More About Jesus #1

Thursday, August 25, 2016

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).

The first verse of Eliza E. Hewitt’s classic 1887 hymn, “More About Jesus,” highlight’s today’s Scripture.

“More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.”

It only makes sense that we as Christians should be interested in learning more about the most important Person in our belief system. Unfortunately, some professing Christians are not interested in learning about Jesus Christ. Rather, they want you to tell them about religion, the institutions that men have founded (supposedly in “Jesus’ name”). The Bible says that even some true Christians are willfully ignorant, deliberately unlearned in the things of God. They are particularly and willfully uninformed concerning the Lord’s words through the Apostle Paul’s special ministry (1 Corinthians 14:37,38).

Every believer should desire to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (today’s Scripture). We should not remain babes in Christ as the Corinthians—behaving like spiritual children when we should act like spiritually mature Christians. Furthermore, we should most certainly be gracious, courteous, kind to others. After all, that is God’s attitude toward us. The Bible says we should be “gentle unto all men” (2 Timothy 2:24). Colossians exhorts, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (4:6).

Even after nearly 35 years of enjoying salvation in Jesus Christ, Paul confessed he still had not grasped the reason why the Lord had saved him! Philippians chapter 3: “[12] Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. [13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before….” May we learn more and more of Christ’s love for us, “his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4)!

Brief

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that (James 4:13-15 KJV).

Here today—gone tomorrow!

Earlier this week, I learned that one of my high school classmates was tragically killed in an automobile accident. He was my age—28! His adult life had barely begun; it ended in the blink of an eye! I can only wonder if this “religious” man had a testimony of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Friends, we truly do not know how long we have to live on earth. Even if we live to 100, life will pass very quickly. A dear, elderly Christian, over four times my age, once told me, “Time may be flying by for you, but when you reach my age, it really flies!”

Most unfortunately, some who hear about Jesus Christ refuse to trust Him because they assume they have “plenty of time.” Before they “give it all up for Jesus,” they want to have a “good time in sin.” Young people especially need to realize this mentality is extremely foolish. Their souls are dangling over the hell’s eternal flames. Life is fragile. One small threat can end it. The thin line that holds them could snap at any time! It will happen so quickly they will be unable to stop it. And there, where eternity finds them, it keeps them!

Those who go to hell have absolutely no one to blame but themselves. God did everything He could to keep them from going to that awful place. They chose to remain dead in their trespasses and sins. They rejected Jesus Christ, the most valuable Person in the entire universe! Dear friend, if you have not already done so, trust Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour right now. Before you know it, you just may wake up alive and trapped in hell forever!

Hiding Thyself

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again (Deuteronomy 22:4 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture reveal about human nature?

The Mitzvot are the 613 commandments of the Law of Moses (Exodus through Deuteronomy). JEHOVAH God meticulously instructed Israel about literally hundreds of behaviors. Why? God gave Israel the Law not only so they would learn about Him, but also that they would learn about themselves.

In those laws, not only can we see God’s mind and heart, we can see our human mind and heart. All people are descended from Adam, so they share his sinful identity. Israel had to learn this lesson via the Law. Remember, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).

Consider today’s Scripture. Why would God tell the Jews not to “hide” when they saw their brother’s livestock fallen down? The implication is that human nature is to hide when others need help. Unless we can gain something out of it, we will not bother to help others. That is the awful sin nature we all have from Adam!

Read the verses prior to today’s Scripture: “[1] Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. [2] And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. [3] In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother’s, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.”

Contrary to our human nature of hiding when others need help, God’s selfless nature (depicted in the Law) was further disclosed when He left heaven’s glory. He revealed Himself, to die on Calvary’s cross, and to save us who were wandering in sin!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does God give us ‘points’ for trying to be good?

Leave Off Contention!

Monday, August 22, 2016

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Proverbs 17:14 KJV).

Before contention starts, stop it!

Recently, two Christian sisters expressed heartache and utter disgust about a church split. Their families are broken. These two ladies had diligently labored at that local church, only to have “Christian brethren” stab them in the back. One lady’s children were treated horribly there. Hence, one son still rejects Jesus Christ. Another son, although saved, is angry and bitter. These two ladies are still so deeply hurt; they have repressed the pain for years. Making matters worse, their families mistreat them even todayover 20 years after the church split!

One lady poured out her heart to me, asking how to deal with these people whom she still sees in public today. Should she greet/acknowledge these so-called “Christians?” Or, should she just go on her way without approaching them? Well, it depends on who this person is and what he or she did. Furthermore, we are never to force ourselves on anybody. If they want to run away from us, let them. If they approach us for a hug or handshake, we should oblige. The least we should do is smile. We want to be a light for Jesus Christ’s sake.

However, some people—even professing Christians—have no interest in reconciliation. Pride prevents admission of wrongdoing! So, they will use any and every opportunity to curse, yell, or snub their nose at us. We should not set ourselves up for such silliness. Some people are simply looking for attention and will throw various sorts of tantrums to get it. You know who they are. Friend, you need to stay away from them. They are simply tools of Satan and you should not let Satan get the advantage.

The verse I shared with this inquisitive sister was today’s Scripture. If you know trouble is coming, the best thing to do is not approach the person at all! It has nothing to do with holding grudges. It has everything to do with keeping your testimony. You approach that person, and it just may be an occasion to the flesh—for you and/or the individual. “Leave off contention, before it be meddled with!”

Be Still and See, Israel!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee (2 Chronicles 20:12 KJV).

History and prophecy!

Judaean King Jehoshaphat has just received news of a great Gentile army coming against Jerusalem (verses 1 and 2). A frail man like us, he is struck with fear, seeks the LORD’S guidance, and thus proclaims a fast throughout Judah (verse 3). “And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD” (verse 4). Jehoshaphat prays before Israel (verses 5-13). Today’s Scripture is that prayer’s conclusion. Jehoshaphat’s closing words are: Our eyes are upon thee.”

Jehoshaphat tells Israel in verse 17: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” The Spirit of God comes upon Jahaziel, and, in verse 14, he had encouraged Israel: “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

This reminds us of what happened in Exodus 14:13-14, several hundred years prior to Jehoshaphat: “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (God vanquished the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea!)

Read the rest of 2 Chronicles chapter 20 to see how God worked a mighty victory for Israel. The Jews never lifted one weapon! They merely sang and praised God, and He had their enemies kill one another! Prophetically, Israel needs to let God take care of their enemies. Like in history, they will just watch and let Him do all the work (Revelation 19:11-21)!

Bible Q&A #295: “What does ‘Lord of Sabaoth’ mean?

C.R.I.B.S.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV).

A classic Protestant Bible text, expounded quite neatly using five simple points!

  1. Circumcised: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:11,12).
  2. Regenerated: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
  3. Indwelt: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).
  4. Baptized: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3,4).
  5. Sealed: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13,14).

Notice, the above verses highlight what God did to save us from our sins and give us a place in heaven. God circumcised us, cut us off from Adam. God made us alive. God gave us His indwelling Spirit. God baptized us (placed us) into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). God preserved us! We trusted Jesus Christ, and God did the work. Faith is not we doing anything because we can do nothing. Faith is relying on the Person who can do what is necessary to get us into heaven. Unlike religion, Bible Christianity has no boasting!🙂

“Missing” People?

Friday, August 19, 2016

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our LORD, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4,5 KJV).

If the LORD God Almighty can number and name the stars (which outnumber the grains of sand on every earthly beach combined!), knowing the whereabouts of every last human being is quite an easy task for Him!

While visiting a store, my eyes glimpsed a giant poster featuring information about and pictures of missing persons. Some of these individuals have been missing for nearly 20 years. One lady disappeared almost 40 years ago, still missing even today. Are they still living? Or, did they die long ago? We can only wonder what happened to them, and to all the countless others who have mysteriously disappeared throughout human history.

The good news is that there is a God, a loving and just God, and He will eventually set these things right. At the resurrection-rapture for Christians (Body of Christ—1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), or the resurrection for the Jewish kingdom saints before the Millennium (Revelation 20:4-6), or at the end of the Millennium for all the lost of the ages (Revelation 20:11-15), God will resurrect every single person who has ever lived. He has never lost track of even one of these 10 billion-plus souls or even one of these 10 billion-plus bodies. They are all somewhere, and while we may not know their whereabouts He certainly does!

Believers separated by time and/or tragedy will be united one day in heaven’s glory. Their relationships are not lost forever, only interrupted momentarily. People have a tendency to want God to “take care” of certain wrongful things, but if He is to “take care” of those disorderly things, He will have to force everything else to be right as well. That means “taking care” (in judgment) of every person without Jesus Christ. Friends, may we not hope for God to “take care” of all the world’s problems just yet. People still need to trust Jesus Christ and be saved from the wrath to come. Joyful reunions for us Christians will come in due time, but let us not rush it or worry about it!🙂