Friday, July 31, 2015

A Bodily Element - Galations 4:13-15

Galatians 4:13-15 ESV 
You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.

There is often speculation about what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" might have been. These verses seem to indicate it had to do with his eyes. The "bodily ailment" was severe enough to be a trial for the Galatians. In the last verse, Paul says they would have offered their own eyes to him to help him. 

Considering Paul seeing a great light that blinded him on the way to Damascus, it is not that far of a stretch to think his sight was weakened or damaged. 

He will speak of writing big letters by his own hand elsewhere, another clue of the ailment of sight. 

His natural sight has diminished, but his spiritual eyes now see clearly. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Our Image - Genesis 1:26-27

Genesis 1:26-27 ESV 
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

In His image we are created. There is a plurality to God and we share in that attribute.

Genesis 5:3
When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

1 Corinthians 15:49
Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Seth received the image of Adam after the fall. No longer do we bear the image of our Heavenly Father until as a believer we begin our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Creating man in the image of His Son is still underway. All who believe are predestined to be like Jesus. Christ was slain before the foundation of the world and so was the predestination of those who would believe to be like Him. 

Galatians 4:19
my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

From the clay of our earth God fashions the new man in His own image. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Known By God - Galations 4:8-9

Galatians 4:8-9 ESV 
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

It may be hasty to say we know God when we believe. We become adopted sons of God and we are now known and loved by Him as His sons. This does not mean we know Him. It does mean we are made alive to the experience of Him. If we do not fully know ourselves, how can we say we know God? At best we see dimly until He comes for us. Then we will know. 

Until then, do not look or turn back to the ways of the world. You have been freed to life, no longer slaves to death. We've climbed out of that hole through the power of the Lord. It would be beyond tragic to fall back into the pit. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Put On Christ - Galations 3:25-29

Galatians 3:25-29 ESV 
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

We are sons of God and the offspring of Abraham. We are one in Christ, and therefore heirs according to the promise. Differences dissolve in the divine. 

We put on Christ on the inside. This is where the Spirit of Christ gives birth to a new and reborn creature, a spirit made alive that will inherit the new earth when we are joined with immortal bodies. The new earth begins in us. 

The union of heaven and earth will be complete when He returns. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

So That I Might Live - Galations 2:19-20

Galatians 2:19-20 ESV 
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The whole point of creation is that some might live to God. The law was given that we would distinguish between death and life, the flesh and divine, between the light and the darkness. 

Earth begins in darkness and will end in light. In that light is life. The light of the world now lives in us. It will never be extinguished. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Might Be Given - Galatians 3:21-22

Galatians 3:21-22 ESV 
Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

The law is part of life. It brings us to the promise and is therefore a necessary step in the promise, making the way of faith possible. It was the law that reveals the need for faith, because no one can keep the law. 

This is the same reality demonstrated in the Garden of Eden. It is through the knowledge of good and evil that we are able to choose between the two. No one else in creation other than man is given this opportunity on this frail earth. 

We all fall short of perfection. It is in the earth of imperfection that the seed of perfection is sown. The tree of life multiples that seed to fill the earth. It is very good. 

The promise of faith is available to all. It is given to those who believe God. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Sun Had Risen - Genesis 19:23

Genesis 19:23 ESV 
The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar.

The light of the Lord continues to shine in the darkness. It rises on earth and will do so until the knowledge of the Lord fills the earth. 

Just as Lot was pulled into the house for safety, so is he taken out of harm's way before the city's destruction. This is part of the separation of light and darkness. The children of light are reborn and begin to take shape. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

God Is One - Galatians 3:19-20

Galatians 3:19-20 ESV 
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

The offspring is Christ. To Him the promise is made. All those in Christ receive that promise. We are one with Christ who is one with the Father. We are united by the Holy Spirit. 

The law was given by an intermediary, that is Moses. God wrote the law on stone tablets, gave them to Moses who brought it to the people. 

An intermediary is not used in the fulfillment of the promise. It is put in place by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are one. The way of God is written on our hearts because the very Spirit of God dwells there. The language used is the living word of God. We comprehend this life as the Son and Spirit of God, with Whom we are one. 

God is one and so are we. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Offense Of The Cross - Galatians 5:11

Galatians 5:11 ESV 
But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

Circumcision of the flesh is a sign of the old covenant. Preaching circumcision abandons and denies the work of Christ. Mercy and grace are the offenses of the cross. There is no room for these in the economy of works in which salvation rests and depends on the individual. There is no room for life except in the house of the Lord. 

The new covenant is based on the work of Christ on the cross. He is the one who performs this work. Taking offense at the cross means favoring death over life, for Christ overcame death and the world through His work of the cross, bringing those who would follow to life. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Groping For The Door - Genesis 19:10-11

Genesis 19:10-11 ESV 
But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

The Lord reaches out to make people His own and bring them into His house. He shuts the door of the kingdom of heaven. The wicked cannot enter. There is but one way in and Jesus is that door. Death has no part with life. 

Like these men struck with blindness, the world cannot see the door. The earth dwellers grope for the way in, but deny the existence of the very door they seek. 

The wicked will wear themselves out while the strength of the saints are renewed. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anyone Else? - Genesis 19:12

Genesis 19:12 ESV 
Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place.

Two different Hebrew words are used for the English "anyone" in this verse. They offer further distinction between family, those here, and all others in the city. Lot is to bring them out if he can. 

The Lord poses the same question today. Is there anyone else that would be saved?

Many have not made that decision. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

For The Sake Of Ten - Genesis 18:32-33

Genesis 18:32-33 ESV 
Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Abraham pleads with God for the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah. For the sake of ten righteous men in the city God would relent from destroying the city. This might remind us of the power of a little leaven in bread. The kingdom of heaven can sprout from the smallest seed. 

The number ten in Scripture "signifies the perfection of Divine order" - Bullinger. It took ten men to form a synagogue, an assembly of God, a presence of the Divine. 

If there was some righteousness in the city, it would be spared. It was found lacking. After Lot and family were taken from the city, it was destroyed. This contains an echo of Noah and his family's salvation from the destruction of the earth. The righteous rode the wave of destruction that would engulf the earth. The waiter receded and the sea was no more. The earth was made new. 

This destruction foreshadows the coming cleansing of wickedness from the earth at the return of Christ. He will see for Himself and judge with truth and justice. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Is Anything Too Hard? - Genesis 18:12-15

Genesis 18:12-15 
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

The good news is so unbelievably good it is hard to believe, but believe we must. The Lord said Sarah would have a son when Sarah was well past child bearing. Who would not have been doubtful? There is every reason to not believe what is said until you realize who makes this promise. 

He can and will do things beyond belief and our imagination. We will each be reborn into sons of God. There will be joy and laughter. 

When it was impossible for us to come to God on our own, He made a way. We might laugh at what He has said, but it has and is being accomplished. Laughter, indifference, or denial will never alter the truth of His word. 

It will expose our truth, or the lack of it. His word is truth. 
His word is Jesus Christ. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

I Will Establish - Genesis 17:21

Genesis 17:21 ESV 
But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

Abraham saw his limitations instead of God's power and offered a plan more reasonable to man to help the Lord and ensure success. Surely this would be easier and more likely to provide descendants than Sarah bearing a child? But God's ways are not the ways of man. 

God would bless Ishmael, but the child of promise would be Isaac, Sarah's own son. God would make a way when there was no way. His word will prevail and it is good. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Lord Appeared - Genesis 18:1-5

Genesis 18:1-5 ESV 
​And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”

The Lord appears before Abraham. He lifts his eyes and sees three men. He speaks to the Lord and invites them to refresh themselves. 

They answer. 

Who are these three manifestations? How do they relate to the Lord? 

The Lord is three in one. Is this the answer? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

You And Your Offspring - Genesis 17:9-10

Genesis 17:9-10 ESV 
And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

Now God tells Abraham what he must do as acknowledging the relationship, the agreement with the Lord. The covenant includes Abraham and his offspring. It is an outward sign in their flesh of a union between them and the Lord, a symbol and reminder of the covenant. 

His offspring will enter the same covenant as Abraham, which is based on faith, that is trust in the Lord. 

He is faithful and His love endures forever. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Passed Between - Genesis 15:17-21

Genesis 15:17-21 ESV 
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

In the darkness of Israel's journey in the wilderness the Lord would go before them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He would lead them to the promised land occupied by a wicked people. Across the desert sand they would journey following the Lord to this new land. 

This may also signify the the journey of the soul. The Lord enters the life of this chosen people to separate them from the world and lead them to new life. The flaming torch may serve to remind us of the Holy Spirit that would later come to dwell within each believer to lead them to the ultimate promised land, the presence of God. The smoking fire pot might point to the pleasing aroma that comes from a reborn heart offering the sacrifice of praise. The burning coals in the fire pot could represent our hearts lit by the flame of life. 

God alone makes the pledge. He passes through the carcasses while Abram sleeps. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Between Me And You - Genesis 17:1-3

Genesis 17:1-3 ESV 
​When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face...

Previously God had made a covenant with Abram concerning the land. This covenant did not require anything from Abram. 

This second covenant would involve both parties. Instead of the land being the focal point, God would covenant "between me and you" to multiply his descendants. Both would have something to perform according to the agreement. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Against All - Genesis 16:11-12

Genesis 16:11-12 ESV 
And the angel of the Lord said to her, 
“Behold, you are pregnant
and shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
because the Lord has listened to your affliction.
He shall be a wild donkey of a man,
his hand against everyone
and everyone's hand against him,
and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

There are two sons in this pattern as we see in other places in the Biblical story. Cain and Abel come to mind. The older son slays the younger. Esau and Jacob also come to mind. The younger is blessed. 

The pattern continues here with Ishmael and Isaac. God's purpose seems to involve both brothers. The world would be much more peaceful without the descendants of this wild donkey of a man. God is using these descendants to bring His chosen people to Him. God is using the fiery furnace of the world to refine a people. Jews and Christians will feel the heat of that forging. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Drove Them Away - Genesis 15:9-11

Genesis 15:9-11 ESV 
He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

The Lord responds to Abram's question by first telling him to gather these particular animals. Three of the animals are to be three years old. The number three is the spiritual number of the divine in Scripture. There are five animals required. Five is the number of grace. Later Moses would specify these animals to be used for burnt offerings, a sacrifice for the cleansing of sin. See Leviticus Chapter 1.

These verses contain a message of the Lord's divine grace. This is the fundamental answer to Abram's question. The word of the Lord would be be fulfilled according to His grace. 

Cutting animals as a sign and witness to a covenant was not uncommon in that day, but the Lord would use this vehicle of symbolism in an uncommon way. The birds that normally would feast on the dead are driven away. This could be an early sign of the coming defeat of death.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Stars - Genesis 15:5-6

Genesis 15:5-6 ESV 
And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Abram is told to look up toward heaven to understand the number and nature of his offspring. The stars are apt examples, for his descendants will be children of light. That's you and me. God's light abides in His children as we abide in Him. 

We abide as we believe. Therein is righteousness. 

We will shine with the light of the Lord. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How Am I To Know? - Genesis 15:7-8

Genesis 15:7-8 ESV 
And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

The Lord has called us out of the world to possess an inheritance that is out of this world. Abram believes God, but wants to know more. We have received the same promise from the same Lord. It is a natural question. How do we know?

Abram's vision has the light of the Lord passing between the halves of the animals, in the very center of the creatures. That was the Lord's answer to Abram and foreshadows His answer for us. We are sealed in the Holy Spirit as we come to believe. The light of the Lord lives in us and confirms the promise, and with it comes a peace beyond understanding. 

This is how we know. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fear Not - Genesis 15:1

Genesis 15:1 ESV 
​After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

The Son of God appears throughout the Bible. Who is the word of the Lord but the Son through whom creation appeared? He says to Abram "Fear not", and the same word is active and present today for us. 

The Lord of everything is our shield and reward. If He is for us, who can stand against us?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our Heavenly Dwelling - 2 Corinthians 5:1-3

2 Corinthians 5:1-3 ESV 
​For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.

Just as the Lord clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins when they left the Garden, we will be clothed by God's hand in eternal bodies. Animal skins of this tent will be replaced the white stones of a new dwelling place. Our present tabernacles will be set aside as we become part of the temple of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. 

Now we are covered by the blood of Christ. Then we will take on the rock of Christ, for we will be like Him, leaving the blood behind. Life is no longer in the blood, but in the life of the Lord. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

He Will Hear - 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV 
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Pray for our people and nation. 
Let us seek His face and turn to Him. 
He will forgive us. 
He will heal the land. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Weeds - Matthew 13:38-39

Matthew 13:38-39 ESV 
The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.

The good seed is the word of God. That word is the light of the world. The light becomes our own as we become the seed of that which is to come. We wither and fade as we grow old in these mortal bodies, but the light within contains that seed of light and life which will rise from the ground into immortality. 

Playing in the weeds may be fun for a little while, but it's easy to get lost and that's no place to be at the end of the age. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Had Passed Away - Revelation 21:1

Revelation 21:1 ESV 
​Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

In the beginning earth had no form. The dark sea covered the world. 

God said, "Let there be light!,"

That light has come and  will increase until the dark sea is no more. Something new will take it's place. A new heaven and earth will take shape, and the world will be covered with the knowledge of God. Adam's charge to subdue the earth will be done by the one he foreshadowed, that is Jesus Christ. 

There must be light for a shadow to be cast. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A White Horse - Revelation 19:11

Revelation 19:11 ESV
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

Revelation 6:1-2
​Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

The riders of these white horses are quite different. The white horse in chapter six is commanded to come by one of the living creatures. From the earth it appears. The rider is given the authority to conquer. God allows this for His purposes. 

The white horse in chapter nineteen comes at no one's command. He comes from heaven. Nothing is given to Him because all things are His. This rider is called Faithful and True. He is much more than a conqueror. 

There is no one that judges righteously other than Jesus Christ. He will truly judge.