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Showing posts from January, 2019

Fountains and Light

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Scripture:
Psalms 36:7-9
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Observation:
This Psalm on the steadfast love of the Lord is an encouragement to all. We sing about this in church and praise the character of our God. In doing so, sometimes we miss out on the end of this passage where there is a reference to the “fountain of life; in your light we see light.” This is section has a meaning that draws us into an understanding of the Triune God. These are prophetic words regarding the coming of the Messiah. Jesus, the one who is the fountain of life will come, and in him, through the power of the Spirit, we will receive light. That light will make it possible to see the One who is the generator of that light, the Father. The steadfast love of God is revealed in the activity o…

Real Power

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Scripture:
Acts 8:18-24 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.”
Observation:
Simon was “wowed” by what he saw. The power of the Holy Spirit was like nothing he had ever experienced. Seeing the business potential in this power, he wanted to know how he could get a cut of the action. 
Peter was honest with Simon and pointed out t…

Seeing Shadows

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Scripture:
Luke 11:34-36 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness. Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”
Observation:
The light of Christ is to shine into every crevice of our being. Jesus would suggest that the light enters our body through the eye. His illustration becomes quite clear because he knows that if you have healthy eyes, then you are able to receive light into your eyes. It’s when you have disease that your vision becomes clouded, filled with shadows and darkness. 
With this understanding in mind, we are asked to consider the type of light in which we are walking. Is it the light that is received by a healthy eye where everything is seen clearly? Or is the light in which we are walking the type produce…

Putting On Jesus

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Scripture:
Ephesians 6:10-17
The Whole Armor of God Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Observation:
The Ap…

Content Matters More Than Presentation

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Scripture:
1Cor. 1:26   Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Observation:
Corinthian society boasted of many orators. These were individuals who had studied the art of speech and verbal presentation. Day by day there were those who shared their points of view and opinions to the gathered people. They won their arguments with their eloquence and presentation.
Now God was calling all v…

The Church, Patient and Faithful

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Scripture:
Luke 2:36-38
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Observation:
The woman, Anna, was patient and faithful, awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. All the years of waiting she remained in the temple, worshipping, fasting and praying. It was a long wait, but it was certainly worth it all. From the moment that she laid eyes on Jesus, she knew who he was and she immediately praised God. She then went on to share the good news of Jesus with all who were seeking redemption. 
Application:
Some of the older church fathers have suggested that Anna represents the church, awaiting the second coming of Christ. …

The Light Has Come. Now What?

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Scripture:
Luke 8:16-18
“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”
Observation:
Light has always been important for humanity. Without electricity, lights were lit in the evening, whether an oil lamp, or a candle, to light up a room. Common sense would say that once you light your lamp, you don’t cover it up with a pottery jar. For one thing, there would be no light in the room, and second, the light may actually go out for lack of oxygen. This is simply ridiculous.
When one turns on the light, it is done with the purpose of illuminating the space. Everyone who comes in can see clearly. As a result, nothing is hi…

Selective Vision

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Scripture:
John 8:12-13
Jesus the Light of the World Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.”
Observation:
Jesus was speaking to the people and the religious leaders were there, ready to criticize him. Jesus came as light into a dark world, illuminating the Scriptures and the law with his very life. Many were finding the pathway out of darkness by following Jesus, the light.
The Pharisees brought up a technicality regarding Jesus’ testimony. They said that two others would need to testify on his behalf, or his testimony would not be valid. The problem with their argument was that Jesus truly was light and if they would have listened to his preaching and learned from him, they would have seen the light. A bright light was shining right toward them and they were insisting on the outsi…