"And what was said to the rose to make it unfoldwas said to me here in my chest,so be quiet now, and rest"
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Luke 21:1-4, "As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' He said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"
- Average annual income for an American: $46,400
- Average annual income for an Ethiopian: $900
Looking back from eternity, we will be able to say that we were alive at the same time as this woman. I can't imagine meeting somebody like her and comparing what she was able to accomplish with my own use of what God gave me. The fact that I'm American and she's Ethiopian won't really matter that much. We were on the same planet at the same time, given the same chance to serve with our resources. Imagine what any of the poor widows who gave everything they had to God's treasury would say to us if we talked about it in heaven!
"So you gave the rest to the Lord, then? Did you place that wealth in the treasury so God's workers could use it?"
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Then came the big questions. "If I don't spend the money on this child, who will?" "If I save this money for myself and my family, what will it bring us? More money? More things? Then what? What will those benefit us in the big picture?"
How are you thanking Him for that ability? How are you using the ability He's given you to serve Him? Will you leave a legacy of selfish living, or one of serving the Lord our God? "you cannot serve both God and Mammon" ... so ... "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Two lessons I truly hope I can take to heart.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
12: "We will grow like palm trees."
13: "...they will grow strong in the courtyards of our God."
14: "When they are old, they will still produce fruit."
15: "They will say that the Lord is good. He is my Rock, there is no wrong in Him."
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
1 Kings 19:11-13, "The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
God is not one who delights in showy displays of His ability, but one who delights in His children. As a Father, He made Himself approachable in gentleness. After displaying what He can do, He finished by showing what He's like before asking Elijah why he was in the desert.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thank you Jesus for offering us a relationship with you that allows us to learn about who you are and what you value. Thank you for being good, for being loving, and for your forgiveness.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Mark 3:14, "He appointed twelve - desig-nating them apostles - that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach."
Perhaps choosing twelve apostles, or messengers, was necessary - but why twelve of them? What is the significance of choosing a dozen? Why not three or seven or twenty-five?
I think maybe Christ linked Himself with the very foundations of the Old Testament by choosing twelve apostles, in this way affirming once more that He is the son of God; that it was His story laid out and prepared for throughout the generations of
Originally God established the nation of
This literally was God's family - which is why we sometimes refer to the Israelites as God's "chosen people." This is the family to whom God delivered His word, and He promised to send His son, the Messiah, through this same family. The world would know God and be saved by this family - because it is the one into which Jesus was born. Salvation then was offered to everybody "...because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." - Romans 1:16.
Christ came to save all men, not just the family or nation of Jews to whom He originally preached, if they just believe His message. So, Jesus chose twelve more men. These men were sent out into the world to preach the good news which, like a fire spreading across a dry wheat field, covered generations and continents, eventually spanning the globe. Those who hear and accept the good news that started with these apostles are then grafted into the family that God made - the same family that started with those twelve other men so long ago. This is why it is sometimes explained that Gentiles are "adopted" into the family of God, like in Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will..."
So, what is the one and greatest link between the Old Testament and the New Testament? As a Christian, I believe it to be Jesus Christ. The Old Testament establishes God's covenant and relationship with man, prophesying and preparing the way for Jesus Christ to fulfill the law and embody (literally) God's plan to save man from sin and eternal separation from Him. Much of the Old Testament involves preparing the very family into which God's son would be born - the Israelites.
Twelve men and their descendants set the stage for the arrival of the Messiah. Twelve more men carried the news of the Messiah’s arrival into the rest of the world and are the reason we know today of what Jesus accomplished.
In the book of Revelation, John explains how these 24 men will be honored, since it is by them that God's presence and knowledge spread to all of mankind, making the members of God's family innumerable. Revelation 21:12-14 describes part of the “New Jerusalem,” stating that,
"It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and the names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel ... And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Surely, if these men are to be memorialized in the city of heaven for all eternity, we shouldn't take lightly how God used them for His glory. By the family of the twelve sons of Israel, the world is able to enter into God's presence - the "gates" to the city as described in Revelation. And once in God's presence, we stand firm on the Truth preached by the twelve apostles - the "foundation stones" of God's eternal Holy City.
Thank you, Jesus, for your plan and your grace, that we might all be saved and come to spend the rest of our days with You.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Exodus 25:22, "There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment of the sons of Israel."
God was present here, but not bodily, since His pure holiness would cause sinful man to literally drop dead before Him if we were to gaze upon His face in such a sinful state, "But He said, 'You cannot see my face, for no man can see Me and live!" - Exodus 33:20.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
"The proof that comes on time."
"...tell every one what to do to follow the true teaching. Teach older men to be self-controlled, serious, wise, strong in faith, in love, and in patience. In the same way, teach older women to be holy in their behavior, not speaking against others or enslaved to too much wine, but teaching what is good. Then they can teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be wise and pure, to be good workers at home, to be kind, and to yield to their husbands. Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us. In the same way, encourage young men to be wise. In every way be an example of doing good deeds. When you teach, do it with honesty and seriousness. Speak the truth so you cannot be criticized, then those who are against you will be ashamed because there is nothing bad to say about us."
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I love the way God uses His word to speak to me! I understand why it is called "the living word," since a verse you've read before that didn't really apply can suddenly come alive - jumping off the page to speak to your current situation.
That's what this scripture above did for me. It began with my studying Hebrew. I think the Hebrew script is beautiful, and to satisfy curiosity I have been studying it during Corban's naps. The day I finished learning all the consonants, I turned to that day's reading in the Bible which began with Psalm 119 - an acrostic poem based on the Hebrew alphabet! Originally, each verse began with one Hebrew letter. I might have considered that a coincidence, but then I clicked through a couple pages online, and suddenly was looking at my first name written in Hebrew! One of only two names on the page. I think these two "coincidences" were God's way of encouraging me to continue studying the language.
So far, I learned that the Hebrew characters began as pictures that evolved into an alphabet over time. To infer deeper meaning in the words, some people have substituted the modern letters with the original pictograms, using the meaning of those ancient pictures to get a deeper understanding of that word. For example, "El," the root word for "God," (אֵל) can be traced back to a picture of an ox and a staff, the two images together meaning "Strong Leader." Likewise, the picture-word for "father," or "abba," (אָבּ) is an ox and a house, meaning "Strength of the House."
So with this in mind, I turned to today's reading in the Bible, Psalm 127:1. It states, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." Abba. Father. Strength of the House. Who is the strength of the house? God, our Father, is the Strength of the House. He is the one who must build it; He is the one who must be the foundation for my family. Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27, "
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (NIV).I can let Jesus Christ and His teachings be the foundation for my house, and it will endure life's storms. Or, I can try to do it on my own and watch it all "fall with a great crash" when those storms come along. I am a father now, I am Abba. I am supposed to be the strength of the house. But, without a foundation built by my God, my "Strong Leader," my efforts to establish a safe home to raise and guide my family are in vain. I must rely on God's strength, not my own, to provide for my family.
If a father is to be the strength of his family, then surely the enemy will recognize that threat and attack it first. As a father then, it is important to take extra care to anticipate attacks in areas where I am weak (i.e., temptations). How many families in our country live in a house without a father, without abba? Clearly these attacks have been successful in our culture, given the number of students I have without a father in the home. Fortunately for fatherless homes, our Heavenly Father can be our Abba.
He can be the strength of any house.