February 2006

Feb. 12, 2006

INTRODUCTION – As I have grappled over the last two months for proper perspective about our ministry and focus as a church for this new year, I have found myself several times pulling out the prophetic word that the Holy Spirit gave Dutch Sheets on January 5th. There are 16 points in this 3 page word. Most of you have read it. I don’t want to take the time to read it now. But one thing is clear from this word: The year 2006 will be a pivotal year for the mobilizing of the army of God to fulfill His purposes on the earth.

God’s heart and intent is that every member of every congregation be an effective, productive and fruitful soldier in this army. To help mobilize or equip us for that – He has given us His precious word that is full of both precept and example.

This morning I want us to meditate on one of those examples as found in Matt. 1:18-25. This is the story of how God prepared Joseph to be the earthly father or caretaker of His precious Son – the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God the Father looked down on this earth to find a man that He could entrust the stewarding and shepherding of His Son to; I believe He is looking down now to find men and women and young people that He can entrust the proclamation of His Son to. As I have meditated on this passage, I’ve found four principles that are crucial for us to be the kind of people that God can entrust such a treasure to. Continue reading How God Prepares and Shapes a Man to Steward the Treasure of His Son – Matt. 1:18-25

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Feb. 12, 2006

INTRODUCTION – Last Sunday we began our series in the gospel of Matthew. My sense is that this gospel is to be our launching pad in this new year for exploring our theme of “Pursuing the King and His Kingdom”. As I have been wrestling with the latter half of chapter one this week and thinking through the book and our pursuit as a whole, it seems prudent to me that we be willing at times to stop and strengthen our foundation when we come across a subject in this gospel that might not be as strong and vibrant in our life together as it ought to be.

Instead of expounding this passage today, I want to strengthen our foundation in one of the subjects it introduces to us – and that subject is the subject of angels. The word “angel”appears six times in Matthew; the word “angels” 13 times. If you wanted to study angels in the gospels, Matthew or Luke would be the books to study (Luke has a few more references than Matthew). Mark and John hardly have any comparatively speaking.
If you wanted to study angels in the whole Bible you would find around 300 references to angels scattered across 34 books; 165 of those in the New Testament.

Because in the month of December I spent a lot of time studying the events surrounding the birth of Christ, I kept encountering the mention of angels. About that same time, one night I did something that I rarely do – I read one of Anne’s emails from the Elijah List that gave a review of the book “Open My Eyes Lord” – a practical guide to angelic visitations and heavenly experiences by Gary Oates with Robert Paul Lamb. While I wasn’t familiar with those authors, I was struck by the many endorsements of people I respect, and intrigued by the excerpts from the book in this review. Then I did something more rare than reading an email from the Elijah list – I got on the phone and ordered the book! Continue reading Angels & the Kingdom of God – Matthew 1:18-25

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February 5, 2006

INTRODUCTION – The apostle Paul in his writings spoke very emphatically about the relevance of every word in this book.
For instance in Romans 15:4 he said, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
In his second letter to Timothy – ch. 3:16 he wrote, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

Nowhere is this claim to the relevance and inspiration of every word in this book tested more than when – in your bible reading – you come across a genealogy. The temptation often for most of us (if we’re honest) is to skim through if not totally skip genealogies to get to the passages that mean something. Continue reading The Genealogy of Jesus Christ the King – Matthew 1:1-17

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