Tag Archives: Christ

Romans 12:2 “Are you a Duck, Frog, Salmon or Transformed Believer?”

butterfly feeding2The duck idiom says “if you look like a duck, swim like a duck, quack like a duck, you must be a duck.” According to abductive reasoning this may or may not be true but it does reflect how we might be seen in the world. We have melded into the fabric of society and no one knows we are not a duck but a believer in Christ.  Therefore, Paul reminded his readers to not be conformed or molded into the world’s system just like the frog scenario. We are put into the pot and the enemy heats up the water but we are unaware that we are being cooked!

Also, just as a salmon swims against the flow of the river to achieve its place to spawn so we must swim against the false current of the world’s philosophy. The salmon faces many trials to arrive so too we will trials and enemies. Therefore we must be saturated with the Word so that we can discern truth from error. [Heb 5:14] We have this promise: He who hath begun a good work in you will complete it at the day of Christ but until then we are moment by moment being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is His work that is being accomplished as we surrender and become a living sacrifice. It is all His power and all because we are a new creation in Christ. He enables us to “behold the glory of the Lord.” (2Cor 3:18] This is how the mind is renewed — by steadfastly gazing at the glories of Christ for what they really are.

How does the world see us; ducks, frogs, salmon or a transformed believer in Christ?

 

The Permanence of the Eternal God

unspashRosesHandss2Life seems so short. This week seeing the children I taught now with their own children growing up so fast was a wake – up call as to the fleeting life I now live in contrast to the permanence of God. I am just like a rose in God’s garden, I need tending but eventually the rose will fade and so will I. That is why I must redeem each day for Him as I was reminded recently when a young family’s life was cut short and all 5 entered eternity from the 2 mos. old infant to the 5 yr old child, the 3 yr old child along with their parents. We never know when God will call us home. Do I want to hear well done thou good and faithful servant? My answer is yes. .

Before God created the world as we know it, God was eternal and He still is so. A 24 hr day to us is like a thousand years in God’s sight. This is the true meaning of God being omniscient, omnipotent.

As God created me he placed eternity in my heart [Eccl 3] that I might know and seek the eternal significance of what I do. And like a beautifully crafted tapestry, each thread I weave creates a picture of my life from birth to death.

And so with these thoughts I turned to Psalm 90 where these thoughts were ever before me: Life is fleeting;  enjoy now but invest wisely in that which will count for eternity. Vs 3 reminds us that God makes mankind return to dust. Only our tombstone will recall the life we have lived. James says we  are frail and  like grass, we grow and we wither with the heat of the sun. The woman who came to King David spoke of life and death in 2Sam 14. She gave King David a visual illustration of life: we shall surely die and be like water spilled out on the ground. But too she saw beyond the grave to see that God does not take away life as our eternal end but rather has made plans so that we may not be cast from Him. It is called salvation and the price has been paid by His Beloved Son so that we might live eternally with Him.

Have you prepared for your eternal destiny?

 

 

 

 

 

Those Pesky Deadly D’s

jesus way truth lifea

 

As we continue through the letter titled simply Hebrews we are noting the fatherly yet teacher  character.  He has not been remiss to remind the reader that even though they might be like those  who are facing almost daily  persecution and difficulty in their lives, these readers should beware of drifting and disbelief which are part of the disease of the deadly d’s. Our archenemy has his arsenal complete with just the one for today it seems–like distraction. You are on your way only to be distracted from your appointed round by it! And then there is discouragement. Add to that list any more that begin with “dis..” and you get the picture.

But, Christ is supremely appointed as our high priest and he is greater than any “dis…” The author of Hebrews reminds us that we need to focus on Christ who is and was the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As the Son, Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses and now superior to Aaron. And yet in his humanity he suffered, prayed deeply, was tempted yet without sin. This is why he could “[become] the source of [our] eternal salvation.”

It is why Jesus said about himself “I AM the Way, The Truth, the Life” and no one, not a single person alive now or before or in the future will  come before the God of the universe apart from Jesus Christ. Many say that is so narrow-minded. I didn’t say it Jesus did. He is the one who died on that cross and rose again to new life. Consider then the source.

Think of being on a deserted island with no provisions. A rescuer comes. You have a choice, will you choose to trust him even though he is a stranger when he says, “if you trust me I will take you to safety.” You have a choice to follow or stay. The one who follows is just like the one who trusts the words of Jesus and is saved for eternity. The one who says no I won’t trust him has just lost their ticket to salvation/freedom, rescue and a life with God in eternity.

Have you believed and trusted God’s plan or are you thinking if I just love God it is enough? James said  “Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear” yet they are not saved for eternity. God’s plan may be narrow-minded in your eyes but that is His way, will you trust him? The blessings are out of this world!

Beware of the Deadly D’s

hebrews 5 feed spirit wordHebrews chapter 5: The author of Hebrews has not been remiss to remind the reader that even though they are facing persecution and difficulty in their lives they should beware of drifting and disbelief which is part of the disease of the deadly d’s.

Christ is supremely appointed as our high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. He is and was the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As the Son, Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses and now superior to Aaron. And yet in his humanity he suffered, prayed deeply, was tempted yet without sin. This is why he could “[become] the source of [our] eternal salvation.”

The next deadly d has to do with diet. The readers were still infants feeding upon milk, the basic principles of the gospel and not feeding upon the meat of the Word. They knew Jn 3:16 but not the greater implication.  They were like the disciples who over and over asked: “what does he mean?” They should have been teachers but just want their ears tickled. Instead of hungering, thirsting and being trained to discern truth from error they were satisfied just being spectators leaving the study of the scriptures to others. We see them today in our churches. They come faithfully to service but do not attend classes for instruction and fellowship. They may have accepted the WORD but are not feeding upon the WORD.

We need to be asking if we too are failing. Do I hunger for the solid food of the Word?  Can I discern truth from error? Am I obeying Matt 28: “go and make disciples?”

Are You Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

hebrews 3 rock & hard place2Hebrews 3 is a reminder that because of the faithfulness of Jesus, we who have believed all he has said and done are now given a new distinction. We are now called partners and holy brethren. This is amazing!  Jesus said, follow me and now we find that we also family members of the Apostle and High Priest, the Son of the Most High God!

The initial Hebrew readers were facing a challenge. We might say they caught between a ‘ROCK’ (pun intended) and a hard place because they did not want to dishonor Moses and yet wanted to follow Jesus.  Therefore, the author reminds them that Moses was God’s servant not God’s Son. Moses was a faithful servant “in” the house but Christ was faithful “over” the house. Moses faithfully cared for God’s house, the children of Israel, but he did it as a servant. Christ is faithful as the Son over the house, that is we who are now called holy brethren.

Therefore, holy brethren, beware of drifting or falling away just as the Israelites had done in the desert and ended up doing a wilderness walk for 40 yrs. Beware of hardened hearts and unbelief as a consequence of  unbelief.  A scary thought straight from God! He swore they would die in the desert and lose the promise of eternal rest. It is vital that we remain steadfast and also to encourage other holy brethren who may be wavering and seeking to return to their old ways–the past. We must reassure each other day after day so that hearts remain teachable and soft.

The consequences of unbelief are eternal.

Christ or Angels? Whom do you worship?

Hebrews 1 worship J+2Are you as baffled by those who just cannot accept no when asked? We meet them on FB and we meet them in our neighborhoods. They are diehard followers. You know who they are. They seek proselytes with all of the lies that Satan has fostered.and do not present Christ ALONE!  And that is why the book of Hebrews is so important. The author of Hebrews will present a case for the persevering steadfast believer and why Christ alone is worthy of our adoration.

First and foremost the author reminds his readers that God spoke through the prophets His final and authoritative word which we have as our OT scriptures. BUT, now he has spoken to us in His Son reminding they and us “This is my beloved Son, Listen to Him.”

And why should we listen?

Christ is the heir of all things, the agent who authored creation, the radiance of God’s glory shining forth, He is the clearest duplication of God himself, not in figure, but in attributes, He upheld all things with his power and authority, made purification for our sins as a perfect sacrifice and lastly sat down at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly throne room having said “it is finished.”

Angels are not “the Son” but are “sons.” Christ is not only the Creator but chose to lay aside his divinity and become human as the begotten Son of God. Angels are created beings, ministering spirits and servants of God to render service to those who will inherit salvation. Their purpose is to do God’s will and, like the Holy Spirit,  to glorify the Son, never adding to God’s Word. This reminds us of the warning given in Revelation “If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” 

Christ is sovereign, angels are servants–even though they are swift as the wind and as strong as a fire, they are NOT the Son.

Praise and honor belong to God the Son alone. He is prophet, priest and king to each believer. Therefore, we are to stand firm in our faith and pick up our cross and follow Him alone.

Your New Identity….in Christ!

col 3 new identity in J+2What does it mean to have a new identity in Christ? First and foremost it means that while once we were alienated from God due to sin we are now reconciled to God. Our identity is in Him because of our new birth into God’s kingdom of His Son.  And lastly, God has blessed us with the gift of the Holy Spirit who now indwells us. This dramatic restructuring came about because of the price Christ was willing to pay for our debt of sin delivering us from the domain of darkness and transferring us to His kingdom.

Even though the enemy would like us to rehearse the past and return to it, we are to do an about face, look in the mirror and see what God sees while you say to the enemy:  “I am dead to sin and alive to Christ.”

With a new identity comes responsibility. Therefore, seek that which is above not here on the earth as you glorify God in every area. Moment by moment put off the old man with its old ways—even if it struggles to remain! Remind the enemy of this truth:  “I am a new man with a new identity and I am adopted into God’s kingdom.” God wants to give you an eternal incentive and it is this: “whatever you do…do it as for the Lord rather than for men.”

The Pre-Eminence of Christ

colossians 1 christaChrist is the supremacy of God eternal, invisible, God only wise, He is Creator of that which was before eternity; He is the head of the Body, the Church. He laid down his life on a cross and shed His blood for us. He is the firstborn of the dead.

“The Greek word “firstborn” implied two things: priority to all creations and sovereignty over all creation. In the first meaning we see the absolute pre-existence of the Logos. Since our Lord existed before all created things, He must be uncreated. Since He is uncreated, He is eternal. Since He is eternal, He is God. Since He is God, He cannot be one of the emanations from deity of which the Gnostic speaks…” [Kenneth Wuest]

It is because of Christ’s eternality we are to be grateful for when we have Christ we have all that is needed or wanted. He is the fullness of God in bodily form. The world would seek fullness in philosophy, rituals or traditions and why we must be on guard against false teachers who espouse false doctrine and in the end seek to lead us astray. We are to “tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” We must model the Bereans who studied the scriptures to know if what was being taught was the truth.

 

Fool for Satan’s Sake or Wise for Christ’s Sake?

proverbs 4 wisdom2a The author of Hebrews reminds us we must be trained by experience as we gather wisdom from those who are themselves mature, in fact, the aged, or the elder amongst us. They have learned to discern both good and evil and now are passing on that to the next generation as the psalmist said to do. [Ps 78]  Daily we are in a spiritual battle against unseen foes and need both our armor and wisdom to defeat this deadly foe. We find it in the Word of God which is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. [2Tim 3] God’s promise is sure; He is always ready to give his children wisdom.[James 1]

Solomon knew this well for that is the one gift he asked of the Lord. Two times he reminds his children, and us, that it begins when one actively listens with mind and body. Just like our heavenly Father, Solomon tells his children that they are to listen so that they may gain discernment which is being able to judge between good and evil. They are to acquire wisdom which is the supreme gift and to do that they must lay hold of his words and hide them in their hearts. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” [Ps 119]

But why is wisdom so critical? Without wisdom, we are fools for Satan’s sake. With wisdom, we are wise for Christ’s sake.

Read this also here: https://www.facebook.com/bible.org/

Are You Sure of Your Destiny?

luke 23 destiny2a“people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment,”[Heb 9]. Our question is: are you prepared for your entry into eternity? In Luke 23, we are presented with three candidates for us to observe and determine ours.

First on our list is Barabbas, an insurrectionist and a murderer. He is incarcerated in a prison awaiting his sure sentence of death. As he sat waiting could he hear the crowd led by the religious leaders calling for his release? Did he know that his life would soon take an abrupt turn? Did he know that the religious leaders and the crowd offered an innocent man named Jesus to face the cross that was slated for him? We wonder and only in eternity will we know his thoughts, his actions before and after. Only God knows his destiny.

Second, are the two criminals who were also led with Jesus to the Golgotha hill and there nails would pierce their bones. They both heard Jesus cry out “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Yet only one would enter eternity forgiven for he cried out remember me when  you enter your kingdom. Jesus heard and promised that would be true. His forgiveness for his sins was washed away on that day.  The other would enter a Christ-less eternity. He neither feared God or man.

Your destiny is assured—either heaven or hell. If you are like Barabbas, bow the knee now for life is uncertain. If you are like the thief on the cross who railed on Jesus, think what lays ahead for you. If you are like the thief that sought forgiveness you can be assured of this promise: you will be with Christ in heaven/paradise. What is your destiny?