January 2012

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The Turning Point

Pastor Ray

 
A Turning Point comes when you clearly see your sin in the light of God’s glory.  We take it for granted that God is always kind, merciful and loving.  But God is not bound by our sentiments.  He is also a God of justice and judgment! God does have a Turning Point when He walks away because of our contempt and unbelief.  Restore your covenant with Jesus.  Repent of your sins and cast them aside. Make today a Turning Point in your life!

 

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Show Notes by Jim Kerwin for Kernels of Wheat Podcast
Episode 008 – Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! (1 John 1:6-2:6)

"Liar, Liar," recycled tin artwork by Jenny Fillius

Recycled-Tin Artwork by Jenny Fillius at jennyfillius.com. (Click on image for full link.) Website image used by permission. Original is currently being used by the Seattle City Department of Cultural Affairs.

To get the most out of this ongoing Bible study:

Read through 1 John once a week.

Review and Context:

  • Walking with or before God = being pleasing to God
  • “I write these things to you that you may not sin.” (1 John 2:1)
  • The blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses us from inward sin IF we walk in the light.

The Heart, the Covenants, and “God Who Knows the Hearts”

  • Under the Old Covenant
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Michelle

I’m very exhausted, having collaborated on submitting a major proposal at work. I’m placing all my hope in Jesus to see our company receive the award of this contract. I’ve been praying and asking the Lord to show favor to my boss, not for my sake, but for my boss’, as He’s extended much kindness to me over the years.

I’ve also been praying that Jesus will bring new business to our company that’s outside of my boss’s networking and marketing efforts. As I humble myself at the job, I want Jesus to raise up for Himself a testimony [click to continue…]

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

A friend recommended I meditate on two verses of scripture as I endure my current circumstances:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Romans8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

It is good to be reminded that God is in control. My job is to trust him and do the little things that I know I should be doing each day. He’s not asking some grand conquest of me; he’s simply asking me to care for my mother in the midst of her time of need. He’s giving me [click to continue…]

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Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Episode 007 – Walking in Freedom (1 John 1:6-7)

The Kernels of Wheat Podcast album art

The Kernels of Wheat podcast

Teaching and Bible study notes by Jim Kerwin

Verse: 1 John 1:6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him
and yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth;

  • Lying about fellowship with God; poor excuses for Christians.
  • If we say (or imply) that we are Christians – that is, that we live in close fellowship with God – but our lives and hearts say otherwise, that is a serious form of hypocrisy or lying.
  • Walking in darkness is a description of the opposite of living in close communion with God.
  • Walking in darkness is characterized by [click to continue…]
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#12: The Devil’s Paradise

Every evil thought and every violent act is flooding our world. America, once a bright light on a hill, has been stripped and turned into a prison filled with greed, anger, lust, and every other unclean thing! We are living in the “Devil’s Paradise!” But Jesus has opened a “Way” of escape. This “Way” is not the way of religion; it is Jesus Himself. Jesus is a narrow pathway of holiness out of this “Devil’s Paradise” straight into the Paradise Of God! Are you traveling this high way to heaven or are you stuck in the “Devil’s Paradise?”

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Staked To The Ground Like Eagles

Pastor Ray

The American Church is filled with little people, little people who are staked to the ground, when God has called us to soar like  eagles.  We are people who are preoccupied with our own little world, indifferent to the needs of others.  We seem to have no concern for those without any personal reference.  The tragedy of little people is that they are unavailable.  We don’t need “big shots,” but people with big hearts, people with vision — people whose feet are on the ground, but whose eyes are on the far horizon where God is beginning to open the way for the salvation of the lost.  We need people who have been touched by God!  We need people who are dedicated to Jesus and His high and holy purposes!  We need people of integrity who will give all for the Kingdom Of God!  If you are such a person or would like to become such a one, come join us at the National Prayer Chapel!

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Michelle

It’s almost 10pm and we’re here with mom at the hospital to check on some pains she felt earlier this afternoon. After my last post, it’s been beyond hectic at work and to face news of my mom being at the emergency was like so unbelievable. I was just on the verge of freaking out but pulled myself together and began praying.

To those who have been quietly praying for me and my company- THANK YOU! Your prayers and encouragement gave me strength to continue clutching to Jesus, as He’s carried me.

May the Lord Jesus continue to watch over His people and hear their cries.

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

I idolized having a partner. I wanted more than anything to have that person who would be symbolized by changing my Facebook status to “In a Relationship.”

Because I had set “her” up as an object to obtain, that would make me feel whole, the LORD handed me over to the lusts of my flesh. Though I sinned against Jesus by acting in that wickedness, the original sin was to set up a human partner in the place of my Divine Partner in my heart. I rediscovered a devotional book (in the ancient/deep, rather than modern/light sense) today that I have not read in many months. I’ll share a few quotes from Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis, to help me express myself.

From ch. 11 ~ “The greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that we are not free from passions and lusts, that we do not try to follow the perfect [click to continue…]

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Michelle

It’s been very tough this week. Having encouraged a friend to keep trusting in Jesus and to not sin, little did I know that I too would be dealt with my share of oppressive circumstances. I would’ve never expected that I would so quickly be in a place where I would have to clutch the very words of encouragement I had offered just a day earlier.

If being wrung out at work because of concentrating our efforts on meeting a deadline was too much to handle, discovering that a co-worker had died at home when he failed to show up for work was altogether, unimaginable and overwhelming. [click to continue…]

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

I am going through possibly the greatest time of trial in my life. I am being severely tested: passing and failing on various points. My heart is broken from several failed attempts at courtship over the past couple years, and my heart has been hardened from choosing to sin after feeling broken repeatedly. Also, Mom is not well, physically or mentally, and I am having to move out of our house to give her space and to be in a safe place, myself. My pastor has reminded me not to feel sorry for myself. He’s also warned me not to walk off into rebellion, because I might not have another chance to return to Jesus. Prayers and encouragement are appreciated.

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Michelle

It’s mid-January and I’m just about halfway through the bible. If I finish my required portion of reading today, I would have just started Proverbs but I’m still in the Psalms.

It’s amazing what’s happened so far since I started reading through the bible again. Oh, boy! There’ve been so many lessons and warnings to my heart. A couple things stood out. One was seeing how God honored David’s love for him through covenant. I’m reminded in my life that God takes covenants very seriously, which includes the ones that He’s made to my heart and those I made to Him. [click to continue…]

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Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Episode 006: When Is Walking More Than Walking?

Combination of walker (pedestrian)-related traffic signsTeaching and Bible Study notes by Jim Kerwin. Passage for this episode: 1 John 1:52:2, focusing on “walking” in 1:6-7.

The Bible Concept of Walking

  • How are we to understand “walk in darkness” and “walk in the light” in vv. 6-7?
  • God’s original depiction of fellowship: Genesis 3:8-9: “…they heard the qol [click to continue…]
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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

As a Christian, I am a servant. In fact, the Bible encourages me to view myself as everyone’s slave since the Creator of the Universe came down to Earth as a slave. Jesus also declares that as His faithful follower, I am now God’s friend, son, and bride, completely beloved by Him. But just as my Lord laid down all of his positions and titles when he came down to this little prison planet, so I lay down all to be simply a minister, i.e., a servant of all for God’s glory and our good.

My official job title is currently “corporate concierge.” I am grateful to have a position that allows me free time in-between hosting and directing tenants and visitors. This enables me to [click to continue…]

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Michelle

It seems like while I’m sifting through the things that have a direct bearing on me understanding and identifying what prompts my combativeness, there’s a cross-current from the enemy that wants to topple me.

Some may recall me writing about how I felt as a single person and how I was unaffected by what the Lord would chose for me, be it single or married. Strangely, I was no longer feeling carefree but began feeling troubled. I did notice that there was a constant barrage of questions from persons, who wanted to know when I was going to be married. Without realizing it, I started to let my shield down and the barrage of questions [click to continue…]

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

I have alot of maturing to do. Though I’m not walking in any rebellion against my Savior, I know there is still much purifying work for him to do in my heart. I recently was confronted by my pastor out of his concern that I am communicating things that are not sin, but which can appear to be sin to others who misunderstand me. I don’t want to be a possible cause for anyone to sin, especially not the sin of condemning another person.

What shall I do? If I refuse to have alcohol at my events, some may judge me as a legalist, and if I do have alcohol, others may accuse that I am taking a license to sin. I am comforted to remember that John the Baptist didn’t drink alocohol, so people said he was possessed by a demon. Likewise, Jesus did enjoy fermented beverages, so his accusers [click to continue…]

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Jim Kerwin’s Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Podcast
Episode 005: The Septuagint (LXX)

Picture of a bust of Alexander the Great

Copy of a bust of Alexander the Great displayed in the Louvre

Interview on Stewardship Weekly

Among those leaving comments for episode #4 was Glen Steinson of the Stewardship Weekly podcast. Glen interviewed me for Stewardship Weekly, episode 13: Jim Kerwin Introduces Us to the God ‘E37.’

Two Bible Study Pointers to Help in “Rightly Dividing the Word”:

  1. You can’t know the whole counsel of God if you don’t read the whole counsel of God. That means one of the disciplines in which you should engage as a disciple is to read the Bible regularly, cover to cover.
  2. When you find an Old Testament quote in the New Testament, go back and read the quote in context in the Old Testament. Often the speaker or the writer is assuming that his original audience is familiar with the passage, and that they are making more “truth connections” as a result. But for those of you who do this, how do you account for the fact that sometimes the New Testament quote seems very different from the Old Testament passage?

God’s Sovereignty in His First Popular Bible Translation

God showed through prophecy [click to continue…]

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Michelle

It’s been eight days since I began reading the bible through from Genesis to Revelation for the month of January. With each day that passes, I’m very conscious of my time and what I do and how much time I’m saving up toward the reading of the word.

I’m trusting Jesus that His word will cleanse me as I read through the bible, especially since I don’t have the victory over being combative. I want my will ‘to be combative’ broken. There’re times when I see it rise up and it hurts me and there’s nothing [click to continue…]

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

A friend posted a quote today on Facebook claiming that our obedience is not central to our salvation. The quote went on to say that what’s truly important is to recognize that we’ve been forgiven in the midst of our disobedience, and then our repentance/obendience will grow out of that. Another friend shared with me on my church’s website that he’s very excited about the Gospel and that he loves the Lord. This friend belongs to a church that does not believe that Jesus is the Lord/God, but rather a lord/god.

The word, Gospel, means at it’s core, news so good that it sounds impossible to believe. To me, this unbelievably awesome news is that God would die for me..and moreso, that he would live in me. My friend’s quote on Facebook seems to me to offer a hollow Gospel, promising me [click to continue…]

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Studies in the Book of Romans with Pastor Ray Greenley
#11: America Is Dying

Scriptures: Romans 5:1-2; Titus 1:16; 2:11-14; Hebrews 10:1-10

As America unravels, it is time to turn to Jesus. We are not yet seeing the wrath of God on our nation. What we are seeing is the removal of His blessing, the removal of His protection, and the removal of His peace. Paul opens Romans 5 speaking about this peace of God. This peace that comes for those who have been made righteous by faith.

Romans 5 marks a clear line of transition from the external standing of legal righteousness under the law, to regenerative change within the soul. This is the righteousness grounded in the shed blood of Jesus not a Levitical animal. Reconciliation is a state in actual righteousness.

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Joshua Gravis

Joshua Gravis

We toasted in the New Year Saturday/Sunday at Midnight, after having enjoyed a fun-filled evening with 40+ friends in our cozy little home. The couple dozen who were still present around 1AM took turns sharing our hopes and goals for 2012. Some were determined to change their eating habits; others committed themselves to coming out for more hikes; most agreed that they wanted to get closer to God/Jesus this year. I shared that I am resolved to not base my understanding of where I am with Jesus (i.e., how I would fare if judged right now) on how I feel.

I have made it a habit to pray for greater stability (in body, soul, and spirit). I sometimes recall during these prayers [click to continue…]

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Michelle

Recently, I had asked one of my friends what kinds of events were experienced in 2011. The response was that it was, in part, a year of sadness, owing to the loss of a loved one. I read the messages and recognized that my friend’s heart was still aching over the loss. I couldn’t offer any words of encouragement except to ask the question whether or not Jesus is enough in the midst of the pain.

Oddly enough, I’m faced with this same question of whether or not Jesus is enough in my life. Although, I can’t see Him and even though, there’re times when He doesn’t show up when I would like Him to, [click to continue…]

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Jim Kerwin’s Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Podcast
Episode 004 – God Is Light (1 John 1:5)

[Note to NPC listeners: We pick up our study of 1 John after a Christmas/New Year’s digression.]

The revelations of God’s nature in John’s writings:

"God is... I AM..."

  • The “I am…” passages
  • The “God is…” passages

The “I Am” passages:

  • Exodus 3:14–“I AM THAT I AM.”
  • Jehovah/Yahweh as a derivative of the verb to be
  • I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
  • I AM [click to continue…]
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The Entrance Into The Kingdom Of God

Pastor Ray

Scripture Readings: Matthew 6:28-34; 7:1-13; John 4:11; 7:37; Ephesians 1:3; 4:29-30

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We have heard this from a parent, teacher, or perhaps a friend.  Nice idea, but did you know that this is the entrance into the Kingdom of God?  That’s right — the narrow gate.  Our Father is willing to treat you the way you wish to be treated — with mercy, honor, respect and kindness.  In return He expects you to allow Him to make you holy in every part of you life by the blood of Jesus, and He expects you to treat Him the way He has treated you.  The only possible way to be saved is by not grieving the Holy Spirit.  Christian perfection is nothing more or less than treating others–including God–the way you wish to be treated.  Christian perfection is love!

(In this podcast, Pastor Ray refers to an earlier message by Pastor Jim Kerwin, called The Original Aromas of Christmas.)

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