Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The often-overlooked book of Habakkuk has a message of relevance for God’s saints today.

Habakkuk was a prophet to the Kingdom of Judah before Jerusalem fell to Babylon.  In the first chapter, Habakkuk lays a question before God: "How can our righteous God allow so much evil and injustice in Israel – Why doesn’t God seem to be doing anything about it?"

God responds, telling Habakkuk that Judgment is coming in the form of the Babylonian army – which will brutally conquer the land of Judah.   This only brings MORE problems for Habakkuk!  How could God use an unrighteous PAGAN nation to discipline the errors of Israel?  

God then assures Habakkuk that Babylon would also be punished for their avarice and arrogance.
The final section of this book is a prayer of submission and praise ending with the powerful words:
     “The LORD God is my strength;
       He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
       And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19

God may use surprising situations to bring about His will.  May we all, like Habakkuk – Question with humility and respond with Praise.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Permenantly Placed Child of God

In Ephesians 3:1-14 we are given amazing insight into the position and possessions of every believer in Jesus Christ as we are identified with Christ.  Verse 5 tells us:

…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…

Today, the word “adoption” may bring to mind the image of babies taken into families into which they were not physically born, but that is not what Paul had in mind.

The word υἱοθεσία could be translated as “placing a son” and it was a process for an adult who was being officially placed within the family.  The “placed” son was given all the rights of an heir and a complete removal of his previous legal identity, including all debts which were held against him.
Not only this, the “placed son” was given access to the family accounts and the authority to represent the family legally.  Once this process took place the effects were permanent, and even the birth of a legitimate heir could not abrogate the rights of the adopted – or legally placed – son.

All this was given wholly by God’s amazing Grace.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Lord is One

Deuteronomy 6:4 contains the famous Hebrew prayer known as the Shema.
In English, it reads:
4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
In Hebrew, this verse is read:

"Shema Yisrael Adoniai Elohainu, Adonai Echad."

The word Echad is the word translated as “one."  This is the profound declaration of Biblical monotheism.  But the word “echad” has some very special meaning for us to discover.
The word “echad” is used in Scripture to describe something of many parts that come together to form one complete unit. We see this in Genesis 2:24 when God creates the man and the woman and it is declared:

     Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
     and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

This verse speaks of two separate people coming together to be ONE flesh.  In the Shema, God reveals something very special about His nature.  From the rest of Scripture, we know the three persons of this Divine Unity to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Behold  - The Lord your God, The Lord is one.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Of the Line of David

God unfolded His great rescue mission through promises.  He made an unconditional promise to Abraham, promising him Land (the Holy Land), Seed (the promised Savior), and Blessing (for his descendants and for the entire world).  God foretold that this seed promise, which began in Genesis 3:15 with the prophecy of “the seed of the woman” would finally come to bear in the tribe of Judah.  King David receives more information as God’s chosen line through which He would bring the Messiah.  God made more unconditional promises to David – that HE would build David’s house.  He promised that one from His line would reign forever.  God showed his faithfulness to this promise when he brought Jesus through the Davidic line both by his birth parent (Mary) and his adoptive Father (Joseph) both of whom were in the line of David.  Jesus fulfilled the first coming promises made to David, and there can be no mistake that He will also fulfill the promise of the Messiah’s coming, literal reign upon the earth.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Everything that you Need!

Peter opens his second letter by writing:

2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:2-3 NASB

God’s divine power is the ability that is uniquely his as the God of the universe.
He exercised this power to grant us something…

 “granted” here translates the Greek word doreomai which means “to give or to bestow.”  It is here in the perfect tense – meaning it was given in the past with ongoing effects into the present – this gift is already in your possession.

What is given? – “Everything that is needed for life and godliness…” 

That is correct- you have everything needed to live an abundant life.  This provision is through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The word “knowledge” here translates the Greek word “epignosis” which is intimate, full, integrated knowledge…like the way you know your best friend or closest family member.  God has given you all that you need to live for Him in His perfect personal provision for you in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Peace is an Umpire

Paul gives believers important advice in Colossians 3:15, writing:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…

“Let” here does not mean that this is optional – this is what the Holy Spirit wants for every believer.  Peace translates the Greek word: irene.  In the Bible, peace does not mean a simple absence of conflict, but a wholeness – a fullness –a total lack of want or need.  The total sufficiency of God is to “rule” in our hearts – which is our whole mental, emotional and volitional inner self – is what is in view here.

The word “rule” here translates the Greek “ βραβεύω “ which means to rule as a judge, or even as an umpire calls a game.  As we go through our time on this planet we will do best by submitting our thoughts, our feelings and our will totally to the absolute sufficiency of our Savior, Jesus Christ.