Jesus commanded us to: Worship the Lord your God, & serve Him only. – Matt. 4:10
In 60 of the 91 occurrences of “worship” in the NT, it is the Greek word proskuneo. It means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” Literally & figuratively, to proskuneo is to fawn over, crouch to, & fall down to kiss the ground before.
Our worship of the Lord is the metaphorical kissing-ground between we (the Bride) and Christ (the Bridegroom).
When my dog, Annie sees me, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone for 1 minute or 1 hour – she cannot contain herself! She goes completely spastic: she runs all over the place, she jumps up on me, & yes – she licks my hand. She is so excited, she just about explodes! Just like Olivia Newton John in Grease, Annie is hopelessly devoted to me.
When was the last time we got thatexcited worshipping our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ? Are we hopelessly devoted?
By forgiving our sins, Jesus removes them and discharges them.
Therefore, because of Jesus’s wonderful Love & Grace, your sins have been: Let go; fired, dismissed, sacked, axed, laid-off, and canned. They have been given their “pink slip” and “walking papers.” Like Elvis, your sins have left the building.
Stop re-living them.
Stop obsessing about them.
Stop beating yourself up over them.
Brother and sister, they are not even there! (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 11:27, Mic. 7:19, Psa. 103:12)
To pretend otherwise is to act like you still have that coat on that someone removed from you and sent away.
Don’t forget to pray for your Pastors throughout the week as they wrestle with the message they are preparing just for you. You can start by praying Eph. 1:15-19.
The cook presents the finished meal.
What he doesn’t present is the stack of old cookbooks he sifted through to find just the right recipe. He doesn’t mention the multiple trips to the market to find just the right ingredients. He doesn’t show you all the burnt attempts that didn’t work out quite right. He doesn’t bring out the shiny new mixer he is so very proud of that has all the bright new features.
No, the cook presents the finished meal.
The cook knows he is just the cook. Its the Farmer who produces the food (John 15:1). Its the Husbandman who gave the cook something to cook. It’s the Vine-dresser who raised the crop. And from sunrise to sunset, the divine Creator seeks to create fruit through us as we abide in Christ (1 John 2:5-6).
For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. – Psa. 107:9
No, the cook doesn’t do any of this. He just presents the finished meal to the best of his ability and prays you brought your appetite.
We are all looking for something, aren’t we? What is it that you looking for? Wisdom (experience, career)? Knowledge (facts, degrees)? Happiness (marriage, relationships)? Peace (also marriage and relationships… just kidding)? Riches (security, comfort)? Whatever it is, ALL is found in Jesus.
All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him – Col. 2:3
If you are looking anywhere else, then you are barking up the wrong tree. You know, that is a pretty funny expression now that I am actually thinking about it; the dog has chased a cat up a tree and is now barking at it, but the cat is in another tree? Silly dog. However, that is what I want you to envision if you are looking for…. lets say, self-fulfillment, in any other place than in Jesus. Yep, you are that silly dog barking up the wrong the tree. Come on, dog! Ya got the wrong tree!
If I were looking for something in the wrong place, I would want someone to tell me. Constantly searching sounds too exhausting. I would much rather rest. Its like looking for the car keys in the refrigerator. They probably aren’t there. If I were rummaging through the freezer looking for my keys and you knew where they were – I would want you to tell me.
If you are not looking to Jesus, then you are looking in the freezer for your car keys.
ALL treasures are found in Him. Satisfaction for your heart? In Him. Satisfaction for your mind? In Him. Satisfaction for your bones? ALL are found in Him. I promise you: Jesus doesn’t come up short. Jesus doesn’t disappoint. Jesus doesn’t leave you holding the check. Jesus doesn’t promise, and then not deliver. In fact, He over-delivers. He exceeds. He excels.
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], – Eph. 3:20a (AMP)
Anything worth knowing, is known in Him. Anything worth finding, is found in Him. Anything worth discovering is discovered in Him. Think about that: All the secret riches that can potentially come out of all intelligence and understanding is revealed in Christ! That’s why Paul calls it treasure. Treasure is priceless, precious, and rare. The closest to finding treasure I ever got was using a metal detector at the beach one summer. Man, you never saw a kid more excited over a quarter. You would have thought I found the Heart of the Ocean or something. Jesus is talking about FOR REAL treasure. Not some rusty old quarter! Life treasure. Soul treasure. Eternal Treasure. True fortune.
Treasures are hidden, aren’t they? They are buried. They require some digging. They must be unearthed. You have to remove the dirt to find the treasure. We have a lot of dirt piled up in our lives. We are buried in it! Jesus can remove the dirt – if you will let Him. He wants to unearth the potential underneath all the guck and grime.
The most worthwhile treasure you can ever possess is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. It may take some digging, but it is well worth it.
Please take a minute to educate yourself on how Islam treats women.*
Using specific verses from the Qur’an:
• Sura 4:34 – Men can beat their wife.
• Sura 3:4 – Men can marry up to 4 wives… except Muhammad, he can marry as many as he likes (Sura 3:50). He married 12 by the way – one of whom was 6 years old when married and 9 years old when consummated (he was 53).
• Sura: 4:11 – Men get twice as much as women in inheritance
• Sura 4:31 – Women must “lower their gaze” as to not look directly at men.
• Sura 3:14 – Women are “a thing” akin to property.
• Sura 2:223 – Women are “a field to be plowed.”
• Hadith Bukhar 1:6:301 (a secondary source to the Qur’an)- Hell is filled 2/3 with women.
• Sura 19:27 – Muhammad thought that Mary was the “sister of Aaron” (mistaking her for Miriam… close; only off by 1,500 years or so)
Compare this with ANY teaching from Jesus about women:
Got a church word for you today: propitiation. From the Greek hilasterion “to appease/that which expiates/the gift that procures divine favor.” It’s used only once in the New Testament:
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” I John 2:2 (KJV)
“Propitiation” is also alluded to with the Ark of the Covenant, particularly the mercyseat or atonement cover in Hebrews 9:5. The mercy seat was sprinkled with atoning blood on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:14). This all represented that the sentence of the Law had been carried out changing a judgment seat into… what? A mercy seat. Still with me?
Propitiation means that God is satisfied with the sacrifice of our Lord on the Cross. It is not a representation. It is literal. Jesus’s literal blood has been sprinkled for us to atone for the sentence of the Law. Changing what would be judgement into… what? That’s right: MERCY.
Isn’t that incredible?
Let me put it to you this way: Imagine a courtroom where the judge declares the defendant guilty and then has an innocent bystander pay for the crimes of the defendant. Outrageous, is it not? But that’s exactly how it works. “He is righteous, so much so that a sacrifice for sin had to be provided. He is loving, so much so that he provided that sacrifice Himself.” (Millard Erickson “Christian Doctrine”)
Like the song goes, “He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay.”
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished” Romans 3:23-25 (NIV)
Jesus is our advocate. (1 John 2:1)
Jesus is our mediator. (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 12:24)
Jesus is our interceder. (Romans 8:34)
Jesus turns our seat from one of judgement to one of mercy.
I heard it put like this: Jesus goes to bat for us.
Jesus is our propitiation. He is our atonement. Without Him advocating and mediating and interceding we could never pay the debt owed. We would be thrown into prison. Our sentence would be for life without parole.
Without the shedding of His precious blood, we would be doomed.