The ROCK
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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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  • Dec22Sun

    Fourth Sunday of Advent

    December 22, 2019
     
    - Thank-you to Jeff
     
    - Advent Recap: This Promise is For You!
                We are going to open and close with songs about the anointing, as that is what we have been praying for. We pray that God would turn his face back to us, shine upon us and empower us once again with His Spirit. Our Advent theme has been “Awaiting the power of the Holy Spirit.” We are waiting for God to return to His people so that what we read in scripture will be true again in the church. Acts 2:33 “Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” Paul tells us Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Paul continues to explain to Titus how the Holy Spirit given to us was supposed to be. Titus 3:4 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” The problem is as 2 Kings 18 tells us 13 “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” Yes the church has also not acted in accordance with all that is written. They became stiff-necked and stubborn and rebellious by turning their backs on God word. Last week we talked about the Spirit of truth being sent. You can read about that later.
                Here is what was written. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. 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.” Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” Acts 19:1 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.” See most people think they are filled yet there is no power. Since there is no power we must repent.
                As I was preparing for today I came across this quote from a website called Got Questions (by the way don’t go to this site for truth concerning your questions.) Here is what they said. “The teaching of a “new anointing” following salvation is not found in the Bible. The Bible never tells us to ask for the Holy Spirit to come upon us for the simple reason that He has already come. All believers are supernaturally and permanently anointed by the Holy Spirit. We are declared holy by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” In their efforts to discredit the available power, they denied the verses I just read in Acts. The power of the Holy Spirit was supposed to continue just as it did from Acts 2 to 4 to 10 to 19. It just wasn’t for the few at the beginning. If what they said was true there wouldn’t be chapters 4, 10 12. I have used this quote before and I believe the same. “My conviction is that the Divine power, so manifest in the Church at Pentecost, was nothing more nor less than what should be in evidence in the Church today. Normal Christianity, as planned by our Lord, was not supposed to begin in the Spirit and continue in the flesh.” Peter said in Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So today as we praise our God with song, know that the promise of the Holy Spirit is available to all who believe. This means there is power available to all who would believe. So not only will we see the fruit of the Spirit, we will see all the gifts of the Spirit because God said Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” God said in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” If it wasn’t for God’s amazing grace we would all perish just as Jesus said in Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” So today we celebrate our Savior giving us hope when there was none.
                So we wait expectantly and ready to be clothed with power. We wait to return to the beautiful land and we wait once again for the Spirit of truth to go out and demolish the falseness. Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”  Jesus said 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.” So we wait to be clothed with power once again and go to the ends of the earth in the power and authority given to us by Jesus.
     
    Scripture: (Together)
    Nehemiah 9:5 “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”
     
    Song:
    A New Anointing   - Keith Lancaster
    Scripture:     
    Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 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. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”            
    Isaiah 37:31 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 35 “I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”
     
    Songs:          
    Born Is the King (It's Christmas) -  Hillsong          
    Angel Medley  - Wayne Watson          
    The King Has Come - The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir        
    Joy to the World - Steve Green
     
    Scripture: John 3:16In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
    John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
    Psalm 95:6 “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.”
    Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
     
    Songs:          
    Make Room  -  Casting Crowns & Matt Maher         
    Adore  - Chris Tomlin
    Light Of The World - Chris Tomlin Feat. Matt Redman       
    I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day - Casting Crowns         
    Emmanuel  - The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
     
    Scripture:      (Together)
    Luke 1:68-70 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

                Last night there was an amazing sunset and this morning the sky was fiery red and the moon was above. Absolutely beautiful as is God’s promise to David. Psalm 89:35 “Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David— 36 that his line will continue forever  and his throne endure before me like the sun; 37 it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”
     
    1 Kings 8:25 “Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.”
    2 Kings 8:19 “Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.”
    2 Samuel 22:51 “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”
    2 Chronicles 23:3 “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David.”
     
    Songs:
    Jesus Saves  - Travis Cottrell 
    Praise Medley: Praise to the Lord the Almighty / Crown Him With Many Crowns
     / Jesus Shall Reign... -  Steve Green  
    Yours Is the Kingdom  -  Hillsong
               
    Scripture:
    Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.”
    Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah.”
    Exodus 15:18 “The Lord reigns for ever and ever.”
    Revelation 19:6 “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!”
    Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
    Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
     
    Song: People Get Ready ... Jesus Is Comin' -  Avalon
     
                As we close this service today, do not harden your hearts but turn to God. He said 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” So we continue to pray that God will hear our cry and turn His face to shine on us once again.
    (Together) Psalm 85:4 “Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? 6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.”
     
    Closing Song:
    Revive Us Again - Andy Park      
    Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Hebrews 3:7 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
     
    Benediction:
    Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
    The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
    Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
    Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
    Isaiah 10:20 “In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. 22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return. .”
    Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. 13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.”
    Isaiah 11:16 “There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.”
    Isaiah 12:1 “In that day you will say: “I will praise you, LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 In that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”