Friday, November 16, 2018

Thanksgiving

~Thanksgiving ~
I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Well, Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Will our gratitude last beyond the afternoon nap? Is Thanksgiving—a one-time, get-it-out-of-the-way holiday that forces us to reflect on how blessed we are? Too quickly, people resort back to being ingrates and complaining about what they don’t have. God’s will for us is to be thankful for all things.  Believers, by faith, need to trust His design and sovereign will for them.

“In every thing” carries an unlimited stipulation. It refers to everything that may take place in one’s life, except, of course, personal sin. No matter what struggles or trials God will directly or indirectly allow in our lives, there is always a reason for thanking Him. I Peter 1:6-9 tells us that we are to rejoice when we have been grieved by various trials. These trials test the genuineness of our faith which is more precious than gold and results in praise, glory, and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we don’t see Him now, we do believe in Him and we will have a joy that is inexpressible because the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

Gratitude should come naturally to believers for all that He has done for us. But, because of our hardness of heart, God encourages us to be thankful with commands that are essential and necessary. “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Joni Eareckson Tada, who was involved in an accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down, writes, “Giving thanks is not a matter of feeling thankful, it's a matter of obedience.” God wills our being thankful in all things because thankfulness is the ultimate expression of love. May you be filled with thankfulness for all Christ has done.


Lord, thank You for giving me the gift of eternal life.

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Royal Banquet

A Royal Banquet
Esther 1:1-9 

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)  That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, . . .

Esther lived during the Persian period of world history. The palace in Susa was the winter residence of the king of Persia which was a fortified palace built above the city for protection. In the third year of his reign, King Ahasuerus gave a magnificent banquet inviting his princes, army officers, and nobles of the provinces surrounding him. The main theme of this banquet was to display the great riches and glory of his majesty and splendor to all his guests. 

The Persian King is referenced to 175 times or more in the book of Esther but the name of God, the mention of God or any prayer worshiping Him is never stated. We know that God’s sovereignty prevailed in saving the Jews and if He desired to be mentioned in the writing of this book, He could have moved the author to do so. Though God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, His hand is seen in the saving of the Jews. God’s character and attributes are revealed in His eternal purpose and plan for Israel whether His name is ever written down. May we never forget that God, through the merits of His reputation and character, moves in His providential care for the eternal benefit of His people. 

We have read that great riches were to be displayed in Shushan the palace in the presence of the people as an attempt to bring glory and majesty to King Ahasuerus. But we know, that there is only one King that deserves such glory and majesty. Only one King worthy of praise and worship, only one King entitled to honor, reverence, and exaltation. He is the KING, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.


Lord, I worship You, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Exodus and the Gospels

Exodus and the Gospels


Exodus 1-40

Scripture from the book of Exodus is mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels with reference to the burning bush and in the explanation of the resurrection (Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:29-32; Mark 12:26; and Luke 20:37). When telling the rich young ruler how to enter the kingdom of God, Christ recalls the Ten Commandments quoting Exodus 20:12-16 in Matthew 19:18-19; Mark 10:19; and Luke 18:20. Jesus was clarifying that in keeping the Law perfectly one could enter the kingdom of heaven, but as we understood scripture, it is impossible to do that.

Some of the clearest engagements of the book of Exodus are found in (John 1:1–18) and the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6). Jesus interprets that the feeding of the 5,000 is likened to the manna which Moses gave their ancestors in the wilderness (John 6:31). Manna is described to be “bread from heaven” and in the Gospel of John, Jesus himself says, “I am the bread of life...” (John 6:35) the bread coming down from heaven.

How is the story of the exodus linked to the Gospels? In the Synoptic Gospels as well as in the book of John, the Exodus narrative takes on a significant role. This role does not take away from the importance of the Exodus but is used to magnify Jesus’ as the greater Moses. The Gospels make one point extremely clear that following Jesus leads to an extraordinary salvation and it is more than what the Israelites experienced in fleeing Egyptian rule. We are unable to defeat the enemy, Satan, or conquer sin altogether. Only God can do this for us.

The Exodus Passover lamb is a foreshadowing of Christ. The prophet John the Baptist called Jesus, “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29) and (Exodus 12:5) distinctly calls for a lamb without blemish. Through His sinless life and sacrificial death, Jesus is the only One capable of giving hope of eternal life. 


Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice.