Wednesday, March 29, 2006




A calling is an invitation to come and be prepared for use.

We prepare ourselves by studying to show ourselves approved as workers who need not be ashamed as we rightly divide the word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15

Many people are willing to be used by God but unwilling to be prepared for use.

Preparation takes time, effort and dedicated resources. It is an investment in the future, both of the called and of the kingdom.

Who knows how much preparation is necessary better than the One who calls us to serve in His plan.

Many people who are called never qualify for their greatest day of use.

Matthew 22:14 Many are called, but few are chosen.

We see examples of callings in both the Old and New Testaments.

Mark 3 (NKJV)

14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,

Imagine the thrill and the anxiety of being called to come and follow Jesus.

* It costs these 12 men everything

* It costs their families credibility, reputation and expectation

It costs to follow the plan of God.

* It costs God His Only Son

* It also costs Mary her firstborn

Later Peter would respond to his call by telling Jesus:

Luke 18:28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

Jesus responded:

Luke 18

29 “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,

30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Knowing what it cost God, man and families, Jesus nonetheless called these 12 men.

First: To Be With Him

Then: To Be Sent To Proclaim The Gospel

He called them in Mark 3:14 and then He empowered them in the next breath:

Mark 3:15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons

After they had been called and prepared for some time, perhaps 1 to 2 years of discipleship, being with Jesus, He then empowered them released them to begin their ministry:

Matthew 10 (NKJV)

1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease

5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them …

7 … preach …

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

First called, then prepared, later empowered and finally sent.

Not only did Jesus call the 12, prepare them and empower them and send them, but He also followed the same pattern with others.

We read in Matthew 10 that Jesus gave the 12 power and sent them out. This corresponds to the 9th chapter of Luke.

Luke 9 (NKJV) reads:

1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Now, down 60 verses later we come to Luke chapter 10

Luke 10

1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.

9 … (and He said to them) heal the sick …

We know the rest of the story because the seventy came back to Jesus and reported that the devils were subject to them when they ministered in the authority and power of His Name.

Here we see that Jesus called, prepared, empowered and sent these out without spending the same quality and quantity of time with them as He had spent with the 12.

* With the 12 we see the necessity of preparation stressed

* With the 70 we understand the urgency of the message

These 70, we believe, carried a temporary and limited calling. A commission for this season in which they would strictly prepare a city for the imminent visitation of our Lord and Christ, Jesus.

Some callings are temporary or are for a locale, a certain place, while others are life callings and can span the whole world.

In Acts 6, Stephen is called to be a deacon in the church in Jerusalem. Later in Acts 8 he is the evangelist to Samaria. At the end of Acts we see him living in Ephesus, unknown as to his position or office within the church, but definitely a prominent believer, receiving such guests as Paul and Agabus the prophet into his house.

Matthew 10 shows Jesus calling, preparing, empowering and sending the 12.

Luke 10 shows Jesus calling, preparing, empowering and sending the 70.

There is one more group I would like to address herein. That is the mass of believers who also have been called, can be prepared, empowered and sent, on both temporary urgent missions and on adventures which may last a lifetime.

A call went out encapsulated in

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

There is a ‘Whosoever Will’ Call which has gone out into all the world.

Matthew 28:18ff reveals the Great Commission. The remaining eleven disciples were told to go, preach the Good News and make disciples of every nation - ‘Whosoever will believe’

In John 14:12, Jesus stated that whoever believes in Him, the works He did, would they do also and even greater works would they do because He was with the Father.

Mark 16:15ff declares that through working the plan of God, those who heard and believed would also be empowered to perform miracles in the Name of Jesus.

Acts 2:38-39 tells that the promise of God is to your children and your children’s children, even as many as are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The book of Revelation details a heavenly realm in which people from every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue are present, having washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and fought their good fight of faith.

We, upon whom the ends of the world are come, are the best wine which has been reserved until these last days. We are now those people spoken of in:

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

What need we do?

We who have been called, must be prepared

We who have been prepared, must be empowered

We who have been empowered, must be sent

As the voice of heaven declared in

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

How shall others know unless someone tell them and how shall someone tell them except one be sent. Romans 10:14 & 15

Take your next step with God.

Offer yourself to your calling, to His equipping, to be empowered and sent.

Say with me, “Here am I Lord, send me!”

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Holy Moments Of Communion

Holy Moments Of Communion


Would you turn in your bibles to 1 Corinthians 10. For those of you who are viewing our broadcast, if possible, prepare something and get ready to take communion along with us in a moment. If you are watching this from the archives, click the pause and I will wait for you to get ready.

1 Corinthians 10 (NIV)

1 ¶ For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.

2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

3 They all ate the same spiritual food

4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Even in the Old Testament, God’s children were saved from sin, (Egypt), baptized in water, (The Red Sea), and in the Holy Spirit, (The Cloud of God’s Presence) and they partook of Holy Communion with Christ. (The Rock which followed them in the wilderness)

It was all a type and shadow of things to come which we now see and know. The Apostle Paul explains and is setting us up to understand and properly observe the Holy moments of communion God has given to us. Lets look further into the New Testament period. Turn to:

1 Corinthians 11

20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat,

21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.

22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

During this period it is thought by some theologians that the church at Corinth, in like manner as other congregations in their respective cities, came together each Lord’s Day, Sunday, which is the first day of the week, in the evening to celebrate The Lord’s Supper.

Since Jesus had first eaten the Passover meal before taking the loaf of bread and cup of wine and sharing the communion with His followers, it is also considered that some congregations, including this one at Corinth, held to that tradition.

In the early evening the church would begin to gather for a festive meal. The rich would set a grand table while the poor of the church a more modest and often meager supply. Those indigent in the church would have nothing of which to bring to the festival and so would come empty handed and empty of stomach as well.

The Apostle Paul observed that the way in which this congregation was coming together was not in accordance with the intent of the Lord Jesus Christ when He first instituted this Holy Communion.

The fact that the rich would segregate themselves from the poor at these meals, eat and drink to drunkenness while allowing the poor to go hungry was in fact a slap in the face if we were to call this The Lord’s Supper.

Paul goes on to tell that eating and drinking was not the goal nor the course of intent for a holy communion. He went further to say that not properly discerning the Lord’s body could bring judgment upon a person and if continued could even result in sickness or premature death for the Christian.

Here are some:

Unworthy Acts & Attitudes

which can bring judgment upon Christians.

1. Carnal participation in a Holy observance

* not having our head and our heart in what we are doing

* losing focus and respect for this holy moment

> There is a difference between church and a party or a game (though church may be fun - fun is not it’s purpose)

> it’s not about how we look, where we sit or who we talk to or how many people are there … but it’s all about Jesus

* We need to realize, “This cost Jesus His life.” It’s not a game

* We must reverence the Holy moments God gives us.

2. Segregation

* Which one of these, rich or poor, black or white, Asian or Hispanic, young or old, is not a child of God?

* If a child of God then a brother or sister to each one of us.

* Who can have the love of God in them and segregate themselves from a brother or sister for image sake.

* Segregation belies our brotherhood in Christ.

3. Greed

* To have enough and more than enough for ourselves while others with us have nothing and we are not compelled to share?

* John says of this attitude, “How dwells the love of God in you?”

The Apostle Paul goes on to say that:

We need examine ourselves to insure these acts have been abolished and these attitudes repented of before we dare call ourselves to partake of The Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11

27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.

Tonight we partake of a Holy moment in which we believe, although we do not know how, we believe that God will transform this bread as the Body of Christ and this cup to contain not just the fruit of the vine, but the Blood of Christ.

I don’t know how God sees the waters of baptism as a grave for our old man … I don’t know how God sees my sins which were as scarlet now as white as snow … I don’t know how God sees these blessed communion sacraments as the broken body and shed blood of Jesus … but just because I don’t know how, does not mean that I don’t know that --- He does!

At Church On The Rock we have open communion. For all who name the name of Jesus and have received Him as Lord and Savior, you are welcomed at the table of the Lord in this house.

Family, Friends, Guest …

Would you pass by the communion tables and receive the sacraments and then return to your seats and maintain a holy attitude of prayer and reverence. When all have gotten their cup and bread, we will partake of this holy communion together.

1 Corinthians 11

23 ¶ For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

Now lets pray over the bread

Here is the Hebrew blessing of the bread recited by the Jews at their communion table, the yearly Passover:

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.

Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth the bread from the earth.

Now the cup.

1 Corinthians 11

25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Let’s acknowledge God for this renewing of the covenant and partake of the cup.

Here is the blessing for the cup spoken in Hebrew at each year’s Passover Communion.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
borei peri hagafen.

Blessed are You Lord God our King of the universe Who creates fruit of the vine.

1 Corinthians 11

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

May the Lord God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.