Thursday, November 30, 2006

mike cope sings the classics



mike cope is the preacher at the highland church of Christ in abilens texas and a blogs at preachermike.com. if you aren't a member of "the church" this might not be as funny to you as it is to me but no matter what name is on your church's building this is very funny!

Monday, November 27, 2006

04 Hebrews 3.1 - .6

What is your focus? Where do you find your identity? These are vital questions for you and me as one of God’s people. Do you find your identity in what you do at work? Are you focused on your family? Do you have to have he latest and greatest technological gadget? Are focused on being the center of attention? What ever our focus is becomes our god. Is our god the true living God or a false dead idol?

If your focus is on the stuff of this world, your job/work, your family, technological gadgets, being the center of attention then you are focusing on stuff that will vanish in the end. You are storing up treasures here and not in heave. Your fate will be the same as the treasures you are collecting. By fix our thoughts on Jesus we will share in the heavenly calling!

Does this sound familiar? It should because it is not my advice but what the author of Hebrews tells the readers after talking about the incarnation of Jesus. The Son of God became flesh and blood like us and because of that we need to focus on Him. By fixing our thoughts on Jesus we become holy brothers and sisters and share in the heavenly calling. (Hebrews 3.1) We become the house of God! (3.6) Jesus and Moses were servants in this house. Both of them were good servants. The difference is that Moses is just a servant while Jesus is the Son and heir of the house. He is the faithful Son over God’s house and we are the house. (Hebrews 3.2 - .6)

We are only the house is we hold onto the courage and hope we boast about! (Hebrews 3.6) The courage and hope we boast about is the Good News of Jesus! The hope and courage is that the Son of God became flesh and blood to save us. The hope and courage we have is that we have a heavenly calling, a heavenly destination. As God’s House we will live eternally with the Father, thanks to the Son for making us holy and thanks to the Spirit that gives us the strength to live as one of God’s people.

A few weeks ago during our 3rd-6th grade class on Wednesday night I had the students write on a card something they treasured. Next we went to another room to act out our parables for the night. While we were in the other room I sent someone to the other room to rip up the cards! When we came back and found their cards ripped up they students were not happy but they will never forget that our earthly treasures no matter how special will be destroyed. The only thing that is permanent in our world is God. Our continued focus on Jesus the Apostle and High Priest will assure us that we will share in our heavenly calling.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

now i am having a happy thanksgiving

georgia beat tech so i am having a happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

03 Hebrews: He Became Flesh and Blood

03 Hebrews: He Became Flesh and Blood

Hebrews 2.5 - .18


One of the great wonders of the universe is the incarnation of Jesus. The Son of God became flesh. He lived as one of us. He smelled like us. He had to go to the bathroom like us. He was hungry like us. He could get sunburned like us. He was tired like us. He was for a moment trapped and confined by the limits of time and space. Before the Son became flesh and blood like us he was everywhere all the time. He had none of our weaknesses such as hunger, smells, bathroom breaks, being tired or having to wait in line. The Son gave up all that when he came down and put on flesh and blood like us. This is not just a wonder it is also a mystery!


The author of Hebrews picks up on the incarnation. At the beginning of the second chapter he writes about the future world being subject not to angels but to the SON. (Hebrews 2.5) The Father has put everything under the Son but at the present we cannot completely see His lordship. (Hebrews 2.5-9) We live in the overlap between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. The Son, Jesus was made lower than angels for a short time (Hebrews 2.9) to suffer and bring glory to himself and to his brothers. (Hebrews 10.10 – 13) We are the ones for whom the Son made holy thru his suffering and the holy one (Jesus) and the ones who were made holy (us) are brothers!


Then author writes:

Since the children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

(Hebrews 2.14 - .18)


We can see that Jesus became, flesh and blood like us in order to destroy the fear of death and the one who had the power of death. God’s people, Jesus’ brothers have nothing to fear from death. We should not fear death. If your life is threatened you have nothing to fear because Jesus defeated the Devil. By becoming flesh and blood like us, Jesus also becomes our high priest. A high priest who is merciful and faithful that stands between the Father and us. As a high priest he makes atonement for our sins as his people. He also suffered temptation so he can help us when we are tempted.


That is an amazing and wonderful truth! Jesus became real flesh and blood. He didn’t appear to be flesh and blood. His spirit didn’t inhabit someone else’s body. The physical form the first disciples and apostles saw and touched, the physical resurrected body was or is the true flesh and blood of the Son of God. Now that is a true mystery!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

hebrews part two

Recently I began what will be a yearlong series on the Book of Hebrews. This book is not a letter but instead is more than likely a sermon. We will explore this sermon together and see how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and the message that he brought.


The author of Hebrews begins (1.1-.3) by telling the reader about God’s indirect communication thru prophets and other ways to the direct communication thru the Son. He then goes on to describe the Son ending in verse 4 with the Son being over the angels. Why this initial focus on angels? Angels are the spiritual messengers of God. God uses angels to speak to prophets such as Moses, Isaiah and others. They seem to be the first ones after sin entered the world to bring God’s message to humanity. They are important and powerful spiritual beings but do not compare to the Son.


The relationship between the Son, God and angels is described in the next 10 verses of chapter 1. (1) The Son’s name is greater than the names of angels (Hebrews 1.4). Don’t think of this as his first or last name. Instead this is referring to his “title” or position. His title is “the Son” while, as we will see the angles are servants. The relationship between Jesus and God is a father son relationship. No angels, has ever been called the son! (Hebrews 1.5 & .6) (2) Angels show their inferiority to the Son by worshiping him and show him the respect that he deserves (Hebrews 1.6). (3) Angels the Son’s Servants and ((Hebrews 1.7) 4) he is their master (Hebrews 1.8 & .9). (5) Unlike the Son who is eternal and has always been, angles are created being and part of creation. (Hebrews 1.10 - .12) (6) The Son sits are the right hand of the Father and rests until his enemies are made his footstool. (Hebrews 1.13) The author sums all this up in verse 14 by describing angels as ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. If you turn this verse around you discover that angels are sent by their master and are to serve and minister to God’s people. They are not all powerful beings who decide when and where they will go but are the LORD’s servants.


The reason for the comparison becomes obvious at the beginning of chapter 2. (Hebrew 2.1 - .4) It begins with a warning not to drift away but pay careful attention to the message we have heard from the Son. The message the angels brought was binding and people were punished for violating it. Now the message comes straight from the Son! If the servant’s message was binding how much more so is the SON’s message? What is the message the Son brings? It is the message of a great salvation. The LORD himself first announced it. It then was confirmed to the readers by eyewitnesses who had heard the message from the Lord. It was also confirmed and testified to by signs, wonders and miraculous signs from God. Finally gifts from the Holy Spirit confirm the message.


Just like the original readers we too need to be careful and not drift away from the great salvation that was announced by the Son. The message of this great salvation is the SON himself. We need to not drift away. This is the image of a ship drifting away because now one was paying attention. We need to pay attention to the message we have heard and we need to hold on tight to this wonderful message of salvation we have heard!

hebrews begins

Last week I began what will be a yearlong series on the Book of Hebrews. This book is not a letter but instead is more than likely a sermon. We will explore this sermon together and see how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and the message that he brought.


The author of Hebrews begins (1.1-.3) by telling the reader about God’s indirect communication thru prophets and other ways to the direct communication thru the Son. He then goes on to describe the Son ending in verse 4 with the Son being over the angels. Why this initial focus on angels? Angels are the spiritual messengers of God. God uses angels to speak to prophets such as Moses, Isaiah and others. They seem to be the first ones after sin entered the world to bring God’s message to humanity. They are important and powerful spiritual beings but do not compare to the Son.


The relationship between the Son, God and angels is described in the next 10 verses of chapter 1. (1) The Son’s name is greater than the names of angels (Hebrews 1.4). Don’t think of this as his first or last name. Instead this is referring to his “title” or position. His title is “the Son” while, as we will see the angles are servants. The relationship between Jesus and God is a father son relationship. No angels, has ever been called the son! (Hebrews 1.5 & .6) (2) Angels show their inferiority to the Son by worshiping him and show him the respect that he deserves (Hebrews 1.6). (3) Angels the Son’s Servants and ((Hebrews 1.7) 4) he is their master (Hebrews 1.8 & .9). (5) Unlike the Son who is eternal and has always been, angles are created being and part of creation. (Hebrews 1.10 - .12) (6) The Son sits are the right hand of the Father and rests until his enemies are made his footstool. (Hebrews 1.13) The author sums all this up in verse 14 by describing angels as ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. If you turn this verse around you discover that angels are sent by their master and are to serve and minister to God’s people. They are not all powerful beings who decide when and where they will go but are the LORD’s servants.


The reason for the comparison becomes obvious at the beginning of chapter 2. (Hebrew 2.1 - .4) It begins with a warning not to drift away but pay careful attention to the message we have heard from the Son. The message the angels brought was binding and people were punished for violating it. Now the message comes straight from the Son! If the servant’s message was binding how much more so is the SON’s message? What is the message the Son brings? It is the message of a great salvation. The LORD himself first announced it. It then was confirmed to the readers by eyewitnesses who had heard the message from the Lord. It was also confirmed and testified to by signs, wonders and miraculous signs from God. Finally gifts from the Holy Spirit confirm the message.


Just like the original readers we too need to be careful and not drift away from the great salvation that was announced by the Son. The message of this great salvation is the SON himself. We need to not drift away. This is the image of a ship drifting away because now one was paying attention. We need to pay attention to the message we have heard and we need to hold on tight to this wonderful message of salvation we have heard!

Monday, November 06, 2006

she's back

my as of yet unnamed ibook is back up and running and the screen looks great!

this morning i get to post the church's podcast and work on a project for the mid-atlantic fellowship.

Friday, November 03, 2006

guiness bar & prayer

my ibook is at the shop for the second day. the cable that connects to the screen is broken and needs to be replaced. mega bummer. i have cloned the hard drive using carbon copy cloner so i have been booting my old imac dv at home and my old imac dv+ at the church building as my lap top. osx 10.3.9 runs pretty well from a firewire drive at 400 and 450 mghz on 512 or 192 megs of ram. itunes 7 doesn't work but everything else seems to run fine.

i should have it back by tuesday!

a prayer for healing

LORD,
listen to me
hear me my God
i am broken
i am injured
repair my brokeness
heal my injuries

make me whole once more
thru you Son's power restore me.

-amen-

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

hebrews begins

i am going to start a series of post based on the letter of hebrews. these are adapted from an ongoing series of bulletin articles i am writing this year. hope you enjoy them.

Hebrews Part One (1.1-3)


The book of Hebrews begins with this simple statement:

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1.1 & .2) This simple statement reveals an incredible and awesome truth. The truth is this that God speaks directly to us thru His Son. He no longer uses a third party to speak to us like prophets or donkeys or angels instead it is direct communication from the Son. The long period of the absence of God’s direct communication is over. This simple statement also reveals that we are in the “last days.” The end is now closer than it was. The time of this world is coming to an end and in this end time God speaks directly to us.


If the Son our direct link to God, who is the Son? The author of Hebrews describes the Son in this opening in 7 ways. First, (1) the Son has been appointed the heir of all things. He is the Lord of the universe and this world is his. (Hebrews 1.2) Not only is the Universe his but (2) the Son is also the one thru whom the God made the universe. (Hebrews 1.2) The Father some how used the Son as the instrument of creation. (3) The author goes on to describe the Son as the radiance of God’s glory. (Hebrews 1:3) (4) The Son is also the exact representation of God’s being. (Hebrews 1:3) If you want to know what God is like you look at the Son. (5) The word of the Son sustains all things. (Hebrews 1.3) All things were created thru the Son, all things are the Son’s and the Son’s keeps all things going. (6) This world is broken and dirtied by sin and the Son became the provider of purifications of those sins. (Hebrews 1.3) (7) After providing purification the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of Heaven and rested. (Hebrews 1.3) The author of Hebrews lays a foundation for the greatness of Christ, which he will expound upon as the book continues.


This first section reminds of the awesome greatness of our LORD Jesus Christ. I feel that sometimes we get comfortable with Jesus. We think we know who he is and we don’t think much of that. It is no big deal when people use his name in vain. He is just Jesus. The author of Hebrews writes to remind his readers of the awesome greatness of Jesus. He is not to be taken for granted. In fact how could you take the Son for granted, how could you get comfortable with the Son when you stop and look at who he is! This opening shows us a Son, it shows us a Jesus far beyond any flannel graph character, far beyond any portrayal in a movie and far beyond anything in our imaginations.


When I stopped and thought about these first three verses they blew my mind away at the picture of Jesus I saw. I hope you take the time to reread them and meditated on what they mean and allow you r perception of our LORD Jesus Christ to be expanded.