Posts Tagged 'warning'

Joel’s Hope: A Word of War

A Word of War

Joel 3:9-16; Eph. 6:11-17

I’ve been reading Scripture as literature lately; I’ve been focusing more on plot and character than on devotion or doctrine. One thing I’ve noticed is the overarching theme of restoration. THAT is Joel’s Hope: that God would put right what has gone wrong.

Joel’s Hope Is Our Help

* Warn the World… ~ Joel 3:9-12

  • 9 context: this is a warning to the world, not God’s people
  • 10 riff on Isaiah 2:4; the world will fight against God anyway it can BEFORE the day of the Lord
  • 11 notice voice change: first part is Joel warning; second is Joel praying
  • 12 third part is God responding; make no mistake: God WILL judge the nations, even those who claim not to know or follow Him (THAT is why we share)

* To Weigh Their Worth ~ Joel 3:13-16

  • 13 back to Joel’s prayer: calling for the “harvest/judgment” of the nations; Jesus referenced this: Matt 9:38 (“pray the Lord to send workers”)
  • 14 “valley of decision” is a metaphor for being stuck, and needing to choose; DO YOU FEEL STUCK IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
  • 15 another metaphor: try to live without God, and you’re stuck in the dark!
  • 16 Our choice: thunder and trembling away from God; or a refuge and stronghold WITH Him.

* Wage the War ~ Eph. 6:11-17

  • 11/12 We are not fighting PEOPLE; we are fighting spiritually
  • 13/14 STAND actively, not passive; we are on OFFENSE
  • 15 Are you ready to move? When God says GO, what’s your response?
  • 16/17 Roman shield USED IN CONCERT; not as individuals but AS A UNIT

Make no mistake: we ARE in a spiritual war. How are you engaged?

Joel’s Hope: A Call To Cry

A Call To Cry

Joel 1:13-20; II Peter 3:8-13

Be Prepared” – looks different, depending on circumstance: my pregnant daughter had a bag packed a month “early”, and Thursday she was admitted to have the baby! A wife and mother thought she had years after her husband passed – and her funeral was yesterday. To prepare REQUIRES forethought: so what are we thinking about?

Before We Call Out, Consider

* WHY Cry? ~ Joel 1:13-20

  • 13/14 we CRY IN LAMENT; Joel in response to actual locust attack; metaphor of a sudden invasion; when faced with suffering, we cry out to God: THIS IS ENCOURAGED
  • 15/18 we cry in WARNING; this world will not last forever; we see our relationship with God through the lens of our circumstances unless we’re reminded that God comes FIRST (switch the direction of the binoculars)
  • 19/20 we cry in NEED; we do this still “give us our daily bread” isn’t about FOOD, it’s about reliance upon God (instead of ourselves)

* WHAT Do We Call? ~ II Peter 3:8-13

  • 8/9 not on God’s timetable (we need reminders that God is still at work)
  • 10/11 we don’t have God’s values (if STUFF is temporary, why so much energy spend on accumulation?)
  • 12/13 we need God’s VISION – keep looking forward

This world could very well be winding down… or it could go on for another ten thousand years. Regardless of the time: what are you doing for the Kingdom NOW?

Learning from Luke: Render Unto Caesar

Learning from Luke: Render Unto Caesar Sermon Audio Here
Click here to play the file

Luke 20:19-26

In this political season, congregations find themselves in tough situations. Should we speak for or against a specific candidate or issue? Should we ignore the political maelstrom? How do we live by God’s principles in a fallen world?

Guard Yourself Against

Twisted Motives – WHY This Issue?
Luke 20:19-22

  • v19 context: Triumphal Entry/Temple Cleansing – they’re TICKED
  • v20 they can’t morally best Jesus; they have to cheat
  • v21 1) they lie “we know”
    • 2) they tell the truth “you teach what is right”
    • 3) they set up the sting “you do not show partiality”
  • v22 the dilemma horns: YES =collaboration w/ occupying enemy; NO=sedition against government. Either way, Jesus will be hauled away out of public (which is the whole point)

Misunderstood Terms – WHAT Is Being Said?
Luke 20:23-26

  • v23 Jesus recognized their loyalty: not to KoG, but their masters
  • v24 Jesus uses elements from their kingdom to make His point
  • v25 Jesus makes a statement about ownership via image cf. Gen. 1:26 (who owns you?)
  • v26 their crafted dilemma didn’t take any other viewpoint into mind; Jesus wasn’t living by their rules, but by KoG concepts for which they had no answer

Those who wanted to trap Jesus tried to make the conversation about politics of the day; Jesus tried (repeatedly) to turn the topic to the Kingdom of God, pointing out that we ALL fall short if we try to create a system of right human behavior if we cut God out. It’s GOD’s kingdom; we just live here.


Pastor Ed Backell

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