Homily Series | Installment 1 | “Descending Glory”

These posts will probably be a little more in depth, but for this one, short and sweet (at least from my comments). Hope you enjoy. 

 


 

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Holy Scriptures for 19 April 2019

 

I have linked the entire passages for each of these on their respective texts. For the purpose of this, I will just show the aspects of the texts that I want to draw your attention to.

As an American Christian, I can say that most mainstream Christianity here is focused on being “saved” in order to go to heaven. Indeed, there is some Scriptural precedence for this and I am not saying it’s absolutely wrong. However, I do believe our focus should be elsewhere.

From the readings this week, this is what stands out to me in terms of what our focus should be, bringing his Kingdom down to earth!

  • Acts 11.5-9, 15-17 – ‘“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’”’ & “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 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?”
  • Psalm 148 – notice how it is written. It starts high and then goes low. It moves from the heavens to the earth. It goes from broad to be narrow in focus. The entire flow of this Psalm is “a coming down.”
  • Revelation 2.2-4 – “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’”
  • John 13.33 – “ Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” – notice that Jesus was not concerned with bringing us with him, but in sending his Spirit down to us!

 

As Christians, we often are going through difficult times and it seems that darkness is pressing in upon us – all around! Often, we say to ourselves, something along the lines of, “I just wish I was with Jesus so he could fix all this!” My sentiments exactly too! What’s the word that sums this up though? Maranatha! Literally, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Not, “Take me, Lord Jesus.” His focus is not about taking us out, but about empowering us to represent him well here and allow “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”

Jesus’ focus is bringing Heaven down to earth! He will redeem all of it! There are several other Scriptures that speak to this very thing. May his glory come; like Mt. Sinai, may his glory come!

Another really good book on this topic is Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright.

Again, let our focus not be on escaping, but on conquering! Our time will come, but in the meantime, let us remain faithful and true!

Father, may your kingdom come upon us! For your name’s sake and for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings.

 

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© Joshua Curtis, 2019

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 20 May 2019 23:22:05 -040022Monday 2016 at 11:22 pm  Comments (3)  
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God’s Word – A Poem

Originally written in 2009. Originally posted 10/14/2016.

 

 

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“God’s Word”

Powerfully prolific proclamations pour forth from the pinnacled port of God’s heart –
Ecstatical – exuberantly and enthusiastically exegete upon us like elaborate equations
Simultaneously stating simple and profound statements – sagaciously storytelling
Rapidly revealing in repetition renown reputation and desired relationships
Utterly unfolding understanding of his unyielding and unending love and unity
Decrees displayed and delivered dynamically and dramatically to us with his desire,
Predicated Explicitly on Submission – Rescue before the Ultimate Day!

© Joshua Curtis, 2009, 2019

 

Published in: on 7 AMpThu, 16 May 2019 04:45:41 -040045Thursday 2016 at 4:45 am  Comments (5)  
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The Making of a Muscle-bound Man

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One of the quintessential aspects of manhood: Strength! As men, we are expected to be strong. We tease and poke-fun at each other for weakness when putting a nemesis down or encouraging a friend on.

This strength is also supposed to permeate our entire lives. It’s not just physical. We have to be strong emotionally, mentally, in our spirits; in our souls. Of course, depending on the family, culture, nation, etc. that we are raised in, this strength can look very different. For some men, it is strength to let a women run over them and in others, to put that woman “in her place”, even physically if need be. For some, it is strength to fight as fast as possible and for others it’s strength to run and survive.

With so much confusion about men’s strength, what is a real standard for us to follow? I think there are many qualities of strength in a good man. However, I think there are two words that sum up where we really need to start when it come to being strong – both based on one Scripture.

 

 

Proverbs 24.10 reads, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (ESV)

First word – courage! We must be willing to stand for truth and righteousness in the day of adversity. If we are to be strong, we must learn – and be willing to be taught – how to stand in the face of adversity. I also like what C.S. Lewis said regarding courage: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” We see this throughout Scripture, but one famous verse is God speaking to Joshua in chapter one of that book. “Be strong and courageous.”

 

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Of course, just looking over this verse, it can apply to anyone. However, when we dig a little deeper, we can see how it apply a little more specifically to men as we find a very interesting meaning for the word adversity. One of the meanings is ‘rival wife’, and oh how easily we can be distracted by the femme fetale.

 

 

This brings us to our second word: Faithfulness! I think this is something that – in my country – is way undervalued. Men are prided on how many women they can “get with”, but that is opposite of reality. In reality, we are called upon to be faithful! This is not only what God expects of us, but also examples. He is faithful to keep his covenant with us himself, by putting his spirit and laws within us. He keeps the covenant going. Secondly, he tells us husbands to love our wives like Jesus loves his church and to give ourselves up for them (Ephesians 5.25-33). However, this word is so much bigger than just physical faithfulness. It is also spiritual, mental, in our hearts, souls, imaginations, etc. And, it certainly includes how we relate to and treat God in our lives.

 

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So men, yes, let us be strong. However, if our strength is not rooted in righteousness and discipline, if it is only physical, if it does not flow out of courage and faithfulness, we are lacking. Speaking for myself, these are areas that God is certainly growing in me and has been for years. I am currently going through a season I can tell God is working on both of these areas again! Prayers are welcome!

 


 

I know, I am putting a post up for men today. However, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mamas out there! I know speaking for myself, I got a lot of strength from my mom growing up and certainly get much from my wife everyday. I am speaking in this post of men’s strength, but the strength of a woman is a beauty to behold and should continue to encourage and spur us men on! Our families – the second most important reason for us to be strong!

 

 

© Joshua Curtis, 2019

Published in: on 7 PMpSun, 12 May 2019 17:38:04 -040038Sunday 2016 at 5:38 pm  Comments (5)  
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