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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  •     This week starting Sunday, which is Palm Sunday, we will start our call to joy. Revelation 19:1 “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! John 12:13 “They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” The crowds were looking for their king who would fit their own criteria but a king that was about to die did not line up with their thinking. John 12:23 “Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” Jesus had told His disciples He would die, but they still did not get it. Mark 8:31 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 

        Many of those same people shouting Hosanna would end up yelling crucify Him, crucify Him because they did not get it. They wanted a king like they had before to get rid of the Romans. John 19:15 “But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.” They even called curses upon themselves. Pilate said Matthew 27:24 “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Jesus said Luke 11:50 “Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.” The good news was when Peter said Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 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.” 

        They did not understand that Jesus had to die and not only did they not understand, but many refused to believe. John 12:34 “The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light. 37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” Even the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead said, Acts 1:6 “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Many in the church today still do not understand that Jesus is not actually sitting on a physical throne like the kings of Israel and Judah nor is the third temple a structure but the body of Christ. Many Gentiles have followed the Jewish thinking, the very ones who crucified Jesus and rejected His word, and have decided what the Jews were looking for was truth instead of listening to God’s word. 

        This week we have been talking about demolishing strongholds in the church like Christian Zionism / Dispensationalism (think like the Jews) and all the isms such as Calvinism Pentecostalism to name a few. Because of the rebellion of the church, satan was allowed power over the church and the church became desolate with no power over its enemies. Here we see the enemy at work and Jesus destroying that work. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 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.” This was from 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.” The darkness was supposed to be pushed back as the enemy is still at work but there is power to destroy that work. Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” 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.” John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” 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.” Acts 42:6 “I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Later Paul was told Acts 26:17 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” The church was to continue pushing back the darkness and freeing people from the power of satan. We were supposed to continue to do as Jesus did.

        Instead the church has rebelled just as we saw in the Old Testament. 2 Kings 17:14 “They would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” Then we see in the New Testament, John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 1:10 “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.” Some would believe but most would deny their Savior and still do. 

        Where there is light, darkness will flee. You can see that when you turn on a light but once again people love darkness and do not want the light to shine on their stubborn hearts. The darkness was supposed to scatter, and it did, at least for a while. Acts 8:7 “For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” This joy was supposed to continue when the kingdom of God came near, just like we just read but instead, darkness remained. So once again darkness needs to be pushed back and the only way is to turn from our wicked ways and return to God’s word. This command has not changed. Acts 13:47 “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” These are dark days. The church is in shambles and powerless against our enemies. This pandemic is not going away (remember the politicians want your vote but covid doesn’t care about the politicians) continues to bring sickness and death and we are on the brink of a third world war. 

        The good news of the gospel still applies to us today. There is hope as God always makes a way and will continue to keep His promise David that there will always be a remnant. 1 Samuel 3:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.” The light in today’s church is barely a flicker but as we saw with Samuel, he was raised up to lead God’s people. God was already making a way with Hannah. Just like when Esther was raised up. Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” God will save His people so keep calling out to Him. When God spoke against the house of Eli, He said, 1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” Today God will do the same and save His people, His faithful remnant. Isaiah 30:20 “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Just make sure you test the spirits and make sure the voice is from Jesus!

        David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Trust that God will do the same. 2 Samuel 22:2 “He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. 5 The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 7 “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. 8 The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. 9 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 10 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 11 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 13 Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 16 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of breath from his nostrils. 17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 20 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. 21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God. 23 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 24 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. 26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 27 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. 28 You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 29 You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. 30 With your help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall. 31 “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. 32 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 33 It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. 35 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great. 37 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 39 I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 40 You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. 41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. 42 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord, but he did not answer. 43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets. 44 “You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples; you have preserved me as the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, 45 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. 46 They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. 47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! 48 He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, 49 who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 51 “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” Habakkuk 3:16 “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. 

             It may seem that God is has not heard your cry as Job said Job 23:8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”