Thursday, June 28, 2012

Forgotten Reasons to Worship: Jesus is our Warrior King

Forgotten Reasons to Worship: 
Our God is our Warrior King. 

In this century, we've seen many reasons that people worship God:  Jesus is our Savior; Jesus rules from His throne; Jesus is our Father; Jesus is our Friend. These very familiar aspects of God help us to know Him and connect to Him.

 But what about the nature of God that delivered Justice to the world? A.W. Tozer once said, "I love Him because He is my Savior, and I fear Him because He is my Judge." Throughout scripture we see that fearing the Lord is a very smart thing to do. He's terrifyingly powerful and He's on our side!

Read what David had to say about the power of God:

The Word of the Lord
Psalm 97
The [Lord] Brings Justice
 1 The [Lord] is King!Tell the earth to celebrateand all islands to shout.

 2 Dark clouds surround him,and his throne is supportedby justice and fairness.

3 Fire leaps from his throne,destroying his enemies,

4 and his lightning is so brightthat the earth sees itand trembles.

 5 Mountains melt away like waxin the presence of the [Lord]of all the earth.

 6 The heavens announce,“The [Lord] brings justice!”Everyone sees God's glory.

 7 Those who brag aboutthe useless idols they worshipare terribly ashamed,and all the false godsbow down to the [Lord].

 8 When the people of Zionand of the towns of Judahhear that God brings justice,they will celebrate. 

9 The [Lord] rules the whole earth,and he is more gloriousthan all the false gods.

 10 Love the [Lord]and hate evil!God protects his loyal peopleand rescues themfrom violence.

 11 If you obey and do right,a light will show you the wayand fill you with happiness.

 12 You are the [Lord]'s people!So celebrate and praisethe only God.

(Thanks to for all that you do!)

The Word in Our Minds

Let's take a closer look at this. One might say, "Yes the Lord is King, but why does that matter to us? Lots of people are kings."

 How many kings do you know that have dark clouds surround them when they come in anger towards you? That destroy people with fire from His throne? Whose lightning frightens the entire earth?

 Whose very presence is so charged with energy that mountains can't stand against it? Remember that at this time people placed a lot of confidence in mightily massive things like thick walls.  They aspired to make their surroundings as much like mountains as possible. Our God's power makes all earthly security melt away like wax.

But that's just pretty language right? They're just making a point. Ask the Old Testament priest if God's presence was just figuratively powerful. Priests were threatened with death for not wearing the right shorts while in the holy place. Ask Uzzah who died after breaking God's law by catching the holy tabernacle while it was falling. Ask the tribes following Moses when he came down from the mountain from the presence of the Lord.  Ask Moses, who bore the fingerprint of God's presence and shone so brightly that the people were terrified and asked him to wear a veil because they couldn't even look at him.Excuse me, shouldn't you be cowering in fear right now?

 Our God is a fierce Warrior! Thor... pantywaist. Terminator...whatever. Braveheart...wetting his kilt.

This is a God who swallowed up 10,000 of his own people in an earthquake when they broke covenant with Him. Ask Lot's wife who was covenantally covered by her husband's righteousness, but broke that covenant just by looking back in longing for her old sinful lifestyle.

Imagine what he does to his enemies! Ask the Egyptian army that was swallowed up in the Red Sea how fearsome Yahweh is. This very God whose own people were too afraid to even say His name.

 Oh but wait. That changed with Jesus right? He was loving and kind; He was patient and turned the other cheek...

 Remember the Jesus that took a whip to the moneychangers in the temple?  But Jesus wouldn't hurt anyone... He's the God of Love... right? No! Jesus, being the only true loving God, is also the only true Just God.  Jesus, the carpenter who carved and shaped wood with hand tools, drove the crowd of people away like a herd of cattle. Imagine how powerful someone would have to be to drive a crowd of people with a handful of cords. Imagine the terror of his fury and anger. Jesus definitely retained his Godly wrath.

 The Word in Our Lives

 Brothers and sisters, our God is a powerful warrior whose very nature inspires a good healthy fear for our lives. He rescues us from violence and protects those who are loyal to Him. We can have confidence in God's grace that has been given to us, but what about when we reject that by sinning and breaking His covenant? What about when we don't come into His Holy Place having accepted His grace in our lives? How dare we come into worship not having prepared ourselves first!

This is exactly why one of the first things we do after coming into His presence with praise is confess our sins to Him so that He might forgive us and restore us to being right with Him. If you're not taking that seriously, you're like the priest coming in with the wrong shorts - unfit for the presence of the King.

The Word in Our World

Thank the Lord that He is on our side and extends His grace to His people. But who are His enemies in this world? Why is it that we go into the world trembling about what they're going to say about us? We go out whispering His praise at best. We ignore the covenant He made with us to go into the world preaching the gospel and making disciples. And because we're silent and His enemies are not, we are slowly but surely becoming more and more like His enemies.

Where's the magic line between being like His enemy and being His enemy? Our sex lives? Our lifestyle? Our actions? Our feelings? Our thoughts?

 Body of Christ, take control of your lives and speak into those around you so that you do not become His enemy, bringing His wrath down upon you.
If you simply can't do it out of pure self-interest, at least do it for your children and grandchildren. Look at our country for proof. For 200 years we have reaped the benefits of accepting the covenant that He extended to us. We named Him as our God and His apostles were our leaders. We came here so that we could serve Him apart from His enemies. Were we perfect? No. Did we glorify Him and follow His commands perfectly? No. Slavery is a good enough example of the way that we ignored God's commands... but we were still His people. Just look at the way that even the people we sinned against came into relationship with God based on that covenant America had as His country.

Look further at countries who turned their back on God and embrace ways that are not His.  There are countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East that do not experience the peace and relative safety that we enjoy. The only saving grace for these countries are the small communities of believers living in them. Like the 10 righteous men that God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah for, these pockets of righteousness keep the fullness of His wrath from these countries.

Right now, we are the 10 righteous men keeping America afloat. May God continue to have mercy on us, and bring justice upon our enemies.

 This week when we come into worship, let's remember the fearsome and jealous God that we serve and celebrate our Warrior King for the greatness He is and the great things He has done. Let our enemies tremble in fear, as we revere.

 My Warrior King

My Warrior King
My Warrior King
The God of Love and Justice
Rule over everything
My Warrior King
To You we will sing
Destroy all our enemies
Rescue us we sing
~Josh Baker

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bishop Visit Picnic 2012

A Time of Fellowship with Bishop Gregory and Cathy Ortiz
June 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Picnic at Betsy Zimmerman's House

Bring a friend!

Directions to 18 Woodward Ave Buffalo, NY 14214-2624
Right near the Buffalo Zoo off Parkside

Bring a dish to pass--chairs-drinks,
the church will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers 
Have a good yard game? Bring it along!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Trinity Sunday

Someone once said, “If you try to explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind. But if you deny it, you will lose your soul.”

Bishops, Councils and Synods, Preachers and Teachers  have, for more years than this church has existed thought it good and wise to set aside the first day after Pentecost as TRINITY SUNDAY to remind the millions of seekers - the millions of faithful - for whom they care - that God is a mystery which is best understood in three ways:

As creator -- or Father   as redeemer -- or Son    and as sustainer -- or Spirit.

On June 3--Trinity Sunday--Fr. Kevin will answer the questions:

1. Is The Trinity Scriptural?
2. Is The Trinity Sensible?
3. Is The Trinity Significant?

We will look at all the views of God that the Bible and Church history have called heresies that are believed by groups today including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and TD Jakes' oneness Pentecostalism

This sermon will teach the orthodox Christian belief in the Trinity in an understandable way.

For more info visit: Theopedia