March 27, 2020.
I was reading in Mark 15 today, it was Mark's account of Christ's illegal trial and crucifixion. Something that I have read many times over the years, but personally have never preached on or have heard many speak on is, the account of Joseph of Arimathaea. Now I want to clarify that I have heard some speak on his actions, just not many. As I was reading, there were a few things that caught my attention, I know I am not the first, and there are probably some who have already pointed this out even here on facebook, I haven't been on here much lately so if they have, please forgive me.
I just felt impressed to share what I felt God was showing me.
The first thing that I noticed was that Joseph of Arimathaea was an honorable counselor,(v43), meaning that he was of the Sanhedrin court, and because of that he had honor, but I think that the word 'honorable' goes farther than just that he was on the Sanhedrin, he was known as an honorable man.
Secondly, he was waiting for the kingdom of God, meaning that he lived out his faith in the God of Abraham , Issac, and Jacob. Thirdly, he boldly came to Pilate and the KJV says 'craved' the body of Jesus, meaning that he wanted the body of Jesus. This third part says a lot about this man, Joseph of Arimathaea, first, he risked his reputation and standing for coming to get the body of Christ, if he had any ulterior motives that was meant seek to destroy the faith of Jesus' followers, then he probably wouldn't have anything to worry about from the Sanhedrin especially since they were the ones who pushed for Christ's execution, (Joseph was not in agreement with the judgement of Christ, Luke 23:51), but the verses following demonstrate that his motives were pure. The second part of this third point that I noticed about his boldness is that he made the decision to possibly risk his life for approaching Pilate, the most powerful man in the area, boldly for the body of Christ. The fourth point that I want to make is found in verse 46, he bought expensive linen, and if you read the other accounts you will see that Nicodemus was also involved in this endeavor because he helped and brought spices and they worked together in honoring Christ's body, (John 19:39-42). Within this fourth point, there is something else that I noticed and have thought of before, he laid Christ in his own brand new tomb, ( Matthew 27:60), that was hand carved out of solid rock. Why is this significant? Joseph had just had this carved for himself, Jesus was arrested suddenly and then within hours, crucified, I don't believe that when he had this tomb carved he was thinking about anybody else other than him being laid to rest in it. I am also convinced that Joseph of Arimathaea never gave any thought to using that tomb after Christ arose, why do I believe this ? THERE IS NO BODY THERE!!!
February 26 at 9:18 AM · I haven't posted anything in a while, but I wanted to share this:
Matthew 26:75, And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
You can read the whole story in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It goes like this:
Peter, just hours before Christ was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, declared that his loyalty to Christ was so strong that he would die with Christ if need be, Jesus told him that in fact, his claim to loyalty to Christ in just a few hours would be proven to not be as fierce as he claimed. That prediction was proven true right in front of Christ at a time when He as a man would need Peter's loyalty. Luke 22:61 records that Jesus literally looked at Peter at the moment of his third denial and Peter saw Jesus look at him, Peter's response? He ran and hid and wept like he never wept before. We can judge Peter for his failure but how many of us as Christ's saints are guilty of denying Him even on daily basis? You may ask how or in what way? If we are truly His then whenever we do something that we know is not right in His eyes but we do it deliberately, we demonstrate a denial of being His. If we watch something that we know is not honoring to Him, but because we decide that entertaining ourselves is more important than keeping our minds holy, we are in fact denying Him Lordship in our lives. The same goes for the music that we choose to listen to, our ears and eyes are the portals and gateways to the mind, to the most holiest place within us, the throne room of the Holy Spirit. When we allow someone to entice us or our own flesh to entice us to go someplace or do something or be involved in an activity or conversation that is unholy simply because we don't want to be rejected by those around us for being 'holier than thou' , we then are denying the fact that we are holy and that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour. The beauty of this story does not end with Peter's remorse, it ends with Christ confronting Peter after the crucifixion and resurrection, dealing with Peter's failure and forgiving him and then honoring him with a recommisioning service. We are called to live in loyalty to Christ, but when, not if, we fail, He is faithful to draw us back to Him, forgiving, cleansing, restoring. 1 John 1:9.
Feb. 10, 2020
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Affection for material possessions, comfort, ease, relationships, following Jesus requires the readiness to forsake all these. In the culture's mindset that is foolishness, but from the viewpoint of eternity, it is the most logical decision to make.
January 22 at 6:17 PM · 1 John 4:21
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
The word brother is used more times in the Bible than I want to count, why is it used so much? Without going into a lot of detail of explaining, it speaks of family. The local church is to be a family. Brothers, (and yes sisters), are to look out for each other, this is how we demonstrate that we are of God and that we love Him. We love those who are of Him, our brothers, (and sisters). I pastor a small congregation, and even though we do have the desire to grow and are praying for God to move in our midst and grow us, there is a special bond that my wife and I have with our small group. I have been developing a close bond with my two deacons, I truly think of them as brothers. I thank God for answering the prayers that my wife and I had been praying for a long time for a church family. When I had met with the two deacons about becoming their pastor, I asked them what they were looking for in a pastor, of all the things they could have said, the only thing that they really desired in a pastor, ( apart from the obvious, sincere in preaching, studying, striving for holiness), the one thing that mattered the most to them was that they needed a pastor who looked at the church as a family, that was the very thing my wife had been praying for. Needless to say we know that we are where God wants us to be, we are excited when get to go be with our church family. I am thankful for the two brothers in Christ that God has given me.