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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Is The Law Of Moses Still Relevant – Nicholas Butler

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“Is The Law of Moses Still Relevant?”

By Nicholas Butler

Ojibway Correctional, Marenisco, MI

I hear a lot of discussion about whether or not the Old Testament law is still relevant today. First, any discussion of the law must entail describing what constitutes the Law. Typically, the law has been divided into four different divisions, ceremonial; religious; moral; and social compact. However, let us consider how the Bible specifies God’s law, His commandments (miswah), judgments (mispat), covenants (berit), laws (Torah), and His testimony (edut) (Deut.6:17). God revealed His law to Moses at Mt. Sinai (Ex.19) and elaborated upon these commandments in Exodus 20, also in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

God gave His law to Moses in the form of a covenant where He commanded obedience (Ex.24:12, 34:28 & Deut.4:13-14). This covenant was conditional on obedience, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you” (Ex.15:26). Moses revealed to us that intentional sin and breaking God’s commands will result in cutting that person off and him bearing his own guilt (Num.15:31).

Clearly then, the law was not made for the righteous, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners (1Tim.1:9). The purpose of the law was to bring about the knowledge of what sin is (Rom.3:20). Still, the law was ineffective (Rom.8:3) in that man continued to sin (4:15).

Despite the ineffectiveness of the law, God still had a plan, in 2Chron. 33:7, God told David and Solomon, “In this house (meaning their house / the house of Judah – my insertion) and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.” We know that Solomon met the conditional “if,” and that God did establish his name forever, but through whom?

Taking a look at Jesus in the New Testament reveals just who David and Solomon’s kingdom would continue through. Jesus stated,”…all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me” (Lk.24:44). What does this mean? Well, look at Gal.4:4-5, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those under the Law…” Redeem us from what? And how? Specifically from all things the Law of Moses could not redeem us from (Acts13:39), our sinful nature (Rom.3:23). How? Being justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom.3:24). Additionally, the law was only our tutor to bring us to Christ, so we could be justified by faith (Gal.3:23-24). Jesus condemned sin in the flesh because the law was weak through the flesh (Rom.8:3). Now, we are not under the law but under grace (Rom.6:14).

The law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (Jn.1:17). Matthew told us that the law was prophesied until John (Mt.11:13). Why did the law stop there? Furthermore, we hear Jesus tell His disciples, “keep the commandments” (Mt.19:17). Even Paul stated, “keeping the commandments” matter (1Cor.7:19).

During Christ’s crucifixion, He abolished the struggle of the flesh the law made known to us – sin – to create in Himself one new man from the Old Testament law (Eph.2:15) and the new law to make peace. What new law? “He obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Heb.8:6). Jesus told us,” Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mt.22:37-40), these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
The law was fulfilled (Mt.5:17) and subsumed in Christ Jesus through love (Gal.5:14). God is love (1Jn.4:7) and Christ Jesus is God (Jn.1:1-4, 14). The law as only the standard for the administration of justice, it served to restrain our evil tendencies in this physical body. But through faith we please God (Heb.11:6), and our faith is in Christ, therefore, the law of love fulfills the Law of Moses, making its ceremonies void, but morals and ethics still relevant.

 

The Only Light – Terri N. Reese-Green

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“The Only Light”

By Terri N. Reese-Green

Praise the Lord everybody. Today’s sermon will be called “The Only Light.” Today we would like to talk with you about the light of the world. The light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

One day I lived in a place where there was a lot of people. I know that God has a purpose in everything that He does and this lady would always come to me and hand me little prayer books. So, I asked her to come to church and she did and gave her life to Christ. The next day she was dancing on the floor talking about where she was going with her boyfriend in the morning. I was reading my bible but the Lord kept my eyes on her that night for some reason. The next morning she was stiff as a board – dead in her bed.

What I want the readers to know is that Jesus is the light the lighteth every man that cometh into the world so it’s up to Him if we get up in the morning. The light went out of this lady I spoke about above but even though we are absent from the body we can still be present with the Lord. I want people to know that Jesus is the light and can light up your life. Without Him you wouldn’t have a light. In other words, you wouldn’t be alive.

Let us go to the book of John in your Bible. It says in John 1:9 that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Let us look up the word world and see what we come up with. Also let us look at Isaiah 49:6. Think about it. Without Him being the light in your life what light do you have? Let us study our Bible and find out what the light is in our life. Study John 1:1-14.

God bless you

 

How To Find A Bible Believing Church – Delbert Faulkner

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“How To Find A Bible Believing Church”
By Delbert Faulkner
Lakeland Correctional, Coldwater, MI

You should first pray that you may clearly know God’s thoughts about the church He desires you to attend.

You should then begin attending services at several churches. Continue to do so until you feel at peace.

You then need to meet with the pastor. Explain to the pastor that you are interested in membership and would like to read and discuss the church’s doctrinal statement of beliefs.

Doctrinal Statement of Beliefs.

1. The Bible is inerrant (inspired Word of God) and infallible (without error).
2. There is a heaven and a hell.
3. Jesus is God in the flesh.
a. He is the virgin-born Son of God.
4. Jesus went to and died on the cross.
a. He died an atoning death.
b. He paid our sin debt in full.
c. We are eternally secure.
5. Jesus physically rose from the dead.
6. Salvation is by grace through faith.

If all the above-listed items do not appear in the doctrinal statement of beliefs, discuss the remainder of them with the pastor.

If the church’s doctrinal statement of beliefs do not line up with those listed above, begin visiting more churches.

Where Does Your Help Come From – George K. Walker

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“Where Does Your Help Come From?”

By George K. Walker

Macomb Correctional, New Haven, MI

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” Psalm 46:1.

While reading 1 Chronicles 20, I immediately noticed in verses 3-4 that when Jehoshaphat feared the large amount of people against him, he set out to seek the LORD and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. All of Judah came together to ask help of the LORD. In verses 5-6 Jehoshaphat stood in front of all Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord and prayed: “O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?” Jehoshaphat continues to pray all the way down to verse 12. Then verse 13 says: “And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” Everyone stood as one in agreement that only the LORD can help us. In verses 14-15 in part says: then upon Jahaziel came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation and said: “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and though king Jehoshaphat. Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” when they all stood together and were of one accord, fasting and praying, seeking the LORD for help, then the Spirit of the LORD told them not to fear this great multitude because you don’t have to fight, I will do the fighting for you. How good is our Father? He is fearless in protecting HIS children. He is plenteous in His mercy towards us and HE is more than enough in our time of need.

The Spirit of the LORD knew exactly what to do. Verses 16-17 in part says: “Tomorrow go ye down against them, behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. Verse 18 says: “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.” The LORD is with us and is a very present help when we are in trouble. Our help cometh from the LORD.

We Are Watchmen – George K. Walker

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“We Are Watchmen”

By George K. Walker

Macomb Correctional, New Haven, MI

“And there stood a watchman on the tower of Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Taken an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?” 2 Kings 9:17

Read 2 Kings 9:16-24 and Ezekiel 33:1-11

In 2 Kings 9:16-24 and Ezekiel 33:1-11, the watchman is the one used to warn and alert the people of possible danger coming their way. in 2 Kings 9:17 the watchman told King Joram that a company of men were coming their way. King Joram told him to go to them and ask them, “Is it peace?” Without the watchman the King would not have known that anyone was coming.

In Ezekiel 33:1-8 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel to use a watchman to warn the children of HIS people that when the Lord brings a sword upon their land that the watchman will sound a trumpet. Those who hear the trumpet and do not take the warning when the sword comes and takes him away, his blood is on his own head. Those who do take the warning will save his life.

In both stories the watchman’s duty is to warn people of danger coming. We are watchman and our duty is to warn people of the danger of them not believing the Jesus Christ died for their sins. We are to tell them that they have to do is believe that Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection will give them eternal life with HIM in heaven.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells us: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” When you receive the Holy Spirit HE makes you a witness to testify of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. in Ezekiel 33:9 he tells us: “Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Our job is to warn people to repent now and live. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He wants all to repent and live. Warn somebody today of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

2nd Testimony – George K. Walker

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“Testimony”

By George K. Walker

Macomb Correctional, New Haven, MI

Most of my 46 years of living, I have done what I wanted to do. I am a living example that what we want for ourselves is not always what we need. I can take it a little further, almost all of my life what I wanted was not what God wanted for me – “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 16:25.

In this way of thinking and living, God was not on my mind. I went from a bad decision – stealing cars, to a worse decision – selling drugs, to a horrible life-changing decision – to commit murder. When I was in my mess, all I could see was my next bad decision. I can remember thinking when is this going to change?

While in prison, maybe eight years ago, I got a letter from my mother telling me to be encouraged, WE are all praying for you and God will deliver you. Then the Holy Spirit told me their prayers are the reason why I am still alive today. So, I thought since my grandmother, mother, aunts, sisters, brother, daughter, and the rest of my family and friends were praying for me and this saved me. This prompted me to do the same for them. God gave me Psalm 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” This prayer is keeping my family and friends safe. Especially my daughter, who was arrested for traffic tickets and thrown in a holding cell with men. The men made lewd remarks but, by the grace of God, no one attempted to do anything – thank you Jesus! I am so thankful for HIS protection and grace upon my family and friends’ lives that I live for HIM today. His word makes all the decisions in my life now.

 

Sinful Pride – Hunter Tokar

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“Sinful Pride”

In just the last 30 days I have seen sinful pride take down one of our church leaders and our praise and worship leader. Good men who were serving God with the gifts that He has given them. God was using both of these men to make a positive impact on those around them for the Kingdom of God.To be honest in both cases the fall really wasn’t a fall at all. It was much more of a slide. Myself and another leader tried to talk to them along the way. As soon as we saw it start to happen we addressed it. We spoke to them, corrected them in love, prayed with them and loved them. To no avail, the slide continued. Selfish pride continued to grow inside them like a cancer that would not be stopped. It was horrible to watch. Watching someone you truly love and respect destroy themselves is painful.

When leaders begin to move from “He” to “I” look out here comes trouble. When they disregard “We” and “Us” for “I”, things are going to get bad. These two are not the first and they won’t be the last to be removed from serving due to sinful pride taking over.

Solomon the writer of Proverbs warns us repeatedly of the consequences of sinful pride (Proverbs 8:13;11:2;13:10;16:18;29:23). I saw every one of these warning signs manifest itself in both of these men’s situations. When we honestly start to believe that we don’t need others because we are so good at what we do we are the only one qualified to do it, LOOK OUT, the crash is coming. Anyone of us could walk onto this path and find ourselves headed down that slope. Beware, pride takes good solid men of God out of service and does damage to their witness that may take years to recover from. You are not the best or the only one qualified to do whatever God has called you to do. As soon as you start believing that God will remove you and raise up another to take your place. I just watched it happen. TWICE! It was painful.

In Christ,

Hunter Tokar

 

 

Fences We Build – Terri N. Reese-Green

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“Limited by the Fences We Build”

By Terri N. Reese-Green

Women’s Huron Valley Correctional, Ypsilanti, MI

Today sermon will be called “Limited by the Fences We Build.” Our reading will come from the book of Saint John 10:14-18. We are surrounded by the four Great Lakes. Our lives consist of buying things for our homes. We want to be comfortable. But did we ever stop to think of anything else other than our own families? Is it going to take a crisis for us to come together as one body (as Jesus discussed in our reading)? What if one of the lakes overflowed and came through the cities and state. Everything will be wet up that we worked so hard for. Then we would look for help from one another. Why is it that we have to wait for a crisis to happen, a period of instability and difficulty, before we can come together? We say that we love Jesus so what is really going on?

Terri

 

Worthy – Matthew Nawrocki

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“Worthy”

By Matthew Nawrocki

Newberry Correctional, Newberry, MI

You’re worthy
Oh so worthy
You are worthy to be praised
As long as I’m alive
My tongue shall speak Your name
My tongue shall confess
And profess that love of God
I love Him
Because He first loved me
It doesn’t matter what I’ve done
He’s made me clean
It’s a mystery
He did it with the blood
Of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene
The mighty Lamb of God
So I praise Him for the gift He gives
And He is worthy of that praise
It’s my testimony that because of Him
I am who I am today
What He’s done for me
He will do for you
If He’s changed me
He will change you, too!
So surrender all
Let Him in
Don’t trust me…
…Trust Him

He Says – Matthew Nawrocki

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“He Says”

By Matthew Nawrock

Newberry Correctional, Newberry, MI

When I say that I can’t
He says, “In Me son, you can”
When I fall down on my face
He says, “Look up, grab My hand”

When I’m tempted and weak
He says, “In Me, you are strong”
When I’m alone and afraid
He says, “I’ve been here all along”

He says, “My son, My dear son,
Don’t you see, it’s so clear
You cry out like I’m distant
While forgetting I’m near”

“My Kingdom is within you
My Spirit dwells there
Each time you cry out
You can trust that I hear”

“So have assurance, My child
When the road seems too tough
My peace and My comfort
Are more than enough”