Showing posts from January 10, 2016

Gentle - Being Like Jesus Series #20

Gentle is not a word by which men choose to describe themselves. It sounds too soft and motherly. It seems to downgrade their physical strength. They want to be seen as hard and strong. However, Jesus said the following, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) The word "gentle" used here is the Greek word "praus" and another form of that word is used in Galatians 5:23 and translated as "meekness" in some translations and "gentleness" in others. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Meekness (gentleness) has been described as power with restraint and that is not a reference so much to physical strength as to inner strength. It is reasonable but not weak; yielded but not spineless. It is a gentle manliness which is not native to the human heart. A spiritual explan

Messiah Jesus

Old Testament Scriptures gave prophetic emphasis to a Messiah that would come and rule over Israel and the world. He would be in the line of King David and visible to all. Then time passed, until Jesus arrived. John the Baptist had been preaching repentance when his cousin, Jesus, walked down to the water and was baptized by him. Later John said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) A few months later John's disciples questioned him about Jesus being the Messiah. He told them to go see for yourself. They went to Jesus and asked him point blank, "Are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?" (Matthew 11:2) Jesus response was, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor." (Matthew 11:4-5) He said this to tie Old Testament prophecies a

Sheep, Serpents and Doves

Here are the three animals that exhibit traits that should be characteristic of a believer. Jesus talked about being "the good shepherd," therefore, making us as believers his sheep. Sheep are innocent animals that follow their shepherd. He provides everything for them as Psalm 23 says, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." (23:1) Sheep are also a prey animal, that is why Jesus, after calling and then sending out his twelve disciples for the first time said, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.." (Matthew 10:16a) Jesus does not sugarcoat the experience of being his follower and living among a world of viciously wicked people (wolves) filled with and animated by sin. Jesus establishes his authority over his sheep. He sets the expectation that there is a price in discipleship that may even take their life, so don't think this is a journey into Oz or Disneyland. It is serious business being a sheep. Jesus not only commissione

Society's Destruction

If we take the long and larger view of what is happening in society around us, we would have to conclude that men are not on an "upward trail" but rather going deeper and deeper into evil, decadence and selfishness. Is this the first time society has been dominated by evil? No, it is not. David lived in a time when a treacherous King Saul sought his life. The army was enlisted to find David and kill him. David's friends said, "flee like a bird to your mountain." (Psalm 11:1) The wicked bend their bow and arrows sit on their strings, so it was time to "get out of Dodge." They felt it better to hide than to stand up to this treachery. The question was asked, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (11:3) That was a good question. It suggested that foundations cannot be repaired and that destroying entities cannot be overcome. We could be asking this same question as we look today at society's downward spi

God's Choice

After the first eleven chapters of Genesis with their bigger than life stories about the Garden of Eden, the fall, Noah, and the tower of Babel, God choses one man, Abraham and Genesis twelve to fifty shares the rest of his story. Abraham and Sarah have Isaac, but along the way Sarah's servant Hagar has Ishmael. Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, are sent away from Abraham and Sarah and Ishmael and his new wife from Egypt birth Nabaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These twelve become the tribal leaders of Ishmael's clan and live in "hostility toward all their brothers." (Genesis 25:13-18) During this time Lot goes through the Sodom and Gomorrah destruction and flees for his life, ending up in a cave and producing two sons, Moab and Ben-Ammie, by his daughters. So grow the people of Moab and Ammon who are a thorn in future Israel's side perpetually. (Genesis 19:36) Abraham sends a servant to Haran, his pr