Only Jesus

October 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments
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And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

I John 4:14

Could God have sent anybody else to be the Savior of the world? No, nobody else could have done it – only Jesus. What are some of the things Jesus did that no one else could do?

1. He left Heaven to come to this earth, being born in humble circumstances. No one else could do that, because all other beings are created. Jesus was not created. He existed in His Heavenly home for all eternity.

2. He left the supreme throne of the universe to walk in this lowly world, and He saw sin and the hurt that it causes from a unique perspective. All human beings are sinners ourselves, and we see sin and pain through a cloudy lens of self-interest.

3. He was able to love and save His worst enemies – even those who wanted to kill Him. As mortal sinners, we are sometimes nice to people that we like – or even to people we don’t know. But to people who hate us? Not so much. And certainly not to people who would want to kill us!

4. He brought forgiveness of sins and the only true peace that troubled souls can experience. No one else could forgive our sins because everyone else has their own sins. Jesus did not. He was and is the the perfect sinless Son of God. Only He has the power to forgive sins.

5. He spoke words of eternal absolute truth. When we try to comfort someone who is hurting, our words are not always helpful. Jesus’s words have special power. They are always true. If you believe them, they have the power to make you “whole,” and to make you righteous before God.

6. He opened the eyes of the physically blind and the spiritually blind. Jesus showed us the true nature of God.

7. He cared about people’s needs comprehensively. You do not have a need in your life that Jesus cannot meet.

Jesus was the the King Who came to serve, rather than to be served. He obeyed His Father perfectly. He loved us perfectly. He is the King over all kings and the Lord over all lords, and yet He came to die for you and me. Despite our lack of worth and intrinsic merit, we are important to the King. It is one thing for someone powerful and wealthy to meet your physical, material needs – to give you presents or money. But dying for you is way more than giving gifts or money. Jesus doesn’t expect you to earn His love or forgiveness. We could never do that anyway. He wants us to obey Him and live for Him, which is the best thing in the world for us.

Son of Man

September 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Ezekiel | 8 Comments
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In Ezekiel Chapter 12 the prophet Ezekiel begins to “act out” one of the prophecies the Lord had given him. At times Ezekiel was called to perform these dramatic “silent sermons.” On this occasion he played the part of someone sneaking out of a city under siege.

First, he sneaked out with a small amount of “stuff:” things that someone escaping would need for traveling. Then, greedily, instead of just escaping, he came back after dark, dug a hole in the wall of the house, and got more “stuff:” more material possessions. This time, when he came out again, he made a point to do it in a way so that everyone could see he had his face covered and his eyes fixed on the ground. God gave him a message to go along with this little dramatic skit.

There are times when God may call us to do something that will look strange to the people who are watching us. When He does, it is important for us to obey, but we also need to be prepared and give an answer or an explanation if some asks what we’re doing. Why do you dress the way you dress? Why do you carry that Bible around with you?

And in the morning came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou? Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity.

Ezekiel 12:8-11 (emphasis added)

God allowed Ezekiel to preach about the scene he had been performing. There are different views among Bible scholars about why God referred to Ezekiel by the title, “Son of man.” One view is that “son of man” was a way of contrasting Ezekiel’s humanity with God’s deity. Daniel was also called “Son of Man,” and it was Jesus’s Own favorite title for Himself. (See Luke 19:10; Matthew 8:20.) Some scholars think it is an eschatological title (that it has end times significance). Many times the title “Son of God” is contrasted with “Son of Man” in reference to Jesus’s role in the Kingdom of God, or as a physical manifestation of the Word. The Gospel of John starts off by saying that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and goes on to tell us that the Word was made flesh. John Chapter 5 talks about Jesus as the Son of God coming to give life, and the Son of man having the authority – as the Word made manifest – to execute judgment.

Here is what I believe the primary meaning of the title “Son of Man” is in Ezekiel: It is a title that shows that “men” (human beings) are creatures made to be used by One greater than them. In the Bible, a “son” is “of the father.” So Ezekiel, while he is merely the son of a human man, is actually being used by God the Father. It is a title that reminds us that Jesus was the ultimate example of a Man allowing God to use Him. Remember, Jesus laid down His glory, not His Deity, in His incarnation. But it also reminds us that, as sons and daughters of men ourselves, we can also be used by One greater than us. As human beings, we can be used by our own flesh. We can be used by Satan. Or we can be used by God. We are not called “Sons of man” by God as our official title, but, even as children of mortal men, we can be representatives of God to men, and God can use us to influence other men.

After the Fire

May 20, 2010 at 10:22 am | Posted in Daniel | 4 Comments
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Lord, we know that You are in the midst of Your people in their times of trial, testing, and trouble, just like You were with Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace. You were in the midst of their troubles because You had been in the midst of their prayer time, their Bible study time, their time of assembling together with their brothers to learn about You. Please remind us to call upon You to enter into our midst when we do these things also. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

Daniel 2:5

The threat to make their houses a dunghill was a threat not only to them, but to those they represented. For the Chaldeans it would only be their own families, but to Daniel and his friends, it would be all the Jews they represented. Daniel did not take sole credit for what the Lord allowed him to do. His friends had been faithful to pray with him for the interpretation of the dream (Daniel 2:36), so he was faithful to give them part of the credit.

By Daniel Chapter 3 Nebuchadnezzar had already forgotten how he had been forced to acknowledge the greatness of Daniel’s God. He builds a statue (Daniel 3:1) 60 cubits by 6 cubits. If we think of the number of the beast, 666, we see two of the sixes in these dimensions, but where is the third six?

That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet [1], flute [2], harp [3], sackbut [4], psaltery [5], dulcimer [6], and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

Daniel 3:5 (bracketed numerals added)

There are six instruments mentioned, which, combined with the measurements of the false idol, may be a clue to us that this music was being inspired and used by Satan.

And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Daniel 3:11-12

Three stood up when when everyone else fell down.

Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:21

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Daniel 3:25

Daniel’s friends were saved from the fire and their bonds were loosed. They were set free and their bonds were loosed, but their clothes were not burned off.

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Daniel 3:27

Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Daniel 3:29

Daniel’s friends yielded their bodies. How did they know to yield their bodies to righteousness when they didn’t have the New Testament? They knew the principle of Romans 6:13 before it was written.

Daniel Chapter 4 is Nebudchadnezzar’s official autobiographical document. This is unique in the Bible, that God made a pagan king’s official writing a part of inspired Scripture.

Nebuchadnezzar had a vision of a tree, and he was overcome again with pride. When Daniel interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzar, it was revealed as a vision of Nebuchadnezzar himself, being cut down, and banded or sealed in the wilderness for a period of seven years. Daniel followed the pattern of calling an unbeliever to repentance, which I have analyzed with the acrostic O.A.R.S. from Acts 17. He O.pened. (Daniel 4:24). He A.lleged (Daniel 4:22), as he cited the Word of God as prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah. He R.easoned (Daniel 4:18-19), as he dialogued with the king and used tact and love. He S.poke and S.hared the truth (Daniel 4:27), as he preached.

The Elevator to Heaven

November 28, 2009 at 11:51 am | Posted in Salvation | 3 Comments
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Most people know how elevators work. We know what they do, where they are found, and how to get inside them. When we stand in the lobby of a building, and see the elevator door, we “believe in” that elevator. We know that it can take us to the top of the building. But do we really have “faith” in the elevator? I don’t really place my trust in an elevator until the doors slide open and I actually step inside. Once I’m inside, then I have faith in that elevator. If it goes up, I’m going up. If it goes down, I’m going down. I am then fully depending on that elevator to take me all the way up to my destination.

Jesus Christ is the only Elevator that can take you to Heaven (John 14:6). There are no stairs you can climb, and no other way up. Maybe you know “about” Jesus. You have heard that He was born in a stable, that He grew up with Mary and Joseph, that He was a great teacher, and that He did miracles. You may have even heard that He never sinned, and that people say He was the Son of God. If I told you that the Bible says that He was crucified, buried, and rose again, you would nod your head in agreement (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

But have you ever stepped into the Elevator which is Christ the Lord? Have you placed all your trust in Him? Have you ever admitted that you cannot get to Heaven on your own, because your sin has separated you from God? If not, He is calling you now to place your faith and your trust fully in Him, to believe not just that He died, but that He died for your sins. It’s not enough to know about Jesus – you must come to Him and know Him personally.

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