Lechem Panim #36 "The Importance of Genesis: Key Issues Calmly Considered" Part 1 of 6 (with guest speaker Dr. Thane Ury) Pastor Cameron Ury
Last week we began our study of Luke 2:41-52, in which we find Joseph and Mary (after having accidentally left an adolescent Jesus in Jerusalem and realizing it after they had already traveled a full day) frantically hurrying back and searching for Jesus. And we pick up today with…
Luke 2:46-52 (NIV)-- 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
The First Person-- You know, it’s interesting how often (in our day to day lives, even when we might doing religion things) we can lose Jesus. Even in studying about Jesus for many many years, we can still miss Him. That is why you never hear about anybody being converted to Christ by reading a theology textbook because theology textbooks are always written in the third person (He, She, It, Them, They), never the personal first person (I, Me). An author I was reading this week said that [This is why God identifies himself to Moses as I AM WHO I AM. Another way to say it is “I’M I AM.” God wanted Moses to tell the people of Israel that I AM had sent him. He wanted to be in the first person, not just to the leader, but to every man, woman, and child of the Israelite people. <But> Regrettably, the scribes who translated the Old Testament into the Greek Septuagint changed “I AM WHO I AM” to “I AM The One Who Is.” This shifted the emphasis from the Hebraic first person to the Greek third person.] And he said [there is no salvation until he is in the first person and we deal with him face-to-face.] And the ultimate question is this: [Are you talking about him, working for him, reading of him? Or are you talking, working, and reading with him? Is your life a face-to-face communion with the I AM?] We must be careful never to lose that personal encounter and communion with him or else we will find ourselves retracing our steps. Or we will find ourselves unable to grow; unable to change as Christians. Because learning more about God or even His Word cannot make you more Christlike in and of itself. Only drawing into His presence and allowing His holiness to be lived through you as you dwell in His presence can bring real lasting change to your life. Effectiveness in our spiritual lives and in our ministries has to begin with a face to face communion with God.
John Wesley once said, “Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer…”
And so we must (through prayer) draw into the presence of Jesus. That is where transformation and victory lies. But Joseph and Mary have to retrace their steps. It says in…
Luke 2:46 (NIV)— 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
Three Days-- Now those three days started when they first left him. [They…realized he was missing at the end of a full day’s travel. That required another full day’s journey back to Jerusalem, and the better part of another day was spent seeking him.] So [By the time they find their son, he has been missing for three days— one day out with the caravan, another day back, and one day looking for him.] And here they find him, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
At the feet of the rabbis-- You see, [In that day, it was not unusual for students to gather at the feet of the rabbis to discuss theology, often in a question-and-answer discussion format.] And in the temple (on the terrace) members of the Sanhedrin would (on Sabbaths and feast-days) give public instruction. So the feast is most likely still going on. The rabbis would have most likely sat in a circle on benches and the listeners would sit on the ground at their feet (as was custom) listening. And that is where we find Jesus, listening to them eagerly. [It was his one opportunity in a theological school outside of the synagogue to hear the great rabbis expound the problems of life.] And he is listening, asking questions, and answering questions. And it says…
Luke 2:46 (NIV)— 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Repeatedly Amazed-- And that phrase was amazed (existanto) meant that they continued to be amazed repeatedly. In fact, the common verb form of this word (existemi) means [they stood out of themselves as if their eyes were bulging out.] Now [It is not difficult to ask hard questions, but this boy had astounding answers to their questions, revealing his amazing intellectual and spiritual growth.]… and his amazing understanding of the scriptures. Now [Jesus was utterly respectful, taking the role of the student. But even at that young age, his questions showed a wisdom that put the teachers to shame.] And it says…
Luke 2:48a (NIV)— 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished.
Struck Out!-- And that word astonished comes from a word meaning [to strike out, drive out by a blow. Joseph and Mary “were struck out” by what they saw and heard. Even they had not fully realized the power in this wonderful boy.] And yet, naturally, it says…
Luke 2:48b (NIV)— His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
Jesus Acted Responsibly-- Now [Mary’s words convey a tone of exasperation and rebuke— <which is> normal for any mother under such circumstances, but misplaced in this case. Jesus was not hiding from them or defying their authority. In fact, he had done precisely what any child should do under such circumstances (being left by his parents)—he went to a safe, public place, in the presence of trusted adults, where his parents could be expected to come looking for him (v. 49).] In fact, Jesus seems surprised that they did not know where to find him. He says…
Luke 2:49-52 (NIV)— 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
In My Father’s House-- Now in Jesus’ response, we se that He assumed that His parents knew that He would be spending His time in the presence of God His Father in His house. [His reply was in no sense insolent, but reveals a genuine amazement that they did no know where to look for him. This also reveals that even at so young an age, he had a clear consciousness of his identity and mission.] He understood at this point His relationship with God the Father. He doesn’t say our Father, but my Father’s house. What Jesus has virtually said is “My Father is God and I must be in His house.” And [the temple was not only a place of worship, but was also a place of teaching. <And> Jesus has a call to instruct the nation.] So even though he is young, He is already connecting Himself with God’s mission for His life. And that is ultimately what ought to happen when we enter into the presence of God. He impresses upon our hearts His plan; His purpose; His mission for our lives. But it all has to begin with His presence; walking with God in first-person worship. Charles Finney once said, “It is only those that live and walk with God whose prayers are of any avail to themselves, to the church, or to the world.” In other words, those who take the time to enter into the presence of Jesus.
A Christian Dad Not Serious-- Some time ago I was praying for a young man I knew; that he might find the Lord. His dad happens to be a Christian, but although his dad has been part of a church for some time, he just doesn’t take his spiritual walk seriously. And I have seen how that has spilled over into his son’s life. The son would be more interested in the Lord if the dad would just catch fire and begin hungering for the presence of God. Because when we have the presence of God, we are a source of life to those around us. When God offers His presence to you, it’s not just for you, its also for those around you who will be impacted by your obedience; you faithfulness to pray; to seek the Lord; to go to Church; to read your Bible.
Kinlaw’s Roommate-- Dr. Dennis Kinlaw used to share the story of how [When [he] was a college student, God gave [him] a roommate who was an example to [him]. Every morning, [he] would wake up conscious of a light on in the room. [He] would look over and see [his] roommate kneeling by a chair, with his Bible open on the chair. <He says> [he] saw him there morning after morning, and something inside of [him] wanted to have what he had. <But, being> the pious type <, he> … felt guilty about sleeping when [his friend] was on his knees. So very ignobly [he] began to have [his] own quiet time with the same regularity that [his] roommate did. <And he said that> [he would]… be eternally grateful to that roommate who shamed [him] into a pattern of consistent time with God. <He said> I do not care what it takes for you to start the pattern; once you begin to meet with God, he can take control and change your motivation so that what you want is him. Anything that forces you into the presence of Christ and into an openness to his Word will make a dramatic difference in your Christian life. He positions himself right in the middle of our lives so we can look at him and talk to him every day. He wants to tabernacle in us.]
Today I want to challenge you; I want to challenge myself with the call to not merely engage in conversation and study about Christ; but to engage in conversation with Christ. Let Him move from the third person to the first person in your life. Take time to enter into His presence. Seek Him in prayer, seek Him in His word; seek Him through fasting; seek Him through your fellowship with one another. It is not enough to receive Christ. Because salvation is not in an experience. Salvation is in Jesus. And (as He Himself said) we must abide in Him (in His presence) if we want to experience His saving power. Never before in history are we as men and women more in danger of having all the trappings; a nice church; nice groups; nice fellowship; without having the abiding presence of Jesus. We have to have Him, or else everything else amounts to nothing. We must have His presence. And so I want to encourage you today, do not settle for anything less than the abiding presence of Jesus in your life. Speak to Him and take the time to listen to His voice speaking to you. Jesus is not a subject to be studied; He is a person to be known. Know Him today. Amen.
You know, it is interesting how little the Bible tells us about the early life of Jesus; His childhood and how He grew up. And it’s interesting that the only story we have of His years as a young man tells of a time when His earthy parents lost Him; leaving Him behind in Jerusalem and not realizing it.
Luke 2:41-45 (NIV)-- 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
William Not in The Buggy-- Once when my then infant son was sick I took him to Walmart to pick up his medication. And I remember pushing the stroller through those sliding doors, taking the usual left and, after passing the registers on my left, I arrived at the pharmacy. There was a bit of a wait, so I just stood there, hands resting on the handle of the stroller. And on the metal bench in front of me there’s a man sitting there kinda looking at me. And suddenly it begins to dawn on me. I peer over the roof of the stroller and realize (to my horror) that he was not in the stroller. I had gotten the stroller out of the car, unfolded it, then grabbed something out of the front seat of the car, and then began to push the stroller forgetting that I had not put William inside of it. So I bolted out of there in shock, pushing an empty stroller; and I just knew that those who saw me booking it out of there with that stroller knew exactly what I had done. Now it had only been a couple minutes and the car was secure, but nevertheless I was unnerved that I could lose track of my my own child like that. I had with me what he ought to have been resting in, but did not have him.
Losing God’s Son!-- Now it is bad enough losing you own son, but Jesus was more than Mary’s son; this was God’s son! Can you imagine trying to explain to God the Father, “I’m sorry, but we lost your son!” Can you imagine the pressure they must have felt as they looked amongst themselves and then hurried back a day’s journey all the way back to Jerusalem; and then tearing through the streets looking for Him; altogether he had been separated from them for THREE DAYS!!!!!! And two questions often surface whenever we read this passage? One, how can you leave your child (especially God’s child) behind by accident and not know it? And secondly, how can you go for a full day without realizing that He is gone? How can you lose Jesus, especially when he is supposed to be the very heart of your life? But in a way, this story is a picture of what still often happens today. When Jesus is supposed to be the center of our lives, of our time; even if we are doing all the right religious things (as Joseph and Mary had been doing), it is still possible for us to lose the presence of Jesus. And this morning we will talk about how; how we can lose the presence of Jesus; what happens when we do; and how we can keep and maintain the presence of Christ in our lives. Look at…
Luke 2:41-42 (NIV)-- 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.
The Three Feasts-- Now ever year Jews would travel to Jerusalem (the city of God) from all over to worship God during the annual festivals that were celebrated there (Ex. 23;14-17; 34:22-23; Deut. 16:16). And there were three of them; you had Passover, Tabernacles and Pentecost. And Passover, of course, is the major one; and it celebrates when the Israelites were in Egypt and God was about to free them (Ex. 12). God tells them to sprinkle lamb’s blood on the mantles and doorposts outside their houses; and He sends the death angel to strike the firstborn of all the Egyptians. And so, when the angel of death saw the blood that covered them, it passed over and did not touch them (hence, the Pass-over).
The Lamb of God has Come!-- But Passover also looked forward to when man would once and for all be free from sin and death; when we would be covered by the blood of an even greater lamb who would free all who would receive Him from sin and eternal death and enable us to enter back into the presence of God. And this is significant because it is during this Passover that the Lamb of God comes (at last) to Jerusalem. It is a momentous time for Israel (though they don’t yet realize it); and it was a momentous time for Jesus. Even though Jesus is only 12 years old, it is a significant time in Jesus’ life because [at twelve a Jewish boy became a “son of the law” and began to observe the ordinances, putting on the phylacteries as a reminder.] So this coming to Jerusalem is significant to him as he enters into this new stage of His life.
Jesus’ Family Devoted to God-- And His parents, probably unaware of the significance of Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem during Passover of all times, are yet still very proud of Him. Now [Most families that lived some distance from Jerusalem, such as Jesus’ parents, went to only one feast a year.] And this, for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, was Passover, which would fall in late March and early April. But only the men were required to attend; the women were not (m. Hagigah 1.1). So the fact that Mary goes with them shows the depth of their devotion to God as a family, especially considering that the trip from Nazareth normally took three days. We can clearly see that for them, worship of God was central to their lives, as verse 41 says they did this every year. Now for safety reasons, people would travel together in caravans, which gave protection. And it was part of that caravan of people (among whom were their relatives (v. 44) that they came to Jerusalem. Now we don’t know how long they stayed there in Jerusalem. But it says in verse 43…
Luke 2:43 (NIV)— 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
Not Disobedience or Rebelliousness-- Now it was not out of disobedience or any kind of rebelliousness that Jesus remained behind. He was just so intensely interested in the services; he found Himself (as most boys of that age do) involuntarily preoccupied. And [it was owing to a simple mistaken presumption on his parents’ part (v. 44) that he was left behind.] They assumed He was with them. It says in verse 44…
Luke 2:44 (NIV)— 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
The Assumption of Joseph and Mary-- Now because [Joseph and Mary were traveling with a large caravan of friends and relatives from Nazareth. No doubt hundreds of people from their community went together to the feast.] And [The women usually went ahead and the men followed. <So> Joseph may have thought Jesus was with Mary and Mary that he was with Joseph.] [Men and women in such a group might have been separated by some distance, and it appears each parent thought he was with the other.] And Jesus being the age he was, you can understand their mistake; because pre-teens are often caught in between two groups. They want to roll with the guys but at the same time there is still that attachment to the mother. So Mary assumes Jesus wants to be with the men and Joseph assumes He is with His mother. But apparently, [after a day’s travel], they get together, exchange horrified glances and realize that the other spouse never had Jesus. And so they begin a frenzied search amongst their relatives in the caravan. And it says in verse 45…
Luke 2:45 (NIV)— 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
Talking Theology— You know as a pastor I love theology, which of course is the study of God. Conversation that is theological is especially drawing to me. I love to talk theology. For me it is a holy, sacred thing to talk about God; and in fact it is the heart of the particular ministry God has led me into. But one of the scariest realities of ministry is that we can talk about Jesus and yet miss His presence. Joseph and Mary no doubt had Jesus on their minds; they were probably each talking amongst their friends about Him; did so for a day, never realizing that He was gone.
Talk Without Presence— Recently I was reading one of my favorite authors; and he said something truly remarkable. He said that [The devil was a participant in the first conversation ever held about God. It was Eve’s conversation with the serpent. <He said> Biblically, up to that point the conversations had been directly with God. <And then he said…> Throughout Scripture we find passages in which people who have lost God talk about him.]
Christ-Centered Conversation-- Now is it wrong to talk about God? Of course not. We need to talk about God. In fact, I am convinced that He needs to be brought into just about every conversation; or at least brought into control of every conversation. In fact, if you are able to carry on any kind of conversation for longer than 10 minutes without every referring to Jesus, there is probably something wrong. If you truly love Jesus, you will not be able to keep quiet about Him.
Jesus-Centered Conversation-- My Grandparents have always been like that; my Grandmother in particular. You cannot talk with her for 30 seconds without her bringing up Jesus; it is impossible. And it’s not that she’s trying to force Him into every conversation, which would be awkward. No, it’s just that she can’t help it. She’s not trying to be super-spiritual; it’s just how close she is with Jesus; they both always lived in such constant awareness of His presence, they couldn’t leave Him out. It would have been like that bad husband who brings his wife to a party and, though shaking a dozen different people’s hands, never introduces her. No, a good husband will introduce her to everyone and tell everyone about her, what a difference she has made in his life, and will want them to know her too. That’s how my grandparents were (and my Grandmother still is) about Jesus.
Talk Without Presence-- However, it is possible to talk about God without having His presence. We can miss the presence of God, thinking He is moving with us when He isn’t. That is what happened to Joseph and Mary as they returned from Jerusalem. They assumed the presence of Jesus when in fact He had left. And they had just left after having had a wonderful religious experience!!!! But they missed Jesus. And we see [they had to retrace their steps in order to find him (Luke 2:41-52).] And we can too, if we never move from talking about Him to talking with Him. And so this week I encourage you, settle for nothing less than the presence of God; come into His presence so that you also can experience His transforming power for your life. Amen.
We are continuing our study today of Ezekiel chapter 37:1-14 during our time together today. And I will read it for you again before we begin to unpack it further. Ezekiel writes…
Ezekiel 37:1-6 (ESV) The Valley of Dry Bones— 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley;[a] it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath[b] to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Now, as we talked about last week, this passage is very reflective of the opening of the book of Genesis. It says in…
Genesis 2:5-7 (ESV)-- 5 When no bush of the field[a] was yet in the land[b] and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist[c] was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Composting Soil-- Some time ago I was talking with a gentleman about gardening. And he was telling me all about the soil he would use and how composting can be best utilized to bring nutrients to whatever it is you are planting. And he obviously knew a great deal more about it than I did. But what is interesting to me here in Genesis about the creation of man is that Adam was not created from dirt, but rather it says: then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground. And so we weren't even good dirt. It is not just that man is made up of the dirt of the ground, but we are the dust of the earth; the most fruitless, worthless part of the dirt. Now I know I am doing wonders for your self esteem right now. But if we are to embrace a Biblical view of our humanity, we have to come to terms with the fact that the only worth we have comes from the breath of God in our lives. If you don't have the breath of God, then you will die and return to dust very quickly.
“to manipulate with one’s hands”-- Now one thing that stands out to me is that God's creating us is a very personal; very intimate thing. The text says that he formed man from the dust of the ground. But the word here for "formed" in Hebrew literally means “to manipulate with one’s hands”.
My Dad and Ceramics-- My dad is a very gifted potter; and actually taught ceramics at Bethel College in Indiana for many years. And as a child I remember coming with him on numerous occasions to that ceramics building. I remember the smell of the clay, the many tools and instruments laying on the tables; the pieces made by various students scattered across the shelves. And I remember watching my dad on numerous occasions take a large piece of clay and slam it down onto the center of that potters wheel, wet his hands and begin spinning the wheel and placing his hands on that piece of clay. I remember it was amazing to watch because ever slight movement of his hands or fingers would produce almost instantly a new curve or new pattern on the clay. But watching him forming that clay was a very personal thing; seeing the relationship he had with the clay. That is the imagery behind this word “formed”; it is a very personal intimate thing. God takes the dust and shapes it. And in a sense He does this every time a person is created; anytime a child is conceived and born. The same word comes up in…
Jeremiah 1:5a (NIV)— 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart;
Sonogram: Forming and Breathing-- I like to take family videos whenever I can; and have done so on a variety of different occasions. But perhaps the footage that is most special to me is footage I shot of my own son’s first sonogram. It is something I have watched over and over again. He was about 3 months old at the time. And I remember that the nurse had a hard time getting a lock on him at first because of just how much he was moving. He was every bit as active as he is now. But as I watched him moving in there, wriggling and playing with his umbilical cord, the profoundness of how we are formed began to sink in in a much deeper way for me. The womb encloses us just like the hand of a potter surrounds the clay; just as God formed the dust of the ground. And then we are born; and suddenly we take that breath of air for the first time. First there is forming; and when the forming is complete, then there is breathing. And in a sense, God’s process of our creation is repeated again and again every time a new person is brought into the world.
How interesting it is that Jesus, in His dialogue with Nicodemus in John 3, chooses to use this birthing language in talking about the Holy Spirit; being “born again”. Though once we were formed, now we are re-formed; where once we took our first breath, now we are allowed to breath again of the breath of God. And we see, especially in this dialogue that the meaning of life; the reason we are formed; the reason God breaths into us was so that we might have a personal relationship with Him.
The “Ruach” of God-- Now in and throughout the Old Testament the word for breath is also the same word for spirit. And that is the word “ruach”. The breath that is in man and the breath of God (which of course is the Holy Spirit) is the same word. There is no distinction. So at base what we see is that the starting point of life comes when the person of the Spirit of God enters into your life; if you can even call it life before that moment. God is both the author and sustainer of life. How intimately does he sustain you? How many times have you breathed in the last minute? The average person breathes 18 times a minute. How interesting it is that written into our bodies 18 times a minute is the reality that we cannot live one second without the presence of God in our lives.
The Presence of God-- Now what does the Holy Spirit do in us? He brings into our life the very presence of God; and we are brought from death to life. As the scriptures say, all things become new. We are remade in the image of our creator. The glory of God is restored in our lives. And this is what God reveals to Israel through Ezekiel, His desire to bring them from death to life. God says in…
12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Jesus Fulfills the Giving of the Holy Spirit-- And we see the fulfillment of this promise in the New Testament, after Jesus’ Resurrection; when He leaves the disciples with the gift of the Holy Spirit who will empower their lives and ministry. In our message last week we read in…
John 20:22 (ESV)-- 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Comforter— Now who is the Holy Spirit? Now in our English Bible we have in description of the Holy Spirit the word Comforter. And that is not a bad translation, but at best it is incomplete. The word here does not mean comforter in the sense of someone who makes you feel good in the midst of a difficult circumstance. Now sometimes He does, but the heart of this word comforter centers around the idea of giving strength; empowering another. So the Holy Spirit is the one who en-strengthens; who empowers; who enables us. Well, what does the Holy Spirit en-strengthen, empower, and enable us to do? To be Holy. Wherever the Holy Spirit comes, there He makes holy.
Ezekiel’s Name: “God Strengthens”-- Even Ezekiel’s name Yekhezqe’l means “God strengthens” or “May God strengthen,”. It is interesting how the climax of Ezekiel’s message is the restoration of God’s people through an outpouring and infilling of the Holy Spirit of God. And we see that even his name bears testimony to the work the Holy Spirit sought to do in Israel and what He wants to do in your life and in my life. God wants to empower and enable you; to give you strength to be who He has called you to be; a strength that can only come through repentance and our allowing Him to renew us daily in the image of our Creator. How does He do that? By giving us a new heart. Listen to His words in…
Ezekiel 36:25-28 (ESV)-- 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
God wants to bring life from your death; purity and holiness form your uncleanness. How does He do that? How do we become holy?
Moody: Air in the glass— [Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, "How can I get the air out of this glass?" One man shouted, "Suck it out with a pump!" Moody replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass." After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed." He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by "sucking out a sin here and there," but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.]
God desires today to fill you and me. He wants to fill us with His breath and with His life. He wants us to know Him face to face; mouth to mouth; breath to breath. God wants to be in a living, breathing relationship with us that is as close to us as our very breath. Maybe today you sense a need for God’s breath to be breathed anew in your life. If so, don’t wait. Just as your body is not made to live without breath, so also your heart will never be made alive until you allow God’s Holy Spirit to breath into you. Let Him in today. Amen.
Rev. Cameron Ury graduated from Asbury University in 2007 with a B.A. in Bible and Theology. From there he continued his studies at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. It was there that he met his wife Tanya, who graduated from WBS with her M.A. and M.Div. degrees. Cameron and Tanya got married in 2009. Cameron then graduated with his M.Div. degree with a pastoral concentration in 2011.
After shepherding churches in both Mississippi and Ohio, they joined the ministry team at Renton Park Chapel in January of 2018, where Cameron serves as Senior Pastor and Teacher.
Cameron is also the founder and host of Lechem Panim, a weekly radio show that airs on KGNW 820AM "The Word Seattle". The ministry of Lechem Panim is centered around leading people into the life-giving presence of God in and through Bible study, prayer, and active discipleship with the aim of ministering to a world that is in desperate need of the healing touch of Jesus Christ.