We often overlook the fact that sandwiched between the two most informative passages we get on "the gifts of the Spirit" is the most far reaching, famous passage about love in the entire Bible. This is intentional.
series: Red Letter City
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: June 19, 2016
scriptures: Matthew 6:1-4, John 5:44, Matthew 23, Romans 2:16, 1 Samuel 16:7, Isaiah 57:15, Jeremiah 22:16, Philippians 3:10, 1 John 4:6-7,
series: Cultivate the Romance
title: They gave our of uncertainty
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: January 31, 2016
scriptures: Luke 24:13-32, Nehemiah 10:35, Acts 20, James 4:17, Romans 11:16, Numbers 15:17-20, 1 Kings 17, Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Leviticus 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-21, John 12:32, Luke 23:46, Psalm 31:5, Matthew 27:28,
Paul says, “if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
The principle of the first fruit originated with the Hebrew wordBikkurim. When you read in Nehemiah when he says “we obligate ourselves to bring the first fruit…” or anywhere in the old testament when it says “bring the first fruit,” the word is bikkirum.
Bring the bikkirum.
The bikkurim is the part of the harvest that ripened and came forth before the rest of the harvest did.
The part that ripened and came forth first… God said, that part is mine! and this is an absolutely fascinating fact about Jewish history.
What they would do in those days, is the farmer would notice that a branch would have the bikkurim on it, and he already knew the principle of the first fruit, he already knew “this part is for God” so what would happen is he would take a little scarlet ribbon and he would walk up to the branch that had the fruit on it, and he would tie this scarlet ribbon on the branch as to say “THIS IS FOR THE LORD.”
He was marking it. He was setting it apart. He was saying, “God we give you the first.” He was asking the Lord to bless it. That is why we gave you the little red ribbons this week when you walked in… You can keep it as a token to remember, or you can take it and wrap your offering or offering envelope in it if you are giving a physical offering.
But the bikkirum was the first. It wasn’t just any piece of fruit… a good batch or a bad batch. It was was came first.
it had to be the first! It was the part that came before the harvest…
The farmer didn’t know whether the harvest was going to be large or if much of the fruit would not survive. All he knew for sure was that he the bikkurim. The only certainty was the bikkurim.
He didn’t give out of poverty or out of lack, he gave out of not knowing what it would be,
he gave it out of uncertainty.
He gave the only thing that was certain, out of uncertainty.
Title: giving & taking
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: October 4, 2015
scriptures: Mark 12:29, Malachi 3:6-15, Psalm 119:36, Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:32, Matthew 25:41-46, Ephesians 4:28, Luke 12, Acts 5:1-11, 2 Samuel 13
The word “vain” is the Hebrew word “shav’” and it means “to not be real.”
Most people think that the third commandment is telling us to not swear. Or to not say “God – blank”
But the third commandment literally says “You must not take the name of the Lord in unreality.”
You use his name in a way that makes it not real.
There is something about the name of God, is there not?
And man, there is something about the name of Jesus.
Something powerful. Something everlasting. Something that just makes you feel, in the darkest hour of your darkest day, like there is light. When it feels like everyone everywhere has abandoned you… that Someone still has your back. Someone still cares. God’s name can heal, it can redeem, it can provide, it can bring peace.
It is incredibly powerful.
But because of its incredible power, it also can be incredibly manipulated. If that wasn’t the case, then it would not be in the ten commandments.
It is a name that carries weight. A lot of weight.
But throughout history, various religions and religious leaders have misrepresented that name and have used it for selfish things. Wars have been started in the name of God. People have been killed. People have been robbed. People have been hurt. All, in forms of manipulation by people taking the Lords name in vain.
If you use the name of the Lord for selfish reasons, you are stealing. You are taking his name, and manipulating it for your purposes. You are not associating it to the power that it has, and that is why so many will be crushed by it.