The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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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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  •             When God made the earth and the heavens, He planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. He then Genesis 2:15 “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” But then deception entered the picture and continues today. Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” satan is still asking this question and getting people to question their faith and turn from God by disobeying. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
                When Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were naked and not ashamed but after they sinned their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. Now because of our sin we can no longer be naked. Have you ever had that dream where you are outside or at the front of crowd naked? That is not how it is supposed to be. We cannot go back to the garden although society continues to flaunt their sin and try to make nakedness acceptable. In Revelation 3 we have two examples. The first is the church of Sardis. 3:4 “You have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.” Then we have another example. Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Obviously if you are walking around blind and naked you do not seem to care. In their blindness they are not ashamed of their nakedness but should be and are told to repent.
                Another example of this is "The Emperor's New Clothes" which is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.” The story goes like this. “A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothes themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor suspects the assertion is true, but continues the procession.”
                Usually I use this story when talking about some of the fashion statements out there but today I want to use this as an example of the self centered church of today walking around thinking they have been clothed with power and righteousness. They think that these two verses describe themselves. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” They have been deceived into thinking they have already been clothes yet they remain naked. Isaiah 61:10 “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Today many have been deceived into thinking they are safe and secure from all alarms because they are leaning on the everlasting arms yet they remain naked and unashamed because of unbelief and a refusal to repent. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” They have been taught that by simply going to church, saying a little prayer and having a dip that they are good but Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” They have been taught they have been filled with the Holy Spirit and nothing can snatch them away. John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” Jesus also had talked about being his sheep and knowing his voice. We must be his sheep for this to apply. John 10:25 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”
                We have to be very careful as to what we have put our faith in. Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Many think they will enter but are going through the wrong gate. Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Many people who go to church think they are Christians yet they flock through the wide gate and do not know the voice of the good shepherd. Sadly they do not know that satan is leading them astray while going to church. They are naked and unashamed of their sin. 1 John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” Most people think they are filled with the Holy Spirit but there is no fruit and there are no gifts manifested. There is no power. Today’s church looks nothing like the church was intended to look. It is a man made organization not the Holy Spirit led body of Christ. Instead Isaiah 2:8 “Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.” The Holy Spirit was not given so that we can feel good about ourselves and continue in our narcissism. So the truth of the matter like this Emperor, most in the church today walk around naked and unashamed as they have been deceived into thinking that they are wearing white clothes. Many are walking around naked yet claiming the promises of God and believing they are his children. Galatians 3:26 “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.” But in reality Moses tells us Deuteronomy 32:5 “They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.” They should be like Job who said, Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Ezekiel 36:31 “Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!”
                The answer is to repent. Revelation 3:18 “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The church of Sardis was told to Revelation 3:2 “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 16:15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
                Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” No one wants to feel “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent” so they refuse to repent. No one likes to admit they have been deceived. Even though many have been deceived just as we had been warned over and over again, they refuse to repent. They do not want to admit they have been deceived so they carry on as if everything is okay. They refuse to repent because they would have to admit they have been standing in line at the wrong gate even though everything points to the narrow gate but they refuse to listen. Nehemiah 9:29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Remember it was just a remnant that returned. Isaiah 37:31 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.”
                Set aside your pride and return to Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us to humble ourselves before Him. Remember, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Psalm 95:1 “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, 8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;     I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.” Hebrews 10:38 “my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”