Wednesday, December 31, 2014

He Ate Nothing - Luke 4:1-2

Luke 4:1-2 ESV 
​And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.

When we receive the Holy Spirit we embark on our own wilderness journey. The span of our new life is represented in the forty days. It is then we face the temptations of the devil. Jesus ate nothing in the wilderness, relying instead on the word of God. Unlike Adam, Jesus did not eat the fruit offered by the hand of the devil. 

He was hungry at the end, but found food and ministrations from heaven. His needs were met. He is more than able to do the same for us. Be not of this world.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Final Victory - 1 Corinthians 15:53-57

1 Corinthians 15:53-57 ESV 
" For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

The power of sin is the law. The law distinguished the Jews from the other nations and was a source of pride for a chosen people. It was a privilege and onerous burden, for that very law was the sting of death. In this way they participated in the death of the Savior Who would come from this small and weak people. They were part of the new thing that God was doing. 

From their line would come another chosen one Who would fulfill the law and thus conquer death. 

First, He had to put on the mortal and perishable to show us the way to victory. He took back to heaven a changed earth, a new creation. These are the "rooms" in His Father's house that He prepares for us. The gift of life results for all who choose that way, immortal and imperishable. The victory is ours. Thanks be to God. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Our Final Image - 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 ESV 
" Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven."

The seed of immortality was sown in the earth, in the living man who enjoys the natural along with the other living creatures. 

The word of life is sown in the earth of man and finds various soils. The seed finds various levels of receptivity and room to grow, but the seed is the same. 

We become the soil of our choosing and we choose our final image. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The One - John 21:20

John 21:20 ESV 
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”

Who is it that Jesus loves? The one that follows and leans on Him. That one will eat with Christ. Be the one. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Garden

The heart is the Garden of our earth. Light is brought into the darkness and the earth begins to take shape. Christ enters our world, into the garden of our hearts, breathing the life of God into inert bodies that walked in a world apart from the divine. He walks in the garden as the wind of the Spirit moves in the cool of the evening. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Peacemakers - Matthew 5:9

Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

The desire for peace is evidence of our being made in the image of God. We long for something the world cannot offer. Peace is our home and our home is not of this place. We are the peace in this world, for we have the Holy Spirit as a light and guarantee of the peace which is now and to come. 

Peace on earth. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Transcends Creation

Faith does not offer metrics that quantity God or measure Him in terms of human understanding. Faith takes us to a higher and heavenly place. It transcends creation and brings us into the presence of the Creator through the Spirit of truth. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Found Favor - Luke 1:28-33

Luke 1:28-33 ESV 
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Like Mary, we are also favored by the Lord, for He is with us. We have received the favor of God through His mercy and presence in our lives. 

Eve conceived a man with the help of the Lord. Mary conceived the Son of the Most High with the help of the Lord. 

With the help of the Lord we transform into the being God saw from the beginning. We were lost, but we've been found. 

We will share in His kingdom which will have no end. We will serve as priests and kings to the Lord Most High. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Sixth Month - Luke 1:26-27

Luke 1:26-27 ESV 
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.

The sixth month is mentioned twice in a span of a few verses. This may be an oblique reference to the sixth day of the creation story found in Genesis. This is the day man is created. The first Adam is formed and receives the breath of God. He is charged with subduing the world, that is bringing the world into the light of God. Adam's disobedience disqualified him for that mission. 

A new creation begins with a new "Adam", Jesus, who is able to perfectly obey the will of God. He accomplishes what the first Adam was unable to do. Christ will fill the earth when He returns to consummate His kingdom. At that time heaven and earth will be joined. We who believe have a foretaste of that union because we have received the Holy Spirit, the Divine mixing with the earth of our flesh. A new creature arises from the clay of our bodies. 

The virgin represents all who come to the Lord with a repentant heart. Jesus cleanses the believer from sin, to be remembered no more. We become part of the Bride of Christ, a virgin adorned with the robe of righteousness awaiting her bridegroom. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

To You? - John 21:22

John 21:22 
Jesus said to him, “If it is lmy will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

We are to love our brother, not to compare him with ourselves as he lives out God's will for his life. Each soul is called to follow Jesus. It is an individual journey and he is accountable to only One. 

Follow Christ and leave room for your brother to do the same. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Follow Me - John 21:18-19

John 21:18-19 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

The translation "when you are old" really should have conveyed the idea of being at a different place or state of mind. That is supposed to happen as we age. That is to happen when we believe in His name. Peter is no longer of the world and doing what he wants, but what God wants if he follows Christ. 

He stretches out his hands to take the hand of God. He will now be dressed with the righteousness that comes from putting on Christ. Dying to self is not where self wants to go. It is dying to self that allows us to glorify God. 

This is what Jesus did. Follow Him. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Reality - Colossians 2:16-17

Colossians 2:16-17 NIV 
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Being real is found only in Christ. It's not in any religious exercise or tradition. It's not anything we do or can do. Let us be found in Christ, for that is the only path to God. 

Paul equates observing Sabbath day with a New Moon celebration. These things are good, but do not substitute for being in Christ. Do not make the mistake of knowing about Christ, but not knowing Him. 

Leave the shadow behind and step fully into the light. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Being real is found only in Christ. It's not in any religious exercise or tradition. It's not anything we do or can do. Let us be found in Christ, for that is the only path to God. 

Do not make the mistake of knowing about Christ, but not knowing Him. 

Leave the shadow behind and step fully into the light. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

After The Order - Hebrews 7:15-19

Hebrews 7:15-19 ESV 
This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, 
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

"After the order", based on the Greek word (μέν men; a primary particle; properly, indicative of affirmation or concession (in fact); usually followed by a contrasted clause)Strong's, seems to imply both a likeness and a difference. The tabernacle in the wilderness was representative of Jesus, but a shadow, a hint of the future. It told us something about the man to come. It was not the same as the Son of Man. 

Just as the old covenant helped prepare the way for the new, Melchizedek gives a picture of the promised one to come. He pointed to the better and sure hope God predestined as sons of God. It's through this better hope we are able to draw near to God. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

After The Image - Colossians 3:9-10

Colossians 3:9-10 ESV 
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

We are made in God's image. It is into this image we have been reborn, this new self which is our true self. This is what we seek and long for. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Firstfruits - 1 Corinthians 15:22-24

1 Corinthians 15:22-24 ESV 
" For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power."

Through one man's disobedience all men die. Through one man's obedience all may live. With death we have no choice. Life comes through choice, our choice between two "trees" just as Adam. We can remain in death or pick the fruit from the tree of life. It does not fall into our hand. One must reach out and take the fruit offered. It must be eaten. Merely picking the fruit is not enough. 

Dine with Christ. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fill All Things - Ephesians 4:9-10

Ephesians 4:9-10 ESV 
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Where are the lower regions? The earth. 
Where were the dead He came to save? The earth. 
What is man made from? The earth. 

The new creation is the joining of heaven and earth. 
It has begun. First with Christ, then each believer. We are filled with His Spirit. 

It will be finished upon His return, to fill all things. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Where Are You?

Exodus 3:4 ESV 
" When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”"

Where are you?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mark 1:1-3 - Before Your Face

Genesis 1:1-2 ESV 
The Creation of the World
​In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Psalms 67:1-3
Psalm 67
Make Your Face Shine upon Us
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.​ May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

Mark 1:1-3
​The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The Spirit hovered over the face of the waters.
Light was given to shine upon our face. 
John prepared the way of the Lord before the face of the people. 
A time will come when we see Him face to face and we will know in full what we now know in part. 

Our faces will shine with the full light of the Lord and it will be good. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

To Eat - Revelation 2:7

Genesis 3:22 NIV 
" And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”"

Revelation 2:7
" Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."

Adam and Eve had not eaten of the tree of life, though they were in the Garden. 
They were in a state of grace. 
They were obeying God until they didn't.
They fell from the state of grace, still loved by God. 
They were expelled from the Garden. 

When we believe in Jesus we are returned to the state of grace, into the garden of the kingdom of heaven. 
We have not eaten from the tree of life, but we will if we continue to follow Christ. 
We journey through the wilderness as we seek to return to the paradise of God. 

Christ said we will. 

We are made alive the moment we believe, though our physical new life has yet to begin. This is the reverse of Adam dying spiritually the moment he sinned and his physical body dying later. 

We are on our way back. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Make Perfect - Hebrews 10:1

Hebrews 10:1 ESV 
Christ's Sacrifice Once for All
​For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

God used "shadows" to communicate to the world since it is a place of darkness. Reality is too much for the darkness to comprehend. 

Into the shadow of the valley of death shines that morning star of glory that is the Son. It makes perfect the faces that are turned toward Him. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It Is Evident- 1 John 3:9-10

1 John 3:9-10 ESV 
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Something changes when one is born of God. We do not immediately become perfect in our flesh, but immediately become children of God. God works with us toward the perfection for which all children of God are predestined to be. This discipline to His sons spans our entire life on earth. 

We are always perfect, no matter how long or short our time on earth. He's got us covered either way. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gave Them Over - Romans 1:24-25

Romans 1:24-25 NASB 
" Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."

This is how God "hardens" a heart. He no longer woos and seeks the rebellious heart, but gives them over to their heart's desire. Truth is replaced with a lie and the Creator is forgotten for the creature. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Depraved Mind - Romans 1:28-32

Romans 1:28-32 NIV 
" Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

When we reject the knowledge of God which is good, we are left to suck on the fruit of evil. There is plenty of fruit to be picked. We will be judged by that fruit. 

Choose wisely my friend. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Evident Within - Romans 1:18-20

Romans 1:18-20 
"Unbelief and Its Consequences
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

We are made in the image of God. This is how the His truth manifests within. We have the capacity to know Him, no matter how small it might be. 

Even to an unregenerate spirit, these attributes are clearly seen in what is visible to the natural eye. All of life is a parable. Jesus used parables to speak of heavenly things to those earthly bound.