Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’


Numbers 17:1-2,4-5,7-8,10,12-13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring you twelve wooden staffs, one from each leader of Israel’s ancestral tribes, and inscribe each leader’s name on his staff… Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant, where I meet with you. Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.”… Moses placed the staffs in the Lord’s presence in the Tabernacle of the Covenant. When he went into the Tabernacle of the Covenant the next day, he found that Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds!… And the Lord said to Moses: “Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.”… Then the people of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we are doomed! We are dead! We are ruined! Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle of the Lord dies. Are we all doomed to die?”

It is hard to understand this God of Moses and Abraham who punishes 14,950 people with death just a chapter ago and now shows grace upon a hard-hearted people. What are we to understand of God’s character from this? (more…)


Exodus 36:2-7 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

If anyone doubts God’s ability to know the hearts of His people, this passage clearly shows evidence that what God directed through Moses actually came to pass. God asked the Israelites to give specifically and they did, without ceasing, so much that Moses had to forbid them from giving anymore.

Is the purpose of today’s passage not clear and why then do we need Jesus if God the Father was all sufficient Himself? (more…)


Philippians 1:12-14, 19-21
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly… for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

At our Bible study last Sunday, we learnt about the issue of complaining. The Israelites complained about how they missed their cucumbers and leeks back in Egypt and so God gave them so much manna and quail that they were repulsed by it. I fear that as a human, I will always be a complainer, a moaner and when asked what I want, I will always ask for things I desire. When we seek God, we are always asking and demanding and the focus is always ‘I’. Why is Paul’s motivation so different from ours and are we expected to be as insane as he was for Christ?

Paul talks about suffering as a blessing as did Jesus. Without suffering Jesus would not accomplish the greatest sacrifice of all and so also without suffering we cannot surpass the greatest challenge in our lives, US. We are instinctively selfish and care only about ourselves and our wants/needs/desires. However, when we are saved by the grace of God, we no longer belong to ourselves but to Him who saved us from death and destruction. We owe our lives to Him. In order for us to become like Him, we need to shed ourselves and that can only be achieved through total submission to Jesus Christ. That submission will cost us dearly but the reward is eternal. Are you in it for the here and now or are you in it for eternity? We cannot have the best of both worlds because Jesus reminds us that we cannot serve 2 gods at one time.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me


Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

In today’s day and age when wars are being fought using technology rather than weapons and weapons are smaller, more powerful and more devastating, talk of the armor of God seems futile. The war that Paul is getting us to be armed for is not one fought with arms and ammunition of this world because the ones we are to fight are not human, but the war we are to fight is the war against the evil forces in the heavenly realms, unseen to the human eye but real and powerful. Satan is powerful enough to have blinded the world from seeing the truth about God and cunning enough to have driven us to vain pursuits of money, power, possessions, etc. all of which never seem to be enough and will take us to the grave unsatisfied. How are we, as mere humans supposed to fight this battle?

To fight a war, we need to know our enemy and since we were once on that side, we know what pleases and upsets the enemy. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Holy Spirit, Word of God are all things that the enemy hates. However, these are things that are also alien to us because we have lived our lives speaking lies, disobeying God, causing conflict, putting our faith in everything but God and so to be on God’s side, our first act is to submit ourselves to God for His Holy Spirit to work in us and cleanse us. Then only can we live lives transformed by the Holy Spirit that effectively fight the battle against the forces of evil. Are you in God’s army and if so, are you trying to fight the battle in your own strength or His?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.


2 Corinthians 11:2-4
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

After days, I have been able to sit with the study again and the reason is laziness. Yes, laziness of mind and body which caused me to spiritually drift and lose my bearings for many days. This is such a strange feeling and I am not proud or glad for having slipped but I thank God for waking me up and placing me back on my feet. I tried to write yesterday and it was futile because I was doing it in my own strength and wisdom, not the Lord’s. What caused it I wondered and this morning, as I drove into work and talked with God, He revealed it to me.

As we go along in life, we tend to take things for granted and God is someone we most easily manage to take for grated because we don’t see Him and therefore reprioritize our time with God because we think He will understand. This is the same issue that God warned the Israelites about when He gave them the Ten Commandments. Jesus is real and truly alive and deserves our complete time and attention. When we take Him and God the father for granted, we lose our footing and suddenly we realize that we are in the middle of an ocean of meaninglessness and we are desperate to be saved from it. That is what I felt this morning and God threw me a lifeline to bring me back to him. Are you being led astray by the serpent’s cunning or do you have your feet on the solid ground called Jesus? 

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Hosea 2:19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion


1 Corinthians 9:16-18, 25
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Paul is a passionate man of God and earnestly sought the Lord until his last breath. We can see that in his writing and the way he earnestly pushes the Corinthian Christians to walk in the right path. The Corinthians felt they did not have to give up their own liberty for any man’s pleasures and so Paul uses himself as an example to ask if he was not free to exercise his freedom in terms of marriage, being paid a salary, eating of food and drink, etc. Paul’s question to us is what are we doing with our new found freedom?

Although I like sports, I am not much of a champion in any sport but still enjoy playing competitively. The goal is to win but our joy is to gloat in the glory of being called a winner. That glory is short lived but as Christians, our goal is to live with Christ in heaven and that goal is confirmed before we start our race and lasts an eternity! In our Christian walk, our mission is to go out and share the good news of Jesus to the world. Our joy is to serve the Lord with our all and to do that; we need to be able to love those like Jesus loved us. How can we love our freedom more than we love our Lord and those He loves? 1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 1:13, 17-18
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul…? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Start of a new month and we begin our 7th book of the New Testament, a letter from Paul to the Corinthians written around 56-59 A.D. As you can read from the verses collated above, Paul hits hard at the Church in Corinth about key issues starting with their break-away factions. As we sit at the cross glorifying Jesus during this resurrection weekend, Paul asks us a question about our identity in Christ and questions our intelligence. What is our response to the question, ‘What kind of Christian are you – Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Orthodox’?

My Dad was protestant and Mom orthodox and we went to the protestant church most of the year but during school holidays would visit catholic and orthodox churches in my grandparent’s native places. A dear brother in Christ asked me a few years back what Christian I was and I tried to explain my denomination. In response he simply introduced himself as a Bible believing Christian. How simple and true is that. We are followers of Christ Jesus and serve Him, not denominations. We may be different in our race, language, ways of worship, geographic locations, etc. but we are one family in Christ redeemed by His blood and made anew. Lets not empty the cross of Christ by applying our human wisdom to God but instead lets stand together as grateful newborns praising God for His abundant mercy and grace.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy