It’s All About Jesus

 

John 7:17 “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

If any man will do God’s will, He shall know the truth. Jesus is telling them here, that just knowing the letter of the law is not enough; they must know the Giver of the law. They must be willing for God’s will to be done in their lives.

You could memorize every word in the Bible; but it would do you no good, unless you allowed God to open your understanding to His Word. Jesus says “If you are truly in right standing with God and His Word, then you know that I am of God.”

You see, the entire Bible is all about Jesus Christ. He is the theme of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Those who are fundamentally committed to doing the will of God will be guided by Him in the affirmation of His truth. God’s truth is self-authenticating through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

In short, if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit and are led and guided by Him, you are not a Christian.

Cathey Lynn

Perseverance

In the interactions of David, Saul, and Jonathan, 1 Samuel 23 teaches us much about the nature of true kingship. We learn here what God’s true king should look like—and what it would look like for us to identify with that king covenantally.

David, for his part, has committed himself to protecting the people of Israel from their enemies, regardless of the cost to himself. When David hears that the Philistines have attacked the people of the city of Keilah, he urgently inquires of Yahweh, and Yahweh sends him immediately to their defense (1 Sam. 23:1–5). David is doing what the king of Israel should do by intervening without hesitation as a mighty warrior in defense of his people.

Nevertheless, this act is not without danger for David—and not merely danger from the Philistines with whom he is battling. Once Saul finds out David has come to Keilah, Saul sets out to kill him. David inquires again of Yahweh and learns that the people of Keilah will hand him over to Saul, regardless of the fact that he has just saved their lives (1 Sam. 23:10–12). The rest of 1 Samuel, until the point that Saul dies, is summarized in 1 Samuel 23:14: “And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.”

In this light, it is interesting to read Jonathan’s understanding of his relationship to David. Jonathan knows that he will not be king and that David will be king, despite the fact that Jonathan is the current prince of Israel. In this thought, Jonathan takes joy, saying to David, “You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you” (1 Sam. 23:17). Where Jonathan’s father sees David’s kingship as a threat, Jonathan sees David’s kingship as his hope and his joy, so he enters into a covenant with David yet again (1 Sam. 23:18).

In this story, a picture of Jesus is emerging. Jesus, like David, was the rightful king of Israel, but his own people did not receive him (John 1:11)—and more than that, his own people handed him over to be crucified according to the prompting of the religious leaders, who wanted to cling to their power and influence in Israel. We, then, are called to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan, so we must renounce any claim to the thrones of our lives—Jesus must increase, and we must decrease (John 3:30). Let us put our old, sinful desires to death, so that we may embrace Jesus as king through faith in the covenant he made with his broken body and shed blood.

And in this, we find our hope: if we endure with Jesus in the suffering we face in this life, we will most assuredly also reign with him through eternity (2 Timothy 2:12

Cathey Lynn

Calling of Abraham

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Genesis 12 1-3

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

To understand fully what Godhas done, it is necessary to go back to the beginning to see His purposes in choosing Israel. Israel’s beginning occurs, not with Jacob, but with the calling of Abraham.

God’s final remark in verse 3 is the most fundamental reason God chose Abraham, and thus Israel and his descendants: to bless mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the center, the focus, of everything. He is the end or the goal of the law (Romans 10:4), the One toward whom the whole Old Testament was written (Galatians 3:24; seeLuke 24:44). As Paul puts it, to us He “is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11; seeEphesians 1:23).

Physically, Jesus had to descend from some line of humanity. Abraham, who was himself descended from those who had been faithful to God in earlier times, possessed special qualities that pleased Him. Therefore, He chose Abraham and his family, which later became known as Israel, to work through to bring the wonderful blessing of salvation to all mankind. God says of him:

For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORDmay bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. (Genesis 18:19)

This man had a special relationship with God: He knew God, and God knew him. God says He had worked with Abraham to bring out the qualities that would allow the patriarch to command his descendants so that they would keep the way of the Lord. In other words, Abraham had such a force of godly character that he would pass down to his descendants an affinity for God’s way (see the principle in Exodus 20:6). In Abraham, God created a people who had a special link to Him. God knew that, for the purpose He was working out, Abraham was the best candidate, later called “the father of us all” in the faith (Romans 4:16), from whom to build a model nation with certain desired qualities.

We should be careful not to take this idea too far. Abraham was not perfect; he sinned and his story reveals that he had to grow a great deal. Nevertheless, he was the only person whom God ever asked to sacrifice his only son, just as He did. If nothing else, this puts him at least one rung above the rest of us. Beyond that, his righteousness does not make his descendants one whit better than other people of the earth. Their prime advantage lies in the fact that, since God had a close relationship with Abraham, they hold a special place in God’s heart (see Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

This is the beginning of Israel. For His purposes, and to produce an eventual blessing for all nations, God started with the best clay that He could mold.

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Cathey Lynn

Wonders In The Deep

 

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep (Ps. 107:23-24).

He is but an apprentice and no master in the art, who has not learned that every wind that blows is fair for Heaven. The only thing that helps nobody, is a dead calm. North or south, cast or west, it matters not, every wind may help towards that blessed port. Seek one thing only: keep well out to sea, and then have no fear of stormy winds. Let our prayer be that of an old Cornishman: “O Lord, send us out to sea–out in the deep water. Here we are so close to the rocks that the first bit of breeze with the devil, we are all knocked to pieces. Lord, send us out to sea–out in the deep water, where we shall have room enough to get a glorious victory.”

 

Remember that we have no more faith at any time than we have in the hour of trial. All that will not bear to be tested is mere carnal confidence. Fair-weather faith is no faith.
-~C. H. Spurgeon

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Cathey Lynn