Tag Archives: salvation

Don’t You Fear God? Luke 23

30 Dec

Reading through Luke chapter 23 this morning, the words of the criminal crucified beside Christ struck me. He was speaking to the other criminal who hung on the far side of  Christ Jesus–the one who’d been hurling insults at Jesus.

“Don’t you fear God?” he said.  See Luke 23:40

Though the man hung on a cross next to Jesus, suffering and dying, he believed. He still feared God. Still dared to believe Jesus was the Messiah and there was a kingdom Christ would be ushered into, and there was a point to what was taking place.

I’m reminded of the lines in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She wrote that she’d claimed the “yes” of believing God, but lived the no.

Don’t you fear God?

To fear God is to be reverent of His mighty authority and power. To recognize his infinite might alongside his infinite love.

Sometimes I sense we focus so heavily on the love and forgiveness, we fail the rightful dose of fear. Doesn’t the fear of God go hand and hand in the surrender to God? To whatever he brings?

The first verse of Job tells us he was a man who feared God and shunned evil. And don’t we think of Job as  synonymous with suffering?

Yes, Job suffered much loss, much anguish and grief. Yet, the second half of his life was more blessed than the first, than before the suffering. (See Job 42:12 – 17)

Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  see Job 2:10

Lord, it’s hard. It’s scary. I’d rather fear you and have it go well all my days. But I fear you always. I choose to surrender to you in the good and in the trouble.

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Ripples of Faith

15 Jun

This morning, I meditated on the following verses, 1  Peter 1:8 – 9.

Though you have not seen him, you love him;

and even though you do not see him now,

you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy,

 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

The goal of my faith.

That got me wondering. As the verse above indicates, the goal of my faith is my own salvation. Yes.

Then I considered other goals we create in life, and how after attaining them, we make new goals.

What else does my faith push me toward?

If I am “inexpressibly joyful” over my salvation, my faith should make me contagious.

Being contagious, contracting others into the joy of salvation!  There’s a rippling goal for faith.

 

 

Defining Faith

2 Feb

A title like “Defining Faith” may be misleading. Perhaps you’re expecting an entry about a faith so powerful through a circumstance so critical, that it became a definining life moment. 

Hope you’re not too disappointed, but what I have in mind is actually defining the word faith. There are lots of scriptures on faith, there are other definitions ranging from Websters Dictionary to Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’d like to hear what some of you out there think is a good definition of “faith,” using any of the references above or your own words. Even a metaphor will do, like the one my son gave to the word “glass” in kindergarten: A glass is a house for chocolate milk. 

So, please play along. What’s faith?

I’ve got a free book to send to someone. So on February 8th, I’ll draw randomly from the names of people who comment. If you win, you can send me an email with a mailing address and I’ll send you the book (and no, it isn’t written by me!) 

Foolishness is Power (God’s Foolishness, That Is)

31 Jan

This morning, I read in 1 Corinthians chapter 1.  Verse 25 stuck out for me.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

First of all, since when is God foolish? Or weak?

Looking at the context of the passage, Paul is writing to the Cornithian church, encouraging them against division. Some are promoting Paul, others Apollos,etc. Both men preached the gospel of Jesus Christ which is completed by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. There should be no division, the cross is the message. It is Jesus’s gospel, not any man’s.

With this context, the verse starts to take shape. Still, I did a quick word study on “foolishness.”

 The word “moros” is the root word in the original Greek language.  Indeed, the top English translations listed were fool and foolish, but then, another word was listed,  “impious.” 

I didn’t know the exact meaning, so I looked it up in Webster’s dictionary.  It said, “irreligious, disrespectful.” 

1 Corinthians 1:18 says “For the preaching of the cross is, to them that perish, foolishness; but, unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.

In the days Christ Jesus walked this earth, it was disrespectful and foolish to men to be told their religion could not save them. Additionally, it was ridiculous to them that the Messiah, the promised, divine saviour of the world, would make himself humble, even to a death on the cross. In their eyes, weakness.

So, the verses are telling us that  based on man’s thinking and understanding, the gospel of Jesus Christ was foolish and weak. Yet, for those who put their confidence in it, it is all powerful. 

What about today? What about the gospel of Christ is “ridiculous” in the minds of people who do not believe it?

More Than Enough

10 May

I continue to be thrilled with all there is to be gained from God’s word. How many times in my life have I heard the passages about the thousands fed by a few loaves?  Still, I discovered new depths this morning as I read John chapter 6.

Jesus fed five thousand in this passage, distributing as much food as the people wanted. In verse 12, he tells the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”  NIV

Later in the same chapter, Jesus tells the people he is the bread of life, verse 41, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  Following verses include a comparison to manna which the Isrealites ate in the wilderness while with Moses. In that scripture, too, manna was left over. (See blog entry on this scripture here http://wp.me/pLlqD-F)

God has more than enough. Our willingness to surrender to him and accept him is the only hindrance to receiving more. Jesus’s single, everlasting, perfect sacrifice of himself covers every single person who will confess him as Lord and truly surrender their hearts to him (see Romans 10: 9 – 10).

Yet, some people will not accept and confess. Some of the salvation from the redeeming blood of Christ will be left over, unclaimed. Because it is limitless, just as the supply of loaves and fish was limitless, just as the manna was limitless..

Okay, this connects so fluidly to the blog entry on capstone and cornerstone from last week. I can’t wait, but I must. I still have some research to do. But it is INCREDIBLE!

Current Bible Reading Status

Old Testament: We’ve completed Genesis through 1 Samuel chapter 9; also Psalms 1:1 through chapter 106; and in Proverbs 1:1 through 14:35.

New Testament: We’ve completed Matthew through John 6:42.

You’ve Got an Omer

4 Feb

Maybe you didn’t know it, but you’ve got an omer.

God’s word is amazing. The study of old testament alongside new testament continuously wows me. It leaves me wishing I hadn’t wasted all those years not being in God’s word daily, on my own. But not with a heart of regret, rather a heart of appreciation that I’m here now. And a heart to encourage others to jump in.  

Back to the omer. In Exodus, God provides manna. The Isrealites didn’t know what it was. They’re told it’s God’s bread, provided so they won’t starve. They’re also instructed to gather an omer of manna per person, per day. No more, no less.

Of course, some gather more, some gather less. Typical humans. But in Exodus 16:18, regardless of what the people had gathered, they each ended up with an omer – as much as needed.

Enter new testament, John chapter six. I’d recently read these verses in a study. Grab your bible and read this chapter. Jesus tells the crowds he is the bread from heaven. They don’t know who he is. They want to be told what good works to do, what God requires. He tells them to trust in the one God sent (himself, Jesus, the manna from heaven).

The Isrealites wanted to gather a little extra manna just in case they needed it. Just in case God didn’t send more tomorrow.  Likewise, the crowds wanted to do something God required.  In both cases, God provided. In both cases, people felt the need to “do” more.

It’s a trust issue isn’t it?

Jesus is our omer. He is what’s needed. Grace is enough. Trust it. Trust Him. Know Him.

Today’s Passages: Ex 19:16 – 21:21; Mat. 23:13 – 39; Psalms 28: 1 – 9; Prov. 7: 1 – 5

Friday’s Passages: Ex 21:22 – 23:13; Mat.24:1 – 28; Psalms 29: 1 – 11; Prov 7: 6 – 23

Saturday’s Passages: Ex 23: 14 – 25:40; Mat 24: 29 – 51; Psalms 30: 1 – 12; Prov 7:24 – 27 

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