Bearing their names before the LORD

And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial. (Exo 28:12)
And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goetHighPriesth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. (Exo 28:29-30)

As God was giving the details for worship in the Tabernacle, He provided an illustration for those of us that have the spiritual oversight of others.

The names of the tribes of the children of Israel were to be engraved upon stones and placed strategically in two places upon the wardrobe of the high priest as he attended his duties.

Each of these places teach us an aspect of our duties. The names were to be on stones on the shoulders of the priest and over his heart.  Let’s learn the lessons.

Their names before the Lord – a picture of intercession

In each case (on the shoulders and upon the heart) it is spoken of as being taken “before the Lord” This speaks of our job of interceding for others.

There is an expectation of intercession

God expects us to pray for one another (James 5:16) especially those over whom we have responsibility.

We are sinning when we fail to pray for them

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: (1Sa 12:23)

There is an exactness of intercession

Their names written upon the stones speaks of our need to remember them by name and by need.  It is too easy to pray blanket prayers.  “Lord, bless all my pupils…”

Their names upon his shoulders – a picture of a burden

Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.

It is a burden of responsibility.

A load on our shoulders. A job we must be doing and for which we will be held accountable.

It is a burden to relieve.

As we have their names upon our shoulders, we are to put our shoulders to the task and load and LIFT, helping them, by prayer, to bear their load.

Their names upon our heart – a picture of compassion

Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually

Over the heart directs us to take them before the Lord in the devotion of love

Over the heart directs us to take them before the Lord with the desire for their good judgments

Over the heart directs us to take them before the Lord in a dedication continually

 

Let’s take the names of our people before the Lord often and specifically.


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How to Develop A Heart After God’s (part 3)

heart-for-GodAnd when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

We have been discussing how to develop a heart after God’s as David had.

Pay particular attention to the phrase, “I have found David…”.

God did not GIVE David a heart after His so He could anoint him King, but rather FOUND David already had a heart after His, so He made him king!

Let us develop a right heart so God can “find us” usable in His service.

We saw in the last two posts that we needed to “Live a Cause – God” and then “Serve with Character Before God“.

Now shall we learn the third lesson from this phase of David’s young life.

A Man After God’s Heart will Live as a Man of Culture (2Sam 23:1-2)

Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.  (2Sa 23:1-2)

A man of godly culture lives a life filled with godly music – the sweet psalmist of Israel

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  (Eph 5:19)

His music will be godly in tone, words, and style.

A man of godly culture lives a life with a gracious mouth – The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue

There is nothing great or Christian about being crass or using low guttural humor.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  (Eph 4:29)
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  (Rom 14:19)

A Man after God’s Heart will be a Man of Pleasant Companionship (1Sam 18:1-3, 1Sam 22)

All kinds of people in and out of all types of problems, troubles, and discouragements, thought him their friend.  Whether he agreed with them in their cause or even if he personally liked them was of no consequence. He conducted himself so they all felt he was their friend.

David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.  (1Sa 22:1-2)
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:  (1Th 3:12)
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  (Pro 18:24)

Visit us online  Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

How to Develope a Heart After God’s (part 2)

heart-for-GodAnd when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

We have been discussing how to develop a heart after God’s as David had.

Again, please note God’s testimony about David.  Pay particular attention to the phrase, “I have found David…”.

God did not GIVE David a heart after His so He could anoint him King, but rather FOUND David already had a heart after His, so He made him king!

If we wish to be used by God to the fullest, let us develop a heart for and like his so God can “find us” usable in His service.

We saw last time we needed to “Live a Cause – God”.  Now we learn the next lesson in this phase of David’s young life.


Serve with Character Before God

Perform your duties conscientiously before God

And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.  (1Sa 17:20)

And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.  (1Sa 17:22)

In both the circumstances described in the verses above, David made sure his responsibilities were fulfilled.  His job was to care for the sheep of his father. When acting upon his father’s instructions to go see about his brothers, he did not assume his dad would cover his responsibility, but instead made sure the sheep were adequately taken care for by a keeper.  When having to leave the carriage to approach the troops, he made sure it would be protected in this war zone by a keeper.

A man or woman of character, living for the cause of Christ, will make sure they work responsively.  It is important that we understand that we will all give an account to God for the jobs He gives to us.

In the case of our ministries, this means if we are assigned a task, we take ownership and make sure it is done, and done properly, and done completely.  It means if we are assigned a place of service or ministry and we are detained and will be late or Providentially hindered, we will as soon as possible inform those we answer to and do our best to make sure the job is covered adequately so the work of God does not go lacking.

Performed your duties with a heart of humility (1 Sa 17:15)

Shepherd with sheep. Nazareth Village.But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.  (1Sa 17:15)

After his job of playing music for the most powerful man in the country, he did see himself “to good” or to be “above” going back to perform the most humble of jobs and positions in his time, the caring for sheep.  In fact, David had already been anointed the next King of Isreal, and still he went back to the lowly job he knew was his.

He lived in humility.  He understood as a leader, there are times we are the boss and that there are times and places where we are NOT the boss. Even as the next king and after serving in the presence of the king, he still knew how to do the most humble job and serve with a servant’s heart.

So, to develop a heart after God’s,  Live a cause and live a life with character.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

How to Develop A Heart After God’s (part 1)

heart-for-GodAnd when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

David may be best known among Bible readers as a man described as one after God’s own heart.  In the text below, as an old man, God describes what He did for this blessed man.

Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.  (2Sa 23:1-2)

David was a man promoted and anointed by God BECAUSE he possed a heart after God’s.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

Please note God’s testimony about David.  Pay particular attention to the phrase, “I have found David…”.

God did not GIVE David a heart after His so He could anoint him King, but rather FOUND David already had a heart after His, so He made him king!

If we wish to be used by God to the fullest, let us develop a heart for and like His so God can “find us” usable in His service.

How to Develop a Heart for God; (part 1) 

Live a Cause – God!Sling

Make your cause to delight in magnifying God’s reputation (1 Sam 17:45-47)

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
(1Sa 17:46-47) 

In a world of nonbelievers, voices are needed to brag on God and declare His power!

Make your cause to despise the reproaching of God and His people (1 Sam 17:26)

…What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? …he should defy the armies of the living God?  (1Sa 17:26)

Let’s not bring reproach upon God and His people by what we DO in our lives.

Let’s not bring reproach upon God and His people by what we DO NOT do in our lives.

Make your cause to desire the King’s reward (1Sam 17:25)

…and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. (1Sa 17:25)

Desire the reward of the King’s riches …the king will enrich him with great riches, 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (Mat 6:19-20)

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  (Heb 11:26)

Desire the reward of the relationship in the King’s family … will give him his daughter…

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal 4:7)

Desire the reward of the special rights provided by the King  – freedom…make his father’s house free in Israel.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  (Joh 8:36)

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  (Rom 6:17-18)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

A Church for Which to Thank God (pt2)

power_of_enduring_companies_1536x1536_OriginalThe Enduring Church

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:  (2Th 1:3-4)

Here Paul is thanking God for the church at Thessalonica for two reasons: for their abounding and enduring. Last time we looked at their abounding, today we will look at their enduring.

Remember, we all must be both abounding and enduring if we are going to accomplish and be all God desires for us.

To endure without abounding is boring and is of no lasting value or impact.

To abound without enduring is no more than a flash in pan and of not much more value than fools gold.

Now, let us see their enduring.

The Reason for Endurance – The Kingdom of God (vs5)

The worthiness of entering the Kingdom of God is assessed (vs5, Luke 9:62)

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:  (2Th 1:5)

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:62)

The wondrousness of the Kingdom of God in its entrance

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that sinners may enter

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  (Mat 21:31-32)

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that suffering is often associated with entering

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.  (Act 14:22)

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that spiritual rebirth is required for entrance

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:3)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:5)

The Reflection of Endurance – The Glory of God (vs4, 10)

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.  (2Thes 1:10)

As with all things in our lives, the purpose and intent of all we do is to glorify God.  So must the purpose of our endurance be that God be glorified.  Any praise should be “reflected” back to Him!

The Resistance to Endurance – The Opposition to God (vs4, 5, 6)

The blessings and pleasures of persecutions

Therefore I take pleasure in infirnities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  (2Co 12:10)

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  (Mat 5:10-11)

The glories of tribulations

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (Rom 5:3)

The Resolve of Endurance – The Power of God (vs4)

It takes the power of God working in our lives to endure. Patience from God and faith in Him is required to endure through the persecutions and tribulations.

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (2Th 1:4)

The Rest in Endurance – The Judgment of God (vs7)

The many that are troubled can take rest in the fact that God will bring all things to view and judge them righteously  We need not fret nor seek our own revenge.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  (2Th 1:7)

 

Endure!  Keep going for Him!  He is soon returning!


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

A Church for Which to Thank God (pt1)

The Abounding Church

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:  (2Th 1:3-4)

love-and-faithHere Paul is thanking God for the church at Thessalonica. He is not just saying the words, but he is spelling out the reasons he could thank God for them.  We should all desire to be the Christian and the church for which we, and others, can thank God.

The two reasons he was thanking God for them were they were a church that was abounding and enduring.

We all must be both abounding and enduring if we are going to reach the end of our race well and be all God desires for us.

To endure without abounding is boring and is of no lasting value or impact.

To abound without enduring is no more than a flash in pan and of not much more value than fools gold.

First, let us look at where they were commendably abounding and in the next post, we will see how they were enduring.

They were a church Abounding in Faithyour faith groweth exceedingly…

The phrase “growth exceedingly”  means to be ABOVE MEASURE.  The faith referred to here is not a body of beliefs, but rather a “credence given” and a “strong confidence in”.

Let me suggest you begin by knowing your faith

Know first that your faith is the right Person and place.  It must be in Jesus Christ as Saviour and in His Word.  Make sure you are saved.

Then, begin growing your faith.

Faith is buildable and can be, as in this church, abounding!

There is a condition of “No faith” 

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?(Mar 4:40)

Then there is “Small faith”

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (Mat 6:30)

And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  (Mat 8:25-26)

Then some have “Great faith”

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.  (Mat 8:8-10)

 

They were a church Abounding in Love – the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 

It was a commended love

Because God is love

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  (1Jn 4:16)

Because Christ epitomizes a life of Love.

If we are going to be like Him we must love also.

It was a common love

Note the term “every one” – charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth

We can never be a church God wants us to be unless the love of Christ is expressed by “every one” of us.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (Joh 13:35)

Ask God to help you live a life and to be a member of the church for which people are thankful to God.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Est Bay

 

Three Steps to Santification

maxresdefaultProve all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1Th 5:21-24)

From the last post, we saw two keys to the process of sanctification (consecration). We learn from the above verses that it is God’s will that His people be sanctified as we wait for the return of our Savior.

Key 1 – The power of personal sanctification is the sovereign work of God

Key 2 – The practice of personal sanctification is the submission to the will of God

To help us in our journey into personal sanctification and submission to His will, God gives us a three-step process. These steps are listed in our text above.  They are, “Prove All Things”, Hold Fast that Which is Good”, and “Abstain from All Appearance of Evil”.

It is extremely helpful to take these three in order. Too many times our problem is that we skip over the first two and try to accomplish the third.  While we might be able to do so for a short while, we will not be able to maintain the process, or at best, we will do it without joy.

Here is a brief explanation of the three-step process to personal sanctification from 1Thessolonians 5:21-22.

Step 1 = Prove all things

The meaning of proving is to test, determine validity, check its quality, and determine if substance or statement is true or counterfeit

The methods for  proving all things

  • By searching the Scriptures

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Act 17:11)

  • By seeing the fruits

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Mat 7:15-16)

  • By seeking the excellent

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (Php 1:10)

This means we are not satisfied with the mediocre or the “good enough” when it comes to our work and walk with God.  We desire and give our VERY best for Him.

The measure of proving all things – all things…

What part of all do we not understand?  All areas, all practices, all means, “all things”.  Our dress habits, our church attendance habits, all doctrines, all Biblical positions, child disciple, marriage, and relationships, … ALL THINGS

Step 2 = Hold fast that which is good

Once proven good, hold on to the good

  • Hold fast to our integrity

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.  (Job 2:3)

  • Hold fast our profession

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Heb 4:14)

  • Hold fast our faith

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb 3:6)

  • Hold fast good instruction

Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. (Pro 4:13)

Step 3 = Abstain from all appearance of evil

  • We should abstain for temptation’s sake
  • We should abstain for testimonies sake

The Practice of abstaining.  We may need to be cautious and abstain from all appearance of evil as it regards to:

Our passions

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  (2Ti 2:22)

Our places

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.  (Pro 4:14-15)

Some people

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. (Psa 26:4-5)

Conclusion – Take all three steps and let God sanctify you.


 

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay