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Preaching from the Pulpit of Ephraim Church of the Bible

Devoted To Prayer

01/04 Devoted To Prayer; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20150104_devoted-to-prayer.mp3

As I began my readings for the new year, a word in Acts 1 intrigued me. It is translated ‘were devoting themselves to’

The Greek word behind the English ‘devoted to’ is [προσκαρτερέω proskartereo]. Here is how some of the dictionaries define it:

[Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries]

G4342 προσκαρτερέω proskartereo (pros-kar-ter-eh’-o) v.

1. to be earnest towards

2. (to a thing) to persevere, be constantly diligent

3. (in a place) to attend assiduously all the exercises

4. (to a person) to adhere closely to (as a servitor)

[from G4314πρός pros (pros’) prep.1. forward to, i.e. toward and G2594 καρτερέω kartereo (kar-ter-eh’-o) v.1. to be strong 2. (figuratively) to endure]

[Thayer] – Original: προσκαρτερέω; Transliteration: Proskartereo; Phonetic: pros-kar-ter-eh’-o

– Definition:

1. to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one

2. to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing

3. to continue all the time in a place

4. to persevere and not to faint

5. to show one’s self courageous for

6. to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

This is a strong word. It appears only 10 times in the New Testament. What is it that the early believers were devoted to, what were they earnest toward or constantly diligent or steadfastly attentive to; what is it they gave their unremitting care to? As we evaluate the successes and failures of a past year and look forward to a new year and seek to re-prioritize and re-purpose for the new year, it would do us well to look to what the early church was passionately committed to. Twice we find this word connected to another word. In Acts 1:14 and in Acts 2:46 we find the word translated ‘devoted to’ with the word [ὁμοθυμαδόν homothumadon], which is translated ‘together’ or ‘with one accord’ or ‘with one mind’

[Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries]

G3661 ὁμοθυμαδόν homothumadon (hom-oth-oo-mad-on’) adv.

1. unanimously

[adverb from a compound of the base of G3674 and G2372]

Whatever it is that the early church was unanimously constantly diligent and steadfastly attentive to, is probably important for us to resolve to devote ourselves to as well.

Let’s look at some of the verses, see if we can pick up some themes, and think together about what we should do about it.

Acts 1:14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

The early believers unanimously constantly diligent in prayer. Acts 2:42 adds three things to prayer.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

They were earnest towards the apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking bread and prayers.

Acts 2:46 has both of these words together.

[ESV] Acts 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

It comes through more clearly in the Lexham English Bible, another literal translation.

[LEB] Acts 2:46 And every day, devoting themselves to meeting with one purpose in the temple courts and breaking bread from house to house, they were eating their food with joy and simplicity of heart,

They unanimously gathered to meet together in public, and they gathered in homes to break bread and to eat together. The next verse is telling.

Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

As the early church was passionately committed to these things, God was saving people and connecting them with the growing church. There seems to be a connection between the unanimous devotion of the believers and the fruitfulness of the gospel in their communities.

Here is why the Apostles appointed others to oversee the charitable activities of the church:

Acts 6:2 …“It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. …4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

The same word is used in Romans 12 and Colossians 4.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

So we see repeatedly that the early church devoted themselves to prayer. We also see that they devoted themselves to preaching and hearing the word, to breaking bread, to fellowship, to eating together. If these are things the early Christians were earnestly and unanimously devoted to, these are things we to ought to be faithfully passionate about.

Why These Things?

But why have the followers of Jesus throughout history been committed to hearing and teaching the word, to table fellowship with the believers, to remembering Jesus in the breaking of bread, and primarily to prayer? What is it about these things that captured the heart and the attention of the church? What is it about prayer that is so clearly foundational and central to the Christian life?

Prayer

First, what is prayer? Simply put, prayer is our communication with God. When we address God with worship, with thanksgiving, with confession, with requests, that is prayer. Prayer is our side of communication with God. Jesus had much to say about prayer. He exhorted his disciples to pray, he taught them how to pray (and how not to pray), he told them parables about prayer, and he modeled for them a life devoted to prayer.

Prayer, the way Jesus taught it, is humbling. If you think of the four aspects of prayer, worship is telling God how awesome he is, that he is greater than all else, including me. Worship is telling God all the things I admire about him, most of which are not true of me, and those things that are true of me in some degree are true in me only in an imperfect and flawed reflection of who he is. Worship is turning my attention away from me an to God, paying attention to him, celebrating and enjoying him for who he is. Confession is agreeing with God about the perfect standard and acknowledging how far I fall short of that standard. Thanksgiving is looking at the good things he gives that I don’t deserve and couldn’t earn and expressing gratitude as a humble recipient of great and glorious gifts. Requests are an expression of my need and his overwhelming generosity, of my emptiness and his fullness, of my brokenness and his wholeness, of my lack and his infinite supply. Being devoted to prayer means being constantly humbled in his presence.

And yet the privilege of prayer is amazing beyond comprehension. I can approach the all holy God in prayer because he so loved me that he gave his only Son to die in my place, pay my price, and purchase me as his own prized possession. Jesus opened to me the way of prayer through his own blood. I have been forgiven and cleansed and made new, and I can stand before him as a saint, a holy one. I have been adopted into the family of God, and can now address him as Father. He has taken me into his confidence, and I can address him as Friend. I have been granted bold access to the throne of grace. That is a humbling amazing reality that I am reminded of when I pray.

Prayer is our necessary connection to Jesus. Jesus used the metaphor of a vine with branches. He said:

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

We must stay constantly connected to Jesus in order to be alive and to bear fruit. The circulatory system must carry away waste and deliver nutrients to the branch and or the branch will die. We are to pray as if our life depended on it, because it does! We are to be devoted to prayer. A branch disconnected from the root will not last long. Prayer is to be as natural and constant as breathing; taking in life giving oxygen, exhaling to carry away dangerous waste. Our connection with Jesus is directly related to our life and fruitfulness. A Christian who is not constantly connected with Jesus will not grow or produce fruit.

The Apostles,

Acts 1:13 …Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

These men had been with Jesus. When Jesus had called them to follow him, they gladly left everything. They enjoyed being with him. They had spent time with Jesus. Jesus had poured into them, invested in them, spent time with them. He taught them, trained them, answered their questions, calmed their fears, assuaged their doubts, prepared them for the future. When Jesus told them that he was going away, ‘sorrow filled their hearts’ (Jn.16:6). They wanted nothing more than to be with Jesus. They longed to spend time in his company, being part of what he was doing, remaining connected. Jesus said:

John 16:22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. …24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Jesus was crucified and his disciples scattered. But he rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. Their hearts rejoiced and no one could take their joy. Before Jesus ascended bodily to the right hand of his Father, he said

Matthew 28:20 …And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We abide in Jesus, we maintain that intimate connection with Jesus through prayer, through worship, confession, thanksgiving and requests. We depend on him. Apart from him we can do nothing. If we abide in him and his word abides in us, we will bear much fruit.

The Word

Our side of the communication is called prayer. God’s side of the communication is called divine revelation, and this happens primarily through the preaching and hearing of the word. This is why we see an unswerving commitment to the proclamation of biblical truth among the followers of Jesus. We want his word to abide in us. Jesus said to the religious leaders,

John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

The Apostles were Jews who had heard the Scriptures read all their lives. But they had met Jesus, and he created in them a new appetite for God’s word. When Jesus appeared to his disciples,

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Because we have been with Jesus, because we have experienced him as the Word made flesh, we have a new appetite for Jesus, a hunger for his words. We want to hear him speak. His words are life and they are light. We are to be devoted to, steadfastly attentive to the Apostles’ teaching.

The Gospel

The early followers were devoted to the breaking of bread. Jesus broke bread and said ‘do this in remembrance of me’ (Lk.22:19). Remembering Jesus by breaking bread is a way to keep our eyes fixed on the gospel. We must not lose sight of the gospel, the good news that Jesus died to save sinners. Jesus took bread.

1 Corinthians 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Jesus intended for us to remember him by breaking bread together. The early church was constantly diligent to break bread together. We too, should be devoted to the breaking of bread whereby we remember Jesus and keep our focus on the gospel.

Table Fellowship

The early church was devoted to fellowship. They ate together. They took food with joy and simplicity of heart. They ate at one another’s homes. Why eating together? The Corinthian church was rebuked for the way they ate together, each one going ahead with his own meal, not sharing and not waiting for one another. The purpose is not food, the purpose is building relationships. Eating together with joy and thankfulness is a way to build relationships. Having a meal together is a way of loving one another, and it can be a way to care for the needy. Discipleship, as Jesus did it, happened through the daily routines of life, walking, talking, traveling, fishing, eating, spending time caring for broken hurting people. The early church was devoted to table fellowship because our vertical relationship with God must bend outward to other people. Jesus said:

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

The early disciples were earnest toward eating together as an expression of love. We too must be devoted to fellowship with other believers.

Devoted to Unity in Community

The early church was unanimous in their devotion to fellowship, breaking bread, the word and prayer. These were not only individual exercises. They were together devoted – praying together, listening together ‘with one accord’, eating together, ‘house to house’. The early church was devoted to unity in the context of community. They were together in public, and they were together in their homes. The early church valued one another. Their relationship with Jesus found expression in their attitudes and actions toward one another.

Hindrances to Unanimous Devotion

Why aren’t we devoted to the same things that the followers of Jesus passionately committed themselves to? What keeps us from being earnest toward the things of Christ? If we can identify some of the things that prevent our devotion to Christ, we can begin to weed them out and cultivate a deeper devotion to the things that we are called to be devoted to.

We live in an individualistic society. Our culture does not encourage us to spend time face to face with other human beings, interacting, doing things together, caring for one another, being involved in the lives of others. We have been trained with a consumer worldview, where we ask the question ‘what can I get out of this’ and ‘how does this benefit me’ rather than, ‘what can I give’ and ‘how can I benefit others?’ If we can root out the individualism and self-focus that prevents us from living in genuine community with others, we will be more free to devote ourselves to these things.

Sin clearly will hinder us from being devoted to the things of Christ. When we fill our souls with counterfeit food, we ruin our appetites for that which gives life. Our desires need to be transformed. We have an empty gaping hole in our souls, and we seek to cram it full of stuff to satisfy our longings. We need to unpack the junk so that we can recognize that our true longings can only be satisfied by a relationship with God. When we crowd our lives with busyness we are simply being pulled in too many directions to be devoted to anything. When we fill our lives with noise, it drowns out any opportunity to listen to his voice. We need to take a hard look. Some things may have to go so that we can devote ourselves to prayer, to the word, to the gospel, to love.

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

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January 4, 2015 Posted by | occasional, podcast | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God Glorified in the Gospel

http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20121230_god-glorified-in-the-gospel.mp3

12/30 God Glorified in the Gospel

God’s Glory is Primary

The angels proclaimed ‘glory to God in the highest!’ God’s glory is primary. God’s glory is first in importance. God’s glory takes first place. Jesus came to bring glory to his Father, and his Father aimed to give glory to Jesus. Jesus, looking ahead to the cross, said:

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. … 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The purpose for Jesus’ coming was to bring glory to God. In John 17, Jesus prayed:

John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

The centrality of the glory of God is not something new with Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament, the glory of God is primary. In Isaiah 43:7 God says he created us for his glory. Psalm 86:9 looks forward to the day when:

Psalm 86:9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

In Psalm 66, all the earth is commanded to:

Psalm 66:2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul tells us:

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

And then in chapter 10 he says:

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Am I Living for God’s Glory?

If God’s glory was put on display throughout the Old Testament, if Jesus’ aim in his coming was to bring glory to God, and if, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism begins, ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever’, then in this time of retrospect over the past and resolve for the future, we would do well to examine ourselves in light of this greatest purpose. If we were created to glorify God, then we should pause to ask ourselves some questions.

-Am I living a life that brings maximum glory to God?’

-Am I doing that which I was created to do?

-Am I fulfilling my purpose?

-Can I increase the magnitude of the glory I give to God?

-Can I get better at fulfilling my purpose?

-Are there things that detract from God’s glory that I need to put aside?

In order to properly evaluate if we are living lives that bring maximum glory to God, we need to ask the prior question ‘What is it that brings glory to God? In what ways does God mean to be glorified in my life? How do I live for the glory of God? What does that look like? Lord willing, we will take the next few weeks to examine some of the biblical data to try to come up with a picture of what a God glorifying life looks like.

God is Glorified in the Gospel

In order to get started on this quest for the glory of God, let’s look back for a moment at the shepherds.

Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The shepherds glorified God for all they had heard and seen. What had they heard? They had heard the gospel – good news! Good news of great joy that will be for all the people. They had been told that to them a Savior had been born, the Messiah, the King. They had been given a sign to test the truthfulness of the message. They went and saw that the new King had been placed in an animal’s food trough, just as the angels had told them. The shepherds glorified God for all they had heard and seen. Glorifying God for these shepherds was a heart response to good news. They were first hearers of the good news. It was proclaimed to them. Then they became believers in the good news. They tested it to see if it was true, and they trusted him. This resulted in hearts naturally overflowing with praise to God. Glorifying God was not something the shepherds set out to do. They became recipients of the gospel, and their heart’s response was an overflow of glory to God. So it is with us. First, we become recipients of the gospel. The good news is preached to us. We believe, and our hearts overflow with worship and gratitude.

But there are obstacles in us to the gospel that God must overcome before we respond in a way that brings glory to him.

Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

We are naturally hostile to God, rebels against God, unable to submit to God, unable to please him or bring him glory. 2 Corinthians 4 tells us we are blind, unable to see.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Only God is able to overcome this satanic blindness in our hearts to the good news of the glory of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

God creates faith in the darkness of our rebel hearts.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish… God chose what is weak… 28 God chose what is low and despised… even things that are not… 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus… …31 Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love, took those who were dead in our trespasses, and made us alive.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The gospel is designed in such a way that excludes boasting.

Romans 3:27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. …by the law of faith.

Therefore, let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. (1Cor.1:31)

Galatians 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

We bring glory to God when we confess that there is nothing good in us. We bring glory to God when we understand that it is God who took the initiative and overcame all the obstacles in our dead hearts and opened our blind eyes to the light of the good news of the glory of Christ.

We see this God-glorifying refrain of response to the gospel in Ephesians 1. Blessed be God who has blessed us in Christ, he chose us, in love he predestined us for adoption…

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, making know to us his will; in him we have obtained an inheritance…

Ephesians 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

In him, when we heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

We become recipients of God’s grace and every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ Jesus, and when we look back over the gospel blessings he has purchased for us, our hearts resound to the praise of his glory. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! We bring glory to God when we pause to look at our own salvation. Have you glorified God for your own salvation today?

God is Glorified in the Expansion of the Gospel

Our hearts are also stirred to worship when we see God’s grace being extended to others. In Acts 10, God sent Peter to preach the gospel at a Gentile’s house. While he was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word, and those who were with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. Peter had to explain what happened back in Jerusalem to many who were critical of his preaching to the uncircumcised.

Acts 11:17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

This was a somewhat hesitant, somewhat reluctant glorifying of God, hesitant because of their own social and ethnic hangups. But if God wants to extend forgiveness of sins to non-Jewish people who believe in the Messiah, then God can do what he wants. God is glorified. God is more gracious, more generous than we would be.

God is amazingly gracious. Jesus captured the heart of one of his most vehement opponents. God opened the eyes of a zealous pharisee who was on a campaign to obliterate the name of Jesus and imprison and execute his followers. When word got back to Judea about Saul,

Galatians 1:23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

God gets the glory for the conversion of any sinner. When the most vehement opponent of Jesus is brought to his knees, that is reason to worship. Paul began to preach the faith he once tried to destroy. Paul’s practice was to preach to the Jews in the local synagogue until he got kicked out, then take his message to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.

When the Gentiles in Pisidian Antioch heard that the good news of forgiveness of sins through Jesus could extend beyond the bounds of Judaism, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey,

Acts 21:19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. …

The Jewish church in Jerusalem glorified God because Gentiles came to worship the one true God through Jesus Christ. Our hearts overflow with praise to God when we see him extend his grace to others, even others who are very different from us.

Missions advances the glory of God. Are you involved in missions for the glory of God? You might respond ‘of course not, I’m sitting here in church, in America. God hasn’t called me to missions.’ I would have to argue ‘Oh yes he has!’ God has called you to missions. God has called every one of his followers to make disciples. That might mean that you are called to go to a distant part of the globe and preach Jesus where his name has never been heard. It might mean that. It might mean that you get involved in missions in a secondary capacity, by praying and by paying. Jesus invites you to pray.

Luke 10:2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

God invites you to be involved in missions by praying and by paying.

Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

So God may be calling you to go and preach. God invites you to partner with him in the work of missions by praying and by sending others. But if you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to make disciples. Wherever you are, you are called to make disciples of Jesus. Among the unreached peoples of the world, or among your neighbors and co-workers and friends and family. God is glorified when the gospel is extended to those who don’t yet know him.

2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

We can increase thanksgiving to the glory of God by spreading the gospel to more and more people.

Philippians 2:8 [Jesus] humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Imagine that day! The day when every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth bows to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord! On that day God will receive the glory that he deserves.

Today, we have the privilege of doing what we were created to do. We have the greatest privilege of bringing glory to God. God is glorified in us when we hear the gospel, when we believe the gospel, when we look at the gospel and are humbled and amazed by the gospel, when we treasure and cherish the gospel. God is glorified when we see the gospel at work in the lives of those around us. God is glorified when we spread the gospel, when we pray that God will send laborers into his harvest, when we pay for the advance of his kingdom, when we are making disciples of those around us wherever we are. God is glorified in the advance of his gospel, both in our hearts and around the globe. God is glorified, and we are filled with joy. May we give God the glory he deserves!

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

December 30, 2012 Posted by | occasional, podcast | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment