Sunday, November 30, 2014

But Rather Division - Luke 12:49-51

Luke 12:49-51 ESV 
"Not Peace, but Division
“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."

This fire will serve to purify those who choose God and to destroy those who do not. It is necessary for a new creation and the passing of the old. It comes from the light of God and by this fire a new creation is revealed. It has been kindled by the baptism of Jesus, that is the death and resurrection of Christ. 

There is a peace given in this tribulation of division as God calls and delivers His people out of this world. He is with us until we join Him at last.s accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."

This fire will serve to purify those who choose God and to destroy those who do not. It is necessary for a new creation and the passing of the old. It comes from the light of God and by this fire a new creation is revealed. It has been kindled by the baptism of Jesus, that is the death and resurrection of Christ. 

There is a peace given in this tribulation of division as God calls and delivers His people out of this world. He is with us until we join Him at last.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Fruits - James 1:18

James 1:18 NASB 
" In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."

It is the Holy Spirit who begets us by the word of truth. This was the same Spirit who begat the man Jesus, the Son of God. The seed takes root within, producing the fruit of the Spirit. We become a kind of first fruits as we become more like Jesus.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Law To Themselves - Romans 2:12-14

Romans 2:12-14 
"God's Judgment and the Law
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law."

All have sinned, with or without the law. The law reveals sin, but does not save. 

To do what the law requires by nature tells us that Paul is speaking of new creatures in Christ. It is a new heart and a new nature which are alone able to perfect man in the Lord. The important thing is to obey God rather than the law. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Whoever Abides - John 15:5-6

John 15:5-6 ESV
" I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

Abiding contains the idea of dwelling, remaining, and enduring. Abiding in Christ means obedience to Him, for in this way we show that we have received His love. 

It is love that flows in the vine and causes the branches to thrive. We drink from the vine, partaking of the living water that flows from the throne of God. If we withdraw our lips from the cup, we are in danger of becoming fodder for the fire. 

It is something we choose to do and must continue to do. Choose this day whom you will serve. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

High Position - James 1:9-10

James 1:9-10 NASB 
" But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away."

There is but one position and it is in The Lord. The humble and rich meet each other as equals in the body of Christ. It the highest position. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Proclaim The Lord's Death - 1 Corinthians 11:26

1 Corinthians 11:26 ESV 
" For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

We do not proclaim the resurrected life when partake of the bread and cup, but the death of the Lord. We identify with the destruction of His body and the corresponding eradication of our sins. He gave His body and blood for our salvation. Eating and drinking it a sign of our acceptance of this sacrifice on our behalf. We do not merely hear the word, but fully enter the body of Christ, even as it enters us. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Much More - Romans 5:10

Romans 5:10 ESV 
" For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

Through His death we are reconciled. This is the first part of the good news. It did not end there. He was resurrected and lives. Life happens after death. 

To not accept the resurrection is to remain in the tomb. 

Jesus said, "Come forth!"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

We Have Seen - 1 John 1:1-4

1 John 1:1-4 NASB 
Introduction, The Incarnate Word
​ What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete."

This same Word was with God and was God before and in the beginning of creation. The Word was spoken and is still unraveling through time and space. It will be fulfilled and shall endure forever. 

The light of God was the first word recorded from God in Genesis. It was the foundation of the world, the beginning and end. Through this light the earth begins to take form and order emerges from the void. In the end the light of God will fill the earth. 

That Word and light becomes manifest in creation in the glorious birth of the man named Jesus. God's own Son enters our existence and delivers the perfection of love in the message of mercy and salvation offered by God the Father. His life is given for our life. We manifest that new life here on earth just Jesus did because we have that same Holy Spirit. While He obeyed the law perfectly as one of us, His obedience allows us to perfectly meet the requirements of the Law. If we walk in that light, we begin our presence in the new creation of heaven and earth. 

The joy of the disciples finds its completion in the receiving and giving of this brotherly and Godly love. It is the communion of love that is God. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Host - Ephesians 4:7-8

Ephesians 4:7-8 ESV 
" But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, 
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”"

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, taking with them gifts from the Egyptians. God parted the waters and they passed through leaving behind the shackles of slavery. 

Jesus parts the heavens leading a host of those He has freed. This journey is not across land but spans the upward distance to God. The gift of God is with us. The Holy Spirit seals us with that promise. 

He will return with that mighty host. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Foreshadowed In Adam

We have become what was foreshadowed in Adam. We have received the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, and are charged to multiply and fill the earth with the truth and knowledge of God. 

A Shepherd Separates - Matthew 25:32-33

Matthew 25:32-33 ESV 
" Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left."

John 21:5-6
" Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish."

We are on one side or the other of the boat, the ark of salvation, a sheep or goat. The sheep, the fish of the sea that are drawn to the net are those that respond to the word. They are found on the right side. 

There is no middle ground. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Render Powerless - Hebrews 2:14-15

Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB 
" Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."

Revelation 20:1-3
" Satan Bound
​ Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time."

Christ freed the captives bound to the power of death. In other words, He bound the power of the devil, He bound the devil with the power of the truth, the very power of God. 

What Jesus opens no one can close and what He shuts no one can open. He has opened our eyes and the devil has lost his power to deceive those who believe. 

This will for a long time from our perspective, but a thousand years is like a day to The Lord. Behold, He is coming quickly.  

Today, if you hear His word, do not harden your heart. There might not be a tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Into The Wilderness - Mark 1:9-13

Mark 1:9-13 ESV 
"The Baptism of Jesus
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Temptation of Jesus
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him."

Jesus came out of the water and was immediately in the wilderness. This happens to every believer in Christ. It is only when we leave the water of the world that we are able to perceive the wilderness that surrounds us with the wild animals and the beasts of the field. The Spirit and angels watch over us and offer comfort as we follow Christ on our own journey. 

Our Father is well pleased. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

They Caught Nothing - John 21:3

John 21:3 ESV 
" Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing."

Peter fell back to what he had always done, something familiar and comforting. He and the others were in an unfamiliar and uncertain time. They were in the midst of transition between the earthly teaching of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Peter leads the disciples as he would come to lead the church. 

They were in the same boat, but in the darkness of night they caught nothing. There were no fish to show for all their effort. The following account confirms that He is the vine and we are the branches and apart from Him, they and we, are helpless. Going fishing without The Lord is quite different from listening to The Lord and letting Him direct our nets. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Revealed Himself - John 21:1

John 21:1 ESV 
"Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
​ After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way."

John 21:14
" This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead."

This is right before Jesus asks three times if Peter loves Him. The number three is the stamp of the divine. In these account Jesus is revealing His victory over death and the central element of the new covenant, which is love. It is love that forgives and through love salvation is given. 

It is from the sea of the world these fishers of men would throw the net of love into the murky water. They would raise men from watery darkness into the light of life. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dull Of Hearing - Hebrews 5:11-14

Hebrews 5:11-14 ESV 
"Warning Against Apostasy
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."

Hearing the word over and over without taking that word to heart and providing fertile ground for the word to take root and grow will cause that word to lose effect due to dullness of really hearing that word. Hearing the word includes its manifestation in the life of the believer. 

We come to the Lord as a child, reborn into the life of God. We are to grow and bear fruit as branches attached to the vine of life. To do less is cause for pruning and runs the risk of being cut off. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Do You Love? - John 21:15-17

John 21:15-17 
"Jesus and Peter
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."

As many know, a different Greek word for "love" is used when Jesus asks Peter a third time about his love for Him. The usual interpretation has Jesus using Peter's response with a lessor quality of love of "phileō", or brotherly love, than the more a more divine love implied by "agapaō".  Jesus seems to be lowering His expectation of love to meet Peter's ability. 

Another interpretation is possible. The love in the third question is a more intimate and brotherly love than the term used in the first two inquires. This question may allude to the fact we become brothers of Christ as we enter the house of God when we believe on the Son. We now call upon God as our Father. The love spoken of with this word "phileō" is of a personal nature which reflects the personal nature afforded by this new covenantal relationship with the Father. We have entered into the family of Christ. We have a new ability and possibility of love. 

We love God by obeying Him and loving our brother. We are brothers in Christ, united by the one and Holy Spirit. We do not worship a distant God from afar, but bask in the warmth of a son in his father's love. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Predestination - Ephesians 1:5

Ephesians 1:5 ESV 
" he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,"

Unless God had done something, we would die. This is our destiny. 

Unless we do something, we will die. This is our destiny without exception. 

If we believe Christ, we will live. This is our destiny without exception. 

Believing is living to Christ. 

It is predestined. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Soul - Matthew 26:38

Matthew 26:38 NASB
" Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”"

Jesus was made a man in every way: body, soul, and spirit. He experienced the sorrows that plague the souls of man, and this for every man. It was thus He was able to be the perfect man. We were created in the image of God, and are reborn from heaven above to complete that likeness. We must go through the first death, to self and its body. We will not face death again. 

Thereby we gain our true self, soul, and life. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Days Of His Flesh - Hebrews 5:7

Hebrews 5:7 ESV 
" In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence."

Jesus modeled a life that leads to life. We are in the days of our flesh and calling on God is the way of salvation, the way. Because He was the Son, He had the ear of His Father. Because of His obedience, He was heard. 

As sons of God we have the ear of the Father. Our obedience to Him as sons ensures our words are heard. Our reverence or "fear" of the Lord arises from our awe and wonder as we contemplate and apprehend our Creator and what He is doing. 

The end of all flesh is death. There is no end for those who are reborn from above. Death will come but will not have the final word. Jesus is the final word. "It is finished ".

Friday, November 7, 2014

Remains A Sabbath - Hebrews 4:9-11

Hebrews 4:9-11 ESV 
" So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."

We begin to enter His rest as we begin to rest from our own works. We continue to seek His rest until we reach the end of this old creation and are revealed as the new creation. 

Do not grow weary in this endeavor with God.  

I Am The Lord - Exodus 6:2-3

Exodus 6:2-3 ESV 
" God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them."

The revelation of God has been ongoing and our understanding increases as given by the Holy Spirit. He appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, but did not reveal Himself in full. We are privileged to live after He revealed Himself in the person of Jesus. By His grace He reveals Himself to our hearts. By His mercy He lets us know Him as Father. 

Some know Him as "yhwh", others as Lord. Do not take this name in vain. 

h3068. יְהוָֹה yhwh; from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God: — the Lord. Compare 3050, 3069. (Strongs)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Passed Through - Hebrews 4:14-16

Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV 
"Jesus the Great High Priest
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

The Son of Man descended and ascended through the heavens, down to the abode of the dead bearing many believers back with Him as He ascended into the life and kingdom of God. He preached to dead and some believed in His life. 

We no longer labor under the certainty of death, but the promise of life. We can draw close to the throne of grace because our brother sits on that throne. His power enters our weakness and will bring us close to Him, the author of mercy and grace. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exposed - Hebrews 4:11-13

Hebrews 4:11-13 ESV 
" Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

It is the word that shapes and defines us, that saves us or condemns us. 

From the mouth of God comes the living truth which enters the into the deepest recesses of a man. The light has been given and no creature is able to avoid the gaze of our Creator. We will give an account for our journey, whether we answer His call or ignore it. He knows what we do. Adam and Eve hid in the Garden when He called to them after they had eaten of the forbidden fruit. 

Who told us that we are naked? Who is able to clothe us and cover our nakedness?

The answer is in the word. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Enter That Rest - Hebrews 4:3-10

Hebrews 4:3-10 ESV 
" For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, 
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, 
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, 
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his."

Believers have entered His rest. The "people of God" must then be the Hebrews to whom the letter addresses. This people disobeyed and invoked the wrath of that same God. The references to David, Joshua and the Sabbath confirm this interpretation. 

The day is not over for man today. We are called to walk as followers of Christ through the wilderness of this world. If we continue to walk in faith, we will fully enter the rest of God prepared from the beginning. 

It is today. We enjoy this Sabbath rest as we are able in this mortal flesh. It is beyond our understanding but the Spirit serves to confirm and ensure this promise of God. We have peace. 

Jesus said, "Come, and I will give you rest".

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Those Who Listened - Hebrews 4:1-2

Hebrews 4:1-2 ESV 
"​ Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened."

Some are unable to hear the good news. Their hearts reject it outright, saying there is no God, or if there is, he does not have son. Like stones of a path on which the seed of truth is unable to find any soil for taking root, the word bounces off the hardness of their forehead. 

Some hear the good news but fail to live in obedience to that word. They listened with ears and mind, but not with their hearts. They may speak with knowledge of God without knowing Him or being known by Him. The espoused faith is not expressed in their lives.

It is by faith we find salvation. It is with faith that one truly hears and receives the grace of God.