Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter in the Old Testament:

1.   Jesus’ Easter Text. In his account of the first Easter, John (who had a lot to feel guilty about) told of running to the tomb with Peter (who had even more to feel guilty about). Seeing the empty tomb, they suspected Christ was alive. But verse ten says, “As yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” Whenever we come across the word “Scripture” in the Gospels, we can substitute, “Old Testament.” None of the New Testament books had yet been written. Verse 9, then says, “They still did not understand from the Old Testament that Jesus had to rise from the dead.” Later that afternoon, two disciples were walking to Emmaus. Jesus appeared to them, but His identity was withheld. After engaging them in conversation, He “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Later they said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (v. 32). Later that night, Christ “opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (v. 45). Jesus wanted the disciples to understand from the Old Testament that He had risen from the dead. Very probably He quoted Psalm 16.
2.   David’s Easter Text (Ps. 16:5–11). This psalm is clearly messianic. “Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; My body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the grave, Nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (niv). Why do we think this is one of the passages Christ quoted to the disciples on the first Easter? Because it is a primary Old Testament prophecy about the Resurrection.
3.   Peter’s Text (Acts 2:25–32). On that great day of Pentecost, Peter preached the first evangelistic sermon in church history. Look at the Old Testament text he highlighted: “Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him . . .”—and he quoted Psalm 16, applying its truths to the risen Jesus of Nazareth.
4.   Paul’s Text (Acts 13:32–38). This was also Paul’s text on the Resurrection. In his first recorded sermon, Paul quoted Psalm 16, explaining: “David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.”
That, then, is the implication of Easter for you and me. Jesus rose from the dead that our sins might be forgiven, that we might once again feel inwardly clean (Is. 1:18). When we come to the Risen Lord in repentance and faith, He forgives our sin, washes our hearts, and makes us new. That was David’s message. That was Christ’s message. That was Peter’s message. That was Paul’s message. And today, after all these years, it is our message. Will you receive it?
May God bless our sharing of the Easter message with all!
-          Bro. Dave

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Patience, Comfort, and Hope

“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through
patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Paul is speaking about the Old Testament here in this verse, but what he says applies
today to the entire Bible. The Bible was written for our learning. This is not the.
conclusion of everyone, especially of those who oppose having the Bible in our schools.
But this does not change the facts. The greatest of all learning is the learning we get
from the Scriptures. It instructs us in the most important matters of life. Any institute of
learning that ignores the Bible will wallow in ignorance in the most important matters of

In this verse Paul speaks of three areas of learning which we gain from the Scriptures.
They are patience, comfort, and hope. These are very important areas of learning

Patience. Few things are more needed for mankind than patience. Patience is a virtue
of great value and none of us have enough of it. But we can learn it from the Scriptures.
The more we get into the Scriptures in earnest study, the better we will learn about
patience. The world is not teaching about patience well (its advertisements emphasize
getting everything right now), but the Word will teach us patience.

Comfort. We live in a very discomforting world. It can get pretty rocky and bumpy at
times, and often we hit these rough areas of life without shock absorbers. But the
Scriptures will give us the comfort we need for the rough places of life. When making 
hospital visits, I notice that when people are experiencing great sorrow they often ask
me to read from the Scriptures—not from the newspapers or news magazines and other
life literature. Why? Because it was the Scripture that give the best comfort.

Hope. Another valuable thing we learn from Scripture is hope. The world does not give
us any hope. Rather, it gives us a lot of hopelessness. But the Bible gives a lot of hope.
It will give us hope in the midst of the worst circumstances and trails. It will give us hope
for the future. If you want hope in your life, go to the Bible. It gives the best hope.

May God grow our patience, comfort, and hope as we read His word.

- Bro. Dave

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Opportunities to Serve

I am thankful for everyone who participated in the disaster relief efforts in East Bernstadt last week.  The devastation that was witnessed was something I have never seen before. As always in these situations, I am thankful for the tireless work of Mike Riley, who should be a top candidate for the position of KBC Disaster Relief Coordinator with his strengths in discerning where the needs are and mobilizing a force. If you missed out on helping, I know that there will be some opportunities in the future for you to join in.
One of the most ambitious service evangelism projects we have ever undertaken is coming up. Our church is taking the initiative to assist our county with the school backpack food program throughout the summer. This will involve taking food to families all throughout the county to care for their needs and to minister to them spiritually. We will need people to donate food, assemble the packages, and deliver the packages. Will you join with us by donating some food and getting involved in the assembly and delivery of the packages? You can sign up now on the bulletin board and pray for us as we prepare for this project.
As we have many opportunities to serve, let us forsake lesser important things to show the love of Jesus to the lost. Many people not long ago were touched by the story of a football player named Pat Tillman who walked away from 3.9 million dollars offered to him to play in the NFL. He walked away from a lucrative career because he felt he had an obligation to serve something more important – his country. That choice cost him his life. Our service to God is one that will cost much, even our lives, but we should be willing to fulfill our obligation to serve Him.
Let us follow the example of Jesus and serve others for the sake of the Gospel!
-         Bro. Dave

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Charles Stanley on Sanctification

Devotional from Charles Stanley on Sanctification:

1 Corinthians 1:1-2 (ESV) Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

In many places throughout the Scriptures, we find the word sanctification. Sanctification means “to make holy” or “to separate from a common use to a sacred use.” When you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He sanctified you, setting you apart for a very sacred purpose.

The process of sanctification begins at salvation, where those who believe are deemed saints (1 Corinthians 1:1–2). Every believer is a saint, because God has made it so (1 Peter 1:2). Positionally, we are saints, even if our conduct is un-Christlike.

This is because, at the pivotal moment of salvation, we changed positions (Ephesians 2:1–5). We were born again, our sins were forgiven, we were adopted into the family of God, and we are now living under the grace of God instead of under His wrath.

It is important to understand that this first stage of sanctification was done for us by God. No human is holy in himself. We are sanctified only by the blood of Jesus Christ, the work completed for us by a loving heavenly Father. Stop to thank and praise God for His purifying love and grace.

  “Praise You, Lord, for setting aside this ordinary human to be used for Your sacred purposes. Thank You that it is not accomplished by my work, but by Your grace.”

May we live sanctified lives for the sake of Christ our king!
-         -  Bro. Dave