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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.
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 May the 15th. I'm Mark and I hope that you are ready to think about daily Bible reading and think a little bit more about yesterday's sermon. We're starting the week with a look back and a look forward, all designed to put it together for us in a way that loads this week up with lots of spiritual momentum. I am of course doing this while holding a cup of coffee and I have to tell you this is not a great cup of coffee because I use some really old beans and they just, oh, they're past their prime. Should have got fresh roasted coffee. But be that as it may, I've got my sermon notes, I've got my Bible open to the book of Joel and I am ready. Let's get started. Yesterday I preached maybe what seemed like a counterintuitive sermon since it was Mother's Day and I talked at length about the best gift that mom can give, not the gift that mom can receive, but the best gift that mom can give. And that of course always is a little bit the different approach, but it goes well with the moms because that's, that's who our moms are. They're just always thinking about giving of themselves and there is no better gift than a mother can give than to give her family the gift of a strong, robust marriage. And I really emphasize going for great, that's so important. And so I'm just gonna give you one additional thought about that and that is how we talk and what we say, how we talk with young couples when they get engaged. If you watch when a couple comes to church and they, she's got that ring on her finger and they're all bubbly and we've seen the pictures on social media of their engagement or maybe even this would apply to newly married young couples, they're just excited and they're just all about it. And then just sure as the world, someone is gonna say, well, you'd better enjoy it now cuz it's not gonna last. Or maybe someone will say to that newly engaged young man, oh, putting on the old balling chain, are you, why do we do that? Stop doing that. We do not want to tell a young couple that God's plan for marriage is somehow awful and they've ruined their lives because they've decided to get married or because they have just gotten married. I understand you understand there's a glow with some of this newness and and some of that's gonna change and the relationship is gonna mature and it's gonna get better in many ways. But let's not disparage God's plan by telling a young couple, they have wrecked their future because they plan to get married or have gotten married. What we're really doing there think about it, is we're telling on ourselves, we're saying we haven't worked God's plan and our marriage is crummy and I don't think you're gonna be able to work God's plan either and your marriage is gonna be crummy. If your marriage is crummy, repent, go back to the word of God and do what's right and build a great marriage. But please don't knock down the hopes and dreams of those who are on the cusp of beginning the great relationship that marriage can be. Hope that helps you as you think a little bit about that hope, that sermon yesterday helped you. A little difficult to talk about great marriage. I know not everybody has one and I know that can be kind of complicated and difficult. I tried to reach out and say some things about that yesterday. All in all, a great day yesterday. Additional shepherds here at Westside, that's, that's the big takeaway from yesterday. And I do hope that you honored your mama even, even as I know she wanted to do things for her family. I hope that you did some things to let her know how much you appreciate her. I'm so blessed to have my mom at West Side with me and it's just a joy. She has just been such an enormous influence in my life. My wife is the just an incredible mother. I'm so thankful for Dina and just pray blessings upon my mom and upon Dina and upon all the moms out there. Just keep that. Just keep all those good feelings about mom going. That doesn't have to be just one day a year, does it? Well, speaking of good feelings, well, a book of Joel probably doesn't have a lot. I can't transition into the book of Joel with that. That would've been a really nice segue, but it's not gonna work because the book of Joel has got bugs in it and it's got the call to repentance. That's where we are in our reading this week. Let's go get some daily Bible reading. Let's talk about the book of Joel. It is Monday and today read from the book of Joel, Joel chapter two verses 12 to 17. This is a very short reading, but it will take you some time because it is just a full, full reading, full of implication, full of application. This is some of the most powerful words in the Old Testament about repentance. Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning. Render your hearts and not your garments. This is a repetition of what Joel had said in chapter one in verses 13 and 14, but it is elaborated and given more detail. There's more substance here than the earlier call to repentance. And the message here is that with with sincere repentance, the judgment that Joel has been talking about can in fact be averted. I wonder about this return to me with all your heart. That's an echo out of Deuteronomy, the 30th chapter versus two to 10. And then the idea again of render your hearts and not your garments. I wonder is there empty ritual going on during the time of Joel? We will see that in Malachi. I wonder about Joel and where I have placed Joel in our reading schedule. Sometimes I want him much, much earlier and now I'm thinking about putting him much, much later because there's not a mention here of idolatry. But the idea is we need to turn to God and there is a powerful word play here on turn used in verse 12, return or turn to me and then verse 13, return or turn to the Lord. Now verse 14, who knows whether or not he will turn to you? That's the idea. Here will God turn to us and the bride and bride groom are urged to leave the honeymoon. Verse 16. That's how urgent this is. And of course there is no mention here of locust. Instead there is the mention in verse 17 of how they had become a byword among the people among the nations. And so as one scholar wrote the taunting question, where is your God implies that God had abandoned Judah and this grounds for ridicule because to be abandoned means to be declared, undesirable, lacking in worth. And so this natural disaster had suggested to foreign peoples that God no longer had an interest in helping his people. So this humiliation is being linked to the honor of God by emphasizing their connection to God with a series of possessive pronouns. Your people, your heritage, their God, the Lord is asked here to intervene in order to salvage the reputation of those who worship him and by implication to defend his own name. I think verse 17 is full of meaning verses 12 and 13. We just need to sit down in that and think a lot about our repentance. This is a great place to have a conversation with our children. Had good conversation with some folks last week about how this reading plan has helped them to have some good talks with their kids. We don't think of the minor prophets as being fertile ground for children's Bible story hour, but verses 12 and 13 really roadmap what it's like to repent. And that is something kids need to be all about. Sometimes we make'em say they're sorry and there's probably a place for that, but that's not the same as repenting and Joel's helping us think about that today. See you tomorrow as we'll. Continue in Joel chapter two. It is Tuesday and today we complete Joel chapter two. Nope, that's not right. It's just Joel chapter two, 18 to 27, not the entire chapter. I'm about to cut out a Joel, that enormously important section we read tomorrow that plays right into Peter sermon in Acts two. So I need to back that up. It's Joel two 18 to 27 and this is God's response or is it God's response? That's the difficulty here with these verses. Do we see this as the promise of restoration? If they'll do that repenting thing we talked about yesterday in verses 12 and 13 or have things changed because they did repent, then the Lord verse 18 became jealous for his name because they did the repenting and now God brings the blessing. You'll have to think about how to work with that. Notice the Northerner, that could be a Syria, that could be Babylon enemies for Israel. And Judah always come from the north as the nature of the fertile crescent. The Northerner dies that is killed, is dealt with and the stench of their dead bodies arise. No, it's time to bless the Lord and be glad. Verse 21 in verse 21 to 24 just completely flips around the disaster that had been talked about in chapter one. All the things that we hear about in chapter one. In chapter one and verse 10, the Fields's mourn. Now chapter two in verse 21, Oland be glad and rejoice animals cry out. Verse 20 of chapter one, the beast of the field pant. Now the animals are told that not be afraid, chapter two and verse 22. So all the key terms in chapter one are picked up and then they're flipped as God brings tremendous blessing here. And in fact, even the things that the locust, all those terms for locust that we read in chapter one, those are repeated in verse 25 and everything is good. Everything is glorious. Either because they repented or this is what can happen. If you will repent, keep your eye on verse 27. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the Lord your God. And there is no one else. It's all about knowing God. It's all about being in relationship with God. Who is God? What does he do? What does he like caring about God and caring about what God cares about? That's what this judgment was designed to bring about. And either it has brought it about or it's going to bring it about if the people will repent. We really need to think about that. I I, I am absolutely convinced that so many people see God as just angry and just mad and he's just destroying and judging and s sliding people and and that's the end of that. But when there is punishment without instruction, when there is punishment, without the goal of bringing someone to restoration and and to restoring that relationship and for there to be love and care and mutual concern, that kind of thing, that's called child abuse. That's called child abuse. You just beat a kid out of the blue for no reason. A kid doesn't even know what's going on. That's terrible. God doesn't do that. God wants his children to know him. That's why Joel is here to instruct the people we need to hold onto that. We need to think about that. We need to learn from that tomorrow. We will. Hey, finally getting this right, we will finish Joel chapter two with some of the most important passages in the book of Joel. See you on Wednesday. Welcome to Wednesday. And today we read Joel chapter two verses 28 to 32. This is probably the most famous section of Joel because this is what Peter uses to launch his sermon on the day of Pentecost. And of course Peter settles when all these things shall come to pass. Verse 28, it shall come to pass afterward. Peter says in Acts chapter two in verse 17, this is what the prophet was speaking of so that that settles that we don't have any discussion, any need to speculate about that this is a prophecy of the gospel going forth and the church beginning the kingdom of God being inaugurated, all the things that happen after the death bear and resurrection of Jesus. All those things that are detailed in Acts chapter two. And what we get is an outpouring of revelation. And what we get here is the idea that people are going to have free access to God on an equal basis. Some of this reminds you a little bit of what Paul says about no longer male or female or junior or Greek bond or free. In Galatians chapter three, everybody has access to the spirit of God and to a relationship with God. Verse 28, just an incredible and wonderful thing. Maybe we just need to back up a little bit and think about the average Israelite or the average Jew going to the temple, going to the tabernacle. You don't get to go in the tabernacle, you don't get to go in the temple, you don't get to go into the most holy place. There is relationship with God there, but it's very much mediated through the priesthood and you very much are being held at arm's length. And now Joel talks about a time when everybody will have access to God and and be able to serve the Lord. And going with that then will also come a time of judgment that begins in verse 30. And the term is wonder here. It's a term that's used of importance, something that signals a decisive act of God. In fact, the term is most often used in the Old Testament to refer to the Exodus plagues in Exodus chapter 11 verses nine in 10 or in or in Deuteronomy chapter 26 in verse eight, or Psalm 78 in verse 43. These are the actions of God, that signal that God is doing something very decisive, heaven and earth, blood, fire, smoke, all of that point back to the things that Joel's been saying about the Locust Plague. And it sounds like the end of the world. Of course we know that it's not the end of the world. Jesus uses some of this language also in Luke 21, Matthew 24, he talks about the destruction of Jerusalem and what this is saying to us and what Joel is really the first to run out. And then Peter, like I said, makes use of this, Jesus makes use of this, is that the time when the gospel goes forward will be a time when people can be right with God, but it's also gonna be a time of terrible judgment. And you're either with the Lord or you're judged. And the way to be with the Lord is to do what? Verse 32 call on the name of the Lord. How can you be saved from this frightening? I mean, it almost sounds like an end of the world scenario, not by your own strength, not by running away. No, not by fighting. Hey, we're gonna take on the Romans when they encamp around Jerusalem and we'll just defeat. No, no, you won't. The only way to survive this is to call on the name of the Lord to say to the Lord, I can't do it. Please save me. And that of course is exactly what Peter preaches on the day of Pentecost. And those people are convicted. There's more to Peter sermon than just Joel chapter two. There's some Psalm one 10, some other Psalms as he proves that Jesus is the Messiah, that they have murdered and crucified. And these people in Acts chapter two realize that they have done the most terrible thing and that the judgment of God will fall upon them. And they say, men and brethren, what shall we do? In other words, the sermon is about how to call upon the name of the Lord. And the answer to that in Acts 2 38 is you repent and you're baptized. And when you do that, you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You see how that works in context here, relationship with God, the forgiveness of your sins. Maybe there's lots of discussion about that. This is in a podcast on Acts chapter two. But you receive the gift of Holy Spirit and you receive the remission of your sin so that the judgment of God does not fall on you. And of course, this certainly helps us understand exactly what an Anais means when he tells the apostle Paul, who at the time of course is not the apostle Paul, and he tells him, you need to arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name, acts 2216. That sets in the context of what we just read here in Joel. So we spend a lot of time in the Book of Acts and sometimes we don't ever talk about Joel in its own context. And we get to do that today. Locust Plague, terrible destruction. Do some repenting Joel two 12 and 13. Then there could be blessing from God verse 18 to 27 of chapter two. And then the, all of that points to the ultimate move of God when the gospel's going to go forward. And then there will be judgment on those who reject the gospel, who rejected God's Son. Need to think about that, don't we? And make sure that that plugs into our understanding of the Book of Acts. What a great place to be reading. Isn't it marvelous to read the minor prophets? The the, the reality is we just don't spend a lot of time here. There's so many great things going on in the Bible. It's hard to get everywhere and sometimes the minor prophets do get kind of dusty and get some cobwebs on'em. And we just haven't really dug around in the book of Joel and gotten out all the great stuff he has for us. And we're getting to do that this year. And we are, we're drawing closer to the Lord because we're spending time in the prophets. See you tomorrow. We'll start Joel chapter three. Welcome to Thursday. And today we start, Joel, the third chapter, Joel, three verses one to 10. And there is a loose tie here. Maybe the chapter division is unfortunate to the theme in chapter two of restoration and judgment and some being saved. In fact, verse two says, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. And Jehoshaphat is a Hebrew name, Hebrew word that means the Lord is judged. So even the name of the valley is symbolic. Please remember that as we come to verse chapter to verse 12 in our chapter. And then Ty and Seidner called out in verse four. They are dominant empires during this time. And there's lots of prophetic words to them. They were to see in a trading empire, financially, wealthy economically, they were a superpower during this time. Here they're accused of attacking God's people, but we really, we really don't have a historical event that corresponds to that specifically. Maybe they're a type of the Babylonians who will come and attack God's people. One scholar said whatever occurrence lies behind these passages, it bears the general, they bear the general marks of a disrespect for the Lord in oppression of the week, which characterizes the nation's dealings with Israel. I think that's helpful to us. Maybe there are some types and anti types going on here. They do seem to think that they're retaliating against God in verse four, are you paying me back for something? But in verses seven and eight, God says, I'll tell you what, I'll pay you back. I will turn your deeds back upon you. And then there's this call in verse nine for a day of great battle again, the idea of the day of the Lord being a day of darkness and of war and of terror and awful judgment, cataclysm falling upon the world. And there's a lot of that language. And sometimes we just automatically think of the end of all things in the second coming. And I've said so many times, and I'm stressing again here, don't do that. Don't do that. There can be many judgments, um, small versions of what will eventually be the final judgment that warn us about that and that equip us to understand more about that and the destruction on Jerusalem that comes in 80, 67 to 80 70 when the, the Roman armies come and destroy the city. That that was a enormously significant and tremendously important judgment. It's not the end of all things. Unfortunately. There are some brethren who've even fallen off into that and have decided that that was the end of no, no, no, no, no. But it is really, really important. And it is a time when the nation themselves up and they come to the valley of Jehoshaphat and there's gonna be judgment here as God pours out his wrath on those who reject the gospel. Talked about that some yesterday. Look at verse 10, beat your PLAs into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. That's a reversal of what we have been reading in Isaiah chapter two. And the Micah four quotation of that, or, or Isaiah's quoting Micah four or Micah's quoting is Isaiah. I'm not sure I can work all that out. But there what you read is take your implements of war and make them into farm implements. And here the wars going on and you need to get your farm implements and make them into war implements. How about that? Get your weapons ready because God is coming and the Lord is near verse 14 in the valley of decision. And somehow I've jumped into tomorrow's reading a little bit, which really begins in verse 11. But, but you're equipped as we continue to move forward and finish the book of Joel. It's a time of judgment. And I wanna say a lot more about that on Friday. See you then. It is Friday. And technically, even though I rolled into this reading yesterday, technically the reading begins in Joel three verse 11 and goes through the end of the chapter. And this is the idea of Jerusalem being restored in blessed after this terrible time of decision. Verse 14, multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision is time of judgment. The sun and the moon are darkened and the stars withdraw their shining. Verse 15, that's not literal. That just means it's such a cataclysm. It's like the sky went black and the Lord roars for because the enemies of God's people, they get all ready to attack and they don't realize that God will fight for his people and that God will deliver them the wine press. I should have said this yesterday cause I was rolling into these verses. The wine press, verse 13 is a common image for judgment in war. You crush out grapes by stomping on them barefoot, and then the juice flows through channels and the wine press down into the vats. But of course it splatters everywhere. And so your garments would get all this reddish purple on them and it would look like blood. It's a, it's a very apt image for bloodshed and warfare and all that goes with that. And then again, we get this idea of the day of the Lord. This is the last mention verse 14 of the day of the Lord in the book of Joel. And it is this decisive moment when God comes to save and deliver his people. And so that will result verse 17 in people knowing the Lord. That's what this is about. I want you to know me to care about me. This is chapter two in verse 27, repeated again, the idea of relationship with God. I'm jotting that down in my Bible, make sure that I'm holding onto that. And then there's prosperity verse 18, prosperity expressed in a way that an agricultural people would understand just as a locust judgment would get their attention. I had wonderful conversation the other day, uh, with a sister in Christ who was talking about a terrible hailstorm that came on the DFW area and shattered windows and just smashed some people's houses and they had to go help clean up and the just terrible how the trees had been beaten down and how much hail damage had occurred in this home. Well, we, I, I think we would understand a hail plague. Can, can you have a plague of hail maybe in a way that we don't understand the locust plague. But the prophet is speaking here in a figure of speech and a metaphor that they're going to understand. The, the mountains drip was sweet wine before there was no wine. It had been cut off by the locust in chapter one in verse 10. Now the, the mountains just drip with wine in Egypt and represent verse 19, the nations that attack God's people and, and, and they're destroyed. They're, they're put away. No more of that. Instead, God's people dwell in safety because the Lord dwells with them. Verse 21, the idea of God dwelling with his people is such a central issue in the Bible. That's what Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. They walked and talked with God and the Bible is about the restoration of our fellowship with God so that we can be in his presence. That is the central theme in the Book of Revelation, by the way. So often people talk about heaven in some kind of retirement homes kind of terms, and that is a terrible mistake. Don't, oh, please, we don't want to retire and play golf all the time, go fishing all the time. What we want to do is be with God. That's what we were made for. I will avenge their blood, blood. I have not avenge for the Lord. Dwells in Zion. God's people will be with God. And I, I think that relates back, I think that comes out of the Joel two passage when the gospel is preached, that opens the door, the avenue for us to be with God because the gospel makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven. Without that, we can never know that kind of fellowship with the Lord. There it is. Then Wow, we got to spend time in the book of Joel. Like I was saying, isn't that amazing? I'm not sure I understand everything that Joel is saying and exactly where the historical reference is to this or to that. And I'm sure I don't understand the hards of a locust plague like I really should. And I hope I don't ever have to understand that locust plague like that. You let be Ian Gross. Don't want to see the locust. Okay? But it's just, just so good to sit down in this book and hear this prophet preach and, and I just appreciate you reading the Bible with me. Thank you for listening. If you like the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, I hope that you have subscribed or followed the podcast so it'll automatically download onto your device, give us a review that really helps other people find the show. And of course, the bestest thing to do is to tell people about the show. People wanna know about the Bible. People would love to read the Bible. One of the big barriers, every survey always shows, I talked about this a couple of weeks ago in the 9:00 AM hour. A huge barrier to people getting into the Bible is they're not sure where to start and they don't understand what they're reading. You can help'em with that, point them to the podcast. So until next week, I hope that your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today all day, and I will 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 christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is 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,