Thursday, April 30, 2015

According To His Works - Romans 2:6-11

Romans 2:6-11 ESV 
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

How do we participate in the salvation of God? Is anything required of us? Paul tells here that patience, endurance, and perseverance in faith, will lead to eternal life. The idea of the need for our work is confirmed throughput Scripture. We are called to run a race and persevere to the end.

The difference is between seeking God, or self seeking. Everyone will be judged based on the truth and that truth is that same for everyone. It is important that we all seek the truth of God and walk in the light of that truth. We all will stand or fall according to the standard of God's truth. 

Our fruit is not a "nice to have" option, but a requirement. The fruit of the Spirit will manifest in the life of the believer in increasing amounts. We are not perfect, but in a state of transformation. That transformation is our journey, our race to the Father. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Firstborn - Exodus 13:15-16

Exodus 13:15-16 ESV 
For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

Being the firstborn could be a good or bad thing depending on which family you choose. The firstborn of God's sons find the redemption of God. Rejecting His offer of grace can result in the sacrifice which is lot of every natural man. 

The Israelites received the mark of God on the outside as sign of their distinction from the world. The Church receives the mark of God on the inside through the giving of the Holy Spirit. He is written on our hearts by His indwelling of the heart of each believer. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Holy Nation - Exodus 19:4-6

Exodus 19:4-6 ESV 
You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Peter calls the Church a royal priesthood and a chosen people. Israel bears that title. A remnant of Israel will fulfill that promise made to Abraham long ago. They will be joined with the Church, even as we have been grafted into their tree of promise. From God's view there are no Jews or Gentiles. There is only a people chosen by God, united in one Spirit. There is no distinction between male and females. We are all sons of God. A holy nation. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Dwelling Place - Ephesians 2:18-22

Ephesians 2:18-22 ESV 
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The holy temple is the household of God. The Israelites and the Church are together built as the one dwelling place for God. The word of the prophets and the gospel proclaimed by the apostles serve as foundation of this house, all speaking the word of God who is the Christ. He is the cornerstone. It is for Him and by Him that all things are made. 

We are built together into the one house. The Bible gives an account of a single story, of the great and wonderful thing God is doing as we move to a new creation. That day of eternal rest is at hand. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Terror - Jeremiah 34:17

Jeremiah 34:17 ESV 
“Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Three of the four horsemen in Revelation find illumination here in Jeremiah. It is the punishment of Israel for breaking the covenant. The seals have been broken and the trumpets blown. Israel has been under the yoke of oppression for thousands of years. They have been re gathered as the Lord said He would. 

The fear of God and Israel has yet to take place for the nations. The cup of trembling has yet to be tipped. The nations gather round the promised land and tremble not. The glory of the Lord will be seen and they will know that He is God.  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

So Shall Your Offspring Be - Romans 4:18-19

Romans 4:18-19 ESV 
In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb.

Abraham's hope went beyond a reasonable hope. God can do immeasurably more than we can hope for or can imagine. He placed his faith in the One Who can do all things. 

We are as good as dead until God causes the barrenness of our body to receive the seed of the word. The offspring is a spirit reborn into the life of God. We become the offspring of many nations that come together in faith to receive the promise of our Father. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Took The Body - John 19:39-40

John 19:39-40 
Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

Luke 2:7 ESV 
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

He came into the world and was wrapped in strips of cloth as a baby, called swaddling cloths. His body was wrapped with linen strips for burial. He would rise to be clothed in  a linen garment of the whole cloth of righteousness. 

He received myrrh as a gift from the wise men, and was prepared for burial with myrrh. 

His coming and going was for one reason: to die for us that we might live. The Lord bound His life in the wrapping of our humanity to wrap our mortal bodies with the eternal life of the divine. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Being Shamed - Romans 1:24-27

Romans 1:24-27 ESV 
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Paul wrote this. He was the apostle of Christ bringing the good news to all that would hear. The word of God is not inclusive or tolerant of those things opposed to God. The word separates and makes holy from the unholy. Exchanging the truth about God for anything else is unGodly and dishonorable. He will give them up to that which they love.

Not being ashamed of the gospel means being ashamed of shameless acts. We will not be ashamed of the light of the gospel. 

Walking in the light of the word brings us into the light. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Not Again Cover Psalms 104:5-9

Psalms 104:5-9 ESV 
He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

Earth was created and set on its foundations, never to be moved. It was covered with the deep by the hand of God. Earth rose from the water and a boundary was established so that the earth would not be covered again. 

God flooded the earth again, but it did not cover the earth entirely. Noah and his family were saved, a remnant of man saved to seed the world. There were eight family members that were delivered. Eight may remind us of the eighth and new day that will come upon His return. The seven days of creation bring us to that day. 

We will enter His rest when the work of creation is done. That work is a people who have received His light and join Him as sons of God. Daughters and sons of earth will be be installed in the house of God, never to leave the presence of the Father. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Established Forever Psalms 89:29-37

Psalms 89:29-37 ESV 
I will establish his offspring forever
and his throne as the days of the heavens.
If his children forsake my law
and do not walk according to my rules,
if they violate my statutes
and do not keep my commandments,
then I will punish their transgression with the rod
and their iniquity with stripes,
but I will not remove from him my steadfast love
or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant
or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
His offspring shall endure forever,
his throne as long as the sun before me.
Like the moon it shall be established forever,
a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah

Judah will endure forever because God endures forever. 

The sun and moon will not depart because they have been established forever. They are not the light first established in creation. The light first spoken into creation came before the sun and moon were placed in the heavens. This was the light of God, the life and truth to mankind. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

One Who Conquers - Revelation 2:10-11

Revelation 2:10-11 ESV 
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

There are ten days of repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur. The books of judgement are opened for those days until Yom Kippur, or the feast of redemption. The people are "sealed" for this time of trial. During this time a heavenly court convenes which evaluates the past year and affects the coming year. 

This may offer insight to the letter to Smyrna in Revelation. Believers are sealed into a tribulation for ten days in which they are to walk by faith. Enduring in faith to the end will lead to life. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Harvest Is Done - Isaiah 24:13

Isaiah 24:13 ESV 
For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.

On that day, a day coming soon, the harvesting will be complete. The olive tree, Israel, has received the full punishment for her rebellion. The grape harvest refers to the inhabitants of the earth which will face the winepress of The Lord. 

What has been sown will be reaped. It would be better to let the seed of the word take root in your life that yields the fruit of God, than the bitter grapes that grow in the soil of a natural man. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Empty The Earth - Isaiah 24:1

Isaiah 24:1 ESV 
​Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.

To empty the earth is to make it void. This is similar to how earth is described at the beginning of creation. Without God man is in the same state. It is the same with each person without God. We are invisible and without form, suspended in the waters of the deep. Darkness reigns. 

The time of desolation is approaching, a time of wrath and tribulation for the inhabitants of the earth. The earth will be shaken. Perhaps it will require twisting its surface to return to the smooth and straight, the way of The Lord. 

At the end a new creation will be revealed. The light of God will reign.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dew Of Light - Isaiah 26:19

Isaiah 26:19 ESV 
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Our bodies will rise to life, even as our spirits have already quicken to eternal life. We are formed from the dust of the earth, but will rise from that dust and be placed in the garden paradise of the new earth of our new bodies. The dirges of the dead will be replaced with the song of joy shared by a multitude without number. 

The Hebrew word translated here as "dew" means a drizzle of rain, or a mist. The earth was first watered that way in the beginning as written in the creation account. The living water gives birth to the dead and fulfills the command "Let there be light!" 

The earth is given form and the void is filled with the light of God. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rain From Heaven - Deuteronomy 11:8-12

Deuteronomy 11:8-12 ESV 
“You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess, and that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

The land of Egypt was watered differently than the land they would inherit. In Egypt the water came from the earthly river and channeled by man. Water came from the effort of man. 

The promised land "drinks by the rain from heaven". God provides. His eye is on the people and land. 

Where we get our water makes a difference. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bitter Root - Deuteronomy 29:18

Deuteronomy 29:18 NASB 
so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.

The Greek word translated as root can also mean heel, or sole. "Poisonous" could refer to snake venom. Wormwood means bitter. 

The snake of Eden, or the devil, is thrown in the water and what it touches becomes bitter. It slides on its belly to bruise or bite the heel with the sting of death. 

Serve the Lord our God, placing our weight on the branch of Judah and denying the bitter root which appears when one turns away. Let the good seed take root instead. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Encourage One Another - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 ESV 

1Th. 5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,you have no need to have anything written to you. 

1Th. 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 

1Th. 5:4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 

1Th. 5:5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 

1Th. 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 

1Th. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 

The Lord will come like a thief in the night, but for those walking in His light this will not be a surprise, but a joyous expectation come at last. It will be a festival with the sound of trumpets, a celebration and homecoming. 

Let this word encourage you and encourage those around you. Get ready, be ready! We are building a new temple and the new Jerusalem, the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of man. Spread and share the light where you are. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Beloved - 1 John 3:2

1John 3:2 ESV 
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appearswe shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 

The word beloved says it all. The ever present and almighty God brings to us His eternal life. We can join with Him and truly be in the way the one Who says "I Am!" This is life more abundant. This is life unbound from the confines of creation and set free in the divine life of our Father, which is love. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

From Among Your Brothers - Deuteronomy 18:15-19

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 ESV 
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

The appearance of God Almighty on Horeb was too much for the assembled Israelites on that day in the wilderness. Coming close to God is a fearful thing. To see God is to die. The people begged to be spared. 

The Lord agreed with them. He would come to them as a prophet from among their number in the form of a Son. He would speak the words of the Father, the words of life. 

The people were not afraid when He came and many believed. Many did not believe and were not afraid to reject and kill Him. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Who Believes - Acts 13:38-41

Acts 13:38-41 ESV 
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:
“‘Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”

To scoff at God's work is a perilous thing. Those who discount the Lord will be astounded in the end that there is a God and His They will also be astounded to learn they will perish. 

God is working even now. The word of creation is still being sounded out, reverberating through the ages. Outside of time, His word fills the void. It is living and active, bringing forth a new creation. Soon the world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. 

You've heard the truth, the good news. Do you believe it?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Show Me A Sign - Psalms 86:12-17

Psalms 86:12-17 ESV 
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Ruthless men menace the world today. Satan remains and pursues the people of God with howling beasts. The servant Jews and the sons and daughters of God increasingly face persecution at the hands of the world. 

God has delivered our souls. He helps and comforts those who call on His name. 
In the name of Jesus may we all have an extra sense of His presence and strength in our lives this day. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Full And Sudden End - Zephaniah 1:17-18

Zephaniah 1:17-18 ESV 
I will bring distress on mankind,
so that they shall walk like the blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord;
their blood shall be poured out like dust,
and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

The inhabitants of the earth are those who do not walk in the kingdom of heaven. Those that deny the Son remain in the dust of a world that reject their Maker. The surrounding nations that breath violence and hate will come to a full and sudden end. There is no ambiguity as to who the nations might be. They are the same ones who persecute God's people. They are identified in many places in the Old Testament. 

Satan persecutes the seed of the woman since the man-child of the woman was taken to heaven. This is revealed in Genesis. The dragon is enraged at his defeat and this is plainly seen on the faces of those chanting death to Jews and Christians. His deception is complete and pervasive, just as foretold in the Bible. 

God is using these nations for His purposes. The timing is His. 

We are told how it ends in the Old and New Testaments. They agree. Israel will be restored and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

There They Are - Deuteronomy 10:1-5

Deuteronomy 10:1-5 ESV 
​“At that time the Lord said to me, Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark that I had made. And there they are, as the Lord commanded me.”

This may foreshadow writing the law on our hearts after the law written on stone crumbles with disobedience. The second set of tablets are placed in the ark which signifies Christ. It is the same word of God that would find ultimate expression in the Son. The Son would come down from the mountain of God to speak the word of God. 

Out of the midst of the fire comes the voice of the all consuming God. 
This time it is brought all the way down and in our hearts. Here the Holy Spirit seals and leads us. 

There it is, there they are. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Truth - John 18:37-38

John 18:37-38 ESV
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

What is truth? The same question is asked today. It's usually answered with something to the effect, "It depends". That is true if you seek truth from anyone other than Jesus. He is from God and He bears witness of that truth. Those who hear His voice bear witness to this truth. Those not listening to His voice can say it depends. Everyone has their truth as a man thinks. This is their own idol, for it replaces the truth of God.  

After Pilate asks, "What is truth?", he then speaks the truth, for truly there is no guilt or sin in this perfect man. There was no defect found in Him that would preclude the offering of Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. Guilt of the world would be added to Him on the cross. The Romans would lay hands upon Jesus and free a sinner like you and me. 

This is the truth. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

After This - Joel 2:23-29

Joel 2:25-29 NASB 
“Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you. 
“You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame. 
“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.
The Promise of the Spirit
“ It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions. 
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Lord will finish the punishment of Israel and restore their place as His people, never to be put to shame again. 

The destroying locusts, the surrounding nations brought against Israel by the Lord, will never again gather against Israel. 

After the Lord restores His people He then pours out His Spirit on all mankind. This could be the great multitude without number as stated in Revelation. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Out Of The Darkness - 2 Corinthians 4:6

2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV 
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Scripture begins and ends with God and that light shines in the world. From the beginning to the end, light is the essence of God's story to us. God is light and that light has shone in the darkness in our hearts. We begin to take the shape and image of that eternal life. 

"Let there be light" and it was good.