Maundy, Thursday… Friday

Last Supper

I always wondered why they would call it “maundy Thursday”; thinking they were saying “Monday Thursday”.

The term comes form the Latin mandatum meaning commandment. Thus coming from the saying from Jesus “I give you a new command.”

In John 13:34, Jesus gave His disciples this just after the Last Supper. But notice in verse 31, Judas was not present. Some scholars have noted that this mandatum was highlighting the foot washing event that took place before the “supper.” Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t giving a “new” command but rather emphasizing His teaching of “Love one another.” Which was at the heart of all of His teaching. Also notice the sequence of the events in John 13;

  1. Washing of feet- verses 1-17. The example to ALL
  2. Jesus explaining the meaning to SOME verses 18-20.
  3. Jesus predicts His betrayal. verses 21-30
  4. Judas departs. v 30.
  5. Jesus gives the New Command or mandatum.

Application;

The New Command is for believers. We are to LOVE one another by “serving” in front of ALL. So that ALL may know whom we really serve- Jesus!

Maundy Thursday!

-Chaps RainH2O

How to Change Your Attitude

Birchman MA2 Mid-week devotional
Have you ever had a horrible week? I mean one of those weeks where nothing seemed to go right and you feel that you are about to lose your Christian witness? Yes, me too. Thankfully we have access to the “fruits of the Spirit”. I had to be reminded of these in recent days.
In Galatians chapter 5 Paul reminds us that the things of the Spirit and the things of the flesh are at enmity with each other. What we are more inclined to do when adversity is experienced is to follow these fleshly desires; immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, HATRED, STRIFE, JEALOSY, OUTBURSTS OF ANGER, SELFISH AMBITIONS, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, ENVY, drunkenness, carousing, and (just to include anything that hasn’t been mentioned but should) anything similar. (Galatians5:20-21a). We may not do all of these but our flesh desires these. I like the add-on statement “and anything similar”. The military has a clause referred to as the General Article 134. This GA is there to cover something that isn’t necessarily detailed as against the Uniform Code of Military Justice but should be due to it disrupting “good order and discipline”.
If we are led by the Spirit, as we should be, we should exhibit the “Fruits of the Spirit”; “love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians5:22-23). Paul goes on to tell us that if we belong to Christ then the fleshly desires are “crucified” along with its passions and desires.
So why then do we let the fleshly desire surface? Again, I have to be reminded constantly that since I am being led by the Spirit the fruits should be exhibited.
That is all! Carry On!
D. Shannon Rainwater

Why do we do this?

Mid-week Devotional 3/18/2015

Last week I had the privilege to tag along with the Priority group for the annual Spring Break trip “Beach Reach”. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated. Here I am a 40-something year old hanging out with college age kids. “Am I going there to be like a father figure to them, or perhaps would they accept me as a student like they are?” Obviously I didn’t know what to expect. More importantly, why did God allow me to go?

After being there a few days and getting into the routine it was obvious why I was there. I was to share the gospel with those that needed it. It was completely different from any gospel sharing experience I have ever had. We were going to those who needed it and unashamedly asking them about their personal experience with Jesus. Awkward? YES! It was very awkward but we learned to embrace the awkwardness!

We met all types of people! Most were Catholic and knew how to answer the questions we were asking. Some said that they know what the answers were but really didn’t understand what they were saying. One of the questions that I remember being asked the most was “You guys are doing a great thing but why are you doing this?”

The answer is simple. We love Jesus. I was talking with one particular student from New Mexico. He listened to the Priority 11024640_893598440691711_4683458641178799629_nstudents as they tell him what Jesus did for us. Then he asked “Why do you people do this? Why do you tell people this message knowing that you get opposition?”

Have you ever been giving a really great gift? Perhaps a new car? After you received it did you go show everyone? Of course you did! Were you worried about people not liking your gift? Most likely not!

It’s like in the example of the Samaritan woman at the well. The story found in John chapter 4, illustrates the interaction between Jesus and a woman who was gathering water from the city’s well. Many truths can be drawn from the interaction but when you focus on when she found out that she was talking to the Messiah, she dropped everything to go tell the men in the city (verse 28). She even left her water container right there at the well. After the men heard what the woman had to say they came to investigate. They too believed and in turn told others (verse 39 – 41).

We have been given so great of a gift that we must be compelled to share this with others. This week ask God to bring others in your life that you may share the Gospel with. Pray that He will soften the heart of the hearer and to have the boldness to get past the awkwardness.

By the way, the student from New Mexico accepted Christ. He is featured in the picture hugging one of the Beach Reachers.

That is all! Carry On!

D. Shannon Rainwater

Fear God

Mid-week Devotional 3/4/15

Next week we send a group to South Padre Island for an event known as Beach Reach. Please be in prayer for these young men and women who give up their Spring Break to go and share the gospel with those who are there on vacation. Some specifics to be in prayer for are:

  1. Safety
    2. Clarity of the gospel
    3. Boldness of every single person
    4. Effectiveness
    5. Conversions
    6. Unity in our group as well as with the rest of BR
    7. Good weather
    8. Energy

For this week’s devotional I would like to ask a question. What is meant by the phrase “The Fear of the Lord”? It appears with a few variants for a total of 144 times with 19 of those from the New Testament. So if we examine all of these references, we will only begin to understand the meaning of the phrase. The most common reference is Proverbs 1:7. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” Let me share something with you that might put this into perspective. If we were to fly to the sun in an airplane, it would take 21 years to get there. If we were to fly the same airplane to the 14-151-hubble_1nearest star, Alpha Centauri, it would take us 51 billion years. And we didn’t even leave our galaxy. When we consider that there are billions of other galaxies (see the picture to the right), we start to realize how small we really are. Click here for the video.

Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said in 1 Kings 8:27 “Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You.” God is not just bigger than the entire universe, He measured it all with the span of his hand! (Isaiah 40:12.

Our God is an awesome God, and it is only right that we “fear Him”!

 

That is all! Carry on!

How are you doing on your NY Resolution?

I saw this post on Facebook from a former pastor of mine. I thought that this was a good illustration as to our relationship with Scripture.

“As I check under the hood of my car, one of the things I check is the battery to be sure both cables are clean and secure–one is positive and one is negative; if either one gets loose or disconnected, the car will not start. The Bible, a true relationship with God has both a positive and negative aspect, without good connections to both, we are going nowhere. Positive: “Do all to the glory of God.” Negative: “Avoid the very appearance of evil.” Likewise the railroad has two tracks–try to run on one and you have a great train wreck! We must maintain a proper balance.”

About this time of year most people have fallen out of keeping their “New Year’s Resolutions”. Number one on the list of common resolutions that people try to keep is… to lose weight. Sadly, many businesses know this and you probably have noticed that they spend most of their advertising money during the end of the year and run through the beginning of the year. Can you guess what is the number one resolution that most people give up on before February 1st? That’s right… to lose weight. (see note at bottom)

Can you guess what the number two most common resolution that people try to keep is? Yep… to read the Bible more. Sadly the second most common resolution people give up on is… read the Bible more. The difference here is that you hardly see any advertisements on Bible sales or reading plans. Why is that? (Yes this is a rhetorical question)

I believe it was Dr. Phil that has said that it takes an action to be performed 21 times (on average) to form a habit. This means that if a person makes a commitment to lose weight, he would have to eat right and exercise for 21 days in order for the habit to form. The problem is what type of people usually make this kind of resolution? Right again… out of shape people. Why do you suppose that most do not make it to the 21 days? Right again… because it hurts, it’s too hard, or inconvenient. Don’t worry most who do not succeed will just wait until the next new year to make the resolution again.

But think about this. Doesn’t the same happen to those who try to keep the resolution of reading the bible more? How many times did we read through Genesis and thought “Hey I can do this”. It was probably when we got to somewhere around Leviticus before we started thinking that it was irrelevant or boring? Didn’t make it the 21 days huh? Why do most people give up on reading the bible and keeping their resolution?  (Again, rhetorical)

I think that the biggest difference is that Dr. Phil isn’t taking in consideration that those who are successful in keeping a regular Bible reading schedule don’t make resolutions to read the Bible more. It’s not out of habit, it’s out of a relationship. Should we read the Scriptures to get a check mark so that we can brag? Or, do we read the Scriptures because we want to know more about the creator of … well everything?

*Note- The actual number one resolution is anything health related. (Quit smoking, take better care of oneself, eat better, lose weight, etc.) The actual number two resolution includes the category of self-improvement. (budget, get out of debt, learn new language, read Bible, etc.)

Reformed Chocolate

In basic chocolate making, the chocolatier must ensure that the batch doesn’t come in contact with any hint of water. If it does the chocolate will become grainy and dull. A common source of water may be from using a double boiler to melt the chocolate. The boiler acts as a diffuser to spread and “soften” the heat from the stove’s burner. Often and if the chocolatier isn’t careful, the steam will work its way into the batch and turn the fats of the chocolate into a grainy unusable glob of goo.

This past Sunday we studied the reign of Josiah. He searched the whole kingdom for anything that would offend God. Not only did he tear them down, but he burned them then took the ashes out of the city. Perhaps he did this after he heard the scripture story of the Passover event. Perhaps he heard that the people were to search the whole house for any leaven. If any was found, it was to be burned up and thrown out. Talk about reform! Josiah really wanted to obey God’s word!

When we think of the church reformers such as Luther, Zwingli, Hus, and Wycliff, it was the Holy Scriptures that drove them to please God and reform the church. It was only after they understood the Scriptures that they realized they needed to rid their lives of anything that was displeasing to God. In a sense, they too “searched for the leaven”.

Think about the stuff in our lives or homes that can be considered “leaven”. Just as leaven permeates the dough and water ruins the chocolate, sin and the items that cause sin permeate and interfere with our relationship to God. We have a challenge to search our homes and lives for those things. We may not know where to start but we have the examples of the “Reformers”. They started with the precious inerrant, authoritative Holy word of God.

This Sunday we will be looking at 2 Kings 24:1—25:21. Be prepared to share experiences of who displayed the same traits or behavior (good or bad) from generation to generation. To what extent was the trait or behavior learned or copied, and to what extent did it seem more genetic? What trait or behavior would they like to be passed along within their families?

Biblical Spot-checking

Good evening or Good morning depending on what time you may read this. Each week I am impressed at the work that God is doing in our church. I am equally impressed at seeing the spiritual growth that the members are exhibiting. I believe that God places the right people in our lives just at the precise moment to give us a glimpse of either His glory, plan, or love.
My attention has been brought to the need of a Mid-week devotional that doesn’t just reinforce the lesson from the last Sunday but to informs you of the lesson ahead. This will give us a chance to interact with the lesson(s) on a more frequent basis and could be used as an accountability tool. Don’t worry, no one will be excommunicated if you haven’t completed your quiet times or Boldcourse.
2/11/15
20150211_221252My mom stuck a note in my bible one day. She must have found it in my seabag when I was home on leave from the Navy. When I found the note I was a little embarrassed. You see, I stole the bible from my dad because I didn’t have one and I started to go back to church. I didn’t go church on a regular basis after I left for boot camp but I would return after a few weeks.
The note said “This BOOK will never deceive you, never forget you, never leave you, never ask too much of you. But man will over and over again. Get your strength from your Bible. 9/15/91 Mom”
I kept this note and place it in every new bible I get. When I look at it and read the words it is as if I am reading the note for the first time. I admit that I do not read my bible everyday nor read it often enough. When I do, this note proves itself not a lie.
How often do we find ourselves being deceived, forgotten, alone, and overwhelmed? Where do we turn? What is our source of strength? The importance of frequent Bible reading cannot be stressed enough. It has once been said that God “listens to our prayers and talks to us through his word.”
Navy Search and Rescue swimmers have weekly “spot-checks” to keep them ready for anything. These “spot-checks” could include just about any scenario imaginable. Simulations such as Aircraft systems malfunction, in-flight fires, unconscious pilot, or even an in-mission quiz on basic seamanship would be given at any time without notice. What if we had “spot-checks” on what we learned in our quiet times? Sunday School? What if God conducted these “spot-checks”?
I am looking forward to this Sunday as we discuss the theme of REVIVAL from the passage 2 Kings 22 and 23. Be prepared to discuss a personal experience where you have witnessed a significant change whether it was at work, school, community or church.
Carry On!
D. Shannon Rainwater <