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Building the Temple

God’s word for me today is in Zechariah 6:12-13 which says:

12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he[a] will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’”

Here the Lord told Zechariah to place the crown on Joshua’s (son of Jozadak) head. Then Joshua would be the one to build the temple! But in 1 Kings the Bible says that Solomon builds the temple, so how can Joshua build the temple that Solomon already built? This is a vision, and this points forward to the real king of all things that is building His spiritual temple.

Jesus! In 1 Peter 2:4-5 Peter says that we are being built into a spiritual house:

4 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

How are we being built into a spiritual house? How can people be a spiritual temple? Through the death of Jesus, God’s son! We were wretched sinners who deserved to be destroyed by God’s wrath; we were going to be destroyed by God’s wrath. But then Jesus, out of His love for us, came down and died for us with our sins upon Him! God sent His one and only son to take our sins on Him and die for us on the cross!

Now Jesus is “building” a spiritual temple! Jesus is clothed in majesty, sitting on His throne! Jesus is a priest, a prophet, and a king who is building the temple! All believers are living stones in His temple, and we can spread the Gospel to unbelievers so that they might trust in Jesus too. We are saved from our sins, and now we worship Jesus as our Lord and savior!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland

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I’m So Sorry

Today I am taking a break from my usual posts to talk about the Connecticut shooting that happened yesterday.

I am very sorrowful for the many families that have lost their children. I’d like to send some encouragement to all of those who have felt the blow the hardest. I hope that you will also pray that those families know Christ and that their children have gone to be with Jesus in heaven.

This murder of innocent children is awful. But Lord-willing those children and those families know that Jesus was innocently murdered so that they could have life in Jesus, even after death. I know that the Bible is the ultimate encouragement:

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.” 
(NIV) Proverbs 18:10

Please pray with me that these families run to Jesus as a strong tower.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
(NIV) Isaiah 41:10

Lord-willingly these families will trust in Jesus and be strengthened and helped by the Lord.

I do not know exactly why this happened. But I do know that we can pray for these families that they will be strengthened. Dear Heavenly Father, please help these families through this tough time. Please let this terrible thing bring them to you; please strengthen them and hold them in your arms. Please let those that were lost be with you right now, at your right hand. And please let those families know that no matter what happens, you are their stronghold and their deliverer. In your name Jesus, amen.

Also, please pray for the one that killed so many people. Please pray that he would be brought to faith in Christ and that he could be a light in the world. Thank you all for your support of these hurting families in Newtown, Connecticut.

A moment of silence:

 

 

 

 

 

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland

Flying Scrolls?

God’s word for me today is in Zechariah 5:3-4 which says:

And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’”

This flying scroll would bring a curse over the whole land. It would bring destruction to thieves and those who swear falsely by the Lord’s name. Doesn’t it seem a bit tough for such small sins? I could understand a murderer or an adulterer having this kind of punishment, but a thief? Someone who swears by the Lord’s name? But really, every sin is deserving of death. Even a lie; which means that every person on earth deserves to die and go to Hell.

But we have been saved! A savior has come and rescued us from God’s wrath! Who is this savior? God’s own son, Jesus! God loved us so much that He sent His son (Jesus, who is also God Himself) to die for us on a cross! Jesus came down from His throne on Heaven, took our sins on Him, and died for us on the cross. We live because Jesus died and rose again for us. We are saved because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

When Adam and Eve sinned the whole world was cursed. Everyone was born a sinner. But Jesus took all of the curse and the punishment upon Himself so that we would be saved! Jesus took away our curse and now we live in Him! We do still have flesh but in Christ we have forgiveness and He is making us more like Himself. Praise the Lord!

As Christians we should be living testimonies. Jesus died for us and that should make us want to obey Him. He is helping us so that we won’t do rob or swear or anything like that. We still fall sometimes, but Jesus always helps us. Thank You Jesus.

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland

The Sermon!

Hello again everyone! I am pleased to report that we finally heard the Gospel today at church! Finally! Granted, it wasn’t exactly filled with the Gospel in every point but I’m not complaining. So long as he got the Gospel I’m fine! The Pastor preached from Luke 2:25-38 which talks about how Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Simeon the Priest. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that this baby, Jesus, was going to be the Messiah. Then Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph, telling them that Jesus would be the rise and fall of many and that a sword would pierce “your” heart too.” It doesn’t sound like much of a blessing but it does point forward to the Gospel!

When Simeon says “a sword would pierce your heart too” he seems to be indicating that a sword would pierce Jesus’ heart. It doesn’t seem much like something that a mother would like to hear about her 8-day-old baby but it is something that brings peace and life to the whole entire world! How? Because Jesus would grow up, live a perfect life, and then die on a cross as a sacrifice! Because Jesus really is God’s son and because God sent Him to atone for the whole entire world, He brings peace and life to us!

We were all sinners, no doubt about it. But Jesus came down from His kingdom, took our sins upon Himself and died for us on a cross! We were separated from God because of our sins, but Jesus removed our sins from us so that we are now God’s children! If you believe in Jesus as your savior then you will become a child of God! Jesus’ heart was pierced by a soldier on the cross, when Simeon says “a sword will pierce your heart too” it points forward to that moment when the sword was pierced into Jesus’ heart. Even though the soldier had not been commanded to do it, God made Him do it!

Praise the Lord! And thankfully the pastor did preach the Gospel today, I’m not sure exactly what is going to happen but I’m glad that we were fed today!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland

Can it be?

Today the pastor did preach the Gospel! However, I’m not sure if that is his main message. So I don’t know what we’re going to do, but I am going to post what the pastor said.

So he started out by saying that communion (we took communion today) what about forgiveness and grace. He said sometimes he needed more forgiveness then other times. He said that he was so glad that Jesus came down and died on a cross for us! Jesus said that He loves us “this much” and stretched out his arms on the cross!

We are forgiven because Jesus came down from heaven to die for us, we live because Jesus paid the price for our sins! Praise the Lord!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland.

Not Perseverance

Today the pastor didn’t really preach the Gospel, save a few sentences. The passage was Acts 14:19-21, this passage talks about how the Pharisees had won people over. The only way that the Pharisees would win people over would be by the law, they were preaching about the law and winning people over. Paul was preaching the Gospel that Jesus died for us on the cross, the Pharisees were angry about Paul preaching the Gospel so they stoned him (to the point where they thought he was dead) and dragged him out of the city.

That’s not the end though, the disciples came to him and he got up! Then he actually walked into the city where he had just been stoned. Now the pastor said that Paul got up because he was “determined”, but think about it. Paul was stoned so bad that they thought he was dead, it’s highly unlikely that he would be so determined that he could get up and walk into the very city where he had a very high chance of being stoned… again.

So what was it that got him up and into the city again? I couldn’t be determination or will-power, so what could it be? It was 2 things: the 1st is that Paul had the Gospel and that motivated him. The 2nd was that Paul loved the people of Antioch and he wanted to share the good news of the Gospel! Paul had zeal to share the Gospel with as many people as he could, believers and unbelievers alike.

What is it about the Gospel that motivated Paul? Well first we’ll look at what  the Gospel is. The Gospel is not that you should come to the altar, or pray the prayer (like my family and I have heard in the past). It is that Jesus (God’s own son and God Himself) came down from His kingdom in heaven and died for us on a cross! He took our sins on Him and died for us so that we could live, isn’t that amazing? So no wonder why Paul was motivated to preach the Gospel! Why wouldn’t he want to preach that God loved us so much that He died for us to save us from our sins?

Jesus died for us, that and love for the people of Antioch, made him get up and go back into that city. Paul wanted so much to share the Gospel with them that he went to the very city where he’d been beaten to a pulp. We should want to share the Gospel with others too! It is amazing that Jesus would die for us, and we should share that news!

There is another thing that this passage teaches us. When the disciples came Paul got up, if a brother (or a sister :)) has fallen then we should help them and strengthen them. How? Well if you continue reading Acts 14 then it says that the Gospel also strengthen’s believers! We can strengthen and encourage each other by sharing the Gospel with each other. No matter if you are preaching to Christians or unbelievers you should preach the Gospel!

Thank You Jesus!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland.

I Don’t Drink Beer

God’s word for me today is in Habakkuk 2:5 which says:

indeed, wine betrays him;
he is arrogant and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the grave
and like death is never satisfied,
he gathers to himself all the nations
and takes captive all the peoples.”

This is about “the enemy” and this verse starts with “indeed wine betrays him”. This enemy is arrogant and puffed up. That was me and you, it could still be you. We were sinners, we were arrogant and puffed up. We were wicked in God’s eyes, we had God’s wrath on us. We were going to be destroyed because of our sins.

But then an amazing thing happened. God’s own son (and God Himself) came down from heaven and died for us on a cross with our sins on Him! We are saved because Jesus came down from heaven and died for us on the cross so that we could live. Jesus died for us so that we could be saved from our sins. It is amazing that Jesus would actually die for us! We were wicked people but if we trust in Jesus we are saved and changed because Jesus comes into our heart and changes us.

If you have not trusted in Jesus then you still have God’s wrath on you. So why don’t you trust in Jesus and be saved from your sins? Why don’t you trust in Jesus and live? Jesus died for your sins on the cross, why don’t you trust in Him and live? Why don’t you ask Him into your heart and be saved?

Praise the Lord that we have been saved from our sins! Jesus loved us so much that He died for us on the cross, now we love Him because He died for us! Jesus died for our sins, we are saved because of Him! We are changed because He died for us and rose from the grave on the third day. We are saved, praise the Lord!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland.