Friday, March 28, 2008

Global Day Of Prayer!!
Please put the following on your calendar!

Attend the Global Day Of Prayer 
May 11, 2008 (Mother's Day)
Pentecost Sunday
6:30 PM ~8:30 PM
Seibi Kaikan in Higashi Kurume, Tokyo
(on the Siebu/Ikebukuro Line)
Come Pray With The World

For more information on GDOP, go to the international web site:
or a Japanese site:

Come join with 220 counties and pray together!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Resurrection: A look thru the New Testament

We are going to try something new today. I am not sure if the readers of this Sermon Blog will see any difference but, Faith, my wife and I will be sharing from this topic this morning. So, as a family affair, we will be drawing from our own heart and life to speak to this issue of Resurrection.

God is at work to reverse things. He took nothing and made something. He created. He took a small band of Hebrew People and made them a great nation--to bless the world. He took crop failure and hunger and gave a harvest of plenty. A beaten nation, He gave back what they lost. He took a dead man in John 11 and gave him back to his sisters--alive!  

Turn with me to:
John 11:23-26 
Resurrection teaching is from Jesus. His whole life supports this!  His teaching, His heart--His whole ministry is centered on this very fact that HE has POWR over Death and Sin.  He beat Death!  He also destroyed the hold Sin haad on Man kind by coming to life again.  Listen to who He speaks of this BEFORE it happened with one of the dead man's sister.

John 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

I ask you as well?  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?  If you do, there is power in your life that will and can change you for ever.  In fact, for eternity! 

This was spoken to people in need of care/hope/promise.  Their brother had died.  They had HOPED that Jesus would come BEFORE he died.  He did not!  If He only came when WE wanted him to come, this would not have happened!  He did not come when we wanted Him to come and therefore all is lost!

Really?  Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the come and see what I can do with your dead brother!  Come to the grave site and role the stone away.  I did not come when YOU wanted me to come because I came when My Father wanted Me to come.  Now, stand back!  LAZARUS, come out!"

And he did!  And people were divided.  Some were very glad!  Others wanted to kill Jesus and Lazarus both!   Very strange.  I really don't understand that kind of hate...

A short time later, after Jesus was killed and rose from the grave, the Early Church met on Pentecost to pray and God visited them with Power.  The main message that was preached was centered on the FACT of the Resurrection.  Hear Peter's words:

Acts 2:30 But he (King David) was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His Body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact

This was the New Teastament teaching as the core of the Message.

Acts 4:33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

Acts 17: 18 Good News about Jesus=Resurrection! 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the Good News about Jesus and the resurrection.

Rom 1:2-4   Key to the message
2 the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:1-10 United with Him
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.   ~The Message

1 Cor 15:12-14 If this did not happen--we are lost! 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

In a real way, God made some changes to bring us into the family.  A story I found but can not find the author (my forgiveness, please), paints for me what this was like:

There was a doctor needed to cut a tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of the mouth.  That tiny nerve was severed.  The young bride would be that way from now on.  The surgeon had followed with deep fervor the curve of her flesh, but nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, he had to cut that little nerve.

Her young husband was in the room.  He stood on the opposite side of the bed.  The young wife spoke to the doctor after fingering her face.
"Will my mouth always be like this?" she asks.  "Yes, it will." comes the doctor.  "It is because the nerve was cut."
She nods, and is silent.  But the young man smiles and says, "I like it.  It's kind of cute."
All at once, the young man bends to kiss her crooked mouth.  He twist his own lips to accommodate hers, and shows her that their kiss still works.

Is that not what God did for us!  God is in Christ, reaching out to us in love, accommodating Himself to our condition, to save us, who have been twisted by sin--to set us free and to tell us that His kiss still works!

Phil 3:10-11 Joy message: Power of His Resurrection!
   10 I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Eph 1:18-21 His Power/Our Power
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the Hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, 20 which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

God promised through the Prophets.  Jesus claimed to be The Resurrection and the Life.  The Spirit declared Jesus with Power to be the Son of God by this Resurrection.  The Apostles were eye witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  WE can rely on the Resurrection Power to fulfill our hope of eternal life.  IF WE BELIEVE:  John 11:26  "Do You Believe This!"

2 Tim 2:18 who have wandered away from the Truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

Because of the false teaching that was going around at that time AND NOW, some people have had their Faith destroyed!  We NEED to know what we believe and when we believe that, we need to remind each other of the FACTS and live in light of them.  

The Resurrection of Jesus if of central importance to our Faith.  He was alive.  He ministered.  He taught us what the Father wanted us to know.  They killed Him.  He was buried.  After three days, He came out of the Grave--very much alive and IS alive now!

Read with me the Apostles' Creed!

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

He is Risen!
He is Risen, indeed!