Sunday, 14th February 2016
Pastor Bruce McDonald
This morning Pastor Bruce shared with us an interesting story that was recorded in Genesis 28, where Jacob had a dream at Bethel:
10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on,21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
As Christians, often we only think about going to heaven from the earth, however Pastor Bruce challenged this idea and believed that God is also concerned about getting heaven to earth. Jacob claimed in the above Scriptures that “the house of God”, which is also “the gate of heaven”, is an “awesome” place. In 1 Timothy 3:15, Apostle Paul wrote, “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Therefore, the church is the house of God, and what had happened to Jacob can also happen to each one of us. Pastor Bruce further guided us to look at 3 things that happened in the house of God:
1) Supernatural activities happen (v.12)
Jacob could see a ladder reaching to heaven and angels “ascending and descending on it”. That was something supernatural! When we the church gather together, we are also setting up a connection between the heaven and the earth. Pastor Bruce urged us to have a hunger heart and high expectation for God to perform supernatural activities every time before we come to church, as we are the house of God, and the gate of heaven is open when we start to worship.
2) The voice of God is heard (v.13-14)
God spoke to Jacob with great promises that seem impossible at that time. However, Pastor Bruce stressed that faith is not against, but superior to what we see or understand. We need to know that God loves to bless His people and wants us to bless others, too. Church is the place where God’s voice is heard, so if you hear what God wants you to say, just speak out!
3) Promises are given and destiny is forged
Jacob’s life was changed after this supernatural encounter with God. His new destination was created as God had given him His promises. Once again, Pastor Bruce urged us to ask God before we come to Him, “God, what are you going to say today? What are you going to do today?”