Pastor Wrinkles: Hey Jude Pt. 2

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by* Jesus Christ: Jude 1:1 NIV

I guess one of the things I like to know before I read a letter from the daily mail is, is it a letter for me. After all, tampering with someone else’s mail is against the law!

We know from yesterday’s post that this letter is from Jude, Jesus’ brother. We know he was a man who had given all his obedience to Christ as Lord and Savior. But before we go on with the study let’s ask the question “Is this letter for me?”

Jude says he is writing to everyone who is called. The Greek word used here means everyone who is invited. Who has been invited to follow Christ? EVERYONE!  So far that means you qualify!

He goes on to say he is writing to everyone who is loved by God the Father. Who is loved by God? AGAIN EVERYONE!

The final qualifier is the lynch pin in the whole address label. Jude says he is writing to all who are kept by Jesus Christ. the Greek means those who are sanctified. Who are the sanctified? The sanctified are those who have responded to the invitation of God’s love.  EVERYONE HAS BEEN LOVED! EVERYONE HAS BEEN INVITED! BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS RESPONDED AND SO NOT EVERYONE IS BEING KEPT!

You know, a person can only say that all God’s promises are “yes and amen.” if he has responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If you have responded to the invitation of Christ’s forgiveness then it’s not just the book of Jude that has been written to you. It is every single line on every single page of the Bible!

Let’s pray: God I thank you that today the promises commands and prophecies of Scripture all pertain to my life because today I fully respond to the invitation to accept Christ’s work of salvation. I thank you Father for sending Your son Jesus to die on the cross and to rise from the dead so that I might have eternal life. I believe Jesus died and rose again further I give my whole life to Jesus today that I may become your servant now and forevermore! Amen!

If you meant that prayer then the book of Jude was written especially for you!

Get Up and Glow Pt. 9

We have been talking about getting up and moving on in life. We have said that getting up is necessary and that it is possible because God’s Holy Spirit and His Word guide us and bless us. Yesterday we said that all the promises in the Bible are ours to claim…

But we can only claim them if we get up and start pursuing the promises. Today I want to state that because of His promises…

 Getting up is powerful!

 Faith honors God and God honors faith! A story from the life of missionaries Robert and Mary Moffat illustrates this truth. For 10 years this couple labored faithfully in Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) without one ray of encouragement to brighten their way. They could not report a single convert. Finally the directors of their mission board began to question the wisdom of continuing the work. The thought of leaving their post, however, brought great grief to this devoted couple, for they felt sure that God was in their labors, and that they would see people turn to Christ in due season. They stayed; and for a year or two longer, darkness reigned. Then one day a friend in England sent word to the Moffats that she wanted to mail them a gift and asked what they would like. Trusting that in time the Lord would bless their work, Mrs. Moffat replied, “Send us a communion set; I am sure it will soon be needed.” God honored that dear woman’s faith. The Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the villagers, and soon a little group of six converts was united to form the first Christian church in that land. The communion set from England was delayed in the mail; but on the very day before the first commemoration of the Lord’s super in Bechuanaland, the set arrived.” (taken from sermon, author unknown)

During the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father’s voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, “I can’t see you!”

The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, “But I can see you. Jump!” The boy jumped, because he trusted his father. The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known. ( taken from sermon,  Donner Atwood)

There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain! We just have to persevere until the answer comes!

Get Up and Glow Pt. 8

   We have been talking about getting up and moving on in our lives in the midst of trials. In the last post we spoke about how getting up is possible because of the power of the Holy Spirit in us. But there is a second reason getting up is possible…

Getting up is possible because we have the promises of the Bible to guide us!

“Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928) was a star athlete of a military academy and an excellent student academically, who went on to be a successful teacher and coach. He then spent several years as an ordained Methodist minister, after which he went to medical school. He spent the last of his professional years as a doctor of medicine. Carter was also a musician and songwriter. …

Although Carter was a professed Christian most of his life, it wasn’t until a crisis with his natural heart that he began to understand the reality and power of Bible promises. At age 30, his health was in critical condition and the physicians could do no more for him. Carter turned to God for help and healing.

He knelt and made a promise that healing or no, his life was finally and forever, fully consecrated to the service of the Lord. It was from that moment that the written Word of God became alive to Carter. He began to stand upon the promises of healing, determining to believe no matter what his physical condition, no matter how he felt. Over the course of the next several months his strength returned, and his heart was completely healed! Carter lived another healthy 49 years.

The hymn Carter had written several years before his healing miracle became more than words and music to him. Standing on the Promises became an integral part of his life.

Standing On the Promises

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.”  (the Story Behind the Song  by Connie Ruth Christiansen)

All the promises of the Bible are yours if you will only get up and line yourself up with them.

What Bible promise are you standing on right now?

Get Up and Glow Pt. 5

What follows is a brief excerpt from Pastor Wrinkle’s latest sermon…

Reader, I have got good news for you! We can stop worrying about our problem. God has arranged it so we can give them to Jesus by prayer. Once we have done that our problems are no longer our problems. They become Jesus’ problems. By this we are given the grace to move on!

Even as our problems become Jesus’ problems though  there are still  two things we must do to find freedom. We must get up and we must glow!

The Scripture in Isaiah says “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you.” Isaiah 60:1,2 NLT

I love the Hebrew word for arise here: quwm-  to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up

a) (Qal)

1) to arise

2) to arise (hostile sense)

3) to arise, become powerful

4) to arise, come on the scene

5) to stand

a) to maintain oneself

b) to be established, be confirmed

c) to stand, endure

d) to be fixed

e) to be valid

f) to be proven

g) to be fulfilled

h) to persist

i) to be set, be fixed 

You do realize don’t you that the world is constantly trying to take our power. But the truth is we don’t have to let it! When the world knocks us down we can get back up.  We certainly can’t control what other people or circumstances do to us but we can control how we respond. We can choose to shrivel up and die or we can get up and live!

Which option are you choosing today? How can I pray for you?

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 101

Deb Maciorowski winner of count down to 100 contest and Pastor Wrinkles

Congrats once again Deb for winning our count down to 100 contest! Once you are finished with your summer course I will give you a proper lesson in using the Strong’s.

It will be a while until our next contest. For now let’s settle into the joy of the work shall we? Here is what I see in today’s chapters.

Joshua chapter 8 sermon topics/titles:

1. The Valley Between: Joshua 8: 10-13

2. The Time of the Javelin: Joshua 8: 18-27

3. Rehearsing the Things of God In Victory: Joshua 8: 30-35

Joshua chapter 9 sermon topics/titles:

1. Listening For the Lie Rather Than the Lord: Joshua 9:1-14

2. The Unbreakable Vow: Joshua 9: 16-21

3. When Wood Cutting and Water Carrying Is a Grace: Joshua 9:22-27

What sermon topics or titles do you find in these chapters? Let me know if something here helps you find material for your blog. 🙂


The Many and the One Again

Many different kinds of power exert their force upon our universe: Electricity, wind, water, gravity, atomic fusion and fission, all move nature to their whims.

Sin also is a power exerting its force upon the universe. Now maybe you have never thought of sin like that before. Maybe you  are among the millions who consider it to be weakness, but the Bible doesn’t describe sin that way. The Word of God declares sin to be a slave master under which the whole creation groans in hopes of liberation (Romans 6-8). Sin is a power!

Love also is a power. But of all the powers in the universe it is the one which will survive and never fade away.

“Love never fails.” I Cor. 13:8 NIV

“ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει”

agapē oudepote piptō”

      ” Agape” is the Greek word we have been using for love.

“Oudepote” is the Greek word meaning never.

“Pipto” is this little word just chuck full of meaning. Are you ready?

1) to descend from a higher place to a lower

a) to fall (either from or upon)

1) to be thrust down

b) metaph. to fall under judgment, came under condemnation

2) to descend from an erect to a prostrate position

a) to fall down

“1) to be prostrated, fall prostrate

2) of those overcome by terror or astonishment or grief or under the attack of an evil spirit or of falling dead suddenly

3) the dismemberment of a corpse by decay

4) to prostrate one’s self

5) used of suppliants and persons rendering homage or worship to one

6) to fall out, fall from i.e. shall perish or be lost

7) to fall down, fall into ruin: of buildings, walls etc.

b) to be cast down from a state of prosperity

1) to fall from a state of uprightness

2) to perish, i.e come to an end, disappear, cease

a) of virtues

3) to lose authority, no longer have force

a) of sayings, precepts, etc.

4) to be removed from power by death

5) to fail of participating in, miss a share in” (Blueletterbible Lexicon)

As we finish this study on love I want you to grasp just how powerful this thing called love is. The Bible teaches us that all other powers will be undone. Electricity will become a thing of the past. Water power? Undone at the end of time when the universe is unmade. Wind can’t exist where there is no atmosphere. Nuclear fusion and fission will be completely subdued when the elements are melted with a “fervent heat” according to 2 Peter chapter 3. Even sin will be done away with when God breaks its power, as He undoes the works of his hands at the end of the thousand-year reign (Rev. 18-22). Yet through it all love will remain supreme exerting its force upon everything that God does.

According to I Corinthians 13:8 Love will never fall down from its high place of strength. It will never be diminished by anything in this world or the next. Love will never perish, come to an end, disappear or cease. It will never lose its authority or lose even one iota of its reconstructive force.

Why will love never cease? Because according to I John 4:8 “God is love”. God and love…love and God. They are unexplainably intertwined. You can no more do away with love than you can do away with God.

One last time, I am not talking about the poor imitations of love the world system we live in has offered up. I am talking about the I Corinthians 13 love we have been discussing all these long weeks. I am speaking about the love that looks to us like a ferocious lion waiting to gobble up all our selfishness and pettiness. I am talking about the love we have looked at in the Bible and declared before God “I cannot love like that!”.

This love is the one power among the many powers in the universe that will never fade! It is the greatest power, and Christian it is the power that lives inside of you if you have given your life to Jesus.

Let us stop saying “I cannot love like Jesus did.”

Let us realize that if Jesus is in our hearts then that love of His is already there. We have only to believe, receive, and act on that which we already possess!

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Cor. 13:13 NKJV


Honorbound Again

      Every Christmas churches around the world reenact the story of the birth of Jesus. Proud parents look on as little Johnny leads little Sally down the church aisle pretending to be Joseph to her Mary.

     Year after year as the tradition plays itself out people are touched by the sweetness of this young couple, lost in an unfriendly Bethlehem. Congregants smile and maybe shed a nostalgic tear as the children/magi gather around the altar to bring homage to the Christ child and his mother.

    In every portrayal I have seen Joseph is left off in the corner. No one is looking at him, not the shepherds, not the magi. Joseph’s job is done when he gets the girl to the stable. But what a job that had to be!

     “Love is not rude.” I Cor. 13: 5

      Now that may seem rather a violent segue to you: Christmas story… Joseph… “Love is not rude” On the surface they don’t seem to have a lot to do with each other. Just bear with me.

     “Love is not rude” is actually, “love is not aschēmoneō.

      Here in 21st century America being rude means being impolite.   

     When your mother says, “Don’t be rude!”, she means “Stop burping at the table” or “Quit picking your nose in front of Aunt Rosie. She’ll never pay for those piano lessons you want so much.”

      But in first century Corinth, When Paul wrote “Love is not rude.”, the word had a much different connotation. Rude to Paul was unseemly behavior that not only brought shame and reproach to you but to someone else as well.

     Paul was saying, “Love does not engage in behavior that puts other people in a dishonorable light.”

  In First Corinthians 7:36 Paul uses the word aschēmoneō  when he is explaining how an unmarried man should treat the girl he is betrothed to.

    “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, [fn] if his [fn] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry–it is no sin.” I Cor. 7:36 ESV

      Paul is teaching that a man needs to marry his fiancée if his passions are strong and that he should not bring disgrace upon her by behaving in inappropriate ways with her outside of marriage.

       You see love cannot bring disgrace on other people because it considers not only the wants of others but the honor of others as well. It is not love when a young man takes his girlfriend to bed and ruins her reputation. It is not friendship when a buddy asks you to break the law so that you can join his gang. It is biblical rudeness.

     Let’s  go back to Joseph. In the eyes of all Nazareth Joseph had the right to not only divorce Mary (even though they had not been officially married breaking of an engagement required a legal divorce in their culture) but to have her stoned to death. But Joseph was loving. He was not rude. He did not want to expose her to any dishonor if it could be avoided.

    In the end and with a little prodding from God and His angels Joseph took away Mary’s dishonor and Jesus’ by becoming the earthly husband and father Heaven had appointed him to be.

    Joseph was a man who protected the honor of his wife and the  child she bore. In that way he was not rude. In that way he loved greatly.

     What are some of the ways you can preserve the honor of those you love? How do you keep yourself from being rude?

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 95

Well today will be the last time we deal exclusively with the Pentateuch in the chapter charts. Tomorrow we will straddle the last pages of Deuteronomy and the first pages of the historical book, Joshua. I hope you have enjoyed our trip through God’s  first five! Now onward and upward as they say!

Deuteronomy chapter 32 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Not Just Another Sad Song: Deut 32:1-43

2. He Sees What You Hide: Deut. 32:1-43

3. The Promise At A Distance: Deut. 32:48-52

Deuteronomy chapter 33 sermon topics/titles:

1. Bowing Down to Receive: Deut. 33:3,4

2. The Cry of Judah! Deut. 33:7

3. Blessings From the Deep: Deut. 33:13

Now Tell me what you see! Chapter 33 has a lot of meat!

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 94

Some people see a big difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. I don’t. I see the God of judgment very clearly in the book of Revelation and in Deuteronomy 28. Then again I see the God of mercy and restoration just as clearly in Deuteronomy 30 as I do in John 3:16.

Tell me what you see in today’s chapter!

Deuteronomy chapter 30 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Returned And Restored: Deut. 30:1-10

2.Restored and Returned: Deut. 30: 1-10

3. It’s Not Too Hard! Deut.30:11-16

Deuteronomy chapter 31 sermon topics/titles:

1. Reinforce the Replacement: Deut. 31: 1-8

2. What Will Your Dying Vision Be? Deut. 31:14-18

3. The Promise in Apostasy: Deut. 31:19-23

What do you see? 🙂

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 90

Great Gugga-Mugga! We have arrived at our 90th episode of chapter charting! Thanks for joining in so far. Here is what I see in Deuteronomy chapter 22 and 23.

Deuteronomy chapter 22 sermon topics/ titles: 

1. You Are Your Brother’s Keeper: Deut: 22:1-4

2. Don’t Be A Bird Bully: Deut: 22:6,7 (Oh I can go places with that one)

3. Protect Your Innocence: Deut. 22: 23-30

Deuteronomy chapter 23 sermon topics/titles:

1. On Being Lot’s Son: Deut. 23: 3-6

2. Let’s Have A Clean Fight: Deut. 23: 9-14

3. Watch What You Spout About: Deut. 23: 23

Now tell me what you see! 🙂