place so you might live and know God’s forgiveness and love.  Do you think you could offer a little of the forgiveness you’ve so richly benefited from to the spouse who has upset you? 

When the Christian couple lives with a fresh appreciation of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for them they are ready and willing to forgive.  That forgiveness washes away the cancer of bitterness and the joy can flow again.

Eph. 4:31-32 – 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

 

19
Mar
09

What Paul and Tyndale Wanted Most

2 Timothy 4:13 – When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.115553-004-d76bbf3a

Paul, in the final chapter of his meaningful life, was in a cold, Roman prison cell awaiting execution.  Writing to Timothy he makes a personal request for his coat.  He then asks also for the books, and then, “above all the parchments.”

Their books were not bound books like you and I have.  Their books were scrolls.  We don’t know for sure, but probably Paul’s scrolls contained the earliest portions of the gospels.

The parchments were more than likely the Hebrew Scriptures.  When copies of the Old Testament were made great care was taken.  Those sacred words were written on special parchment made from animal skins.  This tells us a lot about Paul.  In his darkest moment, facing death, he wanted the Word of God more than anything . 

William Barclay, in his commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy, makes an interesting historical connection, showing how history often repeats itself.  1500 years later William Tyndale was in prison, awaiting execution.  Tyndale lived in a day when there was no modern English translations of the Bible.  It was all in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin.  The average person couldn’t read it.  People didn’t have Bibles in their homes, and the established church wanted it that way.  Tyndale knew that wasn’t right.  So, he had the nerve to translate the entire Bible into Modern English.  He then used the newly invented printing press, and made copies in mass.  For the first time Bibles were everywhere.  For this Tyndale was arrested, imprisoned, and convicted as a heretic.  He was then strangled to death while tied at the stake, and his dead body was burned.

While waiting his execution William Tyndale wrote to a friend and this is what he asked for – “Send me, for Jesus’s sake, a warmer cap, something to patch my leggings, a woolen shirt, and above all my Hebrew Bible.”

When pressed by life, the spiritual giants wanted the Word of God more than anything because they knew it would strengthen and encourage their souls.  When life presses you, what do you reach for?  Something to just numb the pain, distract you for a few hours.  God’s Word can be a friend to you.  It is always there – the Word of Life.  It will not just numb the pain.  It will feed your very soul.  

05
Mar
09

Brickianity

Brickianity?  Yes, that’s the word.  Brickianity.  The word describes how healthy Christianity is built on solid, stable truths, doctrines, propositions, timeless principles found in God’s Word.

brickwallWe live in an age when some seek to push the historic doctrines of the faith aside, or at least not emphasize them so much, maybe even water them down a bit.  In the place of cold doctrine, some want to stress community, creativity, social justice, art, family, virtue, all of which are important and good.  They seek to build bridges, not walls, they say.

Bridges are good, but we must not forget to build strong walls.  I took the following example from a great book I just finished – Why I’m Not Emergent (Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck).  It’s a quote from the great apologist GK Chesterton who pictured doctrine as the walls of a playground.  He writes:

We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea.  So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries.  But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice.  They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased. (Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 153)

Chesterton is saying that walls are needed – doctrine is needed because it keeps us safe and free.  Many live with fear and insecurity because they don’t know what to believe.  God help us to continue building bridges, but while we do let’s hold up the walls.

2 Timothy 1:14 – By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.