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Words of Life Blogposts Volume 2

Words of Life Blog Posts

Volume 2

 

By Jon Peasey

 

Published by Peasey Publications

at Shakespir

 

Copyright 2016 Jon Peasey

ISBN: 9780994150851

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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Individual blog posts may also be reproduced, copied and distributed

for non-commercial purposes provided the author

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If you enjoyed this book, please return to Shakespir.com

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[All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James version (NKJV); unless otherwise noted. Words enclosed in [ ] are inserted for clarity. Words in bold type emphasise a point. You may notice some verses are quoted with at the beginning, ending or elsewhere in a verse. Only the relevant part or parts of the verse that relate directly to the current subject matter is quoted.]

 

[Please note the blog posts are listed in the order they were published. The reason for this is that sometimes a blog post will refer back to an earlier blog post. An Alphabetical List of Contents is located at the end of the eBook. For access click on the link below in the Table of Contents. This will redirect you to the Alphabetical List where you can peruse and select the blog posts in their alphabetical order. To return to the Alphabetical List again click on any actual blog post heading; this will redirect you to The Table of Contents where you can again select the Alphabetical List from the link below.]

 

Table of Contents

Alphabetical list of Contents

Preface

In all these things

Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven

Christmas Time

The joy that was set before Him

The Lily and the Cedar

Four anchors for the soul

Created for His pleasure

Things new and old

The Sun rose on him

A Fragrant Gift – Part 1

A Fragrant Gift – Part 2

A Spiritual House

He cares for you

Remembrance Day 2013

Worship

The best is yet to come

The Comfort of the Scriptures

Faith – Hope – Love

God’s requested blessing is dependent on faith

He Humbled Himself – Part 1

He Humbled Himself – Part 2

Double Security

“I AM” – Part One

“I AM” – Part Two

In Him we live and move and have our being

Calm in the storm

Behold the Man! – Part One

Behold the Man! – Part Two

Behold the Man! – Part Three

Prepare to meet your God

About the Author

Ebooks by Jon Peasey

 

 

Preface

I wrote these words in Words of Life Blog Posts – Volume 1, “The following blog posts were written as the result of an exercise to start a Blog to encourage fellow Christians with short devotions and thoughts from the Scriptures.” Continuing on with this theme, Volume 2 contains another 30 blog posts on a variety of subjects packed with good things to enjoy.

 

Since writing Volume 1, international attention has been focussed on terrorism and its related consequences; particularly the plight of millions of refugees seeking to flee to countries of refuge and peace. Those of us who live in countries at peace should be especially thankful to our God for His care and protection over us. Many of the blog posts cover this aspect of our God’s care and protection towards us. Other blog posts point us to the humanity and perfectness of God’s beloved Son – Jesus. May you find encouragement and calmness in your soul as you consider the various subjects in this eBook. As you finish a blog post, pause for a moment and reflect on its message before starting the next blog post.

 

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In all these things

The title of this blog post comes from a verse in Romans 8:37, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” What are the things that the apostle Paul is referring to? Verse 35 gives us the answer. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” There are 7 things mentioned in this verse. If you look at them carefully you will see that all these things can be carried out by our fellow men. That is a very negative aspect of this verse.

 

The positive aspect is given to us in verse 37 “…we are more than conquerors…” through Christ. Let’s look at the 7 things in verse 35.

 

Tribulation can be a time of testings and trial. Tribulation can come in many forms.

Distress I think we can all relate to this; to be in situations where things go wrong and we have no control over it.

Persecution can take many forms; such things as verbal abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, racial abuse, financial pressures, religious intolerance and bigotry.

Famine occurs in many countries when the food crops fail or there is insufficient food to feed these nations. [Sometimes as a result of government policies.]

Nakedness can come about due to persecution or abject poverty. What a terrible plight; no clothing to wear and exposure to all kinds of weather conditions. On top of that the humiliation of it all.

Peril to me means life threatening situations.

Sword conveys the thought of death or life threatening injuries.

 

The apostle Paul was a person who experienced many of the 7 things in his own life and yet he remained confident, fully trusting in his Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. The last two verses of Romans chapter 8 seem to sum up his thoughts.

 

Romans 8:38, 39

(38) “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

“Yet _][_*in all these things* we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37).

 

An old Scottish Christian I knew had a favourite exhortation. “Keep looking up, keep going on!”

 

Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven

This title is taken from John 17:1 which informs us, Jesus* spoke these words and *lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come, glorify Your Son, that Your son also may glorify You’.”

 

The scene is the upper room known as the setting for Jesus’ last supper. The incidents in John chapter 13 to chapter 17 all take place in the upper room. It is the night of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

In chapter 13 we have the Lord Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Later we have Judas Iscariot leaving to arrange the betrayal of Jesus.

In chapter 14 we have the Lord Jesus instructing and comforting his disciples.

In chapter 15 Jesus likens Himself and His disciples to a vine and its branches; pointing out the branches receive their life from the vine. “…without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

In chapter 16 Jesus tells them that when He goes away the Holy Spirit will come to them and guide them into all truth; and that He will be their Helper.

Then we come to chapter 17, a beautiful, instructive, compelling, compassionate prayer; which should enrich the lives of all true born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What is before us here? I cannot hope to do an in depth exposition of this marvellous chapter in this short blog post. However I can highlight some of the rich truths in this chapter.

 

In verse 1 we learn that Jesus’ time on earth was nearly over. He petitions the Father to glorify the Son, so that the Son can also glorify the Father.

Verses 2 & 3 reveal that to know both Father and Son is eternal life.

Verses 4 & 5, we learn that Jesus’ work on earth was finished and now He wanted to be glorified with the glory He had in eternity.

Verses 6-8 The disciples are on his mind. He had revealed the Father to them and they believed the words Jesus had spoken to them about the Father.

Verses 9-12 Jesus prays for His disciples and reveals that the disciples belong to the Father and the Son. Jesus had kept them through the Father’s name.

Verses 13-16 Jesus is going back to the Father [in heaven]. Jesus prays that the Father will keep them from the evil one [Satan].

Verses 17-19 Jesus prays that the Father will sanctify them through the truth; because Jesus has sent them into the world.

Verses 20 & 21 Jesus also prays for those who will believe in him through the faithful testimony of His disciples.

Verses 22 & 23 Jesus gives His followers the same glory that the Father gave Him as a man. The reason is that Father, Son, and Jesus’ followers may be united all together in one bond of life.

Verse 24, Jesus’ desire is that all His own will be with Him in the Glory.

Verse 25 The world has not known the Father. Jesus has known the Father and His own know that the Father sent Jesus to them.

Verse 26 Jesus has declared unto them the Father’s name and He wants His own to personally know the love of the Father for each of them.

 

Fellow believer in Christ read John chapter 17 again and let the truths in this chapter seep into your very soul. These are among His last words spoken to his disciples before His arrest, mock trial and crucifixion. How fitting that this chapter is primarily a prayer to the Father for His [Jesus’] own; yet in it the glory of the Son is revealed to us yet again.

 

Christmas Time

Another festive season is upon us. People are busy with Christmas shopping and wishing each other “Merry Christmas”. Our so called ‘Western’ societies are getting ready to celebrate Christmas once again.

 

Most ‘Western’ societies have been founded on Christian principles. Christian principles have come from God’s Holy Bible. The freedom and liberties we have in our ‘Western’ societies have come about due to one man. His name is Jesus Christ! The very word Christian denotes a follower of Christ. However, there are many nominal Christians; but they in reality do not follow Christ. They subscribe to creeds and follow traditions; rather than follow the person of Christ. As I sit and reflect on these matters, I am forced to realise how different our lives would be if Jesus Christ had not come to save mankind. The world that Jesus Christ was born into was a vastly different scenario to today’s world. There were no ‘Christian’ countries. The Roman Empire ruled the known world. Rome worshipped idols; as did all other countries except Israel. Rome also ruled Israel.

 

It has been noted that one third of the population ruled by Rome were slaves; under the absolute control of their individual masters. The Romans were a cruel and oppressive nation. They ruled with an iron rod. If Jesus Christ had not come and died willingly on the cross at Calvary we would all be heathens and pagans. Many of us would be slaves! We should all count our blessings and praise God if we live in a so called Christian country. Slavery has been abolished in these countries.

 

As you celebrate Christmas this year; remember it is not about a stocky, bearded gentleman in a red suit. Christmas is to celebrate the birth of the Saviour, Christ the Lord. Without Him you would not be celebrating Christmas, or enjoy the liberty and freedom we have in our Western societies.

 

Enjoy this time of the year, with your family and friends; and give thanks to God for the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

May you truly experience God’s blessings this Christmas.

 

The Joy that was set before Him

Have you ever stopped and really considered this? Whatever the Lord Jesus passed through in this world, He always had this thought in mind.

 

Let’s look at the setting in Hebrews 12:1-3:

(1) “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

(2) looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(3) For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

 

Life is like a marathon race; it will take endurance, stamina and courage to run the race and finish it. Verse 2 encourages us to keep looking to Jesus as our supreme example of endurance and patience.

 

Four things in verse 2 stand out

1. The joy that was set before Him.

2. He endured the cross.

3. He despised the shame of being crucified.

4. He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

What was the basis for this joy; the joy that was set before Him? It is like the crown the victor knows he will get when he wins the race. With the Lord Jesus there was a present joy and a future joy. The present joy was His because he delighted to do His Father’s will, and all that entailed.

 

His future joy would come as a result of enduring the cross at Calvary. What is His future joy? Surely it is redeemed, blood bought sinners saved as a result of His sacrifice at Calvary for them. It has been said, “The fields of redemption will yield a far greater harvest than the fields of creation.” He will spend eternity with all His redeemed people from Old and New Testament times. What a joy is His!

 

This blessed, perfect man whom the world hated and crucified, “…endured the cross, despising the shame…” The end result was He sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. As God the Son, the throne was already His. As the Son of Man He acquired this exalted position as His right; because of what he endured, and because of His great victory over sin, death, hell and Satan

 

Are you part of His joy? If not, why not?

 

The Lily and the Cedar

Hosea 14:5 states, “I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.”

 

Hosea chapter 14 is an appeal to Israel to stop their backsliding ways and return to the Lord their God. Hosea 14:4, “I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely.” This chapter is prophetical as it reveals God’s restoration of the nation of Israel at the end of ‘the times of the Gentiles’ (Luke 24:24).

 

However, I want to look at some practical applications that can be gleaned from verse 5.

 

I will be like the dew…” Dew usually occurs overnight on still nights. It comes down from the heavens above us and waters everything it touches. Man has no say or part in it. It comes from God for the benefit of the earth and mankind.

 

The nation of Israel is personified in the lily and the roots.

 

“…he shall grow like the lily… A lily is a tall slender plant with a tubular stem and a trumpet shaped flower. It grows tall and straight. Lilies are renowned for their elegant beauty. Christ spoke of them in Luke 12:27, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

 

“…lengthen his roots like Lebanon.” Lebanon is famous in Scripture for its magnificent Cedar trees. So the reference to lengthening his roots like Lebanon is a reference to the mighty Cedars of Lebanon. Note however that it is not the tree that is spoken of here; it is the mighty roots of the trees.

 

What is significant about the roots? What do they do?

 

Tree roots provide a strong foundation for the tree to grow. A mighty tree needs a mighty root system to support it. Those self same roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil to provide life giving sap to the tree and its branches. As the tree grows the roots continue to grow thicker and spread further afield.

 

The root system is hidden underground. The mighty support system for the tree and the life giving sap are not in plain view. Whether it is the lily or the cedar, both need a root system and both need life giving sap.

 

We have been considering three different items in Hosea 14:5 – the dew – the lily – the roots of Lebanon’s cedars.

 

The dew comes from the heavens; it is God given and provides the necessary moisture to grow plant life.

 

The lily is a picture of glory and beauty.

 

The roots of the cedar tree are hidden; yet they provide firm support to allow the mighty tree to grow. The life of the tree is hidden in the sap emanating from the roots.

 

Can you see some interesting lessons in what has been before us?

 

As the lily grows it becomes a thing of glory and beauty to the eye of the beholder. God wants us to reflect the glory and beauty of Christ in our lives. Yet that glory and beauty is supported by the mighty, hidden root system of faith and trust in our true and living God.

 

Neither the lily nor the cedar can survive without life giving moisture. Our lives are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) yet without eternal life supplied to us via the Holy Spirit (the dew); we would not survive. There would be no growth in our Christian lives.

 

Four Anchors for the Soul

I suppose most people would associate an anchor with boats or ships. A ship’s anchor is used to grip the sea bottom so the ship does not drift about aimlessly.

 

Collins Concise Dictionary defines the word anchor as:

1. (noun) a device attached to vessel by a cable and dropped overboard so as to grip the bottom and restrict movement.

2. An object used to hold something else firmly in place.

3. A source of stability or security.

4. (verb) to use an anchor to hold a (vessel) in place.

5. To fasten or be fastened securely; fix or become fixed firmly.

 

In Acts chapter 27 we read the account of the Apostle Paul’s voyage as a prisoner to Rome. However the ship gets caught in a huge storm at sea; which lasts about fourteen days.

 

Acts 27:27-29:

“(27) Now when the fourteenth night had come, and we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. (28) And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. (29) Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for the day to come.”

 

Note the extreme peril – they dropped four anchors to try and prevent the ship from being driven on to the rocks and smashing up. The anchors held the ship safely until daylight when they cut them loose and sailed into a place where two seas met. The bow stuck fast in the sand, but the stern began to break up with the violence of the waves.

 

The outcome was good – everyone on board made it safely to land. Two hundred and seventy six souls were saved. If it had not been for the four anchors the outcome would have been very different.

 

When the storms of life come along, and they will, what anchors of the soul can we use?

 

Jude verses 20 and 21 contain four solid anchors for our souls. “(20) But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

 

Now an anchor is not much use unless it is used! The four anchors in these verses are action words. Building – praying – keep – looking. If you want these as anchors for your soul, you have to use them! In other words to gain maximum stability and security we have to drop the anchors ourselves. They need to be firmly grounded in God’s love.

 

An anchor needs hooks to grip the sea bottom. Most anchors have either one hook or two hooks. I am going to suggest we use four hooks on our anchors.

 

Building, let’s look at 1 Timothy 6:11, 12 for some practical instructions in building a good testimony and walk before God. “(11) But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…”

 

Praying in the Holy Spirit; praying should be a habitual practice for all Christians. Let’s consider the early church and their practices. Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in *prayers*. One of the four main practices of those early believers was communal prayers. Not just individual prayers as an individual, but prayers on behalf of all those gathered together. It is our means of communication with our God. Praying in the Holy Spirit can only come from those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit; in other words those who are led by the Holy Spirit.

 

Keep yourselves in the love of God. Keeping has the thought of maintaining ourselves in a set position and guarding this. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, “(16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (17) That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

Looking, not just a casual glance but looking expectantly for a desired outcome. 1 Peter 1:3, 4:

“(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (4) To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

 

We have considered four anchors each with four hooks; any one of which will stand you in good stead throughout life. If huge storms come into your life you can let down all four anchors knowing you will be able to ride out those storms; because your soul is firmly anchored in God’s words and God’s love.

 

Created for His pleasure

The title for this blog post was derived from a verse in the KJV version in Revelation 4:11. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”

 

Looking at this verse in isolation we find someone, or, a number of people ascribing praise and exaltation to the Lord. The worthiness of this Majestic, Divine Being is brought before us; Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory, and honour and power…”

 

Verse 11 is the last verse in Revelation chapter 4. It is a short chapter focusing on the throne of God and the One sitting on the throne and we also see four living creatures about the throne. Let’s read verses 8-10 in the NKJV.

 

Revelation 4:8-10:

“(8) The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come! (9) Whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, (10) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…”

 

We see the holiness of God, the almighty power of God and His eternal presence. Who is this Majestic, Divine Being? Revelation 5:6 gives us the answer. “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…”

 

It is the Lord Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God; still showing the marks of Calvary! He is the One receiving the “glory, honour and power.” But verse 11 gives us yet another powerful reason. “…Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (KJV).

 

All things, all created beings, are and were created by God; according to His divine will and according to His holy desires for His own pleasure. Do we give God pleasure in our daily lives?

 

How would we feel if we made something to have pleasure in, and it failed to do that? Would we cast it aside? Or would we try and rectify the problem? There is an old saying, ‘What can’t be mended must be ended!’

 

Genesis 1:31 tells us, “Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” However when we get to Genesis 6:7 we read these words, “So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

 

What had happened to change God’s mind? When Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God they brought sin into God’s creation. From that time all mankind was cursed with a sinful nature passed down from Adam and Eve. By the time we get to Genesis chapter 6 we find that only one man – Noah, “…found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Verse 8).

The result of their sins was death in a universal, worldwide flood which arose above all the mountains. Only Noah and his family in the ark were saved. God continued the human race via Noah and his family.

 

God has not abandoned mankind. He sent His Son to rectify the situation. Galatians 4:4,5 states, “(4) But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, (5) to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

 

The answer is Jesus Christ – the Messiah, the Son of Man, the Son of God, God the Son. The Triune God has pleasure today in redeemed men, women and children. John 3:16, “” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

Do you believe in the Son – Jesus Christ the Lord? Have you received Him as your Lord and Saviour? Then, and only then, can you give pleasure to God.

 

Things new and old

Matthew 13:52, Then He [Jesus] said to them, ‘therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasures things new and old.”

 

Let’s picture the householder. He has treasures that he has had for a long time. They hold fond memories for him and have sentimental as well as intrinsic value to this householder. In his older treasures there could be family heirlooms or items he has purchased in days gone by. They form part of the fabric of his daily life.

 

He also has new treasures, things he has acquired recently which give him satisfaction and also have an intrinsic value to him. From the context of verse 52 we get a distinct impression that the householder delights to show his visitors some of his newer treasures and some of his older treasures. He shows them things that are valuable to him; and he hopes his visitors will appreciate them also.

 

Verse 52 also mentions “…every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven.” A scribe was skilful in writing and reading and was officially recognised as one who could write official documents. Scribes were also employed as clerks. A scribe could also be employed to write letters on behalf of people who were illiterate. In Israel due to his ability to read and write the scribe was often able to expound the Scriptures for the benefit of others.

 

How does this verse apply in a practical sense to you and me?

 

As true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have the treasures of the Scriptures. We have countless treasures in the word of God to dig up and display. If we value them highly, then we will want to share our appreciation of them to others. The Holy Scriptures are divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament; “things new and old.”

 

It has been my experience over many years to see how the New Testament Scriptures explain and enhance many of the Old Testament Scriptures. Conversely, without the Old Testament Scriptures we could not understand many of the Scriptures in the New Testament.

 

2 Timothy 3:16, 17:

“(16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened to them [the Israelites] as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the end of the ages have come.”

 

Psalms 119:103, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

 

When you read and search the Scriptures you have “things new and old” to bring out of your treasures. There are always new treasures to discover.

 

The Sun rose on him

The obvious question to ask is who is the person the sun rose on? The other question is what is the significance of the sun rising on him? The answers to both questions can be found in Genesis 32:24-31. It is a very significant event in the life of the patriarch, Jacob.

 

Genesis chapter 32 gives us the details of Jacob’s journey to visit his brother Esau in the land of Seir. However, when Jacob learns that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men he is fearful that Esau is planning to do him and his family great harm.

 

Jacob has good reason to be afraid. As a young man he had forced Esau, the eldest son, to sell his birthright to Jacob. Later with the aid of their mother Rebekah, Jacob tricked their father Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing as the firstborn son to Jacob. So now the ever crafty Jacob divided his family into two companies. Genesis 32:8, “And he said, ‘If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.”

 

It is interesting what effect a guilty conscience has on a man. In verses 9-12 he prays to God to deliver him from Esau. However, Jacob is not content with that; he still carries on with his own arrangements to escape from Esau’s supposed attack, and organises to provide Esau with valuable gifts to appease him. So he sent ahead gifts via his servants. Then he sent over the ford Jabbok his two wives, his two concubines and his eleven sons. It is now night-time.

 

Genesis 32:24-31:

(24) Then Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.

(25) Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.

(26) And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’ But he said, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me!’

(27) So He said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Jacob’.

(28) And He said your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’

(29) Then Jacob asked, saying, ‘Tell me Your name, I pray.’ And He said, ‘Why is it that you ask about My name?’ And He blessed him there.

(30) So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; ‘For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved,’

(31) Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.”

 

You often hear the saying, “What a difference a day makes!” In this instance what a difference a night makes! Jacob the usurper, Jacob the schemer, met God face to face. God appeared to him in the form of a man and wrestled with him. Jacob realised he was wrestling with God and hung on grimly during the night.

 

God could see that Jacob was not going to give up, so He put Jacob’s hip out of joint. But, still Jacob wrestled on, until just before dawn. God breaks off the struggle. “Let Me go for the day breaks.” Jacob replied, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”

 

Now Jacob receives a name change from God. “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel…” God blesses Jacob and departs. Note the significance of this name which literally means “Prince with God”; the Old Testament Scriptures are full of references to the children of Israel and the land of Israel.

 

Jacob, now called Israel, was a changed man. The man who limped over the ford, as the rising sun shone on him, was now a Prince with God! Israel now goes in front of his family to meet his brother Esau. Esau is happy to see him and runs up to him and embraces him. The outcome the man Jacob was dreading became for the man Israel a time of joy and blessing.

 

A guilty conscience cause’s dread! God’s intervention through the Lord Jesus Christ clears a guilty conscience. The shed blood of Christ on the cross is the answer for a guilty conscience. Hebrews 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

 

A Fragrant Gift – Part 1

Luke 7:36-39:

“(36) Then one of the Pharisees asked to eat with Him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down [reclined] to eat. (37) And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, (38) and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil. (39) Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner’.”

 

The costly, fragrant, perfumed oil ‘Spikenard’ is mentioned in the New Testament gospels in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. As the oil was very costly it was only used for special occasions. The oil, or ointment, was imported into Israel from India, Arabia or the Far East in sealed alabaster boxes, or flasks.

 

In Luke 7:11 we find that Jesus and many of His disciples were in the city of Nain; which is in the region of Galilee near Nazareth. We are not given the name of the woman who entered the Pharisee’s house. What we do know is that she was publicly known as a sinner, as a wicked woman. In other words, she would have been shunned by most of the population. We are not told what her sins were; however she was painfully aware of them.

 

She was obviously aware of Jesus’ teachings and His miracles. Luke 6:17-19:

“(17) And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases. (18) As well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. (19) And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out of Him and healed them all.”

 

Luke chapter 7 also gives us the accounts of the Centurion’s servant who was healed; and the bringing back to life of the widow of Nain’s dead son.

 

When she came to the Pharisee’s house this woman, the sinner, already knew of His great power and His teachings. However she did not come empty handed. She brings with her an alabaster flask of fragrant oil. Now let’s look at the difference between the Pharisee and the sinner.

 

Luke 7:39, 40:

“(39) Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner. (40) And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ so he said, ‘Teacher, say it’.”

 

Jesus then tells him the parable of the two debtors; one who owed 500 denarii and the other 50 denarii. When neither debtor could pay, the creditor freely forgave them both. Jesus asks Simon who would love the creditor more. Simon answers “the one whom he forgave most.”

 

Let’s continue in Luke 7:44-50:

“(44) Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. (45) You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since the time I came in. (46) You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. (47) Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ (48) Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ (49) And those that sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ (50) Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace’.”

 

Back in Luke chapter 5 Jesus speaking to those in Levi’s house told them, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Simon the Pharisee in Luke chapter 7 was self righteous in his own eyes, but the woman knew she was a sinner and needed forgiveness of sins.

 

She went out justified, with her sins forgiven and a heart at peace with God. Can you say the same? Simon the Pharisee in his own self righteousness was still in his sins!

 

A Fragrant Gift – Part 2

In my last blog post ‘A Fragrant Gift – Part 1’ we noted that, “The costly, fragrant, perfumed oil ‘Spikenard’ is mentioned in the New Testament gospels in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Two different women are the focus of our attention in these incidents. In Part 1 the woman who was a sinner at Nain is the central figure.

 

In this blog post Mary of Bethany captures our attention. Bethany is about two miles east of Jerusalem. It is a long way from Nain in Galilee. The incident at Nain took place early in Jesus’ public ministry of healing and teaching. The incidents at Bethany are at the close of Jesus’ public ministry.

 

Let’s look at John 12:1-7:

“(1) Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

(2) There they made Him a supper, and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at table with Him.

(3) Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

(4) But one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said,

(5) ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’

(6) This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

(7) But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone, she has kept this for the day of My burial’.”

 

Mary, Martha and Lazarus were brother and sisters; who lived in their own home at Bethany. Jesus was always welcome in their home. Mary of Bethany was probably the only person who truly believed that Jesus was about to die, be buried and rise again. Luke 10:39, “And she [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” Please note the incident in John chapter 12 was six days before the Passover.

 

Now let’s look at Mark 14:1-10:

“(1) After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.

(2) But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.’

(3) And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.

(4) But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, ‘Why was the fragrant oil wasted?

(5) For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they criticised her sharply.

(6) But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. (7) For you have the poor with you always and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.

(8) She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.

(9) Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be a memorial to her.’

(10) Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him.”

 

There are some important points for us to consider. Both incidents occurred at Bethany. The incident in John chapter 12 took place six days before the Passover. The incident in Mark chapter 14 took place two days before the Passover. It is therefore logical to assume the same woman, Mary of Bethany, was involved in both incidents.

 

In John chapter 12 some of Mary’s spikenard was used to anoint Jesus’ feet. This took place in Mary’s house. In Mark chapter 14 Mary takes the remainder of her spikenard to Simon the leper’s house in Bethany and pours it on Jesus’ head.

 

Both of these loving acts from Mary cause indignation and outcry among the disciples. These acts seem to be the catalyst for Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus; for he only saw a lost opportunity to steal money. On today’s labour market in Australia the fragrant oil would be worth a considerable sum of money.

 

A Roman denarius was the pay for a day’s labour; so 300 denarii was equivalent to 300 days’ wages. The basic minimum wage at the time of writing in Australia is AUD$622.20 per week for a five days’ working week. This is AUD$124.44 per day. If we multiply this by 300 we get a sum of AUD$37,332.00; a “very costly oil of spikenard.”

 

Mary of Bethany’s sacrificial, loving acts to Jesus only brought out greed and contempt in Judas Iscariot, the traitor, for he was a thief.

 

Judas Iscariot is remembered for his treachery and betrayal.

 

Mary of Bethany is remembered for her fragrant gift and acts of love.

 

A Spiritual House

The term ‘spiritual house’ is found in the Apostle Peter’s writings. Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:5: “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

 

Who is the apostle Peter writing to? 1 Peter 1:1 states, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.” These people were Jewish Christians who had been persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and had been forced to flee from Israel. They had left behind them the Jewish ordinances and traditions. The apostle’s letter to them encourages them to keep going on in faith and he points out to them that their inheritance is far superior to those that are under the law given via Moses.

1 Peter 1:3-5:

“(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) who are kept by the power of God…”

 

In Chapter 2 the image Peter is conveying is that of a building; and he thus uses words relating to this image. However, this is no ordinary bricks and mortar type of building. It is composed of living materials. In chapter 2:4 we read, “Coming to Him as a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious.” Christ is the Living Stone!

 

Peter points out in chapter 2:6 that the Old Testament Scriptures foretold this. “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

 

I have a good friend who is a builder. Here in North Queensland, Australia we live in a Cyclone prone area (remember Cyclone Larry and Cyclone Yasi). The majority of houses are built of reinforced concrete blocks, laid on solid concrete slabs. My friend John carefully measures and marks out the foundation slab. When the reinforced concrete slab has been poured and is ready he then very carefully marks out the position of his ‘chief corner stone’. The first concrete block laid is the most important! Every other block, and indeed the whole building, is measured from that first corner block. That block has to be perfectly level, both vertically and horizontally. Otherwise, the building will be out of alignment and out of square.

 

When it comes to perfection – there is only one Christ – Jesus the Son of God!

 

Now let’s return to our lead verse. We have established from the Scriptures that Christ is the Living Stone and the ‘chief corner stone’. In 1 Peter 2:5 we learned that born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are ‘living stones’. We are being built up ‘a spiritual house’ – not a bricks and mortar house; but a ‘spiritual house’ where God dwells.

 

This verse also informs us that we are a ‘holy priesthood’. Every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a priest before God ‘to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’. These are not the animal sacrifices made under the law given via Moses. These are the sacrifices of praise and worship to our God ‘through Jesus Christ’. They are the outpourings of the heart expressed via praise and worship.

 

Hebrews 13:15:

“Therefore by Him [Christ] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” This is what a ‘holy priesthood’ does. This is the purpose of ‘the spiritual house’ to bring praise and worship; and to glorify God.

 

Although the apostle Peter wrote to Jewish Christians, the truths of ‘the spiritual house’ apply to every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ are you exercising your rights as part of the ‘holy priesthood’ in God’s ‘spiritual house’?

 

He cares for you

1 Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” God cares for His own people. The previous verse, verse 6 tells us to, “…humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

 

Pride and arrogance have no place here! Verse 5 tells us that, “…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” This is a quotation taken from Proverbs 3:34 in the Old Testament.

 

Let’s take a look at a couple of verses in Philippians. Philippians 4:6, 7:

“(6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Where it states ‘be anxious for nothing’ it means be anxious about not one thing.

 

We are prone to be like Martha in Luke 10:40-42:

“(40) But Martha was distracted by much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, You care not that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’

(41) And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things.

42) But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” We get so easily distracted and anxious about matters.

 

Now, what have we learned from Philippians 4:6?

1. Be anxious about not one thing.

2. Let our requests be made known to God.

3. How? By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, in everything.

4. When we pray it has to be with thanksgiving.

 

What are the results of this in Philippians 4:7?

1. We will have the peace of God.

2. The peace of God surpasses human understanding.

3. This peace will guard our hearts and minds.

4. The peace of God occurs through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

This does not mean that we are not to care about our responsibilities towards our employers, or our families; after all we are stewards of all that God has provided us with. 1 Timothy 5:8:

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

 

God wants us to be free from anxiety. When the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian believers he was encouraging them to bring all aspects of their lives before God in prayer. Such things as material needs, illnesses, relationships with others, trials and testing times, hopes and fears – to spread them out before the Lord. God does not just want information from us – He wants us to specifically tell Him what we need.

 

God already knows the circumstances we are in; however He wants us to let Him know what we require from Him. He will answer according to our needs and not necessarily our wants.

 

I have a lot of wants, but many of those things I may not need!

 

If we have the confidence to ask according to His will for us, then we will have the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds in our daily circumstances.

 

Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…and be thankful.”

 

Remembrance Day 2013

I have just watched on TV a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia. Today is the day the world pauses to remember the day the guns were silenced in Europe on Armistice Day on the 11th day on the 11th hour in the 11th month of 1918. Monday, 11-Nov-1918 was the day World War 1 ended.

 

People stop what they are doing for one minute’s silence each year at the 11th hour of the 11th month; to honour those who have died in battle fighting for their nation.

 

Whilst it is time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation; it also highlights man’s inhumanity to man. War is the result of sin in men’s hearts; from the need to conquer and dominate their fellow men.

 

There is another sacrifice that Christians all over the world remember. It is the sacrifice Jesus Christ, the Son of God made on a Roman cross for all mankind. He laid down His life for all mankind. He laid down His life to pay the penalty for our sins. That’s why God chose to send His Son who died for my sins and your sins.

 

Easter is an annual event where Christian countries celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. However the Scriptures exhort us to remember Him on a weekly basis. Acts 20:7 gives us the Scriptural pattern. “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his messages until midnight.” Note it was the “…first day of the week…” not the end of the week, the Jewish Sabbath.

 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26:

“(23) For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered unto you; that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;

(24) and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’

(25) In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, this do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’

(26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

 

What about you fellow believer in Christ? Do you remember the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection each week by partaking of the bread and drinking from the cup?

 

The first day of the week should be your Remembrance Day every year. Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

 

If you are interested in learning more on this subject I invite you to download my free eBook ‘So Simple Yet So Profound’. Simply click on my author page link below and head to the ‘So Simple Yet So Profound’ eBook and download it. It is available in various formats.

 

Ebooks author page https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/JRPeasey

 

 

 

 

Worship

The word worship has different degrees of meaning to different people. Yet in those degrees of difference there seems to be a common purpose. That purpose is to show profound respect and devotion to either God, or a human being or some object of devotion.

 

Collins Concise Dictionary defines the word worship as:

1. To show profound religious devotion and respect to adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine).

2. To be devoted to and full of admiration for.

3. To have or express feelings of profound adoration.

4. To attend services for worship.

5. Religious adoration and devotion.

6. The formal expression of religious adoration, rites, prayers etc.

7. Admiring love or devotion.

 

What does the word worship convey to you? For me it is the out flowing from a heart full of appreciation for the goodness, grace, mercy; and above all, the love of God to me personally. Whilst my personal worship gives the true and living God joy and satisfaction; He derives much more joy and satisfaction from redeemed men and women gathered together for the express purpose of worshipping Him.

 

1 Chronicles 16:29 tells us, “Give to the Lord the glory due to his name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” These words “…worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” are also found in Psalm 29:2 and Psalm 96:9.

 

Let us take note of the points of interest in 1 Chronicles 16:29.

1. Give to the Lord the glory due to His name.

2. Bring an offering.

3. Come before Him.

4. Worship the Lord.

5. The beauty of holiness.

 

In point 1 we need to recognise who the Lord is; the pre-eminence of His name and the glory due to His name and person.

In point 2 we are told to bring an offering to the Lord.

In point 3 we are told to come before Him.

In point 4 we are told to worship Him.

In point 5 we are told this worship is to be in the beauty of holiness.

 

This worship is not from afar; this worship is close and very personal. You may be wondering what sort of an offering modern day believers can bring to the Lord. Let’s look at Hebrews 13:15: “Therefore by Him [Jesus Christ] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Here is an offering we can all make!

 

Praise and worship are intertwined. Praise is a sacrifice of self. When we are praising God our thoughts are turned away from ourselves to the glory and beauty of our God. This praise flows forth in worship of our God.

 

“…in the beauty of holiness.” This holiness is not something we confer on ourselves. This holiness is not conferred on us by other men or women. This holiness is conferred on us the moment we are saved.

1 Corinthians 6:11:

“…But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” These three actions encompass holiness. We are clean in God’s sight, we are set apart for God [sanctified] and we are made just in God’s eyes. Thus we can worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

 

The best is yet to come

Sometimes you hear the expression, “It’s for the best.” What is the person saying, or trying to convey to you? Is it that whatever the circumstance, or circumstances, that have occurred there will be a better outcome for you ahead?

 

Often in life we are faced with trials and testings. It could be health problems, or financial stress, or relationship break downs, or employer/employee conflicts. Maybe there is psychological or verbal abuse. Sometimes these trials can go on for years. It’s not easy when you are going through a particular trial; that seems to go on and on, to think “It’s for the best.”

 

As Christians we can turn to the Holy Scriptures for encouragement. Let’s look at Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

 

Do you agree with the apostle Paul? It was his experience and those that were with him to say, “…we know that all things work together for good…” Note, he does not say that all things that have happened to him were good experiences. What he does say is that all his experiences good and bad are working together for his good. It is often in the bad experiences that we learn to appreciate the goodness of our God.

 

Do you love God? If you do then you will personally know the truth of Paul’s words, “…that all things work together for good…”

 

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 4:17:

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Paul is measuring our trials in the light of eternity! Our “light affliction” as he puts it, is being outweighed by God piling up more and more glory to our account. The best is yet to come!

 

Have you got economic problems? Let’s see what the apostle Peter has to say in his 1st epistle.

1 Peter 1:3, 4:

“(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

(4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” You don’t need money in heaven. You have an inheritance, guaranteed and reserved in heaven; which will last for eternity! The best is yet to come!

 

Are you at present going through a testing time? Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:13: “ No temptation [testing] has overtaken you except as is common to man; but God is faithful; who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

 

The Greek word used for temptation, peirasmos, has the thought of testing or trial. We often perceive the word temptation to be something evil or wrong. God does not tempt any person to do evil! I will repeat this; God does not tempt any person to do evil!

 

Please note, God will not allow us to be tested more than we can bear. He always provides a way to end or exit the trial we are going through. Sometimes, He does not end the particular trial immediately; but makes it bearable for us until He concludes that particular testing.

1 Peter 5:6, 7:

“(6) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

(7) casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.” The best is yet to come!

 

So what have we learned from this? Testings and trials are common to all mankind. Christians are not exempt from testings and trials; however God will not allow them to be overwhelmed by their trials. What is the worst thing that can happen? Death is man’s greatest fear. Yet death for a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ means; “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord [in heaven].” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

The best is yet to come!

 

The Comfort of the Scriptures

Romans 15:4, 5 states,

“(4) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

(5) Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.”

 

What is comfort? Collins Concise Dictionary gives us these meanings.

1. (Noun) A state of ease or wellbeing.

2. Relief from affliction, grief etc.

3. A person, thing or event that brings solace or ease.

4. Something that affords physical ease and relaxation

5. (Verb) to soothe; cheer.

6. Bring physical ease to.

 

Many people have been comforted through the Holy Scriptures. Let’s look at verse 4 and take note of the important points in it.

1. Previous Scriptures were written and recorded so that we could learn from them.

2. We learn in continuing patience.

3. We derive comfort from the Scriptures.

4. The results are that we might therefore have hope in God.

 

It is interesting to observe that the word patience is closely allied to the word comfort in verse 4. We don’t often consider that we learn through the patience of the Scriptures. The Greek word hypomone conveys the thoughts of hopeful, constant, enduring patience, or patient continuance [waiting]. And that is the marvellous thing about the Scriptures; they are not a one-time wonder. They are indeed to be studied, learned and applied to our own souls; time and time again.

 

Do you have a problem in your life? You will get guidance from the Scriptures. Why do you think Psalm 23 is so popular? It is because it provides comfort and hope. The first verse emphatically states, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

 

“I shall not want” is King David’s conviction. As you read through the psalm you get an overwhelming sense of David’s trust and confidence in the Lord. David was convinced that whatever came along in his life the Lord was more than equal to it; and would provide whatever David needed for that particular circumstance.

 

David saw the Lord figuratively as his Shepherd. In Psalm 23:4 David tells us, “…For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” David’s confidence was so strong that in verse 6 of the psalm he declares, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

Here is a man that has his sight fixed on not just the here and now; but also eternity in the house of the Lord.

 

The apostle Peter in his 2nd Epistle speaks about exceedingly great and precious promises given to us by God’s divine power.

2 Peter 1:2-4:

“(2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you in the knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ,

(3) as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

(4) by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

 

There are many promises to the follower of Christ in the Scriptures. It takes patience and perseverance to find them. They are there for our learning and our comfort.

 

There is a growing trend in our technological world for instant gratification; but on the other hand there is the problem of an overload of often non-essential information. If you want to derive comfort and hope from the Scriptures you need to slow down and absorb the Scriptures.

 

My high school Maths teacher had a very good saying, which is applicable when reading the Scriptures. “Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest!”

 

Faith – Hope – Love

These three words epitomise many aspirations of people all over the world. In general, we all want to be loved, to have faith in other people and we certainly have hope that the future will bring us good times and good things.

 

The apostle Paul uses the 3-fold combination of faith, hope and love at least 4 times in his epistles. Let’s look at them in their settings in the Scriptures.

 

1 Thessalonians 1:3, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God our Father.” The apostle’s first epistle to the Thessalonian believers is considered to be the first letter he wrote to any church. Paul in his to prayers to God remembered three particular attributes of these believers.

 

1. Your work of faith. Faith to me is an unswerving conviction and a deeply felt trust in someone, or something. Therefore my work of faith is to follow my unswerving conviction and put into practice my deeply felt trust. James states in his epistle, in chapter 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Ephesians 2:10 tells us we have been “…created in Christ Jesus for good works…

 

2. (Your) labour of love. How well this follows on from the work of faith. The labour of love stems from the outworking of faith in our lives. Love enriches faith and faith enhances love. Our human labour of love is inspired by divine love in our lives. Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”

 

3. (Your) patience of hope. The word hope denotes something in the future. Patience is required if hope is to be fulfilled.

Ephesians 1:18, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

Titus 2:13, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:8, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” In chapter 5 the apostle Paul uses the illustration of a soldier’s armour to help us and comfort us. This chapter starts off by telling us of the coming Day of the Lord; a time of wrath and judgement on the nations. Paul exhorts the Thessalonian believers to be vigilant and sober. Faith and love here are likened to a breastplate that protects the heart and lungs. The helmet protects the head and thus protects the hope of our salvation.

 

Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers in verse 9, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide *faith*, *hope*, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 we find that these verses form a part of the Holy Scriptures known to Christians as the love chapter. Verse 13 our heading verse is the last verse of the chapter. It is Paul’s summation of the chapter.

 

The word abide can also mean dwelling or remaining. Remaining seems to fit this verse best. From all the things Paul tells us in Chapter 13 that will cease, faith – hope – love remain. However, he points out that the greatest of the three is love.

 

1 John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” Love is not just an attribute of God. God Himself is love! All love therefore has its original source in God Himself. When we get to heaven, faith and hope will no longer be required; for we are in the presence of God, who is love! This outcome is also the fulfilment of our faith, hope and love.

 

God’s requested blessing is dependent on faith

“God will not give you any greater requested blessing than what you believe in.”

 

Let’s look at Matthew 9:27-30:

“(27) When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’

(28) And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’

(29) Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’

30) And their eyes were opened…”

 

These two blind men could only operate on hearsay. They were not able to see the miracles that Jesus of Nazareth was doing, but they listened to the good reports. Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

Two previous miracles had occurred in chapter 9 which encouraged these blind men. A woman who had an incurable disease had enough faith in Jesus to be healed. She came up behind Him in a crowd and touched the hem of His garment and immediately she was healed. Jesus acknowledged her faith to the crowd. In the next miracle a young girl who had died was brought back to life by Jesus who had acted on the faith shown by the girl’s father.

 

It was after this miracle the two blind men followed Jesus, seeking their own miracle from Him. Here it is interesting to note that they cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on us.” They did not call Him, Master or Teacher. They publicly acknowledged Him as Son of David, their Messiah.

 

Jesus asked them (verse 28); “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Remember, they could not see Him, but they had faith in Him. So they said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Whereupon He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And then they received their sight! “And their eyes were opened.” They could now look on the man who had given them their sight. They could look into His eyes of love and perceive the deep love and compassion He had for them individually.

 

The Greek word kyrios translated here as the English word Lord has the force of someone who is supreme in authority, someone who is in control. It is also by implication a title of great respect. The two blind men realised that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David had power and authority well above the rulers of the Jews and the Roman government. Jesus had power over disease and death! He was able to give sight to blind men!

 

In verses 32, 33 a mute man possessed by a demon is healed. The demon is cast out and the mute man is able to speak. The power of the demon was broken. The former mute man began to speak. Note, the mute man had been brought to Jesus through the faith of others. His blessing was the result of their faith. He could not speak for himself prior to the miracle.

 

In each of these miracles Jesus acted upon a request to Him. The request was backed up by faith in Him, in His ability to carry out the request. There was no, will He, or won’t He? There was no, now is not a good time, or maybe He is too busy? These people had definite needs and Jesus was the only person capable of fulfilling those needs! They acted upon their faith; being confident they would get the result they were looking for.

 

All these miracles brought glory to God; for that is the culmination of faith in operation.

 

“God will not give you any greater requested blessing than what you believe in.”

 

“According to your faith, let it be unto you.”

 

He humbled Himself – Part One

Philippians 2:5-8:

“(5) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

(6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

(7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to (the point of) death, even the death of the cross.”

 

To the spiritual mind this portion of the Holy Scriptures holds a special significance. Here we learn the 7 steps of condescension that the Lord Jesus took in order to redeem us from the bondage of sin and death; and to save our sinful souls.

 

Step 1: the Lord Jesus Christ as God the Son “…did not consider it robbery to be equal with God…” because He is God and part of the Godhead.

 

Step 2: He “…made Himself of no reputation…” In order to meet sinful human beings’ needs of salvation He voluntarily veiled His glory and entered our world as a man. He left the throne of God and “…was made a little lower than the angels…” (Hebrews 2:9).

 

Step 3: “…taking the form of a bondservant…” Christ became indissolubly bound to God as God’s bondservant. He came to do God the Father’s will as a perfect, sinless man. No man was His Master; God Himself was Christ’s Master.

 

Step 4:“…coming in the likeness of men.” He was born of a virgin and grew up in Nazareth in Galilee. He had to partake of flesh and blood in order to redeem our souls. Yet He was sinless; Adam’s sinful nature did not pass to Him because no man had any part in His conception in Mary’s womb. Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

 

Step 5: “And being found in appearance as a man…” Even secular history records details of the man named Jesus of Nazareth. However, He was not just any man for He was also the Son of David, the Messiah, the King of the Jews and the Son of God. He was truly God and truly man. Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor in Jerusalem, after he had scourged Jesus Christ brought Him out to the people and said, “Behold the Man!” (John 19:5).

 

Step 6: “…He humbled himself…” It is good to point out here that Jesus the Christ was always in control of the situation. Nobody could do anything to Him unless He allowed it. John 18:4-6:

“(4) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’

(5) They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am (He).’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

Now when He said to them, ‘I am (He),’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”

 

So He voluntarily humbled himself and allowed himself to be taken; and then later allowed Himself to be crucified on a Roman cross, for your sins and my sins. The cross was a type of death reserved for criminals. It was a shameful, cruel death.

 

Step 7: “…and became obedient to (the point of) death, even the death of the cross.” He was submissive to God the Father’s will for himself. Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death…” He came to die! He came to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to God. However, I must emphasise this point very strongly. No man took His life from Him! He voluntarily gave it up at Calvary. He yielded up, or dismissed, His own human spirit. John 19:30, “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” Yes, He “…became obedient to death…even the death of the cross.”

 

The 7 steps the Lord Jesus Christ took down to the cross at Calvary were for your benefit and mine. Let us never forget that downward path.

 

Let’s revisit Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” He went into death – but death could not hold Him! He arose from among the dead on the third day and forty days later ascended into heaven. That’s where He is now crowned with glory and honour!

 

Next blog post we will continue in Philippians Chapter 2.

 

He Humbled Himself – Part Two

In my last blog post titled ‘He Humbled Himself – Part One’ we considered the 7 downward steps the Lord Jesus Christ took culminating in His death for you and me. In this blog post we will look at the 7 upward steps that resulted from Him humbling Himself on our behalf.

 

Philippians 2:9-11:

“(9) Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

(11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Step 1: “…God…has highly exalted Him…” This is not now a man on a Roman cross, or a body in a tomb – this is a risen, glorified Man whom God has exalted to the highest possible place. Hebrews 1:3, [The Son] “ who being the brightness of (His) glory and the express image of His [God’s] person, and upholding all things by the word of His [the Son’s] power, when He [the Son] had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

 

Step 2: “…and given Him [Christ] the name which is above every name…” Note that it is God who has given Him [Christ] the name ranked higher than any other man, woman or created being. If you live in the USA the highest ranked name is the President of the United States of America. If you live in Great Britain the highest ranked name is Queen Elizabeth II. How much more then does the name of Jesus Christ rank above all the Heads of all the kingdoms of this world?

 

Step 3: “…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” How many people in the world today have not the slightest regard or respect for the name of God’s Son? Sometime soon all that will change! Every person regardless of ethnicity, race, religion or creed will bow the knee to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

I am reminded of an incident in the life of Joseph the son of Jacob in Genesis 41:42, 43: “(42) Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.

(43) And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, ‘Bow the knee!’ So he set him over all the land of Egypt.” Every person in Egypt had to bow the knee to Joseph, whether they liked it or not.

 

Step 4: “…of those in heaven…” We are now beginning to see the scope of Christ’s authority and power. Every created being in heaven will bow the knee to Jesus Christ.

 

Step 5: “…and of those on earth…” Every man, woman and child on Planet Earth will bow the knee to Jesus Christ.

 

Step 6: “…and of those under the earth…” This is every created being in the subterranean, infernal place we know as Hell. They will bow the knee to Jesus Christ.

 

Step 7: “…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” All created beings, angels, evil spirits and human beings will not only bow the knee to Jesus Christ, but will also confess that He is Lord – to God the Father’s glory. Revelation 19:16 reveals Jesus Christ as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

In Luke 24:25, 26 we have the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

“(25) Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

(26) Ought not the Christ to have suffered those things [at Calvary] and to enter into His glory?’ “

 

He is in the Glory and He is sitting on the Throne of the Universe. How does this affect you? How do you stand in this matter?

 

Double Security

We live in a world of heightened tensions. The threat of extreme terrorism now extends to all countries of the world. Violence and corruption are on the increase. In Australia where I live, the nation’s leaders have placed our country on “high alert” status; due to the G20 meetings to be held in Brisbane QLD in November 2014. The leaders of the G20 nations will gather in Brisbane at this time to discuss matters of global significance. Security in Australia has been increased; with the Australian Defence Forces, the Australian Federal Police and State Police Forces all on high alert status.

 

It would be good to live in peace and safety and not have to worry about atrocities and acts of terrorism. All these are the result of sin! Man’s inhumanity to man is the result of sin in individual lives. The true and living God will judge all people for their sins.

 

When Jesus walked among men He was not only interested in their physical wellbeing but also in their spiritual wellbeing. He knew that the end result of sin in a person’s life was physical death and separation from mankind and God.

 

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

In John chapter 10 Jesus portrays Himself as the Good Shepherd who will lay down His life for His sheep [followers]. He had power to lay down His life and He had power to raise Himself up in resurrection.

 

Jesus in John 10:27-30 gives us a wonderful revelation of the power of the Godhead in action.

“(27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

(28) And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

(29) My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

(30) I and My Father are one.”

 

Did you notice the double security in verses 28 & 29? The Son’s hand and the Father’s hand! I like to picture this as the Son’s hand underneath, the Father’s hand clasped over the Son’s hand and all the believers cocooned safely inside.

 

Romans 8:31-39

“(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

(32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

(33) Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

(34) Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

(36) As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’

(37) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

(38) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

(39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

The apostle Paul believed these things, so much so that he put it on record for us to learn from! God has an end in view for born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will bring us safely home to heaven and there is no created power or thing that can prevent this happening. As verse 31 so aptly puts it, “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”

 

You and I are not promised an easy pathway in this life; however the end result is glorious! We could possibly suffer at the hands of sinners on our pathway down here. Let the words of the apostle Paul encourage us in 2 Corinthians 4:16, 17:

“(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

(17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

 

With all these tremendous assurances how can anyone say that you can be saved then lost? Impossible!

 

“I AM” – Part One

“I AM”, what do these two words reveal to you?

 

In Exodus 3:14 we read these words, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’.”

I am, is continually in the present. Here is a God who does not age as we do! In Exodus 3:15 we learn that He is, “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…” He does not say ‘was’; He states that He is their God.

 

Why did the Jews have problems believing this? Why is this? Is it because we live in a Space/Matter/Time universe; but the Eternal God exists outside of time, in eternity! Eternity does not exist without the true and living God! Without the true and living God there is no eternity!

 

Now let’s look at Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” God has put eternity in our hearts; therefore we can grasp the concept of eternity. Eternity is not, and never will be, endless time! Eternity was present before time began and eternity will be present when time ceases. God was present when time began for He created time. God will be present when time ceases, for it will cease at His decree.

 

In my own personal experience I know that before I became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I only had a dim grasp of eternity. I could only view eternity from my own limited life experience. For me eternity would start after I died. I knew about heaven and hell; heaven was where I hoped to end up. So my concept of eternity was I guess based on endless time. So what changed my concept of eternity; what changed my concept of forever and ever?

 

The moment I was saved and became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; that very moment the Holy Spirit of God, Himself, came into my being to seal me for God and live forever in me. Now I could understand that eternity was outside of time. I was able to grasp that because the Eternal God was present before time began, that eternity does not depend on time. Time depends on the eternal God!

 

So when the Eternal God tells us that His name is “I AM” He is telling us that He ever was, that He ever is and that He ever will be. Jesus of Nazareth told the Jews in John 8:58, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Those Jews knew that He was telling them that He was their God! They did not believe Him and took up stones to stone Him to death; but Jesus hid Himself from them and left the temple precincts. In Hebrews 13:8 we read these words, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” His eternal deity has never changed and will never change.

 

The “I AM” of the Old Testament is revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Do you believe this? If not, you are missing out on God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus, the Messiah [Christ], the Son of Man, the Son of God, God the Son.

 

Next blog post I will continue with more thoughts on the “I AM”.

 

“I AM” – Part Two

In my last blog post titled “I AM” – Part One, we learned that the “I AM” is the eternal God who is co-existent with eternity. I quote from paragraph four. “Eternity does not exist without the true and living God! Without the true and living God there is no eternity!”

 

Let’s have another look at John 8:58 where Jesus was speaking to the Jews in the Temple precincts at Jerusalem. “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Jesus Christ here affirms His deity. As God the Son, He existed before Abraham was born. He is God revealed in human flesh as the man Jesus of Nazareth.

 

John 1:1-5 informs us that,

“(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(2) He was in the beginning with God.

(3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

(5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

 

What is a word? What are words? They are the visible and audible expressions of our thoughts. They are the means of us communicating our thoughts to one another. So the Word is God revealing Himself to you and me through the Son.

 

Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us,

“(1) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

(2) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

(3) who being the brightness of His glory and the express [exact] image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

 

Are we beginning to grasp the wonder and the glory of the Son, the “I AM” who came to reveal the true and living God? This is the One who became man in order to reconcile us back to God and redeem our souls. The Triune God has chosen to reveal Himself to you and me in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah [Christ], the Son of Man, the Son Of God, God the Son.

 

The eternal Triune God has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS. God in the person of the Son walked among mankind. God in the person of the Son paid the penalty for our sins at Calvary.

 

In the last book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation, in chapter 22:13 we read concerning the Lord Jesus Christ these words; “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

 

In Colossians 1:15-18 we are informed concerning the Son that,

“(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

(16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

(17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

(18) And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.”

 

In Him we live and move and have our being

This is a remarkable statement! This statement is found in Acts 17:28 and is a quotation from a Cretan poet Epimenides. Therefore, it is even more remarkable that the apostle Paul uses this quotation to affirm the truth of what Epimenides said.

 

Let’s look at the context of what the apostle Paul was declaring in Acts 17:16-31.

 

(16) Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

(17) Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshippers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.

(18) Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

(19) And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?

(20) For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.”

(21) For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

(22) Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;

(23) for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

(24) God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

(25) Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

(26) And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

(27) so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for [touch] Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

(28) for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

(29) Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

(30) Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

(31) because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

 

So let’s have a closer look at our title.

For in Him – That is in the Creator God.

We live and move – As created beings we live and move because that’s what we were created to do.

And have our being – We exist because the Creator God brought us into being.

 

Therefore we exist because the Creator God brought us into being through the natural, human reproductive process. He blessed Adam and Eve with offspring; and their offspring were blessed by God with offspring of their own. That process has been going on from generation to generation until the present time. Without the Creator God we could not even take our next breath.

 

Daniel 5:23:

^^And you [Belshazzar] have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.”

 

Daniel 5:30-31:

“(30) That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.

(31) And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.”

 

We move because the Creator God gives us the ability to move, to think, to breathe, to love and to do all the things we need to accomplish in our lives here on Planet Earth. We tend to think we are masters and mistresses of our own lives; but the true and living God holds our breath in his hands. This reveals the frailty of our mortality.

 

Let’s see what James says in his epistle.

James 4:13-17:

“(13) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;

(14) whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

(15) Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

(16) But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

(17) Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

 

We live in a Space/Matter/Time universe created by the infinite, eternal God who made man in His own image. Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Man lives in a Space/Matter/Time universe. Yet, man with his human spirit is capable of knowing God. With his human soul he has self realisation and recognises himself. With his human body through his senses (taste, touch, seeing, hearing and smelling) he recognises and interacts with the world around him.

 

Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.” Therefore we are accountable to the true and living God for all our thoughts and actions. For in Him we live and move and have our being.

 

Calm in the storm

The grey naval vessel plunged up and down in the huge waves. The storm had been raging for hours; making life uncomfortable on the Australian naval vessel. The Naval Chaplain became interested in a group of sailors pointing to an object floating on one of the huge waves.

 

‘What was it?’ It was white and it did not appear to be a piece of driftwood. It was difficult to make out the shape. The pounding rain hampered their vision of the object. The ship’s course brought them slowly closer. Using binoculars, the sailors gradually made out a white, limp mass being tossed about in the waves.

 

As the ship drew closer it began to dawn on them that the object was a large bird. It was a large white albatross! It was not dead! Instead of trying to fight the fury of the storm, it had bypassed its natural instinct to try and fly away and it had simply landed on the water and floated on top until the storm abated. Even though it was being tossed about in the huge seas, it did not waste its energies trying to fight the storm. The albatross was calm in the storm and waited for the storm to pass. It just went up and down with the waves; but the waves did not defeat it. It used the waves as a safe haven.

 

What a lesson for you and me. How often do we fight against the circumstances in our lives? How often do we try repeatedly to fix the problems even when the solutions are beyond our control? How often do we place a problem in the Lord’s hands; and then decide to tell the Lord how to fix the problem? Why bother Him in the first place? Often He does not deliver us out of the problem; instead He sees us safely through the problem.

 

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation [trial or testing] has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Some trials are long and grievous. Our faith is tested at these times.

 

I have often been encouraged by an incident I heard of a brother in Christ back in the Great Depression in the 1930’s on a farm in western New South Wales, Australia. The situation for him and his family was bleak. His farm was going bankrupt; he had no money and little food. It looked like he would have to pack up his family and leave their farm as he could not afford to keep it. Even though he was a stout believer in Christ the situation looked hopeless.

 

Then one day shortly after his telephone rang. He picked it up to answer it; instead a confident male voice said “Ebenezer 7” The man had given him his own telephone number, instead of checking that the number he was calling was correct. The farmer was startled by this name and number. He recalled the incident in 1 Samuel chapter 7 where God using the prophet Samuel helped Israel win a major victory over the Philistines.

 

1 Samuel 7:4-13:

“(4) So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

(5) And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”

(6) So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.

(7) Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

(8) So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

(9) And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.

(10) Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.

(11) And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.

(12) Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

(13) So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.”

 

Ebenezer literally means ‘The stone of help’. As the farmer remembered this he took heart and strengthened his faith in God. The number 7 was significant for him as well; because the number 7 means complete, perfect or mature in Scripture. The outcome for this farmer was that the Lord did indeed help him through his trials and his future financial outcome was good. The reason why the man actually rang the farmer I did not get to hear about. The great encouragement that the farmer got from the two words ‘Ebenezer 7’ was the crux of this incident.

 

When the farmer, like the albatross, gave up trying to get out of a situation beyond his control he was strengthened in his faith and had calmness in his soul. The circumstances did not defeat him. Neither did the albatross let its circumstances defeat it. The Lord Jesus spoke to the wind and waves in Mark 4:39: “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” The presence and power of the Lord Jesus Christ can change any circumstance.

 

The Blessed and Only Potentate

What is a Potentate? A Potentate is a very powerful ruler; one who has complete authority over his dominions. If we think of the word ‘potent’ it conveys to us a picture of something that is powerful and forceful.

 

Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Chaldeans, in the Old Testament, is a prime example of a true Potentate. From his capital at Babylon he ruled the known world at that time. His word was law. He had the power of life and death in his hands. Nebuchadnezzar’s empire was the first world empire. His story can be found in the Book of Daniel chapters 1-5.

 

The next world empire of the Medes and Persians saw an enlargement of Nebuchadnezzar’s dominions. However these rulers did not have the same power as Nebuchadnezzar. They were constrained by the laws of the Medes and Persians. They had to obey those laws implicitly.

 

Now that we have some idea of a Potentate; let’s look at the Scriptures where we find our blog post heading. We find it in 1 Timothy chapter 6.

 

1 Timothy 6:13-16:

“(13) I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

(14) that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

(15) which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

(16) who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.”

 

Let’s have a closer look at these verses. In verse 13 Jesus is identified as the man Jesus who stood before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. He is also identified as the Christ, the Jewish Messiah. Thus we find in the man Christ Jesus someone who is truly God and truly man.

 

In verse 14 His full title ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ is acknowledged. The title ‘Lord’ signifies His deity as Son of God, God the Son. The title ‘Jesus’ signifies His perfect manhood and also His coming as the Saviour, Christ the Lord. The title ‘Christ’ signifies that He is the Messiah of the Old Testament; for the Messiah and the Christ is one and the same person.

 

In verse 15 He is revealed as ‘the blessed and only Potentate’ – who is ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. In other words He is the Supreme Ruler on Earth and in the heavenly spheres. All rule and all authority is His by right and Nebuchadnezzar’s rule and authority pales into insignificance by comparison.

 

In verse 16 we see that Christ Jesus alone has immortality. Yes, we as born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will also have immortality; but it is derived from His immortality. We do not have immortality through our own merits. Our immortality comes as a result of Him paying the debt of our sins at Calvary. We also learn that He dwells in unapproachable light which no man (or woman) has seen or can see. We as finite beings can never see the essential being of God who is infinite! But, and it is a big but, the Triune God has chosen to reveal Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that the apostle Paul concludes the verse by stating, “…to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.”

 

The blessed and only Potentate is the man Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, the Son of Man, the Son of God, God the Son. Does it warm your heart to know this? – and to know that, “…God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

 

Behold the Man! – Part One

These words were spoken about 2,000 years ago by A Roman Governor to a crowd of Jews at Jerusalem in Judea. The condemned man was a Jew. What was this man on trial for? It was a question of Jewish law, not a question of breaking the laws of the Roman Empire. So why was this man brought to the Roman Governor for trial? Surely the Jews could have sorted this problem out themselves! Why did they have to bring the matter to the Roman Governor?

 

Let’s look at John 18:29-31:

“(29) Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

(30) They answered and said to him, ‘If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.’

(31) Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, ‘It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death’.”

 

Now let’s look at Leviticus 24:16 for the background to the Jews actions.[_ “And whoever blasphemes the name of the_] Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.”

 

Luke 22:66-71[+:+]

“(66) As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying,

(67) “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will by no means believe.

(68) And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.

(69) Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.’

(70) Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, ‘You rightly say that I am.’

(71) And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

 

Any Jew found blaspheming the name of the LORD was to be put to death by stoning. However, under Roman rule the Jews no longer had the authority to do this. The man the Jews were seeking to have put to death was Jesus of Nazareth. The Jewish rulers and elders considered Jesus to be a blasphemer of their God because He claimed to be the Son of God and the Christ – their Messiah. Therefore they wanted to stone Him to death. However, because they were under Roman rule they were not permitted to carry out this action.

 

John 18:33-38:

“(33) Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’

(34) Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”

(35) Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?’

(36) Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

(37) Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

(38) Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no fault in Him at all’.”

 

John 18:39-40:

“(39) But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

(40) Then they all cried again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber.”

 

John 19:1-6:

“(1) So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him

(2) And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.

(3) Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands.

(4) Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”

(5) Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

(6) Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”

 

The four Gospels reveal that Pilate three times stated that he found no fault in Jesus of Nazareth. Yet for political expediency and to save face he released Barabbas and condemned Jesus to death by crucifixion; all the time knowing that he was condemning an innocent man to death.

 

Now I want to focus our attention on the moment that Pilate brought Jesus out to the crowd and said “Behold the Man!” Take note that Pilate had already scourged Jesus; His back was ripped open from the flagellum used to scourge Him. On His head was the crown of thorns. He was wearing a purple robe (in mockery); possibly a Roman officer’s military robe.

 

Let’s now look at some Old Testament Scriptures that prophetically reveal more of the cruel treatment meted out to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

 

Isaiah 52:13-14:

“(13) Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

(14) Just as many were astonished at You, so His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men.”

 

Isaiah 53:2-6:

“(2) For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

(3) He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

(4) Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.”

(5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

 

Is it any wonder that the people gathered at Calvary were repulsed by the physical appearance of Jesus of Nazareth? His face, his countenance, “was marred more than any man.” His body, His physical form, was also marred “more than the sons of men.” Their reaction to Jesus was, “And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him.”

 

John 19:14-15:

“(14) Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

(15) But they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar!’

Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.

(17) And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

(18) where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the centre.

(19) Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

 

Let us never forget that Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah – the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God was crucified on a Roman cross for your sins and mine. “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

 

That well known verse in John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Romans 6:23 informs us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

This concludes Part One – in the next blog post the events at Calvary, also known as Golgotha, will occupy our attention.

 

Behold the Man! – Part Two

In the ‘Behold the Man! – Part One’ blog post we looked at the unjust trial by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, of Jesus of Nazareth. We also looked at the hatred and envy of the Jewish religious leaders and how they falsely accused Jesus of blasphemy against their God. The outcome of these events was that Jesus was condemned to death by crucifixion. Instead a murderer named Barabbas was set free and Jesus was led out to be crucified.

 

John 19:17-18:

“(17) And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, *Golgotha*,

(18) where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the centre.”

 

Mark 15:22-23:

“(22) And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

(23) Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.” The wine was mingled with myrrh to create a sedating effect to ease pain. However, Jesus refused the bitter drink because it was not part of the Father’s will for Him. Jesus would bear the full pain and anguish of the crucifixion for us.

 

It is interesting to observe the time line in the sequence of events at Golgotha. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke the events are recorded as Jewish time. In the Gospel of John the events are recorded as Roman time. So what appears to be an anomaly is really the same time but recorded according to Jewish or Roman time. For instance, The Roman 6th hour was 6:00 am in the morning; as it was counted down from midnight. The same time according to the Jews was the beginning of the 1st hour. So when we read in Mark 15:25: Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” it is 9:00 am Roman time. For those of us who live in countries on Roman time; Jesus was crucified mid morning.

 

Mark 15:29-32:

“(29) And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days,

(30) save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

(31) Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.

(32) Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.”

 

Isaiah 53:3-4 tells us prophetically that, “(3) He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (4) Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”

 

Now we will have another look at the time line. Matthew 27:45 tells us, “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” This is Jewish time; the Roman time is from noon until 3:00 pm. We noticed earlier that Jesus was crucified at the third hour in Jewish time but 9:00 am Roman time. So at the sixth hour in Jewish time, but noon in Roman time, Jesus had been on the cross for three hours duration. The events we have already looked at occurred during these three hours. However we are now about to enter a phase of vast significance!

 

We must go softly here as we are on holy ground. God drew a veil of thick darkness over Golgotha from noon until 3:00 pm. The reason for this was that the question of sin was about to be dealt with. This event was not for the eyes of mankind. Jesus was on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He was there as the sin-bearer, the substitute for you and me! In those three hours of darkness He was all alone – no one to help Him. He had already been despised and rejected by mankind; now He was about to be forsaken by God.

 

His physical sufferings and mental anguish were a prelude to what would be even worse – being made sin!

2 Corinthians 5:21:

For He* [[God]*] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Isaiah 53:6:

[*“][_All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and] the Lord _*has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

1 Peter 2:23-24:

“(23) [Christ] who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

(24) who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

 

Can you grasp this? God made Jesus sin for us! God caused to meet upon Jesus the iniquity of us all! Jesus personally bore my sins, and yours, on the cross in the three hours of darkness! Jesus paid the penalty for my sins!

 

In those three hours of darkness Jesus met and exhausted the full wrath and fury of a sin-hating, holy, righteous God against sin. We can never know what He passed through and how it affected Him. But we do know that He did it all alone and came out victorious to give us salvation full and free. What a Saviour! Jesus went into the darkness of Golgotha to ensure that you and I would not have to go into “…the blackness of darkness forever.” [Jude 1:13]

 

Hebrews 9:26:

“…but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. One sacrifice by Jesus Christ was sufficient to put away sin! It never has to be repeated!

Hebrews 10:12:

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”

 

Mark 15:34-36:

“(34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? [
(35) Some of those who stood by, when they heard] that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!”

(36) Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”

 

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” this cry is foretold in Psalm 22:1. Jesus already knew the answer. He was forsaken because He was the sin-bearer. Habakkuk 1:13 tells us “You [God] are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness…”

 

John 19:28-30:

“(28) After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

(29) Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.

(30) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”

Mark 15:36 and John 19:29 are part of the same incident. The difference is that in the Gospel of John we also learn that Jesus cries out “I thirst!”

 

Let’s now take a closer look at John 19:30:

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” Two extremely significant events occur here. Firstly, He cries out “It is finished!” thus signifying that He had settled the question of sin forever; and that He was victorious against the wrath of God regarding sin. Secondly, “…bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

 

Matt 27:50-54:

“(50) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

(51) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

(52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

(53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

(54) So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

 

In Matthew 27:50 the Greek word used for yielded up is aphiemi and has the thought of: to send, an intense form of to go; in other words to dismiss forceably. Why is it important to focus on these words? For this reason; crucifixion did not kill Jesus of Nazareth. As has already been pointed out, He was not subject to death because He was, and is, sinless. Therefore death had no claim on Him. The only way He could die was to dismiss His own human spirit.

 

John 10:17-18:

“(17) Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

(18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Please note carefully what is in these two verses. Jesus lays down His life in order to take it up again. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.“_ No man took Jesus’ life He chose to lay down His life for you and me. _“I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” The penalty for sin is death! Jesus voluntarily died to pay the penalty and clear our debt of sin.

 

The moment Jesus dismissed His human spirit and died, two major events occurred. The thick curtain in the Temple which veiled the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was torn in two – from the top to the bottom. At the same time there was an earthquake in Jerusalem. The earth quaked and rocks were split open by the earthquake. The Roman centurion and the crucifixion squad were terrified. The centurion declared publicly that, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

 

Returning to Golgotha, an extremely significant event now takes place.

John 19:31-37:

“(31) Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

(32) Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

(33) But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

(34) But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

(35) And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

(36) For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” [Psalm 34:20]

(37) And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” [Zechariah 12:10].

 

The two criminals had their legs broken to speed up their deaths. Jesus had already died so the soldier took a spear and thrust it up into His side to make sure that He was really dead. The blood that flowed from His side is the blood that makes atonement for us before God.

 

Leviticus 17:11:

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

It’s time to return to the scene at Golgotha.

John 19:38 “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.

 

Matthew 27:59-60:

“(59) When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

(60) and laid it in his [Joseph’s] new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.”

 

In the next blog post we will look at Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to Heaven.

 

Behold the Man! – Part Three

In the last blog post ‘Behold the Man! – Part Two we considered the Man Jesus of Nazareth being led out to be crucified on a Roman Cross. In this blog post we will look at His resurrection and ascension to Heaven.

 

Matt 27:62-66:

“(62) On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,

(63) saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’

(64) Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

(65) Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”

(66) So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”

 

At the end of Luke chapter 23 we learn that Jesus was buried the same day He died.

 

Luke 23:54-56:

“(54) That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

(55) And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.

(56) Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. [Day 1] And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” [Day 2]

 

Matthew 28:1-7:

“(1) Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. [Day 3]

(2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.

(3) His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

(4) And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

(5) But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

(6) He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

(7) And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

 

The angel tells the women not to be afraid, that Jesus had risen from the dead. His next words are very touching, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Remember, this is an angel of the Lord! He acknowledges that Jesus is the Lord, the One who has supreme authority in heaven and on earth. The Lord of Glory – as Son of Man – had taken to Himself power and authority to rise from the dead.

 

In Matthew 28:11-15 we find out what the terrified guards do next.

“(11) Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.

(12) When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

(13) saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’

(14) And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”

(15) So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”

 

Mark 16:9-14:

“(9) Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

(10) She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

(11) And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

(12) After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.

(13) And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

(14) Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.”

 

Now it is important to note that Jesus after He had risen from the dead appeared only to His disciples; those that were His followers. He did not appear to the general population! They did not deserve to see Him as they had rejected Him from being their Messiah and King.

 

These verses in Mark 16:9-14 tell us that the Lord Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene; then He appeared to two disciples as they walked from the city into the country. Later that day, Jesus appeared to His remaining eleven disciples [apostles]; who had accompanied Him during His public ministry.

 

In John chapter 20 we learn that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early in the morning; saw that it was empty and ran and told Simon Peter and John. “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” [John 20:2]. Simon Peter and John ran to tomb. John outran Peter but did not go into the tomb. Peter arrived and went straight in. John then followed Him.

 

John 20:6-7:

“(6) Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,

(7) and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” There was no body only the grave clothes. The handkerchief that had been around His head was neatly folded and was separate to the grave clothes. The Lord Jesus had indeed risen from the dead!

 

Matthew 28:6:

“(6) He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” The angel rolled the heavy stone away from the tomb entrance. Now note this – Jesus was not there; because He did not have to wait for the angel to come and roll back the stone so that He could walk out of the tomb! In His resurrected body, a new spiritual body, He simply passed through the stone walls of the tomb! His new body is a body made for living in Heaven and was, and is, vastly superior in every aspect to His body made for living on Earth.

 

When the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene He told her in John 20:17, 18:

“(17)…‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them’, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”

(18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.”

 

That same day in the afternoon we have another incident. In Luke 24:13-27 two of Jesus’ disciples are walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. Jesus joins them and asks them what they are talking about to each other. They ask Him if He is the only stranger in Jerusalem that does not know what has happened. (19) And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

(20) and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

 

Please take note of what their next words are. (21) But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

(22) Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.

(23) When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

(24) And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

 

Jesus’ disciples had hoped that Jesus of Nazareth would redeem Israel from the yoke of Roman bondage and rule in pomp and glory. Instead He had been condemned to death by crucifixion. They were confused and bitterly disappointed by the events as they occurred. On top of this they did not believe those who had actually seen the risen Lord.

“(25) Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

(26) Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?

(27) And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself”

 

Luke 24:28-31:

“(28) Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.

(29) But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

(30) Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

(31) Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

 

Mary Magdalene did not recognise the Lord until He spoke personally to her. These two disciples did not recognise the Lord even when He conversed with them. It was not until He took the bread, broke it and gave it to them that they recognised Him. It is my personal belief that when He broke the bread that the two disciples saw the nail scars on His hands; and instantly realised it was Jesus raised from among the dead. They hastened back to Jerusalem and found the eleven disciples [apostles] and other disciples gathered together in the same place.

 

Luke 24:35-43:

“(35) And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

(36) Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”

(37) But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

(38) And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

(39) Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

(40) When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

(41) But while they still did not believe for joy, and marvelled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”

(42) So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.

(43) And He took it and ate in their presence.”

 

Jesus here shows His disciples that He is not a ghost or just a spirit. He has a [*flesh and bones“_] *body that is capable of eating normal food; “_broiled fish and some honeycomb” The other interesting point to note is that His resurrection body has no blood! The body made for life on Earth requires blood to keep it alive. Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” The resurrection body is a spiritual body and does not need blood.

 

John 20:24-29:

(24) Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

(25) The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

(26) And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”

(27) Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

(28) And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

(29) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

Matthew 28:16-20:

(16) Then the eleven disciples [apostles] went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

(17) When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted.

(18) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

(19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

(20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

These verses from Matthew chapter 28 have been described as the ‘Great Commission’. It is not just for the apostles and disciples of that era. It is current even now!

 

It is very important to note that Jesus was on earth after His resurrection for 40 days; before He ascended back to God the Father. It seems that He appeared to His disciples and apostles intermittently and not every day. He ascended to Heaven on the 40th day.

 

Acts 1:1-3:

(1) The former account I [Luke] made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

(2) until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

(3) to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

 

Luke 24:50-53:

“(50) And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.[
(51)] Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.

(52) And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

(53) and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.”

Bethany is on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives; so Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives. Note, that He led His disciples out as far as Bethany; it does not say that they were actually in Bethany. The ascension was a private affair and was not intended to be a public viewing. If we read Luke chapter 24 straight through we could easily assume that Jesus ascended within a few days of His resurrection. However, Luke sets us straight in Acts chapter 1.

 

Let’s now look at what the apostle Paul has to say on Jesus’ resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8:

“(3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

(5) and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

(6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

(7) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

(8) Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.”

 

Now let’s have a look at Hebrews chapter 1. When I consider this chapter in Hebrews I get a distinct impression of the joy with which the Son of God was received back into Heaven.

 

Hebrews 1:1-3; 8-9:

“(1) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

(2) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

(3) who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,…”

“(8) But to the Son He says:“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your Kingdom.

(9) You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your

God has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

 

Oh what joy there must have been in Heaven the day Jesus the Son of God ascended to the Father! What joy there would have been in the Father’s heart! The question of sin had been dealt with in a truly glorious manner. The work of Calvary meant multitudes of wayward sinners would be reconciled to God. Heaven was rejoicing that day; angels and redeemed souls (in Paradise) rejoicing and worshipping together! And you and I can rejoice knowing that it has taken place!

 

This concludes the blog posts on “Behold the Man!” If you are interested in looking into this subject in more detail, I will be publishing soon a new Ebook with the same title ‘Behold the Man’. The Ebook will be available at my author page at https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/JRPeasey.

 

Prepare to meet your God

The words of our title are found in Amos 4:11-13:

“(11) ‘I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord.

(12) ‘Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, p*repare to meet your God*, O Israel!’

(13) For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, [_ and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth-- The ] _Lord God of hosts is His name.”

 

In these verses we see that the Lord God of hosts is warning the backsliding nation of Israel that there is a coming time when He must act in judgement upon them. In verses 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 the Lord remonstrates with them, “Yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.” Note the tone of His words! ‘I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.’ He is giving them a clear warning that if they do not repent and return to Him a similar judgement would come upon them! “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you.”

 

Our God is a jealous God! Exodus 20:3-6:

“(3) You shall have no other gods before Me.

(4) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

(5) you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

(6) but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments’.”

 

Exodus 34:14:

“(For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)”

 

Every person will one day meet God! Hebrews 9:27:

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” Whether you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, or not, each of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.

 

Romans 14:10-12:

“(10) But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

(11) For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’

(12) So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

I must point out here that the Judgement Seat of Christ is only for His own redeemed people. It is not for the wicked dead; those who have died unrepentant still in their sins. They will have their own awful day of judgement.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

1 Peter 4:17-18:

“(17) For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

(18) Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

 

1 Corinthians 3:9-15:

“(9) For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

(10) According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

(11) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

(12) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

(13) each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

(14) If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

(15) If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

 

Our work for Christ is compared to gold – silver – precious stones. These precious things will endure the fire of judgement. However, if our work has not been Christ centred and does not bring glory to our God – it will be burned up in the fire of judgement. Please note very carefully, the person is not judged but his or her works!

 

Ungodly, unrighteous people on the other hand will be judged according to their evil works.

Galatians 6:7-8:

“(7) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

(8) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

 

The Book of Revelation gives us the final destination for all those who have rebelled against God and refused His offer of eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a very sombre, dreadful scene.

 

Revelation 20:10-15:

“(10) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

(11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

(12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

(13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

(14) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

(15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 

Let’s look at some points in these verses.

1. The Devil has been stripped of all power over men. He is cast into the Lake of Fire and is tormented forever.

2. A Great White Throne is set up for judgement.

3. All the wicked dead from Adam and Eve’s time onwards stand before God.

4. Books are opened! Everything we have ever done in our lives on Earth has been recorded.

5. The Book of Life is also opened.

6. They are judged according to their works recorded in the books about their lives.

7. If their names are not found recorded in the Book of Life they are cast into the Lake of Fire.

8. The Lake of Fire is the second death. It is final! It is absolute! It is irrevocable!

 

This is the resurrection of condemnation the Lord Jesus Christ spoke about in John 5:28-29:

“(28) Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice

(29) and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

 

I sincerely hope that you will appear at the Judgement seat of Christ and not at the Great White Throne. Everything we have done for Christ that glorifies God will be rewarded. Everything we have done from our own will that does not glorify God will be burned up.

 

Matthew 5:16:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Ephesians 2:10 :

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 

Are you prepared to meet your God? Which judgement will you be at?

 

 

*****************************************

 

About the Author

I am a retired male nurse, married with three sons, who have grown up and left home to pursue their own ways in life. In October 2015 my wife and I moved from Toowoomba, Queensland to Brookfield, a suburb of Brisbane, to be closer to family. Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. I am a committed Christian and I fellowship with like minded Christians. I enjoy writing and reading my Bible and Christian books. I enjoy gospel preaching, bible teaching and sharing the knowledge I have gained over many years studying the Bible. I also enjoy reading other non-fiction books in my spare time, particularly biographies and autobiographies. Other interests are family, walking, car touring and holidaying with my wife.

 

You are invited to check out my other books.

Ebooks author page https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/JRPeasey

I also blog on my two blogs:

Biblical Perspectives – Issues of Life blog http://www.jon-peasey.blogspot.com

Words of Life blog http://www.jrpeasey.blogspot.com

 

 

Alphabetical List of Contents

A Fragrant Gift – Part 1

A Fragrant Gift – Part 2

A Spiritual House

About the Author

Alphabetical list of Contents

Behold the Man! – Part One

Behold the Man! – Part Two

Behold the Man! – Part Three

Calm in the storm

Christmas Time

Created for His pleasure

Double Security

Faith – Hope – Love

Four anchors for the soul

God’s requested blessing is dependent on faith

He cares for you

He Humbled Himself – Part 1

He Humbled Himself – Part 2

I AM – Part One

I AM – Part Two

In all these things

In Him we live and move and have our being

Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven

Preface

Prepare to meet your God

Remembrance Day 2013

The best is yet to come

The Comfort of the Scriptures

The joy that was set before Him

The Lily and the Cedar

The Sun rose on him

Things new and old

Worship

 

Ebooks by Jon Peasey

1. Port Robe: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/208837

[Australian Historical Novel]

2. Iron In His Soul: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/217935

[Biblical Historical Novel]

3. The 1950’s – A Time To Grow: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/222328

[Personal Memoirs]

4. Closed On Tuesdays: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/241665

[Travel Memoirs]

5. Biblical Perspectives – Issues of Life Volume 1: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/253088

[Issues of Life from a Christian Biblical Perspective]

6. Words of Life Blog Posts Volume 1: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/258661

[Devotions and Thoughts from the Holy Scriptures to encourage Christians]

7. So Simple Yet So Profound: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/306786

[Devotional thoughts from the Holy Scriptures centred on Christ]

8. In Christ: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/314714

[Devotional thoughts on the Christian’s blessings in Christ]

9. Biblical Perspectives – Issues of Life Volume 2: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/370145

[Issues of Life from a Christian Biblical Perspective]

10. The 1960’s – Changing Times: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/435827

[Personal Memoirs]

11. The Spirit of God – The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/472837

[Devotional thoughts from the Holy Scriptures centred on God the Holy Spirit]

12. On The Road Again: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/496393

[Travel Memoirs]

13. A Britz Blue Skies and the Open Road: https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/572406

[Travel Memoirs]

14. Behold the Man! https://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/602072

[Devotional thoughts from the Holy Scriptures centred on Christ]

 

 

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Words of Life Blogposts Volume 2

'Words of Life Blog Posts Volume 2' is a further compilation of 30 blog posts on various subjects to encourage Christians in these troubled times. Those of us who live in countries at peace should be especially thankful to our God for His care and protection over us. Many of the blog posts cover this aspect of our God's care and protection towards us. Some of the subjects covered are 'Four anchors for the soul', 'Created for His pleasure', 'Calm in the storm', 'The Comfort of the Scriptures', 'In all these things', 'The best is yet to come', 'I AM - Part One', I AM - Part Two', 'In Him we live and move and have our being' and then there are other blog posts pointing us to the glorious person of Jesus the Son of God in His sojourn on Earth as the Son of Man. May you find encouragement and calmness in your soul as you consider the various subjects in this eBook.

  • Author: Jon Peasey
  • Published: 2016-01-04 02:40:11
  • Words: 27553
Words of Life Blogposts Volume 2 Words of Life Blogposts Volume 2