- the Resurrection and the Life
- the King of Israel
- the Firstfruit
- the glory of God
- the Son of Man
- the second serpent on a pole
- the Light of Life
- the Arm of the Lord
- the Word of God
- the Righteous Servant of God
- the Angel of the Lord
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
John 10 records Jesus's analogy of the Good Shepherd and His sheep, and I was really drawn to verses 4 and 5:
4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice."
I asked myself the question, "Do I know His voice? Do I listen to the voices of the Enemy and the World more than I listen to His voice." For instance, on my way to catch the bus at the Park and Ride this morning, I gassed it to try to make the light but ended up running through the intersection just after the light turned red. This is tragic, especially since I had to speed to get to the intersection in time to run it red. As I sat on the bus (which I may or may not have caught if I had waited at the light), I appologized to God and asked Him to forgive me. Even watching television, it is easy to listen to the world's voice - "I should buy that car... I need that big TV... That stuff will make me fashionable... I need all of that to make me valuable..."
On the bus ride into work this morning, I was captivated by the beautiful sky that showcased the glorious transformation from night to sunrise to morning light. It is very crisp and clear this morning, so there were a few clouds in the sky, but it was mostly a perfect vertical gradation of color from saturated red-orange at the horizon transitioning through yellow, green, and blue to a very dark, violet sky. As the sun began to rise, I was reminded of the verse in Proverbs 4:18 -
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Heavenly Father, please cleanse my mind and my heart. I pray that you will shine in me and through me like the sunrise this morning. I pray that the Light of the Son would radiate in my speech and actions. Lord, please wash me in the Holy Spirit, and lead me to follow you. Lord, I want to hear your voice. I need to hear your voice. Lord, help me dispiseTheif comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but you died and live to give me abundant life! I praise you for the Sacrifice of the Lamb, who is worthy to open the scrolls and control time itself. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb. Amen.
Friday, December 14, 2007
4 ... Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.7 Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him.And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One." ...17 ... "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God's Spirit in them. 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love. 22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. 24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
John 6:27 ... Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. ... 29 Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent." ... 40 For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. ...2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. ... 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. ... 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.3 John 1:11 ... Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. ... 28 Don't be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God's Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 5:Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God's children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. ... 11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God's Son does not have life. 13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. ... 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
1 John 1:1 ... we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. ... 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn't have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1 John 2:5 But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
John 4:13 Jesus replied, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." ... 26 Then Jesus told her, "I Am the Messiah!" ... 34 Then Jesus explained: "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, 'Four months between planting and harvest.' But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
1 John 2:24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
Monday, December 10, 2007
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. ... 36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life.1 John 1:1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. ... He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. ... 5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. ... 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. ... 9 ... if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Friday, December 7, 2007
46 ... "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' 48 You are witnesses of all these things. (Luke 24)
2:1 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness. ... 7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. ... 9 ... for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. ... 13 For the Lord's sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. ... 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.22 He never sinned,nor ever deceived anyone.23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,nor threaten revenge when he suffered.He left his case in the hands of God,who always judges fairly.24 He personally carried our sinsin his body on the crossso that we can be dead to sinand live for what is right.By his woundsyou are healed.25 Once you were like sheepwho wandered away.But now you have turned to your Shepherd,the Guardian of your souls.3:1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. ... 7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. ... 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
- Jesus sees a surrendered man for what he will become.
- Jesus calls a surrendered man to forsake all for His call.
- Jesus promises a surrendered man His presence and power.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
4 ... Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. ... 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud but favors the humble." 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?Who may stand in his holy place?4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,who do not worship idolsand never tell lies.5 They will receive the Lord's blessingand have a right relationship with God their savior.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Prov. 4:18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Prov. 4:25 Look straight ahead,and fix your eyes on what lies before you.26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;stay on the safe path.27 Don't get sidetracked;keep your feet from following evil.
James 1:25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. ... 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Monday, December 3, 2007
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. ... 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. ... 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's messenger and High Priest. 2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him ... 12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving , turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. ... 18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn't it the people who disobeyed him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Saturday, November 24, 2007
2:15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. ... 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.3:14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
|Proverbs 22||Luke 9||1 Timothy 4||1 Timothy 5|
Yesterday I helped my dad and my brother harvest cotton! The LORD has blessed the crops so abundantly this year - more than any year before! The dry-land is producing more than our irrigated usually does! My brother and I have been praying a lot this year for the LORD to bless the fields, and my dad has been praying for over 25 years! This is indeed an answer to our prayers. The LORD is so kind and gracious!
This Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for: salvation through Jesus Christ, my sweet and beautiful wife, growing up in a Christian home, health and safety, peace and freedom, a warm house, food on the table, the opportunity of higher education, the physical and spiritual gifts the LORD has given me, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, friends, clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and my heartbeat that the LORD sustains.
I really love this scripture passage; it encourages me to continue forging ahead in my walk with Christ:
1 Tim. 4:10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your many blessings! Thank you for the things I am ignorant of because your faithfulness and grace is beyond my comprehension. Lord, I pray that you will lead me in a faithful life of obedience to you. I pray that you will use me to demonstrate your love, faith, and purity. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Luke 8:5 "A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. 6 Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!"... 11 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God's word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
2 Thess. 3:1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.1 Tim. 1:5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
Monday, November 19, 2007
The Beatitudes20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,"God blesses you who are poor,for the Kingdom of God is yours.21 God blesses you who are hungry now,for you will be satisfied.God blesses you who weep now,for in due time you will laugh.22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Sorrows Foretold24 "What sorrow awaits you who are rich,for you have your only happiness now.25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,for a time of awful hunger awaits you.What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. ... 11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Friday, November 16, 2007
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Phil 3:8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!