Thursday, July 06, 2017

Risen Without A Doubt

The unexpected happened and there is plenty of evidence to prove it.


John 20:1-9 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!"

3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in.

6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.

8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed-- 9 for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

Most authors end a biography pretty soon after the death of the person that is being written about. There usually isn't much to say about a person after they are dead, they quit doing things and saying things for anybody to write about, but that is not so with Jesus.

Jesus story starts to get really interesting after his death. The favorite part of the Bible for a lot of people is probably the New Testament from Acts through Revelation. The story of Jesus is really exciting as you about the amazing changes that happened in our relationship with God as a result of the fact that Jesus came out of the tomb.

None of the stuff that Jesus told us about heaven matters if he didn't rise from the dead, we would be foolish to put all of our hope in a dead man, if he didn't leave his grave then we have no hope of leaving ours. Thankfully the evidence that Jesus did rise from his grave is huge and it gives us plenty of reason to expect that we will experience his resurrection power in our lives as well. (John 6:37-40, 1 Corinthians 15:14-19)

Consider the evidence

  • The open tomb

A sealed tomb with Roman soldiers that "slept" through the noise of the large boulder being moved and now it is wide open for us to see that it is empty. Jesus proved when he came into a room without opening a door that the stone was moved for our benefit, it wasn't moved to let him out, it was moved to let us in. (John 20:19, 26; Luke 24:15, 31)

  • The scared disciples

These guys were too afraid to make a plan to pretend that the resurrection had happened. They didn't even comprehend that Jesus was coming back in three days. Why would they go through so much work and expense to give Jesus a proper burial if they believed that he was coming back so soon?

  • The religious leaders

If these guys had any information about the location of Jesus body they would certainly have been quick to let everybody know, they would have done whatever they could to stop the resurrection stories. Their story about the guards at the tomb taking a nap and missing the thief is rather lame.

  • The empty grave clothes

What grave robber would leave behind the clothing that was on Jesus and carry his bloody body away to a new location. His body was a mess that nobody would have wanted to see or touch.

  • The crowd of witnesses

Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus include the first to Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples on several occasions and to a crowd of over 500 people at once. The varied circumstances of the appearances and the different people that were involved help to validate the truth.

  • The disciples preaching

The powerful preaching of the disciples would have been easy to stop if somebody came forward with a dead Jesus. The disciples accused the Jews of crucifying the Son of God, wouldn't they stop at nothing to find Jesus body in order to stop such serious allegations?

  • The unexpected happened

It is amazing that nobody expected Jesus to be back in their midst after three days. God's word and the prophets had said that it would happen, just days before he was crucified Jesus said he would be crucified but he would be right back, yet nobody expected it would happen. (Luke 24:25-26)

From tears to joy, from fear to courage and from doubt to belief, they were all convinced. Even the Apostle Paul went from being a zealot to protect the traditions of Judaism to embracing the life and teaching of Jesus. 
The Apostle Paul saw Jesus and was convinced:
Romans 1:4 and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 4:24-25 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.

Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 6:10 When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God.

Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? No one--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.
Everyone that experienced the risen Savior was never the same and that is still true today. My relationship with Jesus is so awesome because it is the reason that I can have a peaceful, loving and friendly relationship with God while I am here on earth and there is no fear of meeting him when this life is over.

Thank you God that you revealed your plan to raise your Son Jesus from the dead and then you followed through and kept your promise.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Cross and Our Commitment

The cross should be life changing for all of us.


John 19:38-42 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus' body.

When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.

40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus' body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

For the past three years there have been crowds of people eager to follow Jesus everywhere that he went, just a week ago there were plenty of people that cheered for him as they declared him to be their Messiah, but where is everybody now?

I remember there used to be a powerful group of seventy disciples that Jesus sent out to do a short term mission trip to prepare the way for his ministry. This group gave up their time and left their families and their stuff behind to obey Jesus command to go. They came back from their mission trip with an exciting testimony about the way that God used them but then they are never mentioned again. (Luke 10:1-24)

Even the twelve that spent almost every moment for three years with Jesus. The only one of their group that was at the cross is John. As committed as this group was and as much as they had given up and invested in Jesus and yet now they are gone.

There were so many people in Jesus life everyday, he was being followed and he had thousands asking for his help constantly, but now it's only his mother and a handful of friends that followed him all the way to the cross. (Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:49; John 19:25-27)

This small group was probably shocked to learn that two people from Jesus past stepped back into the picture to give Jesus a proper burial. These two guys had encounters with Jesus but they didn't reach a decision until later on and they never came forward and expressed their conviction or show any commitment to Jesus.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were both members of the Sanhedrin, three of the gospels tell us that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich, God fearing man that did not vote to condemn Jesus and the book of John tells us that he was a secret disciple who feared the other Jewish leaders. The Book of John is the only book that tells us the part that Nicodemus played in the burial of Jesus.

I don't think that it is an accident that there was an empty tomb available nearby, was Joseph the rich man that the tomb belonged to? Was it possible for Nicodemus to run out to buy all of the myrrh and spices at the last minute when all of the stores would be closed in preparation for Passover?

It seem like these guys planned ahead to work as a team on the burial. Joseph had the burial place which he may have dug for this purpose and he went to ask Pilate if he could have Jesus body while Nicodemus brought the large quantity of spices that were needed for a proper Jewish burial. While every other disciple was hiding out these two guys were coming out of hiding and stepping up their commitment to Jesus.

The work that they set out to do could not be done in secret, they had to get Jesus buried in the daylight before Passover began. They would be found out but they didn't care, they were no longer ashamed to be identified as believers.

We do not know what happened to make them realize that Jesus is who he claimed to be. I have to wonder when these two men got it and decided that Jesus is the Messiah. They did what we all need to do, they showed courage and faith at record levels. These two would have to miss this Passover, they would be considered unclean, neither of them cared because they had found the real Passover Lamb.

We do not know what happened to these two as a result of coming out to honor Jesus. Any show of sympathy for a condemned criminal could bring trouble on yourself. How would Pilate react? What about the other religious leaders? There must have been a price to pay at the office when the rest of the guys found out about the work that these two had done to give Jesus a proper burial. The rest of the religious leaders must have scorned them and they probably lost their jobs and were not allowed in enter the synagogue ever again.
John 12:42-43  Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
Earlier in Jesus ministry he warned His disciples about trying to hide their allegiance to Him. It is remarkable that the first fact recorded after the death of Christ is one that shows us secret disciples that came out of hiding despite the consequences. The same cross that made most people run away was the beginning of a new level of commitment and dedication to Jesus.

Don't assume that a weak brother cannot be used for the Lord's purpose and don't put him down for his struggle. You would think that the weaker brother would be the first one in hiding but they overcame their fear and openly followed Jesus.
Ask yourselves whether you have sometimes held your tongues because you knew that if you spoke people would find out where you came from and what country you belonged to. Ask yourselves, Have you ever accompanied the witness of your lives with the commentary of your confession? Did you ever, anywhere but in a church, stand up and say, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, my Lord’?

When these men came for Christ’s corpse and bore it away, what a sharp pang went through their hearts! How much these two men lost-all those three years of communion with the Master; all His teaching, all the stimulus of His example, all the joy of fellowship with Him! Neglect of duty puts barriers up between you and God.
There isn't any room in the kingdom for secret disciples. You can be a secret sports fan or a secret follower of a particular social or political issue and then come out when the battle is over and squawk loud about your belief in the cause. But where were you during the battle?

The love that died for me should never be repaid with silence. How can we look upon Jesus and realize the evils and terrors that he went through for our sake and keep our love for him silent? I must be willing to share the good news and I must be committed to serve because of how he served the undeserving.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Greatest Words Ever: It is Finished!

God has done it all for me without my help.


John 17:4-5 I brought glory to You here on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring Me into the glory We shared before the world began.

John 19:28-30 Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, "I am thirsty." 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips.

30 When Jesus had tasted it, He said, "It is finished!" Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.

There is a voice that stands out above all the others, despite his weakness, it is a commanding voice that can easily be heard above the evil noise of Hell that is all around him. (Matthew 27:39-42) Satan was having his way with Jesus and and he was sure that he had won the war until Jesus told him otherwise.

When Satan heard Jesus words, “It is finished!” he knew what was finished and he knew it would always be finished. If you look at the word in the Greek you will see a picture of how finished it is. The word tetelestai means, “It is finished, it stands finished, and it always will be finished!”
He did not say, "I am finished," for that would imply that he died defeated and exhausted. Rather, he cried out "It is finished," meaning "I successfully completed the work I came to do."
Jesus completed the work required to bring us back into communion with God but Satan doesn't want you to believe it. He wants you to believe that there is something more that you need to do to help Jesus save you. Jesus work was of utmost importance so it is important that we know if it is a finished work or if we need to help him out.
Is It Finished?
Roman Catholicism denies the effectiveness of Jesus' finished work on the cross through the practice and observance of the mass. During the mass, through the unbiblically magical art of transubstantiation (Jesus literally becoming the bread and the wine), Jesus must sacrifice Himself again and again for sin.

Jehovah's Witnesses deny the effectiveness of Jesus' finished work on the cross by denying Christ died on the cross and by insisting one must be a member of the Watchtower Society and obey the Law of God to receive their demonic brand of salvation.

Mormonism denies the effectiveness of Jesus' finished work on the cross by adding their perceived righteousness and works to their ungodly salvation process. According to the Book of Mormon, salvation is by grace, plus works.

Islam denies the effectiveness of Jesus' finished work on the cross by seeing Jesus as nothing more than a prophet, second to their false prophet Muhammad. They also believe it was Judas (a treacherous false convert), not Jesus, who died on the cross.

-It Is Finished! (carm.org)
Satan loves to distort the facts. If the death of Christ satisfied God, then what more can the sinner do to try to satisfy God more than he already is? The answer is nothing. The only thing a sinner can do is receive the free gift of righteousness that God offers.

We could never mend our relationship with God and make it right. Everything has been done by God, he draws a man to him to a knowledge of the fact that he is a sinner and that his sin debt is in the way of having a relationship and then God provides the way to make our relationship with him possible.
Hebrews 10:10-12 For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand.
It is finished! It is very arrogant for a mere man to think that he could do anything to change his standing before God. It is even more arrogant or mistaken to think that you are a special man that has been appointed to be a priest with the power to grant forgiveness or conduct a Mass and re-sacrifice Jesus all over again. It is finished and Jesus meant what he said.

What was finished?


It is finished! So that I will hear the sweet sound of heaven someday! Jesus did what I could never do for myself. Since I was born into sin and I am a sinful creature right from the start, I would never be sinless and could never have any hope of being righteous before God.

Thank you Lord for paying the debt in full! Thank you for seeing me as if I had lived your son's perfect and sinless life.

RELATED ARTICLES
Forgiving Those Who Killed Him? (jesus.org)
It Is Finished! (carm.org)
Video: It Is Finished [Live] (Gaither Vocal Band)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Sweet Sound Of Heaven

Music is a small taste of heaven that we get to preview down here.


Revelation 5:9-14 And they sang a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For You were slaughtered, and Your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 And You have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth."

11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. 12 And they sang in a mighty chorus: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered--to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing."

13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever." 14 And the four living beings said, "Amen!"

And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.

One of the greatest gifts that God has given to us is music, it is beauty that you can hear, there is a style for everyone to enjoy. Music is just a small taste of heaven that we get to preview down here. The sound of music is a delight that you will only get to hear for eternity if you are prepared to spend eternity in heaven.

The only sound that hell knows is noise, the evil noise of hell can be heard all around us. The sounds of evil come from the satanic forces in our world and are heard everyday, there are screams, crying, cursing and gun shots, that should disturb us. There isn't anything pleasant about it and there isn't any harmony to the sounds of evil.

In contrast to all of this noise down here is the sounds that we will enjoy in Heaven. It will be loud from the very beginning, a shout from the archangel and a trumpet call is the next sound that a follower of Jesus wants to hear. We won't have to hear the noise of evil ever again as we enjoy the sweet sound of Heaven for eternity.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
If you think your neighbors are noisy in this world just wait until you hear how loud eternity is going to be. Heaven and Hell will both be very noisy places to live but the sounds will be much different.

The Apostle John gives us a peek at the glory of God and a listen to the reaction of those that have see his glory. John tells us that he "heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders." The Book of Revelation is filled with songs of praise (Revelation 4:8, 4:11; 5:9-13; 7:12-17; 11:15-18; 12:10-12; 15:3-4; 16:5-7; 18:2-8; 19:2-6)

Four reasons why we worship Jesus:

Because of who He is (Revelation 5:5-7)
He is the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," he is the “Ancient of Days.” and he is also the "Lamb."

Because of where He is (Revelation 5:6)
He is not in the manger, in Jerusalem, on the cross, or in the tomb. He is ascended and exalted in heaven.

Because of what He does (Revelation 5:8-10)
When the Lamb came and took the scroll (Dan 7:13-14), the weeping ended and the praising began.

Because of what He has (Revelation 5:11-14)
All of heaven’s praise came because the Lamb took the scroll from the Father’s hand. God’s great eternal plan would now be fulfilled and creation would be set free from the bondage of sin and death.
- Warren Wiersbe Commentary
The sounds of this world can be so discouraging, the meanness, the brutality and the chaos all around us can wear on us. We need to attend worship at least once a week and listen to worship music everyday so that we can get a little glimpse into the sweet sound that is waiting for us in our eternal home in heaven.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

Does my strength come from the mountains? No, my strength comes from God!


Video: for KING & COUNTRY - Shoulders

[Monologue]
I look up to the mountains
Does my strength come from the mountains?
No, my strength comes from God
Who made heaven, and earth, and the mountains

[Verse 1]
When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

[Verse 2]
When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near

[Chorus]
My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

[Verse 3]
You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

[Bridge]
My help is from You
Don't have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don't have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it's true

[Outro]
My help is from You
Don't have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don't have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it's true

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Evil Noise Of Hell

The calm, quiet words of Jesus stand out in the chaos.


John 19:16-19 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by Himself, He went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with Him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

John 19:28-30 Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, "I am thirsty." 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, He said, "It is finished!" Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.

All night long there was noise, last night was a very unsettled night for a lot of people in Jerusalem, and now the chaos of the previous evening has continued into Friday morning without any signs of stopping.

Jesus' passionate cries in the garden were interrupted by the chaotic noise of soldiers that came with Judas to arrest him. I imagine that there wasn't anything quiet about the soldiers bringing Jesus into Jerusalem to be questioned, they must have woke people up as they marched into town and made their way to the house of the High Priest.

It's disturbing to recall the noise as the prisoner was beat on mercilessly and then marched over to Pilate then to Herod and back to Pilate again, half the town was up early that morning as Jesus was moved around the city.

It is morning now and Pilate has heard enough and wants to get rid of this bother. "Not guilty!" was the decision from Pilate that stirred up the crowd, with the help of the religious leaders, the noise would continue to amplify as the "not guilty" prisoner would be beaten and whipped. Not guilty and yet he was treated so harshly.

Again and again the verdict would be told, "Not guilty!" but the Jews wouldn't let it go. Given a choice they cried out for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be executed. Despite all of Pilate's efforts they continued until Pilate gave in, rejected the advice of his wife and let the crowd have their way. (Matthew 27:18-19)
Matthew 27:39-42 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 "Look at You now!" they yelled at Him. 41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 "He saved others," they scoffed, "but He can't save Himself!
The anguish of being pierced with nails so that your body would hang on the cross, the jeers and insults of the Religious leaders and the Romans as he hung there, and then there was the protest over the sign Pilate had posted on the cross. (Mark 15:29-32)
Jesus Words From The Cross
1. “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
2. “Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
3. “Woman, behold thy son” (John 19:25-27).
[Three hours of darkness; Jesus is silent]
4. “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
5. “I thirst” (John 19:28).
6. “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
7. “Father, into Thy hands” (Luke 23:46).

Calm In The Midst Of The Clamor


There is an extreme contrast between the noise of hell's fury going full force against Jesus and his calm quiet disposition. Jesus said very few words as he spoke to his accusers at his trial and during the beatings in court, and we don't have any evidence that he said anything on the way to Golgotha or while he was being attached to the cross.

Jesus was know for turning a conversation around to get out of situations when the religious leaders were trying to trap him, but this time it was different, he didn't say much but when he did it was never anything that would get him out of this situation and it was never anything hateful to the people that abused him.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
This time they had him but not because Jesus was outmaneuvered, evil men thought that they had finally won in their efforts to get Jesus, they didn't have any idea that none of this was happening because of their efforts. Jesus chose the cup of God's wrath that the Father had prepared and ever since the garden he has not asked for it to be any other way.

Jesus first words from the cross were out of concern for others, he asked God to forgive the people that had abused him, he offered salvation to a dying criminal and he made provision for the care of his mother. (Luke 23:34, 42-43, John 19:25-26)

A mere human would never respond to all of this evil in such a calm and loving manner. In the middle of all of the noise and chaos of Hell, Jesus is at peace, he is calm in the midst of the persecution and suffering because he is in the center of God's will and he is accomplishing what he came here to do. (Philippians 2:8)
If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.
-Missionary C. T. Studd
The noise around me can be very great and it can be a huge distraction, I need to remember that Satan can make a lot of noise and he can make it seem like he is in control or he may get me to think that he the greatest but I know the truth that love has won the war!

RELATED ARTICLES
Seven Sayings Of The Savior (chapellibrary.org)
The Sweet Sound Of Heaven (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lift My Life Up

I lift my life, lift my life up, Have your way in me.


 Video: Unspoken "Lift My Life Up"

You brought me this far
So why would I question you now
You have provided so why would I start to doubt
I've never been stranded, abandoned or left here to fight alone
So I'm giving you control

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever

All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have your way in me
Have your way in me

If peace is a river then let it sweep over me
If I'm under fire I know it's refining me
When I hear you calling out I follow now wherever the road may go
I know you're leading me home

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever

All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

Have your way in me
Have your way in me
Take my life and let it be all for you
Take my life and let it be all for you
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trust and Obey

God supplies daily bread but he requires daily obedience.


Exodus 16:1-4 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.

2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. 3 "If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt," they moaned. "There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death."

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

Exodus 16:19-20 Then Moses told them, "Do not keep any of it until morning." 20 But some of them didn't listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.

Exodus 16:26-28 You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day." 27 Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. 28 The LORD asked Moses, "How long will these people refuse to obey My commands and instructions?

Long road trips can be very difficult, if can be made worse depending on who is in the car with you and what their attitude is like. We all know that if it is too hot or too cold or if somebody is too hungry or too anything else then it can get really challenging.

The whole nation begins to complain to Moses about the lack of food on this journey they haven't passed a Popeye's Chicken or even a 7-11 store, they are thinking about all the good food that was available to them back in Egypt. What?!?

I have read the Bible story of the Israelite's living in Egypt and I don't recall these people having it very good back there. It hasn't been good for hundreds of years but this road trip is turning ugly real quick because the supplies that they brought with them from Egypt are running low.

It was a real problem, they were hungry and they were not sleeping well on this extended camping trip, but an even greater problem is their selective memory. They longed for the good old days but the good old days didn't really exist.

It is very strange how fast we can change what we long for. Back in Egypt in the middle of their suffering they longed to be freed, the Lord heard their cries and miraculously provided, now they are in the desert and they long for what they think they used to have.

Instead of focusing on the time towards the end of their stay in Egypt when they watched the miraculous plagues, instead of focusing on the miracle of the first Passover and instead of focusing in on their incredible exit from Egypt, they chose to complain and make accusations.
Exodus 16:6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "By evening you will realize it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
God's people are hard headed, after all that they have seen God do in the lives they still need something to help them remember how good he is, even today we are quick to doubt God’s love and too quick to complain of His dealings with us.

The Lord provides for their physical need but he also provides them with a spiritual lesson that they need to grasp. The Lord gives them daily bread, similar to the portion that we are told to pray for in the Lord's model prayer, instead of giving them a stock pile of food that would last a long time. God gives his people a daily physical miracle as a reminder of a spiritual lesson that he is in control and he is the one that sustains them.

All that was required of them was some simple obedience to some simple rules, but just like all of us, we are all tempted to take care of ourselves and provide for our own well being and security by bending the rules that God has given us.

In our desert experiences we need to remember the example that Jesus gave us. When he was in the desert Satan planted seeds of discontent but Jesus didn't water the seeds, he let those seeds get burned up in the desert sand. Jesus desire to please his father was much greater than his desire for his physical situation to be changed.

We all have desires for more and we all are wired to take care of our security and plan ahead for tomorrow. This desire can easily lead us to hoard up against tomorrows circumstances but God, who has provided, wants us to continually trust that he will continue to provide.

Forgive me Lord for all the times that I have tried to provide for myself instead of relying on you. I should never compromise on obedience in order to take care of things myself.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Bible Study Is Essential

Reading the owners manual will help you get the best results.


Psalm 119:162, 167 I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure. I have obeyed your laws, for I love them very much.

Psalms 119:147-149 I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in Your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about Your promise. In Your faithful love, O LORD, hear my cry; let me be revived by following Your regulations.

Some of the most printed and least used books ever made are the owners manual. We buy a new product, we ignore the manual and we get right into using it, we don't care that the book is full of instruction and information that could help us out. We just let it sit around the house and collect dust until something goes wrong.

That's just how it is with God's word, most Christians know that the Bible is full of information that will help them get the most out of life but we let it sit around unused until we are in a situation that makes us panic. Now we are finally interested in getting acquainted with the directions.

I have to wonder if it really sinks into our heads when we call the Bible "God's word." Whose word? We call the Bible God's word and we don't think about what we are saying. How can we call it God's word and then ignore it like it couldn't possibly help us?

Check out the benefits of digging into God's word:


Study the Bible to grow.

1 Peter 2:2-3  Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,  3  now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness.
Everybody loves babies, whether it is a physical newborn or a spiritual newborn, we love to see new life. As happy as that makes us, we don't want to go see that same child three years later and find out that they are still an infant, that would make us sad.

The Apostle Paul was upset that the spiritual infants in Corinth were actually two year old. He couldn't teach them any deeper truths because they were still taking in milk. We start out with the milk of God's word such as "God so loved the world." As a brand new Christian you can understand that concept but if we go deep into theology too soon you won't be able to handle it. (I Corinthians 3:1-3)

Study the Bible to defeat sin.

Ephesians 6:17  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
What is the one weapon the Christian has? The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The writer of the Book of Hebrews says that it is a double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12)

The weapon of choice for Jesus in the desert is the weapon that we need to use (Luke 4:1-13) We need to know what the word of God says so that we can fight off Satan's temptation and get the victory. The Bible will help us to be cleansed from sins power when we are tempted to stray. (Psalm 119:9-11)

Study the Bible to train for service.

Joshua 1:8  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do
You have to admit that babies are good for cuddling but they are not very useful. You can't tell a baby to help you clean the house or go earn a paycheck. We need to be in the word to grow so that we can be useful in the family of God, we need to get a job, we can't sit around for years in a stroller while other Christians do all of the work. (Ephesians 2:10)

The Bible will teach us and show us what needs to be changed so that we will be equipped to work for serving. It is critical that we know what God's word says so that we can serve him properly. It won't help to work for the kingdom while breaking God's commands.

Study the Bible to be blessed.

Psalms 1:1-3  Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.  But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.  They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
The blessings of studying the Bible include being a happier person. If you are really into the Bible and applying it to your life then there isn't any room for misery. Miserable Christians are the ones that are defeated because they are not tapping into the power of God's word. No matter what the circumstances are you will have God's promises to give you hope and joy to get through it.

Study the Bible to help others.

2 Timothy 2:2  You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
You can't help anybody unless you know something, your ignorance not only makes you unable to help yourself, but it makes you unable to help anybody else. How can we show the world that we have the answers to life's trials if we are ignorant of how God helps us? We need to be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ. (1 Peter 3:15)

If you want to keep from wasting your life then you need to read the instructions that came from the designer and creator of your life. That should be very exciting to us!

What a blessing it is to have the words of our creator to give us understanding, the thought that he took the time to speak to us, he preserved his word through the ages so that he could tell us about himself and give us instructions on how to know him.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Only One Life

Only what's done for Christ will last.


Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God's holy will to cleave;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e'er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, "twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,"Thy will be done";
And when at last I'll hear the call, I know I'll say "twas worth it all";
Only one life,'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

By C.T. Studd
Psalms 39:4  “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, how fleeting my life is."