Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sweet Words For You!



Sadly many believers in Jesus discount how the law of Our Lord can aid them in day to day activities in their lives. We certainly are not under the crushing curse of the law where either you obey it perfectly or you will die. This is indeed good news for those in Christ. But it is still something that is sweet to those who seek to please Our Father in heaven.

Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
(Psalm 119:97-104 ESV)

This became even more apparent when I was taking a class in ethics. It is amazing the miserable hand wringing one needs to go through using the ethics of our philosophers. It is lamentable as well when looking at these decisions that need be made is how one can justify almost any vile behavior under certain circumstances. We see this played out in our society by both Governments and Corporations. The men and women making these decisions are doing the ethical thing in his or her own mind using these standards.

Now consider, for example, the commandment to honor our father and mother. This works for a peaceful family life when children will seek to do what father and mother require. This can also be taken into the work place when one is out of the parent's home. Obeying the rules regarding times to be ready to work and not taking extra breaks, staying too long during breaks etc. will result in good reviews and possible merit increase. When driving honoring speed limits and stop signs or signals will eliminate one getting a traffic citation which will contain a fine and increased insurance rates.

However, the law always accuses. When one is honest with oneself he or she will admit they have not perfectly honored those who are placed in leadership. But we have good news! For the sake of the innocent suffering and death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus we are not held accountable for missing the mark. Our Father does not grade on a curve so we are constantly in need of this forgiveness. Thanks be to God for this gift of the forgiveness of sin. In addition he was resurrected for our Justification.

And our God keeps on giving. Due to the perfect life of Our Lord and Savior Jesus we have been giving perfect obedience to the law as a gift. We are therefore, by faith, looked upon by our heavenly Father as his dear and perfect children. May the name of Jesus evermore be praised.

Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen . †

Monday, February 3, 2014

Gift of Perfect Love For You!!!!!


Through various means one can hear of the horrendous persecution of our brother and sisters in Jesus Christ. In response a Christian will become horrified about this situation. This is not merely an emotional reaction but it is true Godly affection. We will through this love seek ways to help our suffering brothers and sisters.

How is it that one can have so much concern for those whom one has never met?

The fruit of the Spirit is love........
Galatians 5:22

This genuine concern is not self generated. Nor is it a learned behavior, The natural man does not love as God loves. One of the best statements comparing and contrasting our love from that which God possesses is found in the Heidelberg Disputation of  1518 written by Martin Luther.

The love of God does not find but creates that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being by finding what is pleasing to it.

The strangers mentioned above are not doing anything which pleases us so that we will love this person. However, God's regenerating power places within our hearts this sacrificial compassion so that we will sense the suffering of our brothers and sisters and seek out ways to help.

Our love will never be perfect on our own steam. Due to the perfect life of Jesus his righteousness is placed on us Our Father sees us as his holy children in his dear Son. Our response, although incomplete and partly done in self interest. of helping our suffering fellow Christian is faith in action which will match up our lives with our confession. 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
(1 John 3:17-18 ESV)

Jesus also bore our failure to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. We justly deserve God's present and eternal punishment for this failure to be as he is. This sin of imperfect love is not laid to our account. We need not use our brothers or sisters as means by which we can complete our salvation. This is the glorious done deal of the Gospel.

Let us trust in this Good News and live in its peace. Amen. †



Friday, January 31, 2014

Gift Of Perfect Faith For You!!!!



And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.
(Mark 6:5 ESV)

This is a the conundrum which faces a Bible believer. How can a Sovereign God be thwarted in his attempts at doing his mighty work. He did law hands on some sick people and healed them. So what was his mighty work that he was unable to do?  Have people believe in him.

Some will maintain that these people were not elect or re probate is the cause. In other words the Holy Spirit was not interested so did not do the entire Holy Spirit job. This cannot be true for later people from his hometown did come to faith.

The only will we have under our own steam is to choose death. It never can be because of God not wanting someone. Scripture clearly teaches he desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4.

Fruit of the Spirit is .........Faith. Galatians 5:22

Our gracious Lord, the Holy Spirit, is the one to give this perfect faith to trust in Christ. Our inner brat rails against it so through hearing the word preached, reading it daily and prayer we slay that brat and be able to wage this battle.

This is not faith to necessarily have things go better for us. It is faith which secures and preserves us in  truth, life and salvation.

In the name of Jesus. Amen. †


Friday, December 13, 2013

An Incarnated Jesus For You!

images

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.(John 1:14 ESV)
This time of year a drama unfolds before our eyes. And it has to do with the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus. This has made some people rejoice, some are not at all impressed by it and others think it was a bad idea and seek to not let children and others have this. remembrance.
The first group out of the abundance of sheer joy cannot get enough of the festivities. Going from house to house feasting with friends. Singing carols in hospitals and nursing facilities. Having decorations in homes and wanting them in other public places.
The second group will rant and rave against these activities. They see Advent worship services and the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord that many churches do as an affront to the law of God. Jesus is not amused with Christians who seek to celebrate his birth. But of course Jesus is not only amused but he is downright proud of those who become miserable souls who throw wet blankets at others for doing what they do not allow. Comments about how we should only remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus not his Nativity. Well if not for this incarnating we scarcely could have the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is all part of God reconciling himself with sinners.
And then we have our atheists and agnostics. They are so set against Our Lord that any reference to how this time of year is special in the hearts of others just drives them to distraction. These people will take up collections and weary out our government officials and courts seeking to ban all this. Not only prohibiting Nativity scenes but trees, lights, music and even the colors of red and green. Our Lord said this offences would happen and proves his being who he said he is. No one else's birth is so controversial. It is interesting to note the second group almost seek to join with this group in banishing these festivities. 
Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
(John 15:20-21 ESV)
May you have a joyful season. Even if you do not want one.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Surprise! Certain Forgiveness of Sin For You!

“These invitations are universal; Christ addresses them to sinners, as such, and every man, as he believes God to be true, is bound to treat them as God’s words to him personally and to accept the universal assurance which accompanies them, that all who come to Christ will be received. Again, these invitations are real; Christ genuinely offers Himself to all who hear the gospel, and is in truth a perfect Saviour to all who trust Him.”*

Amen Brother Packer. Yes the Gospel is to be proclaimed as universal. He even uses the word universal! The problem happens where the excited believer attends Bible study then is directed to subject this scripture to his logic to understand all is not really all.

Is subjecting scripture to logic necessary? God the Father knows who is going to be in Christ. 
 Christ knows his believers and calls them by name. The Holy Spirit enlightens us and gives us the gift of faith in order that we may trust him. Given all that, why confuse the believer with chatty logic in order to answer questions not answered in scripture. It is good to remember we are adopted children of Our Heavenly Father.
I have raised 4 children and there were many why questions which remained unanswered questions. Not out of mean disposition but rather not letting them be burdened unnecessarily with adult reasoning.  I am sure I cannot remember some of my reasoning beyond it seemed best for them.
Now, to  contrast my actions as a father of young children to an Infinite, Sovereign and Incomprehensible Father. Would he be any less inclined not to answer all our questions to our full satisfaction? Does this desire for every question to have an answer that makes sense warrant the never ending examining and reasoning of how scripture agrees with us? Or can we suspend that and throw caution to the wind by telling people that in the name of  Jesus, and for the sake of his cross and resurrection, their sins are forgiven?
and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
(Luke 24:46-47 ESV)
Trust this good news and live in the peace it gives. Amen †
* From : Introductory Essay of  Death of Death by John Owen by J.I. Packer

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Adopting Father For You!


I have good news for you!

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

(Galatians 4:1-7 ESV)

Our Holy Creator graciously desires to be the adopted Father to all sinners. In this day of the Christian Church fighting within itself this message is set aside. How tragic to hide this wonderful Gospel behind all the bickering. That is how sinners go about life.

This is why Jesus took upon himself our sins and hatred for one another and destroyed its power on the cross. Then he rose again to gain our justification.

Trust this good news and live in the peace it gives. Amen. †

Monday, June 3, 2013

Your Triune God’s Steadfast Love For You!



Roger Murtaugh: God hates me. That’s what it is.
Martin Riggs: Hate Him back; it works for me.
The quoted discussion  above is from the movie Lethal Weapon. That discussion demonstrates a natural, finite and fallen human reaction to things gone bad. This shows plainly the profound fear and antipathy we have toward our Lord. The better things go the more proof we have that God loves us. If things turn bad on us such as health, wealth, etc. this proves that God hates us.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:18-19 ESV)
In the first verse we see John is not talking about finite human love. The love of a human is imperfect at best. Man or woman will love only if there is something in it for them. For example, the person is physically attractive and is helpful in emotional well-being. This love can dissipate over time due to the aging process or getting to know the person and finding unattractive attributes. So the search may resume for that which is attractive. Therefore, of man’s love the following can be said:
The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.*
God’s love, on the other hand, is not self seeking. Our Lord is a giving Lord. Nothing we have is of ourselves but rather a gift from our loving Lord. No one is owed even being created so it is not based on works or even agreeing with him. If that were the case no one would come to know Jesus and that he died for their sins and resurrected for their justification. Of God’s love it can be said:
The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.*
Only after one realizes that God’s love is for him or her, this searching out of  his attributes will change drastically. The suffering experienced in life will have us running to our Father for help in the times of need; scripture also becomes a wonderful nourishment rather than an accusing finger; and the Cross of Jesus is on our minds and in our hearts from the first of the day, through the day and when we go to sleep.
Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen. †
* The Heidelberg Disputation of Martin Luther May 1518