Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thank God We are Under a New Covenant

““And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” (1Chr 28:9 ESV)

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezek 36:26-27 ESV)

I am thankful this afternoon, that I am no longer under the Old Covenant, but under the New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant men were required to obey the commandments in order to have the blessing and presence of God in their lives. Under the New Covenant is is the blessing and presence of God that causes men to walk in the commandments of God.

It is the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that enables men to delight in, and walk in the commandments of God. We don't obey the commandments in order to get the Holy Spirit, but the Father has given us the Holy Spirit in order that we can obey the commandments of God.

I can live a life of obedience, because the Holy Spirit lives in me. God will bless my obedience, but the truth is my obedience is evidence that He has already blessed me !

"Father, thank you for the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, that was shed to cleanse me from my sin, and cause me to be pure, so that the Holy Spirit now indwells me and empowers me for obedience. Thank you that you bless obedience, and the obedience is a sign that your blessing has already been poured out on me."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Tribute to my Gift from God

“House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Prov 19:14 ESV)

In my Bible reading this morning, there are many things that I could have written on, as there were many thoughts that the Lord gave me.

In my particular schedule, the last thing that I read is in Proverbs. When I came to this verse, I knew that the thing that I wanted to write about was my wife (and your mother). She is a "thing" “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” (Prov 18:22 ) :)

Your father can give you an inheritance, but he can't give you a wife. If he did, she would be your sister, and who wants to be married to their sister? :)

My wife is truly described in this verse. It is very hard for me to believe that we will soon be married for 28 years! I am sure that I know here better than anyone else in the world. And I know that this verse really describes her! She is from the Lord to me, and she is prudent.

Consider some of the different shades of meaning to this word "prudent"
  • Circumspect hence intelligent
  • Expert
  • skillful
  • worthy to teach
  • understanding
  • a wise guide
I am indebted to her for being all of these things to our family.

I love you Holly!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

No God, No Sun, No Stars, No Hope

Acts 27:20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

One of the passages in my Bible reading for today is Acts 27:1-20. It is interesting that in this particular passage, nothing is said bout God, or the Lord Jesus Christ, or even the gospel. There is much about weather conditions, geographical locations, and sailing plans. There is also a warning from Paul, that was not heeded.

The passage ends in a most solemn way. No sun, no stars, and much wind, but no hope. Stuck in the middle of the sea, with a ship that is threatening to break up, and no where to go, nothing that can be done. And the situation just drags on and on, day after day.

Sometimes that is the way our lives are. We go through seasons of great fear, insecurity, and no Sun, and it seems like there isn't even a God. He is silent and just lets us go day after day in what appears to be a hopeless situation. But I am glad that this isn't the end of the story.

Finally after many days, God appeared to Paul and spoke to him:

“and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.”” (Acts 27:24-26 ESV)

They had to follow the instructions that God gave them through Paul, but in the end, when they did they were saved.

We need to remember this, so that when we are in one of those times, we will wait with hope to hear from God, and trust what He says and do it.

"Lord, help me to wait on you, and trust you in the hard, difficult, and dark times, knowing that your purpose for my life will be fulfilled. Help me to be willing to do what you say, when at last you do speak"