Monday, May 30, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
This week commenced with what we know as Palm Sunday, Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As He rode into the city on the back of a donkey, fulfilling Zachariah’s prophesy, some euphoric townsmen spread their cloaks on the road while others waved palm branches, hailing Him as Messiah, the Prince. When the indignant Pharisees asked Jesus to quiet his disciples He replied, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Why? Because, this was the day – the day set forth by Almighty God through the angel Gabriel, concluding the second division of Daniel, the prophet’s seventy weeks.
Yet, Palm Sunday also begins a most solemn time for those who believe. Triumph turned quickly to contempt. Some, who just days before, were caught up in the jubilance crying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest,” now shouted, “Crucify Him!”
What happened? Truly, if this account were written by man, the “hero” would have gone on to win over the Pharisee’s, the Sadducee’s, and all the scoffers. But this is not written by man, it’s truth from God Almighty. It was the culmination of the fullness of time, the reason God became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus Christ, God the Son, was and is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world for us.
But thankfully, it doesn’t end there. Yes, on the cross Jesus died in our place, canceling the unfavorable record of our sin debt. Yet, three days later He did more. He conquered death for us by rising from the dead. He is alive forevermore!
But, did you ever think about what life would be like if Jesus had not risen from the dead?
We would be as the atheist – completely without hope. No heaven, no seeing Jesus when we die, no “…well done, thou good and faithful servant…” There would be no reason to live by God’s Word, for doing good, for being kind, for loving our neighbor and our enemy, or for considering others as better than ourselves. Paul said, “…if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
It seems to me our lives are shaped by Christ’s resurrection, for it is the heart of the gospel. Even non-believers seem to hope in an “afterlife”. Sadly, they are deceived into thinking everyone goes to a better place. Still, just as believers, they hope, because Jesus DID rise from the dead and God has set eternity in our hearts.
So, go out and reach unbelievers with the HEART of the GOSPEL.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Saturday, December 12, 2015
It’s Christmastime and all we should be thinking about is love, joy, peace, and the Baby born in Bethlehem. But we have yet another glaring reminder of evil. 2015 began with violence. Then as months flew by, almost at every turn violence appeared somewhere, and now, it’s ending with violence. Why? Because brainwashed, malicious people are overturning our world.
These, either by blood or osmosis, have assumed the characteristics of the ancestor they claim. Ishmael, God said, “…shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him..." (Genesis 16:12)
However, the recent San Bernardino shooting is not the only acts of evil we are seeing. “Stricter gun-control laws,” they chant.
Why do politicians ignore the fact that gun-control laws only disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals or terrorists? They seek to take away the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which our second amendment says, “shall not be infringed.” And this act plays right into the terrorist’s hands.
But still, there’s more. According to Dr. Jim Denison’s December 03, 2015 commentary: CRITICS LAMBAST CALLS FOR PRAYER AFTER MASS SHOOTING, he states, “San Bernardino is a city of more than 200,000, an hour's drive east of Los Angeles. Before yesterday, it was primarily known as the location of the first McDonald's restaurant. Now it will forever be tied to yet another mass shooting. But with this difference: when political leaders responded to the tragedy by tweeting promises of prayer, skeptics quickly pounced. The New York Daily News published the giant headline, "GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS" and the subhead, "As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes." The Nation and Huffington Post made similar allegations.” (http://www.denisonforum.org/)
Emma Green of The Atlantic, in her “Prayer Shaming…” article quotes George Zornick, the editor of the liberal publication, The Nation. Mr. Zornick stated, “There’s a clear claim being made here, and one with an edge: Democrats care about doing something and taking action while Republicans waste time offering meaningless prayers.”
What? After horrific heartbreak, in the wake of tragedy, out of desperation and exasperation, people pray. PRAYER is hope. Hope of Divine intervention when humans are faced with situations beyond their control.
We were created for prayer and prayer is what we should be doing. Not merely 9-1-1 prayers of “help” after the fact. But, prayer of repentance and turning from our wicked ways because, our problem is SIN. Sin in the heart produces the action of the evildoer and no gun-control law will ever change that! Only our Triune God can change hearts and stop this insanity. He searches all hearts, understands all intent, and He made the wages of sin, death. (I Chronicles 28:9; Romans 6:23)
God was grieved by this evil, not shocked. He allowed it because somehow it works into His plan for this age.
So now, at Christmastime or anytime evil rears its ugly head, focus on the coming of our Redeemer. The One who paid for us the wage of sin.
In the fullness of time, “…God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”
(Gal. 4:4-5; Titus 2:11-12)
Do not fear. God is in control. Pray, because PRAYER is NOT meaningless. It shows submission, dependence, and it moves God’s hand. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
Have a Blessed Christmas!