Thursday, July 5, 2018

Who Is Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?

   The 12 disciples had grandiose plans for themselves, and they were not at all bashful about pursuing them. Jesus put them all in their places, however, when they approached him, wanting to know who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (I imagine they were hoping he would say--"why you twelve of course!").
   His answer was direct and to the point.
   He called a trusting little child to him, sat the child down in the midst of his disciples, and said, "if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must become as this little child.
   Well, that should have set all priorities straight immediately. Here the disciples filled with their own self importance because of their intimacy with The Messiah, were told to stop worrying about who would be greatest in the Kingdom and get focused on simply making it into the Kingdom.
   Here we see those closest to Jesus being told, point blank, that they needed to be converted.
  How many of us need to be converted?
  How many of us need to become as little children?
 How many of us have grandiose plans that need to be trashed?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

What Passover Means to Christianity

What did Passover Predict?

   The first Feast of the Lord is Passover, which represented and accurately predicted the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Not only was the Passover feast accurate in symbolically depicting the manner of the death of our Lord, it also accurately foretold the day of his death (though not the year).
   Jesus died on the day of Passover—the very feast that predicted he would do so.

The following is a list of comparisons between the prophetic symbolism of the feast of Passover and the death of Jesus Christ:
1.      A lamb that was a beloved part of the family was sacrificed each Passover. John (the Baptizer) identified Jesus [the beloved Son of God] as God’s [ Passover] Lamb.
2.      Jesus was a male without blemish (he was perfect/sinless). According to 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Exodus 12:5, the Passover lamb was to be a male without blemish.
3.      At what time were the Israelites instructed to kill their Passover lambs? What time was Jesus crucified? A comparison of the two verses below, shows that Jesus was crucified at the same time all of Israel were sacrificing their Passover lambs Exodus 12:6, John 19:14 (13-18).
4.      The entire assembly (all of Israel) were commanded to kill their lambs at the same time. At the trial of Jesus, they all shouted, in unison, “Crucify him!” Exodus 12:6, Matthew 27:22 (22-25).
5.      The lamb was commanded to be roasted whole—completely intact. Were any of Jesus’ bones broken Exodus 12:9, Psalm 34:20, John 19:33?
6.      Was any portion of the Passover lamb allowed to remain until the next morning? Was Jesus’ body allowed to remain on the cross till the next morning Exodus 12:10, Mark 15:42-43 (42-46)?
7.      In preparing the Passover lamb for roasting, two spits were used. One was thrust lengthwise through the body for support over the fire and the other across the shoulders for turning—symbolizing the cross upon which the Lamb of God was suspended.
8.      During the first Passover, the people were commanded to take the blood of the sacrificed lamb and apply it to the doorposts of their homes. When God saw the blood, death would pass over that house (that is why this feast is called Passover). When we apply the blood of Jesus Christ to the doors of our hearts, through faith in his death, burial and resurrection, God sees the blood, and death passes over us as well Exodus 12:7, 13, Colossians 1:14.
9.      John (who came baptizing), the same John that the entire nation of Israel—except the corrupt leadership of his day—accepted as a prophet, identified Jesus as God’s Passover lamb John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7.

   Because of the cleansing blood of Jesus, The Messiah, God’s Passover lamb, believers never have to endure separation from the presence of God—either in this age or in the age to come.
   If you have never applied the blood of Yeshua to the doorposts of your heart and would like to accept the risen Son of God, the only Christ, as your savior, call on God for salvation right now. Do not put it off another second. Ask God to forgive your sins and save you through faith in the shed blood of his resurrected son Romans 10:9-10, 13.
   To us a child is born, to us a son is given….
   The feast of Passover accurately predicted both the time, the day (though not the year), and the manner of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Likewise, each one of the other Feasts of the Lord represents a very real event that has either already taken place or will take place in the future.
   The feast of Passover predicted the literal death (by crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. Three more feasts have also seen their fulfillment.
   And three more predict events that are yet to come…. 


Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Blessing is not in Perfection

   David wrote about how to be blessed through obedience to the Law of the Lord, and then grievously violated that same Law. Yet he was still called, "...a man after God's own heart."
   How could that be?
   One lesson to take from the life of David, is that he was human like the rest of us. And at times, his flesh won out against his spirit in some of the worst ways imaginable. But whenever YAHWEH ELOHIYM [the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] was able to get his full attention, David was quick to confess his sins [the wrongness of his actions] and turn [repent] from them.
   We read first-hand testimonies of this in his songs, many of which were inspired and preserved by God in the Holy Scriptures.
   Sometimes, David failed to recognize his sin without some nudging from from God's people. Sometimes, he needed to be confronted before he would repent, but when he was confronted, his heart would break from the knowledge of  his own wickedness. 
   When that happened, God always forgave him and welcomed him back into his arms. 
  Although David lived under the law and participated in Temple worship, he understood that religious ceremony did not impress God, unless it was coupled with genuine faith. He wrote that a broken and contrite heart was what counted with God--not sacrifice and ceremony. It was for this, that God called David a man after his own heart.
   David was an in-person example [for both bad and good] to his son, Solomon, who later wrote of his own experiences with sin. Solomon credited his father’s example in his own return to the Lord when he wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” 
   Along with most everyone else, Solomon was aware of his father's sins, which often became public knowledge. He was also witness to his father’s willingness to turn from those sins when confronted with them, and that too, became public knowledge through David's own actions when he would publicly proclaim, “I was wrong!”
   Solomon witnessed the consequences of his father’s sins. He was also witness to the great blessings and deliverance of God when David would bring his thoughts, his heart, and his life back into line with God’s ways and God’s Word. 
   Following the influence of his father, to the bad, Solomon found his own life mired-down in the muck of sin. He then demonstrated the powerful influence of his father’s example of public confession and repentance, when he wrote “He who hides his sin shall not prosper….” 
   David's life was not an example of perfection. Many of the facts of his life were not recorded because they were meant to be emulated--but rather, to be avoided. But his life [with all the ups and downs] is an awesome  example of  what happens when a believer welcomes the correction of a loving God--even the humiliating circumstance of  public correction, if that is what it takes. 
   David embraced that correction and was grateful for it. We read about that, when he  wrote,"Blessed is the man whom you chasten O LORD and teach him out of your law That you may give him rest from the days of adversity..."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Abuse Addiction Mental Health Sickness & Healing

   Hope, help, and healing are all promised in the Word of God, and joy is a command, which when practiced, leads to contentment and even happiness, regardless of circumstances, though not without opposition or troubles (and some circumstances may need to be changed. God can help with that too).
   Jesus said, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives..."  Staying in the rut of old habits, fear, worry, and unforgiveness comes more naturally to us than walking in God's peace, but in reality, the things that come naturally can often make things worse and produce much more difficulty. 
  Trusting God and walking in his peace is easier said than done, but it can be done, and once achieved, is an ongoing process, but well worth the effort.

Philippians 4:4-9, says:

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice 5: Let your moderation key word “moderation (temperance) be known to all people The Lord is at hand 6: Be careful for (worry about) nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God 7: And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall guard [and protect] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus 8: Finally brethren whatsoever things are true whatsoever things are honest whatsoever things are just whatsoever things are pure whatsoever things are lovely whatsoever things are of good report if there be any virtue and if there be any praise think on these things [1]  9: Those things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me do and the God of peace shall be with you

[1] Verses 4-9 are powerful. Thinking on the impure, remembering the offense, remembering the lie, remembering the unfairness, remembering the ugliness, and focusing on that which is less than excellent leads to crippling bitterness, unforgiveness, depression, anxiety, immoral behavior, abusive behavior, and addictions to many things that lead to destruction. The good news is, that with God’s help, and with the washing of the water of the Word, Christians can rejoice in Him and commit to obedience by thinking on everything that is good. Christians are commanded and empowered to take control of their thoughts. Yes, our thoughts. If it were not possible, God would not require it. But with God all things are possible, and the weapons of our warfare are not natural weapons (yes, it is part of spiritual warfare to take our very thoughts away from the enemy and submit them to Christ). The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, for casting down imaginations, and for bringing every thought into the obedience of Jesus Christ. The promise for doing that is peace. Isn’t peace mental health? Isn’t peace emotional freedom? Peace can even lead to better physical health—science has long made the correlation between mental health and physical health, confirming the the scriptures that say bitterness eats the bones, and laughter is good medicine…. Selah.

The commentary above is an excerpt from 
the Hungry Hearts Online Bible Commentary HHBC

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is for anyone experiencing domestic violence or marital abuse. It is also for those they are most likely to turn to for help—family, friends, pastors, etc.... 

The Christian woman whose spirit is being crushed and life possibly endangered by domestic violence is faced with a unique burden, and she needs straight answers—not unrealistic expectations or clich├ęd, stereotypical platitudes. 

In this book, she will get straight answers, clear scriptural direction, and some tough challenges from one who has been there but is there no longer.