Club 252

Down By the River Side

This week in Club we talked about Captain Naaman going to the Jordan to dip seven times as Elisha told him to do (2 Kings 5). One brave soul demonstrated for us with baby powder & a blue sheet:)…

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We all have an even bigger problem than leprosy – sin – that destroys us if we’re not healed. It, too, seperates us (lepers had to go live away from society), only we are seperated from God & forever! Just like Elisha told Naaman how to be healed, God tells us in His Word exactly how we can be healed from our sin. It’s simple! So simple that some, like Naaman at first did, think it’s too easy & refuse to humble themselves & take The Only Way to salvation. We just have to confess our sins, believe & accept Jesus as our Savior & receive Him in our lives. Thank You, God, for Your wonderful plan of salvation! We say as Naaman did, “I know at last that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.”

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Lord, Open Your Servants’ Eyes…

In Club this week, we are talking about Elisha & the Army of God his servant saw surrounding them from 2 Kings 6. I know I say this alot, but this has always been one of my all time favorite OT stories!

There was a king who had been trying to attack Israel for years & every time, God would reveal it to Elisha who would turn around & warn Isreal & they’d avoid the trouble by going another way. When this evil king found out it was Elisha “ruining his plans”, he went after Elisha to kill him. Elisha was found at Dothan & the king had his place surrounded. Elisha’s servant was understandably shaken. “What are we going to do, Elisha?!” Elisha prayed, “Lord, open my servant’s eyes…” When the servant looked up, he saw the hillside around Elisha filled with God’s horses & chariots of fire!

Elisha asked God to strike the enemy army blind & He did! I love this part… Then Elisha led the enemy (like a shepherd leads a bunch of sheep) to the Israelite headquarters, parading them right to their king! The whole army!! As soon as they got to the Israelite king, Elisha asked God to give the enemy army sight again. He did. Can you imagine how those soldiers must have felt “waking up” in front of the enemy king? The Israelite king made a feast for the enemy detainees & sent them back home to their king. “After that, the Aramean raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.”

Wow! Everything about that story amazes me except the part where the servant was scared.:) Elisha was never afraid. Everything Elisha asked of the Lord, God did. That same army of protection surrounding Elisha surrounds us! Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Then the fact the Israelites treated the enemy well & sent them home, and that they didn’t attack again… Humiliation? Awe? Whatever; it worked.

Lessons to learn:

God is always with us. Matthew starts out “…and He will be called Immanuel, God is with us” & ends wtih Jesus saying “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” I was struck this Easter season of how, when Jesus left this earth, we were given the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in His last words to the disciples (John 15 & 16) how He had to leave them, but the Comforter would come & it would be so much better for them! Jesus could only be with us in bodily form for a few years, but the Holy Spirit lives inside us when we receive Him & He never leaves!

We fight a spiritual battle, but “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) We have that same mighty army surrounding us that Elisha had! Open our eyes to see it, Lord! Make us aware of the real battle instead of trying to fight these battles in our flesh. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

We can trust our God! He is in charge & complete control of the situation even if we can’t see it. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3)

Lord, I pray You would remind us of this story when we feel so scared of what our enemies might do to us, whether that enemy is another person or Satan. Remind us that you have a great, vast army surrounding us! Remind us that You are in complete control. Remind us that You never leave us. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Holy Spirit. Give us Elisha’s faith! Thank You for his example. Amen

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It is Finished!!

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Festival of Redemption

This morning, we had a Jews for Jesus missionary speak in service on Christ in the Passover. Did I tell you I love this time of year? Anyway, the kids & I have been going over the Passover for the last three weeks in preparation. Here’s an outline – skeletal notes…

The Passover is an object lesson God gave us of His Son’s death, resurrection, & second coming. The hero of the Passover for Jews is Moses; for Christians is now Jesus. The Passover meal is geared to the children (four questions, etc.). God commanded His people to celebrate it every year to remember – pass it on to the next generation. Pass on what? That God is faithful, powerful, and redeems us. It is not an accident that this celebration coincides with Resurrection Sunday. It is all one story – His story! Both Communion & Passover are done in rememberance of what God has done.

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Leven – Get all leven out of house – get rid of sin. Leven puffs up the bread. Pride is sin & puffs us up. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Matzah – stripes & holes on it = Jesus had stripes on His back & holes in His hands & feet. It is made without leven just as Christ was without sin.

Afikomen – the middle piece of matzah taken & broken (the one Jesus used when He said, “This is My Body broken for you…”), wrapped in a white cloth & hidden. Later, the children look for this & the one who finds it is rewarded. Then the afikomen is broken into olive sized pieces & each take & eat with the third cup of wine (as Jesus did in the Last Supper).

Haroseth – apples, etc. = mortar the Israelites used in Egypt to make Pharoah’s bricks.

Parsley – like the branches to dip in lamb’s blood on first Passover.

Dip in salt water – reminds us of all the tears in Egypt when slaves. A life without redemption is a life with sorrow.

Egg – spring, new life. Jesus brings us new life!!

Bone – reminds us of the lamb that had to die. The LAMB is GONE! Jesus is the Lamb. He died for our sins. We don’t have to kill lambs for sacrifice anymore!

Bitter Herbs – Horseradish – reminds us of the bitterness of slavery. We are slaves to sin without Jesus.

Glass of wine – 4 drinks. Jesus did this at the Last Supper.
(Luke 22:19,20) Cup 1= sanctification, 2= cup of judgements/ plagues, 3= redemption (the one at communion), & 4= praise (cup of “Halleh” as in Hallelujah)

Lean on pillows – now we are FREE, can sit comfortably, not slaves anymore, in Egypt or to sin! (Jesus & John at the Last Supper)

Open door for Elijah to come – Elijah announces the Messiah has come. Some are sadly still waiting. But Jesus has come & He is the Savior, Messiah!! We await His second coming, yet.

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