Inspiring the Next Generation

Walk about Zion, and go round about her, number her towers (her lofty and noble deeds of past days), 13 Consider well her ramparts, go through her palaces and citadels, that you may tell the next generation [and cease recalling disappointments]. Psalm 48:12-13 Amplified

The rainbow in Genesis 9, the Feast of Passover in Exodus 12, a jar of manna in Exodus 16, the Feast of booths in Leviticus 23, the 12 stones taken from the Jordan River in Joshua 4, and the Feast of Purim of Esther 9 were all established for the generations to come.  Over and over in Leviticus laws were given with this phrase “It shall be a statute forever in your generations” and here in Psalm 48 describing Zion is included in this passing down from generation to generation. 

When I was a young man, Keith Green made powerful impressions on me not just through his songs, but in his descriptions of revival especially highlighting Charles Finney.  I was inspired and was set on a course that I am still on due in large part to the descriptions of the Second Great Awakening and the stories of revival that burned in my heart.

Each generation not only needs to be taught doctrine, walked down the Roman road of salvation, but also told stories of how God has done great things not just in biblical times, but in recent generations.  Has our generation failed to inspire our children while the visible and audible world keeps streaming interesting content and capturing their attention? 

 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, Hebrews 12:22-23a. 

Walk about this Zion, join with the hero of the faith and keep looking for that city.  Inspire the generations to come with descriptions of the city of golden streets and glory.

The Treasure Hidden in a Feild

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Matthew 13:44

Sometimes a verse is taught or understood one way but it never really has an impact, then a completely better understanding is revealed and the misunderstanding is replace with a clearer understanding of God’s ways in these dark times.  The parable of the treasure hidden in a field is one of these often misunderstood verses, in that we believe we need to sell all, buy the field and the treasure is Jesus or the kingdom.

Matthew chapter 13 is an account of several parables Jesus told.  First, a sower sowed seed in a field with various results.  Second, a man sows good seed in a field, but his enemy sows tares.  Third, a treasure hidden in a field is found, hid, and purchased.  Forth, a pearl of great price is a similar story, and finally a dragnet describes the separation at the end.

“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. Matthew 13:36-38

Jesus clearly says the man is Himself, the field is the world.  So it is in this parable of the treasure that the man once again is Jesus, and the field is the world. The treasure hidden is not something we have to sell all to obtain, but Jesus paid the great price in laying aside His divinity, becoming a man, and purchasing the world with his blood.  Mixing John 3:16 into this parable; God so loved the field that he gave his only son that whoever believes would not perish but be His eternal treasure.

  you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14   For you were bought at a price 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23

Because the treasure is hidden we rarely really grasp just how valuable we are to God.  Many have obscured this treasure by not heeding Paul’s warning to take heed how we build on his foundation in 1 Corinthians 3:10-12.  So much wood, hay and stubble has been mixed into our religion that the treasure has been buried deeper.  It is my hope that many will discover a treasure map finding the gold, silver and precious stones, and encourage others to build in alignment with the cornerstone, on a sure foundation, and according to the heavenly pattern.

There are threads that run through many books of the Bible.  Probably the best known thread is the scarlet thread of redemption, where little hints, types and shadows of Jesus’ way of salvation are woven into Old Testament passages.   Many other threads can be discovered and traced; The Revelation 21-22 vision of the heavenly city is full of threads.  Jerusalem, the bride, tabernacle, water or river of life, foundations, walls, gates, the number 12, gold, precious stones, lamb, measuring, temple, light, glory, book of life, and tree of life are all in Revelation 21-22 and also found in many other places in the Bible.

Behold, the eternal dwelling place of almighty God is with man.  Have you caught a glimpse of the treasure hidden in a field?  Come, I will show you the bride, the lambs wife.  And he shows us a city with pearls for gates, jeweled foundations, streets of gold.  An old Vineyard song said we will dance on streets that are golden.  I think we will be the streets, walls, foundations.  We are the treasure hidden in a field, refined, combined, and artistically fashioned into the climax of history.  The eternal dwelling place of God.

 

Can’t find God?

We can’t find God in our own little world.
But God comes looking for us,
While we’re hiding under the leaves.
“Where are you, sons of Adam?
Where are you, daughters of Eve?”
He calls us to leave our own little world
And seek to come to His eternal one.

We hid among the noise, the busy life style,
consumed with the visible.
He is in a secret place and wants us to dwell there too.
Prayer can be reduced to ask God to bless or fix
Our own little world without ever seeking Him or finding Him.
We pray to the god of our own little world,
without truly communing with
Our Father who is in heaven.

Not just on a personal level, but a Church can dwell in an own little world of the religion of songs, hype, and sermons without an ear tuned to what the Spirit is saying to us.

How do we get out of our own little world?
We must get back to square one.
Start over and begin again
A journey away from noise to silence.
Away from constantly hearing too many voices
to diligently listening for the One.

Jesus did nothing except what he heard or saw the Father doing.
Jesus never dwelt in his own little world, but he died to save us from ours.

For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which we also eagerly wait
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body
that it may be conformed
to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able
even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:20-21

Subdue us, conform us, transform us, from our little world of wood, hay, and stubble.  That we might look for a glorious one of gold, silver and precious stones once again.

The Church as a Mighty Tree

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32

I saw a huge tree; it was very old and gnarled.  Moss was growing on its trunk and hanging from its branches.  I could see the scars and burn marks from various attacks over the years.  Some parts of the tree looked dead and dry.  Bugs and diseases were attacking different parts of the tree.  As I looked away from the old growth of the tree toward the tips of the branches, there were areas of vibrant new growth.  These branches were covered with large beautiful fruit.

The roots system is at least as large as the tree above it. These roots collect water and nutrients and send them to the leaves and fruit through the trunk and branches.  Inside the tree a river is flowing up from the roots to the ends of the branches. Although the bark is hard and rough and dry, it covers and protects the life of the tree which is that river.

This is a picture of the whole church. Continue reading

From ME to WE

and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery…the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and power in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 3:9,10

For a long time I have longed for corporate gatherings to become, well, more corporate.  Too often the room is filled with an individual mentality, the songs are in the first person, the message is usually given by the same individual to address individual needs, and the ministry time is also individual in focus.  I’ve come to the point where this religious meeting isn’t Church in the true biblical sense. Continue reading