Friday, December 23, 2011


Romans 1:2 NIV
2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures

The promise, the good news of grace, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been fulfilled.  The words of the prophets, spoken and written, were given to pave the way for the coming Son, to explain what God was doing, and to make people ready to understand what is taking place.

In Titus 1:2 we are told this promise was made before the beginning of time.  We will only be able to understand what this means when at last we are free of time and earth, when we receive our immortal bodies and enter into the fullness of eternal life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Fulfill Them

Matthew 5:17-20 NIV

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

The word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ are the same as is the Old Testament and the New. They are of one God and tell of the same story

Christ fulfills the law in two ways. He reveals the true meaning and is the Christ, the Son of God that the OT points to and is revealed in the NT.

Do not neglect this time of your visitation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A fallen world reflects human nature. In that sense, nature has become unnatural. We are used to the unnatural and think it natural.  What we know is familiar and it becomes our norm for understanding, our frame of reference, as it takes root through our habits and time. 

God is beyond nature because of sin.  God cannot abide sin, and for that reason Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, the presence of God.  In the beginning they walked with God,  heaven and earth were one.  Disobedience brought death into the Garden, which was incompatible with life and could not be tolerated by a Holy and Pure God.

Now the "natural" man cannot understand the things of God because our nature has been distorted by sin.   The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not perceive it.  The light of the world has been given and continues to shine forth, stronger with each believer added to the body of Christ.  In the end darkness will be removed and God will be our light, and of that light there will be no end.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In The East

Genesis 2:8 NIV
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed

εφυτευσεν  -LXX Greek word used for planted.
BDB -plant or establish (figuratively)

The word Eden is possibly derived from a Hebrew word for delight or pleasure
(Reformed study notes), and surely this would have been true as God would be present with the man.

There is an impression that the man was created apart from the garden, then placed there.  This is true of us who are reborn in this world and are able to walk in the kingdom of God.

The Hebrew word for "formed" implies moulding, squeezing into shape- as a potter.  (TWOS)  We are later described in Scripture as vessels of clay, made by the hand and will of the potter for his purpose.

When God left the temple He stood on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem.  When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, it was to the east.  It is to the east we look for the Lord to return, as the sun rising in the morning to burn away the darkness of night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Became A Living Being

Genesis 2:5-7 NIV
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The first man is in view. Earth is not fully done, or created for there was no one to work the ground.  Nor was there anything to work for nothing green yet appeared. The Garden is not established.  Heaven and earth have been created, but here we are given a closer look into the work of God and insight as to His purpose.

Rain from heaven is a metaphor for a spiritual provision, of connection with God. The NIV uses the word "streams" from the earth that water the "surface" of the ground.  The words could be translated as "mist" and "face" respectively.

The Creator draws close and breathes onto the face of the man.  Life is given to this creature of earth, life that is much more than merely breathing.  Spirit and earth intersect in this man.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Children Of Promise

Galatians 4:28-30 NIV
28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”

Abraham is the father of both sons, but only one will receive the inheritance.
It is the child of promise based on faith that is free.
From Abraham through Isaac comes Jesus Christ, the seed that blesses all nations. Through faith the promise is given and through faith the promise is received.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Entire Law Is Fulfilled

Galatians 5:14 NIV
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The law leads us to love. It enables us to see the need for grace. If we reject the grace and truth of Jesus, then we stand condemned already as slaves born of the flesh, subject to the law.

We are born into the freedom of the Jerusalem above by the power of the Spirit. We are no longer slaves or children of Hagar, but God's servants and children of God. It is a choice made willingly and freely.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Last Stone

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

We have a foretaste of the kingdom of God for the Holy Spirit is present in the heart of every believer. Heaven is often defined as being in God's presence.

In a sense, we are a foreshadow of the New Jerusalem much like the tabernacle in the desert of old was a shadow of heaven.

The temple is being rebuilt. What a day it will be when the last stone is in place!


Romans 1:1 NIV
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God

Here the word servant takes on a whole new meaning.  Jesus redefined that word, just as He redefined what it is to be a man, a new creature in the life of God. In the kingdom of God the term becomes a most honored title.

Jesus was the servant of all: of God and man.  He who would be the greatest would be servant to all.  We are all called and set apart, from the world into the body of Christ.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Made To Order

Some take verses out of the Bible and seem to embrace them as God inspired, finding comfort there. They do this while ignoring or rejecting other verses from the same source.

It's as if once something is found that works for them, or suits their tastes, there is no need to explore the word any further. 

Many seem to take the view that the word of God can be served in a made to order fashion. No pickles or onions please. 

Reducing the word of God to a couple of verses is not the best way to interpret or understand the gospel.  It is possible for someone to be saved without reading the Bible, just as it is possible to live without being able to read, but I'm not sure anyone would or could say that being illiterate is the most desirous choice.

I wonder if a company could make money offering to print a bible-made-to-order, that would print the good parts (based on personal beliefs or preferences) only.
   Less trees would be used.
   A smaller book would be easier to carry or display.
   The chances of being exposed to anything that one may distasteful, hard to understand, disagreeable, or bothersome are decreased.
    Unnecessary parts are eliminated.

I wonder if I could get fries with that?

In a world where truth is relative, wouldn't it be better for someone who believes in relative truth to carry a book that reflects that view? It might be less confusing for anyone wondering what Christianity is about.

He Will Be Called

Isaiah 9:6 NIV
6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

At the center of this Christmas season is the one from whom its name is derived: Christ.  A son is given and he is the very son of God!

Notice the names he is given in this passage from Isaiah.

Wonderful Counselor        A designation often used to refer to the Holy Spirit
Mighty God                        A common Old Testament title
Everlasting Father            A New Testament Title
Prince of Peace                  Jesus Christ

Here we see not only a prophesy of the the coming Son, but a revelation of the Triune God.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Death Will Have Its Way

if hell is being out of God's presence, might we not have some idea of what that would be like?  The fallen world is distant from the presence of God and cursed with death as a result of disobedience.  The Holy Spirit is present today as a gift of mercy and inhabits believers, but will be removed and death will no longer be restrained.  Death will have its way.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am The Gate

John 10:7-10 NIV
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

A full and abundant life begins when we accept Christ and includes the riches that are ours to come as and when we receive our inheritance as children of God.  We will be like Him and will take place when He comes back.  It is both a present and future state.

Again we are faced with Scripture that repeats the unpopular idea of the enlightened among men of the teaching that Jesus is the only way to be saved.  In another place, He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the light".

I'm gonna have to go with Jesus on this one.  It is His word I hear and trust.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Thinking it through

John 1:1-3 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Believing in God implies believing in the Creator who is outside and above creation creation, beyond nature, therefore supernatural.
If you don't believe in the supernatural, your belief is in something within nature, which is not much different from saying you worship an idol, something other than God.
One or the other is true, but not both.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Want More

To see Your face
To experience your grace
More of You
Less of me
I want more

To see Your glory
And be part of that story
More of You
Less of me
I want more

With tears on my face
In this very place
More of You
Less of me
I want more

Reveal everything to me
That I am fully free
More of You
Less of me
I want more

In my secret heart
Cleanse every part
More of You
Less of me
I want more

Let nothing lie between us
Until it is finally just
All of You
None of me
I want more

Has Crossed Over

John 5:24-25 NIV
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

It is possible to walk upright, to be alive in the mortal sense and be dead to God in the spiritual sense.
Those who have never seen the light do not know of light. For them darkness is the norm and is familiar. They know their way around and are comfortable. Light is foreign to them, and the word without meaning.

How does one cross over from death to life? Hearing the word which is the light of the world, for it is life. Seeing the light and then living in the light. It is the cross that enables us to cross over. God has freed us and enables through the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross long ago.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Word Became

John 1:14 NASB
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

He wrapped Himself in our flesh to offer to all grace and truth. We accept that offer fully when we wrap ourselves with His word. We are then hidden in Christ and appropriate His righteousness. We are becoming as He became.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your Visitation

Luke 19:44 NASB
44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

While this took place in the past, it takes place now and the days to come. This is the time of our visitation, yours and mine, here and now. We pass this way but once. The question is one of recognition and response.
This earth shall be removed and a new creation will be revealed. The word that brought forth creation has spoken it, and so it is.

Death Overcome

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 AMP
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
56 Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law.
57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is light. The dead sleep, but we shall not all sleep. Some of us will be changed. We are wakened from our slumber when our spirits are quickened by the Spirit of God. We are reborn, never to die, our names being written in the Book of Life.

Did Abraham not serve the living God? Through the seed of Abraham we are blessed with life and have it more abundantly.

On judgment day the earth shall give up the dead and so shall the sea. The living are before the throne, raised with Christ, whether they have yet to leave their mortal bodies or have gone before us to be with the Lord.

Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord has provided a table in the midst of our enemies. He has set the captives free and leads them out of the darkness to the light. He is that light, the light of the world, the word of God.

Death, where is your sting?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Death As A Result

We are captive and a prisoner of sin before we draw the first breath for we are born with a sinful nature. Before our first physical act, we stand condemned. It is our nature and heritage from God's perspective according to His word.

We descend from the first Adam into a place far from God, into death.

The second Adam descended from heaven and brings God near, to bring us into life.