Pastor Marv's Blog

#ILoveMyChurch

I Love My Church BoiseCentral holds a lot of memories for us all. Some great, some sentimental, some sad, and some humorous but we all have them. What we want to do over these last few months in our current location, as we prepare for our new location, is to remember all the wonderful things that have happened in our lives here at 12000 Fairview Ave. WE don’t want to forget what God has done in our lives but at the same time we don’t want to forget that we are still on a journey in which God is leading us to new ground, new territory, new miracles, and new life stories that we will be able to look back on 10, 20, 40 years from now with just as much fondness as we look now to the 10, 20 and 40 years previous.

So we want to have you post your pictures and your memories of the LIFE that has taken place here at Central Assembly over the last 40 years on Facebook, Instagram and twitter. We want you to let the world know that you love your church and we want you to share with them some of the significant moments in your own life that have been connected to this wonderful place we call church. We want you to let the world laugh, smile, and reminisce with you as you point them to the life that has been lived to the full with your family; your church family.

BUT when you do post your pictures, videos, thoughts and memories, we want you to make sure you tag us in those pictures and posts so that we will be sure to see them and it will allow us to share them with others as well. You can do this by posting directly to our page (search boisecentral) on facebook or just tagging tagging us in your photos and posts using “boisecentral” on your facebook page. You can also do so by using "@Boisecentral” on twitter and Instagram. We would also ask you to use the hash tag #ilovemychurch and #boisecentral when you are posting as this will give us another way of seeing your memories and allow us to share in them with you.

Each week we will have a theme that will be the focus of our posting. Whether that is “Weddings” or “Youth Ministry Mayhem” or Maranatha Memories what we want you to do is post your thoughts and pictures specific to that category. Each week we will put a new category forward. So each week we will have new material to remember, share, laugh, smile, and maybe even cry about a little bit, but each week it will be connected to the same general topic.

We love our church, and I know that you do to. We can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your favorite memories. We hope that you will share and share often about the great things that God has done in your life at this location but we also encourage you to use these testimonies as fuel to stoke the fires of excitement and anticipation for the memories to come.

Feel free to share thoughts from previous weeks themes if you were unable to during the weeks they were scheduled. But Lets let our city know that we LOVE OUR CHURCH

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZWK-Tv0tXM[/embed]

List of weekly themes / Memory Ideas

Feb 22 – Week 1

  •  First real memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 1 – Week 2

  • Craziest / Funniest memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 8 – Week 3

  • Youth Group / Camp Memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 15 – Week 4

  • Children’s Ministry Memories (photos or thoughts)

Mar 22 – Week 5

  • Baby Dedication memories (photos or thoughts)

Mar 29 – Week 6

  • Weddings (photos or thoughts)

Apr 5 – Week 7

  • Power of God Memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 12 – Week 8

  • Maranatha / school related Memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 19 – Week 9

  • Favorite school/church production memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 26 – Week 10

  • Funeral Memories (photos or thoughts)

May 3 – Week 11

  • Funniest Moments (photos or thoughts)

May 10 – Week 12

  • Your choice / Miscellaneous (photos or thoughts)

May 17 – Week 13

  • Love Center Memory (photos or thoughts)

May 24 – Week 14

  • Absolute favorite memory (photos or thoughts)

May 31 – Week 15

  • Favorite Memory from the 70’s and 80’s (photos or thoughts)

June 7 – Week 16

  • Favorite Memory from the 90”s and 00’s (photos or thoughts)

June 14 – Week 17

- Memories I’m looking forward to making at our New Campus. (Thoughts)

Shine Your Love

The word church has changed in meaning over time from it's original intent . In Mt 16:18 Jesus declared that he would build his church. During Jesus' ministry he never built any buildings. The church is not a building. The church is a people that have received the revelation from God that Jesus is the son of God. And Jesus has equipped his people/his church with power and authority. God has called his people/his church to go out and to be the light of the world. Shine your love. Shine Your Love

What Causes You To Get Your Praise On?

This weeks message from Pastor Marv was one that is sure to get you excited and fired up. What causes you to get your praise on is a question that each of us should ask ourselves from a very honest and open place. For example, do we find that we praise and get excited, only for the fleeting moments of sporting accomplishments or does our praise for our creator and father in heaven drive us to be people of worship and praise outside the arena of competition? How and where we find ourselves praising (and sometimes in a very fanatical way) tells us a lot about what and who we find to be important.

Take some time this week to reflect on these kind of questions and watch as you find yourself getting your praise on in new and exciting ways.

Get Your Praise On

My Next Step Today Is:

-  This week I will revisit/re-read Luke 19:28-44

-  I will be somebody who gives God praise in every circumstance

-  I will actively work to stretch myself and become an extravagant praiser.

-  EXTRA CREDIT: I will step out of my comfort zone and give a joyful shout to the Lord this week.

GO - Part 1

GO Dove We started our GO series this week as we take a look at the inception of the church and its mission to the the world. Pastor Marv delivered a great message that is sure to encourage and challenge you. If you were unable to be with us this week, we hope you will find some time to hear this wonderful message.

The first 10 minutes of todays recording will also be a blessing to you as we have our recently returned team from Guatemala share about their missions trip.

And we would also like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving this week!

GO Part 1

Light Up The Sky

Daily Bible CoverIn today's reading a Pharisee is asking Jesus when the kingdom of God will come. After answering the Pharisee's question Jesus begins to tell his disciples that a time is coming when they will long to see the son of man but will not. Jesus is sharing with his disciples that he will soon be leaving the earth but after that he will come again. Jesus then begins to describe what his second coming will be like. At Jesus' first coming, he comes into the world virtually unnoticed. Born in a manger, only a few witness his arrival into the earth.

What will the second coming of Jesus be like?

Luke 17(from our reading today) is very similar to Matthew 24. Why does Jesus tell the disciples, if anyone claims to discover the Messiah's return, to not listen or go look?

Jesus tells them at his second coming, he will make a grand entrance. Jesus is going to light up the sky. This is why they are not to go look if anyone claims he has returned. Jesus is telling his disciples that no one is going to miss his entrance at his second coming. The Lord wants them to know, if you haven't witnessed my return with your own eyes then it hasn't happened yet. No one will hear about the coming of the Lord through word of mouth. Every eye will witness his return.

Luke 17:23-24"Men will tell you,'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other."(see also Mt.24:26-27)

In the Matthew passage Jesus goes on to say,"Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather." Mt.24:28

What does this comment about the vultures mean? Just as the vultures never miss the opportunity to feast on a dead carcass, no one is going to miss the grand entrance of his second coming. In Matthew, Jesus describes how the nations will mourn as they witness his appearing in the sky.

Mt.24:30"At that time the sign of the son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."

Jesus is going to light up the sky when he returns.

Mt.24:27"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."

In Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians he says, the appearing of Jesus when he returns will be so bright, it will destroy the lawless one. 2 THES.2:8

Jesus wants his followers to know that he is going to light up the sky, no one will miss his entrance when he returns.

But what about the scriptures that speak of Jesus coming as a thief in the night?

Based on this phrase "thief in the night" many have come to believe that Jesus' second coming will be done secretly. And that the Lord's followers, will be removed from the earth secretly.

A thief only steals those things that do not already belong to him. A thief doesn't need to steal what he already owns. Likewise, why would Jesus need to steal what is already his? Why would Jesus need to secretly steal anything?

There is actually no where in scripture that says,"Jesus is coming like a thief in the night." The scriptures tell us that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. See 1 THES.5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10 While the day of the Lord is referred to as a day of Jesus' return it is also continually described in scripture as a day of sudden destruction.

1 THES.5:2-3"for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying,"Peace and Safety," destruction will come on them suddenly,"

In 2 Peter, Peter refers to the day of the Lord coming like a thief, and he describes complete destruction of the heavens and the earth on this day. See 2 Peter 3:10-13 The term "a thief in the night" is used to illustrate destruction coming unexpectantly, sudden destruction coming in a moment when many are least prepared for it. The people destroyed in the days of Noah are a perfect example of unexpected destruction. Although they witnessed the arrival of the flood from it's first initial rain drops, they were unprepared for the magnitude of the destruction that was upon them. Destruction came upon them like a thief.

Joel chapter 2 gives a detailed account of what the day of the Lord will be like. Joel describes the day of the Lord as a day of darkness and gloom. A large and mighty army moving through the land destroying it city by city. The Lord is at the head, leading this army into battle. Nations are in anguish as they see this army approaching from the distance.

Joel 2:9"They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves, they enter through the windows."

The Lord's army is breaking into homes through the windows like thieves in the night. This is a depiction of a home invasion and of sudden destruction. Notice that nothing happens secretly here. The people under attack see this army as they approach.

Joel 2:6"at the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale."

Just as the nations will mourn as they see the Son of Man coming in the sky. On the day of the Lord many will be gripped with utter terror and fear as they discover the end has come.

Joel closes this passage with this remark about the day of the Lord,

"The day of the Lord is great;it is dreadful. Who can endure it?" Joel 2:11b

There is nothing secretive with the day of the Lord. However, destruction will come upon many suddenly.

Jesus wanted his followers to know that he would leave, but that he would come again. And that when he returned that everyone would see him at his appearing in the sky. Today's reading excites me. Jesus will come again, and when he does he is going to Light Up The Sky.

What is.. The Kingdom? Part 1

Daily Bible CoverThese past two weeks have been amazing. I always enjoy reading about the life of Jesus. Although I've studied the gospels more than any other part of the bible, I'm seeing new things that I've never noticed before. The message of "the kingdom" has hit me like a ton of bricks. And once again the message of the kingdom appears in today's passage.

Mt.9:35"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom..."

Mt.10:5"These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:"Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near..."

I've never before noticed, how consumed Jesus was with the mission of spreading the message of the kingdom. All of the parables and teachings of Jesus are about the kingdom. The first thought that hit me was if Jesus spent so much time trying to get his followers to understand and to comprehend the kingdom, then why do we spend virtually no time in teaching on the kingdom today? If we are followers of Jesus and it was his primary message shouldn't it be our primary message also? I honestly can't remember the last time I've heard a message on the kingdom. Then it dawned on me, maybe we(the universal church)don't teach on the kingdom because we don't understand it.

My question today is, What is the kingdom? My second question is, Has the kingdom already come.. or are we still waiting for it? If it has not already come, when does it begin?

I would love to hear your response regarding these two questions. Please do share with me any insights you may have. And if you really don't know, I would love to hear from you also.

Let's look at a few things we've learned regarding the kingdom, in our readings these past two weeks.

We know that from the beginning of Jesus' ministry the message of the kingdom is what he taught and preached.

Mt.4:17"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

When Jesus sends out his disciples he sends them with instructions to proclaim the message of the kingdom.(See Mt.10:5 above)

We know in Mt.6:33 Jesus tells us, we are to seek his kingdom above all other things, over food and clothing. When Jesus instructs his disciples on how they should pray, he teaches them to pray for the kingdom to come to the earth. And for the order and will of the father to be established in the earth as it is in heaven.(See Mt.6:9-10)

When Nicodemus, the Pharisee, meets Jesus in the night, Jesus tells him no one can "see" or "enter" the kingdom of God unless they are born again.(See Jn.3:1-3)

Many were unable to "see","comprehend" the teaching of the kingdom. Most had no clue as to what Jesus was talking about. With the arrival of Jesus' ministry and the teaching of the kingdom, a revelation of God's plan was being revealed to the earth. A revelation that had been hidden throughout time.

Mt.13:35b"I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."

However this message of the kingdom would only be revealed in parables. The parable was a way of scrambling the message that Jesus spoke. For those who did not believe that Jesus was the son of God, the message of the kingdom was to remain hidden from them.

We also know that Jesus diligently taught his disciples year after year, attempting to get them to comprehend how the kingdom operated and functioned. Most of their teachings began with a certain phrase, "The kingdom of heaven in like..." This was something that Jesus wanted them to grasp and understand.

Although the disciples were exposed to the teachings of Jesus more than anyone, they still struggled with comprehending the message of the kingdom. It was evident that this was not a simple message to grasp. Many times after Jesus finished teaching, the disciples would privately inquire to Jesus for further explanation. Jesus continually worked with his disciples, trusting their understanding would come in time.

Mk.4:33"With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand."

It is evident that the message of the kingdom was of critical importance and that Jesus wanted his followers to fully grasp this message. It is also evident that even to this day, for many this message of the kingdom remains a mystery, an unsolved puzzle.

I'll pick up part 2 of "What is.. the Kingdom?" here in the next couple days. Please take a moment to send me your thoughts. Blessings,

His name is Jesus

Daily Bible Cover I love losing track of time while reading God's word. I am not a reader so I know it's the grace of the Holy Spirit when I find myself in his word. I love how you can reread the same passages over and over and still discover new treasure. I love that the Holy Spirit is there to actively speak to us when we read. In our reading today, Jesus is sitting in a fishing boat at the Sea of Galilee. He is just off the shore teaching the crowd that has gathered to hear the word of God. Simon Peter is there washing out his nets. He has just finished an all night fishing excursion, yet he caught nothing. When Jesus finishes teaching he tells Simon to go back out to fish again.

Luke 5:5 "Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

Simon catches so many fish, they end up with 2 boats full.

Luke 5:8 "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken."

Why does Simon Peter confess to be a sinful man? Did Simon do something wrong?

This is a turning point in Simon Peter's life. According to our 365 bibles, Simon has been introduced to Jesus eariler by his brother Andrew in the gospel of John. It's at this time that Jesus tells Simon, God is going to change his name to Peter. And although Simon Peter addresses Jesus as "Master" and "Lord", Simon is still an occupational fisherman. It is later this day that Jesus says to Simon, Follow me and I will make you fisher's of men.

To become a follower of Jesus, a disciple must abandon everything and follow Jesus. Although Simon Peter is calling Jesus "Master" and "Lord", he still has not abandoned all, to follow Jesus. Two thousand years later it's very common to call Jesus,"Savior" and "Lord". However it is far less common for anyone to abandon all for the sake of following Christ.

So why does Simon Peter tell Jesus to go away from him, that he is a sinful man? One thing that has stood out in our first few days of our New Testament reading is, the growing anticipation of the coming Messiah. Everyone believed that God was sending the Messiah to be the savior of the world. Even the woman at the well knows the Messiah is coming. No one seems to doubt whether or not the Messiah will come. The polarizing question was, "Is Jesus the Messiah?". Was he really who he was claiming to be?

While Simon Peter appears to be on board, addressing Jesus as "Master" and "Lord", and obeying the instructions of Jesus. In his heart, he is full of unbelief. He is not yet convinced that Jesus is the Messiah. When Simon Peter sees the miracle with so many fish, Peter is ashamed and feels unworthy to be received by Jesus. The greatest of sins is unbelief. Unbelief is the essence of all sin. Jesus describes it this way to Nicodemus,

John 3:18"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

Everyone understood that God's one and only son was the Messiah. The significance of believing on the name is that the name reveals identity. Jesus is his name. Once Peter believes that Jesus is the Messiah, he leaves mere lip service behind and abandons all to follow Jesus.

Following Jesus is never easy. Answering the call requires a great price. It will cost you everything. However, if you can give it up, you can have it all. God bless.

Final Old Testament Sermon 2013 - Pastor Marv

This Sunday's sermon marked the end of our journey through the Old Testament as we have been reading through the Bible in chronological order this year. Starting Thrusday October 18th we will be in the New Testament and remain there for the remainder of the year. Listen to this great capstone sermon to the end of one journey as we prepare to begin a new one. If you have not had a chance to join us in our reading through the Bible in 2013, now is the perfect time to start with us on our trip through the New Testament. So whether you have been reading with us but have fallen behind or you are wanting to start with up us for the first time, grab your Bible and lets go exploring the New Testament.

Sermon by Pastor Marv

Nehemiah: The blessed life

Daily Bible CoverToday's 365 reading is on the redistrubution of population in Jerusalem. Now the wall has been rebuilt, there are not enough people living in Jerusalem to run and protect the city. Nehemiah asks the tribes of Benjamin and Judah to relocate 10 percent of their people back to Jerusalem to help populate the city. The book of Nehemiah is the last book of the old testament in the chronological Bible. Today I want to look at two things, one being the nature of the covenant between God and man throughout the Old Testament. Second, what we can learn from Nehemiah's prayer.

We see throughout the O.T. that God desires to live/dwell with man. God initiates this covenant, it is His idea. God says to man, if you will honor me and follow me, then I will be your God and you will be my people. He tells man, Wherever you go, I will go with you. I will make your home my place of habitation. I will dwell with you. The word Emmanuel means "God with us". Throughout time this is God's desire, to come and live with man. We will see the fulfillment of this when we arrive to the end of our 365 journey.

Rev.21-1-3 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."

It has always been God's desire to dwell with his people. One might ask, "who are God's people?" God's people are those who enter into covenant with him. We see with Israel that when they honor God and their covenant with Him, they are envied by all nations. God pours out blessings on Israel too great for them to contain. However, when Israel turns away from God and harbors sin, they become the reproach of the earth. A valuable principle is revealed here. When our lives honor God we are blessed and multiplied. When our lives do not honor God it leads to brokenness. When God brings us to brokenness, this is His grace in action. If our behavior is unpleasing to God, yet things continue to go well, we would never come to our senses(see the parable of the prodical son, Luke 15). We would never change our behavior. We are the most receptive to change in the seasons of our brokenness. It is the goodness of the Lord that leads men to repentance. When Nehemiah's writings begin, he is a cup bearer for the king in the Persian palace. Nehemiah is a slave, but he has been promoted to a position a great importance. When Nehemiah learns that one of his brothers along with other men, have just returned from Jerusalem, he is eager to question them and hear their report. Nehemiah wants to know about the progress of Jerusalem and his people. When Nehemiah learns Jerusalem's inhabitants are in great trouble and the wall is broken down, he begins to weep. This report is not what Nehemiah was expecting to hear. Why is Nehemiah so devastated over the report regarding Jerusalem? A look at Israel's timeline might help us better understand Nehemiah's perspective and hope.

Jerusalem is at it's pinnacle of prominense one thousand years before Christ. Solomon builds the temple between 960-967 B.C. Four hundred years later Jerusalem hits rock bottom. The temple is destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. For 70 years there is no temple. And then in 516 B.C.the temple is rebuilt. The rebuilding of the temple is a symbol of hope for the restoration of Jerusalem and it's people. Nehemiah rebuilds the wall in 444 B.C.

When you look at the timeline you can see how Nehemiah is hopeful that God is raising up Jerusalem once again. At the time of Nehemiah's writings it has only been 72 years since the rebuilding of the temple. The rebuilding of the temple was a tremendous symbol of hope for the people of Israel. A hope that God would intervene and redeem them from their oppressors. It has only been 76 years since the prophet Haggai prophesied the glory of the latter house would be greater than the glory of the former. When looking at the timeline it is easy to understand Nehemiah's hope.

Nehemiah is crushed with the report that comes to him from Jerusalem. Not only does he weep, but for several days he mourns, fasts and prays. I was challenged by this. I can't remember the last time I've been troubled to the point of fasting and prayer. You get the sense that Nehemiah is so disturbed that we wouldn't be able to eat even if he tried.

I was also fascinated by Nehemiah's prayer. Nehemiah repents for his sins as well as the sins of his people. Nehemiah immediately concedes guilt before God. He confesses that they have been very wicked towards God, and that they have not obeyed God. Why does Nehemiah assume guilt? Why does Nehemiah assume that they are to blame for their present circumstance?

He continues by reminding God of the word spoken to Moses long ago. How if Israel was unfaithful that God word scatter them among the nations, but if they would repent, God would once again gather them in His Holy city. See Neh.1:8-9

Nehemiah understands the responsibility of the covenant. If they were honoring God and honoring their covenant, they would not be living as a reproach in the earth. Nehemiah understands that honoring God and walking in right relationship with Him releases blessings that can not be contained. He knows the first part of God's promise to Moses has already happened. God's people have already turned away and God has scattered them. Nehemiah is reminding God how if this was to happen, God had promised to regather His people if they would repent. Nehemiah is quick to repent and seek God's forgiveness.

How can we know when it's time to pray, fast and repent? We should be able to evaluate our lives and determine if God is pouring out his blessings over us, or if He is breaking us and leading us to repentance. It is vital that we each examine our own lives. When God is pouring out His blessings it is difficult to miss, because it is always more than we can contain.

Psalm 1 reminds us what The blessed life looks like. The man who delights himself in God's law, meditating on it day an night, is like a tree planted by streams of water. And whatever he does prospers.

This is the blessed life.

On Earth as it is in Heaven

Daily Bible CoverDaniel 1-2:49

Daniel 11:32(b)(NKJV)"but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits."

Today we begin the book of Daniel. As I was reading this morning there were so many things that captivated my attention. It's incredible that God gives king Nebuchadnezzar a vision from heaven. Can unsaved people have visions from heaven? Now we know.

No one is able to reveal what the king has dreamed, so an order goes out for all of the king's wise men to be executed. Daniel did not hear about the king's dream, but he is to be killed as well. Daniel asks for time to seek the Lord in regards to the king's dream. God reveals the dream to Daniel, and Daniel tells the king the dream and it's meaning. Daniel is promoted and none of the wise men are executed.

How could Daniel know what the king dreamed? The possibilities were endless. No matter how smart or well trained Daniel was, earthly wisdom was of no help in this situation. Daniel was operating in the same power that is known as the gift of knowledge. This is supernatural knowledge that is above human explanation. This is one of the gifts the Holy Spirit released to the church in the last days.(see I Corinthians 12:4-10)

What I love is, this is the kind of demonstration of God's power that causes even atheists to bow down. After Daniel explains the dream and it's interpretation to the king, King Nebuchadnezzar is prostrate on his face before Daniel. A holy reference has come over the king. I so long to see the power of the supernatural and gifts at work in the church today. God's word tells us that those who know their God will be strong and do great exploits. The exploits verify the nature of the relationship. Sadly, In 2 Timothy, Paul speaks of a people in the last days who will desire a form of Godliness, but will reject God's power.

2 Timothy 3:4(b)-5 "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of Godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

Where are the modern day Daniels? Where are the people in our day that carry out the exploits of the Lord? Are we settling for a watered down born again experience? Lord, help us to know you.

I want to take a closer look at the king's dream. In the dream, a stone(like a bowling ball)comes into the earth and destroys this enormous statue. The statue is made of gold, silver, bronze, iron and baked clay. The statue represents the kingdoms of this earth. What does this stone represent?

(the NIV refers to it as a rock) The rock represents the kingdom of heaven. The rock is Jesus who is the king of this kingdom.

When Jesus instructed the disciples on prayer, he told then to pray for God's kingdom to come and for His will to be done. We are to pray for the kingdom to come to the earth. We are to pray for God's will to be accomplished in the earth with the same excellence and order that is experienced in heaven. What would the earth look like it was a reflection of heaven itself? "on earth as it is in heaven." It is God's desire to establish the order of heaven here in the earth.

In this dream the rock is cut out from something larger, however Daniel reveals that this rock is not cut from human hands.

Daniel 2:45 "This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands"

This rock that smashes the kingdoms of the earth is cut out of a large mountain. Daniel does not reveal what the mountain represents. What do you think the mountain represents? Daniel reveals that this rock is coming to the earth. There is going to be a collision. The rock will destroy the kingdoms powers of the earth. The rock will never be removed. It will remain forever.

Daniel 2:44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever."

600 years before Christ's birth, King Nebuchadnezzar has a vision of Jesus Christ coming to the earth, destroying the world powers and establishing an eternal kingdom that will never pass.

Mt. 21:42(b) "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;"

Mt. 21:44 "He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."

The stone, the rock is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life. This stone is cut out from a mountain, it is released into the earth where it destroys the kingdoms of the earth. And then what happens?

Daniel 2:35(b) "But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth."

This rock that was cut from the mountain destroys the kingdoms of the earth and then becomes a mountain itself, like that from which it was cut. And this mountain fills the whole earth. Even today, God is establishing His order, His plan, His kingdom here in the earth.

Your kingdom come...on earth as it is in heaven.

Stiff-necked

Daily Bible Cover Jeremiah 17:12-20:10Let's jump right in.

Jer.18:17 "Like the wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face."

So it's safe to say, God is not happy. God is going to scatter Judah and cause them to be defeated by their enemies. In their time of need, He will turn His back on them.

God has reached the end of His patience and He is now going to pour out His judgment upon Judah. This is the word of the Lord that Jeremiah has been called to speak.

I love this! Many Christians portray God in this peg hole of being this big cuddly teddy bear. And no matter how you behave or carry on, He just smiles and says "no big deal". God is often portrayed as a big loving daddy who is always accepting of whatever attitudes we act out. Yes, God is our father. And yes God is love. However His love is not always expressed in the way we imagine.

Hebrews 12:5(b)-6 "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when the Lord rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

God's love does not always feel good, but it is always exactly what we need. I'm so thankful that God does not jeopardize our growth for the sake of our comfort.

Through the book of Jeremiah we discover that God is a person. We were made in the image of God, and just like you and I, God can get angry. The difference being is, God's anger is always righteous and just. Why is God so angry?

He is angry because this is His people, this is His bride. They are living in disobedience and rebellion and they will not turn from their wicked ways

Jer.2:2(b) "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert,"

Judah has not been faithful in their covenant to God. They have brought in many of the different idols of the world to worship and have done it with a clear conscience. Obviously, their conscience has been seered. God refers to them as a stiff-necked people.

Jer.19:15 "This is what the Lord almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.'"

Make no mistake the disaster that is coming upon Judah is being sent by God. Because they are stiff-necked, God is sending a disaster upon them that will shake them from their rebellion.

What does it mean to be stiff-necked? And how can I avoid becoming stiff-necked? To be stiff-necked means that you are no longer correctable. Like someone in a neck brace, their neck is no longer flexible. Being stiff-necked refers to a position of rebellion. The heart has become hard and the stiff-necked person refuses to change their course. They will not yield or receive correction. Someone who is stiff-necked sadly believes what they are doing is right. This is the ultimate dilemma in being deceived.

So how do we avoid becoming still-necked? We must contend to always keep a teachable spirit. We are not always going to do things right the first time. We must realize we make errors in life, and understand there are always opportunities to grow and develop. Every life experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Stay correctable.

One of the most damaging things to a softened heart is unforgiveness. We must always be quick to forgive and to release others from the debt of their offenses. Guard your heart, keep it soft. Nothing will soften a heart like the experience of spending time in the Lord's presence. Life experiences have a way of bringing deteriation and decay. Our God is the only one who makes all things new.

A couple questions to ask yourself,

1. How do I respond to change? 2. And how do I respond to correction?

If your are able to embrace change and correction in life, you likely are not a stiff-necked candidate.

The most important thing is that we always seek and invite the correction of the Holy Spirit. I encourage everyone to ask the Lord to continually reveal any blind spots we may be unaware of. Give the Holy Spirit permission to point out to you anything that needs to change. I once again leave you with the words of David's prayer.

Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Overcoming Blind Spots

Daily Bible CoverToday we begin the book of Jeremiah. The nature of Jeremiah's call reveals a lot to us about the relationship between God and man.In looking at the big eternal picture, there is a great communication barrier between heaven and earth. A general theme in humanity is, the creaton does not follow God or what he wants. The carnal man can not hear the voice or instruction of God, so when God wants to communicate to him, He selects a messenger that can clearly hear His voice and is willing to deliver God's message to carnal man.

Generally, those that are willing to follow God are asked to serve Him by being His message deliverers. Generally the message is never well received. Most of the old testament prophets were killed because of their message. Jesus' disciples were martyred because they would not quit speaking the message of the gospel. Listen to the warning that Peter and John receive from the temple priests early on in Acts.

Acts 4:18 "Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus."

If people instinctively turn away from God and naturally are opposed to God, why would they happily receive the words of His messengers? This is why Jesus told his disciples,

John 15:20(b) "No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."

The call of Jeremiah is powerful. Jeremiah is called to be God's mouthpiece, he is called to be God's messenger.

Jer.1:7(b) "You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you."

This is a powerful principle for all Christians to understand. God is always seeking servants who will be His messengers. Servants who will deliver His message to those He loves but are unable to hear His voice. If you choose to follow Christ, He will make you his messenger.

As I was reading today I was captivated by the condition of Judah. God tells them they have as many gods as they have towns. Judah is worshipping every god under the sun. They have not remained faithful to the Lord or His commands. God is angry with Judah's behavior and He is ready to pour out His judgment upon them.

Jer. 1:14 "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the Lord."

Jer. 1:16 "I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshipping what their hands have made."

What amazed me was Judah didn't believe they had betrayed the Lord. In their eyes they were still serving God with a pure heart. Listen to what God says about their condition.

Jer.2:22 "Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me."

God is unpleased and angry with their behavior and yet Judah believes they have committed no sin.

Jer.2:34-35 "Yet in spite of all this you say, I am innocent; he is not angry with me. But I will pass judgment on you because you say, I have not sinned."

This is both fascinating and sobering. How can someone that is following God be so entrenched in sin, yet believe that they are with out sin? How can someone that is following God be under judgment but yet believe that God is pleased with them? The truth is we all have blind spots. A blind spot is when we don't see the error of our own ways. It is human nature to always justify our actions.

Proverbs 21:2 "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart."

What a tradegy, to be living under a curse yet to truly believe that God is pleased with you.

Jer.17:9-10 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."

The heart represents the deep recesses of our being, the hidden motives and intentions that we do not always even understand ourselves. The Lord says that the heart is deceitful at its core, and that He is the only one who can truly understand it's behavior. It's dangerous to fall into the trap of what feels right. This is the mistake that Judah makes. This is why in Psalms 139 David gives God permission to search his heart.

Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me O God, and know my heart; test me, and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

After Joshua defeated Jericho, Achan disobeyed the Lord's instruction and brought sin into Joshua's camp. Until the sin was resolved Joshua operated under God's judgment and his army was defeated at every turn. Joshua could see that the Lord was no longer with him. He cried out to God for help and God gave him insight on how to remove the sin. Joshua was led by the Spirit and his blind spot only lasted for a short time. What is the danger in being sick but not realizing it? What is the danger of being under God's judgment, yet believing that He is pleased with you?

I believe the Lord is asking each of us to seek Him and give Him permission to search our hearts. I would encourage everyone to pray today. Ask God to reveal any blind spots that we may have. Is your heart open for God to evaluate? If you ask the Lord He will be quick to respond. He is our ever present help in time of need. Let's learn from those who have gone before us and not suffer the consequences that blind spots can create.