Quarterly Journals
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When the Stones Cry Out

“He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ ” – Luke 19:40 ESV

When Jesus came down from the Mount of Olives, the Saints, those that believe in Him, rejoiced and praised God with loud voices. “And when He was come nigh even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the might works that they had seen;” (Luke 19:37). Some of the Pharisees who were in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke the crowd for making loud noises. I think what they were really saying was, “It don’t take all of that,” or “Why are you making all that commotion, that’s not necessary,” or here’s another one, “Who are you to be rejoicing and praising God after what you did last week? or some folk revealed what they are thinking by their actions. Have you ever noticed that while some folk are standing up and waving their hands and rejoicing and praising God, that a certain percentage of the church congregation are still sitting and going through great pains not to make any sudden movements? Sometimes I think this is due to guilt. Sin will make you feel guilt and if a person did something that they feel was contrary to the Word of God and they have not resolved the conflict or have not confessed the disobedient behavior (sin) then they may have a difficult time freely praising the Lord during Worship services. It is possible that spiritually and subconsciously, John 4:24 may be in action during worship services, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

In the case of the Pharisees they hated Jesus as well as His believers and they wanted Him dead and His believers silenced. The Lord responded as magnificently as always, “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). The bottom line is that somebody or something is going to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice. It’s either going to be people, or it’s going to be the rocks. One Sunday we should put a camera outside looking at the rocks so that when it’s time to rejoice and praise God and the people in the sanctuary decide to sit and not rejoice and praise God, then we can look and see something else rejoicing and praising God, and it could be the rocks outside.

The Lord lets us know that if we are quiet the stone will start shouting. Do you want stones to be rejoicing and praising God instead of you who the Lord has equipped to do it? Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again, I say, Rejoice”. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice evermore.” Revelation 19:9 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice…” The word rejoice is mentioned 253 times in the Holy Bible. The word rejoice means “To give joy to.” It is a transitive verb is characterized by having a direct object.

Rejoice is a word of action towards a direct object and for us that object is our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, and we need to show action when we worship and praise the Lod.

So, the next time we have an opportunity to rejoice let’s do it, without hesitation, so the rocks don’t need to cry out.

 

Submitted by Trustee Stanley Ridley



Living on Purpose with Purpose

Some of us are born to sing; others are born to shop. Among us we have a variety of great abilities. Some of us are gifted mathematicians, teachers, or motivators. Others of us can fix computers, or program them. Still others can sew, or say so. Some of us are great orators, or writers. Some of us are great athletes. Others are very creative. Some of us are great expositors; others great listeners. You and I have a variety of great abilities, but do you know what our greatest ability is…? Responsibility. The sum total of our lives is how we handle responsibility. Responsibility is your ability to respond to life. It’s reflected in that bios-life that Pastor preached about – it’s what makes us human – and it’s a gift from God – to be able to live the Zoe-life in the midst of our humanity.

Much of our life has not been in our control. We did not choose our parents or when or where would be born. We did not choose the unique gifts and talents that we proudly bask in – Responsibility is how we handle everything else; how we respond to what life throws our way, and impacts us more than any other thing. It may surprise you to know that although very gifted, God cares more about our character than our achievements while we’re here on Earth. God put us on the Earth for primarily two reasons: To know Him personal, and to develop character. Our lives today are preparation for what’s to come, and how we respond ought to be indicative of a follower of Christ, who know that he is the one who give meaning to life. We ought to live responsibly know that we are a steward of the life we have been given.

Responsible people make the most of the life they have been give. Accordingly, we are admonished in Ephesians 5:11-17 with these words from The Message Bible: “Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose those things to the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So, watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times. Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.” From this day forward, may we be inclined to live our lives on purpose with purpose.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon