Sri Lankan Convention Gems 2008

Eternity is a tremendous place: fellowship with the Father forever, no pain, no more sorrow, and no more darkness. We want to be a part of that forever.

Genesis 2:15 “…to dress it and to keep it.” We have two fields to dress and to keep – our heart and our mind. The soil must warm to the seed if it is going to grow at all. We want to be so covered by the new life that there is none of the old life left to show. Our field is exposed to the elements. We live in a world that has so much influence over us. Unforgiveness is like the stones – they affect productivity. Deal with the stones; place them in the wall then the wall will become stronger.

Deuteronomy 1:8 “… go in and possess more” (the land). We don’t want to wander and make no progress. God wants us to be a thankful people.

Hebrews 5:14 “…have their senses exercised…” It is important to have a well-developed sense of values and sense of judgment.” Isaiah 5:20, 21 tells us of some who had their judgment mixed up. In Acts 19:19 we read of a people who had their values changed by the Gospel. 50,000 pieces of silver was equivalent to 167 years of labour. The burnt offering didn’t have any value to them any more. Shops today are full of DVDs and CDs and such things; they are an abomination to God and only feed wrong desires and thoughts in the human mind. It leads people into immorality. The world says what is evil in God’s eyes are okay. John 5:30 Jesus had the perfect sense of judgment. Isaiah 7:15 Butter is like the fat or the abundance of the milk. Honey is the best from the flowers. Both butter and honey are from living things. Jesus hated iniquity – He never mixed the good with evil. It’s easy to overcome a bad habit if we hate it.

What is the most precious thing to you? It should be our relationship with God.

Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath. He offered the fulfilment of what the Sabbath represented.

When the woman broke the alabaster box, the disciples had indignation in their hearts. But she broke the box because she wanted to use it all and didn’t want to leave behind anything, any remorse or any incomplete sacrifice.

Psalm 122 mentions going to Jerusalem. Going always referred to going up. If we are willing for the judgments of God in lifetime, then we need not fear the Judgment Day.

Deuteronomy 2:3, God doesn’t just want to bring us out of Egypt, but He wants to bring us into His promises. The Promised Land is a type of what God wants to bring us into, in this life time, in going forward. The way was opened up to them to cross the Red Sea. There are mountains of doubt and fears and unwillingness, and we could just be going around and around these mountains and not going forward. Psalm 24: 3 and 4 “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?” Have clean hands. Isaiah 1:15 speaks of a people whose hands were full of blood. If you see blood, you realize someone has been hurt. Who is God to us? Is He the King of Glory?

In Matthew 4 and 5, we read of two more mountains. In Matthew 4, Satan was conducting the tour. Satan tries to make us look down. In Matthew 5, Jesus was conducting the tour. He tries to get people to look up and see the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus sets before us the standard of Heaven, the eternal standards.

Proverbs 1:10-15, “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path…” In other words, if sinners entice thee, consent not and don’t walk in the way with them.

Psalm 19:1-6 In the midst of God’s re-creation He has set a tabernacle for His Son. There are no shortcuts when it comes to preparing for the coming of the bridegroom of our souls. The marriage of the Lamb is coming up. A lamb is drawn to another lamb.

The world gives us a hopeless end but God gives us an endless hope.

The grave is not our goal – God has much more for us beyond that.

Leviticus 1:1-3, 9; Ephesians 5:1-2 “… a sweet smelling savour …” Leviticus means things that had to do with the Levites and the service of the Lord, the sacrifices, etc. The thought of a sacrifice beginning in Heaven. “Who will go and take a sacrifice?” This thought started in the heart of God and was impelled by love. Whether we offer a bullock, a lamb or a turtledove, the offering is different but the sweet smelling savour is the same. It must be offered without a blemish – it must be a perfect specimen. Bad habits, bad language and wrong relationships can all spoil and blemish the sacrifice. In Malachi, we learn they tried to give a blemished sacrifice. 1) It was not accepted of God, 2) it was evil, and 3) the offerer is not accepted either. The whole burnt offering was totally voluntary. Leviticus 1:4 is like saying ‘this is in place of my life’ i.e., ‘this is the same way I am giving my own life, every part consecrated.’ Jesus did that which is mentioned in these verses.

John 17:9-10 is the relationship that Jesus came and brought into this world. Sin is the only thing we possess that belongs to us. In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 1, the older brother had friends that were not his father’s friends. Lydia was willing for all, that all she had could be God’s.

It is impossible to go to heaven without Christ. He must become a part of our life. The Gospel is for people who have a thirst for righteousness. John 2:7 is the intention of the Gospel: to empty ourself of our own thoughts, our ideas and our ways, and make room for the living water. John 3:5 is the condition of the Gospel: To be born again of water and of the Spirit. John 4:13-14 is the miracle of the gospel.

Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus wants us to be the light of the world, not just in our own home or in our own country. A candle has no choice – it just gives itself without complaining.
Hebrews 12:13 – make straight paths for your feet. Be a safe leader first by following Jesus. A straight path is made by looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. There was a man who had two boys. He asked them to see who could walk the straightest line. He asked them to walk though the snow to a tree across the yard. One boy walked looking at his feet while the other boy walked looking towards the tree. It was the one who looked towards the tree and not his feet that walked the straightest line. If we keep our eyes on the goal, we will make straight paths for our feet.

2 Chronicles 34:2 Josiah walked and didn’t decline to the right or the left. Our purpose is to stay in the centre of the pathway. We could very easily become side-tracked because we think there is a better way, or think it doesn’t matter, or just by being careless. Joshua 1:7 shows no turning but keeping a straight path leads to spiritual prosperity. Joshua 23:6: Joshua’s advice at the end of life was the same as God’s who gave it to him earlier.

We can tell a lot by the footprints that are left behind: which way they lead, how long ago, and size of the beast, etc. The footprints of Jesus are as fresh and clear to us today as they ever were.

Some footprints Jesus left behind for us:

1) Show us the footprint of a little child. Matthew 18:1 Become as a little child. The attitude of a little child is “I can do nothing of myself.” Keep on track! A train off track does a lot of damage. Keep the children on track! Children reach out for what they want, but wise parents give them only what they need. It is the parents’ responsibility to properly form a child’s conscience. Don’t give a child something you’ll have to take away from them because it isn’t good for them. Don’t dress your child in a way that later you’ll have to tell them it’s not good to dress like that. Luke 22:21-24 tell of strife that arose when they lost sight of the footprints of Jesus.

2) John 13 shows Jesus serving so beautifully because He loved so deeply. His was a love service. Luke 9:54, tells us of the time the Samaritans didn’t receive Jesus. This led certain of His disciples to thoughts of retribution, judgment and condemnation. Jesus came to condemn the wrong but save the wrong doer. Jesus also left behind the footprint of love in this place; and

3) The footprint of prayer. Luke 18:1 shows us that to be careless leads to being “prayerless,” and fainting. A plant not watered wilts. Not praying is like not watering your plant. The Pharisee went to pray and got sidetracked. The Publican was on track with the spirit of repentance.

4) The footprint of forgiveness, Mark 11:25. Leviticus 16 tells about the scapegoat that took the sins away into the wilderness. If we don’t forgive, the scapegoat will come back and all the sins would be remembered again.

5) The footprint of suffering for righteousness sake. 1 Peter 2:20. Job 23:11, and 1 John 2:6.

1 Samuel 6:19 Why was it such a serious thing to look into the ark? In order to look into the ark, the Mercy seat had to be taken off. It was just like looking at the Law, without mercy. That is what the Pharisees and religious leaders in Jesus’ day were doing. Exodus 25:21-22: God never asked for the mercy seat (the covering) to be removed even when it was transported. Removing it is like applying the law without mercy. There are also some people who want mercy without the law! Applying the law without mercy is condemning the guiltless. Jesus said “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” In John 8, the woman taken in adultery was brought before Jesus and they tried condemning the guilty. Jesus said “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.” He applied the law with mercy. Psalm 85:10, “Mercy and truth have met together.”

Righteousness and peace are companions. If we are unwilling for righteousness, you’ll never have peace. Likewise, if we’re not willing for truth, we’ll never have mercy.
It brings greater richness into our lives if we let our hearts go out to others.

John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you…” “I will send the Comforter…” Jesus has done the work of reconciliation as part of preparing a place for us. He has dealt with our sin as part of preparing this place for us. Ecclesiastics 4:1, there is only one thing that will bring us comfort—it is having God with us! Most joy the world has is circumstantial joy. Our joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances.

Colossians 1:23 and 2:6, 7 speak of many things that try to take us away from the hope of the Gospel. To be grounded means nothing can move it.

Spoil is something taken from a people that were conquered.

Psalm 139 gives us a wonderful description of our God. Three wonderful attributes of God are described:

1) God is omniscient (verses 2-4), all knowing.

2) God is omnipresent (verses 7-12) God is everywhere at the same time.

3) God is omnipotent (verses 14-16) For Him there is nothing that is impossible. So much time is wasted in trying to flee from God who is our help.

Revelation 13:8 speaks of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. God made provision for man and his sin even before He created him and put him in the earth.

Hymn 372. You may be counted in but can you be counted on? Be dependable. Can the Lord depend on us in circumstances of conflict? Are we those that the Lord can depend on…? In Genesis18, Abraham stood yet before the Lord and pleaded. He didn’t rush off to Sodom and Gomorrah and see what he could do himself. Job was a man the Lord could depend on.

Luke 16: 1-8. It’s easy for us to be wasters. It is easy to waste time and opportunities. Let us learn not to waste time and opportunities. Psalm 39:1-5. David wanted his ways to be right before God. Verse 4, When we realize we have very little of something, we will be less inclined to waste it. We don’t have much time. We don’t have days without number. David saw opportunity to do good to the house of Jonathan as he had promised. David brought the ark to Jerusalem; he also wanted to build the temple. When Nathan gave him the message, he never wasted time to repent. Maybe we can look back on our lives and see wasted days, but it’s good if we haven’t wasted years! Of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25, five wasted their opportunities. There are things we don’t do if we realize we don’t have much time; i.e. criticize, judge others, and hate.

Hebrews 11. Faith has to do with our past, our present and our future. This chapter lists lives that were controlled by faith and not by human reasoning. FAITH = For All I Trust Him. If I have faith then I trust God. If I am faithful then God will trust me. Faith means I trust His teaching, ruling, understanding, strength, and timing. If I am strong in faith, God will trust me.

Genesis 6:8, 9 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." These are the generations of Noah: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” In those days there was evil in the heart of man and it brought grief to the heart of God. Noah’s testimony was that he was just and upright, and walked with God. We have a lifetime to uphold our testimony and an eternity to live our testimony. We have a testimony, we live a testimony and we give a testimony. Noah was not influenced by his surroundings: he was sincere. Noah influenced the world but the world never influenced him. His relationship with the outside world was right; his relationship with his family was right. He prepared an ark to the saving of his household.

There are three arks mentioned in the Old Testament. Noah’s ark was for the saving of a household, Moses’ ark of bulrushes was for the saving of a life, and the Ark of the Covenant was for the saving of a nation. Noah was asked to build an ark, but he was moved to build an altar.