Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Is Church Still Relevant?

February 13, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 7
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Is Church Still Relevant?
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 3:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, February the 13th. I'm Mark. I've got a great cup of coffee and I've got a good case of the sadness going because yesterday was the Super Bowl and that means football season is officially over. Not everybody's a football fan, but for those of us who love the pigskin, it's gonna be a long time till we get to see some more of that sport that we love. That'll be all right. I guess we'll think about better things now. We'll think about that sermon from yesterday. We'll talk a little bit about Daily Bible reading. We're in a tough book of the Bible, Isaiah, maybe not that hard to understand, but wow, some tough things going on in his life because some tough things are going on in the life of God's people. Let's work on all of that. Let's get started. Yesterday's sermon in the 10 40 was a sermon about church and is it still relevant and nobody likes preaching these kinds of sermons. You're calling out some religious groups that seem to be very far from the New Testament, seem to have lost their faith in the biblical pattern. All of that is not pleasant to see, but it is clearly something that is dominating America's attention as more and more people aren't going to church and aren't affiliating or being members of any kind of church. What's that all about and what should we think about that and say about that and what that sermon did was establish some biblical parameters that help us see the church will always be relevant because it is from the Lord. However, I think I need to say this. While the plan for the New Testament Church and the New Testament Church as it is revealed in the scriptures is always going to be needed and therefore relevant, a local congregation could be calm ear relevant if that church, for example, won't worship, that was the first thing we talked about yesterday. Maybe they're offering unscriptural worship or maybe their worship is halfway done and it's not excellent. We're just ploting through it. We're just just going through the motions. That's not going to help anybody. What about a church where the members don't have relationship, they don't care, they don't help each other, they're not working together, praying together that church can become irrelevant. It's not doing what the church should do. And then thirdly, if a church won't preach and teach the truth that church is irrelevant, it is not what the New Testament tells us a church is all about. I'm very thankful, very thankful that at Westside we have great shepherds who are helping us continue to be and to grow stronger and deeper as a true New Testament church. That's what we want to be. That's who we must be. I think however, it's just important for us to remember that just because we hang the sign out front that says Church of Christ and we do the five things that the New Testament teaches, the church does in worship and we're involved in the three works of the church that the New Testament teaches the New Testament church is supposed to be doing. And we just kind of halfway do that, like I said, go through the motions, ploting through it, not really caring, no energy, no zeal, no enthusiasm, nobody is really implying applying themselves or investing themselves in the local church relationship. And then we say, well, the reason the community's not interested in this church, churches cuz they don't love the truth, really, really. Or maybe when the community comes by and gives New Testament Christianity a try, they look at that and say, that's not very relevant. Nothing's happening there that is stirring the soul or drawing me closer to the Lord. The church is relevant because it comes from God but we have to work to continue to be that church or we won't be relevant as a local congregation. Think about that, pray about that and make sure you're plugged into the local church effort in every way that you possibly can. One of the things that Westside does of course to help us be relevant and draw closer to the Lord is you read the Bible together and we're reading Isaiah. Let's talk about Isaiah chapter four. That's Monday's Bible reading. Welcome to Monday's Daily Bible Reading and as I said, today's reading is in Jose the fourth chapter. We're completing that chapter verses 12 to 19 is our reading for today. We give you a couple of notes here. Please notice verse 11, hor wine and new wine which take away the understanding. That sounds like a proverb and I think one of the things to pick up from that is that unrestrained sexual activity blurs the mind. An excellent Bible scholar Derek Kidner makes that observation in fact wine and new wine and this just giving themselves to the lust of the flesh results in people doing foolish things like inquiring of a walking stick. Bale is often portrayed as kind of a tall, thin idol or tall, thin God God with a little g there of course. And so here Jose says you talk to your walking stick and expect it to give you some kind of guidance. Then in verse 14, God says something a little strange, I'm not gonna punish the women. Why not? Because men are involved in evil doing. I think in both. Uh, in all of these passages we get a sense that both the priest and the men are primarily to blame for a lack of leadership and please tie together verse 11 which take away the understanding. That's the last phrase in verse 11 to verse 14, A people without understanding shall come to ruin. That all harks back of course to verse six, the prostitution and adultery that's being talked about of course here in verse 14 and then verse 15 though you play the who. That's spiritual adultery because of the perversion that went on in temple prostitution and I think this is a good place for us to think a little bit about bail worship. This is not anything even remotely akin to holy and true worship. The fact that the word that's translated cult prostitute or temple prostitute though that term actually usually comes from just one word and that word is the word holy woman. Can you even imagine? Can you even imagine calling someone who's involved in this terrible, terrible degradation and complete wrong use of the sexual relationship and the intimacy that should be reserved for marriage calling that woman goes to the temple is involved in that with any man that will come and make a donation to the temple calling that holiness. In fact, Derek Kidner, the scholar I cited earlier, he notes that bail worship didn't celebrate steadfast long-term covenant love like a good marriage but instead celebrated and used as worship a one-time act of passion. How gross is that? That's what Jose is dealing with here and if you're grossed out that Jose married a woman like that, how does God feel when his people act like that? Verse 17 may be one of the scariest verses Ina leave him alone. That's all that can be done with this. Verse 19 concludes with a picture of a wind that seems to like cause a bird to cover itself with its wings and and then it just sweeps them away. The metaphor there is not easy to decipher precisely what the prophet is going for. So you tomorrow on Tuesday, don't forget, tomorrow is Valentine's Day and if you are blessed to be in a steadfast relationship, don't forget your sweetheart. Tomorrow, Tuesday we read Jose chapter five verses one to seven. Welcome to Tuesday. Today we read Jose chapter five, verse one to seven. Look at the call out at the top of this chapter in verse one, the priest who have been the subject of Jose's withering sermons, chapter four, for example in verse four and the House of Israel, the people of Israel, probably notably the men as we talked about yesterday and now even the king, there's some reference there in verse one to some place names Sspa is is associated with Jacob and of course with Samuel and Saul Tebar is the place where there was a great victory by Deborah and Bayack. There are some translation issues in verse two that may be another place named the place of slaughter. May be a place named there, but our focus today needs to be on verse three. I know Efrim God is in relationship with his people. That's covenant language there, covenant love, but then look at what's going on that's keeping them from serving God. I see a couple of things beginning in verse four. Their deeds don't permit them to return to God. They don't know the Lord. Then verse five, the pride of Israel won't let them return. Focus your attention on those three things. Flesh some of that out in some of the questions that we're asking. Particularly what kind of deeds make it hard to return to the Lord? Think about that. Think about how our pride can keep us, keep us from being able to repent verses six and seven. Then cover how these people are faking church, but God will not accept their worship. Verse seven, the new moon will devour them with their fields not going to be accepted even though the forms of worship continue, they have faithless, they have dealt faithless with the Lord. They're not doing what's right. A stern and harsh rebuke from the prophet Hosea as he turns his attention to the, to all of the people, but particularly again, leadership. Oh, priest, hear this. Give ear, oh, house of the King. See you tomorrow. We'll keep reading in Isaiah five. It is Wednesday and today we read Jose in the fifth chapter beginning in verse eight, all the way down to the end of the chapter in verse 15. And once again we're hearing a strong note of judgment. The place names in verse eight are cities that straddle the border of the two kingdoms, northern and southern kingdom, Israel and Judah respectively. And this is telling us something about what's going to happen when God brings judgment on Israel, the northern kingdom that's going to bring some trouble for the southern kingdom as well. And there is a mix here of things that Judah is about, some sins that Judah needs to repent of as well as God makes mention of both kingdoms. So for example, verse 10 talks about Judah moving landmarks. That's land stealing, that's real estate swindling. Micah Tutu calls some of this out and in all of it what you see is God at work, even though a human army will show up and actually do the work, God takes the credit because God's the one punishing. God is the one doing this using the tool of the Serian army. Speaking of the Assyrians, even though God is working silently, is that the metaphor in verse 12 of moth and dry rot, the Assyrians are going to be the problem. In verse 13, the prophet talks about how they run off to Assyria to make an alliance they won't return to the Lord. We'll read more about that in Second Kings 15 the week of March the 12th. We're in a place here where we're trying to read all of Jose and then we're gonna read Jonah, Jonah and Jose and Amos all are concurrent. Then we'll go get more of that history. But you might make a note out beside verse 13 that that probably references what goes on in second Kings 15. Then finally verse 15 really goes with the material in chapter six, God says they have withdrawn from me and now God says I am withdrawing from you, but there appears to be some repentance. Is there? We'll talk about that tomorrow in chapter six. If it is Thursday and today we read the entire sixth chapter of Isaiah coming out of verse 15 from chapter five yesterday. Now we get come, let us return to the Lord Isaiah six verse one. And as you read that initially you may feel like, Hey, the preaching's working, these people are returning to the Lord. But that doesn't seem to be the case at all, particularly given what Jose says in verse four, what shall I do with you Oe Abraham? What shall I do with you? O Judah, your love is like a morning cloud, like the do that goes early away. Something is amiss here. This is not what God is looking for. The possibility seemed to me to be twofold. First verse one, two, and three in chapter six may be expressing what Jose wants them to say. Hey, let me tell you what you should be doing. Let me tell you what you need to say to God. Or it's possible, yes, it's just a fake, they say all this stuff but God knows they don't really mean it. And in in the end the bottom line is God doesn't accept it. Verse four, God says, I'm not fooled or you aren't saying it as Jose was trying to teach you to say it. However, this is a great description of what repentance sounds like and looks like and acts like great passage to write down in your Bible. What do we do to repent? How do we repent? This passage is covering that in a great way. Let us return to the Lord. He will bind us up. And there's some language in verse two that maybe makes us think a little bit about the sign of Jonah in three days, which of course always points us to Jesus. You'll need to decide if you think there's some messianic implications there. Unfortunately, as I said, they are not repenting. Religion for them is not about being in re in relationship with the Lord. It seems to be about just going through the motions. Let's offer God a sacrifice that'll keep him happy and we can go back to doing what we want to do. But God says, I don't want those kind of sacrifices. Verse six, I want a relationship, steadfast love. In verse three is, I'm sorry, in verse six is the term has said that special Hebrew word that we really lack an English word for that means covenant love, covenant faithfulness, standing by your word even when one is not worthy of that. And then there's kind of a tour of all the sin going on in the land and the word Adam in verse seven may in fact be a place there they dealt faithless with me. It may be a reference to the man himself, but there's all kinds of sinning going on in Adam, in Gilead, in Shaham. Everything is terrible. Hopefully verse 11, which really goes with tomorrow's reading gives us a little bit of hope. We need to think more about that on Friday. It is Friday and today we read Isaiah chapter seven verses 1 27. This goes with six verse 11 where God says, when I restore the fortunes of my people or I want to restore the fortunes of my people. Unfortunately God can't do that. Why? Because they won't repent. The evil deeds of Samaria and the iniquity of efrim are revealed. They think God doesn't see their evil acts, but God continues of course to see that. And even though he doesn't want to destroy his people, in fact is offering the possibility of restoration and healing. They just continue in evil doing their deeds, surround them. Verse two, they are before my face. Then beginning in verse three, we start getting some political imagery here and the metaphor is baking, baking dough, baking bread in an overheated oven. And what this talks about then is all kinds of assassinations, all kinds of political intrigues that went on in Israel in some of its last days. We'll read some of this in Second Kings 15, as I said earlier this week we'll be in Second Kings 15 in March and we'll be able to pick some of this up and see what's going on. But Pahia is assassinated by Pika and then pka is assassinated by Hoshi and then Meam comes uh, to the throne. There's just one king after another, and of course the kingdom gets more and more unstable than Meam calls on a Syria. The just every kinds of trouble going on here as one group or one military leader, seizes control, and then another group, another leader kills him and takes control. You'll notice that assassination metaphor in verse seven. They are hot as an oven. They devour their rulers, all their kings have fallen. We see more of that I think down in verse 14, particularly the idea, none of them calls upon me. They don't cry to me. Verse 14, from the heart. That's super important to Jose because this is about knowing God. This is about relationship with God. Don't lose sight in all the imagery and the dark tone of Jose of what this is about. We wanna draw near to God. If you don't do anything else, just flip the reading. Go in verse on it. Everything they did was wrong and drove them away from God. Flip it, turn it over, make it a negative the other, like a photo negative. Wow. Do people even know what photo negatives are anymore with digital cameras? Invert it. I guess in Photoshop would be the language of today. Invert the text and see what's right. If this is everything that's wrong, what should I do? That would be right. That would commend me to God and give me a greater relationship with the Lord, particularly when I need the repent of sin. That's the podcast for the week. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate the kind things people say about the podcast and I'm just thrilled that it's helping you in your daily Bible reading. If it is, please, please rate and review the podcast. That helps it rise up in the rankings. And when people Google for a podcast about daily Bible reading, this podcast is more likely to show if more people have said, Hey, this one's a good one, this one's working. This one will help you read your Bible. Telling someone else about the podcast is the best thing that you can do. If you want to get the word out. There's just nothing like word of mouth advertising. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is a great and wonderful Friday, and I pray the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you Sunday at Westside and of course, podcast listeners, I expect I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP, B E A T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,

Sermon Notes
Monday Hosea 4:12-19
Tuesday Hosea 5:1-7
Wednesday Hosea 5:8-15
Thursday Hosea 6:1-11
Friday Hosea 7:1-7