Blessed are Those Who Can See

Peace and grace to you from the Father and our LORD Jesus Christ, When we think about being “Blessed” today we often think about material items such as cars, houses, and a large bank account. We are prone to think, “the more the merrier” and the more material items we possess, the greater the blessings.

Our Father has been in the business of blessing us from the beginning, ,”So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God “blessed” them..” (Genesis 1:27-28). That is until the great disobedience by our first parents Adam and Eve, who bit the fruit and for their disobedience where cursed. (Genesis 3:17)

After that great and terrible fall, we should note that no matter how many material items Adam and Eve possessed they were unable to reverse the curse. In other words the houses, herds, perhaps grain could not take away the sting of spiritual death.

Although I should point out the differences between the Old and New Testament usages of blessing are striking. To be blessed is to be granted special favor by God with resulting joy and prosperity. In the New Testament, however, the emphasis is more on spiritual rather than on material blessings.

If you are a Christian then you are abundantly blessed because you have Jesus Christ,
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13)

Your belief in Christ has given you the abundant life, you are blessed because although you have not seen your LORD, you believe. (John 20:29)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 3-10)

 

It is Not About the Bunny, It’s About the LAMB”

Today is Maundy Thursday. The name comes from the Latin “mandatum”, the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34, “A new commandment (Mandatum novum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

Maundy in Latin is (Mandatum) meaning “commandment”, So Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of the commandment.

So what was this new commandment anyway? I mean if we read Galatians 5:14 it already states “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Jesus is giving us a new and greater example on love, He Himself “IS” love and a perfect example on how to love perfectly. Remember (John 15:13)
” Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”.

This life is a life of sacrifice to those you love and to others Father has placed in your journey. The Apostle John states this “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16)

So as we go about our day let us recall this “Mandatum novum” or new commandment and live the life of selflessness and sacrifice. I pray that Father will strengthen us all, so we may live like the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory forever and ever Amen!!

 

Alone Time With the Father

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together:

Whoever cannot be alone should be aware of community. Such people will only do harm to themselves and to the community. Alone you stood before God when God called you. Alone you had to obey God’s voice. Alone you had to take up your cross, struggle, and pray, and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot avoid yourself, for it is precisely God who has called you out. If you do not want to be alone, you are rejecting Christ’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called.

The word community is thrown around quite a bit in Christian circles today. But our gatherings can be toxic if we do not spend time alone with God. I’ve been in many groups where people share their insights. The problem is not only that our insights are not as profound as we think they are, but that we’re so eager to share thoughts originating in our own minds, when we have a God who says,

          My thoughts are not your thoughts,
               neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
          For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
               so are my ways higher than your ways
               and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8–9)

I want to know the thoughts of God. I want to gather with people who have been reading God’s words, people who have prayed and interacted with him. I want to fellowship with those who fellowship with God. I couldn’t care less if you have a doctorate in theology or sixty years of life experience. I would rather talk with a fifteen-year-old who has been in the presence of God. ~ Francis Chan

Knowledge Of God

How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God… Meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice.

Meditation

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.

(J. I. Packer, Knowing God)

You “Are” The House of God

Isaiah 56:7(NIV)

These I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.”

The house of God is indeed the house of prayer, There is something deeper that lies at the core of this text. We as God’s beloved Sons and Daughters tend to look outside of our beings for “The house of prayer” but did you perceive that you ARE this house.

If we study the text it tells us in 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

” Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

We ourselves are this house of prayer we are the church, the body of Christ, the temple of God where His very Spirit resides.

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

In the days of old the people did not occupy grand scale buildings or the mega churches of modern day era. They met wherever they could. They set up tents or tabernacles and it was there they gathered to receive a word from God. Jesus Christ even taught on mountainous terrain and by the sea. The house of God (the believers) gathered at the feet of the living stone and received.

At the feet of Jesus Christ, engulfed in His living Word is where the spiritual material needed to become a divine edifice is apprehended, grasped, obtained to become the “House of God” the “House of Prayer”

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV)

The Living Stone and a Chosen People

 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—  you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood,offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Can We Prove the Bible Is True? The Ultimate Proof by Mike Matthews

Jesus Christ and His followers were fearless when it came to proclaiming God’s Word. What gave them such boldness and self-assuredness? They knew without a shadow of doubt the eternal power and absolute trustworthiness of each word in scripture. They also knew that the Holy Spirit went before them, impressing hearers with the truth of His Word.

You’re sharing the gospel and out of the blue you’re asked, “How do you know the Bible is true?” How would you answer?

If you’ve read much on the subject, you’ve probably come across long lists of “proofs”—amazing prophecies, archaeological discoveries, and the like. Yet this emphasis can get some important points backward, if the Bible is to be our guide.

Jesus Christ’s own conversations shed light on the correct approach. Through His often-surprising responses, we see that Christ’s goal was to honor God’s Word and expose His hearers’ pride and their failure to submit to the Father’s unquestionable authority.

While the Bible doesn’t give a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all formula for defending itself, it does give us all the guidelines we need. After all, God gave us the Scripture so we could be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).

First, Understand the Root Problem: Unbelief, Not Ignorance

God tells us in bold terms the root problem. It’s not the nonbelievers’ view of the Book; it’s their view of the Author. All people already know God because He is clearly seen in His creation, and His moral law is also written on their hearts (Romans 1:202:15). But they “suppress,” or hold down, the truth in unrighteousness because their proud hearts are rebellious and they do not want to submit to the truth (Romans 1:18,1:21–232:14–15).

When people reject the Bible’s historical accounts of Creation and a global Flood, for example, Peter says they are “willfully” ignorant (2 Peter 3:5). It’s not a matter of evidence; they just don’t want to be convinced.

So it is a mistake to proceed as though the main problem is a lack of knowledge. Your hearers have a heart problem. They have rejected the God of the Bible even before they begin to consider whether His Word could be true.

Second, Rely on God’s Spirit and God’s Word to Convince Hearers

Modern intellectuals are no different from the proud Greeks of Paul’s day, who lived “in the futility of their thinking.” They were “darkened in their understanding . . . because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17–18).

How do you break through the darkness? It’s not enough to demolish their wrong beliefs by cold, hard logic. Blind men cannot see the truth except with new sight given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Thankfully, God’s Spirit is already at work convicting sinners of their unbelief, using His Word as His primary tool. By relying on the Scripture’s own claims, rather than your wisdom or clever arguments, God empowers His words to convict hearts and point them to Christ (see John 16:12–15 and Hebrews 4:12).

Knowing this, the apostle Paul did not rely on “persuasive words of human wisdom” to overwhelm his listeners with intellectual arguments, which they might not even grasp (1 Corinthians 2:4). Instead, Paul spoke plainly to sinners “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that their faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5).

Yet God does not demand blind faith. Our faith is reasonable. In fact, it is the only logical and reasonable choice available to mankind. And explaining that simple fact is the secret to a biblical defense of the Bible.

Third, the Bible Is—and Must Be—Its Own Ultimate Proof

JESUS INDICATED THAT THE BIBLE GIVES ENOUGH INFORMATION SO THAT EVERYONE CAN KNOW THE TRUTH.

Jesus indicated that the Bible gives enough information so that everyone can know the truth and no other resource is better. “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets,” Jesus told His Jewish listeners, “neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). Even though Jesus was not addressing Gentiles, His words are based on a universal truth: the Bible is—and should be—our most persuasive tool.

How Do We Know Anything Is True?

Even though lots of other evidences confirm the Bible (and you should discuss them), your conversations aren’t likely to get very far unless you address the deeper question: “How do you know anything is true?”

When debating ultimate questions, everyone must eventually appeal to an ultimate standard. We can’t keep appealing to a higher and higher standard because the stairs must end somewhere.

Even secular logicians recognize this problem. Every philosophical system must start with presuppositions—starting points or assumptions— that cannot be proven from anything more basic, but are accepted up–front as the foundation for all subsequent reasoning.

The Bible claims to be this ultimate standard of truth, the “Word” given by the Almighty Creator God (see “2. Claims of Divine Authorship,” pp. 56–57). Most people point to one of three standards: their own personal opinion, public consensus, or great moral literature. But that is not an option if the Bible is true.

An appeal to any other standard, such as the opinions of people, automatically means you must reject the Bible as your ultimate standard. Don’t miss this point; it’s worth repeating! (Once you point this out, most people will recognize the problem.)

How Do We Choose the Correct “Ultimate Standard”?

Since we must appeal to some ultimate standard, the next question is how to determine the right one.

One—and only one—logical solution is available. The standard itself must be “self-attesting” and “self-authenticating.” In other words, it must speak for itself and defend itself in such a way that it (1) passes all its own standards of truth and (2) gives a foundation for successfully interpreting all other claims to truth.

Even before modern logicians recognized this limitation to every logical argument, God’s Word had already acknowledged and solved it.

Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6) and “God’s word is truth” (John 17:17). Jesus claimed to define what truth is, and He said God’s Word is the ultimate judge of truth (John 12:48). No truth exists apart from Him. As the Bible explains it, “In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). So the Bible clearly claims an exalted position as the ultimate authority.

Moreover, God’s Word concludes that all other standards outside of Christ must be “empty” because they depend on “the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). For the Bible to appeal to any other authority would be to deny its own place as the ultimate standard. (We don’t need to bludgeon people with this truth, but the rightness of our position should encourage us.)

As it turns out, the only ultimate standard that can be logically self-authenticating is one that exactly matches the unique God of Scripture, who is true, holy, just, eternal, unchanging, and “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). He alone provides a solid foundation for knowledge and attests to His own truthfulness.

Your hearers won’t find an alternative that comes close to matching the biblical God, no matter how hard they try. But you don’t have to belabor this point. (They could spend many lifetimes searching!) A positive proclamation of the reasonableness of the Christian faith is enough to highlight the shortcomings of alternative worldviews.

God Appeals to Himself as the Ultimate Standard

God consistently appeals to His own word as the final authority. A good example is His promise to bless all nations through Abraham. How did He reassure Abraham that His words were true? He appealed to Himself as the highest court of appeal—“By Myself I have sworn” (Genesis 22:16).

Logically God can appeal to nothing higher than to Himself. AsHebrews 6:13 explains, “When God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself.”

Later, Christ made a similar claim. When the Roman governor Pilate questioned His authority, Christ appealed to His own authority: “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.

Then Christ added, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Nobody recognizes His authority except those who are “of the truth”—those who first listen to Him! Christ didn’t even try to convince Pilate. Instead, He stated the truth as it really was and left Pilate to consider the weight of His words.

Pilate responded cynically, “What is truth?” but then, apparently moved by Christ’s words, he went out to tell the waiting crowd that he found no fault in Christ. The Son of God’s words had effectively spoken on His behalf.

An Appeal to the Bible Is Not Arbitrary

The Bible repeatedly claims to be God’s Word, the ultimate source of all truth, and it rejects all other claimants (again, see pp. 56–57). The Bible offers no neutral ground, which is the only reasonable demand from a source that claims to be the truth above all others.

The Scripture also says it was inspired by a God who sees everything, knows everything, communicates perfectly, and always tells the truth. In fact, He strongly desires to share the truth (see “1. God’s Character,” pp. 55–56). So choosing such an ultimate standard is not arbitrary!

The Bible is also consistent with itself, as any correct standard must be (see “3. Unity of the Bible,” pp. 58–59). Furthermore, it provides a robust foundation for correctly interpreting the world around us (see “5. Scientific Accuracy,” pp. 61–62). Despite centuries of merciless attacks upon its accuracy, the Bible has consistently proven to be true (see “6. Archaeological Finds,” pp. 62–63).

Fourth, Explain Other Evidences

ALTHOUGH GOD’S OWN ASSERTION IS THE ULTIMATE PROOF, IT IS PROPER AND BIBLICAL TO SEEK ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE.

Although God’s own assertion is the ultimate proof of the Bible, God encourages us to corroborate His testimony. Jesus did not expect His hearers to accept His testimony merely on His say-so. He said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” (John 5:31–32).

According to Jewish law, two or three witnesses were required to establish the truth of a matter in court (Deuteronomy 19:15). It is proper and biblical to seek additional evidence.

Jesus gave several other witnesses to the truth of His claims. For one, he mentioned John the Baptist, who was considered a prophet of the highest integrity among the Jews. But Jesus said He had a higher testimony than John’s: “I have greater witness than that of John” (John 5:34–36). Jesus cited these primary evidences to corroborate His claims:

  1. His many miracles and other works (John 5:36)
  2. The testimony of His Father, who spoke audibly from heaven at His baptism (John 5:36–37)
  3. The witness of the Scriptures (John 5:39)
  4. His coming bodily Resurrection (John 2:22)
  5. The witness of the Holy Spirit, which continues to this day (John 15:26).

We weren’t present to hear John’s testimony, or to hear the Father speak from heaven, or to see Christ’s miracles and His resurrected body. Yet God gives us “a more sure word” (2 Peter 1:18–19, point 3 above) and the ongoing witness of the Spirit (point 5).

God understands our spiritual blindness, especially with regard to heavenly things, which we can’t see. Lots of other amazing evidences confirm Scripture. For example, any book inspired by a holy, righteous God should be error free. And that’s just what we find.

God talks about earthly things, which we can see (see John 3:10–13). The Bible is filled with specific claims about history, human nature, science, and prophecy. After centuries of trying to find errors, skeptics have only succeeded in reaffirming the Bible’s pristine beauty, as the other articles in this special series attest.

Yet be careful not to rely on external evidences. Since all people are blinded sinners, they resist the truth and refuse to believe even the most obvious evidences, assuming they just don’t have enough information to prove you wrong. You will end up talking in circles.

Based on the Bible’s own example, you should point them to the only true ultimate standard, the Bible’s own claims about itself. Ultimately we trust the Bible, not because we can prove it from other sources but because we trust the One who made us and then gave us His Word.

The King Carpenter “Jesus Christ”

We as Christians, the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ, is both inspiring and revelatory in it’s nature. The point I wanted to touch on is the fact that Jesus came into this world as a working man, an ordinary citizen. The Bible says that Jesus was a carpenter by trade (Mark 6:3)” Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary”.

Which signifies to me that Jesus, being the “Son of Man”, yet God in the flesh, chose on purpose to be a builder, to fashion, to construct, to build. This is significant in it’s revelation because it speaks to us in a subtle yet powerful meaning about the posture of a Christian.

You see it speaks of position, ” Before you can rule something, you must first build something ” isn’t that the job of a carpenter? Jesus could have chosen to come into our dimension as “King of Kings” straightway, but being both humble and gentle (Matthew 11:29) Jesus wanted us to learn this dynamic lesson, this divine principle. We must labor in the things of God (John 6:27).

Jesus was a builder in this life before He was revealed to us as our great LORD and King. So beloved take this divine revelation and labor in your anointing. Labor for the kingdom of God, this is the very purpose in which you have been called, selected and chosen.(Ephesians 4:1) Walk worthy of your calling, in Jesus name, Amen!!!