Tag Archives: the Messiah

November 13; On Every Page

Acts 5:17-7:53

Many people find the Old Testament hard to read. It’s repetitive, long lists of hard to pronounce names, accounts of things that happened so long ago, who even cares?

Well, Stephen for one. His 53 verse sermon is an overview of Old Testament Scripture. He knew the Old Testament pointed to Jesus as the Messiah, and he wanted everyone to know it, too.

I hope you’ll read what Stephen had to say about the Old Testament, about how God worked in and through a nation of people to prepare the world for His Son. Then I hope you’ll turn to the pages of the Old Testament for yourself and read first hand what God wants you to know.

Don’t read it merely as a history book, but as God’s love letter to you. Get to know Him by reading about Abraham, Joseph, Job, David, Esther, Daniel… Put yourself in their stories and hear God tell you how much you are loved, how He longs to fellowship with you, and how He works in your life to bring about good. Understand that He is the same God today as He was back then, and He wants you to know Him.

And He wants you to see Jesus. The entire Old Testament is a beacon pointing the way to the Savior. I believe you, like Stephen, will see Jesus on every page.

October 18; It’s Pretty Clear

Matthew 17:24-27, 18:10-35, 8:18-22, 11:20-24; Mark 9:38-50, 10:1; Luke 9:49-62, 10:1-20

Can a person believe in God and not believe in Jesus? Is it ok for a person to call God Allah, and his son Mohammed? Can a person be accepted by God on their own terms, without the cross?

Jesus said, as recorded in Luke 10:16, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (emphasis mine)

So, no. If anyone rejects Jesus as God’s only Son who died on the cross, was buried, and rose again for the world’s sin debt, if anyone rejects Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the only way to the Father, they are not just rejecting a man who lived 2,000 years ago. They are rejecting God.

It’s pretty clear.

October 1; A Prayer God Loves To Answer

Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11, 18-22; Mark 1:9-13, 16-20; Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-13,5:1-11; John 1:29-51

Did it take much convincing for you to believe Jesus is God, and that He speaks the Truth? Maybe you aren’t convinced yet.

Two disciples of John the Baptist heard him introduce Jesus as, “the Lamb of God.” That intrigued the men, so they spent the day with Jesus, probably asking questions and listening to His teaching. They wanted to know for themselves who Jesus was.

The first thing Andrew did after spending time with Jesus was to find his brother, Simon, to tell him he’d met the Messiah. Andrew brought Simon Peter to Jesus. So later, when Jesus asked the brothers to follow Him, they dropped everything and followed.

Some people who say they don’t believe in Jesus have never really spent time with Him. Oh, they might read a few verses, maybe read the Bible from cover to cover. But if their heart’s desire isn’t to get to know Jesus, they won’t find themselves any closer to the Truth than before.

If you aren’t sure Jesus is who He says He is, I hope you’ll read these Scriptures with us today. But before you do, pray. Ask God to reveal the Truth through His Words. Open your heart and mind to understanding. That’s a prayer I know God loves to answer.

 

June 30; Hear It

Isaiah 7:1-10:4, 17:1-14

We’ve already established that Ahaz was an evil king. Yet in the chapters we read today, God inspired the prophet Isaiah to go to Ahaz and give him a word of encouragement. And, to prove God was true to His word, Isaiah told Ahaz he could ask for a sign – any sign – and God would do it.

Ahaz replied, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

Sounds rather pious, doesn’t it? Well, neither Isaiah nor God were impressed.

The truth is, God is always giving signs to prove His existence, His power, His Son. Some people flat out say, like Ahaz, “I don’t want to hear it.” Period.

I see this attitude in tons of literature written, and the multitude of “experts” on TV who attempt to disprove God, or to get around God, or to make ourselves God. I see it in the lives of people who live like there is no God. Yet God continues to reveal Himself day after day after day.

I bet the sun rose where you are this morning. I bet your heart is beating, that your lungs are filled with oxygen. I bet the tide came in sometime today, went out, and will come in again just like it did yesterday. And I bet, if you let yourself, every time you held a newborn baby, you recognized the amazing work of God with awe and wonder.

Did you know it was to Ahaz that God inspired Isaiah to pen the famous prophesy about the coming of Jesus?

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel… For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…

That was written about 500 years before Jesus’ birth. That and so many other prophesies written and fulfilled concerning the Messiah prove without a doubt God is who He says He is, and that Jesus is the Son. For those of us who know Him, we read these prophesies and our hearts soar, our love for Him overflows.

Please don’t be one who refuses to accept the signs, or who rejects His word. My prayer for all of us today is that we will not only WANT to hear it, we will look for it in nature, in the face of a loved one, in the peace that comes from His presence, and the overwhelming joy of sins forgiven through Jesus’ blood.

Oh, He’s out there. He’s throwing out sign after sign to get our attention. Don’t ignore it.

Hear it. Hear Him.

 

 

Mark 1-4; He’s Not That God

The long-awaited Messiah had come! For centuries the Jewish people had looked forward with great anticipation to the day God would send a Savior. They were tired of being abused and looked down upon by the Romans, and every other pagan nation around them. They were God’s chosen people, for crying out loud! And they couldn’t wait until their oppressors got what was coming to them.

They fully expected their Messiah to come with a dramatic flair, crown on head, shiny sword drawn, and riding a white horse, with music blaring in the background, and fireworks exploding overhead. (or the first century equivalent)

But then here comes Jesus. Mark tells us the Messiah’s only herald was some weird looking guy named John who wore camel hair clothes and a leather belt, eating bugs and honey. John wasn’t leading a parade. He was baptizing people in the wilderness.

And Jesus? He wouldn’t even let the demons announce who He was. He surrounded Himself with regular people instead of warriors. He told them He was there to make them fishers of men instead of an army. How could He be their Messiah? He didn’t look like He could win a battle against a pre-school much less a Roman army.  Are you kidding me?

He wasn’t a warrior or a king. He was a preacher! And He didn’t even make sense half the time to the people He was preaching to.

Not my Messiah!

Let me ask you this: What does your perfect Messiah look like? What kind of God do you have pictured in your mind? A loving God? A God who ought to reward good behavior and punish bad? A God who doesn’t let children starve, or countries go to war? A God who lets people decide for themselves what “truth” is, or how they want to live their own lives? A God who accepts any form of worship, and doesn’t condemn anyone to hell? A God who does what you want him to, who bows to your every whim?

Well, guess what. He’s not that God! And that’s good news!

The God of the Bible is so much more loving and fair and generous and forgiving than you could ever conjure up in your mind. And the Messiah Jesus wasn’t just about rescuing a few people from Roman rule. He was and is about rescuing you from the penalty of sin!

I challenge you to read the book of Mark with me in the next few days, and get to know this Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Put aside what you think He should be like, and see Him for who He really is. Let Him reveal Himself to you through the words He Himself inspired Mark to write. This is what Jesus wants YOU to know about Himself.

I believe with all my heart that if you prayerfully read this book and ask God to show Himself – HE WILL. And when you compare His reality with the god you have created in your mind, you’ll be glad He’s not that god.

 

Micah; Jesus Is King

Chapter five contains a beautiful prophecy about the coming Messiah. I’m sure many of us are familiar with the words God inspired Micah to write. But, actually, I see Jesus and the Church throughout this precious book, not just in chapter five.

Jesus, our Rock, our Foundation, our Shepherd, the One the Old Testament prophets told us about, our eternal King. God, who is not willing that any should perish, did what the blood of thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of oil could not do when Jesus died once and for all. We Gentiles joined the remnant of Israel to form the Church, the eternal spiritual kingdom of God.

There is war in this spiritual kingdom. There are severe consequences for sin. But we win because Jesus is the Victor!

Yes, our hearts should be broken over present sin in the world and the judgment that is coming. God is serious about sin in the world, in the nation, and in our individual hearts.

But as for me I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right, He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. (7:7-9)

And so will you, if you know Him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus the Christ.

Obediah; There is Hope

I can’t help but think of the sweet reunion between Esau and Jacob as recorded in Genesis 33. A lot had gone down between the two, but when the brothers met after years of separation, they hugged and kissed each other. It seemed all was forgiven. It seemed they would finally live in peace.

If you know their history, you know peace was short-lived. That makes me sad.

Obadiah tells the descendants of Esau that judgment is coming because of their hatred for and mistreatment of Jacob’s family, the family God chose above all other nations to be His instrument. Edom will be punished for rejecting God.

Once again I am reminded how serious God is about being obeyed, about being honored as the only true God. All other religions are doomed to destruction.

But I love how God, even after rendering a death sentence for sin, points to the Messiah. No one has to die in their sin. There is hope. There is salvation through the blood of Jesus for anyone who believes.

The kingdom is the Lord’s. I pray you are a citizen.