February 12, 2019 – What’s Really Important?

What I read today;

Genesis 49; 2 Samuel 5-6; Psalm 43; Isaiah 43; John 2; Galatians 3-4

The early church endured a lot of fighting over the Law of Moses.  The fighting centered around which ceremonial laws to follow and which ceremonial laws to let go.

Funny thing is that we seem to endure the same fights today, don’t we?

We judge people by the outward appearance of holiness.  We give them credit for what they look like not what is inside of their hearts.  Then we find out that they weren’t as holy as they seemed we’re shocked.

The truth is that we all fail to obey the Law of God.  Our sinful human nature keeps failing.  The way we look isn’t always indicative of the condition of our hearts.

Paul sums up what’s really important in Galatians 4 vs. 4-5;

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

February 11, 2019 – Overcoming the Darkness

What I read today;

Genesis 48; 2 Samuel 3-4; Psalm 42; Isaiah 42; John 1; Galatians 1-2

Two thousand years ago, the world was a dark and cruel place.  The Roman army used savage methods to keep the peace.  The poor were forced onto the streets to beg.  Women were beaten and cast out onto the streets at the whims of husbands.

In the church, it had become about obeying the rules.  Rules made up by men who were intent on keeping their power over the population by adding more rules and making it impossible for the common person to understand how or why God would care for them.

In the midst of all this Jesus entered the world.  John 1 makes it clear who Jesus is.  He’s the creator of the universe.  He stepped out of heaven because of his great love for you and me.  His light came into the world and changed it forever.

Yes, the world we live in today is still cruel and evil.  We are far from perfect.  Racism, sexism, corruption, and violence can be seen every day.  But in the midst of all this, we can find joy and peace knowing the Jesus has come to set us free.

John 1 vs. 5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

February 10, 2019

What I read today;

Genesis 49; 2 Samuel 1-2; Psalm 41; Isaiah 41; Luke 24; 2 Corinthians 12-13

Fear is a devastating tool that Satan uses against us.  We fear the loss of our jobs, our homes, our families and our money.  Politicians use fear to divide people.  They play on our fears and use them to keep us isolated and dependent on them for our security.

After World War II the United States became engulfed in fear of the Communist Menace around the world.  We sat on the edge of nuclear war for over 40 years due to this fear.  We spent trillions of dollars on weapons to make us “safe.”  After the fall of the Berlin wall, we found out that the Russians were as afraid as we were.

After 9/11 our congress willingly gave our rights away in the name of security.  Out of fear the public willingly allowed the Congress to give those rights away without even a peep of protest.  Then years later we were shocked when those who were given the right to our private information abused that right.

Fear divides us white from black, gay from straight, a man from woman and citizen from alien.

We see what feer can do in Genesis 47 when the Egyptian people willingly sell themselves into slavery.

But God is not a God of fear.  He is a God of hope.  Today when you are tempted to fear thanks to a news report or someone walking down the street who is different from you remember these words:

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  ESV

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ESV

February 9, 2019

What I read today;

Genesis 46; 1 Samuel 30-31; Psalm 40; Isaiah 40; Luke 23; 2 Corinthians 10-11

Our lives are a never-ending series of peaks and valleys.  We go from incredible highs of falling in love or having children to incredible lows like the death of loved ones, failed marriages or loss of jobs.

Sometimes it may seem like you just can’t go on.

We can take comfort in the fact that we have a God who promises that he will continually renew our hearts and strengthen our resolve if we remain focused on him.

Isaiah 40 vs. 30-31, “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

February 8, 2019

What I read today;

Genesis 45; 1 Samuel 28-29; Psalm 39; Isaiah 39; Luke 22; 2 Corinthians 8-9

A Pastor in Georgia recently started a controversy when he said that Christians need to “decouple” their theology from the old testament.  His statements suggested that we should disregard the old testament teaching and focus only on the new testament teachings of Jesus and the disciples.

While on the surface that sounds good it does raise some problems.

The old testament, when used properly, points us to the savior Jesus.  In fact, Jesus continuously quotes from the old testament throughout his ministry and life.  Most importantly, Jesus fulfills the old testament prophecies.

In Luke 22 vs. 37 Jesus says, “For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me:  ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

If we disregard the Old Testament then we do away with the reason that Jesus came to be on this earth.  We eliminate the need for a savior from sin.

That’s why we need to study the entire Bible, not just the parts we like.

February 7, 2019

What I read today;

Genesis 49; 2 Samuel 5-6; Psalm 43; Isaiah 43; John 2; Galatians 3-4

Usually, I write my posts a few days before they are published.  It helps me to be able to go back and read them before I publish them.

As I write this morning its 9 AM on the 7th of February.

In a few hours, I take my wife in for surgery.  To say that I’m nervous and scared would be an understatement.  She’s my whole world.  The greatest gift I’ve ever been given. We’ve been all over the world together, and she’s put up with me, which should qualify her for sainthood. She’s been through a lot these past few years.  I don’t know that I could have handled all that she’s dealt with.

I ran across this verse this morning;

Isaiah 43 vs. 1 “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob he who formed you, O Israel: Fear Not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”

She’ll be in his hands this morning.