Repetitive acts can cause boredom, especially when the heart
is not passionate about the endeavor.
The nation of Israel was hardened to the things of God,
chiefly because their allegiance was based primarily on the letter of the law
and not the spirit of the law.
Life became very mundane, indeed the repetitive acts had caused the
people of God to become ensnared and caged by the sin of formalism. What they desperately needed, oddly
enough, they collectively rejected.
If Justification is the working of Christ, in our lives, to
cleanse us of our sins, blotting them out and removing guilt, and declaring us
righteous, then Sanctification is the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives
as a guarantor; guaranteeing our salvation by working in us to sanctify us. So,
for us as Christians, it is both Justification and Sanctification that is
needed in our lives, as clearly taught by James and Peter. Justification once,
when we are saved, and Sanctification by the works we do after we are
I love living in the mountains. On a clear day, as you climb
to the top of a mountain, your view is uninhibited. Personally I feel there is
nothing like it in the entire world.
From the hollows that provide a sense of security, to the mountaintops
where one can feel so free, God’s creation is beautiful. There is yet another
part of God’s creation that we cannot see with our physical eyes, the unseen
realm where Christ bids us welcome.
These “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8b) enable us to rise
above the gloom that sin produces.
This week marks the beginning of Advent. What that means varies from person to
person. For me, it’s spending time
reflecting on the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I am fully aware that the date is
not right, what really matters to me is that people everywhere are more open to
hearing the wonderful story of my Lords first advent.
This year is a little different in the Elswick
household. My oldest son is
working overseas, and my youngest daughter and her husband are many states
away, needless to say, neither will be home for Christmas.
Psalm 119:72, “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than
thousands of gold and silver.”
How precious is the law of God to you? It seems I end up writing a lot about
the law of God. Partly because
many in the Church refuses to see its value, and also because I love how the
law reveals the character of God.
Verses like Psalm 119:165 offer stability in a time when men are running
to and fro, (“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall
offend them” Psalm 119:165).
Revelation 22:20, “He that testifies of these things says,
‘Surely my coming is soon.’
Amen. Even so, come Lord
With the current problems brewing in the Middle East one may
wonder, how long will it be before the Lord returns? Jesus told us that no man knows the day or the hour when the
Father will send His Son (Matthew 24:36).
We are given clues to the nearness of that event, but that’s all, only
the Father knows when that day will come.
Jeremiah 35:12-19, NIV
Are we listening to God? The question before you implores you to respond not with
mere words, but action. James
1:22, 25 NIV,“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive
yourselves. Do what it says…“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that
gives freedom, and continues to do this; not forgetting what he has heard, but
doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.”
James was inspired to tell us to, “fix our attention on
God’s perfect law.
In the temporal realm there are many things to be thankful
for. While the list may vary from
person to person, most lists will include family, friends, employment, health,
a home, our country, food, and clothing, not necessarily in that particular
order. We are indeed blessed.
The purpose of today’s message however, is not to reflect on
the temporary, but the eternal.
Life as we know it, in the United States of America, is good.
A couple weeks ago probably one of
the biggest announcements of our lifetime occurred. (No, it wasn’t the
reelection of President Barak Obama.) It was announced that The Walt Disney
Company would purchase Lucas Films and thus own the Star Wars and Indiana Jones
franchises. That is epic news! I grew up on the Indiana Jones films and I
always wanted to be an archeologist, even after I found out it wasn’t as
glamorous as Indy’s adventures. Heck, I met my wife while looking into Southern
Adventist University to enroll their archeology program.