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Christ's Personal Touch
Christ was there in creation to be close to us. We can see in vs. 7: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." This was a close, personal touch. We are formed clay. The word picture in the original language is a potter at his wheel forming a vessel. I never paid much attention to it before, but Roger Lee brought this to my attention a couple of years ago. We were walking across the parking lot, and out of the blue Roger said, "I've been thinking about something, and you know what? Man is the only part of God's creation that He touched to create."
Everything else came into being solely through the spoken word of God. But God came close in a special way to create mankind. God got His Hands dirty, so to speak.
We see this again in vs. 21-22, when God created Eve:
21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
I like that personal touch of God bringing her to the man. That was the Lord. It was the pre-incarnate Christ. And He didn't have to do any of that. I am sure that He could have spoken man into existence just like He did the rest of His universe. But the Lord wanted that close, personal touch. Christ was there to be close to us.
When I was in my first year of ministry, I walked into our District preachers meeting at the same time as Bobbie Potter, who was pastor of Munholland UMC in Old Metairie. He asked if I preach last Sunday which I did. Then he asked, "What did you ask them to commit to?" I said I didn't ask them to commit to anything. He then said, "Every time you preach, you need to ask the people to commit to something." I disagreed.
And I was wrong. I think that's the attitude in worship. We show up as we are, do the worship thing, and expect to leave undisturbed, the same person we were when we arrived. God always calls to make a greater and even deeper commitment of our lives to him when we come to worship Him.
In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. "He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser’s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, ’It’s all right, bishop, I’ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!’"
Our Daily Bread
Judging others isn’t easy.
In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. "He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser’s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very ...
CHARACTER: PROTOTYPE PLUS PNEUMATIC FORCE
Jesus is the very imprint or prototype of God’s essential reality. The word used in the Greek here is pronounced "kah-rahk-TEER" (sometimes "kah-rahk-TAYR") and it is the word from which we get "character." In the original Greek usage, it meant an imprint or reproduction of what something or someone looked like. The image of an emperor or king was imprinted on coins to show by what authority the money had been minted and the stamp, die, or press that enabled the image to appear in the metal was the "character."
I remember working in a tool and die shop when I was in college. Aluminum in a roll would reel through these giant machines and great pneumatic engines would thrust a die down into the unformed metal—cutting, shaping, and bending the raw metal into the washers, gaskets, louvers, and grills we made for aircraft. Yes, even this guy in front of you was allowed to work the little punch press machine that made washers used in the Apollo space program. And yes, before you smart-alecks make a comment about what a crummy mechanic I am, they MIGHT have gone on the Apollo 11. But it was amazing! These machines would force the impress down upon the metal and out would come a product conformed to the design.
Now, bear with me. Character could also refer to a tooled prototype that served as a model for the Greek and Roman craftsman to build or sculpt something. By measuring their work against the character, the prototype, the essential design, they were able to build an accurate construction.
In the same way, it is only as we open our lives up to the influence of the PERSON of Jesus Christ that we are able to conceive of what God wants from us. He is the prototype of what God wants a person to be, the metric against which we are measured. So, when we fail, we are able to let our Creator (Jeremiah’s potter) as we know God in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit keep shaving off the problems to make us conform to the prototype, the character of Jesus.
But we can’t follow the prototype alone. We can’t manage the transformation needed to be what God wants us to be by ourselves. We need the pneumatic force of God’s Presence in the Holy Spirit to conform us to God’s Will. And when we allow that to happen, we actually begin to take on the shape of "sons" of God who are becoming and acting more according to the character of the Son of God.
A familiar story tells of an old Scotsman who operated a rowboat to transport passengers. On one oar he had written the word Faith, while the other bore the word Works. The point of the story, of course, is that pulling on either oar alone would simply make on...
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5
1 Chronicles 10:1-10:1
1 Chronicles 10:1-10:1
1 Chronicles 10:1-10:1
Hi guys…this isn’t easy for me to get up here and speak in front of you. I am a kindergarten teacher and do much better speaking to 5 year olds then teenagers. But God impressed on my heart to tell you my story so here it is…
I was about 14 years old, just starting high school, when I made the decision to save myself for marriage. Having grown up in church I knew that it was the right thing to do. I felt very strongly about waiting for my husband and even though all of my friends felt differently they always respected my decision. Even my guy friends respected how I felt, however they always tried to get me to change my mind As the years went by, I watched as my friends dated guys, slept with them and then broke up.
I remember listening to my friend Pam as she cried her eyes out when she found out she was diagnosed with HPV, an incurable STD she got from a guy she hardly knew. I begged my best friend not to go through with her abortion when she got pregnant but she refused my help. I remember looking into my friend Rebecca’s eyes as she lay on a hospital bed at South Oaks recovering from her suicide attempt. She tried to kill herself b/c her boyfriend she gave her virginity to had broken up with her for another girl.
It confirmed to me that I had made the right decision. These guys didn’t really care for these girls, mostly they just used them. It became “known” that I was a virgin and wasn’t one of those girls. I kinda liked that. It made me different from everyone else. And when people would ask me why, I would be able to tell them about my relationship with God and how he wants us to wait until marriage and how I wanted to do that for him.
I would tell myself…until a guy is willing to get up in front of my family, his family and God and promise to love me forever, he didn’t deserve me. It was that simple. My mom always told me that I would be the one the guys would remember, not the 10 other girls he slept with. He would remember me b/c I wouldn’t sleep with him And I can tell you today that my mother was right. Years later when I ran into old boyfriends or even just my guy friends they would always say there was something different about you – you weren’t like the other girls. They may not have known it at the time but in a way they respected me and realized later on why.
Well, high school came and went. I had boyfriends, some waited and respected my decision and some didn’t. College came and went, more boyfriends some waited, some didn’t. When I turned 25, I realized I had dated all these guys and not one was worthy, not one was the one that God had for me. I was so thankful that even though I may have wasted some time and went through a lot of heartache, I was faithful to God and did not give away my virginity. I was still waiting to give that gift to my husband. I promised God I would stop dating and just wait. Wait for the one he had for me.
Well, about a year and half went by and I was still waiting. Now I was starting to get worried Here I am a 26 year old virgin Did I really wait all these years and now I’m still waiting? My patience was running out…I had read so many books on how to be single – I just couldn’t read one more book I would joke around with God and say when is he going to walk through those church doors? I can’t wait anymore
Well, it was Sunday July 11, 2004 when this gorgeous guy comes walking through the church doors. As soon as I saw him I fell in love. The moment we met I just knew that he was the one. God had promised me that he would confirm it to me and he did. The very first time we hung out it was amazing. All the questions, all the doubts they just went away. I looked at this man in the eyes and I could say I waited for you You’re the one And to know that God was in it, that he had planned for this day to happen was incredible.
I can tell you it is so amazing to give this gift to your husband. You loved him so much before you even knew him to save yourself just for him. I have some pictures to show you from our wedding that took place this summer. We were married on July 7th almost exactly 2 years after we met, in the Bahamas. Pastor Todd married us and this is the day that I waited for
I have a prayer I would like to share with you. It is a prayer that helped me through my waiting period. When I met my husband, I showed him this prayer. He was so honored to see how much I loved him and how I prayed for him before we even met one another. I hope you guys make this your prayer tonight.
“Lord God, your Word declares that if I delight myself in you—if I enjoy and seek your pleasure above mine—you’ll give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). Desiring a husband is neither evil nor selfish because marriage is honorable (Hebrews 13:4). At the beginning of creation, you proclaimed, "It is not good that man should be alone" and then you created Eve to be a suitable partner for Adam (Genesis 2:18).
In the name of Jesus, I ask that you would protect the husband—a suitable partner—you have chosen for me. Because the covenant of marriage is sacred ...