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Sanctuary Blog

Read this featured blog post by Pastor Ron Williams

Meet the Messiah

Theme: The Mystery, Might and Majesty of The Messiah

Topic: Meet the Messiah

Text: John 5:1-14 (NLT)

Introduction: "He became sin, who knew no sin that we might become his righteousness, He humbled himself and carried the cross, love so amazing, love so amazing

His body, the bread, his blood, the wine, broken and poured out all for love, the whole earth trembled, and the veil was torn, love so amazing, love so amazing

All our hope is in you, all our hope is in you, all glory to you, God, the light of the world

Jesus Messiah, name above all names, Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel, the rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven, Jesus Messiah, Lord of all." This song written and performed by Chris Tomlin, introduces us to The Mystery, Might and Majesty of the Messiah in our generation, as does the Gospel of John, written two millenniums ago. When we meet the Messiah we discover that...

l. He is present: in person then and in Spirit now v.1

    " Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days."

ll. He is personable: he sees the afflicted and care for them vv. 2-6

  " Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

lll. He is powerful: healing the diseases of the body and soul vv. 7- 9d

     “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”  Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath..."

lV. He is perceptive: exposing legalistic religion and confronting the destructive nature of sin vv. 9e-14

so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Conclusion: The mystery, why did Jesus single out this man from all the rest? Why did he choose you and me to fulfill his purpose? His might, he can do what no other can do, "Heal our bodies and save our souls, baptize us make us whole." His Majesty, he is Lord of all and worthy of our obedience, worship, and praise. We don't know what became of the man Jesus healed. Did he become a devoted follower of Jesus or a despicable ingrate? Both Chris and John introduce us to Jesus Messiah. Will we become devoted followers or despicable ingrates?

What The Righteous Can Do

Theme: What the Righteous Can Do When Law and Order Has Collapsed

Topic: What The Righteous Can Do

Text: Psalm 11: 1-7 (NLT) "The foundations of the law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?" v.3

Introduction: We are all keenly aware that lawlessness is rampant worldwide, and it has been for a long time. The last 6 month in the USA lawlessness has been extreme. Politicians and pundits are at a loss as to what to do about it. Additionally COVID-19 has made for a "Perfect Storm." Our nation, and the nations of the world are floundering like ships that are near sinking in a raging sea. The question was asked long ago in a crisis like today, "What can the righteous do?" Here what...

l. We can seek the protection of the Lord: he is the ultimate source of safety in time and for eternity v.1a

"I trust in the Lord for protection.

ll. We can stand our post by trusting in him: the fearful run away and hide the courageous stand for good and oppose evil vv.1b-2

So why do you say to me,

    “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety!

The wicked are stringing their bows

    and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.

They shoot from the shadows

    at those whose hearts are right."

lll. We can be sure that God stills rules from heaven: the lawless will be brought down and the righteous will be lifted up vv.4-6

But the Lord is in his holy Temple;

    the Lord still rules from heaven.

He watches everyone closely,

    examining every person on earth.

The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.

    He hates those who love violence.

He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked,

    punishing them with scorching winds.

lll. We can serve God by living virtuous lives and advance his Kingdom: behaving befitting the people of God with the rewards thereto attached v.7

For the righteous Lord loves justice

    The virtuous will see his face.

Conclusion: Faith says stand up and make your life count for God. Fear says run away and hide. Faith says be strong and courageous, fight the good fight. Fear says that's for the Abrahams, Moses', Joshuas, Calebs, Davids, Peters, James', Johns, Pauls, Esthers, Ruths, Debrahs, Marys, and Elizebeths but not for me. Faith sees the face of God. Fears sees only the snarl of the evil one. Which is it? Will we join the shrinking fearful or side with victorious - faith - filled few? Be sure of this, we can be more than conquerors through Him that loves us, and through Christ we can do all things. Kingdom people arise and seize the day of opportunity. The Righteous Can Do!

Are you "all in" with Christ?