Sign: Word Harder

Learning to do more

There is a quote from Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount” that challenges me. It is within Matthew 5:46 and is, “what do you do more than others?”

Let’s get an idea of the context of this statement. In Matthew 5:20, Jesus warned his disciples and by implication all of us, that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, we will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. We must do more.

Jesus called us to abandon anger (Matthew 5:21f). He called us to abandon lust (Matthew 5:27ff). The Lord warned us to watch our tongue (Matthew 5:33ff). Then we are challenged to love the unlovable (Matthew 5:43-48). Continue reading “Learning to do more”

The Purpose and Power of the Priesthood

Have you given much thought to the priesthood? Some may see it as a waste of time. But I want to suggest to you that a study of the priesthood will enhance your appreciation for God. The story of the priesthood is really a story of us, of sin, of forgiveness, and of service.

The Story of Us

So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-6 NET).

Continue reading “The Purpose and Power of the Priesthood”

Go, labor on!

“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

 

“Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, King of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: ‘Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day” (Jeremiah 36:1-2 NKJV).

Work just isn’t what it used to be. At least that is often the case in the U.S. and other developed nations. We are used to machines and tools which make difficult tasks much simpler. Dirt is moved by tractor or back-hoe and dump trucks. Few jobs which require more than a few wheelbarrows full are done with shovels or man-power. Continue reading “Go, labor on!”

The sacrifice that costs nothing

And what, you might ask, is a sacrifice that costs nothing? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Don’t all sacrifices cost something?

David used a phrase something like the one in the title of this article. He wanted to offer a sacrifice just outside Jerusalem on the land of an Israelite named Araunah. To his credit, Araunah offered the king all the resources needed for a sacrifice. Here they are, he declared, the wood, the oxen, the fire. That’s when David used the phrase, “a sacrifice that cost me nothing.” Continue reading “The sacrifice that costs nothing”

What is propitiation?

The threads of salvation are interwoven through every page of Scripture. Certainly, we should do all we can to understand them.

Sometimes the terminology eludes us because we don’t use it in daily life. Propitiation is a prime example. We find it in Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 and since it pertains to our Lord and our salvation, it’s imperative that we understand it. Continue reading “What is propitiation?”

Abundant life is a life sacrificed

What is the abundant life?

Jesus said that he came that people might have an abundant life (John 10:10). The prosperity preachers think that Jesus meant he came so that we would be rich in money and possessions. How truly they misunderstand the son of God!

A study of John 10 shows exactly what Jesus meant. The Lord began by saying he is the door of the sheep (John 10:1, 7). After the sheep were placed in an enclosure for the night, the shepherd put his body across the entrance. Wolves would, therefore, have to take the shepherd’s life before gaining access to the sheep. Continue reading “Abundant life is a life sacrificed”

What have you sacrificed today?

What have you sacrificed today? This is not a question we normally go around asking each other.

Under the Mosaic Covenant, various animals were killed and offered in sacrifice to God on a daily basis. Sometimes these animals were burnt whole but more often parts were burned and the rest cooked and eaten to indicate a person’s fellowship with God. Which brings us back to the question. Continue reading “What have you sacrificed today?”

A better covenant

Have you ever contrasted the Old Testament system of sacrifices and worship with what we have in the New Testament?

It would appear, from what is contained in the Letter to the Hebrews, that many Christians from a Jewish background were beginning to turn their backs on Jesus to return to the Old Mosaic Law. The writer of Hebrews wrote (many think this may have originally been a sermon) to show that going back to the Law of Moses was a step backward. Continue reading “A better covenant”

Faith and works

One of the most difficult passages for some people to comprehend in the Bible is when God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. I can remember studying with various people over the years and this incident be brought up to try and show that there is something wrong with a God who would ask that you sacrifice your only son. I would suggest that if this is all we take from this scripture, that we have missed what is going on. Continue reading “Faith and works”

Giving as God would have it

“Superman” was popular in my neighborhood in the 1960s. His two most amazing abilities were his x-ray vision and flight. We thought it must be amazing to be able to see inside buildings like Superman could.

There was a real person who lived who could see inside a person’s mind. It was Jesus Christ. In John 1:48, Jesus looked into Nathaniel’s mind and told him he was able to see him although they were separated by some distance. Continue reading “Giving as God would have it”