From the Pastor

 Pastor Mike Burns

 Victory Church

 903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002) 

 MBurns@wordofvictory.org                                   

 

Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking

Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking

On Sunday, July 25th, I finished preaching the series, Taking a Kingdom Risk. In this series we learned that Kingdom Risk Taking is a necessary component of true discipleship and is a Kingdom protocol (code of conduct) for following Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us to risk, to obey and step out in faith for His glory and to the fullest potential for the kingdom of God realized. Every great risk in Jesus’ Name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God. That He who calls us to “step out in faith” means to trust the One who supplies us with whatever we need to fulfill plans and purposes in and through us.

Kingdom Risk Taking has 6 Characteristics that helps us recognize and understand what is required in in this endeavor. The first five characteristics I have preached about and they are described on the podcast at our website (wordofvictory.org). Here is a synopsis of the last and sixth characteristic:

  1. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Identity.
  2. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Calculated.
  3. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Faith, Not Fear.
  4. Kingdom Risk Taking Invites Uncertainty.
  5. Kingdom Risk Taking Requires Persistence.
  6. Kingdom Risk Taking Ensures Growth.

Psalm 92:12-14

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green

Godly risk taking is different than the risk tied to immediate gratification, which is plentiful in our culture.

  • Immediate gratification is often self-serving and short sighted.
  • Kingdom Risk Taking is God-driven with long range

The latter can take you some place different, some place better!

Obeying God and stepping out of our comfort zone to trust Him and to walk by faith not only has positive repercussions for us and others around us today, but also for generations to come in the future (see Gen. 26:24).

Because it requires discipline, tempering the uncertainty (characteristic #4) and persistence (characteristic #5)…however, Godly Risk Taking is less common among many Christians.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 10:34 AM

Holy Week Timeline: Day 4

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 10:34 AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 10:34 AM

Follow along with the steps of Jesus Christ from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday, exploring the major events that occurred on each day.

Day 4: Holy (Spy) Wednesday

The Bible doesn't say what the Lord did on the Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover.

Just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave. After seeing this incredible miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in him. In the evening, Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus with costly perfumed oil. When Judas objected, Jesus rebuked him, saying that Mary had anointed Him for His burial (Read Mt 26:6).

No record in the Gospels about this day, but much activity as Jesus prepares for Last Supper and as Judas and Sanhedrin prepare for Jesus' arrest. Traditionally, this day was called “Spy Wednesday,” for it was on this day that Judas conspired to hand Jesus over. For this, he was paid thirty pieces of silver (Read Mt. 26:14). The wicked are plotting against Jesus.

My Insight into Mary of Bethany Anointing Jesus Feet

Mary’s act of abandoned worship became a memorial to her, as Jesus prophesied, “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her” (Matthew 26:13).

Christ commanded that the record of this loving deed be preached throughout time until the judgment; and, in such a proclamation, she did in fact truly ‘keep’ the last drop of that precious perfume poured upon Jesus’ feet.

  • Did not Joseph of Arimathea keep his tomb and the lad his basket, after giving them to Jesus?
  • Did anyone ever give anything to Jesus without at the same time ‘keeping it’?
  • What is given to the Lord is kept; all else is lost; and can it be any different with this perfume?
  • Mary poured all the perfume on Jesus; but she ‘kept it all.’
  • Against the day of his burial? Yes, but also for all time until the judgment!”

Today we remember Mary and honor her deed. May it be a strong reminder and encouragement to us that “whatever we give to the Lord in service, in sacrifice, in suffering, or in material possessions, will never be lost.”

May you pour your life out for our Lord Jesus Christ, and in doing so may the fragrance of your sacrifice fill the hearts of all you touch for His glory.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:01 AM

Holy Week Timeline: Day 3

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:01 AM
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:01 AM

Follow along with the steps of Jesus Christ from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday, exploring the major events that occurred on each day.

Day 3: On Tuesday, Jesus Goes to the Mount of Olives
On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.
Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They organized an ambush with the intent to place him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them, saying:
"Blind guides!...For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness...Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?" (Matthew 23:24-33)
Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He speaks, as usual, in parables, using symbolic language about the end-times events, including His Second Coming and the final judgment.
Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of ancient Israel, to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to stay the night.

My insights into the Olivet Discourse:

  1. The Olivet Discourse is the name given to the orderly and extended teaching given by Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives. His subject is the end times. This discourse is recorded in Matthew 24:1 – 25:46. Parallel passages are found in Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36. The record in Matthew is the most extensive.
  2. It is important to recognize that Jesus’ teaching in this discourse is in reference to Israel and not the Church. Christ was speaking of God’s future program for Israel. Other passages to consider when studying the Olivet Discourse are Daniel 9:24-27 and Revelation 6:1–19:21, which refer to the future seven-year period called the tribulation.
  3. God’s program for the Church concludes with the rapture, which is not taught in the Olivet Discourse. The rapture of the Church is found in John 14:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

The tumultuous events of Tuesday and the Olivet Discourse are recorded in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

Monday, March 29, 2021 5:20 PM

Holy Week Timeline: Day 2

Monday, March 29, 2021 5:20 PM
Monday, March 29, 2021 5:20 PM

Follow along with the steps of Jesus Christ from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday, exploring the major events that occurred on each day.

Day 2: On Monday, Jesus Clears the Temple
The following morning, Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. Along the way, he cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit. Some scholars believe this cursing of the fig tree represented God's judgment on the spiritually dead religious leaders of Israel. Others believe the symbolism extended to all believers, demonstrating that genuine faith is more than just outward religiosity; true, living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person's life.
When Jesus arrived at the Temple, he found the courts full of corrupt money changers. He began overturning their tables and clearing the Temple, saying, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be a house of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves" (Luke 19:46).
On Monday evening Jesus stayed in Bethany again, probably in the home of his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

My insights on Jesus ‘Cleansing the Temple”:
1) He was bent on purifying the church, not enlarging it. Unlike today's churches where church membership size means "growth" and "Kingdom success," Jesus' idea of the temple was not about having a lot of people going there - it was about having people go there for the right reasons. (Read John 2:14-16; Matthew 21:13)
2) Righteous doesn't mean weakness. Many of us think that Jesus was very soft and unable to speak a strong word, but He wasn't. He was soft and approachable, but He was very tough and strong on the inside -- how could He do what He did in the temple if He wasn't?
We've got to let go of the idea that Christianity equals timidity, or Christianity equals allowing people to abuse you. While we are commanded to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us, we are not told to be timid. Christ didn't mince words when He drove people out of the temple, and neither did He think twice about doing what was right. He was very bold because He and His intentions were right.
3) Doing God's will might cause people to dislike you. Jesus did what was right in cleansing the temple, but certain people disliked Him for it: particularly, the chief priests and the Pharisees (Read Matthew 21:15-16; John 2:18).
The same goes for every Christian who wants to do God's will. When we obey God and carefully do as He wants, we will face hardship. Some will mock us, persecute us, and even try to harm us. Some of us will even lose friends as we follow Christ.

Monday's events are recorded in Matthew 21:12–22, Mark 11:15–19, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-17.

Sunday, March 28, 2021 5:31 PM

Holy Week Timeline: From Palm Sunday to the Resurrection

Sunday, March 28, 2021 5:31 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2021 5:31 PM

While the exact order of events during Holy Week is debated by biblical scholars, this timeline represents an approximate outline of major events of the most holy days on the Christian calendar. We follow along with the steps of Jesus Christ from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday, exploring the major events that occurred on each day.

Day 1: Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday

On the Sunday before his death, Jesus began his trip to Jerusalem, knowing that soon he would lay down his life for our sins. Nearing the village of Bethphage, he sent two of his disciples ahead, telling them to look for a donkey and its unbroken colt. The disciples were instructed to untie the animals and bring them to him.

Then Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, fulfilling the ancient prophecy in Zechariah 9:9:
"Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

The crowds welcomed him by waving palm branches in the air and shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

On Palm Sunday, Jesus and his disciples spent the night in Bethany, a town about two miles east of Jerusalem. This is where Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead, and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived. They were close friends of Jesus, and probably hosted Him and His disciples during their final days in Jerusalem.

My insights from Palm Sunday:
1. Jesus was setting His crucifixion in motion, not principalities and powers of darkness or mere men. God was in charge of the time table in order to fulfill prophecy. (Read John 10:17-18; Gal. 4:4-6.)
2. Jesus was being selected as the Passover Lamb according to Old Testament Law. Unknowingly, the onlookers in Jerusalem were witnessing God’s selection of Jesus Christ as the final Passover lamb. And take notice that this was the 10th of Nisan, the day that was designated to select the Passover lamb. (See Exodus 12:2-6). The accuracy of God’s Word is astounding. Israel was seeing the perfect lamb – without spot and without blemish. You must always remember that God’s timetable is always perfect. He does things at the exact right time.
3. As Jesus rode, his mind would have first and foremost been focused on glorifying his Father (Read John 12:27-29). Secondarily his thoughts would have directed to those he came to save (Read I Peter 2:24)
4. An “Eternal Palm Sunday” is to come! (Read Revelation 7:9-10)

Jesus' triumphal entry is recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.

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