- Genesis: Where is the first prophecy about Jesus in the Bible? It's in Genesis 3:15 (NIV):
And I will put enmity
The first Messianic prophecy is in Genesis right after the fall. Jesus is referred to in the beginning. Satan may cause some trouble in striking the heel, but ultimately, Satan will be crushed. There is hope in that.
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.
- Exodus Are you a good person? Am I? Let's look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. ... After taking the Good Test, we have seen that we fail at all of them. If you still think that you haven't brokent them all, consider James 2:10: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." So, we are all guilty. Where is the hope? We cannot do it. If we try to live by the law, we will fail. That doesn't mean we don't desire or strive to do good, but we must rely on the perfect work of Christ to save us. For only He is good and if we trust Him as our Lord and Savior, then when the Father looks on us, He sees His Son in whom He is well-pleased (see Mark 1:11).
- Leviticus Do we still sacrifice animals? Why not? In Leviticus 1, there is a repeated phrase: "male without defect" in verses 3 and 10. We don't have to sacrifice animals, because Jesus is our Perfect Sacrifice. He has done the work. Are you trying to gain God's approval by your effort? Or are you trusting in Christ?
- Numbers Have you ever looked at an ambulance or medic alert necklace/bracelet showing a symbol where there is a pole and a snake going around it? Where does that come from? It comes from the Bible. In Numbers 21:4-9. The Israelites were speaking against God and impatient and God sent poisonous snakes to bite them. Some died. When they acknowledged their sin, God commanded Moses to put a snake on the pole and if the Israelites looked up at the snake on a staff, they would live. So it is with us. When we acknowledge the poison of sin and look the Christ, we live. Jesus was put on the cross. We look to Him and His completed work and live. So, where did Moses overlook the Promised Land before he died? Mt. Nebo in Jordan. When my wife and I went there in 2022, at the top of the mountain, we saw a sculpture in the shape of the cross, and it shows a serpent going around it. It shows how Jesus' work on the cross was a fulfillment of what the Israelites saw. Are you looking to Christ that you may live?
- Deuteronomy In Deuteronomy 2, the Israelites are wandering around, but they come to a place where they have to ask King Sihon permission to go through his country. In verse 27 they mention that they will stay on the main road and not stray to the right or to the left. Yet, the king refused. As a result, the LORD gave the land to the Israelites who defeated King Sihon. A couple of things. We are called to walk on the straight and narrow. We are called to walk towards Jesus. Yet, we have distractions "to the right or to the left." Those distractions might become idols if they aren't already. We are called to take the narro path. Think of Jesus' words in Matthew 7:13-14:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Jesus is the gate (see John 10:9). You may encounter obstacles like the Israelites did with King Sihon, but the battle belongs to the LORD (see 1 Samuel 17:47). He has done the work, is doing the work and will do the work. Have you trusted Him. Have you entered through the narrow gate (Jesus)?
- Joshua Who led the Israelites after Moses? Joshua. In Joshua 1, there is a phrase mentioned multiple times. After reading it, what is it? "Be strong and courageous" (vv. 6, 7, 9 and 18) and in verse 7 it says to be very courageous. Joshua was leading the Israelites! And he was replacing Moses! He had big shoes to fill. How could he be strong and courageous? Look at the end of verse 5 where God says, "I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (NIV). That is a promise Jesus makes in Matthew 28:20. Are you trusting in Jesus and finding your strength and courage in Him?
- Judges What are some of the historical accounts in the book of Judges? One is Samson and while God used him, he was a flawed man who was distracted by Delilah and eventually paid for it. However, I want to look at the very last verse of the book: "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit." What does that mean? Do we see that in our society today? We see it with the lies of relativism. We see it where people are self-centered. It reminds me of a couple Proverbs (see below) where it says couple of times that there is a way that seems right unto a man, but in the end, it ends in death. Left to ourselves, we will sin and the wages of sin is death. This is mentioned in Romans 6:23. However, there is hope. The verse also says that the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus. So, are you looking to yourself or to distrations? Or are you looking to Jesus?
- Ruth Who is the book of Ruth about? Yes, Ruth, of course, but not just Ruth. There is also Naomi. She was Ruth's mother-in-law. She lost everything even to the point of wanting to be called "bitter." She lost her sons. She was on the road grieving with her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth. Eventually, Orpah left and it was just Naomi and Ruth. Naomi told Ruth to go, but look what happened. Ruth said , "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16, NIV). Ruth was faithful. Naomi lost it all, but look what God did. Because Ruth was faithful, she met Boaz. The married and had a child. In Ruth 4:16-17 (NIV), it says, "Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, 'Naomi has a son!' And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David." Due to her faithfulness, Ruth became the great grandmother of David. Ruth is in the genealogy of Jesus. Be faithful, even when things are tough. Even in the worst situations, God is working.
- 1 Samuel We all know the story of David & Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. David was faced with impossible odds. Goliath was at least 9-feet tall, a trained warrior, big and strong. David was just a waterboy for the army and a shepherd. Goliath mocked God. David was faithful to God -- confident (con fidelis - with faith). Saul wanted David to wear armor. David, instead, went in the strength of the Lord. And you know how it turned out. David won. We will all have giants to face. We might be scared. We might try to handle it all on our own with some armor. However, what we need to do is be faithful to God. It doesn't mean we won't suffer, but in the end, in Christ, we will be victorious.
- 2 Samuel In 2 Samuel 6, David was celebrating a victory and bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. In verses 14-1 (NIV), it says the following:
Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
Sometimes, you might be celebrating and living for the Lord and others may despise you for it. They may call you a "freak" or worse. Consider David's response to Michal in 2 Samuel 6:22 (NIV):
David said to Michal, "... I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this..."
David didn't care about what others thought about his celebration before the Lord. He knew it wasn't about him. He knew it was about God. How about you?
- 1 Kings What does it mean to be a man? The world has its ideas, but the Bible's are the best. In 1 Kings 2:2 (NIV), David shares in his dying days with his son Solomon about being a man:
When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
"I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go."
So, what does it mean to be a man? Part of it is living for God. You guys are young men. Get into the Word, spend time with God. Walk in obedience.
- 2 Kings We read in the books of 1 and 2 Kings a repeated. A king does evil and a king does good and a king does evil and another does evil as his father did. Consider 2 Kings 8:16-19 (NIV) as an example of this:
In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his reign as king of Judah. He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.
Yet, look at the last verse (19). God keeps His promises. Even when man does evil, God keeps His promise. Even though we sin, God kept His promise and provided Himself in Christ as our Perfect Sacrifice. He did the work. And if you trust Jesus, you will fully realize God's promises in spite of the evils of the world or even your own sin.
God keeps His promise.
- 1 Chronicles There are reminders in Scripture. It reinforces what we know or have heard or reminds us and encourages us. In 1 Chronicles 22:8-10 (NIV), God is speaking to David about his son Solomon and says in verse 10 "He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever" and that promise is fulfilled in Christ. Also in 1 Chronicles 22:13 and 28:20 a familiar phrase we saw in Joshua: "Be strong and courageous." God promises are available in Jesus Christ. Do you have hope in Him? For in Him, you can be strong and courageous. For teh believer, He is our strength and our courage. Interesting word: courage. It comes from the Latin word for heart. If Jesus in your heart? Do you have His heart?
- 2 Chronicles Who was King Josiah and what is significant about him? In 2 Chronicles 34, we read about good King Josiah. We see the familiar theme in 2 Chronicles where a king does evil. Josiah's father was Amon. We have to go back a chapter to 2 Chronicles 33:21-25 to read about the evil Amon had done. As a result, he was assassinated. In spite of having a father who did evil, Josiah chose differently. He was only 8 years old when he became king. In 2 Chronicles 34:3, it says that he sought God in the 8th year of his reign. He was about 16, around the age of some of you. And consider what Josiah chose to do differently than his father: H\he didn't turn to the side to the right or the left (v. 2). He tore down idols (vv. 3-7). He worked on the Temple (vv. 9-13), which resulted in finding the Book of the Law (v. 14). How can you choose diffently? Don't let anyone look down on you because you're young (see 1 Timoth 4:12). What do you need to change? What idols do you need to tear down? Are you working on the Temple -- that is, your body -- by honoring God (see 1 Corinthians 6:19)? And as a result, have you found and taken time in the Good Book -- the Bible? Be like King Josiah.
- Ezra There's a verse in Ezra I used to find hilarious. I used to share it with people for a laugh. It's Ezra 9:3 (NIV):
When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.
What is going on? Why would this dude tear his clothes and pull his hair out, even from his beard? He was grieved. Why? We have to look in context to the verse before: Ezra 9:1-2 where it says the Israelites were involved in detestable practices of their pagan neighbors, some even marrying pagan women. They were being drawn away from God. It took this verse for me to realize that I was not to be unequally yoked (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) with an unbelieving woman, that I needed to marry a Christian woman. Yet, that is true whether or not you are called to marry one day. While we need to be kind and interact with unbelievers, we are not to become like them. We are not to adopt their practices. We are in the world, but not of it if you are in Christ. We are not to be like the world, but to point the world to Christ. 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV) says the following:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
This doesn't mean we walk around hating people and hiding from unbelievers. How will they know the truth and love of Christ if we don't interact with them? Rather, this is not loving the world system. Are you standing for Jesus or wallowing in the world?
- Nehemiah Nehemiah was in exile as a cup bearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia. After prayer and fasting, Nehemiah was allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall. Yet, in Nehemiah 4, as a result of building, Nehemia faced opposition. When we read the chapter, we see some things. Consider how Nehemiah responded: He faced insults, but he stayed faithful and built anyway. He faced anger and threat. So, he prayed and posted a guard. He faced a possible attack. He encouraged others to fear not, remember the Lord, and he returned to the work (with one hand working and another holding a weapon) indicaating "Our God will fight for us!" (v. 19, NIV). What insults do you face? Are you focused on continuing God's work, and praying, guarding your heart and fearing not as you remember the Lord?
- Esther What are some of the messes in our world? We have leaders who do not follow Jesus. We have confusion where people teach lies against God's created order of male and female. We have people who complicate basic truth and deceive themselves and others. We have people living only for themselves and disregarding God. Esther faced a messed up world, too. Her people were faced with extermination. Yet, God had a plan. She was Queen. She was bold to approach the king and intercede for her people, even risking her own life in doing so. She was there "for such a time as this" (see Esther 4:14). We live in a messed up world, but God has you here "for such a time as this." Are you taking risks for Him? Are you speaking truth in love in a confused and dark world?
- Job What is the oldest book of the Bible? Job. Though Genesis has the earliest historical events, the book of Job was written down first. And way back when, we talked about how Genesis had the first prophecy about Christ. Well, Job, the oldest book in Scripture, refers to Jesus, too. In Job 19:25 (NIV) says the following:
I know that my redeemer lives,
And Jesus is the Redeemer and He indeed stood on the earth and will again. And what's interesting is that in the oldest book of the Bible, Job, a man who suffered greatly, had his hope in the Redeemer. Whatever you're going through, is your hope in Christ?
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
- Psalms What is the most popular Psalm in the book of Psalms? Psalm 23. There's a verse in there that sticks out to me: Psalm 23:4 (NASB), which says the following:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Notice that David walks through the valley of the shadow of death. We will also walk through such valleys. We often pray that we go around them or dodged them completely, but we will walk through them. Yet, David says he fears no evil. Why? Because God is with him. Do you have that same hope? Are you walking in Christ? He will walk with you through those dark valleys.
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
- Proverbs Let's talk about dog puke. What? Really, let's talk about it. Proverbs 26:11 says the following:
As a dog returns to its vomit,
What does that mean? A fool keeps going back to the foolish things he does. It's like the common axiom about insanity being the repetition of the same mistakes and expecting different results. If we keep doing things our own way or in our own strength we will fail. Consider this proverb:
so fools repeat their folly.
There is a way that appears to be right,
That is actually mentioned twice in the book of Proverbs (14:12 and 16:25). Why would God mention that twice? It's important (as is all Scripture). It is important to realize that if you go your own way, instead of God's way, you will be like the dog returning to its vomit. Our way is sin and it results in death (Romans 6:23). Instead, live abundantly for Jesus.
but in the end it leads to death.
- Ecclesiastes What makes a good rope? What if it's just a single strand? What about two? What if it's three strands like a braid? Well, Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV), which says the following:
Though one may be overpowered,
I often apply this to marriage where the 3 strands are the husband, wife and Jesus at the center. This is good for friendship and marriage, the Third Strand being Jesus.
It is a simple illustration reminding us to be Christ-focused? This is not just in relationships, but in everything.
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
- Song of Songs Though Song of Songs is often used to discuss marriage, there is application for you young guys. Though the book describes a marriage, it shows God's love for us as the church is His bride. What is a banner? It is like a flag. Armies carried banners to represent themselves or convey a message. In Song of Songs 2:4 (NASB), it says the following:
He has brought me to his banquet hall,
His banner over me is love. Does that represent you? Are you walking in the realization that God loves you. Jesus said if you love Him, you will obey His commandments (see John 14:15), including loving others (see Mark 12:31). Are people seeing the banner of love over you? Are they seeing you walk in the confidence of God's love for you and also demonstrating it to them and others?
And his banner over me is love.
- Isaiah - What is a cornerstone? It's a foundational stone in a building, which impacts the entire structure. Isaiah 28:16 (NASB) says the following:
Therefore this is what the Lord God says:
Jesus the Cornerstone. He is the sure foundation on Whom you can surely rest. The one who trusts in Him will never be dismayed. Are you trusting Him today?
"Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
A precious cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
The one who believes in it will not be disturbed."
- Jeremiah Like many of the books we've looked at, there is so much that can be considered and applied from Jeremiah. I'll mention just a few verses: 3:12, 3:14, 3:22 and 4:1. What theme do these verses have in common? They show God saying to Israel, "Return." The verses in chapter 3 have pleas to the faithless to return to God. And that is applicable to us today. Have you been faithless? God says, "Return." One of my favorite verses is 2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV), which says the following:
if we are faithless,
God is faithful even when we are not. Grace abounds, but this is not an invitation to sin all the more (see Romans 6:1-2). If we are faithless, He is faithful and we our to return to Him. You may think, "But I really messed up!" or "I'm not good enough." That's all the more reason to return to Him. It's not about you. It's about Him. In Christ, you can approach God with confidence in your time of need, not when you have it all together, but when you are needy. Consider Hebrews 4:16 (NIV):
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
God says, "Return." Go to Him.
- Lamentations Have you messed up lately? I don't mean a mere mistake, but a sin. I have. We all do. The Bible says that if we claim to be without sin, we lie to ourselves (see 1 John 1:8). As Christians, we are not to have a lifestyle of sin, but this side of heaven we will wrestle with it. Yet, there is hope. Lamentations 3:21-25 (NIV) says the following:
Yet this I call to mind
His mercies are new every morning, even every moment. And He offers mercy and grace in Jesus. Have you messed up? Turn from sin (repent) and turn to Jesus.
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him
- Ezekiel Ezekiel has so much in it, but let's look at one of God's promises in Ezekiel 37:24-28:
"'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'"
Ezekiel was written centuries after King David and it mentions a forever reign. Why is that? Jesus is in the line of David and Jesus is the eternal King. In all the prophecy back to ancient times, Jesus is God's promise for us. And we know from God's promises that He keeps them. His prophecies come true and His promises are kept. There is hope in that.
- Daniel In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar sets up an image -- a statue -- about 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. And all the "bigwigs" of the land were to bow down and worship it or be thrown into the fiery furnace. So, when the herald called, all the people bowed except Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This infuriated the King who confronted the trio and threatened them again with the fiery furnace. However, consider their response in Daniel 3 (NIV):
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
The three knew it wasn't about them, but it was about God and honoring God. They were willing to die for truth and were confident that God could rescue them, but were faithful to the point that even if He did not, they would remain faithful to God. And God did rescue them. In fact, a fourth figure "like a son of the gods" appeared and was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego unharmed. Jesus preincarnate was with them. This changed Nebuchadnezzar's heart. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful and it changed the heart of the king to the point where he praised and honored the one true God. What's the application for us? Be faithful. Do not bow to the statues this world sets up. Have faith in Jesus, take a stand, and He is with you. Even if things don't go well for you, stay faithful. Do the right thing, come what may.
- Hosea I remember during my single years complaining to God during one of my walks about being single. I wanted a girlfriend. I started to say, "God didn't know what it was like to struggle in that way." Even though I knew He knew all thing, I didn't think He knew the experience of such a struggle. As I walk, the wind picked up and became loud to where I couldn't hardly hear. And then I knew. I knew that God not only knew my experience, but knew it all the more as He knew what it was to have an unfaithful bride. Hosea is a tough book. It's about a prophet God tells to marry an adulterous wife in Hosea 1:2-3. Why would God have Hosea take an adulterous wife and why would Hosea love her? Well, Israel, in idolatry, was adulterous to God. And we, the church, the bride of Christ, are also adulterous with our idols. Any sin can be traced to idolatry, even if it's just that we think we know better. Anything placed equal to or above God is an idol. How we struggle! How we need Him! God more than knew my experience. He knew my struggle. And though I am happily married now, He still knows my struggles and shortcomings. And He knows that of you, too. Yet, God still loves us!
- Joel It may be hard to find something to apply from some of the lesser known books, but in Joel 2:12-13 (NIV), God says the following to rebellious Israel:
"Even now," declares the Lord,
This is applicable to us. God says, "Return to me." And what does it mean to rend your heart instead of garments. It needs to be a heart change, not just and outside going through the motions. Listen to what it says, that God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love. Maybe you've drifted. Return to Him.... even now.
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
- Amos What does God want? Consider these verses in Amos 5:21-23 (NIV):
"I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
Wow! So, then what does God want? He wants us to stop pretending. He wants us to stop playing Christian on the outside. He wants us to follow Him. He wants our hearts. There's this cartoon of a boy and Jesus. The boy goes to Jesus and says, "It's all I have" and he holds out his heart. Jesus says, "It's all I want." That's all Jesus wants -- our hearts.
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
25 April 2023
- Obadiah What does Obadiah have in common with Philemon and Jude? They are only one-chapter books. Obadiah is a bit of a rebuke for Edom. Edom was mocking Judah in their time of calamity. Do you ever see someone you don't like and something bad happens to them and you laugh about it? That's what Edom was doing in regards to Judah. That can happen with jealousy and pride, where we think someone deserves something bad or we enjoy their misfortune. That should not be. Look at what Obadiah 12-13 (NIV) says:
You should not gloat over your brother
We are not to look down on those in calamity as comes with jealousy and pride, but rather do Romans 12:15 says, and rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
That is a way to love others well. If someone gets something or wins something, even if it is something you felt you deserved, then you can still celebrate with them. If someone is going through a hard time, you can come alongside of them. In doing so, you demonstrate the love of Christ.
in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much
in the day of their trouble.
You should not march through the gates of my people
in the day of their disaster,
nor gloat over them in their calamity
in the day of their disaster,
nor seize their wealth
in the day of their disaster.
2 May 2023
- Jonah What did Jonah say right before he was vomited up on shore?
We find this in Jonah 2:8-9 (NIV):
"Those who cling to worthless idols
Take notice of things. Those who cling to idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. In Christ, we have every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies according to Ephesians 1:3. Yet, in Galatians 3:3 (NIV), Paul writes, "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" If we are not looking to God, we are looking to idols. And that is Jonah's realization. God extends grace, but if we go back to our own ways or our own efforts, we are not only idolatrous, but we fail to appropriate His grace. That is, we fail to live in the application of His grace. We miss out on His blessings for the Christian life. What are the worthless idols in your life? (Hint: All of our idols are worthless compared to God!) Jonah continues that he is thankful and will sacrifice to God and will keep his word. We are to live thankful lives (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18) and while we don't sacrifice animals (as Jesus is our perfect sacrifice), we are called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (see Romans 12:1). And finally, Jonah acknowledges the ultimate truth that salvation comes from the LORD. Jesus is Lord (see John 10:30) and the Way to the Father (see John 14:6). In Christ, there is Salvation. In Christ, there is the ability to be a living sacrifice. In Christ, there is a life of thanksgiving. In Christ, we can live abundantly (see John 10:10) in His grace.
turn away from God's love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, 'Salvation comes from the Lord.'"
Posted 9 May 2023
- Micah In some translations, Micah 7:1-7 has the heading "Israel's Misery." The chapter opens up with misery, which is described in verses 1-6 (NIV):
What misery is mine!
Sounds pretty miserable, doesn't it? And our world can seem miserable, too. All one has to do is look at the news to find misery. Or look down the street. Ministry opportunities abound. Yet, consider what Micah penned in verse 7 (NIV):
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
none of the early figs that I crave.
The faithful have been swept from the land;
not one upright person remains.
Everyone lies in wait to shed blood;
they hunt each other with nets.
Both hands are skilled in doing evil;
the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
the powerful dictate what they desire --
they all conspire together.
The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The day God visits you has come,
the day your watchmen sound the alarm.
Now is the time of your confusion.
Do not trust a neighbor;
put no confidence in a friend.
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
guard the words of your lips.
For a son dishonors his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law --
a man's enemies are the members of his own household.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
And those are good words for us in good times... and in misery. Do you watch in hope for the Lord? Do you wait for God your Savior? Is Jesus your Savior? Will God hear you? That implies you are praying. Are you praying? If you are experiencing misery, look up (to the Lord), watch in hope for the Lord, and pray.
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
Posted 16 May 2023
More will be posted in time.