We are excited to announce some new features to the blogsite. As more and more readers are viewing from foreign countries we have added the translate feature to the site. Our readers can also now choose to have the blog emailed to them, and they can search the blog by keywords on various topics. We hope that this makes the site more manageable for you. God Bless.

Hear current audio messages by Pastor Scott Burr at:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

He Set Eternity in Our Hearts

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

There are some preachers, when they speak, who are so convincing that in one moment you can feel the breath of heaven and in the next moment feel the flames of hell. There are some authors who can write so vividly that you can almost see the streets of gold that pave the heavens and subsequently hear the “troubled screams” of those confined to the deepest parts of hell. There are some singers whose voices and lyrics can move us to experience tremendous joy at the prospect of seeing Jesus face to face and then bring us to tears as we consider being separated from God for all eternity.

But even with the amazing gifts and talents that God has given us to use to communicate eternal life to those around us, I have found that “death” is far greater at causing men to stop and consider eternal life than any preacher, author or singer. Death has an uncanny way of getting people’s attention. Even those who have managed to steer clear of church, religion and the Bible can’t seem to escape the message that death brings to the table.

God has set eternity in our hearts! We have been hard-wired by God to look beyond the grave. The writer of Hebrews describes it this way:

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11:13-16

It is because we have been hard-wired by God for eternity that so many people believe in life after death. Life beyond the grave is universal among cultures and religions. As Christians we may not believe in a paradise with 70 virgins, a happy hunting ground, or reincarnation, but each of these differing cultures and religions has embraced the fact that there is more beyond the veil of death. Which according to scripture is a good thing:

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man, to living should take this to heart.”

Ecclesiastes 7:2

Consider these words of wisdom for a moment. How often do we consider eternity when we are “splashing around at the water park with our family”, or “enjoying a night out with friends”. However, how often is eternity considered when we are seated in the house of mourning. Death stirs us to consider our eternity!

I can’t tell you how often, at or after a funeral, I will hear someone ask… “Do you think they are in heaven?” Sometimes it is out of a genuine concern for the soul of the loved one who passed, but most often it is asked out of the uncertainty of their own hearts. It is a good thing to be troubled by death, to have “eternity” stirred up in our hearts. However, we do not have to live uncertain or leave our loved one languishing over our eternal destination. Jesus said:

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

If death is troubling you, maybe God is trying to stir up the “eternity”, that has been set in your heart, so that you can make a decision for Christ that will give you the eternal peace that your soul is longing to receive.

Pastor Scott Burr http://faithandworshipseries.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

“Silencing the Voice of Intimidation”

(part 4)

“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.”

2 Kings 19:14

As Hezekiah heard the voice of intimidation, once again, he had a choice to make. He could try, yet again, to bargain with his enemies; he could put on sackcloth and ashes and mourn in the streets with all the people; or he could come boldly to the throne of God and make his petition known. Hezekiah with the letter from the messengers in hand made his way to the temple of the Lord. He took the letter and opened it before the Lord:

“And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: ‘O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.”

2 Kings 19:15-16

Hezekiah took the words sent to him by his enemies and laid them before God. He recounted before the Lord everything that Sennacherib had said to him:

“It is true, O Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste to these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands.”

2 Kings 19:17-18

Hezekiah then prayed with confidence for God to deliver them so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that “You alone, O Lord, are God.” God is not moved by intimidation! He was not moved by Sennacherib’s threats, the size of his nation, or the strength of his army. God was moved by the faith of Hezekiah…who finally chose to listen to the Word of the Lord rather than the voice of intimidation:

“Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria.”

Isaiah prophesied the downfall of the Assyrian army and King Sennacherib! That night the angel of the Lord put to death 185,000 in the Assyrian camp. Sennacherib broke camp and withdrew to Nineveh where he was cut down with the sword by his own sons in the temple of his god Nisroch.

So what is intimidating you? What is drawing you away from your confidence in God? What is causing you and those around you “on the wall” to fear? What does the enemy keep re-visiting in your life that is creating a stumbling block for you?

Take a moment to write it down on a piece of paper. Then find a place of prayer and spread it out before the Lord and pray with confidence:

“O Lord, my God, maker of heaven and earth. You are God over all the Kingdoms of the earth. Give ear, O Lord, and hear, open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words that “my enemy” has sent to insult the Living God! It is true, that (what is intimidating me) has created a stumbling block for me in the past and laid waste to a lot of my dreams. I’ve trusted in my own strength and the ability of others, but it amounted to little. So, I turn to You! Lord, deliver me from the hand of my enemy so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that “You alone, O Lord, are God!”

The Word of the Lord will silence the voice of intimidation!

Pastor Scott Burr http://faithandworshipseries.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Silencing the Voice of Intimidation"

(part 3)

“When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.”
2 Kings 19:1-3

How did a man, whose name was associated with a strong trust in God, arrive at the end of himself with no strength and no options? In sackcloth and ashes, Hezekiah’s officials approached the Prophet Isaiah asking him to pray for a remnant to survive the coming onslaught by the Assyrian army. They had resigned themselves to the idea that they were going to be devastated, but the Word of the Lord came through the Prophet Isaiah:

“Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard- those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put such a spirit in him that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.”

2 Kings 19: 6-7

Isaiah directed Hezekiah to stop hearkening to the words of the King of Assyria’s “underlings”. He had received their threats as “reality” and fear had swept over him and all his officials. Isaiah redirected him to consider the Word of the Lord who promised to cut down the King of Assyria with the sword. Hezekiah was further infused with confidence upon hearing that the King of Egypt was marching out to attack the armies of Assyria. However, intimidation is not stymied by an infusion of confidence!

“Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the Cushite King of Egypt, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?”
2 Kings 19:9-11

Immediately, the field commander struck back with another wave of intimidation and fear attempting to undermine Hezekiah’s new found confidence by re-visiting past successes:

“Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sephavaim or of Hena or Ivvah?”

2 Kings 19:12-13

Hezekiah had first hand knowledge of the Assyrians victories. He had seen close up the Assyrian army sweep in and take Samaria and the northern cities of Judah. He had bargained with “intimidation” in the past, and now it was back to collect!