Recorded on January 14, this message is from Acts 17 and is part of our Acts series studying through the ministry of the Apostle Paul.
When my son, Micah, was a little over one year old, we lived in West Texas. In that corner of the country, we encounter a strange foe that Utahans do not face very often…roaches. There is nothing more appetizing than a nice juicy over-sized cockroach scurrying across your floor. Unfortunately, I grew up among them, and I was grateful to our fellow armed men that frequented our house assaulting the enemy with sprays of pesticide.
One morning, as Britton and I were getting ready, Micah decided he wanted a snack. Instead of asking his parents to provide him with his much-needed protein, he munched on whatever was lying around. In this case, it was a half-dead scaly cockroach. By the time we realized his choice cuisine, the insect was squirming around in his mouth, its body no longer in one piece. Britton spotted Micah’s problem before I did, but he couldn’t quite figure out what lay beyond those little drooling puckered lips. For some reason, Britton has never been keen on sticking his fingers in our kids’ mouths; something about the pain of a toddlers relentless bite, but he called me to aide him.
I jammed my index finger through his lips in a hooked fashion without a moment’s hesitation. Then, the first leg dangled out.
If you know me, you can imagine my horror…(I’ve been known to jump out of moving vehicles when I find myself riding with a six-legged creature). Both of us new parents let out a disgusted yell. Micah grinned in delight, drool mixing with creature parts. Despite my aversion to the thing, the thought of it remaining squirming around on Micah’s tongue trumped. I pried open his mouth and rid it of the insect. I then proceeded to power-blast his mouth out with the finger-tip toothbrush and half a tube of baby gum and teeth refresher.
So what’s the catch here, besides of course a fat roach? When I recall that story, I truly laugh, but it reminds me of how sin is to God’s children. We get hungry, and instead of going to the Christ to fulfill us in our purpose, we settle on whatever is right in front of us. What’s so amazing is that God has already come to our rescue by sending Christ to rid us of our sin. Despite God’s aversion to sin, He loved us so much that He sent his only Son to rid us of it. Yet, we go back to cockroaches. Admitidly, often times we don’t even know how harmful and disgusting the sin we meddle in is to us, but God does.
I encourage you to read the passage found in Mark 9:42-50. Jesus speaks about the temptation to sin. How serious is He about ridding our lives from sin? Think about it the rest of this week. And remember always, that the only one who can free you from that sin is our savior, Jesus Christ. No amount of rules and restrictions can do that for you. Focus on the cross, Christ’s sacrifice for you, and see how He changes your view of the roaches in your life.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Often times this verse is used from the scriptures to remind us of how costly our salvation was for our Lord, and perhaps, sometimes the reality of it sinks in and we get taste of the cross. Yet, God, in all of his grace and mercy often times teaches us about the cost through our own life’s circumstances.
This past week was one of those weeks where my family was thrown into a situation that left my physical body shaken and my soul stirred. Monday night, Becky Jo and Jenny were over at the house to hang out while our husbands were playing basketball. Not long into the evening, Micah and our dog had a bit of an issue. We are still unsure exactly what happened, but Micah ended up screaming at the top of his lungs. When I turned around, what I saw exactly what every mother fears for her child, blood, lots and lots of blood. The dog had splayed open my two-year-old son’s top lip either with her paw or her teeth. After a lioness-type reaction and a bit of scrambling, Becky Jo and Jenny Kendall loaded up Micah in the car, and I sped away to the ER.
When Britton finally made it up to the ER to meet us, the shock and horror on his face after looking at Micah sent tears streaming down my face. The worst part of the whole ordeal was when the doctor had to sedate Micah. The sight of his limp body being lifted on the bed while they tried to mend his marred face was near unbearable. I recall glancing over and seeing Britton, the father of my son, trying to choke the tears back. I grabbed his hand and clenched it until my knuckles were white. The suffering your child no matter how small the cut or severe the injury does something inside leaving you raw, for you suffer too.
In that moment while seeing Britton’s reaction to our son, the Spirit tugged inside of me. Over two thousand years ago, our heavenly Father, had to allow his only son to endure the cross. Micah’s injury was so small compared to what Christ experienced for Christ’s whole back was splayed open from the whip. The nails pierced his hands and feet, the thorns, his brow. Through my own husband’s eyes, I received a glimpse of how God must have felt when watching Christ breathe his last breath and the soldiers pull his limp body down from the stained wood.
Yet, we can rejoice. We can rejoice that Christ paid the penalty for our sin in our stead. We don’t have to endure that pain and torture. My prayer this week is that we could, as a body of believers, reflect on the cost of the cross. Remember the price that was paid, and then be glad because Christ conquered death for us. Let our scars, seen and unseen, remind us that we have been healed and Christ has brought us through.
Everyone can spot a poser, right? Someone pretending to be something they’re not. But what about the poser in the mirror? Are we even aware of how often we betray who we really are? This series will call you out and invite you to drop the pose and become the authentic, real person God created you to be.
Join Lakeside youth this Tuesday at 6:30 for fellowship, worship, and getting into God’s Word. We’ll see you there!
Hello Lakeside family. This is Brittany Lewis here. My husband, Britton, and I just moved into the house at Lakeside church a couple of months ago. The Lord brought us here, and we are thrilled to be sharing life with all of you. Since we arrived, you all have truly made us feel like we are right at home. It has become so obvious to me that this church body is my family here in Utah; I thank God for that.
With that said, I want you to know that I am very excited about having the opportunity to share thoughts, insights, news events, and more through this Lakeside website. Be looking for more posts later in the week.
So…something cool is happening tonight and we wanted to invite you all to join us. There is a Jewish tradition known as the Seder which is a meal that is served to commemorate the Passover. You can do a quick google search to learn more or read this article on Wikipedia.
Celebrations like this have existed in the Jewish culture for milleniums. Their origin is found in the Torah and they were to commanded to be celebrated. I want to make it clear that we do not believe that these are still required. Jesus Christ has fulfilled the prophesy concerning the Messiah. He has fulfilled what many of the feasts were pointing toward.
However, we still find the roots of our faith in these celebrations. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to tap into those roots a bit and gain a richer understanding. I will begin this evening by saying some words to that effect and then I am going to turn things over to a new friend of mine, Mikha’el ben Yosef who is a Jewish man and a brother in Christ.
If you would like to come, we will begin at 6:30pm. If you can, please let me (Matt) know you are coming by calling or texting me at 801-529-3009.
Hey everyone! Check out this video of a lady I met yesterday in the airport…I really felt God was leading me to speak to her and I was honored to spend some time talking with her about what she had been going through…
Check out the video below for our new series masquerade!
Here is the schedule for this series…
May 1 – Hiding From God
May 8 – Self Deception
May 15 – Hiding Your Sin
May 22 – Financial Fakers
May 29 – Hiding Your Hurt
The 2nd message in our series “Unstoppable” as taught on April 10, 2011.