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Showing posts from February 9, 2014

The Great Lie

We all have experienced the uncovering of a lie in Washington, D.C.  When revealed it encircles a lot of people and takes them all down. Its purpose is made clear but it is still hard to believe that they thought they could get away with it. There was the great lie perpetuated on the Jewish people in the first century. It all began with the death of Jesus Christ. His body was taken by a friend to a cave for burial but the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate, the Roman ruler, and said "Sir we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver [Jesus] said, 'After three days I will rise again.' So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead." (Matthew 27:63-64) So, Pilate order a guard (usually 6-12 men) to seal with wax the tomb's stone to the opening. This was done and the guard was posted but the stone still was rolled a…

Continue in Him

Jesus told a parable about a man going on a journey. He "called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey." (Matthew 25:14-15) The men given the five and two talents went immediately and put the money to work doubling the original amount. The man given one talent hid it due to his perceptions concerning the owner. "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them." (Matthew 25:19) The men who had put the money to work were rewarded and the one that did not had the one talent taken away. As children of God, we need to "continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming." Picture this in the context of the parable and see that we are all given gifts "according to" our ability. This may be strengths given to u…

An Offering

When you come to church do you bring a gift for God? Although we are not the people of Israel, we can learn from what God required of them. "No one is to appear before me empty-handed" (Exodus 34:20) gives us the guideline for coming to worship. This is explained by Moses when he states, "Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread [celebrating the exodus from Egypt], the feast of Weeks [celebrating the first fruits of the wheat harvest], and the Feast of Tabernacles [at the end of the year]. No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed: each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you." (Deut. 16:16-17) There are several truths here to examine. First, all the men are to be present at these events. All were to celebrate the powerful deliverance and provision made by God for the people. No man was to think of himself as "the provi…

Reconnection

Disobedience has a way of removing us from the people who can help and care for us the best. The overwhelming guilt that happens when you do a wrong thing can keep you from resolving the issue. If we look at Adam and Eve we see this so well exampled in that they hid from God after they had partaken of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And what does this hiding keep us from. That is explained in Psalm 32. In this psalm, David is sharing his long reflection on his act of adultery with Bathsheba. He had not only done this act but also had her husband killed in battle. This was now in David's past, but on a quiet night long after Psalm 32 is written. David expresses the pain he experienced in hiding the sins of the incident. It caused him grief and sapped his energy. Then, he confessed and immediately felt the forgiving hand of God on him. He breaks into song about the uplifting feeling of confession and forgiveness. God then says, "I will instruct you and teach you in…

A Child of God

We all begin as children of some couple. We are formed in the womb of our mother and come from there into the world to grow, live and eventually die. Each person is considered a child of Adam when they are born, referencing the initial human that God created and placed in the Garden of Eden. Along with our humanness comes our spiritual nature. It was affected by Adam's decision in the Garden. His choice to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil plunged us all into depravity. We have a sinful nature. It is selfish, bent on fulfilling its desires, and destructive to a positive path in our life. But when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, on the basis of what he did for us on the cross, we are adopted into a new family. God becomes our Father and we are called the children of God. John, the apostle, speaks of this when he says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1…