Monthly Archives: July 2016

2 Peter 1:2-4

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2).

As we look at our lives we are tempted at times to ask, “Have I done enough?” “Have I loved God enough?” “Have I been good enough?” Have I been obedient and faithful enough?” “Have I really tried my best?” “Have I delighted God by my righteousness, and impressed Him with my worship, prayer and self-less discipleship?”

The answer to these questions is simply, “No”! No one has done enough. But thanks be to God, Jesus has. He has done enough to secure our salvation and eternal life and we have it all through faith in Him.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

2 Peter 1:2-4

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2).

As we look at our lives we are tempted at times to ask, “Have I done enough?” “Have I loved God enough?” “Have I been good enough?” Have I been obedient and faithful enough?” “Have I really tried my best?” “Have I delighted God by my righteousness, and impressed Him with my worship, prayer and self-less discipleship?”

The answer to these questions is simply, “No”! No one has done enough. But thanks be to God, Jesus has. He has done enough to secure our salvation and eternal life and we have it all through faith in Him.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Ecclesiastes 5:15

“Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15).

It is good sometimes to step back from the many things that occupy our lives to see the big picture. Some thoughts and activities take up much of our time and effort and yet they are of no eternal value. And yet we become obsessed with these trifling things and pour our hearts into them.

We came into this world with nothing and will leave with the same and yet there are some things which have eternal value for they will never disappoint us. Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).

To know the Father through Jesus’ death and resurrection is of eternal value. For in Jesus we find the sure hope of a resurrected body and an eternal future which is loaded up with the treasure of heaven.

It is suffering to lose the pleasures of this world but it is pure joy to be sure of the eternal blessings of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:15

“Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15).

It is good sometimes to step back from the many things that occupy our lives to see the big picture. Some thoughts and activities take up much of our time and effort and yet they are of no eternal value. And yet we become obsessed with these trifling things and pour our hearts into them.

We came into this world with nothing and will leave with the same and yet there are some things which have eternal value for they will never disappoint us. Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).

To know the Father through Jesus’ death and resurrection is of eternal value. For in Jesus we find the sure hope of a resurrected body and an eternal future which is loaded up with the treasure of heaven.

It is suffering to lose the pleasures of this world but it is pure joy to be sure of the eternal blessings of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

What does it mean to be a Christian? Often we think in terms of sacrifice: what we must do for God, how must we act, what must we give. As we worship we can be thinking about our action towards God. The church and Christians can become distracted, even obsessed, with the sacrifice they can bring to God – as if that giving is what makes them acceptable to Him. To believe that our actions could make God pleased with us would be the ‘sacrifice of fools’!

But as we come to the Father we must come with hearts ready to listen. As we listen to the word of the Spirit we hear the good news that comes from God through Jesus. He has given His life as a perfect sacrifice and He makes us acceptable to God. He has finished what a lifetime of our sacrifices could never achieve.

As we hear this word we become wise, we receive His salvation, we worship from hearts filled with gratitude. Our whole lives are for the service of God but never from hard obligation, rather we love Him who has lived us first.

Ecclesiastes 5:1

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

What does it mean to be a Christian? Often we think in terms of sacrifice: what we must do for God, how must we act, what must we give. As we worship we can be thinking about our action towards God. The church and Christians can become distracted, even obsessed, with the sacrifice they can bring to God – as if that giving is what makes them acceptable to Him. To believe that our actions could make God pleased with us would be the ‘sacrifice of fools’!

But as we come to the Father we must come with hearts ready to listen. As we listen to the word of the Spirit we hear the good news that comes from God through Jesus. He has given His life as a perfect sacrifice and He makes us acceptable to God. He has finished what a lifetime of our sacrifices could never achieve.

As we hear this word we become wise, we receive His salvation, we worship from hearts filled with gratitude. Our whole lives are for the service of God but never from hard obligation, rather we love Him who has lived us first.

Ephesians 5:18

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18).

Human beings were made to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled with Him they would live in love, always trusting the Father, always rejoicing in the goodness of God, ever living in the peace which comes as we abide in God.

We were not created to be independent or to define our own identity. So sin entered the world as people sought to put aside trust in God and His perfect ways, and to take up the misery and anguish of man’s empty ways. So humanity rejected the very Spirit who gives us the life we long for.

Jesus lived as the perfect man, always living by the Spirit (as we were supposed to). Through His death He made us holy again; He restored us to our creational glory. When we trust in Jesus we are made pure and so we are fit for the Holy Spirit again. The Holy Spirit can only fill those whom the cross had cleansed!

So, through Christ, we can live as we were created to live – alive by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, guided and led by the Spirit. There we have dynamic joy, peace, love, obedience – life in the Spirit!

Ephesians 5:18

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18).

Human beings were made to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled with Him they would live in love, always trusting the Father, always rejoicing in the goodness of God, ever living in the peace which comes as we abide in God.

We were not created to be independent or to define our own identity. So sin entered the world as people sought to put aside trust in God and His perfect ways, and to take up the misery and anguish of man’s empty ways. So humanity rejected the very Spirit who gives us the life we long for.

Jesus lived as the perfect man, always living by the Spirit (as we were supposed to). Through His death He made us holy again; He restored us to our creational glory. When we trust in Jesus we are made pure and so we are fit for the Holy Spirit again. The Holy Spirit can only fill those whom the cross had cleansed!

So, through Christ, we can live as we were created to live – alive by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, guided and led by the Spirit. There we have dynamic joy, peace, love, obedience – life in the Spirit!

Exodus 2:10

“When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:10).

By God’s plan Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house even though he was a Hebrew. Later, after killing an Egyptian, Moses fled into the desert where he lived as a shepherd until the time that God called him to lead the people out of Egypt. Moses was the one Hebrew who never lived as a slave to Egypt.

Although he was imperfect, Moses was a foreshadow of Jesus. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.” (Hebrews 3:5-6).

Jesus was the one man who never lived under the slavery of sin. He never gave in to temptation or sin but always obeyed the Father. For this reason He was the only man who could truly bear the guilt of our sin and then give us the gift of perfect righteousness.

There is only one way we can be set free from the slavery of our sin, guilt, shame, regrets, pain and anxiety: through faith in Jesus. Only He can release us from our bondage. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Exodus 2:10

“When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:10).

By God’s plan Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house even though he was a Hebrew. Later, after killing an Egyptian, Moses fled into the desert where he lived as a shepherd until the time that God called him to lead the people out of Egypt. Moses was the one Hebrew who never lived as a slave to Egypt.

Although he was imperfect, Moses was a foreshadow of Jesus. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.” (Hebrews 3:5-6).

Jesus was the one man who never lived under the slavery of sin. He never gave in to temptation or sin but always obeyed the Father. For this reason He was the only man who could truly bear the guilt of our sin and then give us the gift of perfect righteousness.

There is only one way we can be set free from the slavery of our sin, guilt, shame, regrets, pain and anxiety: through faith in Jesus. Only He can release us from our bondage. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).