Archive for October, 2010

JESUS, THE MAN

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Day 237

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law”
Galatians 4:4

Jesus was both God and Man. It was always part of God’s plan because the word says, “…at the appointed time God sent His Son.” He came from heaven to earth to live as man. It is an extraordinary revelation that God would send His Son to be man, live as a man and then permit him to die on a cross.

God could have executed His overall plan with a snap of His finger. He could have decreed it. He could make it happen anyway He wanted, but He did not. He chose to make Himself subservient by becoming one of us. He did this for a reason. He wanted to identify with us in our poverty and demonstrate His love. With the greatest love, kindness and compassion Jesus became the first man to obey perfectly the Father’s will. He pioneered the way for us by demonstrating that we could do the same in Him.

Jesus, as man, was intensely spiritual, completely natural and thoroughly practical. He experienced growth as we all do, living in a physical body, sleep, sorrow, hunger, weariness, and even experiencing our emotions. He was raised as all other children were and was trained by His father as a carpenter. This is our God and all of this was for you.

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, but being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8

HE GIVES LIFE

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Day 236

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life”
John 6:63

Sadly, not all who follow Jesus will stand the test of being true believers. Jesus Himself said there are some (of the followers) who do not believe. Many followed Him because of signs and wonders. Today are many who are pseudo-believers. They have never given themselves to Christ and the true gospel.

Christianity is radical. Jesus said, “. . . the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force” [Matthew 11:12], and Acts 14:22 states, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Does this sound strange to our ears? A careful reading of the gospel clearly reveals only those who break away from human tradition and ways, no matter what the cost to them, will possess the kingdom of God. Timothy 3:12 declares, “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

True life comes from the Spirit. Our flesh will profit nothing. Yet, how easily we slip back following our understanding, so carefully planning our earthly security, making plans, taking care for tomorrow. In the past hour 17 Christians were martyred, part of the 156,000 martyred this past year. More than in 100 AD. Christ has given us life—everything we need, but only to serve the Kingdom of God, not ourselves.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

THE LAST ADAM

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Day 235

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry”
Matthew 4:1-11

What Adam failed to do, Jesus, fully as man, did.

Everyone was waiting for the Messiah. They expected a triumphant appearance with the armies of heaven to declare His kingship. Instead, He comes as baby to a lowly family, is raised quietly without much notice, and then begins His public ministry at 33 years of age.

He came in a way no one expected — as a man. He subjected Himself to live in our earthly state. And, as if this isn’t enough, He begins His ministry by being baptized and then led into the desert by the Spirit to be proven. Here is the most marvelous demonstration of God’s divine plan; Jesus the man becomes the second Adam and does what Adam did not do — the will of the Father!

Yes, Jesus picks up at the beginning of man’s history and demonstrates to us, as a man, how to do the will of the Father. He not only does what Adam did not do, but in 40 days and nights, through three major temptations, He did what the people of Israel did not do in the wilderness in 40 years. He does all of this as man! What a God and Father we have that loves us so deeply that He takes the time to show us the way through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16

HE ADOPTED US

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Day 234

“In love having predestined us to adoption
as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself”
Ephesians 1:5

We have become God’s children and now call Him Father. “I will receive you, and I will be to you a Father, and you will be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” [2 Corinthians 6:17-18]. We have a new family relationship with a new nature, new name, and new legal standing.

Our earthly form of adoption does not give us an adequate understanding of what God has accomplished in this adoption. God’s adoption of us as children brings His glorious work to the forefront. It is a demonstration before all of heaven and earth, principalities and powers, of His love, wisdom and greatness. He delivered us from the greatest evil and crowned us with the greatest blessings. His act goes beyond earthly adoption by imparting His Spirit to us and making us acceptable in the Beloved.

Think of it! Because we are His children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. He dwells with us. We are in Christ and He is seated at the right hand of His Father where we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Our adoption is the highest expression of God’s love.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified”
Romans 8:29-30

BOUNDLESS LOVE

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Day 233

“In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, according the good pleasure of His will”
Ephesians 1:5

Our Father’s boundless love broke right into our fallen world with salvation. It destroyed the work of the devil who held the power of death, and restored us to His original plan. The glorious beauty of His boundless love not only restored us, but brought us to stand before our Father holy and without blame. We can fellowship with our God and call Him “Abba”-Father, a term of endearment.

The verse “He predestined us” further accents God’s glory. This is part of His original and ultimate plan. He determined before hand, before time began. It has never changed! Read this carefully—before the foundation of the world, before anything was, we were chosen in Him [Ephesians 1:4]. How can we fathom this? In the face of our rebellion and separation from Him, living our lives onto ourselves, He still remained steadfast, faithful and true to His nature. It is beyond our comprehension, yet it is the power, depth and magnificence of this love that overwhelms us.

God’s love reaches the highest expression as John states, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed (lavished) on us, that we should be called children of God” [1 John 3:1]. The Amplified says, “See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given …” We’ve been adopted as His children, given His Spirit. Why? For one reason, and one reason only—His love. It was according to the good pleasure of His will. He was motivated by love alone. He delights in the revelation of His divine plan, of restoration to His original purposes.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession”
Deuteronomy 14:2

GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Day 232

“Now, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory, before time began”
1 Corinthians 2:7

For our glory—before time began.

Think about this. God’s original plan has never changed. God created us to fellowship and share in His divine nature. He created us with a free will so that our acceptance and fellowship with Him placed us in the highest order—above created objects and even angels. The question is what about man’s fall, his rebellion and wickedness?

This is the marvel of it all! Before time began, God had a plan for our glory and even the fall of man could not divert it! Where we would believe that man’s fall is a loss and the results of it would cause God to turn away from us, it became the opposite. God not only turned it to good, He had already made provision for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom hidden, but revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

The revelation is the wisdom of His glorious divine plan, a plan that has not changed from the beginning. God’s answer to man’s sin was a greater increase of grace and mercy. This was revealed to us when He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us back into His original plan. He has now revealed it to us by His Spirit.

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves”
Ephesians 1:4-6

HE IS OUR WISDOM

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Day 231

“But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?”
Job 28:12

In the preceding verses, Job outlines how wisdom eludes us and cannot be mined. He established that we do not comprehend its worth and it cannot be bought. And what about man’s wisdom? Paul says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom” [1 Corinthians 1:25]. Where then does wisdom come from? Where do we find understanding?

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God”
1 Corinthians 1:30a

In contrast to those who exercise worldly wisdom, our Father has given us an eternal wisdom in Christ who dwells in us. It is wisdom from above and not of ourselves. This wisdom permits us to gain understanding of our Father’s eternal plan, where once we were ‘fools’ and had no understanding.

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory, may give unto you
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in
the knowledge of Him” Ephesians 1:17

God’s great rescue of His people has given us this wisdom for one purpose—to know Him. John tells us, in this great rescue, that God first loved us—He was the initiator to take separated man out of darkness and give him the gift of grace to know Him in all His glory. What is foolishness to the world is eternal life and glory to us.

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:36

GOD AS A WARRIOR

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Day 230

“I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate, and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land”
Exodus 23:29-30

Our Father is a warrior who drives out our enemies. In taking His people to the new land, He went before them driving the enemies out of their hiding places and delivering them into their hands for defeat. He gave them the strength to overcome these enemies and possess the new land.

When we come to Christ there may be enemies in our soul. We are delivered from many when we become a new creation in Him, but there are others that may linger or be hidden. It is possible that we may not even know or be aware of these enemies. Yet, as the Lord drove them out for His people thousands of years ago, He will drive them out of us.

Although we desire that all troublesome areas of our life be put away and done with, our Father knows in His wisdom when to reveal the enemy. He also knows the time for driving it out of our lives. He also knows, as our good Father, to prepare, train and mature us so that when the enemy is removed we will be filled with His righteousness. In this way, we attain to the fullness of Christ.

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified
to me, and I to the world”
Galatians 6:14

A FATHER WHO CARES

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Day 229

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness”
Romans 8:26-27

We live in an age where getting in-touch with yourself prevails. Delving into our sub-conscience to purge ourselves of disturbing (and unknown) matters is purported to be the way to go. Sadly, this only serves to strengthen the darkness. More unfortunate is the fact that some Christians believe in this or variations of these methods. Rather than turning in on ourselves, where flesh will only find flesh, our Father has made provision for us.

We have a Father who cares about us. He cares about our inner struggles, struggles that we often do not understand. These may be matters concerning our own actions or events in the past, a close member of our family or friend, or our work, and we cannot express ourselves about it in prayer. There can be confusion or feelings of helplessness. Often we do not know how to pray about these situations. What we do need is to know that our Father has made provision.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us and resides in us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He helps us in our weakness by praying for us. He will express what we cannot. He does this according to the will of God. When God searches our heart, the Holy Spirit speaks to Him. What a wonderful provision our Father has made. He knows our infirmities, our weaknesses, and our needs. We have a Divine Helper.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to Him in song”
Psalm 28:7

DELIVERANCE AND TRUE FREEDOM

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Day 228

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has made me free from the law of sin and death”
Romans 8:2

Freedom.

People think they are free. They value personal freedom and fight to maintain these rights. Western culture, in particular, prides itself as an enlightened people where education has solved all our problems. The total sum of all this is deceit. People are not free at all. The opposite is true; they are in bondage.

At one time, we were also in bondage. Moreover, we could cry with Paul, “I know that nothing good lives in me” [Romans 7:18]. In fact, we lived under the law of sin and death. There is no choice when you are under the law. All the good of man is unacceptable to God because it does not honor or bring glory to Him. It is a vain imitation of God’s goodness, all without God.

Our glorious Father, though, made provision for those who would believe in Him. The Lord superseded the law of sin with the Law of the Spirit of Life through the death of His Son Jesus Christ and His resurrection. We, who were condemned, are now free because of the law of the Spirit of life. What an amazing thing! It is not through our own works and self-help, but through the resurrected power of our Savior we are no longer under condemnation and are free.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
2 Corinthians 3:17