by Pastor Derrick Jackson on October 21st, 2012

"WORK – God's Expectations "
Text:  Matthew 25 : 14 – 30  NKJV
 
Matthew 25 : 14 – 30  NKJV  |  The Parable of the Talents
(see Luke 19:11–27 )
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
 
As a believer, You are in the construction business.

God has made you a partner in his Construction Firm. 

As a partner, YOU ARE THE WORK and YOU ARE A WORKER.


Ephesians 2 : 10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

The heart of God’s Work (His Workmanship) is HIS LOVE.

His LOVE is Unconditional – but God still has expectations of His Workmanship, US.



God Expects You to Work As A Servant          (v. 14)
Matthew 25 : 1 – 3  NKJV
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
 
A Servant Works at the Command of His/Her King – They work TO SERVE at the pleasure of the King.
 

God Expects You to be a Competent Worker          (v. 14b – 15)
Matthew 25 : 14 – 15  NKJV
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
 
We Receive His Treasure (The Gospel).

We Go into the Marketplace and Community and Be Fruitful with the Treasure He has Given Us.

 
 
God Expects You to Work By Faith          (v. 15 – 18)   
Matthew 25 : 15 – 18  NKJV
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.
 
We Receive His Treasure (The Gospel).
God Expects Us to Go and Be Fruitful with the Treasure He has Given Us.
 
The Reward is Coming – The Master will return – and I will get my just reward.

 
 
God Expects You to be a Productive Worker          (v. 19)   
Matthew 25 : 1 – 3  NKJV
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
 
The Master will return – and He is expecting a RETURN ON HIS INVESTMENT.

God has given much to those who believe in Him.  Therefore, God expects much.

 
 
God Expects Our Work to be WORTH REWARDING          (v. 20 – 23)
Matthew 25 : 20 – 23  NKJV
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

The Bible says all of our work on earth will be tried in the FIRE to see what sort it is.
 

1st Corinthians chapter 3, verses 12 thru 15
12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 
God Expects Us to be MANAGERS          (v. 20 – 23)   
Matthew 25 : 20 – 23  NKJV
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Our Perception of and Outlook on Ministry is that of a MANAGER.

It is impossible to MANAGE anything or anyone without doing some WORK.

Our Spiritual Identity is that of a son/daughter AND priest.

 
1 Peter chapter 2, verses 9 & 10
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
 
 
God Expects Us to be WORKING UNTIL He Returns          (v. 24 – 28)   
Matthew 25 : 24 – 28  NKJV
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
 
Our work in the spiritual marketplace indicates what we think about God.
- No work shows that we do not care what God says.
- No work shows that we have an unscriptural view of God's requirement of us to be productive disciples. 
- No work shows that all we did with God's message of love was hid it in our minds. (it was buried in the dirt).
 
The Lord of the servant called him "WICKED" and "LAZY"
- The UNPROFITABLE servant is WICKED because of what he believes about his lord and because of what he FAILS TO OBEY.
- The UNPROFITABLE servant is LAZY because of what he believes about TIME and because of what he FAILS TO DO.
 
The Reward is Coming – The Master will return – and we will get OUR just reward.
 
 
God Expects Us to FOCUS ON OUR OWN REWARD         (v. 29 - 30)   
Matthew 25 : 29 – 30  NKJV
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Profitable Servants receive their reward, AND the treasure of the Unprofitable servants.
 
God's Expectations can be fulfilled in US, because WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP.
 
2 Corinthians 5 : 16 – 17  NKJV
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

When God went to work, we became NEW – In our SPIRIT, In Our SOUL, and In Our BODY.

When God went to work, He put His treasure IN us, and put us to work in His vineyard.

 
2 Corinthians 4 : 6 – 7  NKJV
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on August 19th, 2012

Worship - God Is Worth It All
Bible Text: Judges 6 : 11 – 24 (20 - 21)  NKJV
 
Judges 6:20-21  NKJV
20  The Angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay [them] on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so.
21  Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that [was] in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. 

God has CREATED US TO WORSHIP.

God has CALLED US TO WORSHIP HIM in every circumstance.

Judges 6:1-6  NKJV 
1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. 3 So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. 6 So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.

WORSHIP Requires A RECOGNITION OF GOD AT WORK. (Judges 6 : 17 – 22) 
 
Judges 6:17-22  NKJV
17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”
And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”
19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
21 Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.” (emphasis added v. 22)

WORSHIP Requires A RELEASE (of Something Valuable to You) TO GOD. (Judges 6 : 20 – 21) 

There Was a LACK of Food.
There was a LACK of Offerings.
 
Yet Gideon RELEASES that which he has risked His life to possess.
Gideon RELEASES TO GOD that which will increase his possessions and sustain Him.
 
Judges 6:18-21  NKJV
18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”  And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”
19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them.
20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
21 Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
 
WORSHIP Requires AN ALTAR. (Judges 6 : 21) 
 
Judges 6:21  NKJV
21 Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
 
In Old Testament times, the animal or offering that was placed on an altar in worship of the True God was CONSUMED BY FIRE.  God is calling us to place ourselves on His holy altar and allow His Holy Spirit to consume us - becoming pleasing to Him.

Romans 12:1-2  NKJV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual [fn1] act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Give God what you know He is DUE and WORTHY OF!
Give Him you.

Your Life.
Your Will.
Your Heart.
Your Time.

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on May 22nd, 2012

Disciples of Jesus Christ are never alone.
We are not alone - our Heavenly Father gave the gift of His Holy Spirit to live within us as our Comforter.  God loves us so much that He does not allow those who trust in Him to live this earthly life without His Divine Presence and empowerment.

John 14 : 15 - 31  NKJV

Jesus Promises Another Helper
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Indwelling of the Father and the Son
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.


The Gift of His Peace
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment,
so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

Acts 1 : 4 - 14

The Holy Spirit Promised
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Jesus Ascends to Heaven
(Mark 16:19, 20; Luke 24:50–53 )
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

The Upper Room Prayer Meeting
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.


The Promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2 : 1 - 4

Coming of the Holy Spirit
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord [fn1] in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

We are not alone.

PNEUMATOLOGY | The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit is distinguished in name, form, and person from all other spirits.
- God is Spirit (John 4 : 24)
- Humans are spirit beings
- Angels are spirit beings
- Demons are spirit beings    

HOWEVER, humans, demons, and angels are not THE Holy Spirit.

Jesus introduces God the Holy Spirit to His Disciples.
Jesus is so loving and meticulous in His care for you and me.  He loving prepares His Disciples for the unimaginable loss of His presence by crucifixion and the miraculous re-emergence of His Presence through God the Father resurrecting Him and the Advent or Promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. (John 14 : 26)
o 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Helper”
- In the New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV), He is "Helper"
- In the King James Version of the Bible (KJV), He is Comforter (Gr. paraklētos (pä-rä'-klā-tos) G3875; Helper/Aider/Protector)
o in the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant
 of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father),
• to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and
• to give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom
- HOLY SPIRIT
o Holy  (Gr. hagios (hä'-gē-os) G40; Most Holy)
o Spirit  (Gr. pneuma (pnyü'-mä) G4151; Third Person of the Godhead/Trinity; coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son)

The Holy Spirit is not just a New Testament Revelation.

The Spirit of God, God the Holy Spirit, existed before Creation.


The Hebrew writers, inspired by God, used the Word “ruach” (Hb. Ruwach (rü'•akh (note “short a”) H7307; breath, wind, spirit) when referring to the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament (Hebrew Tanakh (təˈnax)), the Holy Spirit is known as:

- The Spirit of God
o Genesis 1 : 2  Spirit (Ruach) of God (Elohim) <<  The Godhead at the beginning of Creation >>
o Genesis 6 : 3  My (Jehovah) Spirit (Ruach) <<  God’s decision to destroy humanity >>
o Genesis 41 : 38  Spirit (Ruach) of God (Elohim)   <<  Pharaoh said God’s Spirit was in Joseph >>

- The Breath of Life  (Hb. Nĕshamah (nesh•ä•mä') H5397; Breath of God)
o Genesis 2 : 7
 “And the LORD 3068 God 430 formed 3335 man 120 [of] the dust 6083 of 4480 the ground 127, and breathed 5301 into his nostrils 639 the breath5397 of life 2416; and man 120 became a living 2416 soul 5315.”

 Job 33 : 4
“The Spirit 7307 of God 410 hath made 6213 me, and the breath5397 of the Almighty 7706 hath given me life 2421 .”

o Psalm 33 : 6

 Ruwach (rü'•akh (note “short a”) H7307; breath, wind, spirit
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”  (NKJV)
 “The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.”  (NLT)

The Holy Spirit :
 He is – The Spirit of God
 He is – The Breath of Life
 He is – The Helper
 He is – The Comforter
 He is – God the Holy Spirit

He is not simply a “force”, impersonal and unfeeling.
He has a mind, a will, and emotions.

The Holy Spirit can be grieved (emotions).

- And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4 : 30)

The Holy Spirit decides (mind) who will receive spiritual gifting (will).

- The question is not can the Holy Spirit give someone a miraculous gift. Scripture affirms this truth.  Even in the 21st century, we acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is free to dispense gifts according to His will (1 Corinthians 12 : 7 - 11).

That’s who and what the Holy Spirit is, He is God the Holy Spirit.

God the Holy Spirit, according to the words of God the Son (Jesus Christ), is:
- the One who teaches us ALL things
- the One who reminds of the Word of God  everything that Jesus has spoken to us
John 14 : 26
o 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

A. When / How do we receive the Holy Spirit?

1. The receiving / indwelling of the Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation.
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be defined as that work whereby the Spirit of God places the believer into union with Christ and into union with other believers in the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation.

2. The filling of the Spirit is an ongoing process in the Christian life.
How can I be filled with the Spirit?
The permanent indwelling of the Spirit is not for a select few believers, but rather for all believers. This is in contrast to the commanded filling of the Spirit found in Ephesians 5 : 18.
Ephesians 5 : 18  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, (NKJV)

B. Why should I receive the Holy Spirit?

1. You Need Him
a. Jesus said He will teach us ALL things (what we need to know to live)
b. Jesus said He will remind us of His Word  (what we need to have/possess to live)
c. Jesus said He will AID us (divinely) in life   (as Helper/Comforter)
- Including the granting of spiritual gifts   (1 Corinthians 12 : 7 - 11)

2. He Wants to Connect With You – FOREVER
a. His Presence in our Hearts is a part of our Eternal Salvation (John 3 : 3)
b. He Regenerates Us; He Causes Us Upon Salvation to be BORN AGAIN (Breath of Life)

Many Christians have an unbiblical perception of the Holy Spirit.
Some understand the Holy Spirit as a power or force given to us from God – This is not Biblical.

Remember, Pneumatology teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a Person:
- with a mind,
- with emotions, and
- with a will.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus' "replacement" on earth (John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7).

The Holy Spirit is received at salvation (Romans 8:9) and is the permanent possession of every believer in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Pneumatology helps us to understand these issues and recognize the Biblical roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives today.  Pneumatology is of immense benefit to the Christian.

- In the pages of Scripture, we come face to face with the third Person of the trinity, God himself in spirit, and we see His very personal and intimate ministry to us.

- Through Him, we come to know God’s love for us “because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

- To understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to find joy in His role as our Comforter (John 16:7; Acts 9:31) who not only helps and comforts us, but who comes to our rescue when our hearts are so burdened we cannot even pray for relief (Romans 8:26).

- When we pursue the knowledge of the Holy Spirit we find, to our great delight, that He not only lives within us, but He does so forever, never to leave or forsake us (John 14:16). All these truths are burned into our hearts when we study and embrace Pneumatology.

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on May 6th, 2012

THE WORD – God Cannot Be Separated from His Word

2 Timothy 3 : 10 – 17  NKJV
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible is the Word of God.
 
There is an increasing move afoot to separate God from the Holy Bible.
 
In this move, a move involving unbelievers and some who profess to be Christians,

- They say that The Bible IS NOT the Word of God
- They say that The Bible CAN NOT BE the Word of God
- They say that The Bible, as a whole, promotes HATE, MURDER, CLASSISM, SEXISM, WAR, BIGOTRY
 
- They say that God, IF He is who they believe God to be as they understand the Scriptures, CAN NOT be connected to many of the ideas and doctrines found in the Bible.
 
- They say that God is LOVE, and love does not tell a people to go to war with another people.
- They say that God is TRANSCENDENT ONLY, and is completely uninvolved in the affairs of you and I.
- They say that God created all people, and would never require a person to change because of their gender preference or lifestyle, because after all, God made me that way. 
 
THE BIBLE SAYS IT’S WORDS ARE FROM GOD  (v. 16)   
 
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
 
The Word is God-Breathed (ruach = Holy Spirit)
God says I Cannot Be Separated from My Word because it came from me. 
Scripture:       graphē pronounced " grä-fā' "     =          A Writing, Thing Written Down
Scripture:       The "All Scripture" referred to verse 16 AT THE TIME the Apostle Paulspoke was what we call the Old Testament

The WORD OF GOD is BREATHED by God and also BENEFICIAL.

THE BIBLE IS BENEFICIAL 
 
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
 
Profitable (dōphelimos pronounced “ō-fe'-lē-mos” =  PROFITABLE (NKJV))

We BENEFIT through FAITH in the Word of God and its consistent application to our daily living.

ALL that is spiritually beneficial to us HAS TO COME FROM GOD

God does not list anything of material benefit in this list. 


Profitable (dōphelimos pronounced “ō-fe'-lē-mos” =  PROFITABLE (NKJV))
For (pros  pronounced “pro's”   =   communicates the idea that this fits with that)  
Doctrine      fits with Profitable   =   Teaching & instruction of the elders of the Faith
Reproof       fits with Profitable   =   Conviction of One’s Sinfulness
Correction   fits with Profitable   =   Correction, improvement of life or character
Instruction  fits with Profitable   =   Instruction which aims at increasing virtue in thinking,
in Righteousness                                feeling, and acting - by correcting mistakes and curbing passions as you walk with God. 
 
The Bible is Beneficial AND It's Benefits Come from the God who is Sovereign, able to BE Judge and Savior of Our Souls.  When we maximize the profitability of our connection with God's Word, we can become whole.

THE BIBLE ENABLES US TO BECOME WHOLE in GOD 
 
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

COMPLETE  (dōphelimos pronounced “ō-fe'-lē-mos” =  PROFITABLE (NKJV))
-  Complete = Lacking Nothing
-  Complete = Fully Equipped
-  I can become COMPLETE through Faith in Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 3 : 10 – 15  NKJV
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD.
 
It is LIKELY that someone who does not KNOW GOD would be capable in their mind and heart of separating God from His Word.
 
If You know Him, you know that the Bible is His Word TO US (humanity).


by Pastor Derrick Jackson on April 22nd, 2012

THE WORD – The Word IMPACTS!
Genesis 1 : 1 – 13  KJV
  
Unlike humanity, THE WORD CREATES SOMETHING FROM NOTHING. And When the WORD GOES FORTH, it makes AN IMPACT!
 
There’s at least three (3) ways that THE WORD makes an impact:

1)  THE WORD CONVERTS Chaos into Order (v. 2)    
Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

2)  THE WORD CREATES (v. 3 – 9) 
Genesis 1:3
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:4
And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:5
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:6
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:7
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
Genesis 1:8
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 1:9
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.

3)  THE WORD SATISFIES (v. 10 – 13) 
Genesis 1:10
And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.
Genesis 1:11
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Genesis 1:12
And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
Genesis 1:13
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
 
THE WORD IMPACTS!
 
PSALM 139
God’s Perfect Knowledge of Man
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 ​​You know my sitting down and my rising up;  You understand my thought afar off.
3 ​​You comprehend my path and my lying down,  And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 ​​For there is not a word on my tongue,  ​​But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 ​​You have hedged me behind and before,  ​​And laid Your hand upon me.
6 ​​Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;  ​​It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 ​​Where can I go from Your Spirit?  ​​Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 ​​If I ascend into heaven, You are there;  ​​If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 ​​If I take the wings of the morning,  ​​And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 ​​Even there Your hand shall lead me,  ​​And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 ​​If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall [fn1] on me,” ​​Even the night shall be light about me;
12 ​​Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, ​​But the night shines as the day;
​​The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

13 ​​For You formed my inward parts;  ​​You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 ​​I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; [fn2]
​​Marvelous are Your works,  ​​And that my soul knows very well.
 
- Darkness is symbolic of evil.
 
- When the WORD GOES FORTH, it deals with the darkness!
 
4)  THE WORD REVEALS That Which the Darkness Covers (v. 2) 
Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
 
- Darkness (H2822 choshek (khō·shek') - "darkness")
- THE WORD EXPOSES that which already exists - it REVEALS it.
          - The Scripture says in verse 2: "And the earth was without form,
          and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep.
          And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
 
- Without Form (H8414 tohuw (tō'·hü) - "no form, no life, AN EMPTY PLACE")        
                - Job 26 : 7
                         - He stretcheth out the north over the empty place,
                   [and] hangeth the earth upon nothing.
                - Jeremiah 4 : 23
                        - I beheld 7200 the earth 776, and, lo, [it was] without form 8414,
                    and void922; and the heavens 8064, and they [had] no light 216.
 
- And Void (H922 bohuw (bō'·hü) - "emptiness, NO ABUNDANCE")
 
- Let the WORD come in and expose that which already exists in your life, in your environment.
                - Let the Word expose your empty places
                - Jeremiah 4 : 23
                        - I beheld 7200 the earth 776, and, lo, [it was] without form 8414,
                   and void922; and the heavens 8064, and they [had] no light 216.
                   WHY? Because wherever the WORD SHOWS, the SPIRIT GOES.
 
- Face (H6440 paniym (pä·nēm') - "the face / presence")  
                - Genesis 1 : 2
                   - And the earth 776 was 1961 without form 8414, and void 922;
                   and darkness 2822 [was] upon the face6440 of the deep 8415.
                   And the Spirit 7307 of God 430 moved 7363 upon 5921 the face6440
                   of the waters 4325.
 
- Deep (H8415 tĕhowm (teh·hōm') - "the DEEP") 
                - Genesis 1 : 2
                   - And the earth 776 was 1961 without form 8414, and void 922;
                   and darkness 2822 [was] upon the face6440 of the deep 8415.
                   And the Spirit 7307 of God 430 moved 7363 upon 5921 the face6440
                   of the waters 4325.
 
- The WORD reveals that which the DARKNESS Covers.
 
- The WORD makes an IMPACT on our Knowledge of that which the DARKNESS Covers.
 
- The WORD makes an IMPACT on the DARKNESS itself.


5)  THE WORD CONTROLS the Darkness (v. 3 - 5)
Genesis 1:3
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:4
And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:5
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
 
- Darkness could not remain where LIGHT appeared.
 
- Darkness had to be separated from the LIGHT in order to continue to exist. (read v. 4)

 
THE WORD IMPACTS!
 
THE WORD CONVERTS Chaos into Order.
 
THE WORD CREATES.
 
THE WORD SATISFIES.
 
THE WORD REVEALS That Which the Darkness Covers.
 
THE WORD CONTROLS the Darkness.
 
But we must LET THE WORD OF GOD IN - Read It, Revere It, and Run With It – FOR LIFE.
 
 
 
 

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on April 1st, 2012

The Triumphal Entry
Jesus Rides into Jerusalem

story found in the Holy Bible in Matthew 21 : 1 - 11 (Mark 11:1–10; Luke 19:28–40; John 12:12–19 )

Matthew 21 : 1 - 11  NKJV
1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For every Christian community, Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem - marking the commencement or the beginning of His faithful weeklong journey to the cross.  Palm Sunday on the Christian calendar coincides with the week leading to the Passover celebration on the Jewish calendar.  These days remind Christians of our connection with the Jewish faith and how both faith traditions look for God’s in-breaking in human affairs by the Messiah.  Palm Sunday demonstrates how no amount of oppression can dash the hopes of a people who believe that their King will come.

The ministry of Jesus Christ and His Supernatural Power challenged and upset the powerful of His day.  Jesus’ prophetic parade into Jerusalem was a celebratory critique of the status quo of the empire and the corruption of the sacred.  At the time of Jesus' triumphal entry, the great political power of the day was the Roman Empire.  The religious elite in Israel oversaw the Jewish system of worship.  Jesus entered into Jerusalem triumphantly, yet humbly, to show the powers that be that He was AND IS the True King.

Pasted above, the Gospel writer Matthew tells us in Matthew Chapter 21 that as Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the people paved the streets with their clothing and cried out, “Hosanna” or “Save Now.”  Jesus riding a donkey, symbolic of peace, and having his way paved with palm branches is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.  On Palm Sunday, millions of Christians from every corner of the globe enact this biblical moment in salvation history by distributing and waving palm branches in the air.  Many preachers are found on this day encouraging the people to exclaim, “Ride on King Jesus, no man can a-hinder me.”

This is the Story of Palm Sunday.

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on March 4th, 2012

SOURCE: God's Holy Day Plan. "Are God's Holy Days Relevant Today?"  United Church of God. 22 May 2010. < http://www.ucg.org/booklets/HD/relevanttoday.asp >


Are God's Holy Days Relevant Today?

When God begins something in this present age of mankind, He nearly always starts small. In Matthew 13:33 Jesus Christ compared God's Kingdom to both a mustard seed and leaven. Both analogies start with something small that expands into something much larger. Similarly, God called only a relatively few people in Old Testament times who were willing to follow His ways.

The biblical record shows that, early in the account spoken of in the Bible, only a few people decided to obey God. However, early patriarchs including Abel, Enoch and Noah did respond to the revelation of God's plan of salvation (Matthew 23:35). After the great flood of Noah's time, God found He could work with Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Of God's obedient people of those times, Hebrews 11:13 says they "all died in faith" with the sure knowledge that they would gain eternal life (verse 40).

We should note that the plan for providing eternal life was already at work in the lives of these early people of God. The plan did not start with a covenant God made with ancient Israel; nor did it start with Jesus' earthly ministry.

God loved the world so much "that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God's love in giving His Son continued His plan of salvation from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 13:8). The blueprint of the Holy Days would reveal in due time the plan God had designed from the very beginning. These festival observances were not just a cosmic afterthought.
With Abraham's family we see God beginning to reveal the good news about His plan of salvation (Galatians 3:8). Genesis 26:3-4 identifies specific blessings God promised to Abraham and Abraham's descendants. The Creator pledged to bestow them "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (verse 5). Perhaps this is why the Bible calls Abraham "the friend of God" and "the father of all those who believe" (James 2:23; Romans 4:11; Genesis 18:17-19).

A nation singled out

Abraham's descendants grew into a mighty nation (Genesis 18:18). They were named after Jacob, the grandson of Abraham whose name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). After settling in Egypt, before long they became slaves (Exodus 1). The story of God's deliverance from their bondage and His delivering of people today is part of the intricately woven fabric of God's festivals.

In due time the Creator set in motion a series of events that illustrated for the Israelites His plan as depicted in the Holy Day observances and led to their freedom from slavery in Egypt. When Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh, they told the Egyptian ruler that the God of Israel commanded him to "let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness" (Exodus 5:1).
Moses and Aaron had earlier called for the elders of Israel to assemble and had explained to them God's plan to deliver them (Exodus 3:16-18). Then Moses and his brother, Aaron, performed a series of God-directed miracles in sight of the people (Exodus 4:29-30). As a result, the Israelites (although they later faltered) believed God would deliver them and fulfill His covenant with Abraham, as He had promised (Exodus 4:31; 6:4-8).

What followed was ancient Israel's first Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Much later the New Testament Church kept these same days as a reminder of Christians' deliverance through Jesus Christ. For instance, Paul told members of the Church at Corinth-both Jews and gentiles-that they should be "unleavened," or without sin, because "Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). In the next verse Paul said, "Therefore let us keep the feast," referring to the same festival God had instituted in ancient Israel many centuries before.

The Holy Days in the New Testament

From Jesus' earliest childhood years, He observed the Holy Days with His parents. "His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover," Luke 2:41 tells us. The following verses describe Jesus, at age 12, engaging the theologians of His day in a spirited discussion during this festival season (verses 42-48). Clearly, He astonished these religious leaders with His understanding and insight. John writes of Jesus continuing to observe the annual Holy Days as an adult during His ministry (John 2:23; 4:45).

In one of the most instructive examples, Jesus risked His personal safety to attend two of the festivals, the annual Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day (John 7:1-2, 7-10, 14). "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, [which] those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39).

Many churches believe that the apostle Paul fundamentally changed the way Christians are to worship. This notion assumes Paul taught gentiles that observance of the Holy Days was unnecessary. Although some of his writings were difficult to understand, even by his contemporaries (2 Peter 3:15-16), Paul's explicit statements and actions contradict any notion that he annulled or abolished Holy Day observance.

In 1 Corinthians 11:1-2, for example, Paul told his followers to "imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ," and "keep the traditions as I delivered them to you." A few verses later he explained: "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me'" (verses 23-24).

If Paul's practice had not been to observe the Holy Days, his comments to the Jews and gentiles in Corinth would have been meaningless. Clearly, evidence is lacking that Paul ever discouraged anyone from keeping the annual festivals; such a notion would have been for him unthinkable (Acts 24:12-14; 25:7-8; 28:17).

On the contrary, the biblical record of Paul's ministry repeatedly depicts the Holy Days as important observances, milestones in his life. For example, he told the Ephesians that "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem" (Acts 18:21). In Acts 20:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:8 we find Paul arranging his travel schedule to accommodate the Feast of Pentecost. In Acts 27:9 Luke, Paul's companion in his travels, referred to the time of year as after "the Fast," a reference to the Day of Atonement.

The Expositor's Bible Commentary, in a reference to Acts 20:6, notes that Paul, unable to arrive at Jerusalem for the Passover, "remained at Philippi to celebrate it and the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread ..." (Richard N. Longenecker, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1981, Vol. 9, p. 507). Regarding Acts 20:16, the same commentary notes that Paul "wanted, if at all possible, to get to Jerusalem for Pentecost on the fiftieth day after Passover ..." (p. 510).

Paul's ministry included observing the Holy Days with the Church. In defending the gospel he preached, Paul said he brought the same message the other apostles taught: "Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed" (1 Corinthians 15:11).

Paul and all the apostles taught a consistent message of the Christian's obligation to follow the example of Jesus Christ in all matters. The apostle John, who wrote near the close of the first century, summed up this message: "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:6).

Jewish believers continued to uphold the Holy Days, as did gentile Christians (see "Colossians 2:16 Shows Gentile Christians Kept the Holy Days" ). From all these references we can conclude only that the practice of the early Church was to continue the observance of these God-given festivals, the first of which is the Passover.


by Pastor Derrick Jackson on February 5th, 2012

Wisdom – Makes You Extraordinary

Luke 2 : 21, 25 – 32, 36 – 40, 41 – 52 (52)  NKJV
 
Christ Born of Mary

The Birth and Childhood of Jesus
(Matt. 1:18–25 )
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
 
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 ​​“Glory to God in the highest,
​​And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
 
Circumcision of Jesus
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
 
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD” ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
 
Simeon Sees God’s Salvation
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 ​​“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
​​According to Your word;
30 ​​For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 ​​Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 ​​A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
​​And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
 
Anna Bears Witness to the Redeemer
36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
 
The Family Returns to Nazareth
39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit,  filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
 
The Boy Jesus Amazes the Scholars
41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
 
Jesus Advances in Wisdom and Favor
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.


Wisdom is not synonymous with age.

Wisdom is synonymous with possessing the Living Spirit of God on the inside.

Wisdom is synonymous with possessing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
Throughout this chapter, we see Jesus Christ as a baby then as One who has begun adolescence.

We see Jesus in verses 41 through 52 as the Boy who is now age 12, yet He is allowed to join the men in the temple.
 
One authority on Jewish culture
(http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&no=269777&rel_no=1) stated that boys during this time in antiquity, became adults at age 13. It's a tradition that dates before the time of Jesus Christ, more than 2,000 years ago, when life expectation was very short. In that time, people were expected to live only 30 or 35 years. That's why a generation is counted each 25 years today.

Then, at age 13, a boy had lived about half of his life, so he was expected to have children (procreate). Even among Jews in Brazil, girls were married at 14 and 15 years old until recently. For women, life was very short because many died during childbirth. Until 13 and 12 years old, boys and girls respectively, don't need to follow the orders of religion.

Girls are considered to come of age at 12 years old, although there is no ceremony to certify this. For Jewish boys, they must go through what is known as a Bar Mitzvah (Bar is "man" and "Mitzvah" means obligation to be a provider).

According Jewish tradition, a religious ceremony takes place marking the obligation of someone to be considered as adult. This happens on Saturdays, a day dedicated to reading of the scriptures in the Torah.

At a synagogue, the boy being honored reads a part of the Torah. The day doesn't have to be the boy's birthday, but it should be after he turns 13 years old. After reading the Torah, he can be considered an adult for religious purposes and be allowed to read the Torah at other times. A party usually follows the ceremony. The ritual is conducted by Jewish people from each country, not only Brazil.
 
For girls, there is an event -- not a religious ceremony -- called Bat Mitzvah ("Bat" means "girl"). It doesn't register with the Jewish liturgy, but it became popular in the last 30 years so that boys and girls can both have parties. During a Bat Mitzvah, girls from 12 to 14 years old perform music and Jewish dances.

The model was inspired by debutante parties, where girls are officially presented to society in the Occidental world. There isn't any obligation assumed by a girl at a Bat Mitzvah. The Jewish orthodox people don't promote Bat Mitzvahs, but liberal groups have embraced them.

For boys and girls, these events are prepared through lots of studying. To many children who study in the Jewish educational system, this is their first contact with Jewish religion and tradition.

The Bar Mitzvah is necessary to be considered Jewish. In the Talmud, the Jewish book of laws, it says age 13 is the ideal age to marry; between 16 and 24 years old is the age to work; and from 20 years old is the best age to sustain a family.T

The boy Jesus shows us how wisdom make us extraordinary.
 
1.     LISTEN - Listen to the People that Possess Wisdom (v. 46)   

Wise People in God are Extraordinary.
Wise People "of the World" are Ordinary in God's Sight – they don’t possess the Mind of Christ .
 
2.     ASK QUESTIONS - Seek to Learn from the People that Know God (v. 46 ) 

RESULTS: Wisdom-filled understanding and answers (v. 47)
 
3.     SUBMIT (v. 49 – 51 (51))

Submit to Your Elders (parents, Christian mentors)
Submit to the Word of God

RESULTS
Growth in Wisdom (Sophia  so-fē'-ä  (G4678); human wisdom) and
Stature (hēlikia  hā-lē-kē'-ä  (G2244); physical height).
                               
Application of the Wisdom of God results in Extraordinary Growth in BOTH Spiritual AND Physical Capacities.
 

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on January 14th, 2012

Proverbs 8 : 22 – 36  NKJV

22 “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; [fn2]
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”

2012 DFC Theme: “The B.E.S.T.” (Growing in God, Fiscally Sound, Spiritually Stable)

WISDOM

God speaks to us today in His Written Word and He says,
I am the Source of Wisdom.
I AM Wisdom.
Wisdom = The Gospel = The Revelation that God has provided salvation for mankind through the expiatory death of the Messiah Yeshua, Jesus Christ.

God IS Wisdom,
Consequently, wisdom is found in God.
Moreover, wisdom is found in Jesus Christ.

As we embark upon our journey in the Wisdom of the Scriptures, God gives us the following tools to take with us on our journey:


1. Christ Jesus became to us wisdom from God.   1 Corinthians 1 : 30
2. All the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Jesus Christ.   Colossians 2 : 3
3. God can give us a divine gift to speak this wisdom.   1 Corinthians 12 : 8
4. This wisdom has opposition.   Colossians 2 : 4 – 10

1 Corinthians 1 : 30  NKJV
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

Colossians 2 : 1 – 3  KJV
Col 2:1
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and [for] them at Laodicea, and [for] as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
Col 2:2
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Col 2:3
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 12 : 8  KJV
1Cr 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

Colossians 2 : 4 – 10 NKJV
4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Just like Christ, Wisdom is everlasting.

1. Wisdom is Jesus Christ

a. Wisdom, Jesus Christ, was BEFORE Creation.   Proverbs 8 : 22 – 26

Wisdom, Jesus Christ, preceded everything that you can see and cannot see.
Wisdom, Jesus Christ, preceded everything that can and will affect your life.
Nothing is Superior to Wisdom.

b. Wisdom, Jesus Christ, was AT Creation.   Proverbs 8 : 27 – 31

Wisdom, Jesus Christ, made everything that you can see and cannot see.
Proverbs 8 : 30

AS MASTER CRAFTSMAN,
Wisdom, Jesus Christ, made everything that can and will affect your life.
All the Laws of Universe and of Creation are IN GOD.   Proverbs 8 : 27 – 29

AS GOD THE SON,
Wisdom, Jesus Christ, was filled with joy.   Proverbs 8 : 30 – 31
God is overjoyed with mankind when we look like that which He originally created.

Because Wisdom is Jesus Christ, He says, “LISTEN TO ME.”   Proverbs 8 : 32

2. We Follow Wisdom -> We Have Wisdom -> We Have Jesus -> We Have God’s Blessing

The Lord Jesus Christ, WISDOM, says to us:
OBSERVE/FOLLOW In My Course of Action   Proverbs 8 : 32b

HOW?

BE  A LISTENER and Not Just A Hearer   Proverbs 8 : 33  -> “BE”  WISE

WATCHING 

Keep Watch/Stand Guard at the Thresholds   Isaiah 6 : 4
-  The Thresholds are our Ears, Eyes, Mouth.
-  Our Bodies are His Temple, His Dwelling Place.   1 Corinthians 6 : 19

WAITING
Keep Watch/Stand Guard at the Doorposts
-  The Doorposts are Our Hearts   Matthew 12 : 34
- Jesus Stands at the Door and Knocks   Revelation 3 : 20
Revelation 3 : 20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

EMBRACING
Those who follow the wisdom of God have his blessings.
His BLESSINGS = Our Possession
a. We have His Wisdom   Proverbs 8 : 34
b. We Have Life   Proverbs 8 : 35
c. We Have the Lord’s Favor   Proverbs 8 :35
d. We Have Peace   Proverbs 8 : 36

Jesus Christ is God’s Wisdom to Us.

by Pastor Derrick Jackson on November 30th, 2011

Who Started Christmas?

Author unknown

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A woman was Christmas shopping with her two children.

After many hours of walking down row after row of toys and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the store elevator with her two children in hand.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened revealing a crowd in the car. She pushed her way in and dragged her two kids and all her bags of stuff in with her .

As the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and blurted out, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot."

From the back of the car, a quiet calm voice responded, "Don't worry, we've already crucified Him."

The rest of the trip down was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.


Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all would, just think how much better this world would be.

Jesus is the reason for the season. Wise men still seek Him.


Christmas Links. "Who Started Christmas?" Kjos Ministries. 30 Nov 2011. < http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/stories/started-christmas.htm >