Posts

Showing posts from April 24, 2016

Grace-Filled

Jesus is said to be "full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) What does this mean? We can explain it first by contrasting it to the Law. In verse 1:17, John says, "the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." The Law was "given" or bestowed and delivered to the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai through Moses. It provided a covering for sins but not a pardoning of them, which could only come through the right kind of sacrifice. The Law revealed God's holiness, His standards and how He must stand apart from men until that divide could be crossed. However, grace and truth "came" through Jesus Christ. They revealed the love and faithfulness of God. They came embodied in this person, his works and his words. Jesus came to reunite men and God; to be the bridge that man could pass over to be with God. And here's the very special thing, the grace did not have to only support itself but was anchored in truth. The word t…

Jesus Christ

We get focused on seeing Jesus in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but is Christ present in the rest of the Bible? Joining in a walk to Emmaus with two disciples was a mystery man. It happened to be the resurrected Jesus Christ, but "they were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:16) He spoke, "beginning with Moses [the books of Genesis-Deuteronomy] and all the Prophets [and the Psalms], he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:27, 44)  There are 333 prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament from Genesis 3:15 through the Old Testament major and minor prophets and of course in the Psalms as in 22:7-8,16; 35:11; 72:10; 41:9 and many more. Further we see him identified as the "Angel of Jehovah" or "the angel of the Lord" speaking to Hagar Genesis 16:7; wrestling with Jacob Genesis 32:28; to Moses in the burning bush, Exodus 3:2,14; to Gideon the judge in Judges 6:11 and many m…

Humility

Why is it that the story of Gideon takes up four chapters in the book of Judges? It holds in the story several lessons to meditate on and today we focus on Gideon's humility. Gideon saw himself and his family heritage as, "my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." (6:15) Later on after God releases 31,700 of Gideon's fighting men to go home and Gideon is left with only 300 men, He sends Gideon and his servant to the edge of the enemies camp to over hear what they think of him. They speak of a dream in which a "round loaf of barley bread" tumbles into the Midianite camp and destroys it. (7:13) The word "barley" in the Hebrew language means "the hairy, bristling thing." So, Gideon sees himself as from a weak heritage and the least of that heritage. Midian sees him as a hairy, bristling thing; a loaf of bread. Neither the conqueror nor his enemies sees him as a great leader. But, when the angel of the Lord, who …

Know Yourself

How well do you know yourself? It seems a simple question but is it simply done? What does knowing yourself provide for you? Solomon said much about a foolish man and also the wise. The two never met, i.e. the wise and the foolish. He said, "The wisdom of the prudent [wise] is to give thought to their ways…" (Proverbs 14:8) Paul consolidated quotes from the Psalms in Romans 3:9-18 identifying us all as "under sin," "no one righteous," "no one who understands, no one who seeks God," "all turned away," and "no one who does good." He went on to say, our mouths "practice deceit," "are full of cursing and bitterness," "our feet are swift to shed blood," "ruin and misery mark [our] ways," and "there is no fear of God before [our] eyes." We convince ourselves that our actions are right, selfless, and our motives are pure. But deep down inside we deceive ourselves. We look in the mi…

Earth's Testimony

What do Mt. Everest, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Pike's Peak, the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, the Grand Canyon, the vast areas of the Arctic and Antarctic as well as Siberia in Russia, the deep mines of the world and the vast deserts of Africa and the Middle East all have in common? Earth's testimony is that they are all the creation of God. "In His hand are the unexplored regions of the earth, the resources of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, and it is He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land." (Psalm 95:4-5) There are no explanations that man can make for them and for their variety and beauty except for God. Every part of the earth whether high or low, wet or dry is the product of our Creative God. And, all the animals that are native to these habitats are also the creations of God built to exist in the places where He put them. We see pictures or experience them first hand but do we recognize His hand as their maker? Do t…

Desperate Times

There are times we look around and see much confusion. This is one of those times. Evil and selfish people have sought to bend the past to their perspective; therefore, they have rewritten our history textbooks to their prejudices. They have taught new generations in the halls of universities communism, liberalism, and sought to destroy personal barriers that protect lives. Politicians have gained power and influence and lined their pockets with money. They have given themselves over as slaves to their providers. And judges have been put in office that bend the law and judge based on personal preference rather than objective law. Such was also the case in Old Testament times. It was a desperate time and the psalmist related to this by saying, "pay back to the proud what they deserve." (Psalm 94:2) The proud were wicked, arrogant, full of boasting, oppressors, and murderers. Their judgment was not founded on righteousness. They strutted around as they controlled the nation. …