Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jesus and Psalm 82

In a recent study, I encountered Psalm 82. This is the Psalm which Jesus quoted in John 10:
Joh 10:22  And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30  I and my Father are one. 
31  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 
32  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 
33  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 
34  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 
In verse 34 above, the Scripture to which Jesus referred was Psalm 82:6. Here is the Psalm in its entirety:

Psalm 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

In reading this Psalm with the Strong's numbers, which was needed for the study I was doing, I realized I was seeing the situation in John 10. I will try to explain... 

In the Psalm, verse one, God is standing among the powerful,  judging them. Looking at John 10:24-26, Jesus is standing among the leaders of the Jewish people, telling them that they are not his sheep because they do not believe him. 

Verses 2-4 of the Psalm detail some of the things the Jewish leaders are doing and not doing which God would have them change, and verse 5 shows their unwillingness to see the light which is before them in the person of Jesus. Instead, they accuse him of blasphemy and making himself God when he was a man. (John 10:33)

That is when Jesus quotes the Psalm, verse 6, showing that their accusation is groundless, because not only is he a child of God, but they are, also. This doesn't deny the relationship he has with his father (John 10:30)--instead, if they would but see it, it shows them the relationship that the father desires to have with them.

Father, give us ears to hear, that we may follow your Son.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Wait on the Lord

I was reading a post Entering the Promised Land, and found myself thinking, "Wait on the Lord." Wanting to comment there, I searched for those words. I was encouraged and uplifted by what I found, and if you are in a dark place, or are wondering where God is, perhaps you will find help in these verses:

Psalms 27:14
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Isaiah 30:18
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Psalms 130:5
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Psalms 39:7
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Micah 7:7
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Lamentations 3:25
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Lamentations 3:26
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Psalms 37:7
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earthquakes in Various Places

I am interested in earthquakes, and lately there have been many which appear on the evening news. So recently, knowing that earthquakes are mentioned in the Bible, I did a short word study.

Picture this: Elijah, the prophet of God, has just done a big thing. Now Jezebel is out for blood, and he runs for his life forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God. There he has a conversation with God, and we read this:
1Ki 19:11  And he [God] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 
1Ki 19:12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 
1Ki 19:13  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 
What does it mean, for us today?
God is in charge of every event, every day. He uses them for his own good purposes. But He is not necessarily IN them. We must not use such things for guidance. Instead, we must listen for his "still, small voice."
Isa 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. 
Then, when we have heard, we must do. I know, this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, it is true. 
So, when you hear of  these things "...nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." (Mat 24:7) do not be afraid or give up hope. Listen for God, and do what he says. He has promised he will not leave you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Give Glory to God

Did you ever wonder what it means to give glory to God? It's one of those things we are told we are supposed to do, and it sounds like a very good thing, but what does it look like? Are we giving God glory when we sing a worship song or hymn? Go to church? Pass out religious literature? Take communion? Pray? Read the Bible? Point out sin? Preach?

Not necessarily.

God has some things to say about giving Him glory, and we can learn what He means from what He says. Searching the New Testament for the words "glory God," I learned.
It is simple.

Luke 2:8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

  • This passage is about Jesus' birth. The whole purpose of Jesus' life and death was God's glory. When we follow Jesus according to God's plan, we are giving God glory.

Luke 17:11  And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

  • This teaches us that thanking God for what He has done is giving Him glory.

John 11:1  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
3  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

14  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

40  Jesus saith unto [Martha], Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

  • This is a little more complicated: Obviously, that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead gave God glory. But how does that apply to us today? One does not often see people raised from the dead least not physically. But spiritually it is a different story. Every person who becomes Jesus' disciple passes from death into life (See John 5:24). So our salvation is a resurrection, and gives God glory.

Acts 12:22  And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
23  And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

  • Herod was a great orator, but God judged him "because he gave not God the glory" for his skill. When we give credit to God our Creator for our abilities, we give Him glory.

Romans 4:19  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

  • Abraham, in his faith in God's promise of a son, gave Him glory through that faith. Likewise, we give God glory through our faith that He will keep His promises. Further, we give God glory when we live according to our faith (Romans 14:23 & 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Rom 15:7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

  • Strong's lexicon defines receive as “to take to oneself, that is, use (food), lead (aside), admit (to friendship or hospitality)." So we give God glory when we break bread together, counsel each other, and extend friendship or hospitality to one another. This is the outworking of the commandment to love one another, and the witness to those outside the body of Christ that we are His.

There are a few others, but these sum it up: Turn to Jesus for salvation and follow Him in faith; thank God, giving Him credit for what He has done; love one another. That is how to give glory to God. Simple.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 31

I am not a fan of halloween.

Some years ago, I worked the evening shift. I enjoyed listening to the radio as I commuted, because at that time I could hear a folk music show on my way home. One night, every song played had the devil as its subject. When I noticed this, I first wondered why, then I remembered it was halloween. That was the night when God brought home to me that halloween was the devil's holiday.

Eph 5:11  And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather even expose them. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

First Corinthians 1: Christ Is Divided

Psalm 133
1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. 

I was reading Ivan Panin's numeric translation of First Corinthians when the Holy Spirit highlighted a verse for me. The verse was 1 Corinthians 1:13, which in the King James Version says this: "Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" Panin, however, made the first phrase a declaration instead of a question: "Christ is divided: was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized into the name of Paul?" (My emphasis)

Full stop. This is different. What does it mean?

Christ is divided. Not good. Not good at all.

The context bears this out: Paul is chastising the Corinthians for contention and factionalism:
1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Co 1:11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Co 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 
Specifically, he is telling them that following a man, even a well-known one such as Paul, Cephas (Peter), or Apollos, is not right. Each of them had been baptized into the name of Jesus, therefore they all were to follow Jesus. To follow anyone else is contentious, and carnal (1 Cor 3:3). It is sin.

So, what does that mean today? Do we, who claim Jesus, divide him? Are we contentious?

We follow, for example, Luther, the Pope, Calvin, Wesley, or one of a host of others. We follow this or that radio, television, or internet preacher. We follow "our" pastor or priest or minister. We divide the body of Christ over men. 

It is idolatry. 
We need shepherds, because we are sheep. But if we follow a man who is not Jesus, and do not compare what he says and does with what is taught in the Bible; if we accept what a man teaches, and do not reject the lies and misinterpretations which creep in; we are in sin. We are making that man, whoever he is, into our god.

It is death.
We who claim Jesus as our savior and lord are one body, Christ's body, on earth, and he is our head (Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 10:17, Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:18). If a man is beheaded, he dies. Similarly, if one part of the body is cut off from the rest, that part dies. So if we remove Christ as our head and put a man there, or if we separate from one another because of a man, something dies. Not Christ: he overcame death in resurrection. But we die, our witness dies, our usefulness to God dies. Fellowships die. Churches die.

This need not be.
The solution is simple, although it isn't easy. It is as simple as turning away from putting man ahead of God, learning scripture, and asking God to reveal the lies we have believed. He answers that prayer, if we mean it.

Examine yourself to see if you are guilty of this. Ask God to search you and reveal any idolatry and all lies, then turn from those he reveals. It will not be easy, but it is right.

It will allow us to experience the blessing of Psalm 133.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Think on These Things

Matthew 25:40b  ...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

Have you been overwhelmed by the struggles and need of others? I have. And I have often not done anything, because what I could offer seemed so small. But God showed me today, that if we each do the small thing the sum will be large for the one in need. And He promised in this passage that when we help those in need, we are  doing Him worship. 

With God's help, I will do the small things He puts before me, and trust Him to make the sum large.