Sermon on the Mount – Devo #2 “Poor Self”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

What a contrast! To be “blessed” is to be happy.  But, how can I be happy when I am poor in spirit; or poor in anything?

These words of Jesus to the stiff-necked Jews convey a tone of desperation and utter poverty. The Jews wanted their promised Messiah to come and deliver them from the Roman Empire; to set things right and have the world crawl humbly to the kingdom of Israel.  Instead Jesus delivers a message that confuses them…and us completely.  If you want to gain the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be poor in spirit.  Not poor in God’s spirit but poor in man’s spirit, which is a spirit centered on SELF.  Jesus makes a point.  As we empty out the ME, God wants to fill us with HIM.

There was never a time in my life that was more applicable than January 2007. My wife Cheryl had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It must be a mistake!  This can’t possibly be happening to us, can it?  We were believers and had faithfully served in our fellowship for years.  How can God allow this to happen to “good people”?  The short answer is found in Romans 3:10; “There is no one righteous. No, not one.” I remembered this from hearing the testimony of Pastor Jon Courson who tragically lost both a wife and daughter to separate car crashes.  Now, was it my turn?  My step-daughter and two grandkids had been killed in a crash just over a year before.  Was I going to lose Cheryl also?

Then Cheryl snapped me back to reality when she said, “either we walk what we say we believe or what good is it?” Cheryl’s cancer was beyond my control.  I was at the end of myself; but God was just getting started.  During Cheryl’s recovery, I learned that the Kingdom of Heaven, indeed, touches us in this life when we submit to God. James 4:7-8 says “Submit to God … Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Submit your poor, weak and inadequate spirit to Him and He will bless you with His riches.

Discussion question:

  • What things do you hold onto in times of trouble rather than God?

Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:4

Bob Boone

Sermon On The Mount – Devo #1 “Imitating the Messiah”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:1 “… and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.”

When I close my eyes I see Him… Jesus Christ, the Man, the Messiah, the Mystery.  Rarely, I see the Babe in a manger; Infrequently, a young Boy in the Temple; Occasionally, the suffering Savior; More often, the victorious King of kings. Most often though, I see a Man; a man walking the Earth I walk and facing the things that I face. A Man challenged by the things I am challenged with, even tempted by the things that tempt me. When I close my eyes, I see a Man…

Yet no matter the lens my mind’s eye uses to view Him with, I always find His Deity firmly imprinted upon His portrait. The longer I look, the clearer it becomes. Invariable, as I behold Him, the exhortation of the Apostle Paul echoes’ thru the chambers of my mind. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dear children” (Eph 5:1). In the vanity of my youth, I thought it a simple task, yet as youth slowly gives way to the clarity of someone older, I find it to be beyond challenging!

Imitate Christ, reflect His glory, walk as Jesus walked, imitate me as I imitate Christ … the exhortations crash like misplaced freight cars on the rails of my soul. The truth of their necessity hammers into the reality of my humanity. It’s a humanity that is rife with flaws, failures and inabilities. Suddenly I am confronted with the truth. To imitate Him, I must know Him. To know Him, I must sit at His feet, spend time with Him and allow the Deity that so clearly marks Him to change the very fiber of who I am.

The beautiful thing is that I find Him willing, yes even longing, for me to sit there. My nature does not surprise Him. He is not shocked by who I am. He chooses to see me for who I could be, will be, was created to be! As I join the disciples surrounding Him, He smiles.  “Then He opened His mouth and taught them …” (Matt 5:2).

Yes, when I close my eyes, I see Him… Jesus Christ, the Man, the Messiah, the Mystery, and I want nothing more than to be like Him.

Bryce Cordle

Discussion question:

  • Are you imitating Jesus?

Next Week’s Scripture:  Matthew 5:3

Strong God

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We have been singing this song called “Strong God” recently at MSC. It is inspired primarily by Psalm 68:5, and I wanted you to hear the story behind the song shared in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGT1lrsIgmo

Psalm 68:5

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.”

Here is a link back to the original post on songs we are doing for this series of sermons.

Lyrics for “Strong God”

Verse 1

Father to the fatherless Defender of the weak
Freedom for the prisoner we sing

Pre-Chorus

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Chorus 

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God
Sing out raise your hands and shout out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

Verse 2

You're with us in the wilderness faithful to provide
Every breath and every step we see
Bridge 
There is no higher no
There is no greater no
There is none stronger than our God

© 2011 Word Music, LLC and Integrity Worship Music CCLI Song # 6223670

Jeremy Ellis

Mountain Springs Church

Singing and Making Melody to the Lord

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MSC Soundtrack

Each week as we gather corporately for services as a church family we devote quite a significant amount of time to singing together. This should be no surprise as we read Scriptures like Ephesians 5:18, “… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” One could make the argument that a sign of a church family that is filled with the Holy Spirit is that they will be singing together, addressing one another in song and making melody to the Lord, to use the language that Paul uses in addressing the church at Ephesus. Continue reading

A Lamp Unto My Feet

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Three years. That is how long we have been in Mexico. It is hard to believe due to the speed at which these years have occurred. As I write this we have a roofing project going on. We have 2 friends from Idaho, one from Virginia and 2 from California and two of our friends from here helping us. It is an amazing thing to experience people coming to help us like this. Very humbling to say the least.

But this is only one little part of what has gone on for us. Continue reading

Fear or Faith

Missionaries in Ensenada, Mexico

Missionaries in Ensenada, Mexico

Fear or Faith?

Choices, choices.  This life is full of choices.  They are definitely more fun when the choices involve places like Baskin and Robbins or See’s Candies, but the majority of them are not that way.

A couple of weeks ago I had a test that involved choices.  Continue reading

Awestruck

Bryce_Beaver

Here is how Isaiah saw the LORD:

“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple……Isaiah 6:1-5

(vs 5) “So I said, woe is me, for I am undone. Because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people with unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of Hosts.”

Suddenly Isaiah was awestruck!!!!! He had just caught a picture of who God really was and he was awestruck!!!!

Fear vs The Fear Of God

  1. Fear- Dread, fear great terror- ( a human emotion)

God does not want you to have that type of fear of Him! He is a relational God- he desires to have a relationship with you and that is not accomplished if you are terrified of Him!  Romans 5:1-8

God is not standing in heaven just waiting to smoke you! Continue reading

The Greatest Question Ever Asked

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The greatest question ever asked….

We get asked a lot of questions here at Casa Blanca.  The constants seem to be:

  • “Where do I sleep?”
  • “When do we eat?”
  • “ What are those rings out there in the water?”
  • “How early is coffee ready in the morning?”

But the best one I think I have been asked so far in 2 ½ years was asked by a six year old little girl. Continue reading