MCF – “Star Top Group” – lunch hour study

Hi everyone,

Last week we discussed Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths) in John 7.  This feast was one of the seven feasts appointed by the Lord in Leviticus.  It took place in Jerusalem in October, right after the harvest, for seven days.  The purpose was to remember and celebrate God’s protection and providence in the desert; it was a feast of rejoicing in the abundance of God’s goodness.  In the midst of all the rejoicing, there were a multitude of sacrifices offered each day to draw the mind to atonement and forgiveness.

A libation (drink offering) of water followed the daily sacrifices.  This was to ask God to pour out his blessing of rain upon the earth.  The water for this offering was drawn the evening before from the Pool of Siloam.  The ceremony of water drawing was a jubilant occasion.  Instruments were played, people danced and sang songs.  Isaiah 12:3 says, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”  The next morning a priest would pour water that had been drawn from Siloam into the bronze altar in the Temple Court.

On the last day of the feast, the water libation rite reached its climax.  The shofar blew, the people waved branches, and the priests sang the Hallel (the psalms of praise, Psalms 113-118).  The actual Hebrew of Psalm 118:25 is transliterated as, “Save us now, we beseech thee, O Lord.”  They are reciting Scripture begging for a Saviour!  What a climax!  The priests circled the altar seven times and then poured out the water with great ceremony.  This last day of the feast was called Hoshana Rabbah (Hebrew, “hosanna in the highest”).

Then, John 7:37-39: “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stands up and loudly proclaims that he is the source of living water.  He was declaring who He was in the most public, most bold possible manner.  Imagine the uproar His statement must have caused!  The priest poured out the water libation as an appeal to God to provide water for the people, and Jesus tells them that He is the living water.  Radical.

(Remember, also, the woman at the well in John 4: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”)

The Feast of the Tabernacles is mentioned in Zechariah 14:16-19.  This chapter discusses the coming and reign of the Lord.  Verse 8 says, “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem…” and then verses 16-19 discuss the Feast of the Tabernacles, that people must go.  The commentaries say that this is the only feast still appropriate during the Messiah’s reign:  The Passover was fulfilled in Christ’s death; the Day of Atonement fulfilled in acceptance in Christ’s salvation; the Feast of Firstfruits, in his resurrection; and Pentecost, with the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  But the Feast of Tabernacles, a festival of thanksgiving, celebrates the harvest of souls for the Lord.

In addition to  Zechariah and Isaiah 12, there is also Isaiah 44:3, which says, “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”  The people would have known these Scriptures.  Did they recognize their source of living water?

In light of all the symbolic and prophetic aspects of this feast, Jesus’ words and actions in John 7 take on profound significance.  There couldn’t have been a more beautiful and symbolic way to tell us that He is the Spring of Eternal Life.

In Christ,

Courtney

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

Good day all,

God is GREAT! Hope all is well with you. Remember to praise the Lord for without him we would be lost in darkness. Thank you GOD!! For your son and the light that he has brought us.

Ok so moving along we look at 2 Corinthians 6:3-13  –  3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but a as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honour and dishonour, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. 11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

NOTE ON 6:7  weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left. The spiritual weapons God provides (see Eph. 6:11). Paul may have in mind a weapon for offense (usually a sword, on the right; see Eph. 6:17), and one for defense (usually a shield, on the left; see Eph. 6:16).

NOTE ON 6:3–13 Paul defends his ministry as an apostle by once again calling attention to his faithfulness amid the changing circumstances of his apostolic life. Paul’s ministry reflects God’s power in spite of human weakness.

Question…   What does he say about the Corinthians’ affections toward him?

 Verse of the Day… 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord… AMEN?”

Blessings All!

Have a Great Day!

Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS… 

So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!

Jimmy ;o)

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

Brothers and Sisters!

Good morning all. Well, we are finally going to get some heat and hopefully some nice weather for the long weekend. God is GREAT!

So, in our last week study, we looked at how we are now reconciled with God through His Son Jesus, and only by Jesus, as God has showed us. Now let’s look at what Paul is trying to teach us on how “appearances” can be in vain. This topic should lead us to some great discussions. Please ponder the study notes below.

Remember guys, this week is stood down so I will see you on the 25th of May. I am looking forward to this one.
Read: 2 Corinthians 6:1-2

Study notes for verses 1-2… 
VERSE 1… the grace of God comes through the death of Christ (5:14–19). Those who turn back from Christ show that their initial, apparent acceptance of God’s grace was not real but in vain.
VERSE 2… by quoting Isa. 49:8, Paul identifies his apostolic ministry with Isaiah’s prophetic role. Both call Israel to repentance and perseverance in view of the coming day of redemption and judgment (salvation).

Question…
How does Paul describe himself as he pleads with the Corinthians to not receive the grace of God in vain?

Please pray… I have a quote for my prayer,
“The most important part of the Christian is to grow in grace… to become more like the Lord Jesus every day, Whatever we need in life – is filled by God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ our Lord”… AMEN?

Blessings All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

Good  morning to you all!

How are you all doing today? I hope all is well. Can I ask that we all say a prayer for all those affected by the flooding? Pray to God for His hand of protection on those who need it, to place those who can help in the places that need it and his hand of healing on those that have been hurt or on those who have lost friends or family because of the flooding.Ok, so on with our message. We are still working on “Reconciliation”. What does it mean to be “reconciled”? To be reconciled, means to be reunited with someone from whom one has been alienated. Forgiveness can lead to restored fellowship. Sin leads to alienation from God, but through Christ, we can be forgiven and reconciled to God. “Be reconciled to God” (5:20) this is a wonderful invitation to the gospel (see also Rom. 5:11).2 Corinthians 5:16-21   The Ministry of Reconciliation
Study notes for verses 16-21…
VERSE 16-20… The redemption of a people who live for Christ by living for others is the beginning of the new creation (see Isa. 43:18–19; 65:17–23; 66:22–23). This new creation also begins Israel’s final restoration from God’s judgment in the exile (see the context of Isa. 43:1–21; 65:17–25).Reconciliation. These verses outline (1) the basis of Paul’s apostolic ministry of the new covenant (Paul’s own reconciliation to God through Christ); (2) its consequence (his ministry and message of reconciliation to the world for Christ); (3) its essential content (the forgiveness of sins because of Christ’s death); and (4) its call (on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God) ambassadors for Christ. Paul is God’s prophetic minister of the new covenant (3:4–6). He announces God’s “peace treaty” (see Isa. 53:5) with those who will trust in Christ to free them from the penalty and power of sin (2 Cor. 5:14–15; see Rom. 5:11).
VERSE 21… This verse is one of the most important in all of Scripture for understanding the meaning of the atonement and justification. The one who knew no sin is Jesus Christ (v. 20), and he (God) made him (Christ) to be sin. God the Father made Christ to be viewed and treated as “sin” even though Christ himself never sinned (Heb. 4:15; see Gal. 3:13). For our sake. God viewed and treated “our” sin as if it belonged to Christ himself. Thus Christ “died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14) and became our substitute. Christ took the punishment that we deserved (1 Pet. 2:24). The background for this is Isaiah 53, the most lengthy and detailed OT prophecy of Christ’s death. It contains several parallels to 2 Cor. 5:21 so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Just as God gave our sin and guilt to Christ (“he made him to be sin”) so God also gives Christ’s righteousness to all who believe in Christ. God now views and treats believers as having the legal status of “righteousness.” See further notes on Rom. 5:18; 10:3; 10:6–8; see also Isa. 53:11.

Questions…

  1. How has God reconciled us to Himself?
  2. How is it possible that we can become “the righteousness of God” in Christ?
Please pray… 
Dear God, we ask you today to be with all those struggling with the stress and damages from the flood waters. Give them hope and calm their hearts. We know this: all those suffering that are in Christ; you will provide help, strength and love to get through this bad time. Help your children be a testimony in this time of trial also. My glorious Father, we thank you for your Son and the work He has done for us on the cross. That is where we can lay our woes, at his feet, and He will help us endure. We pray this in Christ’s name… Amen!Blessings All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS… 
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMHello all,

Glory be to God in the Highest!! What a beautiful week this has turned out to be…so far. Let’s hope this is a good sign of better weather to come. So after last week in our discussion of Paul and his unseen faith, we saw that faith is the hope of everlasting life in the inward man being renewed in Christ – the Son of the living God!

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Study points…

  1. What did Paul know he would have if his “earthly house” were destroyed?
  2. What has God given us as a “guarantee” of the “life” to come?
  3. What remains our condition while we are “at home in the body”?
  4. What does our present condition require of us in our daily “walk”?
  5. What is the desire of the “confident” Christian?
  6. What is the aim of “confident” Christian?
  7. Before what must we all one day appear?

With this study my prayer comes from John 12:26…

26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

My God! El Eiyon, thank you for that assurance of eternal life and the new home in your kingdom. I praise you that I have been washed clean by the blood of your Son and I am thankful for all my blessings, seen and unseen. With the Holy Spirit in me help me do your will in Jesus’ name… Amen!

Blessings All!

Have a Great Day!

Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…

So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!

Jimmy ;o)

MCF – “Star Top Group” – lunch hour study

This study  comes from the weekly Ottawa MCF group at Star Top.  
Here is a brief summary of our discussion this morning:

While in Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts, Jesus healed a lame man at Bethesda.  Because this “work” was done on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were angry and began to persecute him.  Jesus’ response was the focus of our study this morning, found in John 5:16-30.

Presented with a violation of the law, Jesus responded by telling the Pharisees who He is and who His Father is.  His words and His actions revealed several fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah.  Of all people, the Pharisees, who knew the Scriptures by heart, should have been able to see that this was the Christ, and yet they couldn’t.  It’s right there in the Scripture!  We are perplexed.

But for as much as we revile the Pharisees for their legalism and blindness (and the Jewish faith today for still not knowing their own Saviour), how often are they a mirror to our own hearts?  What truths are we not seeing, be it in our different churches and denominations, our understanding of who God is, or our understanding of who we are in Christ?

Courtney

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMThe following encouragement comes from the weekly Gagetown MCF group.  The group is fervently led by Padre Andrew Whitman with his insights on scripture, Jimmy Damiani with his humble prayerfulness, and Jeff Page with his cheerful faithfulness.

Good morning!!

Do you think summer is around the corner? The days have been very nice and can you all see God’s creatures and beautiful creations all around us? GOD is GREAT!!
Last week we had a wonderful discussion on Paul’s work and suffering. The Corinthians gave him a hard time and his relationship with the church was week.

So now as we move into chapter 4:13-15 is hope what we see? Is it more work for us to spread the word? We do not lose heart!

2 Corinthians 4:13-15
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,”(Ps 116:10) we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

What “faith” did Paul have?
What did it lead Paul to do? And why?
What results did he hope for?

This passage reflects (read it) John 20:19-29, so whether we are or are not convinced that Christ rose from the dead does not affect the reality of the Resurrection. But if we accept its reality by faith and live consistently in light of it, it changes our lives like nothing else can.

Please pray….
Dear God, you are the greatest light in my life. You are the Alfa and Omega. You are greater than all; your glory is immense. With all your greatness and power, I ask that you remove the veil from those still in darkness. Use me Father, to reach out to the blind, to bring them into your light. Save more sinners so that you can build up your army of prayer warriors to give you the praises of glory that you so much deserve. Like you raised your Son in power, raise us also in power to make us strong in your Son’s name, Jesus Christ …Amen!

Blessings All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

MCF – “Star Top Group” – lunch hour study

Weekly Study from the MCF Star Top group in Ottawa.  This group is passionately led by Gerry Potter Colonel (ret’d).

This past week the MCF group at Star Top looked at John 3 asking ourselves what do we know for sure from the text?  Among several items, which the scripture stated, was the failing of Nicodemus to be knowledgeable about the need to be born of the Spirit. Jesus words to Nicodemus likely stung.  Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a teacher of Israel, did not understand that a person must be born of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God.  The desired end-state of any follower of Judaism was to be in the kingdom of God. So, to hear that in order for that to happen Nicodemus had to be born of the Spirit and then to hear that he should already have known this fact, but was obviously ignorant; it is likely that Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus under the cover of night, became distressed.  What would happen to you, if what you were counting on as the means by which you would enter into what the Bible describes as heaven was suddenly shown to be false?  John does not record Nicodemus saying anything else after Jesus pointed out the depth of his ignorance and its implications.  It could be because there was nothing of any further importance to John’s message that was said by Nicodemus, or it could be because Nicodemus didn’t or maybe couldn’t say anything more.In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul also writes about observable evidence. The invisible attributes of God, his eternal power and his divine nature are described by Paul as being clearly seen and understood.  Paul is stating, with no lack of passionate conviction, that people should know of God; He is observable.  In fact, He is so observable, that Paul states their knowledge should have resulted in the worship and gratitude.  Instead, people turn away.  John 3 records Jesus explanation that people, in general, turn to the darkness, so that their sin maybe hidden.

What do we know for sure?  Nicodemus should have known that he needed to be born of the Spirit.  Nicodemus has plenty of company, because the evidence of God is observable by everyone.  Though God is knowable, it is people’s sin that drives them to the darkness.  Nicodemus was convicted, he had nothing of importance to say.

How about you? I know that you know of God. I know that if you chose to not worship God that it is because of the sin you desire to keep hidden.  By the way, all of heaven knows this too, so really, your sin is not hidden.  The question is what will you do, now that you know?

MCF – “Form Square” Gagetown lunch Group

Hello all,

Jimmy has been under the weather, so here’s me (Andrew) inviting you to join ranks with fellow soldiers of the Gospel to pray for our community, our comrades and their families. We fight against an enemy that is not flesh and blood, as we have been trained to fight, but is spiritual. We are looking at 2 Corinthians chapter 4 as an anchor for our prayers this week. What is this “ministry” we have “by the mercy of God” (v. 1)? We declare the Gospel, which is veiled to the lost, but Christ can remove the veil (3: 4-18). Our enemy is the spirit of this world who does everything in his power to hold our comrades bound and veiled, like detainees with burlap sacks tied over their heads. But “The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”! (3: 17)

This is the note from Jimmy, with some questions to consider:

I (Jimmy) will keep this short because I am sick and need to pray and go to bed. So I may not see you guys on Thursday this week.

I have picked 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

The Light of the Gospel

4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Here are a few things to think about

1) To appreciate Paul’s transparency and view of service

2) To understand why some people are so blinded to the obvious

3) To gain insight into why God allows His children to suffer

4) To glean Paul’s secret for not “losing heart” (getting discouraged)

Please pray…

Trust in God!

Isaiah 41:10 “… fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Blessings All!

Have a Great Day!

Padre Andrew Whitman, CD