Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Community Of Peculiar People

Your source of blessings and love for your enemy should seem strange.


Luke 6:20-23 Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21 God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with their creator and with each other but that didn't last for too long. The Bible is the story about how quickly our relationship with God was broken, the effect it had on all other relationships and the long road back to living in perfect community again.

God called out a community to be his people, he gave them a standard to live by that would govern how they related to himself and to each other. At Mount Sinai he gave the community ten simple rules that seems like an easy way to help them to live together peacefully but man has proven that we think we know better. (Exodus 19-20)

When Jesus began his ministry he also called for a community that would live by a different set of rules. From the mountain where Jesus first recorded sermon was given, he challenged us to live by a set of values that is completely opposite of normal human wisdom.

Our View Of Our Circumstances 


The people inside the community of Jesus followers have a different outlook on life and value things that the world despises. This community has a different idea of what it is to be blessed, this community realizes that sometimes our blessings are very well disguised to the point that the world is very confused by what we value and consider to be blessings.

Jesus said that his followers would be blessed at all times but especially when they are weak, poor, hungry and/or persecuted. We are not to go looking for ways to be persecuted but when we are our reaction is different. Because we know that all things work together for our good we realize that every situation is a blessing.
Pain And Suffering Have A Good Purpose
Cleanse and purify us by getting us to focus on God
Cultivate our spiritual growth and strengthen our faith
Certify his power to sustain us so that he gets the glory
Jesus also told us that the things that the world uses to describe blessings are things that we should be cautious about having. We usually define blessed as having power, comfort, success and recognition but Jesus tells us that we need to be cautious when we have these things and we should beware of other people that have these things.

Our View Of People Outside Our Community


When we live with the proper attitude about power, comfort, success and recognition we can live with a radical new freedom. We won't have any reason to put down other people because we won't be trying to build ourselves up. Therefore we can be generous in using our time, treasure and talents for the benefit of others instead of for our own interest.
When we realize that we are both sinners and saved by grace, we will have freedom from the values that previously defined us, and yet a regard and love for those who don't share our values.
- Tim Keller
There is a tendency to look down on people that are not on the inside, this is just as true inside the church as it is in the rest of society, very few people are drawn to befriend and seek the good of people that are not like us.
Luke 6:35-36  “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
It isn't enough to just tolerate your enemy and decide not to harm them, Jesus wants us to truly love them and do good to them, we are supposed to treat them better than most of us treat our best friend.

Since God is kind to the unthankful and the wicked (that's us) we are obligated to do the same. We should have the same heartfelt compassion to treat the people outside of the community of believers just as awesome as God has treated us.

Your source of blessings, the things you value and your love for everybody should seem strange to the world around you. So strange that they will know that you really are his child and they will be attracted to join us.

How strange do you look to the world around you?
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Waymaker

He never stops, he never stops working!



Video: Michael W. Smith, Waymaker

You are here, moving in our midst
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, working in this place
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, moving in our midst
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, working in this place
I worship You, I worship You

Waymaker, Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
Waymaker, Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

You are here, touching every heart
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, healing every heart
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, mending every heart
I worship You, I worship You
You are here, turning lives around
I worship You, I worship You

Waymaker, Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper
Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

That is who You are (That is who You are)
That is who You are (That is who You are)
That is who You are (That is who You are)
That is who You are (That is who You are)

Even when I don't see it, You're working
Even when I don't feel it, You're working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

He never stops working
He never stops
He never stops working
He never stops
He never stops working
He never stops working, no

Our God is at work with us here
Our God
Our God is a Healer, He's a comforter
Waymaker, Miracle-Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
(We know, we know)
Waymaker, Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are (oooh)


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Only One God (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Mercy Versus Legalism (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Instructions From God (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Follow

Jesus offers a simple invitation to learn more.


Matthew 9:9-13 As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow Me and be My disciple," Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed Him.

10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum? "

12 When Jesus heard this, He said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do." 13 Then He added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

Following any religion or spiritual teacher probably makes you think of the work that will be required to follow their rules. Most religious systems say "change these things and you can join us," so it may seem strange to learn that when Jesus asked people to follow him he said "come as you are."

When Jesus began his ministry, he looked for some men to partner with, men that were willing to check out what he was doing and get to know him better, they probably never intended to keep following for so long but there was something about him that they couldn't walk away from.

When the unlearned, dirty fishermen and the repulsive tax man began to follow Jesus they didn't know what they were in for. They didn't really know him or his purpose for calling them, they didn't believe or have faith in anything, they were just excited to learn more about Jesus.

God never did like religious people so it's no surprise that Jesus did not give the invite to any of those types of people. It reminds me of Jesus birth, the least likely to get the good news were the ones that got it, the dirty shepherds and the Gentile wise men were chosen while the religious Jews that were well acquainted with scripture missed it despite the heads up they received from the wise men.

But don't be too hard on the Pharisees, some of them were really sincere and devoted to pleasing God, the bad news for us is that we are not much different. Their sinful attitude is common among man since the beginning and it continues with us.

We tend to look down on other people, especially people that don't have Jesus' influence on their lives, we like to think that we are better than they are. The world sees our hypocrisy and it turns them off to following Jesus because too often our actions, our attitudes and our tongues prove that we are very similar to them. (Romans 2:1-3)
The more conscious I am of the work that God has yet to do on me the less critical I am of what God has yet to do in you.
-Andy Stanley
We like to make following Jesus a complicated list of rules or beliefs but when Jesus first invited someone to follow him there were not any prerequisites. Jesus didn't say you have to follow the rules or believe a certain way, he invited people to follow first, get the facts and learn more about him.

The church should be a place where those that are without Jesus feel loved, accepted and comfortable so that they can come close and learn more about Jesus. The church will never grow if people think that they have to obey our rules and be a better person before they can be welcome in our building.
Matthew 23:13, 15 "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people's faces. You won't go in yourselves, and you don't let others enter either. 15 "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!
To the people that do not know him he gives a warm invite but to the religious fakes that would not get serious about their relationship with God he was kind enough to warn them so that they could change their ways.

Religion says to believe right, behave right, change your ways and if you are successful then you can join us. Jesus says come as you are, come and see what I am all about, follow me and then you will find the power to change.
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Saturday, February 02, 2019

Quit Making The Bible About You

His name isn't mentioned in the Old Testament but it 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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Is Jesus God? (jesus.org)

Friday, February 01, 2019

Instructions From God

It is obnoxious to disregard the opportunity to know him better.


Psalms 19:7-8 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.

Few people have a real appreciation for instruction books and owners manuals, we like to be self-sufficient, independent thinkers, we quickly toss the instructions and set out on our own way.

For some of us the issue might be with the fact that you have followed the instructions before and it didn't work out. When you were finished the product doesn't look like the picture on the box and there are parts left over that seem to be necessary.

There is an instruction book that you can trust that will give you the best results if you are willing to apply it. We should think highly of this book and give its teaching an opportunity to have an affect on us because these instructions were given to us by the one that created us.

Instruction books that are seldom ever going to be best sellers but this one is different. The one that knows us best gave us instructions that are perfect, trustworthy, right and clear so we shouldn't be surprised that there are so many Bibles around.

The thing that should surprise us it that with all of the benefits of God's instructions there are so few people reading and applying it. David says in Psalm 19 that these instructions from God revive the soul, make the simple man become wise, makes your heart have joy and it gives us insight. You cannot get these benefits from any self help book!

This instruction book will help you build your life on a firm foundation that will survive when tragedy comes. The Bible will help you build your life so that there aren't any pieces left over that don't fit anywhere. If you follow God's instructions then you will be the most useful, ready to do the work that God wants to do through your life.
Psalms 119:167 I have obeyed Your laws, for I love them very much.
It isn't just a matter of following God's instructions because you know you ought to, our Lord wants our heart to follow his ways with great delight, we should be joyful in obedience. When you have the opportunity to receive instruction from the greatest teacher that knows everything then you should cheerfully welcome his input and follow through on what you learn.
Nothing good can come from rebelling against the Lord, and nothing bad can come from obeying Him—even physical death for the sake of following the Lord is better than denying His will.
I need to be eager to learn what God's word says because it really is God's word. God has done a lot to reveal himself to me and it would be obnoxious to disregard the opportunity to know him better and follow his instructions.
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Bible Study Is Essential (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

I Have Been Changed

Let me tell you all my friends about this joy I'm living in!



Video: Jordan Feliz, Changed

Let me tell you all my friends
About this joy I'm living in

Let me take the mic, I wanna testify
How I was dead and then I came to life
No more living in the dark of night
Now everything's alright

I've been changed
I've been saved
Brand new day
I've been changed

Tell me why would I turn back now
There's no end to the love I found
Future's bright and there ain't no doubt
I've been changed, I've been changed

All my heartbreak fades away
Like a book when you turn the page

Tell me why would I turn back now
There's no end to the love I found
Future's bright and there ain't no doubt
I've been changed, I've been changed

I've been changed

I put my hand in the air
'Cause I know you're there
(Your love did something magical)
I put my hand in the air
'Cause you heard my prayer
(A transformation, radical)
I put my hand in the air
'Cause I know you're there
(I know it's supernatural)
I put my hand in the air
'Cause you heard my prayer

I've been changed
Does Your Change Show?
Psalm 16:5-11  Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one[d] to rot in the grave.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Worship The King

How will you respond to the newborn King?


Matthew 2:1-3 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,

2 "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him."

3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.

The arrival of a baby usually brings great joy and celebration but in the Christmas story it doesn't stop there. If we realize that the arrival of Jesus into our world means that God is with us then the celebration should also include worship.

Mankind has such a difficult time with worship, most of us don't realize that we love to worship, but the problem is we are drawn to worship incorrectly or we worship the wrong things. (Romans 1:21-25)

What do you worship? Some of us worship ourselves while for others that seems absurd because we know that we have way too many faults to deserve such high praise. Some of us are drawn to worship other people while some are content to worship something that doesn't even have life.

Worse of all, some of us are drawn to worship evil, demons and spirits are the focus of their worship, this scares most of us but others are drawn to it without a second thought. In the last days the survivors of God's discipline will still refuse to worship him and choose to worship evil despite the consequences that it brings. (Revelation 9:20)
If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if it ends up being ourselves.
-Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
The Bible tells us that when we meet God our reaction will be worship so it is no surprise that when the wise men met Jesus their first reaction was worship. From their story we can learn a lot of lessons about worship.

Jesus should be worshipped as the King of the Jews and also as the king of the world. Herod had the official title "king of the Jews" given to him by Rome but nobody in his kingdom respected him as king and no one would ever call him their Messiah.
Genesis 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the One to whom it belongs, the One whom all nations will honor.
At the beginning of Matthew's gospel he shows us that great men came from other nations to worship the infant king, the ruler of the kingdom of God, and if you go to the last chapter of the book Jesus tells us to find other people from every nation and make disciples of them. If we do this then they will also be drawn to worship the king.

The wise men had to be educated in the Old Testament so they would know what to be watching for. Their knowledge caused them to watch with eager expectation which caused them to stop everything and go through a lot of trouble to find the child so that they could honor him with gifts and worship.
Psalms 72:9-14 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.
The great effort and motivation of the wise men can be contrasted with the opposite great effort and motivation of Herod. The wise men were willing to give of their time and their treasure but Herod was only willing to protect his status and be a taker. Herod wouldn't allow anyone to challenge his position so he did anything he needed to do so that Jesus wouldn't make it from the cradle to the throne. 

The great effort and motivation of the wise men can also be contrasted with the greatest apathy of all time. The religious leaders that Herod consulted didn't have any desire to go worship, they knew the child should be a short distance down the road, but just because you have all of the information doesn't mean you will have any motivation.

Seeing all of these incredibly different responses to Jesus should be a little bit disturbing. What will my response be? How can I be sure that I will respond with the right amount of effort and the correct motivation? How great is my joy at the thought of worshipping him?
The joy that I pursue is not the hope of getting rich with things from you. I have not come to you for your things, but for yourself. And this desire I now intensify and demonstrate by giving up things, in the hope of enjoying you more, not things. By giving to you what you do not need, and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, 'You are my treasure, not these things.'
Worshipping Jesus should be with great joy, I need to be thoughtful at all times about my response to Jesus, I need to stay aware of who he is and decide at every moment of my day that I will worship him correctly because I do know who he is.

If I truly believe that he was the perfect man that is worthy of my worship then I will strive to imitate him by using my time, my talents and my treasure to please him. It's the only worship that he has ever wanted. (Romans 12:1-2, Hebrews 10:1)

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Peace On Earth

Singing glory, glory let there be peace, let it start in me.


Video: Matt Maher - "Glory (Let There Be Peace)"

One star burns in the darkness
Shines with the promise, Emmanuel
One child born in the stillness
Living within us, Emmanuel

We're singing glory, glory
Let there be peace, let there be peace
Singing glory, glory
Let there be peace, let it is start in me

One voice speaks for the voiceless
Hope for the hopeless, Emmanuel
One love brings us together
Now and forever, Emmanuel

We're singing glory, glory
Let there be peace, let there be peace
Singing glory, glory
Let there be peace, let it is start in me

Do not be afraid His love is strong enough to save us
Nothing stands in the way His love is strong enough to lead us
Do not be afraid His love is strong enough to save us
Nothing stands in the way His love is strong enough to lead us

We sing glory, glory let there be peace, let there be peace
Singing glory, glory let there be peace, let it start in me
Singing glory, glory let there be peace, let there be peace
Singing glory, glory let there be peace, let it start in me
Let there be peace, let it start in me
Peace On Earth
Luke 1:78-79 Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace."

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Best Savior Ever

What an amazing Savior we have!


Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Isaiah 7:14 All right then, the Lord Himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son and will call Him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us').

It isn't difficult to realize that man will never be good enough to qualify to live eternally with God. We haven't gotten any better than the original sinners that were thrown out of their garden home. You would probably say that we have only gotten worse than Adam and Eve as their one sin has grown into a long list of sins. How can we possibly think we can be good enough to make it into Heaven without God?

All of the world religions are based on the idea that man can reach a better state but true Christ followers admit that they may become better people by man's standards but it isn't enough for God. We may become better citizens of this world but we will not be good enough to become citizens in God's kingdom.

Jesus Christ is the best Savior ever, the only real Savior, the only source of salvation that is good enough by God's holy standards. Since it is all about Jesus and his perfect goodness and it isn't about me, I can be sure that my eternal destiny is secure, without Jesus I will always fail to be good enough but with Jesus I don't have to be.
Hallelujah! What A Savior
✔ Almighty Saviour to liberate us (Psalm 106:21)
✔ Bruised Saviour to redeem us (Acts 5:30, 31)
✔ Comely Saviour to adorn us (2 Peter 1:1)
✔ Divine Saviour to bless us (Titus 3:4)
✔ Eternal Saviour to secure us (Jude 1:25)
✔ Faithful Saviour to keep us (Phil. 3:20)
✔ Great Saviour to deliver us (Isaiah 19:20)
✔ Holy Saviour to sanctify us (Isaiah 43:3)
See the rest of the list at: F. E. Marsh - Hallelujah! What A Savior

There must be a perfect Savior to meet the demands of a Holy God, the only answer was for God the perfect judge to also become God our perfect redeemer, there is no other way for us to measure up. We celebrate God with us on earth because it is the only way for us to be with him for eternity.

Have you met the best Savior ever?
RELATED ARTICLES
Best Christmas Ever (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
How Do I Accept Jesus As My Savior (intouch.org)

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Best Giver Ever

The best gift giver ever has a load of presents for his children.


John 1:16-17 From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

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.

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

The original gift giver is still the best, he has a huge advantage, he is all knowing and all powerful. Since he made us he knows what we really need the most and he has the power to meet every one of our needs.

One of the greatest themes of the Bible is that God loves so much that he gives, God has a huge pile of gifts for his children, check out some of his best gifts.
God Has Given You:
✔ The gift of a Savior:
“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” - Matthew 1:21

✔ The gift of the Holy Spirit:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” - Acts 1:8

✔ The gift of God’s love:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” - Jeremiah 31:3

✔ The gift of God’s grace:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9

✔ The gift of God’s peace:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” - John 14:27

✔ The gift of wisdom:
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." - James 1:5

✔ The gift of a brand new life:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17

✔ The gift of an eternal inheritance:
"Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan." - Ephesians 1:11

✔ The gift of freedom from bondage and sin:
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” - Romans 8:1-2

✔ The gift of supernatural strength:
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” - Philippians 4:13

✔ The gift of help to overcome testing:
"Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested." - Hebrews 2:18

✔ The gift of purpose:
“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

✔ The gift of direct access to God:
“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” - 1 John 5:14-15

✔ The gift of hope:
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13

As you dig into God's word take note of the giving nature of God. Loving and giving are so closely related that you could easily come to the conclusion that if you don't give then you must not love.

We certainly cannot out give God but it won't hurt us to try and it will help make the world around us a better place.
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Perfect Gifts (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)