Archive | March, 2012

Verse for Today – Isaiah 53:3-4 (Click to read mini-Blog)

31 Mar

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”

 Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Isaiah 53

Tis the Season… for remembering what Christ did to save us from our sins.  In vivid fashion Isaiah 52:13-53:12 recounts the expectation, experience and anticipated outcome of the Messiah’s work.  

Today’s verses recount some of how He would be perceived by the people of His day.   He came as the Suffering Servant.  He came bearing the sins of his people.  While on Palm Sunday He was hailed as their King, in just a few short days he would be rejected, despised, spit upon.  No doubt the people (when they saw His broken, beaten and bloodied body) thought He was then getting what He deserved.  They did not understand that He was really getting what THEY deserved.

2 Corinthians 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

 


Verse for Today – 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (Click to read mini-Blog)

30 Mar

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of 1 Timothy 2

This verse says a lot.  There is One God. Ever important to remember… the doctrine of the Trinity is not something we can gloss over or relegate to the past.  It is rooted… grounded in the pages of Scripture.  There is one God… and one Mediator between God and man… the man Jesus Christ.   This Man… is the second person of the God-head.  He is revealed as both true God and true and righteous man.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).  

What do we do?  We hold to the Truth as it’s revealed in Scripture…  we compare Scripture with Scripture… and believe what it says.  Sometimes we hold parallel truths that might seem contradictory or are at least beyond our ability to grasp.  That’s OK.  Our minds or intellects are not the standard by which God or His Word are judged.  Sometimes (actually always) we just need bow our heads and bend our knees in worship.  

Then–and only then–have we really listened a right.  


Verse for Today – Ephesians 6:10-11 (Click to read Mini-blog)

24 Mar

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

 

Read all of Ephesians 6

 

This verse begins the final section of the Epistle to the Ephesians.  It’s the section that talks about our need of spiritual armor to fend off the wily attacks of Satan and the world.  Verse 10 begins with a pretty bold assertion.  “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  Of course this is probably easier said than done.  It seems there’s always a tension between knowing what we’re supposed to do and doing it.


Well, as this section unfolds we are given some pretty good clues about how we might do the things we’re supposed to do.  We are to “put on the full armor of God.”  After we’re given this command we’re told that this armor is essential in standing up to the devil’s schemes.  Another way of saying this is that if we don’t put on the armor and rely wholly upon the Lord, we will fall.  These verses shouldn’t make us live in fear of Satan, but they should make us draw closer to God for his protection.  AND if we’re going to draw near for his protection, it means that we had best be sure we’re keeping “in step with the Spirit” by hearing and heeding His Words.  


Think also of the Lord’s prayer and the Sixth Petition.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  Now think about this just a moment.  We’re taught to pray (even commanded to pray) for God’s protection and then we’re commanded to do the very things that will provide for our protection.  Something to think about.  

Verse for Today – Romans 15:13 (click to read Comment)

23 Mar

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Read at Bible Gateway

 

Read all of Romans 15

 

 I think it’s interesting how certain verses seem to come up in sequence.  A month or so ago, our men’s bible study was studying Jerry Bridges “The Practice of Godliness.”  Well, one of these chapters was on the virtue of joy.  He commented specifically on this verse.  He pointed out this verse.

 

Today’s verse amounts to a prayer… a request that God would fill us with joy and peace.  While it might seem almost contrary, we’re commanded to be joyful.  To know God, to worship God is to have joy in him.  Another verse that urges joy upon God’s people is Nehemiah 8:10:

 

“Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'”

 

 Something to think about.  Be joyful!


Verse for Today – Psalm 23:1-3 (click to read thot)

17 Mar

 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. 

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Psalm 23

There’s something to be said for beautiful simplicity.  Psalm 23 is probably one of the most widely known and memorized Psalms.  What do we learn from these three verses?

1. God Almighty is like a shepherd to us. What do shepherds do?  They lead the sheep where they go.  They keep them safe from natural dangers and wily predators.

2. The Psalmist is speaking of his relationship to and dependence upon the Lord.  On the basis of this relationship he affirms that all that he needs has been supplied.  The first verse is really a look back over life.  The Lord has taken care of me in the past, and on this he trusts in what the Lord will provide in the future.

3.  The references to green pastures and quiet waters indicate the supply of needs.  They refresh his soul.

4. The Psalmist trusts the Shepherd completely.  He trusts that the Shepherd knows what he’s doing… and more… He recognizes that the Shepherd has a vested interest in the sheep.  He provides, cares for and protects the sheep… “For His name’s sake.”  God has identified himself with His people. 

If then in OT times, how much more now that Christ has come and His Spirit given to indwell his people.  Amen? 


Verse for Today – Acts 4:10,12 (click to read thot)

17 Mar

“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed…. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Acts 4

These verses are part of the foundation on which the Christian Church is built.  The first verse is part of the Apostle Peter’s explanation of the healing of the lame man.  The issue wasn’t if a miracle had been done.  It had.  The question was “How did it happen?” or “By whose power?”  Peter makes clear it was NOT by his power or will, but that of the risen Christ, the Lord Jesus of Nazareth.  

The second verse affirms the exclusiveness of Christ.  Jesus was and is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He is the the only way to God the Father.

Established then.  1. Jesus was alive and He was powerful. 2. Jesus is the one from whom forgiveness of sins and salvation should be sought.

I Timothy 2:5 makes a similar point: 

 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Jesus Christ.”


“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”



Verse for Today – 2 Peter 1:5-8 (click to read explanation)

14 Mar

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of 2 Peter 1

These verses from 2 Peter are pretty direct.  He is not describing how we can or might be saved, but rather how we as believers–who’ve been redeemed by the grace of God through Christ’s death on the cross– should strive to live.  

First off there is a string of qualities that becomes our bulls-eye in living out the Christian life.  These don’t just happen.  They are the result of earnest prayer and effort.  Will we do these perfectly?  Not likely, but it does become the standard by which we measure ourselves.  This is where the second sentence comes in… that if we see these qualities growing within ourselves, we will know we are on the right road and making progress in living for Christ.  The big word that describes this process of becoming more faithful and fruitful is sanctification.

However, we should not go too easy on ourselves… you know right a way thinking that mediocrity and half-hearted devotion is OK.  Peter follows these verses with a pretty sharp warning:

For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”