The Fall of Jerusalem

This was this situation in Jerusalem just before the fall. Sound familiar?

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. But Zedekiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and he refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord . He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name. Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord , the God of Israel. Likewise, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the Lord that had been consecrated in Jerusalem. The Lord , the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord ’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them. The Babylonians killed Judah’s young men, even chasing after them into the Temple. They had no pity on the people, killing both young men and young women, the old and the infirm. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. The king took home to Babylon all the articles, large and small, used in the Temple of God, and the treasures from both the Lord ’s Temple and from the palace of the king and his officials. Then his army burned the Temple of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces, and completely destroyed everything of value. The few who survived were taken as exiles to Babylon, and they became servants to the king and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said.
2 Chronicles 36:11‭-‬21 NLT

Let us pray for our nation.

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Nehemiah: A Man of Prayer

From “Life Application Study Bible NLT” by Tyndale House Publishers, Tyndale –

“With little time to think, Nehemiah immediately prayed. Eight times in this book we read that he prayed spontaneously (2:4; 4:4, 5, 9; 5:19; 6:14; 13:14, 22, 29). Nehemiah prayed at any time, even while talking with others. He knew that God is always in charge, is always present, and hears and answers every prayer. Nehemiah could confidently pray throughout the day because he had established an intimate relationship with God during times of extended prayer (1:4-7). If we want to reach God with our emergency prayers, we need to take time to cultivate a strong relationship with God through times of in-depth prayer.”

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/7znPub1

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The Healing of Anger

If you’re angry with God, your children, your spouse, or anyone else, if you know you have a problem with anger or love someone who does, listen to this.

The Healing of Anger

2/2/10 by Tim Keller @ Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Web player: http://podplayer.net/#/?id=7578247
Episode: http://ginl.podbean.com/mf/web/cfxrdg/The_Healing_of_Anger.mp3

Anger has the power to disintegrate our health, our communities, and our individual wisdom. However, anger can be a good thing; it is an attribute of God and of anyone who loves. The key to healing anger is to find out what you truly love and why your anger is out of control. This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on October 17, 2004. Series “Proverbs: True Wisdom for Living”. Scripture: Proverbs 14:29 -30

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Trust

When life doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would or want it to, what else do you have? You can trust, or you can fret. Trusting leads to a much more satisfying life. He does not abandon those who search for Him. So keep searching, my soul, and keep trusting. He will never be finished with you.

My life is the most precious thing I have. Trusting Him with my life is the greatest offering I can give. So I will choose to live my life by the principles of His word and trust Him to make something beautiful of this living stone that He is fashioning to be part of His temple.

Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, O Lord , do not abandon those who search for you.
Psalms 9:10 NLT

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What Are You Waiting For?

But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
2 Peter 3:10‭-‬14 NLT

Before you draw your next breath, you could find yourself face to face with the Lord God Almighty. “Since everything around is going to be destroyed like this,” why do we invest so much of our time, heart, and soul in the things of the world. Sure I’m thankful that God has given us a wonderful wold to live in while we are here, but if we let ourselves get caught up in the things of this life and the things of this world, what will we leave unsaid and undone?

Our lives tell a story and they leave a message.

How will yours read?

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Happy New Year Ignite Church

May we all resolve to make personal spiritual growth our top priority in 2017. Prayerfully consider where you are in the normal (I won’t call this natural – it’s far from natural) progression of spiritual growth, and prayerfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit with regard to how you can move to the next level, so you can be “more productive and useful … in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then “work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen.” Work hard to progress to the next level and experience a deeper level of intimacy with our Lord and Savior. Say “Yes, my Lord” every time he gently prompts you, just as you did when he first gave you the faith to believe (2 Peter 1:1, Ephesians 2:8).

That’s how we break through the wall of patient endurance into godliness. I believe most of us hit a wall of patient endurance, and this is when we are most vulnerable. This is when we are at greatest risk of throwing in the towel, wandering in the wilderness, or self-medicating to avoid thinking about it. This is where many fall away (2 Peter 1:10). I speak from experience.

When that one good thing that we want so bad doesn’t come, what are we going to do? Will we say in our hearts “God doesn’t hear,” or “God doesn’t care,” or question “Why doesn’t God want me to have this?” Or will we say “I will honor you as God because you are God and you are worthy of my praise no matter what.” “I will praise you and honor you with my life and follow you all my days, even if I never get this thing I want so bad. I want you more than this thing and I will live without it if that’s what you want. In fact, I don’t want it if it will come between us, if it will get in the way of intimacy between us.” If and when we reach the point where we can say this with all our heart, when we stop seeking His hand and truly start seeking His face, we push through the wall of perseverence and the fruit of godliness is birthed in our lives.

When a baker kneads dough, they slam it against the table, knead it with their hands and knuckles, press it, roll it out, and roll it up again. But kneading the dough is a crucial step that strengthens gluten strands and gives the bread structure (allrecipes.com). Knowing that God is working godliness into our lives through painful circumstances can help us stay focused on the end and endure the process.

So whether you are making your way through a crowded market with a cart full of groceries and a gagle of adventurous youngsters, or getting up to venture out into the cold and spend another eight hours at a seemingly insignificant job, or finally hanging that picture that your wife has asked you to hang countless times, let your focus not be on the process, but on the fact that God will use the process to work godliness into your life as you patiently endure. Let us say with all our hearts, “Yes, my Lord.” “I will gather provisions for my family.” “I will earn an income for my family and honor your name by doing the best job I can.” “I will gladly serve my wife in this small way and imitate You, the One who came to serve.” And by so doing, it will suddenly dawn on us that the next level of spritual growth, true brotherly affection, is being birthed in our lives.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:3‭-‬11 NLT

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Christmas Day, 2016

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
1 Peter 4:10 NLT

On this Christmas day, let us each unwrap the gift he has given us and use it unfettered to build his temple, the church, the place where his Glory dwells, of which we are all a part, as we are all living stones of that temple.

Merry Christmas Ignite Church.

God bless us everyone!

“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”
Revelation 11:15b NLT

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