During the years of Jesus ministry on earth there was political turmoil—not so different from our world today. There was division among the Jews: Pharisees, Sadducees, zealots and followers of Jesus. And they were ruled by the Romans.
Jesus didn’t offer a political solution. He was focused on turning the hearts and minds of the people to God, to forgive sins. He healed people spiritually
Last Sunday we sang a hymn that you might associate with Christmas. Who Is He in Yonder Stall gives snapshots of Jesus’ life. It is a beautiful description of our Savior.
Who is He in yonder stall, at whose feet the shepherds fall? Who is He is deep distress, fasting in the wilderness?
Who is He the people bless for his words of gentleness? Who is He to whom they bring all the sick and sorrowing?
Who is He who stands and weeps at the grave where Laz’rus sleeps? Who is He the gath’ring throng greet with loud triumphant song?
Lo, at midnight, who is He, prays in dark Gethsemane? Who is He on yonder tree, dies in grief and agony?
Who is He that from the grave comes to heal and help and save? Who is He that from His throne rules through all the world alone?
‘Tis the Lord! Oh, wondrous story! ‘Tis the Lord! The King of glory!At his feet we humbly fall, Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!
Benjamin Hanby (1833 – 1867)
May we follow Jesus’ example, engaging our culture with gentleness. May we obediently follow our Lord and Savior.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
For the past month I have been studying the book of Leviticus. It is a study of God’s holiness and his plan to redeem mankind. The sacrifices and offerings that God required of Israel point to man’s sin and the need for payment in blood. Sinful man cannot approach God.
Psalm 15 raises these questions. Lord who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
God had a plan from the very beginning. In Leviticus we see the outline, or shadow, of a plan that is completed through Jesus. Jesus provides forgiveness for our sins and redemption by his death on the cross and resurrection.
The Psalms look ahead to our salvation and declare the love and compassion that God has for us. Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits— Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies you desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103: 1-5
The book of Leviticus and the Psalms lead me to reflect on God’s holiness and his loving plan for us. So many reasons to give thanks and have praise on my lips.
The troubles in the world can weigh us down; we need to keep our focus on God.
This post is linked to the Five Minute Friday community of writers. Every Friday we write for five minutes (or a little more) inspired by the prompt that Kate Motaung gives. Today’s prompt is: WHO
Through the women’s ministry at our church I have been able to watch some of the G3 conference, streaming live from Georgia. The topic of the conference is the Trinity, and I was pleased to listen to the preachers. All around us there is confusion about who God is, and about what the Bible says.
Our school district is dealing with confusion over male and female. Parents are holding meetings to find ways to protect the privacy of teenage girls. The federal government has mandated that a student with male anatomy be allowed to use the girl’s locker room, because he claims to be transgender. My children graduated from the high school that received this mandate. I recently wrote about a parent meeting. Click here.
Wheaton College, my daughter’s alma mater, is in the news for firing a tenured political science professor because she claimed that Moslems and Christians worship the same god. The controversy has been reported in the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. One article is titled “Are Allah and Jesus the Same God?”
The only way to know the character of God is through the life and work of Jesus and through the words in the Bible. It is tempting to think that we can completely understand God or aptly describe Him in human terms. God is greater, is superior to our knowledge. According to Tim Challies “we are going to the edge of our capacity to understand.” The following Bible verses give us insight.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1: 26-27
The triune God created the world.
Jesus said to them [Jews questioning him], “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Throughout the Old Testament the term, I am, referred to God.
In John 10: 30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.”
When my husband and I were on a tour of Israel we visited the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is there. Our guide informed us that the mosque has an inscription: God has no son.
The Moslem religion denies the triune nature of God.
Jesus explained the Holy Spirit to the disciples.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14: 16-17
Tim Challies explained that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all involved in our salvation. God calls us; Jesus redeems us; the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Once we acknowledge our sin and accept Jesus as savior, we know the Trinity by experience.
As I listened and chewed on the message, I thought about the importance of Bible study. We need to know the Bible and to teach it to our families. We must make time to:
Read the Bible. It helps to study with other Christians.
The gospel of John is a great place to start. Many passages illuminate Jesus’ relationship with God the Father. John 20:31 gives the reason that the disciple recorded his observations. These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31
Memorize scripture. The AWANA program is great for children. Now as an adult it takes more effort to memorize but I am realizing the value of having verses on the tip of my tongue.
Teach the truth of the Bible to our families.
I appreciate the focus that Janis has on the Bible at Word of God Speak. Visit her site here.