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October 9, 2013

Watchman on the Wall

By Tony V. Hammack

Abundant Life Today Media
Abundant Life Today Podcast

Podcast: Play in New Window | Download
To watch the video, click here.
Abundant Life Today Video
These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video.



Keeping an Eye on Things

The Sons of Issachar

1 Chronicles 12:32a
from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do

In the military campaign to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David, it seems that the sons of Issachar were the advisors or wise men in the ranks. The majority of the others are warriors.

Ezekiel’s Call to be a Watchman

Ezekiel 33:1-7
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ 7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

The ministry of the watchman is not very rewarding because you want to be wrong and you are not very popular because your message is “negative”. However, sounding the alarm is your responsibility and if you fail in that responsibility you will be held liable before God for not raising your voice. It’s not a ministry for those who want to be popular.

Instructions from Jesus

Matthew 16:2,3
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

In some ways I believe interpreting the signs of the times is very spiritual because it would seem that very few people are doing it but in other ways this activity is rooted in a form of wisdom that I believe is readily available to anyone that desires to have it.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

This word from Jesus in the context of the Pharisees demanding a sign, is clearly an indictment against being unable to interpret the signs of the times. Being unable to know what the future holds based on basic facts is something that Jesus expects us to be able to do.   In order to do this, our heads must be removed from the proverbial sand.

It’s important to understand that not everyone thinks like you do. Some do have wicked agendas they are attempting to accomplish. It’s important to listen to the words of people and especially watch what they do.

What you are doing speaks so loudly I can hardly hear what you are saying.

"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement.

In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Juvenal said it was a simplistic motivation of common people. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man.

Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of these new citizens: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses", would be the most effective way to rise to power.

I agree I’d rather watch the final 4 for 2 hours than c-span for 2 hours but you and I as American Christians have a responsibility to ourselves, children, and fellow man to keep an eye on things in our world. Jesus said so.

Media – Most media outlets are heavily funded. One has to remember that it’s unwise to bite the hand that feeds you so understanding the funding sources is something any good watchman should consider before jumping on any idea as fact. The motive of the “trumpet blower” should be factored into any information one receives.

It’s been my experience that people who’ve been abused or neglected by authority figures during formative years of life tend to see authority figures in a different light than those who have not been through these experiences. Not to say they are right or wrong due to these experiences but it should be factored in when trying to understand the signs of the times.

Chicken Little called for calamity with the phrase, “The sky is falling” and at times we may run into people who are “Chicken Little's”.  Sorting through information in this information age while removing personal pre-dispositions can be difficult. Sometimes if we look hard enough we can find what we’re looking for. Even if it’s really not there or only there in a very small way.

One question a watchman has to ask themselves is, “Who do I trust?” and why.

One thing to consider is a “watchman” who is simply capitalizing on the fears of people. There will be a story on radiation falling on America from a nuclear attack by the North Koreans and then followed up by the sale of overly priced iodine tablets that reduce your chances of getting radiation sickness should the attack actually happen.

Is the attack possible? Sure.  Is it likely?  I don’t know. What’s the cost of Iodine tablets off the crony watchman’s website? Is it fair market price? Is the cost worth the protection it potentially could give you?

The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice.  It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.  As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.

Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
Jubilee Family Church45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501 (870) 793-9124
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October 4, 2013

Eye Black Restriction Can't Stop God's Message

By Tony V. Hammack

Tim Tebow
I'm showing up a little late to this party but when I found this out I thought I'd share it with you in case you, like me, were unaware of this "coincidence".  The story goes that Tim Tebow was required by someone over him in authority to remove the John 3:16 eye black from his eyes that he traditionally wears during a game.  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  This directive came to Tebow before the January 8th, 2012 playoff game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. In prophetic fashion Tebow threw that night for an amazing 316 yards leading the Broncos to a victory over the Steelers with an 80 yard throw in overtime. He also threw the ball 10x's giving him a playoff record 31.6 yard per throw average on the night.

I still haven't figured out how Tebow, a Heisman trophy winner, who led the Florida Gators to not one but two national championships isn't good enough to play in the NFL. I suppose I better leave that for the coaches and analysts but nevertheless I thought it interesting that perhaps God got his message through to the world even though some didn't want Tebow to proclaim the love of God for man.

In sovereignly orchestrated fashion, after the game, 70 million people (probably not Christians) Googled, John 3:16. What a mighty God we serve!


Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124
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October 1, 2013

The Blessed Life is the Obedient Life


By Tony V. Hammack

Abundant Life Today Media
Abundant Life Today Podcast

Podcast: Play in New Window | Download
To watch the video, click here.
Abundant Life Today Video
These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video.
 



If you asked people if they wanted to be blessed or cursed the majority I’m sure would choose to be blessed; yet the “blessed life” seems elusive to many.  The key is found in God’s Word.

It doesn’t matter how much scripture you can quote, how loud you can sing, how high you can jump, or how many meetings you can attend. If all this doesn’t translate into obedience to God’s Word the blessings of God will evade you.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
  • Spiritual blessings
  • Relational Blessings
  • Financial Blessings
  • Health
  • A Disciplined Life
Spiritual Blessings – Having peace with God and an assurance you are right with him and in good standing with the King of Kings.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Timothy 1:12
I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 Timothy 3:13
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Relational Blessings -- Having great relationships with people who genuinely love you and care for you. No strings attached. Agape love! Knowing your family is right with the Lord

Acts 16:34
The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Financial Blessings – I believe our God is the God of more than enough. Consider the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. The disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. (Mark 6:43)

Galatians 3:14
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Genesis 24:35
The Lord has blessed my master (Abraham) abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.

Health – I believe sickness is not a blessing. I do believe God can “make lemons into lemonade” but I don’t believe he has to start with lemons!

I also believe we can learn things through sickness but I never believe God puts sickness on anyone! Sickness comes on mankind because of the sinful world we live in.

3 John 1:2
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

A Disciplined Life – A disciplined life is being able to do what’s right even if you have a desire somewhere to do what’s more immediately gratifying but detrimental to your long term good.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Grace

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

The Law

Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Romans 7:8-11
But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Love Relationship is Key

John 14:21
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”


Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
Jubilee Family Church45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501 (870) 793-9124
View Larger Map