REAL BIBLE MOMENTS
The Bible is the greatest story ever told. Because it’s long, people find it a daunting task to read. We pull on our favorite verses for encouragement, but don’t forget, we have brothers and sisters in this book who we’re going to see one day, and their stories are nothing short of proving what God can do when you make Him your one, true God. They show us how we can overcome all the odds against us and win when we do things His way. It’s really fun to get to know some of your family you haven’t met—and you don’t even have to send in a DNA sample 🙂
Before Survivor, there was Elijah . . . one of the coolest prophets ever. He had a whole lot of power from God and took no junk from anybody.
Three years into the drought in 1 Kings 18, King Ahab was getting desperate to find water and sent the governor of his house, Obadiah, to look for a place with living grass for the horses and mules. As Obadiah’s out looking, he bumps into Elijah, which works out well because God told Elijah it was time for him to confront Ahab and make it rain.
Elijah—who was about to overnight Ahab a copy of the Ten Commandments with number one highlighted—tells Obadiah to go tell Ahab he is here. Obadiah knows Elijah’s backstory and how God takes care of him, so Obadiah’s like ‘wait just a minute’. Ahab’s been looking all over the place for you and as soon as I tell him you’re here, God’s spirit or some firey chariot will show up and carry you away, and I’ll be left standing here alone and Ahab will kill me. Elijah tells Obadiah not to worry, he ain’t going nowhere.
By the way, Obadiah’s one of the good guys who feared God. He hid one hundred prophets in a cave when Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, was hunting down and killing all the prophets.
Obadiah goes back and gets Ahab.
Ahab comes running and confronts Elijah, ‘So, you’re the one causing all this trouble’?
Elijah’s like, ‘Me? You’re the one who’s forsaken the commandments and who’s been worshiping Baal, fool’.
Elijah says ‘tell you what we’re gonna do’. He then challenges Ahab to a big contest. Apparently the backlash from a three-year drought wasn’t enough for the husband-wife team, Jezebel and Ahab, to turn from their idol-worshiping ways. Since J-hab isn’t walking it back, it’s on. Pass the popcorn.
Pick up reading in 1 Kings 18:19 to see what happens.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
Highlights from last weekend’s messages that inspire us to start preparing for what God’s about to do.
Jesus told a story with His life and the Church He left here is finishing that story. It’s time for us to hope again. Our greatest days are ahead.
Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness
We have to hunger and labor in righteousness, not just knowledge.
God put it in men’s hearts to build the church, and until God garners what He wants from the earth, we will be here building the Church. It’s vital that we’re built on love and that we have charity. No tour buses are lined up to see the architectural structures in which we come together to worship and learn. Buildings aren’t the church; people are the church.
Knowledge is important, but it’s on the bottom of the learning hierarchy. You can quote a scripture, but do you understand it? Knowledge can miss the mark. Understanding produces the spirit God wants in His Church.
Brother Nobles demonstrated the difference between knowledge and understanding by using a simple analogy to which we can all relate. It defines the difference in a nutshell.
Know the scripture, but also seek understanding. Understand what it means and why it fits there. Understand what is going on around that scripture.
I’m Not Putting a Hyphen There.
Grammar nerds differ on minor rules here and there, but not on anything big or that affects clarity. In the Body of Christ, we are one in doctrine and continuing to come together. Our belief is firmly planted on the foundation that traces back to the early church—so it’s not up for negotiation.
Being bedazzled by a minister’s speech gets the people nowhere. We haven’t taken up the old landmarks. Those landmarks and the right foundation are leading us to eternal life. We’re not looking for anything new; we’re looking for what the Lord will add to what He’s already given us.
On Sunday night, Brother Bean expressed that he missed Elder LaFleur, but now it’s incumbent on us to finish the work. When Jesus went off the scene, the church grew. Three thousand came in. Five thousand came in. We should be expecting something more! God will showcase the church once again, as He did in the book of Acts, on the Day of Pentecost.
You Can’t Hurry Love.
In the 1970s in Potter’s Hill, Elder had to stand in the pulpit many times, service after service, week after week, year after year, again and again—and preach Love. He planted seeds of love encouraging the people to hug each other, shake hands, and say the words “I love you”. He taught everyone to show love by being there for each other like a family, preferring your brother and sister, and helping when someone was in need.
Jesus taught His disciples: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Elder taught the Church at Potter’s Hill and Onslow: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” By this will people know that we are God’s Church.
Fast forward to 2018. The seeds of love that Elder & Sister Jean planted throughout all the years grew into what we have now. For those who came after Potter’s Hill, you walked into an already thriving garden of love.
You’re Not Being Reasonable.
Great, you’ll fit right in with the Bible. You cannot reason out the scriptures. Understanding the scriptures requires a revelation.
If you read the Bible, you know God did many things you can’t reason through. If you try, you’ll drive yourself bonkers and miss the real message. You have to have a revelation of the scriptures. God brought you into the Body of Christ to open your eyes.
Jesus is the one who gives you a revelation and reveals the scriptures to you.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:16-17
When Jesus reveals a scripture or truth to you and you get a revelation, you will feel something leap with life inside you!
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” Luke 1:41
Keep It Simple Saints.
Elder LaFleur never believed it took grand revelations of complex theological concepts within the Bible to overcome and make it. He brought the Word of God to everyone with a message so clear and simple that lives were changed forever. He believed if you opened your eyes to see and your ears to hear, God would touch your mind to understand the truth of His Word.
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. ” Matthew 13:16
We’re talking girdles. A lot of people in the Bible were wearing them. You can find a fine linen one in Exodus 39:29 and a leather one in 2 Kings 1:18. There’s even a golden one in Revelation 1:13.
We need one, too. To win the fight, we have to gird up the loins of our mind and sharpen our sword. While sharpening our sword, don’t forget to put some oil—understanding—on it.
To gird means to surround yourself; to prepare yourself.
“And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead.” 2 Kings 9:1
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14
You cannot put on the breastplate of righteousness without truth. You can’t put it on without knowledge that is truth. As we keep building righteousness with understanding, the more we start to apply the truth.
“And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod: And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them. And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.” Exodus 29:5-9
Gird Up Southern Style
Using the word “stuff” is commonplace in the South. Obviously, the men in 1 Samuel were southern.
“And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.” 1 Samuel 25:13
HOW WE’RE WINNING
We are preparing ourselves.
We are gaining and gathering as much truth as we each have the ability. God knows our abilities may differ; we are not measured the same.
We are being careful not to fall into the number one cop out: “I did the best I could.” Do not sell yourself short. Work to your fullest ability as you continue to make preparations.
We are getting ready for other jobs that are coming—that God will have for us.
We are keeping our vision strong by focusing in a forward direction.
Opening our Hearts and Minds
We were called to work and labor together and build the Kingdom of God in righteousness. Our methods and message must be tenderness. We have to continue to seek out the truth and keep our desire for God strong.
Don’t forget, a whole Ministry is here to help us navigate the Word of God or understand a scripture.
At The Bridge, we love to read the Bible. In a world full of bad news that leaves you feeling anxious and uneasy, we’d like to leave you with some good news and maybe get you interested in reading more. Read the Word with us and spread the good news!
Warning: it’s addictive.
A City Rising
The book of Acts is the blockbuster follow up to the four gospels. The four Gospels are pretty tough to follow because they have Jesus dying and rising again, but Acts rocks our socks off as an amazing sequel to the resurrection, plus we get to follow the disciples. We know Jesus is most important—He gets His story told four times–but that’s not the whole New Testament. If you stop reading the N.T. after the four Gospels, you’re missing out on a whole lot! We all need to stop by Acts, but especially if you’re reading the epistles, it gives you the backdrop.
Acts is the story of the early church after Jesus died, and it’s full of awesome stories. There’s the day of Pentecost and the day when Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus and heard the voice of Jesus. The disciples start spreading the word—everywhere, they get arrested a couple times, they perform miracles, they start branching out to convert Gentiles (that’s a really big deal), and Stephen gets stoned, making him the first Christian to die for his faith.
Jesus is back for the first chapter giving His disciples instruction: Don’t leave Jerusalem, wait for the promise of the Father—the Holy Ghost is coming and good stuff is about to start happening!! Then, all of a sudden, a cloud takes Jesus up out of their sight. As they watch, two men dressed in white let them know “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall also come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Our guess is these are probably not just two random guys.
Acts shows how religion is a powerful thing and people get too attached to traditions. As Jesus revealed truth to the disciples, they realized truth was much more than facts and knowledge. Acts tells incredible stories of the apostles and their persevering faith. All in Acts who left everything to follow Jesus–He completely changed their lives and THE CHURCH WAS BORN!!