Here Comes the Groom

pexels-photo-291759.jpegThe Song of Solomon relates the beauty found in marriage as our Creator designed it to be. Solomon portrays young love in courtship and the ever-growing love found when the relationship is consummated.

Women today might not appreciate some of the comparisons he uses to describe the beauty of his bride.

“thy hair is as a flock of goats”, “thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate”, “they neck is like the tower of David.”

But to his bride Solomon makes it clear she’s beautiful and to be desired.  In response 3 times she makes it evident she is secure in her bridegroom’s love.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (2:16;6:3; 7:10).

This song of marriage not only relates Solomon’s love for his bride but it also gives us a picture of 2 other love relationships.

Yaweh God with Israel:

“For thy Maker is thine husband;

the LORD of hosts is his name;

and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel:

The God of the whole earth shall he be called…Isaiah 54:5;

I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God,

and thou becamest mine…

And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty:

for it was perfect through my comeliness,

which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel 16: 8b, 14.

Christ Jesus, Son of God, with the church:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy;

for I have espoused you to one husband,

that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ…

2 Corinthians 11:2;

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,

as unto the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife,

even as Christ is the head of the church;

and he is the saviour of the body…

Husbands, love your wives,

even as Christ also loved the church,

and gave himself for it…

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;

but nourisheth and cherisheth it,

even as the Lord the church:

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER,

AND SHALL BE JOINED UNTO HIS WIFE,

AND THEY TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH.

This is a great mystery:

but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 5:22,23,25,28-32.

In the days of Christ the engagement or espousal bound a couple by covenant. This lasted until the groom made a home for his bride, usually about a year. Then he would come and take her to be with him. When she heard of his coming she would take her friends to meet him.

Today the church, which is the bride of Christ, waits for her bridegroom. He promised to return for her, for us who are followers of Christ.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions:

if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself:

that where I am there ye may be also.”

John 14:2,3.

What will that day be like when our Beloved Bridegroom comes for His bride?

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,

even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him…

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,

with the voice of the archangel,

and with the trump of God:

and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain

shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,

to meet the Lord in the air;

and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14,16,17.

Then the celebration that never ends begins.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:

for the marriage of the Lamb is come,

and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted

that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:

for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.

And he saith unto me, Write,

Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And he saith unto me,

These are the true sayings of God.”

Revelation 19:7-9.

When will our Beloved come for us? I don’t know. He tells me in his word, soon. That’s what I believe. He said He would and He will. In telling the parable of the 10 virgins, Christ says,

“And at midnight there was a cry made,

Behold, the bridegroom cometh;

go ye out to meet him…

and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:

and the door was shut…

Watch therefore,

for ye know neither the day nor the hour

wherein the Son of man cometh.”

(from Matthew 25:1-13).

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.”

There was nothing of ourselves making us desirable, yet, He does, and clothes us in fine white linen. How amazing is His love towards us.


As this world grows more and more out of control, how can believing these truths give you comfort?

How do these truths effect the way followers of Christ live while waiting for His return?

A Beautiful Life

“The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;516

To know wisdom and instruction;

to perceive the words of understanding;”

Proverbs 1:1,2.

Proverbs fills its pages with practical principles instructing us in the art of “skillful living”. The Hebrew word for wisdom means skillful as an art. Proverb teaches us the most fundamental skill of all: living righteously before God in every area of life. But we cannot do this out of our own wisdom, we don’t have the skill nor discipline. We need the wisdom of Jesus Christ. He is the Artist with the power and the skill to take something marred and broken and turn it into something beautiful.

Jesus God’s wisdom in a human body.

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said,

Whence hath this man this wisdom,

and these mighty works?”

Matthew 13:54.

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks,

Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

1 Corinthians 1:23,25.

“… In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:23.

The scriptures tell us of Christ’s wisdom and also show us the same, beginning with creation. Out of nothing He created a world of beauty, order, and abundance.

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way,

before his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting,

from the beginning, or ever the earth was.”

Proverbs 8:22,23.

“For by him(Jesus) were all things created,

that are in heaven, and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones, or dominions,

or principalities, or powers:

all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things,

and by him all things consist.”

Colossians 1:16,17.

Jesus is the skillful artist, destroying the marred vessel of death and molding it in life.

“For whoso findeth me findeth life,

and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:

all they that hate me love death.”

Proverbs 8:35,36.

“Jesus said unto her,

I am the resurrection, and the life:

he that believeth in me though he were dead,

yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 11:25,26.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life,

and shall not come into condemnation:

but is passed from death unto life…

The hour is coming, and now is,

when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God

and they that hear shall live.”

John 5:24,25.

Jesus covers a canvas of shame with His glory.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2.

“and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: Saying with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

to receive power, and riches,

and wisdom, and strength,

and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

Revelation 5:11,12.

In His infinite wisdom, God through Christ skillfully takes our marred image and molds each believer into the glorious image of His dear Son.

“This is the book of the generations of Adam.

In the day that God created man,

in the likeness of God made he him…

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years,

and begat a son in his own likeness,

after his image:

and called his name Seth:”

Genesis 5:1,3.

Adam’s sin marred the image of God in him as it did each one born after him. Death had entered the world.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God…

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 3:3,5,6.

Jesus restores the image of God in those who believe.

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy,

we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

1 Corinthians 15:49.

For we can say with the apostle Paul,

“I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

In Christ we are free to live life skillfully articulated by His wisdom.

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,

who of God is made unto us wisdom…

we have the mind of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 1:30a; 2:16b.

Wisdom is crying for someone to hear.

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children:

for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

Blessed is the man that heareth me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting at the posts of my doors.”

Proverbs 8:32-34.

“And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying,

This is my beloved Son:

hear him.”

 

Luke 9:35.

Do you desire to live life skillfully as a work of art? The Father wants to be your artist. He has designed a beautiful life for His children and it begins when we hear His voice.

What do you believe makes a beautiful life?

How’s Your Life?

couple walking at pathway between trees
Photo by Heinz Klier on Pexels.com

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life:

in thy presence is fulness of joy;

at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Psalm 16:11.

In what way do you identify with this Psalm? Maybe you don’t at all. Maybe the chaos of the world, the covid virus, or just your own set of problems have left you questioning the path life has taken. Maybe you feel robbed of your joy and even the simplest pleasures.

If you don’t identify, you can. You can have it all. Ask and the heavenly Father will show you the path of life that leads to fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore. If you do identify, you are a vessel to show others the path of living life to its fullest no matter your circumstances.

So, why have I chosen the Psalms I chose this past week and today for our walk with Jesus? They show Jesus as more than the fulfillment of prophecy. They reveal him as,

“the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6.

Jesus is the way to the Father, the truth of God revealed in flesh, and the life giving Savior.

“In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness;

and the darkness comprehended it not.”

John 1:4,5.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life,

and this life is in his Son.

He that hath the Son hath life;

and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

1 John 5:11,12.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them saying,

I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12.

John 1:4,5- “In him was life”, implies apart from Him there is no life and life is the light that overcomes the darkness. The light of life found only in Christ, has overcome the darkness of death.

1 John 5:11,12-God has given us eternal life found only in His Son. Those who have Jesus have life. Those who do not, don’t.

John 8:12-Jesus promises those who follow His light-giving life have eternal life and will not walk in death.

Herein lies the problem and the solution. Multitudes walk through this existence in death, walking in fleeting moments of joy and pleasure, without understanding, without the knowledge their hope of life has been stolen by the enemy.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…”

The solution: Simply stated follow Jesus. He is the life. Yes, upon receiving His sacrifice for our sin, believing He is the Son of God who died, was buried, and rose again, we receive at that moment eternal life. It will be fully consummated when He returns for us. Until then, we live life to the fullest as He says,

“I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 10:10.

David echoes this truth with a fountain in Psalm 36:7-10.

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house;

and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

For with thee is the fountain of life:

in thy light shall we see light.

O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee;

and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.”

How can you have joy in a dark world?

  • Know God’s lovingkindness toward you. He offers mercy and life.
  • Put your trust in Him. He protects through the fiercest storms.
  • Know the Lord abundantly satisfies with His abundant love those of His household.
  • He refreshes the thirsty with His pleasures. Drink from His fountain.
  • Light not darkness is your companion.
  • Pray to continue receiving His mercy; to know Him and His righteousness. He gives it all to those whose heart trusts in Him.

*With that we finish our walk together with Jesus through the Psalms. But you don’t have to stop here. Go further with Him. See how many Psalms you see Jesus in. I’ve listed some below to get you started.

I’ll leave this quote for you to consider:

“Without the way there is no going;

without the truth there is no knowing;

without the life there is no living.

I am the way which thou must follow;

the truth in which thou must believe;

the life for which thou must hope.”**


*Numerous scriptures in Psalms(22 are listed in my bible) point to Jesus clearer than the ones shared in my posts last week and today. Such as, 5 in Psalm 22, 2 in chapters 35, 69, 110, and 118. If you would like all the references leave your request in comments and I will include them for you.

**(a’Kempis, cited by Bruce; Source: Blue Letter Bible; David Guzik, Study Guide for John 14.)

 

Where Are You Going?

IMG_0461“Do you know where we’re going?”

Tom unfolded the map (yes, this was before GPS, but even it has taken us to places we never intended to go.) My husband laid the map on  top of the van. 12 maybe 16 teenagers and a couple of adults got out of the van and the truck traveling with us.

He rolled his eyes at me. “Yes, I know where I’m going. I just don’t know how to get there from here because I don’t know where here is.”

I decided not to ask anymore questions. Between the other male adult, Tom, and the service station attendant at the two-pump-full-service gas station- sitting in the middle of nowhere but were thankful for,  we did find our way back to the interstate headed in the right direction.

In our many summer mission trips we have learned there are different ways to the same destination. In the Psalms a thread runs through the songs concerning only 2 ways, each leading to different but specific destinations. We are introduced to them in the first Psalm and again in Psalm 112:9,10.

“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:

but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

“He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

The wicked shall see it, and be grieve; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”

Jesus contrasted the 2 ways in Matthew 7:13,14 and after the teaching concerning the Gentiles coming judgment in 25:34, 42, 46.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

“Then shall the King say unto them on the right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:

but the righteous into life eternal.

Back in the Psalms we are told:

“As for God,

his way is perfect:

the word of the LORD is tried:

he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

For who is God save the LORD?

Or who is a rock save our God?”

Psalm 18:30,31.

Jesus says in John 14:6 and 10:9,

“I am the way…

no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

“I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved…”

He is God, perfect, and holy.

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee;

therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee 

shall be called the Son of God.”

Luke 1:35.

I failed to mention, we did ask the Lord to help us find our way and keep us on the way. As always He is faithful. We made it home safe and sound. You can too.

For as we have seen there are only two ways to walk, that of the saved or the unsaved.

  • Jesus is the way that leads the saved to our heavenly Father and our eternal home with them.
  • The way of the unsaved leads to eternal death, the second death, forever separated from the Lord in a place of torment.

Who is leading on your way? Where is it taking you?

Heavenly Father, may all who read believe or come to believe, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Jesus is that name.

Where Does Desire Find Fulfillment?

What is your greatest desire in this life? Is it for riches for your own comfort and to share with the poor? Is it success in your personal field of interest? Is it to live in peace and health? In reading the Psalms it seems the greatest desire of those God used to pen its words was to know and draw near to their God.

blogpraise-1154566__340This book, filled with songs, reveals our need for God pointing us to the fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. The challenge in writing this is choosing which ones to highlight.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself…And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn with us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:27,31-32.

their eyes were opened, and they knew him…

How can we know Him?

“Stand in awe and sin not:

commune with your  own heart upon your bed,

and be still.” Psalm 4:4.

Then you will…

“Know ye that the LORD he is God:

it is he that hath made us,

and not we ourselves;

we are his people,

and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“he is God…”

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high….

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”(2Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3;John 14:7.)

“he hath made us…”

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (Psalm 33:6;John 1:1-3,14)

Jesus is the Word, “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18.

we are his people…

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works…

a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (Titus 2:13,14; 1Peter 2:9b.)

And we are,

the sheep of his pasture…

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want…

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine…

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (Psalm 23:1; John 10:14,27-30.)

Again the question is posed: What is your greatest desire? If it does not begin and end with God, it will never satisfy longer than a moment.

So may we,

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,

so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

Psalm 42:1.

For,

“my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19.

 

 

 

Hope in Suffering

blogcross-792538__340

Job experienced a makeover in his life. He began adult life a prosperous man with a large family.

  • In the middle he lost all but his wife.
  • In the end he knew the blessing of the Lord in abundance. His family and riches increased, his friends learned what friendship means.
  • Above all he came to personally know the God he worshipped and trusted in.

Job knew 3 things which kept him going when he didn’t understand the why of his suffering. When tempted to curse God and die because of his suffering, he drew the line when he said,
“For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 19:25-27.

He knew

His Redeemer lived…It gave him hope for help.

His Redeemer lived and would stand…It gave him hope for strength.

He would live to see his Redeemer…It gave him hope for victory over sin’s suffering and death.

Another passage tells us Job also knew…

His faith in God would be his justification.

“Behold, now, I have ordered my cause;

I know that I shall be justified.” Job 13:18.

It gave him hope for peace in pain even as the same promise work for us.

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed,

if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

by whom also we have access by faith

into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 4:24-5:2.

Two more things Job knew brought him to something he didn’t know before his suffering.

  • “I know that thou canst do every thing,
  • and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?

Therefore have I uttered that I understood not;

things too wonderful for me, which I knew not…” 42:1-2.

Job’s new knowledge through suffering brought him to a greater knowledge, a personal knowledge of his Redeemer.

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear;

but now mine eye seeth thee.” 42:5.

We can say the same with Job and with the Psalmist.

”Many, O LORD my God,

are thy wonderful works which thou hast done,

and thy thoughts which are to us-ward:

they cannot be reckoned upon order unto thee:

if I would declare and speak of them,

they are more than can be numbered.”

Psalm 40:5.

Job’s life ended with a greater abundance through his suffering.

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” 42:12.

Ours can as well.

“Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes,

  • that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
  • For which cause we faint not;
  • but though our outward man perish,
  • yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 
  • For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
  • worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
  • While we look not at the things which are seen,
  • but at the things which are not seen:
  • for the things which are seen are temporal;
  • but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:14-18.

Suffering brought Job to a new personal understanding of his Redeemer. Suffering is  sometimes the Surgeon’s knife by which we receive our makeover.

It’s been said, “Beauty is skin deep”. Our Redeemer doesn’t look on the outer for it perishes. He works on the inner person.

As we grow older, the outer beauty of the physical fades no matter how many face lifts or body tucks we have. One day as Job said the worms are going to eat this body of flesh. But in suffering God beautifies the inner person, the soul which lives forever. In the suffering, the spirit grows and blossoms until when God’s work is completed in us it blooms in true holiness and righteousness.

When the flesh has died, the spirit that belongs to the Lord thrives and one day it will receive a new body, a glorified body, a body like its Redeemer.

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly…” 1 Corinthians 15:49.

“As for me,

I will behold thy face in righteousness:

I shall be satisfied,

when I awake, with thy likeness.”

Psalm 17:15.

We can face suffering, survive suffering, and thrive through suffering because,

Our Redeemer Lives.

How do you find hope when suffering comes?

Not If, But When

Revisitng Job’s Redeemer

lamb of God
picture courtesy of Pintrest

Not only does He live, He lives forever.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth…”

“Fear not, I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:17a,18

And,

“he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth…”

This raises the questions:

  • Is this true?
  • Will Jesus return to earth?
  • Why?  When?

To the first question, “Yes, it’s true.” But who am I that you would take my word for it? You don’t know me nor possibly those I reference. Maybe you don’t even believe there is a God. At first glance, you may be tempted to dismiss this altogether. Please, hang around long enough to at least consider the possibility.

Some estimate the Old Testament contains 300 prophetic passages concerning the Messiah. (From freebiblestudyguides.org, a product of the United Church of God.)

Another site, jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html, listed the possibility of Jesus fulfilling 8 of those prophecies being 1 in 1017 . Check out their site for an illustration of that number.

Yet, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilled the 8 and all concerning His first appearance. If He fulfilled all the others, and He did, why should it be hard to believe He will fulfill those concerning the latter days?

If you’re not sure, investigate the claims. If you are sure, you know we have been living in the latter days since the cross. In these latter days, Jesus will come again.

After His death and resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days speaking to His followers about the kingdom of God before ascending to the Father.

His followers watched.

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven

as he went up,

behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee,

why stand ye gazing up into heaven?

This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,

shall so come in like manner

as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:10,11.

Right now Jesus has gone to,

“prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself;

that where I am, there ye may be also.”

John 14:3.

For His followers He comes to take us to be with Him forever. For those who have rejected Him only one thing awaits. The apostle John describes the scene in Revelation 20: 11-15.

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;

and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great

stand before God;

and the books were opened, which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged

out of those things which were written in the books,

according to their works…

And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”

Only one work qualifies your name to be in the book of life.

“Jesus answered and said unto them,

This is the work of God,

that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 6:29.

One day we all shall see Him.

“Behold, he cometh with clouds;

and every eye shall see him,

and they also which pierced him:

and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.

Even so, Amen.”

Revelation 1:7.

When will that day be?

“And he said unto them,

It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,

which the Father hath put in his own power.”

Acts 1:7.

Matthew chapter 24 gives an account of events surrounding the latter days and the end of time if you want to investigate it further.

What Jesus tells us is,

“Watch therefore:

for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…

Therefore be ye also ready:

for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh…

Watch therefore,

for ye know neither the day nor the hour

wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Matthew 24:42,44;25:13.

He waits because of His love for us, His desire for us.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,

as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering to us-ward,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9.

While His followers wait there is a work to be done.

  • “Ye are the salt of the earth…
  • Ye are the light of the world…
  • Let your light so shine before men,
  • that they may see your good works,
  • and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16.

May we follow Jesus’ example when He says,

“I must work the works of him that sent me,

while it is day:

the night cometh, when no man can work.

As long as I am in the world,

I am the light of the world.”

John 9:4,5.

Why do I write these things?

“But these are written,

that ye might believe that

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;

and that believing

ye might have life through his name.”

John 20:31.

Do you have the living Redeemer who will stand in the end for you?  You can. Remember, He, also, stands for His own now.

Why Do I Hope?

Job:Our Redeemer Lives

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kidsJob speaks of his redeemer by eyes of faith. He spoke of Jesus, God the Son.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”  Job 19:25-27.

You can’t be bought? Tommy Johnson could be and he was. Have you ever seen the movie, “O,Brother Where Art Thou?” I admit it. I have. Tommy Johnson tells Ulysses, Delmar, and Pete that he met the devil at midnight, “to sell my soul to the devil.”

The price? “To play the guitar real good.”

The man in Jesus’ parable sold his soul for a new barn.

Adam and Eve sold theirs for a taste of evil.

  • Why do we need a living Redeemer?
  • What difference did it make to Job?
  • What difference does it make to us?

The sad news, Adam and Eve’s taste of evil poisoned the image of God in them. All born after them inherited that same taste for evil, the taste for usurping God’s throne.

If left to our own devices, eternal death not eternal life is our inheritance, despair not hope. We need a living Redeemer to buy us back from evil and restore the image of God in us. We need Someone to stand for us because we have fallen. We need Someone to acquit us of the guilty charges against us. We need Someone able to pay the price for our fall and the power to raise us up. We need Jesus.

The Cost of the Fall Greater than our Resources.

In Adam and Eve:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17.

All People are Fallen:

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12.

The redemption price meant the death of one innocent of sin. The first blood sacrifice pointed to the final blood sacrifice. Jesus is that One.

For Adam and Eve: Their clothes of fig leaves couldn’t buy it.

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21.

For All People: Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God, is the payment.

“WHO DID NO SIN, NEITHER WAS GUILE FOUND IN HIS MOUTH.” 1 Peter 2:22.

“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1John 3:5.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…

But with the precious blood of Christ

as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

1 Peter 1:18a, 19.

Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God, paid the price of redemption with His own death. He bought our forgiveness by taking our death upon Himself. But His death could not complete the transaction. He had to have the power to raise us up, raise the dead to life. His resurrection showed this power.

“No man taketh it from me,

but I lay it down of myself.

I have power to lay it down and

I have power to take it again.

This commandment have I received of my Father.”

John 10:18.

“But now is Christ risen from the dead,

and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death,

by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die,

even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

1 Corinthians 15:20-22.

Because Job knew his redeemer lived:

  • He had hope in suffering;
  • hope of vindication from the accusations of his friends if not in this life the next.
  • He had comfort
  • He had reason to endure.

Because we know our Redeemer lives.

  • We have reason to endure suffering and trials.
  • We can do so knowing these will end.
  • We have comfort.
  • We have a future hope and a present help.

This is why I hope and in whom I hope.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:…” 

Do you know this hope or are your days filled with fear and uncertainty?

Stay tuned for more on Job.

Unspeakable Joy

In Esther:

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpegWe discover the theme of countless books and movies. It has been the theme of life since shortly after creation. It is the account of good versus evil, God versus Satan. It began subtly in the Garden and continues to escalate as time approaches its end. The account of Esther is one chapter among the ongoing saga.

Mordecai, Esther’s relative, prophesied the Jews’ deliverance when he sought her help.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

Esther risked her life to become the Jews source of deliverance.

As Esther,

Christ came to the earth at the right time as our deliverer.

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…” Galatians 4:4

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,

he also himself likewise took part of the same;

that through death

he might destroy him that had the power of death,

that is , the devil;

And deliver them who through fear of death

were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Hebrews 2:14,15.

Everybody likes a happy ending to a good story. In reality, isn’t that what we want for ourselves, a happy ending? The true story of Esther ended happily for her people. Justice was served, good prevailed over evil, and her people were delivered from death.

“And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman…

And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows…which Haman had made for Mordecai…standeth…

Then the king said, Hang him thereon.” (from Esther 7)

All cheer for justice, but it isn’t finished. The king adds to his original decree allowing the Jews to protect themselves. We find in the end,

“The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour…whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” (Esther 8)

Jesus delivers from despair to joy

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 10:10.

“Likewise, I say unto you,

there is joy in the presence of the angels of God

over one sinner that repenteth..

For this my son was dead,

and is alive again;

he was lost, and is found.

And they began to be merry.”

Luke 15:10,24.

Being born into the kingdom of God gives reason to rejoice. We’ve been delivered from death to life, to new abundant life.

“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you;

but rather rejoice,

because your names are written in heaven.”

Luke 10:20.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…

And there shall in no wise enter into it

any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie;

but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 3:5; 21:27.

Where do we find fullness of joy?

In our Deliverer, Jesus Christ,

“Whom having not seen, ye love;

in whom, though now ye see him not,

yet believing,

ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory;

receiving the end of your faith,

even the salvation of your souls.”

1Peter 1:8.

When circumstances bring sadness, Jesus holds us closer. When they bring disappointment, He is our hope. His presence and promises are our joy, our peace, our deliverance through every trial. Until one day when He wipes away every tear and all that remains is fullness of joy.

Sound to good to be true?

Know this, we are in the last chapters of the book.

How will it end?

There are many beliefs but one truth.

“And he said unto me,

These sayings are faithful and true;

and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel

to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Behold, I come quickly:

blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

Revelation 22:6-7.

What brings joy?

Believing and keeping the sayings told in this book.

Do you believe to the saving/keeping of your soul? If so,

Rejoice!

 

A Certain Future

History points to a certain future. Walking in the present history tells us we do not walk alone and sets our hope on the sure things above.

“If ye then be risen with Christ,

seek those things which are above,

where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”

Colossians 3:1

white sheep on farm
Photo by kailash kumar on Pexels.com

1 & 2 Samuel

Introduces us to a shepherd who becomes a king. He points us to the Good Shepherd and the King of kings.

“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and behold, he keepeth the sheep…1Sam. 16: 11; And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep…1Sam. 17:34a.

Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Christ Jesus:

“Now the God of peace,

that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep, 

through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will,

working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight,

through Jesus Christ;

to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Heb. 13:20,21.

Psalm 23:

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Christ Jesus:

“Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Rom. 5:1,2.

Psalm 23:

“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Christ Jesus:

 “He shall see of the travail of his soul,

and shall be satisfied:

by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;

for he shall bear their iniquities…Isa. 53:11;

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,

so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Romans 5:19.

Psalm 23:

“Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me:”

Christ Jesus:

For consider him

that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin…

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…

THE LORD IS MY HELPER,

AND I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL DO UNTO ME.”

Hebrews 12:2-4; 13:5-6

Psalm 23:

“Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Christ Jesus:

“Who in the days of his flesh,

when he had offered up prayers and supplications

with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,

and was heard in that he feared;

Though he were a Son,

yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

And being made perfect,

he became the author of eternal salvation

unto all them that obey him;”

Hebrews 5:7-9.

Psalm 23:

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over.”

Christ Jesus:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;

because the LORD hath anointed me to

preach good tiding unto the meek;

he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all that mourn…Isa. 61:1,2;

I am he that liveth, and was dead;

and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;

and have the keys of hell and of death.”

Revelation 1:18.

Psalm 23:

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

Christ Jesus:

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,

behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,

and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people,

and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Revelation 21:3.

Can you say, with David, the Lord is my shepherd?  Or are you in want?

In 1 & 2 Kings & Chronicles:

The glory of Jerusalem, of all Israel, surrounded Solomon’s temple.

“And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that  the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.” 1Kings 8:10-11.

The shekinah glory of God filled the house giving Israel a glimpse of the glory that was to come. Jesus referring to Himself said,

“But I say unto you,

That in this place is one greater than the temple.”

Matt. 12:6;

And when an angel invited John in Revelation to come see the bride of Christ, he saw,

“that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God…

And I saw no temple therein:

for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it:

for the glory of God did lighten it,

and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Revelation 21:10,22-23.

History declares the glory of the Lord in part but its revelation will one day be complete.

  • Does your temple house the glory of God?
  • What will your response be when you come face to face with the Lord of glory?

As the song says, “I Can Only Imagine.”