Posts

The Dawning of a New Light

Image
Scripture:
Is. 19:18   On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.
Observation:
Isaiah’s words were prophetic. A time would come when the people of Egypt would become followers of God. The good news would spread to the Gentiles and the transformation would be dramatic. This would be demonstrated by the work that God would do in the City of Sun. Some translations refer to this place as the “City of Destruction.” It represents a stronghold of heathenism, a place where the sun is worshipped and sin runs rampant. The dawning of a new light will result in the replacement of the sun, with the Son of God. The power of the Gospel will be enough to reform the most vile of cities into a place of God’s holiness. This is the promise of the advent of the Messiah.
Application:
Far too often we fail to see the magnitude of the hope that is offered through the adve…

Preparing the Way

Image
Scripture:
Luke 3:3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Observation:
John the Baptist came preaching and proclaiming repentance to the people. He didn’t have the power to remit, or to forgive peoples’ sins, but he was preparing the way by a call to turn from their sins. This call was a fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah. It was time for the voice in the wilderness to call the people back to faith. In this way John was helping to make the paths straight, removing the barriers that existed so that the people could clearly see the Messiah when he arrived.
A…

Proclaiming Christ!

Image
Scripture:
Phil. 1:15   Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
Observation:
After Paul was imprisoned there were those who chose to exacerbate his circumstances. Because they didn’t like Paul, they thought that they would preach the gospel to incite the anger of the Empire. By doing so, they hoped that Paul would be punished even more. While Paul recognized that some were sincere in their preaching, his honest recognition of the motivation of others is fascinating. However, he refused to allow this to get him down because the only thing that really mattered to…

Living Well While Waiting

Image
Scripture:
2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Observation:
Peter is talking about the second coming of Christ. The believers of the first century were awaiting the Messiah’s return, but Peter had reminded them that God’s time was much different than ours. A day could be many years, and many y…

A Season to Change our Focus

Image
Scripture:
Rev. 11:14  The second woe has passed. The third woe is coming very soon. 15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.”
Observation:
In the book of Revelation we have John’s vision of the cosmic forces that are at work. While he was revealing the “woes,” suddenly there was a full stop. Instead of an emphasis on the woe, there was a renewed revelation of the power of God’s kingdom.
The advent of the second coming of the Messiah is already celebrated in the fact that the kingdom of God is already present but is overcoming and overtaking the kingdoms of the world. Christ will return and will reign over everything forever and ever.
Application:
On Sunday we will officially enter the season of Advent and it is an invitation to change our focus. All over our world we are facing challenges and turmoil. Look at the tension in the …

The Cost of Reform

Image
Scripture:
2 Kings 23:1-3
Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.
Observation:
Josiah was stunned by what he learned from the book of the covenant. The people of God had wandered far from the original relationship they had with God. Josiah has the wherewithal to call the people to reform. This would not be easy and it would be a radical transformation of th…

A Divine-Human Partnership

Image
Scripture:
Psa. 132:0   A Song of Ascents. 1O LORD, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured; 2how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, 3“I will not enter my house or get into my bed; 4I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, 5until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Psa. 132:6   We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. 7“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”
Psa. 132:8   Rise up, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. 9Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy. 10For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
Psa. 132:11   The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne. 12If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your t…