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Friday, October 31 2008
The 3rd chapter of Acts tells of the healing of the man that sat at the gate called Beautiful.  It is an example of the awesome healing power of Jesus Christ and proof of the promise found in Mark 16....

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

We know from the scripture that Peter and John had a boldness in the Holy Ghost.   Although, they were not orators or fashion minded, they had something about them that made people take notice.  Acts 4 states...

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

As Peter and John approached the lame man as they had done many times, something had clicked in Peter that he now knew that God was going to do something that day.  I have no idea what was different that day than all the other days that Peter and John walked by this poor man, but that day was different. 

The Bible states the following...

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

I want you to notice the bold print in verse seven.  Peter did not just leave the man on the ground, but he extended a hand of faith to him and lifted him up.  He allowed his.faith to extend beyond just hoping that God would heal.  He fully understood the power of God and James 1:22...

22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves
Posted by: AT 10:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 28 2008
The book of Acts speaks of Matthias.  According to Acts 1...

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

I find it interesting that Matthias is not mentioned at any other point in the Bible although he was apparently part of the seventy that is referred to Luke 10...

1
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

The best source of historical info that I could find on Matthias was Wikipedia (so take it with a grain of salt), but this is what it says of Matthias...

According to Nicephorus, Matthias first preached the Gospel in Judea, then in Ethiopia (made out to be a synonym for the geographically quite separate Colchis, now Caucasian Georgia) and was crucified in Colchis. A marker placed in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Gonio (Apsaros) in the modern Georgian region of Adjara claims that Matthias is buried at that site.

Is it possible that Matthias is not mentioned prominently throughout the Bible because Paul was truly the 12th Apostle?  1 Corinthians 15 states...

7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Posted by: AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 27 2008
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

A name is used to identify each of us as individuals.  It allows us to be unique and while establishing our lineage and heritage.  My last name Eaby…reveals that I am a descendant of Theodorus Aebi that settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1703.  Theodorus fled Europe because of persecution of the Mennonite people, but ….more importantly…. my name will set a legacy for my children not because of fame and fortune, but…because I lived for God and preached the gospel.  The Bible states…

Proverbs 22:1 A good name (honor or character) is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Throughout the Old Testament…there was a desire to know the name of God…and He was called many things…

Genesis 17:1…Almighty
Exodus 3:14…I AM
Psalms 71:22…Holy One of Israel
Exodus 6:3…Jehovah
Deuteronomy 10:17…Lord of Lords
Deuteronomy 32:8…Most High
II Samuel 22:2…Rock, Fortress and deliverer
Exodus 15:2…strength

I am also excited to know that He is…

Jehovah-Jireh…The Lord is there
Jehovah-Nissi…The Lord my Banner
Jehovah-Shalom…The Lord send peace
Jehovah-Shammah…The Lord is there
Jehovah-Tsidkenu…The Lord or Righteousness

But it was not until an angel from heaven showed up to a humble man with a pregnant girlfriend…did we truly come to know the name of the God…

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

It was at that moment when the name Jesus meaning Jehovah-saves that history took a new course.  This name did not belong to just another child born in Bethlehem or just another carpenter because the Bible states…

1Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The name Jesus is a name worthy of praise…the word praise in the Old Testament means… o shine; hence to make a show; to boast; and thus to be foolish;

It is time that we get foolish for Jesus...get a little crazy for the one worth our praise…Why?

Psalms 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

It is a name worth shouting  about…It is a name worth dancing about…It is name worth jumping about…why?...

Psalms 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

The name Jesus is the key to the miraculous…it is with that name that we cannot unlock the door to the supernatural….

If you need a healing….Jesus
If you need a blessing…Jesus
If you need a financial need…Jesus

How do I know?...

John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

The name Jesus is the name that saves….

Do you want to live an overcoming life…
Do you want to make it to heaven…
Dance on streets of gold…

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

The name Jesus is most important word you will ever hear. According to one statistic that I read 35 – 40% of the people in the world have no way of hearing about Jesus.  It is a name above all names with power to change lives, but I like what the psalmist wrote….

Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless (to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration) his name.

Why?

Psa 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.



Posted by: AT 07:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 25 2008
There is a scripture in my prayer journal that I pray everyday.  It says...

Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

We as Christians speak often of God's will.  We may say we "want to do God's will" or we "need to be in God's will", but how often do we say "teach me do do thy will".  The message Bible says....

Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.

I believe the Psalmist said this because knowing and understanding the will of God is not something that is stumbled upon or given as a talent or gift.  We must be taught and instructed in knowing the will of God and hearing His voice.  If we are to live a life that is pleasing to God, we must first...

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

We must be willing to totally surrender our will to Him.  Our desires and needs must "take a backseat" to the will of the Father.  I pastor in King George, Virginia because I first submitted myself to the will of God and listened to His voice.  Previously, I had "tried out" for a church and the morning I went to preach and meet the board of trustees of that church, I instantly knew that it was not God's will.  It was if there was a "black cloud" that surrounded me that morning.  As a minister of the Gospel, I must be willing to go where He would want me and be careful not to cross His will.  I must continually submit myself to His will. 

In my mind, being in the will of God is like diving into a pool on the hottest day of summer.  What a feeling! 


Posted by: AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 24 2008
This brought back some memories...
Posted by: AT 06:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 23 2008
In 1 Samuel 8, the children of Israel became dissatisfied with the government that God had put in place to govern them.  This as explained in verse 7 was a rejection of God...

5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

As often happens, people allow history to repeat itself.  This is not for the lack of knowledge, but the willingness to hide the Word in our hearts.  David said in Psalms 119...

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

If we fast forward to the crucifixion of Jesus, we find men that are not ignorant of the Word, but have not hid the Word in their hearts.  It was on this occasion that they once again reject the King of Kings. John 19 states...

15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

If we do not hide the Word in our hearts then we allow things to enter and eventually our old life will become apparent.  We will revisit our history.  The High Priest had knowledge of the Word and could tell you of the story of Samuel, but failed to apply it to their lives.  This caused them to once again reject their God.

The knowledge of the Word does not keep us.  I have done prison ministry and find many that can quote scripture, but James wrote...

1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Posted by: AT 07:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 22 2008
The Christian world is filled with ideas and concepts on how to attract or help people maintain their Christian faith.  Many of these ideas involve programs that cater to the needs of a particular person and truly are helpful in reaching the many that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  The purpose of the church is to continue the mission of Jesus Christ as described in 2 Corinthians 5...

20 Therefore, we are Christ's representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. (God's Word Version)

As a pastor, it is essential for me to consider Christ in every ministry and event that the church is involved in.  The many ideas and concepts that are being sold as a way to quickly grow a church have to be measured against the vision and mission of the church.  More importantly, they must be measured against Titus 2:1...

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine

The Message Bible Version of the Titus 2:1 states...

Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine.

It is essential that the church maintain solid doctrine or instruction.  It is the responsibility of the pastor and every church leader to preach and teach sound doctrine insuring that programs that do not stand up to the Word creep into the church under the guise of being seeker sensitive.  It is not our programs that bring change to the lives of the many that are lost in our community, but the doctrine...

6 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Posted by: AT 07:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 21 2008
This video is of Evangelist Charles Mahaney preaching about the oneness of God.  Bro. Mahaney died within the last few years.  He served as the Prison Ministry Chaplain for the United Pentecostal Church.  He was an anointed preacher and was a blessing to me as a youth camp preacher many years ago.   I still am blessed by his ministry through downloads to my IPOD. 

 
Posted by: AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 14 2008
Daniel the 3rd chapter tells of one the great miracles within the scripture.  For the sake of time, I will summarize it, but will interject a few scriptures to help tell the story.
In the year 597 BC, the Babylonians (from modern day Iraq) captured the city of Jerusalem.  Following the siege, the Babylonians deported and exiled many Jewish people including four men that became advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar.  They ascended to these positions because of their knowledge, skills and appearance.  They served the king as loyal subjects, but as time past, the king built a huge statue…

Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

This statue was not ordinary nor was it harmless for it was commanded that all people bow down at the statue when the trumpets blew.  If there was anyone that had the courage to not bow to this idol then it was declared…

Daniel 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Three of the four men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, stood defiant to the orders of the king and did not bow.  Although, they served the King of Babylon, their first allegiance was to the God of Israel and His commandments.  They knew God’s Word commanded Exodus 20….

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…

The defiance of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not go unnoticed and the men were brought before the King.  King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them in Daniel 3:14 – 15…

14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

The Message Bible states it like this…

Who is the god that can rescue from my power?

Shadrach. Meshach and Abednego continued their insolence towards the king (God’s Word Version)…

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "We don't need to answer your last question.
Daniel 3:17 If our God, whom we honor, can save us from a blazing furnace and from your power, he will, Your Majesty.
Daniel 3:18 But if he doesn't, you should know, Your Majesty, we'll never honor your gods or worship the gold statue that you set up."

Their continued stance infuriated the king and he commanded that they be thrown in the fiery furnace.  In addition to being thrown in the fiery furnace, he commanded that it be heated seven times hotter than normal.  The heat was so great that it killed the soldier that threw the men into the furnace, but the story does not stop there. 

The Message Bible records it like this…

24 Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, "Didn't we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?"     "That's right, O king," they said.
25 "But look!" he said. "I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!"

It was King Nebuchadnezzar that asked the question, “Who is that God?”, and it was God Almighty that answered it by showing up in the fiery furnace and delivering them. 

There are people all over the world today that ask,  “Who is that God?”   Man is born with a void in his life and we spend our life attempting to fill that emptiness.  There are those that worship idols or deny God altogether.  Even more so, there are many that attempt to fill the void in their life with the pleasures of this life, but if you are asking, “Who is that God?” this morning, I want to take a few minutes and introduce you to Him…

The God that I serve has a name…It is not Buddha or Allah, but Jesus and He is all powerful…

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth...

Unlike the friends and things of this world that are temporary, Jesus will never leave us for He states in (God’s Word)…

Matthew 28:20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. "And remember that I am always with you until the end of time."

Further more, He is our friend…

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

He is not just any friend, but one that died for us revealing His great love…

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Although perfect, it was through His death, He carried our sins and sorrows and it is from the wounds he sustained from the whip that we are healed…(Message Bible)…

Isaiah 53:4 But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.  We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.
Isaiah 53:5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole.    Through his bruises we get healed.

Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, His death did not finish the story for He the Bible states He arose from the grave…

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And it was through his resurrection that we have the ability to have life and have it more abundantly through the power of the Holy Spirit (Amplified)…

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

Jesus wants us to have a relationship with Him today and it s through this relationship that we can make it to heaven…

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Posted by: AT 03:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 08 2008
I have studied the Bible since I was a child and I have come to realize that God is interested in the smallest of details and there are no coincidences in God.  When God spoke a commandment, it had purpose and therefore should be followed to the letter of the law.  The Bible states...

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Yesterday, I was teaching a Bible study and a question arose that I could not answer.  I simply did not know, but I promised to find an answer.  The question came from the following scriptures...

Exodus 30:18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.

Exodus 27
1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.

The question raised from these scriptures is simple.  Why brass?  Why did God choose brass instead of all the other metals.  Although, the answer is not found readily in the scripture, there are those that have commented and their answers seem reasonable.
  • The altar was brass because it was a metal that could handle the heat from the sacrifices that were burned on it.
  • The laver was brass because it would have been shined to a polished finished.  It would act as a mirror for the priests so they would know where to wash.
I also theorize that brass was used also because it was readily available, but one thing we do know is that God knows what He is doing and brass was the right metal for the right purpose.
Posted by: AT 07:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 07 2008
The Word of God is powerful.  It has many features and characteristics that that are used by God to help us in our relationship with Him.  Often times, the Word is sweet and uplifting, but it can also be a bitter pill to swallow. It is essential that we take the bitter with the sweet while completely submitting ourselves to the Word and will of God. 

The power of the scripture is revealed within its own pages, but also in our own lives.  When we fully place our faith in God and apply the scripture to our lives we can come to understand the following concerning the Word...

The Word is our defense against the enemy as found in...

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

We also know the Word to cut us open and reveal to us what God sees in us for the Word states...

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is also a cleansing agent.  For Jesus stated in John 15...

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

We are cleansed by the Word of God through grace.  As grace consumes our life than corruption and sin is pushed out. 

John 17:17
Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. (Amplified)

It is the Word of God that reveals our sin and infirmities, but also speaks grace into our lives.  It gives us an opportunity to move beyond our past and look to the future knowing that God's promises of salvation are true...

James 1:21 So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.
James 1:22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. (Amplified)
Posted by: AT 06:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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