Who did Jesus eat with?

I was combing through notes in the back of my Bible and came across these from  a recent Sunday evening sermon by Jake Grogan.  I thought these straightforward points have a lot of bearing on our everyday lives and are worth thinking on again.

  • Jesus ate with SINNERS (Luke 15).
  • Jesus ate with SNOBS (Luke 14).
  • Jesus ate with SAINTS (last supper, marriage supper of the Lamb).

I asked myself these questions: Who am I planning to eat with?  Who would feel comfortable at my table?  Who wouldn’t?  Will anyone have found their seat at the great table in heaven because they first ate at my table?

Hearing for the First Time

This is the reaction of a 28 year old deaf lady hearing for the first time.   Watch and then meditate on what it must have been like when Jesus healed people.

Mark 7:37  And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

A Word of Grace from a Dead Baptist Preacher

“I have always felt, in my own mind, that it was one of the clearest proofs that I had God’s forgiveness of my many sins, when I was trusted to preach the gospel. I should think that, if a prodigal came back to his father, the old gentleman would kiss him, and receive him, and rejoice greatly over him; but the next Saturday, the market-day, the old gentleman would say, ‘I cannot send young William to market; that would be putting temptation in his way. Here, John, you have always been with me; go to market, and buy and sell for me, for all that I have is thine. William, you stay at home with me.’ He might not let him see all that he meant, but he would say to himself, ‘Dear boy, he is hardly fit for that great trust; I love him, but still I hardly dare trust him as much as that.’ But see what my Lord did with me; when I came home to him Continue reading

A God Who Delights to Make Wrong Things Right

“We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right.”  The words from Dr. Dan Davey’s message have been ringing in my ears this week.  They rang in my ears as I stood with the Emr family and prayed that God would heal little infant, Vera.  I heard them again as I prayed for the Stolvoort family as they hope in God while battling the daily effects of cancer.  This truth rang out again as I received an email in which one Christian brother, in an open letter, was slandering another.  The words echoed again when I watched my children struggle to obey even the slightest directive outside the realm of their personal desires.  I said the words to myself this morning after I awoke to my first selfish thought.  “We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right.”

Before the beginning there was God.

No man had ever sinned against him.  No man had ever doubted whether he was worthy of worship, honor and glory.  No man had ever rebelled against him.  No man had ever destroyed anything he made or possessed.  No man had ever hurt anyone that he loved. 

And yet, the possibility existed that he could make mankind who would do all of those things and far worse.  For if he created them he knew they would spit in his face, mock his lordship, torture him beyond recognition, and even murder him if given the chance. 

After man there was sin and suffering.

If he created a being with a freewill he could foresee they would reject the perfection created for them bringing sin death and suffering into their perfect world. 

He could foresee that they would eventually need to be made right, and it would cost him greatly.  If he created them and loved them, (in order to remain God), he would have to send Jesus to become like them, and fix all their disobedience with obedience.  An obedience that would lead Him even to pay the eternal penalty of their sins on the cross. 

Why did he create man?

Why did he do it?  Why did he create man knowing that they would hate him?  Why make those who would need to be made right again?  That is part of the mystery of the glorious gospel.  But we do have at least a glimpse into the answer in the very message of the Bible.  One core truth that is abundantly evident in Scripture from cover to cover is:  God delights to make wrong things right. 

God delights in making wrong things right.

The gospel assures us that God will make every effect of sin right.  There will be a day when he will wipe away all tears.  Those who hope in him will stand before him in a glorified perfect body (Job 19).  There will be perfect unity among mankind  as all nations stand united in him.  The earth and heaven will be restored and made right.    There will no longer be a struggle with sin.  There will be no more suffering, for in his suffering he ended suffering.  This is at the core of the message of the Bible.  We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right!

Par is Not Perfection: Born to LIVE as well as Die

At the Christmas season we often hear the phrase “Born to Die.”  While this is certainly an accurate statement there are other glorious gospel truths that complete the story.  Christ was also born to live for us. Let’s consider three gospel thoughts  (original by Dave Harvey):  par is not perfection, perfection for us, and the divine swap. Continue reading

Cool Picture

I took this picture on a hilltop in Israel about 2 miles from Nazareth.  The town is down to the right out of the picture.  The valley to the left is where Gideon defeated the Midianites.  The hill we were on is where people tried to hurl Him from because He taught He was God.  This week I came across the verse on the picture in the ESV and turned it into a screen saver for my computer.  This verse is used in connection with Jesus leaving Nazareth to live in Capernaum. Praise God for the Light of Jesus!

A Confident Prayer

One thing that we know about prayer is that when we pray according to God’s will, we will receive that petition.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn. 5:14-15)

Part of our struggle in prayer is asking “amiss” as James puts it; other times, it may be that we do not discern God’s will.  Last Sunday the choir sang this prayer:

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Look at that last line again.  I find great comfort in that prayer, because this is a prayer strikingly similar to one prayed by Jesus himself.  Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus prayed these words for us:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (Jn. 17:20, 21)

Now, I don’t think Jesus was in the habit of not praying according to the will of His Father.  Even in Gethsemane, he chose his Father’s will, as opposed to his own human desire.  Because Jesus prayed this for us, we may pray with confidence the same thing:  Father, make me one with You.

While there may be some mystery as to what that fully means for us, I find great strength, encouragement, and assurance in knowing that this prayer is one God will answer.  For one, it is the will of the Father.  Two, I know the Spirit is making intercession for me according to the will of the Father.  What great encouragement there is for us to persevere, to press on, because “he which hath begun a good work in [us], will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)  Being one with the Father means there is available to us an abundance of wisdom, strength, fellowship, comfort, guidance, and on and on it goes.

We would jump up and down if God dropped a large sum of money into our laps.  How often do we rejoice over the oneness of fellowship that God is giving us in this life? Praise God that Jesus paid the price and bore sin’s curse that we could receive this adoption!