Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Romans 4:24-25 Who Raised Him from the Dead?

Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

I have been participating in a study of Romans with After God's Heart, a community Bible Study for women. We are currently studying this passage, and the question was asked: "What do the following verses reveal about who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead?" These verses are given:

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

John 2:19-22 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21  But he spake of the temple of his body. 22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

As I read these verses carefully, I realized that each of the persons of the trinity participated in the resurrection, and I wanted to share.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1 Samuel 16 Music and Spirits

1Sa 16:23  And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

David's music healed Saul of the distress caused by the evil spirit by making the evil spirit leave. I believe the music he played must have been pleasing to God.
I wonder if music displeasing to God would encourage evil spirits to come...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Luke 13:15 Freedom

 10And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
 11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
 12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
 13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
 14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
 15The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
 16And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? (Luke 13:10-16, King James Version)

 5And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? (Luke 14:5, King James Version)

These two passages are similar. I have quoted the whole story from Luke 13 to give the idea of both. There is much that could be said, but what I noticed were the animals. The ox was a clean animal; that is, it was acceptable for sacrifice. The donkey ("ass") was unclean; it was not acceptable for sacrifice. But they were both useful as working animals, and both needed regular care.

Jesus is making a point, or rather several points, in these healings and in His use of oxen and donkeys as examples. He shows that God will care for the Jew (ox/clean) and Gentile (donkey/unclean). He will set them free (loose them from their stalls/pull them from the pit). He will give them the Holy Spirit (water).

God will do this through His Son, Jesus, to all who believe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

John 21:20-22 Follow Me

Joh 21:20  Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 

I have been struggling with my Christian walk lately. I have a confrontation with another Christian, and I struggle with going to church. I look around and see what others are doing, and I wonder,"What about me? How does this apply to me? Does God mean I am supposed to do that, too?"
For example, one of my cousins is a very godly man. He spent over 20 years in church, participating in church stuff, being a leader. Then God sent him out into the wilderness, as he put it, and suddenly he wasn't in church at all. And as he told me about this, I wondered "What about me?"

But I have to remember that what other Christians close to me need to do in order to be in God's will may not be what I need to do: His Will for me is for me, not necessarily for someone else. I need to do what Jesus told Peter to do: Follow Him.
When I shared this with my friend Pearl, she said:
No comparisons, no jealousy, no resentment, no striving, no unrest, no heartache, no anger, no frustration, no insecurity.

 Just peace, perfect peace in the fact that He made Me the way He wanted me and Loves me more than I can think and imagine.
He loves me more than I can think and imagine. I must follow Him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Luke 5:17-26 Who is He?

Luk 5:17  And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
18  And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19  And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
20  And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
22  But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25  And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26  And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

This is a familiar story; it is also related in Matthew 9:2-8 and Mark 2:1-12. What I see here is this: in verse 20, Jesus forgives the sick man his sins. In verse 21, the Pharisees, who knew the scripture, accused him in their hearts of blasphemy because only God can forgive sins. In verse 24, because He knew what they were thinking, Jesus proves His authority to forgive sins by healing the man's infirmity, as well.
The logical progression is this:
  • Jesus forgave sins
  • Only God can forgive sins
  • Jesus healed miraculously
  • Only God performs miracles (this is understood but not explicit in this text)
  • Therefore, Jesus is God

They were all amazed, filled with fear, and gave glory to God. So should we all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Luke 25:25-31 A Promise Fulfilled

Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew [show] him my salvation.

Luk 2:25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

The Bible is one book. It was written over more than a thousand years, by many human scribes, but it tells one story.

Psalm 91 speaks of the blessings that accompany one who stays in God's presence, and it ends with the verse above. Once as I was reading the passage in Luke which is cited above, I realized that, especially in verses 29 & 30, I was reading of the fulfillment of the promise in Psalm 91:16. That realization blessed me because I love finding events predicted in the Old Testament which are fulfilled in the New. I hope you are blessed, also.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leviticus 25:9-13 Jubilee

Lev 25:9  Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. 10  And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11  A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. 12  For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. 13  In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession.

The Jubilee brought freedom and restoration. Debts were canceled, property which had been sold reverted to its original family, Hebrew slaves were released. This freedom and restoration began each fiftieth year on the day of atonement. It is a type of Jesus, who came to free us from bondage to sin and restore our former relationship to God at His first coming. It also looks to His second coming, when He will return to earth to claim it as His possession.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leviticus 4:3 Sins of the High Priest

Lev 4:3  if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, ... (ASV)

The sins of the High Priest also fall on the people.  It is a blessing that our High Priest, Jesus, never sinned!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Exodus 34:1-4 Stone Hewing

Exo 34:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. 2  And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 3  And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
Exo 34:4  And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.

Eze 11:19  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 

Have you ever wondered why Moses had to cut the stones himself for God to re-write the Ten Commandments? God had done the whole job the first time, why didn't He do it all again? Well, I have wondered this, and I asked God why. This is what He showed me: The stone tablets represent our hearts. They have become hard, like stone, through sin. And the only way we can become right with Him is if we bring our hard hearts to Him in humility, admitting our sin. It is hard work, like chiseling stone, but it is the only way. Then, when we turn to Him in this way, He graciously gives us hearts of flesh instead of stone, and writes His law on our hearts, as He promised He would.

Exodus 20:24-25 Altar Building

Exo 20:24  An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25  And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

In verse 24 God instructs Moses to make an altar of earth. The Hebrew word translated "earth" is from the root adam which means "to show blood, be red, ruddy." Adam is also the root of the word translated "man" in Genesis. So when Paul, in Romans 12:1, says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." he is telling them, in essence, to make themselves into an altar of earth, to sacrifice their self-centeredness to God. And God, in Exodus, promises to bless them if they do.

Then in verse 25 God speaks of an altar of stone. The Hebrew word here is eben, which is nearly identical with the word for son, ben. This is an allusion to Jesus the Son (ben) of God, who is often represented by a stone or rock in Scripture. God is saying to us that if we trust in Jesus but try to change Him at all, chipping some off because we don't like it, or adding our work to His, then we have polluted it. We cannot be saved by our own work, but only by the work Jesus did during His death, burial, and resurrection.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exodus 4:19-20 Take Them and Go

Exo 4:19  And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
20  And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
This prefigures Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returning to Israel from Egypt:

Mat 2:19  But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20  Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
21  And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Genesis 28:11 Rest on the Rock

Gen 28:10  And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Jacob put the stone, which represents Christ, at his head and rested. We are to do the same.

Genesis 28:12 Jacob's Ladder

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
John 1:50  Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. 

When Jacob dreamed of the ladder to heaven, he dreamed of Jesus, whose sacrifice opened the way to heaven, and who controls everything the angels do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Matthew 16:4 Seeking Signs

Jesus said, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.." A similar passage is Luke 11:29-30: "And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, "And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation."

To whom was He speaking? The Sadducees and Pharisees who knew the Scripture thoroughly but refused to see Him for who He was: God's Son and the Messiah for whom they claimed to be waiting. They counted on their righteousness in the performance of the Torah to save them, yet they twisted it so it meant what they wanted. They were wicked and idolatrous, committing spiritual adultery and justifying it by their works.

So today: Modern Pharisees and Sadducees, people who claim to know Jesus, seek signs. They seek healing, prosperity, and miracles while still living the way they please and justifying themselves. But the only sign they will be given is that of Jonah: he was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale (great fish), then was vomited up to preach repentance to Nineveh. In like manner, Jesus came preaching repentance to us, and He spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth  (Matt 12:40) so we could be justified before God and spread the message of repentance and forgiveness to the world.

Do you seek signs from God? Do I? We must check ourselves! We may need to turn from our sin and seek His forgiveness instead!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Genesis 22:6 The Cross

Gen 22:6  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

Abraham laid the wood on Isaac his son, so (as a type of Christ)
Isaac carried his cross.

Genesis 12:3 Blessing

"And I will bless them [plural] that bless thee, and curse him [singular] that curseth thee:."

Everyone is able to receive this blessing, the only condition is to bless the descendants of Abraham. He who curses is the adversary.

Genesis 4:1-7 Why ?

Why did God reject Cain's offering?
Verse 7 says, "Gen 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." So God was saying that Cain had not done well. Although the timing or the content of Cain's offering (I have heard both given as explanations for its rejection) may be clues, the ultimate problem was in Cain's heart. God's rejection of the offering served to expose Cain's problem: he did not love his brother, Abel, but was jealous of him.