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Posted on Oct 26, 2013 in Content | 1 comment

The Shadow of The Rock

The ShadowIn Isaiah 32:2 we read of a man who is like “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land”. This brings to mind a vivid picture of a scorching sun, a weary traveller, and the relief of stepping into the cool shadow cast by a great rock. This man, the great rock that casts a shadow, is Christ.

This life can be a weary journey for the people of God. Life’s pressures build into a heat so intense that we are overwhelmed and beat down. We cannot bear it. We must find relief. We need a place to retreat, to sit a while and be sheltered from the blazing sun.

Isn’t it a relief to know that we have a place to go when the heat of the day overwhelms us? We have a shadow to hide in, a place of relief from the blistering pressures beating down on us. When our hearts are overwhelmed, Christ is our great rock. In His shadow our overwhelmed hearts can find rest.

Do you need a place of rest and relief? Run to Christ. Discover the shadow that He gives. You will find in Him everything you need to make it through the day.

-Nathanael Pena

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Posted on Oct 23, 2013 in Content |

The Stumbling Stone

Stumbling Stone Devo

Christ, the Stumbling Block of Offense

“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Why is Christ a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks? Why does He continue to offend some, and draw ridicule from others to this day? The good news of Christ crucified is so contrary to the way people think that they can do nothing short of criticizing it.

Not What They Were Expecting

The Jews were anticipating a messiah who would be their political savior. Liberation from the Rome was their chief desire, and when Christ gave Himself up to be crucified without a struggle, they regarded His message of salvation as a scandal. His message and ministry were so opposite to what they were looking for in a messiah that they rejected Him outright.

Not What They Seek

As for the Greeks, the prevailing philosophies at the time were split into two groups. The Epicureans believed that the goal in life was pleasing oneself. This meant avoiding pain by any means necessary. The idea that Christ was obedient to the death of the cross, never seeking to do His will but the will of His Father, stood in stark contrast to this philosophy. The Stoics were no better, for their philosophy stated that the ideal wise man was calm and passionless, showing little emotion. In the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord was in agony and incredibly sorrowful. When He was on the cross, the Lord cried out to His Father “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Stoics would not have considered Christ’s passion to a mark of wisdom.

Power and Wisdom Personified

Some people in the world are seeking after a political leader to save them; some are looking for a wise philosopher to improve their life. It is true that Christ will one day be a great political leader, and will establish His reign on Earth, but He is so much more than that. The values and ethics that Christ taught & lived are higher than any philosophical teaching this world has seen, but again, He is more than a teacher.

To us, the called out ones, Christ is the crucified one. In the crucified one, we see the power of God. Power to raise one from the dead, just as Christ rose out of the tomb. In the crucified one, we see the wisdom of God. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Rock that causes others to stumble is to us power, wisdom, knowledge, and Savior.

-George Tickle

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Posted on Oct 22, 2013 in Content |

A Resting Place

Resting Place
the

A Lowly Example

“There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise… The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;” (Prov. 30:24, 26 KJV)

Here is a scripture that has often been on my mind. There are four small creatures in this chapter that do by instinct things which carry important messages for our lives. The rock badger or cony mentioned in this verse is the build of a prairie dog or a small rabbit. It is a creature without bristles, fangs, or dangerous claws. It is vulnerable and seems without defense.

However, the instincts of the cony are things we should take the time to learn and then apply into our lives. This predator-friendly animal runs to the rocks and is safe. The creature, knowing its limitations, does not try to outsmart or overpower an enemy. It simply lives where it will be secure.

A Sure Resting Place

I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Prov. 18:10)

Here is a life principle for us: Jesus Christ is our Rock. As our Rock He should be where we make our home, just as the conies made their home in the rock. We should not make our homes in this world and then go searching for our stronghold when tragedy strikes or we get overwhelmed by this life. We should just be able to go home! If we are to live in the enjoyment of what the Savior provides for us, making Jesus our regular resting place is crucial.

Notice the verse does not say, “the scaredy-cat people run to it and are safe”. It says that the righteous are those who run there. This is most surely a retreat. A rock badger doesn’t need to learn that it is vulnerable, but we do. While we can’t always handle things, our Rock is one that can weather the storm and take the attacks. We simply need to rest in Him, to dwell “in Christ”

A Life Principle

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”
In Him we have redemption through His blood”

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will”

Here are just a few of the many references to “in Christ” in Ephesians chapter one. As you read the New Testament, is should become obvious that the life which we live is lived “in Him”. This does not mean that the life which you live will be devoid of all troubles and sadness. It means that, if you are in Him when these things come, you can rest assured that they were allowed to reach you. What a peace it is to know that everything that happens to you has gone through the loving mind of our Savior before it ever touched you. He is our security and rest, and nothing will get through to us unless He lets it come.

-David Nicholson

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Posted on Oct 19, 2013 in Content |

The Foundation Stone

Foundation Stone

Warning: Uneven Ground

Before buying a house, many people hire a relator. The realtor helps them find a house that matches their needs. I can remember the day when my wife and I first looked at the house that we would buy. Different things about the house reminded me of Christ.

There we were, walking up to the house, and I could not but help noticing the two concrete steps that led up to the front door. The steps and the small area where you stand just before the door were sunk down into the ground at a great slope away from the house. The realtor had mentioned that this was quite normal for the entire county because the ground in the area is all on top of clay.

We bought the house despite the condition of the small slanting porch. But, if I were in a position to build a house and choose the plot to build on, it definitely would not be on clay. In fact, Jesus shared an illustration about this very thing.

Let us take a look at the story that Jesus shared in Matthew 7:24-25.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”

Notice that Jesus is speaking about a characteristic of a wise person; a wise man builds his house on the rock. Why? Because, without a doubt, rain is going to come, floods will rise, and winds will increase. The house that is built on the rock will not fall because its very foundation is a solid and firm ground that can stand against the storm.

Christ: The Firm Foundation

The Lord Jesus is our Rock. He is that very secure foundation for the house that is built on it. The house is a picture of our life. We are building a house with every moment we live. There are a few things we can notice and take to heart about Him.

The Lord Jesus is the only sure and true foundation. We can rest assured that putting our faith in Christ no matter what the storm, will prove to build a solid house here and for all eternity. He is unchanging and faithful.

We can be thankful that the Lord gives us a chance and urges us with welcoming arms to build on the only true foundation. He wants us to take advantage of the security that He offers.

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,  To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?”

-Shane Mirabella

 

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Posted on Oct 14, 2013 in Content |

The Smitten Stone

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.  Exodus 17:6

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Exodus 17:6

In this passage, we find the people of Israel in the wilderness complaining of a common discomfort, thirst. The Lord told Moses to take his rod, go to the rock at Horeb, and smite the rock. Moses obeyed, and the people’s thirst was quenched. The Lord delighted to show grace to His people, and so their physical needs were met.

The list is long in regard to how the Lord showed His goodness to the Hebrew people coming out of Egypt. Yet, after all the miracles, their hearts were still full of unbelief as they cried out for water. Was there anything that could satisfy them?

The smitten rock produced that which the people desired and needed. It renewed their strength, revived the weary, and satisfied the people. When Christ was smitten of God, He accomplished the work for which He had been sent. He provided a new strength and comfort to weary hearts, and satisfaction to the soul of men. Jesus said of Himself, “if any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink”. The Lord offers satisfaction that the world cannot provide.

“I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But, ah, the waters failed;
Even as I stooped to drink they fled,
And mocked me as I wailed.”

We cannot taste of the Lord and still be in want. Instead, those who have drunk from the spiritual Rock can agree when the hymn writer says,

“Now none but Christ can satisfy,
none other Name for me!
There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”

-Myles Tickle

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