Numbers 21:8-9, “8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
The book of Hebrews opens up with God’s supreme revelation, and throughout the book it establishes that Jesus and His message is above the prophets, angels, priests etc. It begins with “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; “, Hebrews 11:1-2. There were some signs either through dreams, acts, audible voices that were for a time and a season. They addressed specific things in history however they were not rolled out by the Lord as normative for us to look to. God has spoken to us consistently by His sufficient trusted word. Jesus said as recorded in Hebrews 10:7, “… ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’”Continue reading →
Matthew 26:20–22, “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say to you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say to him, Lord, is it I?”
At the Last Supper Jesus is eating with His twelve and speaks about betrayal. This is perhaps the worst gesture that a “friend” can do to another friend, even worse than death, because one has to live with the fact that betrayal meant a complete hardening of the heart in the midst of the relationship. Jesus makes the statement that one of his “friends” there would deny him, and when He did everyone of them became sorrowful and looked introspectively saying “Lord is it I?” No one pointed fingers at Judas as if he had a big hook nose and devilish horns coming out of his head. The Scriptures point out that two of the disciples went against Jesus at his hour of need. Peter denied Jesus and Judas betrayed Jesus, so what’s the difference, or are they not the same? Continue reading →
Exodus 7:8–10, “8Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the LORD commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.”
How does one come to trust someone in the midst of trials? Who do you know you can go to when you must do something that causes you to become uneasy about the possible outcomes? Perhaps you turn to a spouse, a best friend, a co-worker, a parent, grandparent, or a sibling. Do you believe God to be trustworthy? Let’s look to Moses to discover what Moses discovered about how God builds trust for trials on the horizon.
Moses was called by God to be Israel’s deliverer. Surely God could easily destroy all the Egyptians, just as he killed the firstborn son of the Egyptians when sending the tenth plague. However, like many times, God chooses to send a man to display the His power. Continue reading →
Daniel 3:16-18, “16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17, If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18, But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Four men are brought from their land to so serve king Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. They were full of wisdom, good looking and the greatest thing, they trusted and depended on God. Everything seemed well until the king made his own gods (idols) forcing everyone to fall down and worship the gods he had made. Three men living for their true God were also challenged to bow down. What do you do when what you stand for is challenged? Situations bringing you two sides and you have to choose one. One presents you with the picture of the immediate consequences, the other promises relief. Continue reading →
Galatians 5:1-4, “1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
In my study time on Galatians 5, I paused on vs. 4 and started working my way backwards to get a grasp as to what Paul wanted us to understand. Some have suggested that vs. 4 is one of the strong passages to show that it is possible for one to lose their salvation. I do not believe that is what Paul is addressing here. Continue reading →
Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
As a Christian we certainly want to live in victory, but as you have found out there are times of temptations which test your resolve in the Lord. From the moment Daniel and his friends are taken captive and exiled, they are required to immerse themselves in the language and literature of the Babylonians (1:4), with its focus on sorcery, astrology and polytheism. This was an alien atmosphere and culture to these displaced Hebrew boys.
John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The greatest sin is unbelief. This is the sin that finally condemns. Anyone who dies in unbelief, their fate is sealed. The downfall of the Israelites was not because they were not religious enough; it is because they counted on their own righteousness. They lacked the true knowledge that would lead them to Christ for their justification by faith to secure righteousness. They had fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).
I see a direct correlation between John 3 and Romans 10. Here is Paul’s analysis and cry to God for men like Nicodemus and his people, “1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes”,Romans 10:1-4. Unbelief was their downfall; their only hope was the righteousness of Christ to be received by faith. Continue reading →
2Corinthians 4:7, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”
The new year has began, not everyone has began it on a good note. My family for one is in a trying period having finished the year with one only to open with another. The reality is that we live in a fallen world full of pain and suffering, however we as believers can be different from the world by learning to profit from trials.
When it comes to afflictions/trials, three men in new testament tells us how we should respond to them. James encourages us to count it all joy. Paul encourages to consider them light. Peter on the other hand encourages us not to think them strange. Only the grace of God enables us to speak and live in the light of such words with confidence. Continue reading →
Jude 22-23, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
I once watched a movie Volcano starring Tommy Lee Jones about a volcano that erupts in downtown L.A. I began to meditate on one scene in particular whereby a group of firemen are down in the subway rescuing unconscious people that were aboard a train. Continue reading →