Sunday Morning Revelation Letters

Pastor Ann will be continuing her series on REVELATION at 10:55 Sunday morning.

It has been over 2000 years since we heard the words of Jesus when He warned, “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” (Matt. 24:44)  Our world is changing at an ever faster pace.  Many things that Jesus spoke about are apparent in our world today, for those who are seeing.  Read Matthew 24 for a glimpse of what He would have us watch for.

REVELATION is the last book in our bible.  It indicates what the last days will be like.  This week Pastor Ann will be focused on the last four of seven churches that received a letter from Jesus as dictated to John.  The churches at Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea were all commended for specific attributes, but only Philadelphia was not rebuked.  Join us Sunday morning to find out why these letters apply to every church, everywhere for all time.

Salt: The Right Seasoning

Posted in:

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6).

Salt is referred to several times in the New Testament. Though it is quite common today, it was considered a valuable commodity in ancient times and was even a form of payment in some cases (this is where we get the phrase, “worth his/her salt”). Salt was certainly used to add flavor, but its most important use was as a preservative—making sure food did not spoil before it could be prepared.

Jesus says we are to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16): those whose presence in the world prevents spoilage while reflecting the light of God’s love to all.

Paul writes in Colossians that when we enter into conversations, especially with those who are not part of the family of God, our interactions are to be “seasoned with salt” and “full of grace” (Col. 4:6). We are to speak (and act) in such a way that allows the grace of God to preserve opportunities to point others toward Christ.

Clearly, approaches such as having a judgmental attitude or entering “attack mode” over things like religion, politics, or other issues can cause interactions to spoil early! It is not that we are to avoid engagement in such conversations. Rather, our conversations about such matters are to be grace-filled.

We as Christians are called to present ourselves in such a way that demonstrates our desire to value people as God does.

The “salt” that we demonstrate preserves relationships and opportunities for further dialogue about matters that are eternal in nature. We often bear witness with our approach and our words long before we are ever able to bear specific witness to the good news of salvation and sanctification to others. Furthermore, how we interact with one another—especially in this age of instant social media—bears witness of our faith not only to other Christians, but also to unbelievers.

The goal is that those on the outside can, through our conversations with them and with each other, be able to say that we have fulfilled the admonition from 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

This week, can we examine how we interact with those who feel as if they are “outsiders” to the faith? Can we also monitor how we interact with all people, including the family God, in person, on social media, and through our intentional acts of love? In this way, the world will see that our faith is “worth its salt.”

Prayer for the Week:

Dear Lord, we who are divided, unloving, and prejudiced at times, ask that you make us united, loving, and open to learning. Amen. (from sojo.net)

Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.

Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today 

It’s that time again!

It’s time for Men’s Prayer Breakfast at Cove Nazarene!  Bring your appetites, sons, friends and thinking caps Saturday at 8 a.m.  There’s a rumor that this fellowship time will be different.  The only way to find out is to show up.  Don’t forget that this crew is serious about eating so if you want to share in the breakfast portion….

SABBATH a Holy Rest time

Finding your Rhythm

Posted in:

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11, NIV).

“It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play.” This quote from the great jazz trumpet player Miles Davis is a reminder that good music includes strategic times of rest. Without rests in music, songs are nothing more than a jumble of sound.

Just like music, God created us with a need for rest.

Throughout the Bible—even in the story of creation—we see the need to pull away from the jumbled noise of the world around us and find times to refresh (see Genesis 2:2-3). Jesus extends an invitation to those who follow Him: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

Rest that is centered in intentionally worshiping God, experiencing His presence, and re-evaluating our priorities should set the rhythm for our week. Too often, the tasks on our “to do” list set the tone for our week. We exhaust ourselves and rest only when it is absolutely necessary.

Perhaps it is time to recapture the discipline of rest—the discipline of the Sabbath. The God who has no physical need for rest intentionally rested from His work of creation in order to set an example for His people.

Although Sabbath rest can help us become more productive, we do not set aside a Sabbath simply to make ourselves more productive. We intentionally rest, so we can hear the still, small voice of God, which is difficult to hear when we are constantly consumed by tasks. We hear God in a unique way when we set aside our work and focus ourselves on experiencing the presence of God through prayer, praise, family time, leisure, and relaxation.

God is always near us, of course; however, we risk missing key aspects of our relationship with God when we fail to honor His call to consistent times of intentional rest.

We may have to be creative in how we enter such a rest. It is said that Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles (and many other children), would sit in corner and pull her apron up over her head, transforming it into her “prayer closet.” Some of us may have to designate certain places for Sabbath rest. We may have to block time from our calendar and designate this time as “Sabbath.”

Whatever it takes, in our overly demanding world that drains so much from us, we cannot afford to disregard the principle of Sabbath that God Himself built into the very fabric of our being and into all of creation. This week, let us learn to rest and to enjoy the gift of the Sabbath.

Prayer for the Week:

Grant me grace this day to rest and remember that there is nothing I have to do, nothing I have to buy or sell, nothing I have to produce or consume in order to become who I already am: Your beloved creation.

May Your overworked creation and those who cannot rest today come to know the liberation of your Sabbath. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. (A Sabbath prayer by, Sam Hamilton-Poore)

Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.

Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today

Revelation’s Seven Churches

REVELATION. What are those 7 letters to 7 churches all about? Join us on Sunday morning at 10:55 to find out. Pastor Ann has begun a new sermon series on the book of Revelation. If you have tried to read it on your own and were overwhelmed …. come hear how this last book of the bible applies to our time and our lives.

Holiness Today focus’ on Susanna Wesley

The September/October 2018 issue of Holiness Today will highlight the life and legacy of Susanna Wesley. Susanna has been called, literally and figuratively, the Mother of Methodism and consequently of the Holiness Movement.

The best known of her 11 children were John and Charles Wesley, who led revivals that spread throughout Europe and North America in the 18th century.

This issue of Holiness Today features a wide range of contributors, including both scholars and pastors, who highlight the sometimes overlooked contributions of this pioneering woman of faith.

The September/October issue is the second annual church history issue of Holiness Today. The first church history issue, last September/October’s issue on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, was used widely in churches and was given an award by Evangelical Press Association.

Subscribe now at holinesstoday.org to receive this issue.

Holiness Today

Adult & Teen Challenge changes lives through faith

AUGUST 26th. 10:55 a.m.  WRITE THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR…  Speakers from Adult Challenge

If you listen to AFR you’ve heard of Teen Challenge.  What you may not know is that they serve adults also.  This amazing ministry is focused on restoring lives torn asunder by alcohol or drugs through Christ-centered care.  On August 26th we at Cove Nazarene will be led to learn much more about this ministry through the testimonies of women who have experienced this process firsthand.  If you, or someone you know, is struggling with any type of challenge we encourage you to join us at 10:55 a.m.  Bring your family, friends and co-workers.

We will be accepting a love offering on behalf of this organization. After the program, we’ll have a fellowship time to give everyone opportunities to chat with participants.

Please join us for this amazing opportunity to bless and be blessed.

You can learn more about this group at teenchallengetx.org/

 

New Beginnings with Jesus

The New Beginnings

Posted in:

On that last day, that great day of the feast of tabernacles, Jesus stood in the temple teaching. It was the autumnal feast, the feast of thanksgiving, and the high priest stood before the altar of sacrifice and poured out of a golden vessel water and wine, emblems of the blood and water soon to be poured forth from Jesus’ side.

This was the last great feast in which Jesus took part and the last that was rightfully celebrated. At the next Passover feast, shadow turned to substance, type to reality, for the long expected Lamb of God was then to be sacrificed. This was the last year of feasts; the next year was to be a real fulfilment of the feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and ingathering.

With this new year, there was to be a new beginning, a new dispensation. The temple of our body was to become the holy of holies, the circumcision of the heart was to take the place of circumcision of the flesh, the substance the place of the type, the spiritual Sabbath of holiness the place of the ceremonial Sabbath, which was a type of holiness.

The first Sabbath, which had been broken off by sin and which was established by God at the completion of the work of creation, was to be restored to us in a new day which would be established by the Lamb of God at the completion of the work of redemption.

Probably while the priest was pouring out the wine and water at the altar of sacrifice, Jesus, whose blood was next to be poured out of the golden vessel of His immaculate body, said as He stood in the temple, ”If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, for the pouring out of my life will further result in the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon all who are my disciples, and rivers of living water shall flow forth from them.” Jesus announced at this closing scene of the old order of things the climax to which the new will rise, the baptism of the Holy Ghost for all believers.

The announcement of this great event was not accidental but of supreme importance.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the preparation for service, the Spirit’s presence sealing the eradication of all sin. It is the essential baptism, the great fact of this dispensation. It is the culminating event in the inspired revelation of our redemption, the climax of all events in the spiritual history of the human race, the advent of the Third Person of the Trinity, the divine provision for the preservation and increase of the spirituality and numerical strength of the Christian Church, for walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, they were multiplied.

The dark ages were brought on because the Church sought to increase its effectiveness by being unequally yoked with the powers of this world; and spiritual darkness always follows such alliances. The baptism with the Holy Ghost makes a refreshing, pure, exhaustless, life-giving, irresistible steady flood of healing water to flow spontaneously from the believer’s heart and keep it clean.

Ben Valjean, The Nazarene Messenger, August 15, 1907

Used with permission from Nazarene Archives for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.