Tag Archives: spiritual health

Jesus the Bread of life, His flesh saves and sustains us.

John 6:5 we have all these people and Jesus has told us we have to find food to feed them. 5,000 men, plus women, children! Where do we come up with all that?

Everyone gets fed, we pick up what’s left, hey food’s too precious, we can’t leave anything behind. Interestingly there are twelve baskets left, one for each of us disciples. That night we’re rowing across the Sea of Galilee and there’s food under our seats, giving us enough energy to keep going. He provides, even when we have no idea what we’re going to be dealing with. Who can do that? Yes, Jesus and He is God the Son.

Jesus is the Bread of Life. He told the Jews who were hounding Him that He was the Living Bread that came down from heaven, the manna that kept their ancestors alive in the desert. But now the Bread of Life is His flesh. The flesh that He sacrificed on the Cross, His true flesh for our spiritual and physical sustenance. His disciples knew exactly what He was saying, and He didn’t try to convince them otherwise. Most of them picked up and left, probably a little freaked out.

“Do you take offense at this?” Why would they be offended by what’s supposed to be a figure of speech? Sure a metaphor might bother you, but what would really bother you is hearing someone say that you have to eat His flesh in order to have eternal life.

It will be a little longer, but Jesus solemnizes, makes a new covenant, based on the eating of His flesh and drinking His Blood. No metaphor intended, hey read the Greek. He is the Bread of Life, He gave His Body, shed His Blood on the Cross for the atonement of our sins. He continues to give His Body and His Blood for our sustenance to eternity, to nourish our eternal life. For those who have been born again and are the eternal sons and daughters of God, we need divine sustenance for our born again body. That can only be through the miraculous sustenance provided by His Body and Blood we receive from His undershepherds, your pastors to sustain us to eternal life.

The saints of Jesus, those who live with authenticity First Saint Johns, November 2, 2014

Traducción española sigue el texto Inglés

Click on the above link or copy and paste into your browser to hear the audio version of this sermon.

We make our beginning in the name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and inthe Name of God the Holy Spirit. I’m going to say good morning saints of York and you’re going to say good morning Saint Jim, Good morning saints of York…

And all God’s people said AMEN! We celebrate All Saints Day today, which is also the same day as Reformation Day which we will observe in this afternoon’s worship, the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses.
Halloween, which was observed on Friday, has its roots in a Gaelic pagan holiday called Samhain [pronounced sawin] which is when it was thought that spirits and fairies could more easily move into the physical world. The souls of the dead would visit the places where they lived. Halloween is the second most observed celebration after Christmas. For those in the secular world who love to think of how pragmatic and reality driven they are, one writer observed that “Halloween is he ultimate holiday of pretending… we dress up and ‘pretend’ to be someone or something other than ourselves…” In other words it simply emphasizes the phoniness of the world that we live in. A world that denies the reality of a loving, Creator God and tries to make itself into something much better that it’s not. The world loves to concern its self with the phoney aspect of “spirituality” which many people today readily buy into and deny the true spirituality that is Jesus Christ. I keep searching, but I can find no where that explains what people really think that kind of spirituality will do, except that it gives them the feeling of being in control, but never really how that control is realized. How it works in terms of eternity? No one seems to be the least bit interested. The world talks a good game about being “genuine”, of authenticity, but you rarely see it, it’s only in terms of their deluded perception of a world without God and then they wonder why they always feel lost, frightened and alone. There is only one source of authenticity and that is in Jesus. When we are a saint in Jesus are we truly authentic, part of which is being humble, that is when we trust the Lord to live the life that He has saved us for. To be sure being a Christian is much more than the Beatitudes, our reading today, but we certainly model authenticity when we do our best to live that life through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Beatitudes are not our works, they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit who is working through us. We still sin, the world thinks that we should live in perfection. No, the saints will always be fallible people, the old man lives in each of the saints, but the Holy Spirit moves us again and again to live up to the Beatitudes. The world tries to live its own virtues, but it is very clear that those virtues are only to enhance their own life and the fruit of their own spirit, the spirit of the world and not of the Holy Spirit. Roy Lloyd tells the following: “…a man who arrived in 1953 at the Chicago railroad station to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. As he stepped off the train… as the cameras flashed and city officials approached … he thanked them politely. Then he asked to be excused for a moment. He walked through the crowd to the side of an elderly black woman struggling with two large suitcases. He picked them up, smiled and escorted her to the bus, helped her get on and wished her a safe journey. Then Albert Schweitzer turned to the crowd and apologized for keeping them waiting. It is reported that one member of the reception committee told a reporter, ‘That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking.’” Schweitzer was a German theologian, a Lutheran, an organist who studied Bach, a physician, a medical missionary to Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, evidenced in his founding of a hospital in Gabon around the turn of the twentieth century. It is interesting how a saint of Christ who produced so much fruit as a Christian disciple, so accomplished and yet in a huge crowd, was the only one who noticed an elderly lady who needed help, then and there, to make her next connection for her trip. A simple act from a man who served our Lord in such magnificent ways, a great saint of Christ.
David Kinneman was the speaker at the conference in North Carolina I attended. One thing he returned to over and over in his presentation was that today’s younger generations and, I submit most people in the world, are looking for, is authenticty, genuinness. They know and we who are in Christ know that the world is not genuine. All the institutions of the world fail repeatedly and yet try to convince of their authority and authenticity even while they impose on our society and repeatedly fail. All of us can relate to how we can see through the thin veil of hypocrisy around us. The church is often accused of hypocrisy and often for good reason. We try to convince the world that we are perfect saints in Jesus and yet our attempt is shattered when we look at the true saints. Paul called himself the chief of all sinners. He didn’t say that in an attempt to appear to be pious, he knew of the sins he had committed against Jesus and His church and he acknowledged them and continued to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not as some kind of way to atone for His sins. Why? His sins had been paid for at the Cross, Paul knew there was nothing he could add to Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Jesus paid for our sins through His suffering and sacrifice. We, as His saints, are saved in His sacrifice, but as His saints we faithfully follow the leading, encouragement, promise and hope of the Holy Spirit which is the only way we can live out the Beatitudes. We acknowledge our failings, our sin. When we try to convince the world that we are perfect and above all the evil of the world, the world can see right through us. But when we acknowledge that the only way that we are perfect is through Jesus and only through His grace and forgiveness, that we still struggle and still fail in sin, then the world may know salvation through Jesus.
We are valuable, we are His creation and are saved by Him through Christ. We have to remember how valuable we are to God. John writes: “See what kind of love [that is the agape love} the Father has given to us: that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him… but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,..” We shall be His saints and we will be perfect, not in ourselves, but in Him who died for us, and because of that we are valuable to the Father and He loves His children with the highest expression of love.
Dr Luther wrote: ‘Tomorrow I have to lecture on the drunkenness of Noah [Gen 9: 20-27]; so I should drink enough this evening to be able to talk about that wickedness as one who knows by experience.” Luther was authentic, I’m not telling you to imitate authenticity to that degree, but it is to acknowledge that we are tempted and occasionally fail.
Since the elders, the saints in Christ will be gathered around the throne of God in heaven as we read in Revelation 7:12, the saints praising God and worshiping Him, let’s pull out the lyrics inserted in your bulletin and let’s praise Him here and now: I love you Lord, lyrics by Petra…
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

Hacemos nuestro comienzo en el nombre de Dios Padre y en el nombre de Dios el Hijo y en el Nombre de Dios el Espíritu Santo. Yo voy a decir buenas santos de la mañana de York y vas a dar los buenos días en Saint Jim, buenos santos de la mañana de York …
Y todo el pueblo de Dios dijo AMEN! Celebramos hoy el Día de Todos los Santos, que es también el mismo día como Día de la Reforma que observaremos en el culto de esta tarde, el día en que Martín Lutero clavó sus 95 tesis.
Halloween, que se observó el viernes, tiene sus raíces en un día de fiesta pagano gaélico llamado Samhain [Sawin pronunciado], que es cuando se pensaba que los espíritus y hadas podían moverse con mayor facilidad en el mundo físico. Las almas de los muertos visitaban los lugares donde vivían. Halloween es la segunda fiesta más observado después de la Navidad. Para aquellos en el mundo secular que les gusta pensar en cómo pragmático y la realidad que son impulsados, un escritor señaló que “Halloween es él último día de fiesta de fingir … nos vestimos y ‘pretender’ ser alguien o algo distinto de nosotros mismos. .. “En otras palabras, simplemente pone de relieve la falsedad del mundo en que vivimos. un mundo que niega la realidad de un cariño, Dios Creador y trata de hacer en algo mucho mejor que no lo es. El mundo ama a preocuparse de su auto con el aspecto falso de “espiritualidad” que muchas personas hoy en día comprar fácilmente en y negar la verdadera espiritualidad que es Jesucristo. Sigo buscando, pero no encuentro donde explica que lo que la gente realmente piensa que tipo de espiritualidad va a hacer, excepto que les da la sensación de estar en control, pero nunca realmente cómo se realiza ese control. ¿Cómo funciona en términos de la eternidad? Nadie parece ser el más mínimo interés. El mundo habla un buen juego de ser “auténtico”, de autenticidad, pero que rara vez se ve, es sólo en términos de su percepción ilusoria de un mundo sin Dios y luego se preguntan por qué siempre se siente perdida, asustada y sola. Sólo hay una fuente de autenticidad y que está en Jesús. Cuando estamos a un santo en Jesús son verdaderamente auténtico, parte de la cual está siendo humilde, que es cuando confiamos en el Señor para vivir la vida que Él nos ha salvado para. Para estar seguro de ser cristiano es mucho más que las Bienaventuranzas, nuestra lectura de hoy, pero sin duda modelar autenticidad cuando hacemos nuestro mejor esfuerzo para vivir esa vida a través del poder del Espíritu Santo. Las Bienaventuranzas no son nuestras obras, que son el fruto del Espíritu Santo que está trabajando a través de nosotros. Todavía el pecado, el mundo piensa que debemos vivir en la perfección. No, los santos siempre serán personas falibles, el anciano vive en cada uno de los santos, pero el Espíritu Santo nos mueve una y otra vez a la altura de las Bienaventuranzas. El mundo trata de vivir sus propias virtudes, pero es muy claro que esas virtudes son sólo para mejorar su propia vida y el fruto de su propio espíritu, el espíritu del mundo y no del Espíritu Santo. Roy Lloyd dice lo siguiente: “… un hombre que llegó en 1953 en la estación de ferrocarril de Chicago para recibir el Premio Nobel de la Paz. Como él bajó del tren … como las cámaras destellaron y funcionarios de la ciudad se acercaron … él les dio las gracias cortésmente. Entonces él pidió ser excusado por un momento. Caminó a través de la multitud hacia el lado de una mujer de negro anciano que lucha con dos grandes maletas. Él los recogió, sonrió y la escoltó hasta el autobús, la ayudó a subir y le deseó un buen viaje. Luego Albert Schweitzer se volvió hacia la multitud y se disculpó por mantenerlos esperando. Se ha informado de que un miembro del comité de recepción le dijo a un reportero, “Esa es la primera vez que vi un pie sermón. ‘” Schweitzer fue un teólogo alemán, luterano, un organista que estudió Bach, un médico, un médico misionero a África. Fue galardonado con el Premio Nobel de la Paz por su filosofía de “Reverencia por la Vida”, se evidencia en su fundación de un hospital en Gabón alrededor de la vuelta del siglo XX. Es interesante cómo un santo de Cristo, que produce tanta fruta como un discípulo cristiano, por lo realizado y aún en una gran multitud, era el único que se dio cuenta de una anciana que necesitaba ayuda, entonces y allí, para hacer su próxima conexión para su viaje. Un simple acto de un hombre que sirvió a nuestro Señor de una manera tan magníficas, un gran santo de Cristo.
David Kinneman fue el orador en la conferencia en Carolina del Norte que asistí. Una cosa que él regresó a una y otra vez en su presentación fue que las generaciones más jóvenes de hoy en día y, a mi juicio la mayoría de la gente en el mundo, están buscando, es authenticty, genuinness. Ellos saben y nosotros, los que están en Cristo saben que el mundo no es genuino. Todas las instituciones del mundo fallan en repetidas ocasiones y, sin embargo tratar de convencer de su autoridad y autenticidad, incluso mientras ellos imponen en nuestra sociedad y en repetidas ocasiones fallan. Todos nosotros podemos relacionar con la forma en que podemos ver a través del fino velo de la hipocresía que nos rodea. La iglesia es a menudo acusado de hipocresía y, a menudo por una buena razón. Tratamos de convencer al mundo de que somos santos perfectos en Jesús y sin embargo nuestro intento se hizo añicos cuando nos fijamos en los santos verdaderos. Pablo llamó a sí mismo el jefe de todos los pecadores. Él no dijo que en un intento de que parecen ser piadoso, él sabía de los pecados que había cometido en contra de Jesús y su iglesia y él los reconoció y continuó a producir el fruto del Espíritu Santo. No es como una especie de forma de expiar sus pecados. ¿Por qué? Sus pecados han sido pagados a la Cruz, Pablo sabía que no había nada que pudiera añadir a sacrificio de Jesús por nosotros. Jesús pagó por nuestros pecados a través de Su sufrimiento y sacrificio. Nosotros, como sus santos, somos salvos en Su sacrificio, sino como sus santos que fielmente seguimos el liderazgo, ánimo, esperanza y promesa del Espíritu Santo, que es la única manera en que podemos vivir las Bienaventuranzas. Reconocemos nuestras faltas, nuestros pecados. Cuando tratamos de convencer al mundo de que somos perfectos, y sobre todo el mal del mundo, el mundo puede ver a través de nosotros. Pero cuando reconocemos que la única manera de que somos perfectos es a través de Jesús y sólo a través de su gracia y el perdón, que todavía luchamos y todavía fallamos en el pecado, entonces el mundo conozca la salvación a través de Jesús.
Estamos valioso, nosotros somos su creación y somos salvos por Él a través de Cristo. Tenemos que recordar lo valioso que somos para Dios. Juan escribe: “ver qué tipo de amor [que es el amor ágape} el Padre nos ha dado: que seamos llamados hijos de Dios; y así estamos. La razón por la cual el mundo no sabe de nosotros es que no lo conocía … pero sabemos que cuando él se manifieste, seremos semejantes a él, .. “Vamos a ser sus santos y vamos a ser perfecto, no en nosotros mismos, sino en Aquel que murió por nosotros, y debido a que somos valiosos para el Padre y Él ama a sus hijos con la expresión más alta del amor.
Dr. Lutero escribió: “Mañana tengo que dar una conferencia sobre la embriaguez de Noé [Génesis 9: 20-27]; así que deben beber suficiente esta noche para poder hablar de que la maldad como alguien que sabe por experiencia. “Lutero era auténtica, no te estoy diciendo que imitar autenticidad a ese grado, pero es reconocer que somos tentados y ocasionalmente fallar.
Dado que los ancianos, los santos en Cristo se reunieron alrededor del trono de Dios en el cielo, como leemos en Apocalipsis 07:12, los santos alabando a Dios y lo adoran, vamos a tirar hacia fuera las letras insertadas en su boletín y Alabemosle aquí y ahora: Te amo Señor, letra de Petra …
La paz de Dios que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. Shalom y Amin.

Focus on what we are taught to focus on 2 Timothy 4: 1-4

Have you ever kind of camped on an issue, position, concept, that you knew in your heart was important, but you seemed to be kind of hanging over the edge? No one really backing you up?

If you don’t know, I’ve been writing a lot about how the contemporary Christian church is just really out of step with what Christianity is about. It’s moved way too much toward a consumer mentality, toward making people happy and comfy. I keep asking; how do you reconcile that with the persecution of Christians starting in the Acts church and continues today all around the world?

I haven’t seen, received, heard, etc, any type of response. Doesn’t seem as though anyone who is part of that movement has any incentive to respond. They’re bringing people in, they’re clearly raising money, they’re clearly impacting their followers and what some pipsqueak like me has to say just doesn’t register and isn’t worthy of any response. These “churches” clearly have an attitude of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, don’t try to confuse me with the realities of Christianity. This works so I have no reason to change it. If anything maybe God’s changing course and I’m coasting in His wake. The only justification for this position is in worldly terms, numbers, money, big buildings, big shows, so it must be working. But God tells us that “my ways are not your ways…”, there is Scripture and what God tells us. The only thing the other movement has is numbers, but truth doesn’t seem to be something they get too caught up in.

Anyway, I’m reading “The Church Awakening” by the man himself, Dr Chuck Swindoll, and anything I’ve said, he’s said it better, in spades and makes a much more compelling case then I ever could. I take what he writes in “The Church Awakening” as affirmation of what I’ve been writing.

A side note; I didn’t become a Christian until my mid-twenties and around the same time I discovered Christian radio, heard Dr Swindoll early all and I was hooked. I have a lot of his books, but the guy writes a lot of books, so I’ll never have them all. Highly recommend any Swindoll book, heck I’d read his grocery list if he published it.

Please allow me to quote at length from the book (but you should buy it anyway and read it), the book was published in 2010, so I think Dr Swindoll has a good handle on the contemporary situation:

“When you look across the landscape of churches today, you find many congregations that have experienced phenomenal growth. Unbelievable growth. But upon closer examination, you discover that they have not committed themselves to the four biblical essentials for a church as prescribed in the Book of Acts: teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (see Acts 2:42). The church may have more than these four… but it must not have less.

It is precisely these four areas the adversary will attack so he can disrupt and, if possible, destroy the church. That’s why it’s important to keep our priorities straight. It’s essential that we not get distracted by all that we can do as a church … and stay focused on only what we must do as a church. Otherwise, we may be attracting a crowd for the wrong reason.

This emphasis on the essentials is what the apostle Paul had in mind when he passed on the torch of ministry to a young pastor named Timothy:

‘I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.’ (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

Notice both the command and the reason for it. The command is clear: ‘preach the word’ – followed by an explanation of when and how to do it. But there’s also a why, a reason to proclaim boldly the Bible on a consistent basis: there will come a time when biblical truth will be rejected in favor of what people want to hear. The biblical alternative? We learned in the last chapter that the Lord will honor and bless any plan that upholds prayer and promotes His Word. This is what Paul was affirming to Timothy.

Large numbers don’t necessarily reveal God’s blessing. They could, in fact, reveal error. They could reflect an ear-tickling ministry that panders to people and tells the crowds what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. A growing number of churches and denominations today have found the four essentials unnecessary – burdensome, you might say. Archaic traditions of a bygone era. So they have hired what I call ‘pulpit whores’, or put more mildly, ‘teachers in accordance to their own desires’ – to affirm them in their selfish and carnal lifestyles. No wonder the crowds expand … it’s as if God has officially approved their sin!

But even a calloused conscience eventually aches with the emptiness that only God – the true God – can fill. The tragedy is that these empty individuals think they have already tried God .. and He has left them just as unfulfilled as the world has. It’s downright tragic.” (Dr Charles Swindoll The Church Awakening pp 71-73)

So yea, a long quote, but I think you can see why.

YES!! YES!! YES!! It has been my firm conviction with the happy-clappy/name it and claim it/prosperity types that they are setting people up for failure. They are not moving people to God. They are moving them to worship themselves. When trials occur, and they will. These people will be shaking their fist at God: “Pastor Billy Bob said that if I had enough faith that I would be pretty and wealthy and healthy, that God would bless me with infinite good stuff. Well I lost my job, my house, my wife, my child! How could you do that to me?! So the heck with you God, I’ll get a deal somewhere else.’ I always wonder how these people think. Where do they think they’re going to get a better deal? But they do. But it can only end one way? God doesn’t send you to Hell, you chose to worship yourself and what you wanted, you chose to be separated from God, so you can’t expect God to undermine that, right? Hey you have free will, right? Time for the church as a whole to repudiate these false teachers. The ancient church had no problem to gather in council and cut off people who were pushing spiritual poison. I know the public arena is not a friend to orthodox Christianity, but that is not a reason for the church to refrain. If the church expects to be taken seriously, at least respected, it has to distance itself from the false teachers: “Those people are not with us, they are wrong, people shouldn’t listen to them, for their spiritual health and we completely cut them off from any relationship in Christ. Yea, excommunication. Will it be popular? No. Is the church about being popular? It shouldn’t be. Our job is to edify and strengthen people in Christ, by allowing spiritual poison to be circulated we are not being faithful to our call in Christ. It’s got to be about living in Jesus and not what’s in it for me.