Posted on June 28, 2021
God’s design for humanity was never to exist and suffer under the curse of sin, separated from Him. We are made in His image, and He desires a relationship with us, His children. His plan was always to rescue and redeem us through His Son, who was there with Him at the beginning. Christ came to earth to seek and to save the lost. He conquered death by carrying out the will of His Father. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We come to the Father through Christ, by the sound of His Voice.
“Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.” (John 10:22-23)
Jesus taught about his status as the Good Shepherd during the Festival of Dedication, known today as Hanukkah, typically celebrated in November and December (NIV Study Bible). The festival was a commemoration of Jewish deliverance. Many surrounded Jesus at this time looking for Him to definitively claim his Messiahship, ready to claim blasphemy. Jesus turned their attention to his sheep, and the Good Shepherd who protects them. Matthew Henryexplained in his commentary of the Bible, “He described the gracious disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and non of them should parish; for the Son and the Father were one.” Jesus came to earth, fully God and fully man, to achieve the will of the Father in heaven. All things and everyone lie under the sovereign reign of God.
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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 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.
“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 May 21, 2021
Tragedy and shock often prompt us to panic, when it should prompt us to pray. The most powerful weapon we’ve been given to wield often gets shelved for worry, manipulation, and comparison. We sometimes make plans on this earth and ask God to bless them, instead of waking up to wonder what plans God has for us each morning we wake to breathe. “Your Father loves to answer your prayers with his glory,” Marshall Segal wrote in “God Wants You to Ask Again.”
Human nature becomes consumed with goals and next steps in accumulating wealth and prosperity, distracted by what “we have not,” only to miss the connection with the One True God who satisfies our souls. We may be asking, but in the wrong way, with the wrong countenance of heart. What is it, then, that we have not because we ask not?
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