Monday, April 30, 2012

+DEV+ The Master Builder

Date: April 30, 2012 9:28 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Master Builder

The Master Builder

"For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."  (Hebrews 11:10, 16B)
Scripture Focus: Hebrews 11:1-16

Many cities now feature master planned communities. While some residential areas offer pools or playgrounds, master planned communities boast much more. They include offices, stores, hotels, even large parks - assets that add to the value of a home's location. Developers build these options into their plans at the project's beginning.

Master planned communities are not a new idea. God has always been a Master Builder. He created heaven and earth out of nothing. Then He built the Garden of Eden with everything man needed for a perfect home and intimacy with Him. After our sin destroyed this intimacy, God sent His Son to restore us to Him. Now we who have faith in Jesus Christ long for the heavenly city He has built for us.

God is still building His purposes in our lives. He gives us all we need as He resides in our hearts and works to deepen our faith in Him. We can follow the example of the people of faith in Hebrews 11 and trust our Master Builder - now and always.

Insight: What is God building into your life that requires you to have faith today? Trust the Master Builder to design His best for your life!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

+DEV+ The Savior's Message

Date: April 29, 2012 11:27 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Savior's Message

The Savior's Message

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  (John 10:9-10)
Scripture Focus: John 3:1-21;  Acts 16:16-34

There was one purpose in Jesus coming to earth and one purpose alone. What sin had robbed us of in the Garden of Eden, God was giving back - life. This was not just breathing-in-and-out life, but the highest form of life possible. It was life that includes our spirit, our complete person, affecting eternity as well as the present.

When Nicodemus asked Jesus what He meant by being "born again," Jesus answered some of Scripture's most well known words: "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Later Paul and Silas answered the jailer's question the same way. Eternal life is given only through believing in Jesus.

It is all about Jesus. Even before the moment we fell from God's glory into sin, God had prepared for the Savior to come and redeem us (1 Peter 1:18-21). What is that message to those who believe on Him and receive His gift of eternal life? The same as always, "My child, you are Mine and you are loved."

Insight: The Savior's message has been the same since the beginning. nothing can separate us from His love. how can we not love Him in return?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Watchfulness

Date: April 26, 2012 9:33 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Watchfulness

Message of Watchfulness

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."  (Matthew 24:42, 44)
Scripture Focus: Mark 13:24-31; John 14:1-14

I waited for hours by the window, watching for the arrival of someone I had not seen for a long time, but my friend did not come - until the next day. My facts had been wrong, and I wasted much time.

Israel waited in great anticipation for the promised Messiah, but they were watching for the wrong person. Like me, they had their facts wrong. They assumed He would be a mighty leader who would free them from the oppression of Rome. In reality, He was going to free them from their spiritual oppressor, Satan. Instead of coming as a conquering hero, He arrived as a helpless baby. Because He didn't appear as expected, most missed Him.

Scripture tells us that Jesus is coming again, and we have been instructed to watch for His return. This watchfulness is not in the physical realm, but the spiritual. This time there is nothing wasted in the waiting. Jesus instructed His disciples to "watch and pray" so they would not fall into temptation. As we watch for His return, He keeps watch over our hearts and minds.

Insight: When Jesus Spoke Of Watching And Praying, He Meant That We Should Not Fall Asleep Spiritually. Remain Watchful.

+DEV+ Message of His Presence

Date: April 25, 2012 11:57 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of His Presence

Message of His Presence

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations And surely I will be with you always" (Matthew 28:18-20)
Scripture Focus: John 14:15-31

Israel had been turned upside down by this man, Jesus. Controversy surrounded His birth, miracles, and teachings. Especially in His own town He'd been despised and misunderstood. After three years of intense ministry and teaching, Jesus knew the time had come for Him to return to His Father, but He knew those closest to Him would grieve His going. They would not understand. So He gave them a promise - that though they would not still see Him, He would actually never leave them! Jesus knew how difficult the days ahead would be, that His followers would be rejected and persecuted for their faith in Him. He also knew by leaving He would be able to send His Holy Spirit to be their ever-present Comforter and Helper.

How we need Him now! We are still in a spiritual war against Satan and sin, and we cannot win it on our own. No matter how hard we try, we struggle with discouragement and confusion, and we need His guidance and care. Jesus reigns in our hearts through His Spirit. His promise is true for us today.

The Promise Of Jesus' Presence Was Given Earlier Through Moses, "The Lord Himself Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

+DEV+ Message of God's Timing

Date: April 24, 2012 10:52 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of God's Timing

Message of God's Timing

"Who are you? What do you say about yourself?” John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, Make straight the way for the Lord."  (John 1:22-23)
Scripture Focus: Luke 1:5-25;  Isaiah 40:3

Zechariah was an old man who loved God dearly, but he held one great sadness close to him: he and Elizabeth had never had a child. In Jewish society this was considered a sign of God's punishment because of sin. Yet Luke tells us they "observed all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." So what was wrong? Nothing. it was all in God's perfect timing. Both Zechariah and Elizabeth would have known Isaiah's prophecy of "A voice of one calling: 'In the desert prepare the way for the Lord'" (40:3). They were watching for this person. They did not know, until Gabriel's message, that it would be fulfilled by their son, who was yet to be conceived!

Now the time had come. The forerunner of the Messiah was about to be born, the fulfillment of prophecy set into motion. Ultimately, Zechariah was privileged to be the first to understand the timing, the perfection in planning that is God's alone. The years of disappointment of unanswered prayer would vanish, and hope would be restored.

Insight: The plan started back in the garden had begun. the forerunner of the Messiah calls out to us today, too, to behold Him.

Monday, April 23, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Hope

Date: April 23, 2012 11:04 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Hope

Message of Hope

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."  (Isaiah 9:2)
Scripture Focus: 1 John 1:5-7

Darkness can be frightening. In Isaiah 9:2 the word translated as darkness is the picture of blindness. The "land of the shadow of death" is from the Hebrew word meaning very thick darkness or terror. Those do not sound like pleasant places to be, but they picture our world of sin and hopeless blackness.

Many years ago I traveled in Germany and stood on the cold, gray pavement of Dachau, one of the Nazi concentration camps. Over the gates were written the words used to describe hell in Dante's Inferno: "All hope abandon ye who enter in." Utter despair must have filled the atmosphere, for the residue of it still remained.

In the very beginning, darkness covered the face of the earth, but God pushed it away when He created light. Sin and death are dark because they are separated from God, but He has pushed them away, giving us light and hope. Isaiah points us to the only hope we can have of breaking the suffocating darkness of sin - Jesus. Praise God that the Light of the World had come!

Insight: God saw the darkness of our spiritual state and promised us a great light. it's Jesus!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Strength

Date: April 22, 2012 10:03 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Strength

Message of Strength

"The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."  (Isaiah 7:14)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 18;  Matthew 1:22-23

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, God gave a glimpse of this event to His prophet Isaiah. His message was this: the Messiah will be a son, born to a virgin, and His name will be Immanuel.

Unlike today, names in Bible times told a story or made a statement. Names were usually combinations of words that created an intended picture, and Immanuel was no different. Im is the Hebrew word meaning "with" or "beside," while the word el means "God." Immanuel is "God with us." But the word picture of el is something with mighty strength - like a strong, supporting pillar or an oak tree. In fact, the root of this word actually means "twisted" - like a twisted tree trunk. That implies unbreakable, mighty strength.

When we feel weak emotionally or spiritually, we need to look at Jesus and remember He came to show us that God is our mighty strength. Though just a helpless baby as He entered our world, He contained all the power in the universe as God. We can trust Him to carry us.

Insight: Jesus - the baby's name means "the Lord saves." to save someone implies strength. to save humankind implies the mighty strength of God.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Forgiveness

Date: April 19, 2012 8:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Forgiveness

Message of Forgiveness

"If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."  (Matthew 6:14-15)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 37:12-36;  45:1-14

A number of years ago the story of Joseph's life hit Broadway in a dazzling musical, but in reality his had been a life filled with trauma and pain. His brothers had ambushed him and sold him to a caravan of gypsies. We wonder, how could they have done that? Then years later, when they were in desperate need of food, Joseph forgave them and fed them. How could he have done that?

If you have ever needed forgiveness (of course, you have!), you know its gift of healing. A grudge sucks life, but forgiveness gives life back, deserved or not. We are no different than Joseph's brothers. Sometimes our sin is overt and we deceive, ambush, hurt, and destroy. But sometimes it is secret, against God alone. Either way we are undeserving of His mercy and forgiveness. To stand in that place of need and be washed clean, given a second chance, is overwhelming. Why would God do that for us? Why would He have sent the Christ-child for us? Because of His deep love. That is what forgiveness is - a message of absolute love towards us - at all costs.

Insight: Look at the similarities between Jesus and Joseph: both were hated and falsely accused; both offered forgiveness to those who wronged them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Provision

Date: April 18, 2012 10:19 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Provision

Message of Provision

"In a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place 'The Lord will provide.'"  (Genesis 22:13-14)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 22

After years of following God, Abraham had learned that he could trust Him implicitly. But now came the most difficult lesson of all. "Take Isaac," God told Abraham, "your only son, the son of my promise, and sacrifice him to Me." This was too hard to comprehend, yet Abraham was willing to obey God - even in this. He did not know what God's plan was, but he knew, without question, that God had a plan. When Isaac asked him, "Father, where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God Himself will provide the lamb." And He did, just in time! God had known the sacrifice of Isaac would never be made because He would provide a way out - a ram in the bush.

God's provision of the way out for all of us came in His good timing, too. After God's people waited hundreds of years for the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world was born to a virgin, cradled in the arms of a carpenter, and nestled in the manger of a cattle stall. Let all of Christmas remind you that, "The Lord will provide."

Insight: The day would come when God the Father would provide a sacrifice to take our place. this time it would be His own precious son, Jesus.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

+DEV+ Message of the Covenant

Date: April 17, 2012 10:31 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of the Covenant

Message of the Covenant

"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'"  (Matthew 26:27-28)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 15

Covenants today are not always taken seriously. Marriage vows, contracts, and promises are easily broken. How different it was in ancient times. In the Old Testament days, animals or birds would be slain and a path created with their blood. Two partners would walk through the blood path to seal their agreement, signifying, "If you break this covenant, your blood will be spilt. If I break it, mine will be." It was a very solemn act.

Abraham had been following God a long time, but he had not yet been blessed with an heir. When God promised him a son with many descendants and that the land would be their own, He sealed it the traditional way. A blood path was made, but God walked alone. In doing so He was saying to Abraham and to you and me, "If I break this covenant, My blood will be spilt, and if My people break it, My blood will be spilt."

Only love and mercy would take such a step, for God already knew we would be the ones to break it.

Insight: We are the ones who broke the covenant God made with Abraham, yet Jesus fulfilled it, paying the price when He shed His blood.

Monday, April 16, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Trust

Date: April 16, 2012 10:42 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Trust

Message of Trust

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."  (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 12:1-5; Hebrews 11:8-10

Abraham was known as God's friend. Though he didn't have a Bible or any history of Jesus, he responded honestly to his Creator. God presented Abraham with several challenges. The first was to leave the security of his homeland - just pack up and start walking with no apparent plan or purpose. Though Abraham didn't realize it, this test was his first step in discovering that God would be absolutely, always trustworthy. It actually served as a rehearsal of listening, trusting, and obeying. Through it he learned that God had a purpose and a plan at every turn. And that plan would lead one day to a very specific place - Bethlehem - and the arrival of the Savior - Jesus.

God has not changed. What He showed of Himself to Abraham is the same truth He wants us to know and experience. He has a purpose and plan for every part of our lives, too. We need to listen, trust, and obey. Even after we have failed - especially after we have failed - God's perfect plan to rescue us is real. Praise Him, for our Savior has come!

Insight: Trust is a matter of confident expectation. by spending time with Jesus, we will find Him to be trustworthy in every way.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

+DEV+ False Messages

Date: April 15, 2012 9:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+  False Messages

False Messages

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14)
Scripture Focus: John 5:19-30

Have you ever received a message with contradictions and falsehoods? What a mess it created! The more you tried to address it, the more confused you became. Eventually, you had to get back to the beginning to figure out the truth in order to correct what went wrong.

Incorrect messages come to us on many different levels, and it is one of the most subtle and damaging tactics Satan uses on us spiritually and emotionally. He gives us just enough truth to make his lies seem plausible, making sin look acceptable, and other people and things worth worshiping. And if we are not prepared, we march right in accepting his deceptive messages as truth. It can happen to any one of us, at any time.

How do we guard against responding to his false messages? We must first understand and acknowledge how inclined our hearts are towards sin, how very frail we are. Then we must guard our hearts by knowing God, His Word, and His Son. When the truth of Jesus Christ grips our lives, false messages vanish.

Insight: The First False Message Was Delivered By Satan In The Garden, And Eve Fell For His Deception. Now We Must Keep Our Eyes On The Truth - Jesus.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

+DEV+ Worship: The Fount of Service

Date: April 12, 2012 10:23 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Worship: The Fount of Service

Worship: The Fount of Service

"'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"  (Isaiah 6:8)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 6

Where does true Christian service begin? Where can God's people find and perhaps at times recover a true desire to pour out their lives for the good of others? How can we find the strength to, like Isaiah in our reading today, humbly, willingly, and even enthusiastically submit ourselves to what could only be described as a fool's errand when evaluated from our limited human perspective?

Isaiah's experience shows us that only an encounter with the holy and gracious Lord - that is, worship - can inspire true Christian service. Notice that Isaiah is first confronted by the utter holiness of the Lord (vs. 3), which then leads him to a confession of his own sin (vs. 5). Yet God does not leave him there in his sin. He descends in mercy to Isaiah and atones for his sin and guilt (vs. 7). Only then is Isaiah prepared to serve his fellow Israelites. Today we worship the same holy and gracious God, but we know more than even Isaiah did! The Lamb of God, the Lord Himself, has atoned for our sins!

Insight: Do you ever find your calling burdensome? Consider afresh the holiness and grace of your God!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

+DEV+ Worship in a Minor Key

Date: April 11, 2012 10:29 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Worship in a Minor Key

Worship in a Minor Key

"For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave."   (PSALMS 88:3)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 88

I've often heard worship leaders encourage congregations to leave their troubles and cares behind when they enter the sanctuary to worship. While I can understand the sentiment, statements like these seem to suggest either that worship is somehow disconnected from our everyday struggles or that worship is not an appropriate place for emotions like grief or sadness.

Yet Scripture suggests just the opposite. First, our worship is intimately connected to our everyday life because the God we worship is one who acts in history - in our everyday lives. He forgives real sins, defeats real enemies, and saves real people like you and me. Secondly, grief and sadness are entirely appropriate emotions in worship. Our reading for today is a supreme example of a real believer struggling with real problems, bringing his complaint to the Lord. What father would not want to hear from his children when they are troubled? Yet we resist ending with lament. For Jesus, the true voice in this psalm, has finally defeated our ultimate enemy, turning our mourning into joy.

Insight: "His Anger Lasts Only A Moment, But His Favor Lasts A Lifetime; Weeping May Remain For A Night, But Rejoicing Comes In The Morning."  (Psalm 30:5)

Monday, April 9, 2012

+DEV+ Children and Worship

Date: April 9, 2012 9:36 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Children and Worship

Children and Worship

"He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'"  (Mark 10:14)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 8, Mark 10:13-16

Picture the scene: Jesus is teaching the crowds, healing the sick, and preparing His disciples for the events that would soon follow when they arrived in Jerusalem. And into the fray walk several proud parents, bringing their infants to Jesus, requesting He bless them. Now, the disciples aren't too pleased with this. What are you thinking bringing your children to such an important man? We've got important business to attend to here! Don't you know who this is? The Messiah doesn't have time for children!

Yet Jesus' response is telling. "Let the little children come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Like us often, the disciples misunderstood the kind of kingdom Jesus had come to inaugurate. To them, the things of God were "adult business" - too complex and weighty for kids. But Jesus' words remind them (and us) that this kingdom is for those the world considers weak, unimportant, outcast, and humble, not the strong and influential. May the Lord lead our children to worship, and lead us to worship more like children.

Insight: Children Rightly Approach God Without Anything To Offer. Do You Worship God Like A Child Or Do You Bring Something In Your Hands?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

+DEV+ Approach to God

Date: April 8, 2012 11:10 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Approach to God

Approach to God

"For our God is a consuming fire."  (Hebrews 12:29)
Scripture Focus: Leviticus 10:1-3,   Hebrews 12:28-29

Our Leviticus reading today tells an admittedly haunting story. Two men with apparently good intentions offer "unauthorized" or "strange" fire to the Lord that is "contrary to his command" and pay for it with their own lives. If nothing else, this story teaches us that God takes worship seriously because His own reputation is at stake (see vs.3).

But we ought not to let this story leave us trembling with dread before the Lord. Instead, let it challenge our belief that we may approach God on our terms. Let it drive us to approach God where He has come to meet us: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Approaching God on our own, dressed in our own merits and good works, will only be met with His consuming fire. Yet Jesus, being sinless in every way, endured the fire that our sins deserved and paved an eternal and sure way of entrance into God's presence for all who trust in Him.  He is the way and the truth and the life, the very means of coming to the Father. So let us approach the Father with boldness in the name of the Son!

Insight: How Might This Story Also Impact How We Worship?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

+DEV+ Evangelism and Worship

Date: April 5, 2012 9:21 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Evangelism and Worship

Evangelism and Worship

"So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!'"  (1 Corinthians 14:25)
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 14:20-25, Romans 10:5-21

If you're like most Christians, you probably struggle at some level with the task of evangelism. You desire and pray for your non-Christian family members and friends to come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but speaking about spiritual matters (especially in our current culture) is often difficult. How, then, can we bring our friends into an encounter with God?

While our first reading for today is not without complexities, one clear truth emerges that helps us answer that question. Paul says that if an unbeliever enters the gathered worship service of the church and hears "everyone prophesying" (i.e., speaking the Word of God), he will be convinced he is a sinner and will acknowledge God's presence among His church. Of course, this doesn't always happen, but this passage does encourage us that God meets us in worship, and those who enter will hear His voice. While a humble church service may not be the place we would expect God to meet with sinners and convert them, God does have a habit of doing the unexpected.

Insight: A Pastor Recently Told Me That The Worship Service Was The Best Place For Our Unbelieving Friends To Be. Whom Might You Invite This Week?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

+DEV+ Missions and Worship

Date: April 4, 2012 10:33 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Missions and Worship

Missions and Worship

"May the nations be glad and sing for joy."   (Psalm 67:4)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 67, Matthew 28

 "Missions exists because worship doesn't," writes John Piper in his treatise on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad! Piper makes a point here we ought not to miss. Often we are tempted to think that the goal of the church is to do missions, as if mission work itself were the objective. But Piper reminds us that the reason we do mission work is because our God is not yet receiving the praise and thanksgiving He so wonderfully deserves.

You see, friends, our God is so great, so magnificent, so awesome (in the true sense of that word), so loving, so wise, so powerful, and so holy that all the nations of this world ought to bring Him praise. Just as Jesus came to this world as a humble servant in order to redeem us from false worship unto true worship, so He sends us into the world - humble and broken though we are - to bring other sinners to His feet. May the world's lack of worship be the motivation in our missions. And may our worship cause the name of Jesus to be lifted high at home and abroad.

Insight: Think about two non-christians you know and pray that God would use you to bring them to truly worship God.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

+DEV+ Baptism and Worship

Date: April 3, 2012 10:45 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Baptism and Worship

Baptism and Worship

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that we too may live a new life."  (Romans 6:4)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 28, Romans 6:1-14

Regardless of which church you attend, baptism, in some form or another, is a regular aspect of the public worship services. Unfortunately, the controversies that have surrounded baptism for the last 500 years - For whom? How? When? - have significantly hampered most Christians' ability to truly enjoy the blessing our Lord intended when He instituted this practice in His church.

How, then, should baptism be a blessing for us? To put it briefly, when someone is baptized in our church, we ought to take that opportunity to be reminded of all that the water symbolizes about the work of Christ for us. Remember that the blood of Christ has washed you clean from your sins (Titus 3:5). Remember that your old, sinful self died when Christ died, and you received a new life like His (Romans 6:4). Remember that you now have the power of Christ living within you uniting you to Him (Galatians 3:27). Remember that you have been given a new heart, one that is now growing in a desire and ability to live for God (Ezekiel 36:25).

"[Baptism] Is Taken Seriously By Scripture And Should Therefore Be Taken Seriously By Us" (Michael Horton). Do You Know The Importance Of Baptism In Worship?

Monday, April 2, 2012

+DEV+ Prayer in Worship

Date: April 2, 2012 10:21 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Prayer in Worship

Prayer in Worship

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."  (Colossians 4:2)
Scripture Focus: Hebrews 4:14-16, Colossians 1:3-14

Prayer is that one aspect of worship we all know we should do more of yet often struggle to find the motivation to carry out. Thankfully, God knows all our weaknesses, and so He has filled His Word with many encouragements and motivators to help us become a more prayerful people. When I say "encouragements," I don't just mean "commandments." I mean truths about what God is like and what God has done that spur us on to pray.

Perhaps the greatest of those is the access we have to God in prayer under the Gospel. Scripture presents the Christian's access to God as unlimited because we come to Him in the name of the Son with whom the Father is well pleased. God throws open the doors of access so widely in order to compel us to come to Him with any and every concern we may have, with the assurance that He will hear our prayer. Unlike the many leaders of this world who are sequestered behind bodyguards, security fences and darkly tinted windows, our God is accessible through Jesus Christ.

Insight: Do You Find It Difficult To Pray? Consider The Unlimited Access To The Father Won For You By Jesus And Ask For Boldness In Prayer.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

+DEV+ Worship and the Cross

Date: April 1, 2012 10:28 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Worship and the Cross

Worship and the Cross

"Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.'"  (Hebrews 10:5)
Scripture Focus: Luke 23:26-49, Hebrews 10:1-10

It didn't look much like a church service. In fact, the lonely, windswept hill of Golgotha outside the city gates of Jerusalem was the last place we might expect anything of religious significance to take place. Yet despite all appearances to the contrary, it was there that the most significant act of worship in the history of the world took place. For it was there that the Messiah offered His body as a sacrifice.

It may have appeared to some that Jesus was taken to the cross against His will - that somehow the Romans and the Jews had gotten the better of Him. But that was certainly not the case. In fact, Jesus was doing exactly what He had come to do. He was taking the body His Father had prepared for Him and laying it down as a substitute for sinners. And, friends, it is from that act of worship that all of our worship must flow. His worship on the cross qualifies and inspires our worship in the church. Your church may have a cross on its wall or in its decor somewhere. When you see it, remember how Christ came into this world to redeem us.

Insight: "When I survey the wondrous cross/on which the prince of glory died/my richest gain I count but loss/and pour contempt on all my pride." (Isaac Watts, 1707)