Posted on June 23, 2021
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 ESV
Isaiah’s prophesy pops up in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament writer. The way in the wilderness, Jesus our Messiah, came to earth as a babe born in humble circumstances. Jesus didn’t arrive on the scene of Scripture the night He came down to earth. His earthly arrival was foretold for centuries across the Old Testament. The angels worshipped God as the sky broke open and the miraculous star spotlighted the newborn Savior of the Word. The shepherds in the field reassure us He is a Savior for all, both Jew and Gentile. God was doing a new thing, to bring all of His children home to Him.
Posted on June 21, 2021
But …This small conjunction of the English language flows in and out of our conversations daily. It means “on the contrary, except, or unless.” As a preposition, it means, “with the exception of; except; save.” And as an adverb, it means “only or just.” It is a small word, but useful in enhancing the meaning of surrounding words and signaling appropriate pause. But God signifies a redirection in what we are able to accomplish, in contrast to the power and works of God.
The phrase “but God,” appears verbatim as an important concept throughout the entirety of the Bible. Though Author of every breath and blessing, humanity’s sinful nature continues to rebel against our great, loving God. The apostle Paul divinely penned, “I do what I hate,” describing the impossible escape from the sin of this world. God isn’t surprised by evil, nor our struggle with sin. His response since the beginning of time has been to provide a plan of rescue and redemption. The sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, the Son of God, is the greatest expression of God’s love. The ultimate but God is the Messiah’s defeat of death. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
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Posted on June 18, 2021
Psalm 139 is a psalm of prayer, meant to be sung in praise at worship services. When we seek to learn, when we look for help or healing, when we express gratitude or anxiety, and when we celebrate blessings … we pray. Prayer is conversation with God, layered with all of these intricate levels which contribute to our relationship with God our Father. The NIV Study Bible shares, “Nowhere (outside of Job) does one find expressed such profound awareness of how awesome it is to ask God to examine not only one’s life but also one’s soul.” Life within the love of Christ further amplifies what the psalmist poured from his heart. We have been created by God, purposefully. He knows us, intimately better than we know ourselves! He is mighty to save and always good. He is all-knowing and everywhere. Because of who He is, we are always loved and never alone.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/m-gucci
Posted on June 16, 2021
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5 ESV
Light signifies goodness. It literally brightens up our world, and goodness brightens the countenance of our souls. In Christ, the supernatural power of light compels us to goodness, as well.
God the Father defeated the power of darkness and death through God the Son, Jesus, when He raised Him from the dead after the crucifixion. A death Jesus willingly took on, to complete the will of His Father. God’s good and perfect will was to save us from darkness and bring us into the light.
What Does it Mean That ‘God Is Light’ in 1 John 1:5?
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21 ESV
Light symbolizes goodness, and God is good.
Posted on June 14, 2021
“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’” Exodus 34:6-7 ESV
Generational curses are behaviors we adopt because of the environment we are brought up in. Addictions and abuses can influence our behavior, but ultimately, we all have the choice to shake off those chains and embrace freedom in Christ. “The sins of the fathers are punished in the children through becoming the children’s own sin,” John Piper explains, “the hatred of God is the embodiment of what the father’s problem was.” Consequences for repeated sins are definitely generational. God proclaimed to Moses in the verses above He would not leave the guilty unpunished. Why would He want His children to continue on in deplorable habits that would bring them no true happiness or satisfaction? God so loved the world, He sent His only Son to save us. (John 3:16) He is slow to anger, always good, and He provided a way for us to break the curse of sin we are all born under.
Paul wrote, “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)