Steve Beck speaks on: Christ is Victor over: Superstition, Curses, Magic and Witchcraft
“And here, at the coming of the Son, magic began to be destroyed, and all bonds were loosed; and the ancient kingdom and the error of evil were destroyed. All things were moved together, and the destruction of death was planned, and from that, God started to bring things back to perfection.”
(Adapted from: The Second Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians)
Sermon title: Christ against Dead or Dying Religion.
Christ Confronts…dead or dying religion.
Christ Conquers…it through love, light and mercy.
Christ Commands…us to be filled with the Spirit and minister love, light and life.
Our missionaries in East Africa are back for a few months and share about the last few years of ministry and mission. This story is a full of terror and triumph as they share the events that have led them from South Sudan to Uganda.
Phillip shares his moving testimony of how God rescued him from a life of addiction, homelessness and chaos through the simple acts of kindness of God’s people and the unrelenting love of Jesus. This is truly a wonderful story worth hearing.
The Bible celebrate God’s gift of marital love and the joy and pleasure of our sexual lives. Sex is not the pinnacle of human experience. It’s not the only path to fulfilment or meaning. Being married doesn’t cristen you a saint and being a virgin doesn’t get you a better seat in heaven. In this day sex can mean too much or mean too little. This is one book of made up of 66 books, so let’s keep it in perspective. But with so much obsession, confusion, carnage and ignorance surrounding the subject, we need the wisdom of God to understand its place and purpose.
The Song of Songs invites us to explore, indulge and enjoy sex within the safe and secure, God ordained covenant of marriage. But like all good things, evil seeks to corrupt and confuse in order to bring pain, suffering, rebellion and ultimately death. The Song of Songs stands in the Bible as a beacon of hope and yet, there are plenty of stories in the Bible that reflect the sinful and broken sexuality of the human condition.
Who is this coming up from the wilderness? Who is has fought evil in the wasteland? Who has achieved victory where we have been defeated? Who has loved with a perfect love? Who has turned the dry and empty wasteland into a door of hope? Who has brought streams of living water to the barren lands? Who has walked among us as the glory of God? Whose perfumed feet have covered and dispelled the stench of our sins? Whose beauty have we beheld that is more captivating than the all the gardens of earth? Whose love transforms the water to wine? Whose words bring light into our darkness and lead us out of our prisons and into a truly free life?
It is the Lord Jesus.
My Beloved: I propose today that the Song of Songs, is first and foremost a song to be sung by those caught mercilessly in the throes of Divine love. The Song’s words, like all scripture are Spirit breathed. They come from the mouth of God and all His words are spirit and life according to Jesus (Jn 6:63). When you come to the scripture as breath before all other things, you experience it as the Divine, life animating, life sustaining reality that it is. Breathe in the Song, pray it, read it, speak it, sing it. Plead to the Lover of your soul through it’s words. Praise your Lord first and foremost with the scripture.
I believe the last chapter of Ecclesiastes moves from the assumptions discussed to a conclusion that must be embraced in order to move through life under the Sun with an eternal perspective. This is the only way to discover true meaning in and among the meaninglessness of life.
The Preacher closes with three admonitions:
- Remember Your Creator.
- Remember Him in the dawn of your days.
- Remember Him in the sunset of your days.
Wisdom and Relationships: “More bitter than death”…those words capture what only “the heart can know”. The experiences that the heart searches for can be more perilous than the hazards of the mind. The heart is an untamable world, a wild stallion of impulse, desires and demands. It can ascend to great heights and fall to unbelievable depths. There’s a wisdom that can only come from loving someone else. To fully know ‘the scheme of things’ means one must venture outside oneself. To love, is to open oneself up to the possibilities of joy and suffering at a level that surpasses all else.
Wisdom and Religion: When the Preacher says, “Be not rash with your mouth, and let your heart not hurry to utter a word before God.” We are confronted with a command that is immensely important, especially in today’s fragmenting, disintegrating and prodigal religious culture. People are leaving the ‘church’ in alarming numbers and many are doing so because they have concluded that too much of our talk is ‘mere breath’. The rejection of truth for many isn’t necessarily an abandonment of the idea that there are true things, but the conclusion that much of what is presented as truth often doesn’t seem to bring about any real sense of meaning.