Two For The Price Of One…

… and worth every penny.

Here are the two most recent exhortations I delivered at Providence Church.  The second one was prompted by a sermon I heard by a pastoral intern in Orlando, FL.  Thanks Uri.

Hos 2:16

16 “And it shall be, in that day,”

Says the LORD,

“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’

And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’

We love the sovereignty of God at this church.  We find comfort in times of trial and hope for the future of our children’s children because God rules and reigns in Heaven.  But in Hosea chapter 2 God gives the people of Israel this promise:  There will come a day when there will be a change in their vocabulary.  No longer will you call me Master, or Baal, but you will call me husband.”

We are the church, God’s bride.  We are not cowering in fear waiting for the Lord to strike us down like some pagan God.  He has promised to love us and love us to the end.  Listen, we have sinned this week.  And know this beloved: your sin has found you out on Sunday morning at Providence, but Your God is not demanding payment.  That has already been made.  Your Master is not threatening to lock you up in prison.  Your husband has come to set You at liberty.  Your Master does not promise You the whip.  For Your husband took the whip for You and by His stripes You are healed.

We are about to have a time of confession.  You are not coming to Baal to confess your sins.  You are coming to Your husband.  Pour out your heart to Him for that is what He wants.  Come and worship Your God who loves You.

And the second one:

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Have you ever wondered what it must have been like for Lazarus on the first Sabbath after his resurrection from the dead?  Here was a man who was dead; grave clothes binding him so that he could barely walk out of the tomb where his family laid him, now walking into the temple of God to worship the Lord.

He walked through the gates of the temple with new legs.  He was singing the Psalms with a renewed voice.  His hands were once lifeless, gravity holding them down against the earth, and now they were lifted high with the rest of the congregation in praise to God.  His pulled into his reinvigorated body the smells of a burnt offering meant to cover his sins.  His new eyes rested on the One who said, “I am the resurrection and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.”  And there he was in the presence of God at the temple.  How that must have changed his worship on that Sabbath.

Beloved you are in Jesus Christ and when He was raised from the dead you were raised with him.  You walked in here on new legs.  Your singing is accompanied by an angelic host.  You will taste bread and wine and through the Resurrection it will be a new thing to you:  the body and blood of the Savior!  And when you look on Him who was pierced He wants you to remember what he says to you.  I am the resurrection and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.  And here you are in the presence of the Father in worship.  Come and worship the Father, through the Son who gave you new life, by the power of the resurrecting Spirit.

I love the Resurrection!

al sends


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