Monday, October 4, 2010

Faith - One of Gods gifts

Often we see things differently than as others do.  Todays study was of the twelve spies who scouted the land for the people of Ireal. How differently the two groups saw things in the land of Canaan. One group saw themselves as victorious possesors of the land. Able to overcome the oppressors in one mighty attack. Crushing all opposition under they're feet. By Gods hand they could accomplish all that God had promised.

The others claimed total defeat. They saw only that the cirrent owners of the land as exceeding prosperous. Not willing to allow intruders to conquer them. They would rather tuck in they're tails and run back to Egypt and slavery than trust the God who delivered them.
Why the different views?

The remainder of the chapter of Numbers 14 shows us how a lack of faith and trust for God and all his great mercy and the miracles they saw brought about the defeat they saw. Caleb believed all that God had promised. He was ready to go forward and crush all opposition under his feet. Just to take the land God had promised.
The rest  of the people God was ready to strike down  with  great  pestilence and hardships  because  of  the  lack  of  faith.  They  denied  God  and  all  the  great  miracles he  did  for  them  since delivering them  out  of  bondage.  They  were  ready  to  return  to  that  bondage  then step forward in  faith and trust in  a  loving  God  who  delivered  them  from  captivity. 
It is a wonderful thing.  Built in a heart of love open and willing to see and accept the things that are far off as if they were already in hand. That is faith at work.
One Gods great gifts for man. 

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lessons of Paul

We just finished this last quarter on the study of the book of Romans. I always like to reflect on the things I feel the Lord has opened my heart and mind to see in the study. Paul is such a hard man to understand. But such a great preacher. His was a unique gift the Lord used in a very special way.
Of all the deciples Jesus trained for his work only Paul was trained in the ministry. He was trained to be a Jewish  leader but the Lord needed him for something more.  While Jesus was amung us here on Earth the two men never met.  But Jesus never lost sight of him.
The fear of Jesus brought the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin and the Rabis to seek his life. The fear was of the change that Jesus death would bring to they're way  of  life.  It  would  bring  an end to  the  life  and  service  of  the  temple  that  had  been  in place from  the  time  of  Moses.  It was  change  they  did not  want.
We first learn of Pail at the stoning of Steven. A young man choosen by the deciples to replace Judus who betrayed our Lord for a bag of gold coins. Steven was a dedacaded young man who spoke before those men in the temple of the truths they refused to hear. When they stoned him he never stoped his praise to the moment of death.
The one most noted for his death was Saul. Given the charge of percecuting the new christian movement in the land. When he met Jesus on the Damascus road his heart was forever changed. He had been given a new purpose. A new life of service for the Lord and the growing ministry in those early days it desperatly needed.
Paul was chosen to bring the new and the old teachings together. For our benefit his gift was the greatest we have seen. For only Paul had the education and the ability to teach the world not only what the old writings taught but to bring to the world as Jesus sacrifice fulfiilled would be to the world for the rest of time utself.
At the moment of Jesus death the vail on the temple between God most holy place was divide opened because it was the moment that ended the old animal sacrifices for our redemtion. That was the one thing the Jewish leaders feared. They feared they would no longer be needed to continue the work they had been given to do.  They refused to change. Refused to accept Jesus as Gods own son. The very Messiah they had so long been expecting.
Pauls teachings were not easy for them to accept. Fact is they have never accepted it. Paul never stopped teaching the world what Jesus death ment for a lost and searching world. Jesus was the one who brought heaven closer to us. No longer a need for the vail of the temple to seperate us from God the Father. Jesus is the way to the Father.
The book of Romans was the first book Paul gave us. His teachings were so mater of fact. Many even today have a difficult time understanding them. But when we do we are all the more richly blessed for it. Paul is a blessing to our faith. His insights at bridging the truth of the old testament and the teachings of Jesus to the new way of life through salvation by faith is enduring. We still see the benefits of Pauls teachings.
We are so richly blessed by his teachings. So many lives sacrificed to preserve these writings for our times has never been more important then now.

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