Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hiding From The Light

Job 24:13″They are of those that rebel against the light;they know not the ways thereof,nor abide in the paths thereof “.

 

Most of us have received light in some forms. God has given light to be a display of himself, for “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. He has dressed it with a measure of his majesty and power of judgment. Rebillion against light is a sin, and there are many forms of dening the light. Some refuse the light not wanting to know more about the light. While others fight against the light as it revell the intent of their hearts. Then there are those who walk contrary to the light for selfish reasons and personal gains, fooling themselves into believing they are still in the light. But to rebell against the light you are in darkness, and all darkness is a rebellion against the light
The sins of the godly are magnified more because they are illuminated by the light to which we claim. “They are of those that rebel against the light”. Light is taken here figuratively for knowledge, it cannot be denied that the wicked sin knowingly; but the godly have a light which should destroy the darkness.  We have a light which shows us the way of righteousness. We must be careful not to walk contrary to the light and choose the path of darkness. We have a better eye to see sin than the wicked, and for us to mess around with sin, and embrace the darkness provokes God. Sins of ignorance are still sins, but the deliberate acts of sin, and willful neglect of known duty, are great acts of disloyalty.  If a man puts his hand in the fire knowing that it will burn, no one will have pity on him when he burns himself. When the ice is marked “Dangerous”the warning should be sufficient for any reasonable man, he who ventures on the rotten ice is not only a fool but also suicidal should he fall in.
The warning signs of the dangers of walking in darkness, and rebelling against the light are plastered everywhere, even planted in the heart of mankind, take heed that you in your folly don’t fall in and be cursed to everlasting damnation.

Jesus Saves

In a era of religious rights and freedom, you can talk about and worship openly any god, but the true and living God. In our Christian nation we live in, Christ is not welcome in our schools, courts, government funded programs, and on any given Sunday he might not be welcome in his own church house. In a country which has laws protecting gay rights, civil rights, Women’s rights, animal rights, gun rights, and criminal rights, it still is not politically rights to profess Christ openly in public.

God is real and it is time for the redeemed to say so. We sometimes try so hard to please the world, that we get caught up in its confusion, adopting it’s ways, and we begin serving and worshiping it’s gods. This brings about a suffering due to sin. But the good news is with all we’ve done, even though we sometimes turn from the real God to worship idols, God comforts us through his word, as he lets us know he hasn’t forgotten us. He let us know that he is still good ,still God and still saves as he still sits upon the throne. Look to Him when you are feeling down and left out. Seek Him if you are lost in a world of darkness. Hold to His hand if you feel yourself falling into the grips of sin. He is God and there is no other.

God has a plan of salvation, to deliver us from the bondage of our captivity. A way to repair the broken relationship between the creator and his creation. God says assemble yourselves and draw near, and return to me. We must turn from our ways to draw near to God. God is both a just God and a perfect savior, for all who comes to him. God wants us to come to him, for there is none other like him, look to him in faith, look away from all the pretenders in our lives and fix our eyes, and the desires our heart on the true God. Seek Him out, look to him and be saved

Improbable Possibilities

Lesson: Jeremiah 33:2-11

 

Golden  Text: The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice  of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say,  Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them  that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the  Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land,  as at the first, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 33:11). I.   INTRODUCTION.   Throughout their history, God’s people went through cycles  of sin, forgiveness, and restoration.  Jeremiah chapter 33 from  which our lesson comes clearly illustrates this pattern.  Israel’s  restoration after being disciplined by the Lord is anticipated as early in the  Bible as Leviticus chapter 26.  This is a theme continued by the  prophets, particularly those who prophesied as Judah’s exile and captivity drew  near.  These prophets gave the people hope by pointing to a future  time of great blessing that would keep them through the dark days of the  Captivity.  In this week’s lesson, we learn that even though  Jerusalem was damaged and desolate, the city would experience a future rebirth  of goodness and prosperity that would be a testimony to nations of the world of  God’s faithfulness to His people. II. THE  LORD’S PLAN FOR JERUSALEM’S PRESENT (Jeremiah  33:2-5).   Jeremiah chapter 33 is a continuation of last  week’s lesson from chapter 32.  There, upon God’s directions,  Jeremiah purchased land from his cousin to symbolize Israel’s future.   After purchasing the land, Jeremiah prayed to the Lord asking why He  would have him buy land when the nation would be taken captive (see Jeremiah  32:16-26).  God replied to Jeremiah reaffirming that He would give  the nation over to the Chaldeans (Babylonians) because of their evil (see  Jeremiah 32:27-36).  However, the Lord also reaffirmed to Jeremiah  that He would gather the people back to their land, make an everlasting covenant  with them, and fields shall once again be bought and sold in the land (see  Jeremiah 32:37-44).  Then in Jeremiah 33:1, we are told that the  prophet was still in prison when the word of the Lord came to him a second  time.  This is where our lesson begins. A. A pronouncement of  extraordinary things (Jeremiah 33:2-3). 1. (vs. 2).  Our first verse says  “Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof,  the Lord that  formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his  name.”  God, through Jeremiah reminds the people  who He is as Creator: “the maker thereof, the  Lord that  formed it, to establish it.”  It’s difficult  to determine what the word “it” refers to in this verse.   Many scholars understand it to refer to the heavens and the earth.   However, since God said what would happen to Jerusalem in the previous  chapter, it’s quite possible that “it” refers to Jerusalem for  God formed this city and established it.  Regardless of how we  understand what is meant here, in a broader sense it has to mean that whatever  the Lord says, He will carry out, and whatever He wants to make, He forms it  (see Isaiah 37:26).  God then identified Himself as  the Lord is his name.”   The term Lord here is the Hebrew “Yahweh” and the English is “Jehovah.”  It  literally means “I am” indicating self-existence.  This is God’s  covenant name by which He wanted to be known by Israel (see Exodus  3:14-15).  This name describes God as eternal, unchangeable, and  faithful.  He was the God that would perform everything that He  commanded Jeremiah to prophesy concerning Israel. 2. (vs. 3).  The Lord continued to say to  Jeremiah Call unto me,  and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou  knowest not.”  God invited Jeremiah to  call upon Him and when he did God would answer by showing him  great and mighty things,  which thou knowest not.”  The word “mighty” in Hebrew means “not  accessible” and is often translated “walled” or “fenced” as in a fortified city  that can’t be penetrated.  In other words when Jeremiah prayed, God  promised to answer by revealing what he could not possibly know.   These great and mighty things” refer to the blessings the Lord has in store for Israel’s  future.  God would reveal to Jeremiah things that seemed impossible  in light of the present circumstances—being under siege by the Chaldeans.  B. A pronouncement of judgment  (Jeremiah 33:4-5).   1.  (vs. 4).  In this  verse Jeremiah says For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this  city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by  the mounts, and by the sword.”  This verse introduces what God is about to say concerning the  disciplinary judgment He was going to bring upon Jerusalem.  The  Lord said this message concerned the desperate measures the people were taking  in order to resist the attack of the Babylonians.  It involved how  they were using “the houses of this city” and “the  houses of the kings of Judah.”  As a result of the siege  by the Babylonians, the people of Judah had torn down both the royal palace and  their own houses to defend the city from the approaching enemy.  It  appears from the wording of this verse that the houses and the palace were being  “thrown down (or broken down) by the mounts (or ramps), and by the  sword.”  However, actually these were broken down and used  to defend the city against the mounds and the swords of the siege.   2.  (vs. 5).   Now God goes on to describe what will take place in the  city.  He said “They come to fight with  the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have  slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my  face from this city.”  The Lord  was saying that the people were trying to fight the Chaldeans (or Babylonians)  but their efforts would be futile because the houses they hoped could save them  would be filled with “the dead bodies of men.”   This is a reference to their own dead bodies not the bodies of  the enemy.  Although the Chaldeans would be the ones doing the  killing, God claimed responsibility for it when He said “I have slain in  mine anger and in my fury.”  The Lord’s anger and fury was  due to Judah’s wickedness (see Jeremiah 32:30-32).   The nation was  so wicked that God also said “for all whose wickedness I have hid my  face from this city.”  This is a picture of God turning  away and hiding His face from Jerusalem letting it and the people suffer from  their own evil deeds.  God’s people had turned their backs on Him  by following other gods (see Jeremiah 32:33-35), so now He had no choice but to  return the favor. III. THE  LORD’S PLAN FOR JERUSALEM’S FUTURE (Jeremiah  33:6-11)      A. Captivity ended  (Jeremiah 33:6-7).   1. (vs.  6).  The message from God now  turns from disciplinary judgment to future blessing.  The Lord said  Behold, I will bring it health  and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace  and truth.”  Even though the nation had not fully  experienced the Captivity yet, God prophesied a bright future for the  nation.  He said “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure  them.”  To the Lord, Judah’s sin  was like bruises and wounds (see Jeremiah 30:12) and they needed national  healing.  This healing would come with their future restoration to  the land.  God used two medical terms to describe their  healing.  The word “health” in Hebrew has the idea  of closing a wound emphasizing the new skin that grows on the affected  area.  The Hebrew word for “cure” simply means  “healing” referring to the nation’s sins that had seemed incurable (see Jeremiah  8:15; 14:19).  Once the nation is healed and returned to their  homeland, God said that He would also “reveal unto them the abundance of  peace and truth.”  The term “peace” refers to the security, stability, and prosperity that Israel will once again  enjoy in their own land.  The word “truth” refers  to God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness to keep His covenants and promises  (see Psalms 85:1, 10-11).  After they have been disciplined God  will bless His people. 2. (vs. 7).  The Lord continued to say  “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to  return, and will build them, as at the first.”  One of  God’s blessings will be national restoration.  God said  “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to  return.”    Regardless of the location of Jews taken  captive under the divided nation, God will end the captivity and return them  home.  He will reverse the captivity which will include both  “Judah” and “Israel.”  The  divided kingdom will once again be a united nation.  The Lord also  said that He would “build them, as at the first.”   This means that God will rebuild Israel to their original  greatness as in the days of David and Solomon when it was one nation (see  Ezekiel 37:15-22).  The rivalry between the tribes that led to the  division under Rehoboam (see I Kings 12:12-20) will not exist (see Isaiah  11:13).   B. Sins  forgiven (Jeremiah 33:8-9).   1.  (vs. 8).   Not only did God promise to restore Israel to her original  greatness, but the Lord said in this verse And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity,  whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities,  whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”   Once Israel is restored,  God said He will “cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they  have sinned against me.”  This passage uses three words to  describe Israel’s wickedness.  The term “iniquity” means to twist or distort God’s standard.  The word  “sin” means “missing the mark” or “falling short of God’s  standard.”  The term “transgression” means “to  rebel” but is also sometimes translated as crossing a set standard.   Whatever evil Israel is guilty of, God will “cleanse  them” from it.  In the Scriptures, cleansing is often an  act of ritual purification (se Leviticus 13:1-7).  However, here  cleansing refers to moral purity that God gives to those who repent (see Psalms  51:2, 7; Ezekiel 36:24-25).  Not only will God cleanse His people  from their sins, He also promised to “pardon all their iniquities,  whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”   The word “pardon” means to forgive or to  release someone from punishment.  Pardoning is always an act of  divine forgiveness, not human forgiveness.  Unlike man, God is  unique in His desire and ability to pardon our iniquities (see Micah  7:18-19).  When Christ sets up His millennial kingdom, God will  forgive the remnant of Jews who repent and return to Him (see Jeremiah 31:34;  50:20).  Their forgiveness, like ours is based on Jesus’ atoning  death. 2. (vs. 9).  In this verse God goes on to  say “And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before  all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them:  and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity  that I procure unto it.”  The word “it” in this verse refers to Jerusalem.  Once God has cleansed the  remnant who returns to Him, the restored city of Jerusalem will be  “a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the  nations of the earth” for the Lord (see Isaiah 55:13; 62:3-4; Jeremiah  13:11).  God had always intended for Israel to be a witness to the  world of His glory and perfection (see Exodus 19:5-6).  However up  to this point Israel and Jerusalem had only been a disgrace to the Lord before  their neighbors.  But that will change in the future kingdom when  Jerusalem will honor God and “all the nations of the earth, which shall  hear all the good that I do unto them.”  In other words,  all the nations of the world will see all the good that God has done for Israel  and Jerusalem causing those nations to honor the Lord.  In  addition, the nations of the world “shall fear and tremble for all the  goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”   This means that the nations will stand in awe at Jerusalem’s  goodness and prosperity (see Jeremiah 3:17; 4:2).   Note:  The church, like Israel, was chosen by God to  represent Him on earth, demonstrating His glory and redemption (see Matthew  5:13-16; Philippians 2:14-15; I Peter 2:9).  However, too often we  resemble the world around us so much that our testimony and profession become a  mockery and Christ’s name is blasphemed.  We must do  better! C. Gladness restored (Jeremiah  33:10-11). 1.  (vs. 10).  In this verse Jeremiah said  Thus saith the  Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye  say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of  Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and  without inhabitant, and without beast.”   The city of Jerusalem was  under siege but God spoke of the city as if the Captivity had already taken  place.  The phrase  Thus  saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this  place” actually introduces what  the city will look like when God restores it after the return from  Captivity.  But at the present time, the people were saying that  land is “desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of  Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and  without inhabitant, and without beast.”  The city will  become “desolate” or without inhabitants because they will  either be killed or taken captive.  The livestock also will be  missing because the enemy will have taken it all.  In essence, the  land will be empty of both man and animal.  This situation will be  so severe that it caused Jeremiah to weep over the fallen city (see Lamentations  1:1-4).  2. (vs. 11).  The previous verse begins with “Thus saith the Lord; Again there  shall be heard in this place” which should be followed by this verse where God  says “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the  bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise  the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them  that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the  Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land,  as at the first, saith the Lord.”  Even though the Captivity will cause the land to be desolate,  God declared that once again there will be heard in Jerusalem, first  “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness.”   The city and the countryside will once again be filled with  voices of happiness (see Isaiah 51:3).  Second, there will  be “the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.”   This indicates that weddings will once again take place in the  restored land.  Third, there will be the “voice of them  that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”   Worshippers will give  praise to God using the words that began several of the psalms, “the  Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for  ever” (see Psalms 106:1; 107:1;  118:1; 136:1).   And fourth, there will be the voice of “them that shall bring the sacrifice  of praise into the house of the Lord.”  This means that formal worship will also be reestablished and  the voices of those who bring their offerings of praise to the house of the Lord  will be heard.  This is a picture of the restored people bringing  their sacrifices and praising God for His goodness (see Jeremiah 17:26).   For Christians, praise itself is a sacrifice (see Hebrews 13:15).   The phrase “the house of the Lordindicates that the destroyed temple will be rebuilt during the  millennial kingdom.  The temple was rebuilt when the exiles  returned from Babylon, but it was destroyed again by the Romans in 70  A.D.  However, Ezekiel prophesied that a magnificent temple will  again occupy Jerusalem during the millennium (see Ezekiel chapters  40-46).  Finally, in this verse God said “For I will cause  to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the  Lord.”   All this joy and excitement in the land of Israel will happen when the  Lord restores them and they occupy the land as they did when God first gave it  to their forefathers.                           IV.  Conclusion.  In this  week’s lesson we saw how God reassured Jeremiah concerning the future condition  of Israel.  In place of silence, verbal testimonies of laughter and  celebration will come from marriage celebrations.  Shouts of  unending praise to God’s goodness and mercy will proceed from the lips of His  worshippers.  As we face dark days and difficulties in our lives,  the Lord sustains us too with the hope of a glorious future.  This  will occur first in the millennial kingdom, with Israel as the head of the  nations, and then in a new heaven and new earth (see Revelation  21:1).  

 

Testimony Of The Heart

Matthew 15:8 ” This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me”.

The world is full of us who profess a love for God. We are always saying, writing or posting on the various social networks scriptures and various other religious quotations, so others will read them and believe we are saved. But it is not important for others to believe we are saved, as long as they know there is a savior. The purpose of our salvation is to lead others to believe in Jesus, by lifting Him up in all that we do and say.
Many claim to have said yes to Jesus, but have yet to surrendering to Him their hearts.  What we might want in life might not be what God has planned for us. The surrendering of our hearts to Him is saying “not my will but thy will be done”.  What God has for us is better and more than we could ever want for ourselves. Here in our text Jesus says we honor Him with our lips but with the way we live our life we honor the god of this world. How can we say He has all power and yet live as though we are powerless. How can we claim Him as our shepherd and yet live and worry about the things we need. Without faith it is impossible to please God, we must trust and  believe He will do just what He said.
We  must be careful not to worship the blessings more than the blessor. It is when we give Him our hearts that He will give us eternal life. He doesn’t want our best He wants our all, as He gave us His all. Honor the Lord with your heart and they will believe the testimony of your mouth.