If Only There Were Someone

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My Musings – Arbitrate: to settle (a dispute between two people or groups) after hearing the arguments and opinions of both.

Some say that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, in which case Job is “unwittingly” making the earliest prophecy about the coming Messiah.

If you browse the internet, you’ll find various opinions on what makes a good arbitrator.  Among them are competence, character, courage, commitment, compassion.  I would add at least one more: an intimate knowledge of both parties in the dispute.  Ever wonder why God became man though His Son Jesus Christ?  While this is undoubtedly a multi-dimensional question, perhaps this was one of the reasons.

Christ already had the divine perspective.  For He “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3, NIV 1984).”  When He became man, He acquired the human perspective.  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15, NIV 1984).”

My Advice – In the most important “dispute” of our lives, one with eternal consequences, we want more than a good arbitrator. We want the best.  Jesus is the best.  As a matter of fact, He is the only arbitrator that is able to “remove God’s rod from [us].

 

Have You Heard The News?

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2 Kings 19:25 – “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – When we think that the world is spinning out of control, we need to remember who has the ultimate control.  Nothing takes Him by surprise.  The “unexpected” cannot change what He ordained and planned in days of old.  Perhaps what seems to be things out of control are things He planned and ordained long ago.  Perhaps the time is growing short and the “labor pains” are increasing in intensity and frequency.  We do not know the day or hour (only the Father knows), but we can know when the time “is near, right at the door.”  “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matthew 24:34, NIV 1978)  Are we the generation that will see all these things?  Maybe.  Long ago He ordained the return of His Son.  In days of old He planned it.  He will most certainly bring it to pass.

My Advice – Watch for it (see Matthew Chapter 24).  But more importantly, be ready for it.  Are you ready?

Every Knee and Every Tongue

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1 Kings 18:39The Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God! (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The context of this verse is the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  Having seen the utter failure of a non-existent god, and the awesome display of God’s mighty power, the people could do nothing but exclaim “The Lord – He is God!

Today, people worship all kinds of “gods,” fame, fortune, pleasure, and science, for example, not to mention a plethora of false religions all claiming that they are the true or an alternative path to God.  Then there are those who claim that there is no God at all.

That’s today.  A time is coming, perhaps very soon, when this will change and “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10–11, NIV 1984).

My Advice – For those who have confessed Jesus Christ is Lord beforehand, this will be praise indeed.  For those who have not, it will be too late.  Why not now? “The Lord – He is God!”

It’s A Onederful Life

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1 Timothy 2:5-7For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – In a 2016 Gallup survey of Americans, when asked whether or not they believe in God, 89% answered yes, 10% answered no, and 1% had no opinion.  In a separate Gallup survey that same year, when given a third option to yes or no (unsure), 79% answered yes, 10% were unsure and 11% answered no.

In a 2008 Pew Research survey, 52% of all American Christians believe that some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life, while only 49% of evangelical Christians believe theirs is the one true faith.

Of course surveys only reveal what people believe to be true, they do not determine what is in fact true.  The same is true with respect to various religions – they define people’s beliefs, which may or may not be truth.  I can only speak for myself and why I believe that Christianity is the truth.

One God For Christians and Jews (perhaps Muslims?), this is the God of the Old Testament.  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV 1984).  Logic tells us that there can only be one “supreme” (superior to all others) being.

One Mediator between God and men – The Christian faith, and as far as I know none other,  believes that the “one” (exclusive) mediator is Jesus Christ.  Why must Christians (despite what the polls might say) believe this.  Because Jesus said it Himself.  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.‘” (John 14:6, NIV 1984).  He was either telling the truth, lying or deranged.  If He was not telling the truth, He cannot be a path to God.  But His resurrection testifies that He was telling the truth.

One true faith – Is the Christian faith the one true (exclusive) religion?  If you believe the Gospels, then yes it is.  “[Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.‘” (Matthew 26:39, NIV 1984).  If Jesus was indeed the “only begotten Son of God,” then you would have to believe that if there was another way (another path – one or many), God would not have allowed His only Son to be crucified.  But Jesus was crucified.  There was, and is, no other way or path.

My Advice – Only we can choose what to believe.  But what we choose to believe cannot change the truth.  The stakes are high, so we must consider carefully what the truth is.  One cannot blame Christians for asserting that Jesus is the only path to God. because Jesus claimed it Himself. And God ratified it by allowing His death and raising Him from the dead.  In this sense, yes, Christianity is exclusive – it is the only path to God.   But in another sense, Christianity is all-inclusive. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12, NIV 1984).  It is a path that is open to all.  The choice is ours.  Only we can make sure we “earn” our wings by believing and receiving.

 

 

 

 

Acknowledging Jesus

1 John 4:2-3This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Those who clearly deny Jesus are easy to spot. But there are many who claim to acknowledge Jesus, but in reality it is not the Jesus of scripture that they acknowledge. He was not merely a prophet, He was not merely a good man, He was not created divinity. He was, is and will always be co-eternal with God, the one and only Savior.

My Advice – Many will claim that Jesus was less than what He claimed to be. If He was less, He was actually nothing. But you know that He is exactly who He said He was. Do not waver in your belief about that.

Because He Understands

Hebrews 2:18Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Jesus not only suffered by dying on the cross for our sins, He suffered by being subjected to the same temptations that we are – yet without sin.

My Advice – Don’t think that Jesus does not understand the temptations that you face. He does.

Your Attitude Should Be…

Philippians 2:2-5Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Ambition is fine, as long as it is not driven by selfishness. Humility does not mean you have to have a low opinion of yourself, just don’t be conceited and drive others down. It is okay to look out for your own interests as long as you don’t do it at the expense of others.

My Advice – Watch yourself in your career that you do not become driven by selfish ambition. Do not let success make you vain and conceited. Don’t walk over others to advance yourself. Help others at work.