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Showing posts from December 16, 2012

Advocate and Adversary

There is a perpetual hearing going on at the Throne of God in regards to those who are a part of the people of God. It is illustrated clearly in Zechariah 3:1, "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his side to accuse him."
Satan comes and goes before the Lord. The sacrifice of Christ has made it possible for evil to stand in the presence of God, at least for a time. So, Satan stands there not to advocate for us but to accuse us. God is the judge, Jesus is our defense attorney (1John 2:1) and Satan is the prosecuting attorney. Satan roars (1Peter 5:8) and reviews all our sins before God. He stands beside to deride not to praise. Note his purpose concerning Job in Job 1:6 and 2:1. He seeks to deny us the grace of the Father.
Jesus is our advocate, speaking on our behalf.He has paid the debt we owe. He is totally able to defend us before the Father. Stephen saw him there soon after the resurrection (Acts 7:56) as he…

Reason for the Season

Many years ago comedian Flip Wilson coined the phrase "The Devil made me do it!" This became a popular restatement as they looked for an excuse for their wayward ways.

There is a connection between the Devil and humans as is stated in Revelation 12:9 when it says, "who leads the whole world astray" and 1John 5:19 when John stated that "the whole world is under the control of the evil one."
When we tie the sinfulness of man through Adam and Eve's decision in the garden with the perpetual influence of the Devil who entices us to evil, we can say that we, the human race, are in grave danger. It is only by the grace of God that we are saved from this double trouble. 1John 3:8 states, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." God sent his Son into the world "that we might live through him." (1John 4:9)He is the reason for the season of Christmas. Let us rejoice in this season that the Son was made flesh an…

Watching You

Person of Interest is a weekly TV series that centers on the governments capability to be "Big Brother watching you" all the time. The two men who star in the show have the ability to tap into the system and use it for good rather than for evil. It's an interesting take on a seemingly omniscient electronic system.
However much truth at present is in a system like this existing, God can do better. In Psalm 139 there is a powerful picture of the omniscience (all knowing) and omnipresence (everywhere presence) of God.
"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain." (Psalm 139:1-6)
Consider the fact that God knows you better t…

Bad People

Throughout the Bible by the hand of His authors God brings powerful pictures of the badness of the human heart. That is true especially in the book of Proverbs where clear and concise pictures are revealed of dark-hearted people. Here we see four contenders for the trophy:
"There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful; those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind." (Proverbs 30:11-14)
Disobedient and inconsiderate children get the first nod for the trophy. These are children that curse their fathers who protect and provide for them and do not bless the woman who carried them to the point of birth.
Second, are those who are self-righteous. They never do anything wrong in their own eyes considering every action that they perfo…

Thanks Unending

There is some repetition noticed in particular Psalms but none can match the repetition of the refrain of Psalm 136. It is the same every time, possibly because this Psalm was written to be used in worship. A variety of individuals could speak the first half of every verse but the whole body would easily raise the words of that last half: "His love endures forever."
This response is given to the position of God and His various actions. He is the God of gods, the creator, rescuer, victor, the friend when we have need, and the God of heaven and His love is to His people and extends beyond them to a world of people. "For God so loved the world." (John 3:16)
Why these 26 repetitions of the same refrain? We know that it takes at least 21 days to create a habit and more to break one. We also know that we are more ungrateful than thankful about all that surrounds us. The creation in all its colors and seasons we seemingly ignore daily. Sure we are interested in if it's …

Remember

What do you remember about the passing years of your life as a believer? We have short memories and often accuse God of being the cause of the problems we have experienced. Israel did the same thing.
In Micah 6:5 the scene is a courtroom and the mountains have been called to judge God's handling of the people of Israel. In this verse Micah defends God by saying, "My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord."
Balak requested of Balaam a curse upon the people of Israel but Balaam gave a blessing to Israel. God was not going to allow Israel to be cursed so he spoke these words of blessing out of Balaam's mouth.
Shittim was the area where the people of Israel camped before crossing over the Jordan River into the promise land. Here Joshua became their new leader and the 2 ½ tribes requested their inheritance be on the east side of the…