Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

FOUR LIVING BOOKS

                Four Living Books
                                                            December 14, 2015


 

Romans 1:16-17


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)

 

In all of the great libraries of the world, there exists not one greater collection of historical and societal writings than those contained in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We see a strange assemblage of men from a cross section of life. There is Matthew who is a tax collector...a publican...called out of civil life into the ministry, Mark....a teenager with a passion for God. Luke, a physician and companion of Paul who came to know Jesus after the resurrection, and John, a fisherman who was taken on the cultural change of his life.

Together, they were called to independently record the events of Our Lord with amazing accuracy which can only be defined as supernatural. During this time appointed to celebrate the virgin birth of our Savior Jesus, it behooves us to see the immeasurable blessing given to us through the lives of four men connected only by the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver the chronicles that testify of the greatest gift ever bestowed upon mankind.





The arrival of the King

 

Isaiah 9:6-7

 

 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV)

Spoken of by the prophets, the foretelling of our messiah is recorded in the Old Testament, but is made manifest in the Gospels of Jesus Christ. In God’s Holy Word, we learn that our ways are indeed not His ways. Our conception of a King and a Savior was a person of great royalty and stature who would come as a mighty warrior and force to be reckoned with. God in his infinite wisdom sends a lowly, humble, loving figure sent into the world as everyone else. His kingship and lord personas are recognized, not by the high and mighty, but by the simple spirited and broken.

 

He is the King of Kings because of all of the profiling of worldly royalty, Jesus breaks the mold. He does not lead by force, but through becoming a servant. He changes the game corrupted by man from lordship by lording to lordship by loving. Even today, the concept we have of kings and kingdoms is starkly challenged by the beauty of His Majesty. He is a king not born to worldly wealth, but the inheritor of all that is. He holds the scepter, not of political power, but the governments of this world rest upon his shoulders. He does not command armies of men, but is the captain of our hearts.  Psalm 24:10 say, “Who is this King of Glory?” He is not like anything we have ever seen...nor will ever see.

 

 


 

 

 

The Hope of the Cross

 

Philippians 2:5-11


Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (
Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV)
Even 2000 plus years after the life of Jesus and the telling of His miraculous story, man still stumbles across the earth, missing the obvious...lost in the foolishness of his mind. Through the Gospels, we hear our holy heritage ringing through the air. It is one that speaks of the enormity of blessing and favor given us through the cross at Calvary. So few of us connect the dots that began in a tiny borrowed lean-to outside the city of Bethlehem and ended about six miles away on a hilltop called Golgotha.  You can want for all of the riches and luxuries on the earth for Christmas, but nothing...and I mean nothing...will ever compare with the gift that was bestowed upon us on one single night in a corn crib on an Israeli countryside.

The birth of Jesus was just the beginning of the story. The magnificence of his visit was all about the great sacrifice that would forever shear the doors off of the prison cells of hell and set free the captives through the giving of this wondrous gift. Every symbol we have amassed for ourselves as identifying itself with Christmas is a scream that points toward the finished work of the cross! Brilliant lights....the color red slathered from city to city....trees that line the windows of neighborhoods....are all trying to find this King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s like God will not be denied!



The Bedrock of our Faith

 

John 11:25-27

 



Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27 NKJV)

 

This passage of scripture aimed at Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, was Jesus explaining that He not only held the power of Life...he also could authorize this life into things that seemed to be dead. What seems to be dead in your life today? Is it a hope or dream? Is it your walk with the Lord? Is it an infirmity? Hopelessness? Desperation?  Jesus told Mary and Martha! I AM THE RESURRECTION.....AND THE LIFE! If a person is in an accident and their heart stops beating...we now have technology to shock their heart back into rhythm. While artificial in nature...this is a kind of resurrection. Life is another matter. Life has function and purpose. Life involves not simply organic activity...it also is reliant upon cognizance.  People can have a pulse, but be in a comatose state. Jesus not only resurrects from death...he injects life into the situation.

 

Jesus’ words are life. They are not simply idle promises or theories. They are in fact static and active in nature. Celebrating Christmas 365 days a year (366 leap year) is as simple as understanding the gravity of the gift given us in four gospels...the four living books...the GOOD NEWS.  When the angel Gabriel visited Mary and announced to her that she would bear the son of God...it says in Luke chapter 2, that Mary pondered these things in her heart. God’s words are not to be collected on a shelf. They are to be pondered in our hearts. We are to live them fiercely...hold them intimately....walk in them confidently. Our lives are not held by the systems of this world...they are anchored by four living books.

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