Welcome Sunday at Pasadena Tabernacle

Written by Lt. Colonel Don McDougald

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This was a special Sunday as we welcomed our new corps officers, Captains Terry and Rutendo Masango. After the rousing song, “Who is on the Lord’s side,” the Masangos were marched to the front preceded by the corps flags. Their daughters were present with other teenagers in the balcony. Lt. Colonels Kyle and Lisa Smith, divisional leaders installed them formally.

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The scripture portion was Matthew. 5:1-16. Captain Masango began his message by remembering a trip to Hawaii to speak at Youth Councils. His grandmother was in Zimbabwe, it was recommended that you not drink the water because it was untreated. But the grandmother drank from a faucet and developed cholera. Four days later she was Promoted to Glory. Both Terry and his brother flew to Zimbabwe for the funeral. She died because she drank water that looked clean but was not pure.

The message for the next few weeks will focus on Heart Purity. Verse 8 in the scripture passage records that Matthew was a tax collector and was good at gathering information. Matthew point in his book was to prove that Jesus was the Lord. The book contains 5 main teachings of which chapters 5, 6 and 7 were the main teaching. It encompasses the Sermon on the Mount and begins with the Beatitudes. The Jews were taught that only God could share a blessing on the people. But Jesus was offering a blessing on the people, the workers, the poor, the marganilized. Blessed means “spiritual favors have been placed on you” even if you didn’t deserve them. You are blessed if your heart is pure.

Jesus is talking about the heart which can not be seen. Your spiritual heart is the center of your will, your thoughts, your being, everything that is within you. The heart is where you decide that you love Jesus. It the place of decisiveness and decision. The heart molds your character. Heart disease is first described in Genesis 6:5 “his heart was only evil all the time. Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart is deceitful…” Sin is not so much the action but the conception of the action. Ezekiel 36:26 says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…”

Pure means clean, unspoiled, without blemish, free from adulteration. A pure heart cannot be tempted and yielding to the temptation is sin. A wise man said “I can not stop birds from flying over my head but I can stop them from making a nest in my hair.” We can’t stop the thought of temptation but we can stop them from controlling our lives. We need to run to God, confess our sins and He will purify us. Matthew 5 reminds us that Jesus described a pure heart as undivided devotion and spiritual integrity. A pure heart is a heart that has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit from all sin. A pure heart denotes integrity. A pure heart is directed by the Word of God and is focused on knowing God.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting..
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence, Take not they holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.

Written by Lt. Colonel Don McDougald

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