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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Apr21Thu

    Day 26 April 21, 2016 “Nissan”

    April 21, 2016
                So today we are going to shift our focus a little bit and talk about cars. The Nissan Website tells us, “The Nissan Motor Company is a Japanese based automaker that produces vehicles world wide. It is currently the sixth largest automaker, only behind General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford. Nissan has marketed vehicles under a few names, including the Datsun brand name. In 1999 Nissan entered a two way alliance with Renault S.A. of France, which now owns 43.4% of Nissan while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares. Today Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti.”
                Yeah we’re number six! Okay just kidding. We are entering the second half of our Pentecost journey and no the Nissan car has nothing to do with it but the name does. Today I want to look at the Jewish calendar and in particular this month called Nissan / Nisan. One person said while describing the calendar, “A few years ago, I was in a synagogue, and I overheard one man ask another, "When is Chanukkah (Hanukkah) this year?" The other man smiled slyly and replied, "Same as always: the 25th of Kislev." This humorous comment makes an important point: the date of Jewish holidays does not change from year to year. Holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the civil calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the civil calendar.” You can do your own research as to the differences in the Gregorian and the Jewish calendar.  (Take at look at these sites if interested http://www.jewfaq.org/calendr2.htm and http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html)
                This month is called April, 2016 or Nissan, 5776. Notice how they count the years. They also use BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) instead of BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini / year of our Lord).  An example of these differences is that Easter was March 27, 2016 and Passover begins April 22-30, 2016 on the Jewish calendar. The "first month" of the Jewish calendar is the month of Nissan, in the spring, when Passover occurs. However, the Jewish New Year is in Tishri, the seventh month, and that is when the year number is increased. This concept of different starting points for a year is not as strange as it might seem at first glance. The American "New Year" starts in January, but the new "school year" starts in September, and many businesses have "fiscal years" that start at various times of the year. Similarly, the Jewish calendar has different starting points for different purposes.”
                Okay so what’s the big deal about this month? Biblical history shows us this is an amazing month but this does not mean that we start following the special days and holidays of the Jewish calendar but it does enlighten us to what Jesus can do for anyone who chooses to believe in Him. Paul said to the Galatians 4:10 “You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!” 2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.” You will notice on some of the Jewish sites a clarification that the Messiah was not Jesus as they are waiting for the true Moshiach. One writer said, "Behold I will send to you Elijah the Prophet before the arrival of the great and awesome day of G‑d"—the Prophet Malachi. Elijah will appear in order to herald the coming of Moshiach, though there's much speculation as to precisely when he will appear. With his arrival, he will also serve several other important functions.” Jesus said, Matthew 11:13 “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Okay so they are not listening. The writer went on to say, “Our nation has yearned for and awaited the Redemption for nearly 2,000 years now.”
                When we look at the dates we see that Jesus is the culmination of everything. Galatians 3:22 “But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
                So having said that lets look at this month. Nissan is the first Hebrew month. It is sometimes known as Abib (or Aviv). This month is not only the head of the year; it is the season of spring and all that goes with that such as new growth, the time that the buds are seen in the land, which leads to harvest. It represents new beginnings and new life and freedom from captivity, our redemption and new life in Christ. Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Exodus 13:4 “Today, in the month of Aviv / Abib, you are leaving. 5 When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month:” Deuteronomy 16:1 “[The Passover ] Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.” Later scripture refers to this time as Nissan. One person said, “However, during the Babylonian captivity, it came to be called by the Babylonian name of Nisan, also spelt as Nissan. And this name continued in use after the Jews returned from captivity.” Nehemiah 2:1 [ Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem ] In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before.”
                It is also referred to as the month of redemption. Israel was saved from the Egyptians and all who believe are saved because Jesus died for us and then rose from the dead. We see this provision when we look at Abraham and Isaac. Abraham because he trusted God became his friend. Genesis 22:1 “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Jesus has done this for us and has provided a way. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
                Not only does this month contain the Passover when Israel was saved by the blood of the lamb and the new Passover where we can be saved by the blood of the lamb. They both contain miracles and wonders. Nissan literally means miracle of miracles. Micah 7:14 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.”16 Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf.” Exodus 34:10 “Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.” Jesus came and provided a way out, redeemed us and set us free. Acts 2:22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
                So no matter what you are going through, do you still believe in redemption and miracles? God has shown us He is the God of wonders and the only way is to believe in Jesus and follow his word wholeheartedly Exodus 15:11 “Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Psalm 40:5 “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” Acts 2:22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
                Nissan also marks a time of crossing into the Promised Land. Joshua 1:2 “Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.” 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. 19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.” We no longer want to participate in the empty way of life handed down from our fathers. Crossing the Jordon represents our life in the Holy Spirit. Let this month of Nissan and all that it represents be symbolic of our new life in Jesus Christ.
                Let us be ready to cross over to see the fulfilment of all God’s promises to those who believe Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
    2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
             Keeping praying that God would pour out His power on us just as He did at Pentecost.
    Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”