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Light

candle-lightOne of my favourite sermons I delivered this year was based on a few verses in Romans chapter 10 that basically dealt with these questions –

  • How then are they to call upon Him in whom they have not believed?
  • How are they to believe Him whom they have not heard?
  • How are they to hear, if no one preaches?
  • How are we to preach unless we are sent?

Throughout my sermon I would sing a verse of “This little light of mine” – yes, the Sunday School song we all used to sing and I applied its very adult theology to this church in Flamborough, Ontario.

Light is the essence of who God is.  In heaven there will be no need for our artificial light for God will shed His light on everyone.

I can tell you that this year, as I have been given the call and the responsibility to walk every day knowing that God was walking with me, my days have been clear.  Even in the midst of momentary darkness, the light was there to break that darkness and to sustain me on my walk.  It has been my measurement in my relationship with God – when there was light, there was God and when there was no light, I sought God and found Him quickly.

What is in store for 2014?

God has given me Psalm 1:6 for this coming year – ” God charts the road you take.”  You can follow me by following this new link - http://evanlaar2014.wordpress.com

I am looking forward to how God will chart my road and where this road will lead me and in doing so share that journey with you.

Grace and peace to you in 2014.

Emmanuel and The Holy City

EmmanuelCathedralI visited with my mom yesterday – she had celebrated her 87th birthday a few months back.

She started talking about her funeral arrangements and she mentioned a song that she wanted sung at the grave site – The Holy City.

She had the words with her, they were written out by my sister-in-law who volunteered to sing it on that special day.

The day when the holy city, new Jerusalem comes down from heaven, a voice will come from the throne reminding everyone once again that the dwelling of God is with us – He will dwell with us and we will be His people and God Himself will be with us.  The same message that came on Christmas morn – Emmanuel, God with us.

The blessing though is different – for on this new day, in the holy city, a promise comes with His presence – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more and then another promise given earlier by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church is repeated – “behold, I make all things new.”

 

Martyrs reign

Our_Lady_of_Mount_Carmel_Church,_Quidenham,_Norfolk_-_Windows_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1084822I am saying all martyrs will reign during the 1,000 years of peace that is talked about in the Book of Revelation – but the Bible actually says that those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and the word of God and were faithful in following Him.

In fact, I can be sure of this one thing – the Bible states that these people, and only these martyrs came back to life to serve and reign during this period of time.  The rest of those who had died remained dead until the 1,000 years had finished.

I think about how I will die for my faith one day.  The idea of losing my head like those depicted in the stain glass window is swift and quick – I can only pray that mine will be also.

If you recall, I have read Martyrs Mirror and I know what methods there are that could be used and of course what Jesus went through was absolutely incredible.

I am looking to get off quite easily – and feel badly for that.

We are promised a protection, but there is a time when the testimony of our death matters as much as the testimony of our faith and of our baptism.  When the time comes – God will be glorified in whatever matter needs to take place.

 

Amen, Hallelujah!

Road to HeavenOne of our retired SIM missionaries who volunteer in the office, went looking for a guest speaker who could preach on a Sunday morning at her church – since the pastor was missing one missionary speaker. I was nominated to go.

What made the morning special was that this was my first service where I was getting shouts back from the congregations with loud Hallelujah’s and Amen’s.  I must tell you, when they say that such shouts of acclamation and praise does something to the minister – they are right.  It was a great morning!  So now our volunteer, three months later, still jokes with me and now my nickname is Hallelujah and I have to remind her about the Amen – I think she does it on purpose.

But what a day that will be when we will be around the throne of God shouting out Amen and Hallelujah!

Hallelujah because salvation and glory and power belong to our God.  We are told to praise God but I can’t see that necessary, we just do it.

It will be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder peals – Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give Him glory.

Did you know that we the Church will be His Bride?  Our clothing on that day will be made of fine linen, bright and pure for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the followers of Jesus. Jesus will have a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God.

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Handel – Judas Maccabeus – Hallelujah Amen

Come out

come outHere is the worry – walking with God is good and we know that He walks with us – yet sometimes we walk in arenas where we lose sight of God.

Sometimes we walk into places where we let down our guard thinking we are with other followers and somehow find ourselves talking about how to make a lot of money.  Other times we are told to not be so legalistic and enjoy the pleasures of life, since God created them anyway.

In the midst of those moments, you miss a beat, stop holding God’s hands, His holiness is too much for you to stay with Him and you take liberties with your commitment to only follow Him – God calls you to come out, come away, separate yourself from anything – especially from those who encourage you to no longer be committed to following God.  Step away because you will become like them.  If you think they need you to see Jesus – think again – they are taking you down.  Someone else needs to step up and tell them.

Remember, it is the Holy Spirit that draws people to Jesus, step away and rekindle your walk with God.  Nothing else matters.

Why marvel?

clear-ice-largeI think we caught up sometimes looking at the ways of the world, how involved they become in their excess and how raw their speech is – and that look is one of awe as opposed to sorrow.

I find myself talking with another and need to bring them back to earth by reminding them that they have what they want now and are going to enjoy it for the moment, and we have what we want now and totally enjoy it too.  Difference is that when we stand in front of God one day, they will do the marveling and we will be doing the worshiping.

When we get caught up marveling anything on earth other than Jesus, why?

Those are the same people who will want to make war on the Lamb, on you and me who follow the Lamb.  We already know the end of the story (again, why marvel?), the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and we are called, chosen and faithful.

The word of God will be fulfilled, God walks with us, why marvel?

Curse or Repent

storm-4Merry Christmas everyone!

Jesus, God‘s Son, coming in the flesh, to show us what God looks like, to tell us to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, to die for us, to raise again by the power of God holding the keys of life and death, who sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, preparing a place for us.

Emmanuel, God with us.

Some of those who have heard this story, know this story and have engaged with this story what do they say?

They reject God’s love because of the pain and hurt in the world and they curse Him.

They do not declare Him holy, nor His judgments fair and true – so whether they are watching the pain of the world from a distance or experiencing it themselves, instead of asking God to walk with them through it all, they decide to curse Him until the very end.

Why?

Who could reject such love?

What power is there in a curse against God – that kind of curse comes right back on the giver of the curse.

May your Christmas morning begin with repentance and may you choose to share that story with family and friends – remind them all that Emmanuel, God wants to walk with us, to be with us and invites us to come and do the same.

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