Digging  The  Word


I am digging into God's word everyday because it really is God's word and I want to know what he said.

"I rejoice in Your word like one who discovers a great treasure."

He Shall Reign Forevermore

Unto us a child is born, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

 


He Shall Reign Forevermore
In the bleak mid-winter, all creation groans
For a world in darkness, frozen like a stone
Light is breaking, in a stable
For a throne

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
Unto us a child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

If I were a wise man, I would travel far
And if I were a shepherd, I would do my part
But poor as I am
I will give to Him my heart

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
Unto us a child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

Here within a manger lies
The One who made the starry skies
This baby born for sacrifice
Christ, the Messiah
Into our hopes, into our fears
The Savior of the world appears
The promise of eternal years
Christ, the Messiah

He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
And he shall reign forevermore, forevermore
He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
Unto us a child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

From the album:


God With Us: Why Did He Come?

What did God accomplish in sending his Son to die?

 

John 3:16 "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Each Christmas we celebrate the birth of somebody that would have never died, somebody that came so that he could die, somebody that died because of nothing that he did. What an amazing thought! Jesus could have stayed home and he would have avoided a lot of suffering. If I had to choose, I am pretty sure that I would have stayed home, I could not be so concerned for somebody else that I would leave the splendor of heaven and live here on this planet.

Such drastic actions on Jesus part should make us wonder, why did Jesus come to die? Who killed Jesus? What was the purpose? Why didn't he stay home avoid a lot of pain and sorrow?

Free book download: Fifty Reasons Jesus Came To Die - John Piper

In my study of "God With Us" this Christmas, I came across this John Piper book that is a free PDF download. The book there is a detailed study of why Jesus came to die, with an exhaustive list of reasons and a detailed explanation of what each reason is about and the Bible verses that backup each reason.

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die:



1. To Absorb the Wrath of God
2. To Please His Heavenly Father
3. To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
4. To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead
5. To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners
6. To Show His Own Love for Us
7. To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us
8. To Become a Ransom for Many
9. For the Forgiveness of Our Sins
10. To Provide the Basis for Our Justification
11. To Complete the Obedience That Becomes Our Righteousness
12. To Take Away Our Condemnation
13. To Abolish Circumcision and All Rituals as the Basis of Salvation
14. To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful
15. To Make Us Holy, Blameless, and Perfect
16. To Give Us a Clear Conscience
17. To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us
18. To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness
19. To Give Eternal Life to All Who Believe on Him
20. To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age
21. To Reconcile Us to God
22. To Bring Us to God
23. So That We Might Belong to Him
24. To Give Us Confident Access to the Holiest Place
25. To Become for Us the Place Where We Meet God
26. To Bring the Old Testament Priesthood to an End and Become the Eternal High Priest
27. To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest
28. To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry
29. To Free Us from the Slavery of Sin
30. That We Might Die to Sin and Live to Righteousness
31. So That We Would Die to the Law and Bear Fruit for God
32. To Enable Us to Live for Christ and Not Ourselves
33. To Make His Cross the Ground of All Our Boasting
34. To Enable Us to Live by Faith in Him
35. To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning
36. To Create a People Passionate for Good Works
37. To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love
38. To Create a Band of Crucified Followers
39. To Free Us from Bondage to the Fear of Death
40. So That We Would Be with Him Immediately After Death
41. To Secure Our Resurrection from the Dead
42. To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities
43. To Unleash the Power of God in the Gospel
44. To Destroy the Hostility Between Races
45. To Ransom People from Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation
46. To Gather All His Sheep from Around the World
47. To Rescue Us from Final Judgment
48. To Gain His Joy and Ours
49. So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor
50. To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good

Get the details for each reason in the free book download: Fifty Reasons Jesus Came To Die by John Piper.

God With Us: This Changes Everything!

We are so familiar with "God with us" that we don't really consider what that means.

 

Matthew 1:18-25  This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.  19  Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

20  As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  21  And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

22  All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through His prophet:  23  "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"  24  When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.  25  But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus.

The familiarity that we have of the scripture about Christmas makes us tune out early when we hear a sermon or a Sunday school lesson on the subject. The familiar doesn’t speak to us as well as it should, the awesomeness of the Christmas story disappears and the mind blowing reality of the facts disappear.

There are a lot of names and titles given to Jesus but the most significant is Emmanuel, this name which Matthew refers to in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23), was first given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before Jesus birth (Isaiah 7:14).

Slow down and focus for a minute, consider the awesomeness and how mind blowing this phrase is, I want to look at each word of the phrase:

“God With Us”


God

The world cannot come up with enough ways to distract us from the real reason that we celebrate at this time of year. There was a time when almost everybody in the United States knew what the celebration was all about but in today's world the truth about Christmas has been lost.
Luke 2:20  The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
The one and only true God came into our world! The promise that the prophets shared with us has come to pass. As Jesus grew into a man there was plenty of proof that convinced the people that knew him that he is God.


Many of the other religious systems would tolerate it but the first century Jew was the least likely to worship a human being and yet the Bible tells us that Jesus was being worshiped right after his birth by the angels and then by the shepherds. Even the demons that saw Jesus acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God.

With

The characters in the Christmas story all knew that God was with them! The very person that all of the Old Testament had been talking about was with them.
John 1:14   So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.
Wasn't God always with the human race?  Yes, God was with us but the baby changes how we relate to God. God, the Creator, has always been with His creation, but the God we see in the Old Testament was always terrifying. 
Exodus 19:16-18  On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram's horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently.
God is with us and he isn’t scary, the baby that is with us in the manger is the polar opposite of God as we see him in the Old Testament, God has removed the veil what Moses wanted to see through. Moses was denied what we have, the terror and fear are gone

The baby changes everything, they were able to approach the child and even hold him in their arms, Moses would wonder why we don't celebrate this amazing event in a manner that is more suitable for the reality of God with us. (2 Corinthians 3:12-18)

In his book the disciple John wants us to know that he was there, he had personal contact with Jesus, he saw what he did, he heard him teach and he touched a real physical body. John believed and he wished that his readers might come to the same conclusion that he had. (1 John 1:1-4)

Us

Who is the us that God came to be with? The rich and powerful were not chosen to be the ones that God revealed the child to. The dirty, the weary and oppressed, people that were hungry and desperate, those are the people that Jesus came to be with.

The spiritually hungry people that come to Jesus with nothing, no works or defense for their sin. We must come to God on his terms, see ourselves the way that he sees us and then we will be able to receive great gifts from him.

This Changes Everything

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  5 God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children.

6 And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father."  7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.
A baby changes everything but not every baby changes things as much as baby Jesus this child had an affect on world history. Jesus didn't just change world history, my desperate situation is completely gone and now as God's son I am an heir of the kingdom. My personal history had me destined to bear the punishment that was bore by Jesus. The baby can change your history as well!

Christmas is all about getting near him, just look at what he did to get close to you, God kept his promise to us. How can we ignore such an opportunity to be in close fellowship with our creator?

It will cost me some time, I will have to get out of bed earlier, I will have to find a quiet place to meet with him, and push aside all of the distractions. But who cares! The chance to meet with God is an amazing opportunity that we should take advantage of. It is amazing that we let it go without much concern.

"Christmas Changes Everything" by Josh Wilson

God with us changes everything, I can relate with him in a the most intimate, personal relationship imaginable with Him. I can approach God without shame or fear, I can depend on Him for all things and walk daily knowing that God is with me.

I need to take the time to really ponder the reality of God with us, I need to make the familiar story fresh again and see it with new eyes.

RELATED ARTICLES

God With Us (redeemer.com)
Why Did Christ Come (desiringgod.org)

Christ Is Born!

Lord most holy we worship and adore you!

 


Lord most holy
Lord most holy

We worship and adore You
O Holy Child of Heaven
O God incarnate One with the Holy Spirit
And with the Father

We lift our songs of praise to Thee
Redeeming love has set us free
For Christ has been victorious
and he will reign eternally

The Son of God, our Hope,
Our Great Redeemer, The Prince of Glory
We lift our songs of praise to Thee
Redeeming love has set us free

We long for heaven and for his return
and we will praise him eternally

A Heart Of Thanks: Joyfully Praises God

Shout for joy when you remember God's love and faithfulness.

 

Psalms 100:1-5 A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!  2 Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy.  3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are His.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  5 For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.

This world is a noisy place, it is so bad that there are people that have issues with sensory overload, everything begins to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. This sensitivity to noise is known as hyperacusis, a condition that occurs from a problem in the way the brain processes noise.

The noise that the world makes is not joyful, there are so many people that are angry yelling about whatever, there are cell phones ringing and Facebook notifications and text messages dinging. Construction equipment, political ads, airplanes and gunfire, this world fills up our heads with unpleasant sounds all day long.

The noise that God's people make is joyful, it is a celebration of who he is and what he has done for us, when you realize how incredibly good he has been it should make you a noisy person. We should be bold and noisy, clapping our hands, shouting and singing praises, playing instruments to express our gratitude with joyful abandon. (Psalm 95:1; 98:6; 149:3; 1 Chronicles 15:28).

Yes, I know, there is a time for quiet reverence in the presence of God and he often speaks in a still small voice but he also delights in us giving it our all to thank him for who he is and what he has done. (Psalm 5:7; 95:6)

Heaven is a noisy place, our voices will not be silent in heaven, we will be joining in with what is already going on there. (Revelation 5:6-14, 14:1-3, 19:1-2) When we break out into song and worship God we are getting a head start on heaven, bringing a piece of heaven to earth, why should we wait until we get there?

Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Always be thankful, it should be a part of our identity as believes, a believer that isn't thankful doesn't get it. Singing helps us to get the truth of scripture into our heads so we won't forget them when we are in difficult situations. Think about the noise that Paul and Silas made while they sat in jail. (Acts 16:25-30)

Consider your attitude. Are you as thankful or grateful as you ought to be? How can you express thanksgiving in a more regular manner?

Lord help me to make a joyful noise all of the time. You are great and you should be praised greatly.  I want to sing your praises now and get a head start on what I will be doing in heaven.

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The Happy Choir Of Heaven (desiringgod.org)

A Heart Of Thanks: Even When Life Is Difficult

The wilderness is for my own good so I should be thankful for it.

 

Psalms 95:1-11 Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.

3 For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. 4 He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. 5 The sea belongs to Him, for He made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.

6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, 7 for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today!

8 The LORD says, "Don't harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness. 9 For there your ancestors tested and tried My patience, even though they saw everything I did.

10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, 'They are a people whose hearts turn away from Me. They refuse to do what I tell them.' 11 So in My anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter My place of rest.'"

Think about all of the ways that you should be thankful, go to God and let him know how good he has been to you, when you consider just a fraction of it all it should make you break into song.

Maybe that isn't your experience right now, you know he deserves it, you may be wondering through a desert experience and your feelings are just not there. You are in a situation that you don't want to be thankful for.

Our number one desire here in the United States is to be comfortable, more money, better health, a house full of stuff and we are happy. The only problem with that way of thinking is that it isn't God's number one desire for you.

We like to pray for him to close doors that we shouldn't go through but what if he closed that door to test your faith? Do we really believe that God is in control when things happen?

“I wouldn’t have signed up for it; I wouldn’t choose to go through it again; and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody else. But God did something in the middle of those circumstances that I don’t think he could have done any other way.”
-Andy Stanley

God's number one desire for you is to make you holy, he is the master gardener that prunes his vine to make it more productive, growth usually comes in the most difficult moments, we like the path of least resistance but that isn't necessarily what God wants.

Sometimes we feel like God is lateuncooperative or inattentive even when we look back at recent history and see his blessings in our life. We are just like God's children in the wilderness, we have been brought out of slavery, we have witnessed unexplained miracles but at the moment we are out in a desert and the last thing we want to do is thank God for this situation.

We need to see God's presence in even the most difficult times and realize that sometimes he strategically puts us where we would never go. Have you considered the reality that Jesus knew the weather forecast and he still put his disciples in a boat on two different occasions? Why would God ask Jonah to go start a revival in enemy territory? Why would faithful men have to make a decision to stand firm and get thrown in a furnace?

Are there difficulties in your life that you ought to be thankful for, how can you go about changing your perspective and developing an attitude of gratitude?

Lord help me to remember that you are in control and that I should not look at the people and circumstances around me and blame them for interrupting my plans to be comfortable. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me and for using any means necessary to help me grow.

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A Heart Of Thanks: Has Peace

Peace comes to those who think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

 

Philippians 4:2-9 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me--everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

In Paul's letter to the Philippians he takes time to ask a couple of people to settle a disagreement that they had. The disagreement was between two people that worked with Paul, he says that they worked hard as the spread the gospel, none of us are exempt from being used by Satan even when we are doing God's work.

You cannot be full of joy and have a thankful attitude if you are arguing or if you are worried about something. The enemy hates peace and he will find a way to make it difficult to "think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" when somebody has done you wrong, when somebody sees things differently or when difficult events comes our way.

Being thankful, rejoicing, and praying all work together to produce a peace that surpasses understanding. I need to decide to be considerate even if I don't want to be or feel like it. Sometimes it is a deliberate choice that goes against our real desires.

Prayer is a great way to change my attitude so that I can have peace and be thankful, Paul told the Philippians not to worry, tell God what you need and thank him for what he has already done. When I pray I can thank God for revealing the end of the story, I know he has the solution for my sin, I know that he is in control and I know that someday peace will be an eternal condition.

Help me Lord to be thankful for those around me even when they don't do things my way or when they treat me poorly. I want to dwell on the things that are excellent and worthy of praise so I can appreciate the people and the circumstances in my life and live with peace.

A Heart Of Thanks: Refuses To Forget

Most people are quick to forget where the blessings come from.

 

Luke 17:11-19 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As He entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"

14 He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God!" 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking Him for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" 19 And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you. "

You just met a man that you heard rumors about, and then sure enough you and your friends all cry out for healing, all ten of you get what you asked for.

Which leper are you? You just witnessed ten people healed simultaneously, you being one of them, what do you do?

Do you think the other lepers remained healed? If so, what was the benefit or blessing for the one leper who returned to give thanks?

Does living with a heart of thanks make a difference in your life?

I have been blessed beyond measure, I have been healed from the leprosy of sin, I need to give God thanks for what he has done and what he is still doing in my life.

Thank you Lord for healing me and bringing me back to life! I am an unworthy servant that seeks to obey you fully from a heart of gratitude.

Thank You God - Skit Guys Video

I Will Give Thanks

Absolutely everything we have to be thankful for comes from God.

 


I will give thanks to the Lord forever, I will give thanks
I will give thanks to the Lord forever, I will give thanks (repeat)

For He is good, And His love endures forever
For He is good, And His love endures forever

I will give thanks to the Lord forever, I will give thanks
I will give thanks to the Lord forever, I will give thanks

For the Lord has been so good to me
He has blessed my life abundantly
He’s provided, guided, lifted me, He is faithful through it all

O His love endures, yes His love endures
O His love endures, yes His love endures

Can we ever comprehend how good God is to us? I don't think that we can comprehend or appreciate it before we get to heaven and meet him face to face. Then we will understand why the song says "I will give thanks to the Lord forever!"

Psalms 30:11-12 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever!

As you count your blessings today don't forget to praise and worship God for the gifts that are impossible to have without him. Things like salvation, true love, the ability to know him and relate to him, if we really appreciate these things then our desires for the stuff that the world has to offer will fade.


Magnify

I don't need to see everything just more of Jesus.

 


I've been trying to make sense of the sorrow that I feel
Holding on for life to the only thing that's real
I've only scratched the surface, I've barely had a taste

But just a glimpse draws my heart to change
And one sight of you lays my sin to waste
I don't need to see everything, just more of you

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

My sight is incomplete and I've made you look small
I've been staring at my problems for way too long
Re-align where my hope is set, until you're all that's left

But just a glimpse draws my heart to change
And one sight of you lays my sin to waste
I don't need to see everything, just more of you

Oh God, be greater, than the worries in my life
Be stronger, than the weakness in my mind
Be louder, let your Glory come alive
Be magnified

The sorrow that we all carry because of our sin can only be relieved when our hearts are changed by the gospel. When my eyes really saw Jesus for the first time I could agree with the lyrics "just a glimpse draws my heart to change."

Psalm 34:3  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! 

Now my sorrows are lifted, my sins are forgiven and my problems in life are not as big as they seemed before I saw how big my Jesus is. This song reminds me of the old hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." The things of life will grow strangely dim next to his glory and grace!

Is your focus is in the right place? Is he magnified? Are you trying to get all of the answers to why you are struggling or can you say "I don't need to see everything, just more of you?"


Jesus In The Old Testament

His name isn't mentioned until the New Testament but the Old Testament is all about Jesus.

 


Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son.

God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.

When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

The Bible is God's story revealing himself to us so that he can know him. Thankfully God's desire is to be known, from the beginning in the garden he revealed himself when he could have stayed obscure and mysterious if he had wanted, but that would be incredibly sad for us.

God inspired men to write his story and protect it from evil forces that would love to destroy it. Think about how many thousands of years old the earliest scrolls are and how many opportunities Satan has had to get rid of it, there were evil kings that ruled Israel without any fear of God and there were the kings of other countries that invaded Israel, Satan would have loved for those ancient manuscripts to be gone.

The Bible is God's love story and Jesus is the main focus of the story, from Genesis to Revelation, because he is the greatest display of God's love. I found two extensive list online of the ways that Jesus is revealed in the Old Testament and how Jesus is portrayed in each book of the Old Testament:

It all starts with Adam, God created Adam perfect without sin, just as Jesus is without sin, but Adam sinned, and through him sin entered the world. God tells Adam and Eve someday their great-great-great-great…. grandson will save the world from sin.  He will crush the snake, and death will be conquered.

Abel showed us Jesus because he died blameless for someone else’s sin, just as Jesus died blameless for our sins.  But Abel’s death cannot save us.

God sent Abraham away from a loving father into a dark world to act as a light to the rest of the world.  God sent Jesus to act as a light to a dark and sinful world to show them the way back to God.

Isaac was a willing sacrifice on that altar, fully believing his father that all would be well.  Jesus was a willing sacrifice for us on the cross, knowing His death paid the price once and for all for our sins.

Jacob shows us how far God will go to pursue a lost sheep.  Just like the story of the prodigal son, Jacob was brought home to God.

Because of the sins of his brothers Joseph was handed over into slavery, but because of their actions Joseph was able to save his family in Egypt.  Jesus was handed over to death by lies and half truths, but because of his death and resurrection we are saved from sin.

In Exodus we find the story of the Passover Lamb, and Christ is the sacrificial Lamb given for us.

Moses was called out of 40 years of wilderness to lead his people to freedom from slavery to Egypt.  Jesus was called out of 40 days of wilderness to lead his people into freedom from slavery to sin.

In Leviticus we read of the high priests making sacrifices for the people, and Christ has become our High Priest, making the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins.

In Deuteronomy Moses prophesied of a prophet who would come that would be greater than Himself. Jesus is that Great Prophet.

In the book of Joshua, Joshua met the Captain of the Lord's host. That man is Jesus Christ.

In Judges, the leaders were judges who delivered God's people, each of them typifying the Lord Jesus.

Ruth was rescued from poverty by her bridegroom Boaz.  The church was rescued from their poverty of sin by its bridegroom Jesus.

Samson shows the folly of trying to do it all yourself.  We can do many of the right things, but without the light of the world we cannot truly follow God.

In 2 Samuel when the king is being enthroned, the entire scene is descriptive of the Lord Jesus.

The books of Kings speak of the glory of God filling the temple and the Chronicles describe the glorious coming king, both referring to Jesus, the King of Kings.

Saul looked like the perfect king.  He was handsome, he was tall, he was strong, but he did not follow God and ultimately was a weak king because of it.  Jesus did not look like a king, he was common, he was a carpenter, but he is the True King.

A true king, one that pursued God and loved him with all his heart, king David pointed his people to God.  Jesus was both man and God and lived a perfect life. Jesus is the perfect king of all.

Solomon shows us the folly of a church not daily relying on God.  He followed God for a while, but his house was built on his own wisdom, not God’s and at the end of his reign it was washed away.

Ezra depicts Jesus as the Lord of our fathers. Job says clearly that the Redeemer is coming! Esther offers a picture of Christ interceding for His people. Christ appears time after time in the Psalms, including when David describes Him as "the Shepherd."

All the kings of Northern Israel show us what life without God is like.  It’s painful, there are lies, murder, blasphemy, and more hurt.  In the end a world without God falls, and the kingdom of Israel fell.

Hezekiah became king after many who had not followed God.  He wanted to bring Israel back to God, and did.  Jesus wanted to bring Israel back to God, and there were many Pharisees telling him it could not be done.  But ultimately Jesus brought the world to God.

Jonah ran from God, which Jesus never did, but then Jonah sat in the belly of a big fish for 3 days, and preached the words of redemption just like Jesus.  Jesus was dead and in a grave for 3 days, and resurrected to preach the words of life to the world.

Isaiah was given a vision of heaven and what Jesus will come to do.  He tells of Jesus birth, and his eventual death and resurrection.

God called Hosea to love and marry a woman who did not love him, he stayed a faithful bridegroom, though his bride was not faithful.  Jesus too has married a faithless wife, the church.  Though we wander far from His love at times, Jesus will always stay faithful.

Josiah became king as a young boy.  He followed God from a young age, just as Jesus showed us in Luke that He followed hard after God from a young age.

In Daniel we see Jesus ruling and triumphant.  We do not see Jesus the sacrificial lamb, we see Jesus coming at the end to punish and to reward.  He rules eternal and forever.

Jeremiah the weeping prophet shows us a Jesus who cries for the world’s sins.  Jeremiah cries for the fate of Jerusalem, a city he loves and knows will be destroyed.  Jesus hundreds of years later cries for Jerusalem as He looks at a city caught in sin and bound for judgment if they do not repent.

Ezekiel gave us Jesus’ favorite title, the Son of Man.  Over and over God calls Ezekiel “Son of Man,” and Jesus called himself “Son of Man.”

Joel describes Him as the Hope of His people. Amos tells us that Jesus is the judge of all nations. Obadiah warns of the coming eternal kingdom.

Jonah offers a picture of Jesus being dead for three days, then coming back to life to preach repentance.

Zephaniah says that He will be the king over Israel. Zachariah is the prophet who speaks of Jesus riding on a colt. Malachi is the one who calls Him the Son of Righteousness.


Without the Bible we would have no hope of really knowing God, he would be a distant and mysterious being, thanks to scripture we have a lot of information about God and his character. Without the Bible we would not know that our lives have meaning and purpose much greater than ourselves. We would not know love or the reality of eternal life.

Now that there are so many copies of the Bible and it has been copied into so many languages, instead of destroying the Bible, Satan's new strategy is to get us to neglect reading it and to doubt it's message when we do read it.

Satan will ask you, "Did God really say that?" We need to be "digging the word" so that we will know for sure what God said.

Thank you Lord for protecting your story and allowing us to read it and learn about you. I don't want to neglect Bible study because it is the best revelation of who you are and why I am here.

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Learning To Pray

Jesus gives us a blueprint for prayer.



Luke 11:1-4  Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."  2  Jesus said, "This is how you should pray:  "Father, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon.  3  Give us each day the food we need,  4  and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don't let us yield to temptation. "

Luke 11:9-10  "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

The word was out that John the Baptist disciples knew how to pray and Jesus disciples wanted to get some instruction from him. Nobody saved a copy of the "John the Baptist prayer" for us so we could know if he did a good job. We just know that he taught them and it made the disciples think that maybe they should get some instruction from Jesus about it.

It is interesting to note that the disciples didn't ask how to preach or how to love more or how to do ministry, the only request that we have recorded in the Bible is to be taught how to pray. Perhaps they saw him pray or overheard it and they realized that their prayers were not the same as his, maybe prayer was a struggle for them so they wanted to know more.

I bet the disciples already knew how to pray and they probably did it sometimes. They probably prayed plenty of times while they were out fishing and their nets were coming up empty or when a bad storm came upon them while they were out in the lake.

I grew up in church and I don't remember ever not knowing how to pray, sometime between the nursery and the children's department I was taught how to do it, but even so if I could ask Jesus to teach me then I would probably do like they did. I need to follow their example and ask Jesus to improve my praying!

Jesus gave us a model of prayer, a basic guide to the content of our prayers, it is easy to remember this format with the ACTS acrostic:

Adoration, this is the proper place to start and it is where we should spend the majority of our time. (Exodus 15:11, Psalm 106:2)

Confession, after spending time in worship we should admit to God how we have fallen short of his glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)

Thanks, we have been given so much and it would be rude to never say thank you for our blessings, especially when you are going to ask for more. (Philippians 4:6)

Supplication, asking God to meet the needs of others and then for ourselves

It is very easy to get the acrostic out of order and instead of ACTS we actually do SCAT. We ask for our own "needs" and make that our priority when we need to begin asking from God after we have given to  him the worship and praise that he deserves.

It doesn't matter that I have been taught about prayer all of my life, I can still use words like frustrating, boring, confusing, intermittent, difficult, or struggle to describe my prayer life. It is easy to get discouraged and give up.

Hebrews 5:7 While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One who could rescue Him from death. And God heard His prayers because of His deep reverence for God.

Do you think it was easy for Jesus to have a prayer time?


If you think that you are too busy and that too many people are trying to get your attention and there isn't any way to get alone for prayer then consider how it was for Jesus. He had crowds of people begging for his attention and asking him to do something or answer some question. There wasn't hardly a moment of rest!

Jesus was in prayer in the garden just before he was arrested. I am pretty sure that I would be running away scared trying to find a place to hide but he was out in a public place where he could be found. I have to wonder if he "offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears" every time he got alone for his quiet time or if it was just his final prayer in the garden.

Was that the serious, passionate praying that made the disciples want to know more? I can be just like the disciples, I can be in my quiet time and suddenly wake up and realize that my lack of passion in my prayer time made it too easy to fall asleep.

Prayer 101


✔   Jesus prayed for others. Matthew 19:13-14, John 17:9
✔   Jesus prayed with others. Luke 9:28,
✔   Jesus prayed alone. Luke 5:16
✔   Jesus prayed regularly. Luke 5:16
✔   Jesus prayed in nature. Luke 6:12
✔   Jesus prayed all night. Luke 6:12
✔   Jesus prayed with passion. Luke 22:39-44
✔   Jesus taught persistence in prayer. Luke 18:1

Jesus life gives us an example of prayer, how to do it, what to ask for and when we should pray. There isn't anybody better to teach us how to talk to God than the Son of God!

Philippians 4:6-7 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

There is still a lot for me to learn and put into practice when it comes to praying. After all of these years of experience I feel more like a prayer wimp than a prayer warrior but God doesn't want me to put any value on my feelings, Satan uses them to get me to stop talking to God.

Thank you Lord for desiring a relationship with me and being concerned about me. Help me Lord to make prayer a priority in my life everyday.



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Prayer Resources (navigators.org)

Red Letter Prayers - The Jesus Way (youtube.com)