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His Delight is in the Law

Monday, April 25, 2022

“but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” Psalm 1:2.  I heard a widow exclaim as she related her story of what she had endured while losing her spouse, “I just don’t know how people who don’t have faith get through this!” That is true as I had thought the very same thing while going through my own ordeal.  The righteous are contrasted to the wicked in Psalm 1, and contrary to popular thinking, God doesn’t speak about any lukewarm middle ground except that He will spit those who try to live there out of His mouth.  Despite all the temporary glitz of this world that the wicked seem to have, they are like chaff that the wind drives away and won’t stand in the judgment.  The righteous, however, fixes his heart and mind on things above and so is like a tree by the water’s edge drinking deeply from God and bearing fruit “in season” for God because of it.  “In season” means that it comes just when God knows you need it at its proper time and in its proper way according to His perfect plan.  This is how Christians get through difficult situations —by faith!  Without it, the wicked often turn to many negative things to cope.  Are you a tree planted by water?    

Presented Himself Alive

Monday, April 25, 2022

“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” Acts 1:3. Since He is eternal, we’ve looked at Jesus during the time periods of eternity to creation, creation to incarnation, and, skipping His ministry for now, how He was fully man to be our sacrifice at the cross and fully God to be our Savior at the tomb. Now we turn to the shortest period yet, a span of fifty days, from the resurrection to ascension. These seven weeks were crucial. The ones who would take the gospel message into the world needed to be absolutely convinced. Jesus didn’t just prove this once to them. He spent forty days with them and gave them “many proofs” that He was indeed alive and had conquered death. He just didn’t appear in secret but to over 500 people at one time. This should convince the most hardened skeptic or even us who live in a skeptical age. Without the Spirit yet to guide them into all truth, they struggled to understand, even as He ascended. Then, not fully understanding, they had to obey His command to wait upon God for His perfect timing. Are you still and waiting upon God, trusting His plan for you? 

Carried Up Into Heaven

Monday, April 18, 2022

“While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worship-ed him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” Luke 24:51-53.  Jesus’ ascension teaches us about death—that it’s not an ending for the Christian but a change of ad-dress, that we don’t need to find the physical strength to get there but are carried, and that a loved one going there should bring us great joy as it is gain.  His ascension caps the gospel and answers the question about where Jesus is today.  Enacted at the incarnation, the Word becoming flesh allowed God to be our example and sacrifice with the promise that if we also die with Him that we will also rise with Him and go to be with Him one day as well.  Christians have a ready response to the skeptic who asks us where our living Savior is today.  Finally, Jesus’ ascension gives us great advantage.  Not only is He now our high priest and intercessor at the right hand of the Father, but unless He went away the Counselor could not be ours.  That’s enough to give His followers reason for great joy and continually bless God in the temple of the Holy Spirit as we walk as He did.

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Monday, April 11, 2022

“… Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen …” Luke 24:5-6. No other event in human history can compare to this.  The resurrection is not just a Bible story but thee revelation of all that God had sought to do since the foundation of the world, since He first alluded to Eve of a seed that would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).  All genealogies, people, and events recorded up to this point were written so we might understand the salvation history of a loving God who restored sinful mankind into a right relationship with Him.  Finally—that which the prophets of old had longed to look into is now known.  The serpent striking Jesus’ heel was the cross, but rather than a killing blow, it became the climax to the resolu-tion: the resurrection!  There are no living to be found among the dead, yet we’ll search for anyone or anything to bring us immortality.  We forget that no other name but His has been given us under heaven for salvation.  He has done it!  He has conquered death!  And He has made a way for us to have eternal life with Him!  That’s why the gospel is good news.  He is not here, but has risen.  So can you be!  Do you share in His resurrection?    

Should Not Trouble

Monday, April 04, 2022

“Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God” Acts 15:19.  The church in Antioch had a problem: conversion growth from the community around them occurred as the lost were obeying the gospel in great numbers but didn’t much act like the church they had always known.  But, after all, how could these “unchurched” gentiles be expected to know the traditions and laws for something they had never been a part of before?  Up to this point, the church had been like their community because a lot of baby-to-believer and transfer growth had made many “churched” disciples, but God had made a change that opened a door for the unchurched to become His followers too.  They welcomed them in because they knew that a church that no longer looked like its community would soon die, but shouldn’t the community coming in be made to look like the church they were coming into?  The advice they sought told them not to trouble the unchurched who have obeyed the unchanged gospel but to teach them to not put anything before God and not become like the world once again that they’ve just escaped. How can we not trouble the lost in our community?  

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