Archive for January, 2016
“The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (Obadiah 1:15)
There will be a day of judgment. That’s as much a part of God’s story as the creation or the resurrection. Everyone will respond before God for what they have done.
Those of us in Christ will receive mercy and grace. Those outside of Christ will pay the full penalty for their sin.
But a Samaritan, as he was traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33)
The Good Samaritan did more than just feel for the man who was beaten and robbed. He acted on his feelings. Following Jesus is acting on what our heart feels for people.
Our reaction to a harsh word or an aggressive tone can make all the difference. A soft answer will often defuse the situation, while responding in kind is like pouring gasoline on the fire.
Follow the advice of this proverb. Let your words and your tone calm a tense moment.
But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. (Numbers 22:18)
Satan will offer anything to get you to act against God. Whatever the price, it is not worth it. Stay faithful.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
There are no rules about how much Christians should give, no set amounts nor percentages.
However, we know that it is better to give than to received. We also know that God loves a cheerful giver. We should be generous and happy about being able to help.
It is the way things are. We die and our children grow up. What is the legacy you wish to leave? Grow faith in your children and grandchildren. That is a legacy that lasts.
A fourth of the way through his Gospel, Luke uses the seventh chapter to have Jesus, in words and actions, leave little doubt that he is God
The chapter opens with him healing a servant from a distance, then he raises a son from the dead as his corpse was being carried to the grave yard. In fact, Jesus himself describes the activities by saying:
that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the
Gospel preached to them. Luke 7:22.
Jesus did a lot of miracles in the course of two days, things that man could do only with God’s help. In fact, some of the Old Testament prophets did similar things, with God’s help.
It is at the end of the chapter, that he does something only God can do.
The story has Jesus eating at the home of one of the religious leaders, when a woman from the city begins to wash Jesus’ feet. This woman had a reputation. Jesus knew this, the religious leader knew, everyone else knew, that she was a sinner. Actually that probably should be spelled SINNER.
I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for
She loved much….Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are
Forgiven….Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
And with those words, spoken out loud for all to hear, Jesus claims he is God. Only God can forgive sin, his followers couldn’t, the religious leader couldn’t, the woman herself couldn’t, only God could and can.
Only God through Jesus can forgive you, SINNER!
So the questions are simple to ask but difficult to answer:
Are you a SINNER?
What do you need to do be have your sins forgiven by God?
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:5–6)
He has made us to be a kingdom. He has made us to be priests.
How? By loving us and taking away our sins.
Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God made us special. He chose us. He blessed us. He set us apart to be a people belonging to him, his own kingdom. He gave us a mission, to serve humanity on his behalf as priests.
Don’t ever forget how special God has made you.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The promise of God came true. Jesus has destroyed Satan. The cross defeated sin and death. Redemption and restoration will happen. That is good news to share with someone today.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Don’t overcomplicate things. What God wants of us is very simple.
Jesus boiled it down to two commands, very much like what we see here. They are:
- Love God
- Love your neighbor as yourself