Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church


                To Be...

                                 July 19, 2015

Psalms 46:1-11

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalms 46:1-11 NKJV

This passage of scripture just stuck out in my eyes as I read it recently. I have kept going back to Psalm 46 and re-reading it looking for something. What I was looking for was some kind of inclusion...some kind of affirmation....some kind of descriptive anywhere in these scriptures that specifically tells me that God needs my help to do anything. And the sobering realization that I arrived at was that it is simply not there.

Much of what we call faith has a works mentality firmly attached to its framework. That mentality tries to convince us that somehow, some kind of performance will give validity to our place inside of the scope of God’s kingdom. And call God upstaging, but he simply does not require that of us. His intentions for us were never to arrest the emotions of mankind because he can move the mountains and calm the seas. His concept of evangelism never included holy wars or jihad because he is the God who stops the wars.

So where do we fit in to the landscape of God’s kingdom? What is our abiding role in these centennial existences that we have been given upon this earth? How can we best serve the God of all creation in our weaknesses and maximize the strengths that are given us by the Father of Lights? I would propose today that they fall into some very simply categories and I will give a synopsis of what I believe to be the most prevalent found in God’s word.

Be an example not an exception.

Philippians 3:17-21

“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
Philippians 3:17-21 NKJV

In the quest for identity, the insecurity of man tells us to be individualistic, but that isn’t what God calls us to be, is it? Now, thank God, he has given each of us the gift of being fearfully and wondrously made. And we are each individually unique which in and of itself is a miracle. What a boring place this would be if we were all alike. However, when it comes to serving Him, there is one centrifugal role that we all must fill...and that is to be an example.

Now that word example is actually the greek word tupos.


From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (“type”), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): - en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.

The digital piano that we use here at the church has the weight in the keys and the fit and feel of a baby grand piano. All of that is contained inside a cabinet that is probably one twentieth of the mass of an actual grand piano. The piano you hear through the PA speakers every Sunday is the sound of a Yamaha C-7 concert grand piano. This was done through a process called sampling.... “tupos”.  That processes infuses upon a tiny chip the characteristics of a 40 thousand dollar  concert level instrument into a 2 thousand dollar keyboard....luck for us right?

Here, Paul is telling us that for the purposes of spreading the Gospel, we are to use what has been infused into us...what has been given us as an ensample...or example to share a message of life that all may live.

Be a witness not a nitwit


Acts 1:6-8

“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.””
Acts 1:6-8 NKJV
Something that we all must come to realize and that is the simple concept that God’s love is enough. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that “His grace is sufficient”. What about “His sufficient” do we not understand? Here in Acts 1, Luke is giving the account of that reunion with Jesus and rather than just receive from His nail scarred hands, they immediately jumped into agenda mode? “Well Lord, when will this and this happen?” I’m sure we all would have done the same thing. His reply was that it was not our place to know those things (again our old friend presumption).

Check out the order of things; Judea...Samaria....outermost parts. God does not do things haphazardly. We see people engaged in situations right under our noses that need the solidity and soundness of counsel that your witness can bring.  We cannot be effective witnesses outside our homes until we have become solid witnesses inside our home. This is not a rehearsed public performance, but a lifestyle that permeates throughout the fabric of who we are. We carry this message to our Judea, our household....then on to Samaria...our community of diversity...then to the outermost parts...the missionary calling outside of our familiar circles.

It is very easy to post hyper spiritual statuses on twitter and facebook and give the world a nice show...but is your own house in order? Again, God tells us not to worry about the inner mechanics of the kingdom. He has all of that under control. Our job is to get the domain of our lives in line with what can make us functional for him.

Be one who leads people...not one who bleeds people.

Jude 1:12-21

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Jude 1:12-21 NKJV


If you have not figured it out yet, the flesh is not your friend. If you continually listen to it and allow it to take control, you will lock yourself in a room with a 90 inch high definition television and a case of oreos and never be seen again. I love to study the lives of those who have overcome insurmountable odds to serve God. These are people who have not necessarily been in the headlines of major newspapers and on covers of magazines, but they are people who did not say yes to their situation and give God their all.

These are people who have lost precious family to death and disease and go on to do great things for God such as John G. Lake.  Lake’s name is not featured on the cover of Christianity Today, but his contributions to the Body of Christ has brought hope and healing to countless people through the healing rooms he pioneered a century ago.  Then there are the nameless pastors, missionaries, evangelists, who fought despicable diseases and personal tragedy to get the message of life through Jesus around the world.

When I was a little boy, I remember the first and one of the few times my father and I went fishing. It was not big deal, but it left me with some important life’s lessons. He was showing me how to set up a rig on my fishing pole. We had a the line would not drag on the bottom of the bayou. There was the hook, on which to place the bait for the fish...and then there was this thing called a “sinker”...a weight. That would cause the hook to stay down and in position for a catch.

It occurred to me much later in life that the obstacles in our life...the weights...can either make us miserable and stop us in our tracks...or they can be the thing that holds us in place that the baited hook of the gospel can be in place for a catch, making us true fishers of men. I can use my adversity to put me under...or I can use it to put the devil under my’s my choice. 

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