Tag Archives: biblical

Route NT316 – Acts 3:16

“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16 

Oh, how easy it would have been for Peter and John to take credit for the healing. A man who was lame from birth was carried every day to sit by the gate called Beautiful to beg. When Peter and John pulled the lame man up by the arms he began to leap and walk and praise the Lord. The people were amazed by what they saw, and could have readily given the credit to the two men and worshiped them as gods. Taking credit would not necessarily have been an evil thing, but simply a very human thing to do.

It really is very easy to accept credit and praise for wonderful things God may do through us. After all, when people are blessed by events such as a miraculous healing, their hearts quite naturally rejoice. In this state, people will usually seek something or someone to praise. The vessel through whom God sent the miracle can easily be the target of their affection.

While it is essential that the vessel of God should not claim the praises due the Lord, it is just as essential that the vessel should not be neglected. In simpler terms, God works through people and it is important to recognize and take care of those who are engaged in the work of the Lord. Jesus declared this with words recorded in Matthew 10:10 “for the worker is worthy of his support”.

What Act 3:16 teaches us then, is that God works through people by faith in the name of Jesus. While it is right to honor and recognize those through whom God works, it is most important for these vessels to lead the blessed to direct all praise and worship to the Lord who is the true source of all blessing.

Praise God for His many blessings and praise Him for those He sends to carry forth those blessings.

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July 9, 2017 · 3:36 pm

Route NT316 – John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have everlasting life.”

Often I have heard scholarly debate about ancient texts and scriptures. When the debate turns specifically to the Bible, one of the verses on which a great deal of time is generally spent is John 1:1. After all, what excellent material for lengthy and complicated discussion? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Such great dissertations have been delivered, by simply concentrating exhaustively on the explanation that “the Word” John refers to is Jesus. Pages and pages have been filled. Yet, even with so much scholarly attention, the profound theology of this verse can be easily lost. Lost because all the debate and discussion never cause it to reach the hearts for which it was written.

The truth is, where scholarly debate and discussion come up short, and where religion fails, Love reigns. One of the greatest attributes mankind has inherited from being created in the likeness of God is the desire to love and be loved. Paul was inspired to write of this in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Here we are instructed and encouraged to live in FAITH and live in HOPE, but most importantly, live in LOVE

God commands us to love one another with the same love He has shown us. That is a tall order to fill, and most likely not one of us will actually come even close to accomplishing this. Still, we should never give it up as a lost cause. What is so easily missed is that in the case of sharing the love of God, accomplishment may not be in the completion of the task, but is actually in striving to do it.

What then is the love of God? Well of course, it is this stop along Route NT316. It is LOVE itself. As the One who was sent and died put it, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) The real question is, “How do we share the love of God”? This is a question that can also lead to much discussion and debate, but the real and simple answer is to share the love God has already given. Just strive to let every single person know that they are so desperately loved by God that He sent His only Begotten Son to die for specifically them.

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NT Route 3:16 – 2nd Stop Mark 3:16

Once again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been here. This is mostly due to life in transition. With starting a new job, which also included a big change in shift, and finishing my first semester of schooling in many years, I have found myself very busy. Praise the Lord He has been with me and brought me through all my busyness and even now fills my heart with joy and inspiration to continue my journey along NT Route 3:16. Thank you for waiting and for your prayers. I know you have been praying, I can just tell.

On our journey, the next stop is Mark 3:16. “And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter).” Now I know that the Lord has set me on this journey because there is something for me to discover at each stop that He will use to edify my life and the lives of those with whom I share, but when I got here, I was really stumped. Here there only seems to be a small portion of an over-all message, and on top of that, it’s just a list. True, a list of very important names, but still, just a list. What, oh what could there possibly be here to impact my own life. It’s just a part of a list, not even a complete thought…But wait, WAIT. I do see it. I see a complete whole message in this one verse of scripture, and I see how it applies to me.

The message hidden in Mark 3:16 actually becomes more clear when you read it without some of the words. The verse says “He appointed” and then points out one of the appointed to whom He gave a new name. Oh how very clear this verse spells out the vital importance of being appointed by God! It is so important, because when Jesus is the one who makes the appointment, it is for real! It is for real, and He will bring it to pass! If we set out of our own accord, we are very likely doomed to failure, but when we answer the call of God’s anointed appointment we are most assuredly destine to succeed.

I have taught for many years and whole heartedly believe that God uses every person who ever has and ever will live to fulfill His purpose. He appoints each and every one of us to be used to carry His name into all the earth and speak it forth to every living creature. Yet He leaves us with a choice. The choice we have is to receive His appointment as a blessing or a curse. For example, Moses was blessed as he moved in his appointment to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and to the land of Canaan. On the other hand, the Pharaoh was cursed as he refused to move in his appointment to release the Hebrews and let them go with Moses. How much more wonderful it is to move in the appointment of the Lord.

The other key point in this verse is that Jesus had given Simon another name. In answering his appointment, Simon was to be known as Peter. This point is key to each of us, because it points out the importance in realizing, accepting and moving in the fact that as we surrender our lives to Jesus we too should become known by another name. No I’m not necessarily saying that we need a different name, but what I see here at Mark 3:16 is that when we have surrendered to Jesus, people should be able to recognize that we are a different person. When they hear our name, it should call to their memory a person who is devoted to living for God. The only way people can recognize such a difference is if it is true.

As I was reading one morning, the Lord expanded this understanding to me through the life of another person from the Bible, whose name was Jedidiah. I discovered in 2 Samuel 12:24-25, that when God sent the Prophet to the King to tell the name of his new baby was Jedidiah, He also sent word through the Prophet that the name means, beloved of God”. God proclaimed this name on the child because from his very beginning, God loved him. While Jedidiah was very much a great King, in the long run, he did not live by the name God had given him, and by the time he died he had pretty much turned from God to live by the name given him by his earthly father and in his earthly father’s womanizing ways. While he had been proclaimed by God as Jedidiah, he lived and died by the name Solomon. What a shame for the most wise man who ever lived, that he died as Solomon the king who turned to the gods of his wives, instead of Jedidiah the beloved of God. I guess it just goes to show that how you finish is so much more important than how you start, and how you finish is all about how you live today (and tomorrow), not how you lived yesterday.

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Teach Them Diligently

Deuteronomy 6:7”and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Isn’t it funny, God’s direction to us is to “diligently teach” the scriptures to our sons (children) … not to be diligent to make sure they go to church, not to be diligent about making sure the Bible is read in school, but to be diligent to TEACH them?

Look too, at where and how we are to teach them … “talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Now lest any may misunderstand, please know that having your children (in fact your entire family) habitually involved in church activities and services multiple times a week is an absolutely marvelously excellent way of life! The writer of Hebrews stated this very eloquently when he wrote in 10:23-25”Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”

There is a joy that comes from participating in organized meetings that are about instilling hope, love and good deeds into the lives of people. David said it this way in Psalms 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.'”

Liberation, empowerment and strength are realized through the purposeful act of going to spend time in the praise and worship of our Creator and Savior! Which is why David also encouraged us in Psalm 132:7 “Let us go into His dwelling place; Let us worship at His footstool.”

At the same time, if our Christianity is about going to church, then it becomes something we do, and not who we are. Also, if we leave the teaching of scriptures to our children for the church or school, we have shirked an enormous part of our responsibility as Christian parents. That is not what God intended. How can I speak so boldly of God’s intentions? Because in Deuteronomy 6:7 God commands us to be Christian everywhere and all the time … “when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

In addition, God lays the responsibility of teaching scripture to children squarely on the shoulders of their parents … “you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them”.

WOW! That’s a big burden to lay on someone! I mean, not everyone is a Bible scholar, and life is already so busy just taking care of the kids and meeting their physical needs. Soooo… how is an already frazzled parent supposed to add scripture teaching to their over-packed schedule!?!
Once again, the answer to this quandary is found in Deuteronomy 6:7 “talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” You don’t have to add to your schedule, but simply use the moments you already have to your advantage. For example:

We don’t so much walk now-a-days, but when you add up all the “to and fro” time, we do spend lots of hours traveling. I would venture to say that for most Americans, that means time in a car. Well, what occupies that time? Is it silence? Is it keeping everyone busy with books or electronic gadgets such as games or videos?

How about replacing silence with talking about scriptures? Start simple by engaging everyone in remembering details of a well known Bible stories. As time goes on, start keeping a Bible in the car and challenge someone to look-up, confirm and/or add to the details. What an incredible way to have family time and TEACH SCRIPTURE.

As for busy activities, what books are the children reading, or what videos are they watching? What electronic games are they playing? These questions are extremely critical, because whatever they are spending all these traveling hours on, is what is getting lodged in their brain and forming their thought processes.

It is absolutely essential to know what children are ingesting through their eyes and ears, and unfortunately a little extra effort is required to take the time to actually read, view and even play their books, videos and games. One thing that can help is finding trusted sources. Ask Sunday School Teachers and Children’s Pastors what sources they use. Visit Christian Book/Supply Stores in your area. Checkout the resource pages on web-sites such as, www.sonpoweredpub.comwww.goodseedcreation.com, www.discoveryandfun.com or www.focusonthefamily.com.

The point is, God wants us to “teach them diligently”, starting now! So don’t delay, get on your way!

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Why another blog?

Looking at the world of internet, some may question whether there really needed to be another blog out there. Maybe the internet didn’t NEED another blog, but I do. God is simply laying things on my heart that I just need to share with as many people as I can possibly reach.

As the name of this blog implies, what you will find here is a study of the Word of God. What may be different from other blogs will be the all out attempt to be absolutely sure the Word is studied IN CONTEXT.

It is actually relatively easy to pull words out of the Bible and then twist them to mean just about anything the human mind can conjure up. This is not OK!!! The study of God’s Word MUST be an exercise in attempting to understand what God is telling us, and that can only be done by studying the words within the context in which they are written. Consider the following example:

1 Timothy 6:10 reads, “Money is a root of all sorts of evil”. This can preach! This thought can be expounded to explain why living in poverty is the only Christian way to live! It can even be supported by other biblical accounts. For example, Jesus told a rich young man that in order to follow after Him, he would first have to sell all his possessions and give to the poor!

Problem is, a sermon manufactured in this way would most assuredly have to be targeting people of means. It basically carries a false message that people need to be  poor before they are worthy of salvation. (The truth is, no one is worthy of salvation. Reference Romans 3:23.)

Now, if we do the right thing and place the selected quote back within its context (in other words put in the stuff in front and following it), it really says: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.” 1 Timothy 6:10 Yep, that’s actually the whole verse, and what does it really say?

Does it say money is evil? NO, money can’t be evil. It is an inanimate object.

Does it imply that people who have money are evil? Nope! When you consider the whole verse, it is easily applicable to all people, rich or poor.

This verse tells us that the LOVE OF MONEY gives root to evil in our lives. It does not matter whether you have none, a little, some, or a great amount, to avoid evil, one thing you definitely must do is abstain from the LOVE OF MONEY! The message here is that when you are obsessed with what you have or what you don’t have, you simply set your self up for grief (“many a pang”)!

What about the rich young man? Oh, yes, refer to Mark 10:17-27. Jesus was not actually concerned with the material wealth of this individual, but here, as we have seen with other accounts in the Bible, He was concerned with the condition of the young man’s heart. Jesus did tell him to sell ALL his possessions. (In other words, let them go.) Jesus did tell him to “give to the poor”, but Jesus did not say the young man had to give it ALL away.

The bottom line is, while Jesus does not call us to vow poverty, He does want to be more important to us than anything and everything we do or do not have in this world!

I hope you will continue to follow this blog, and I surely welcome your insights and/or questions.

Please know that my postings will not necessarily follow a regular schedule, as they will be inspiration driven. (Each time the Lord gives me an “AHA!” moment, I hope to share it here.)

Thank-you for reading!

Praying Numbers 6:24-26 for you!

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What really happened in the synagog in Nazareth?

Today I found something really cool and profound in Luke chapter 4.  I came to a new understanding of the account recorded in verses 16 – 30. Not a new revelation. The information was there all the time, and I just hadn’t processed it correctly. As I pondered this in my own mind, I wondered how many others had the same misunderstanding I had, and decided I needed to share my new understanding with others, so here we go…

As the scripture records, Jesus, who had started His traveling preaching ministry, came to His hometown of Nazareth. Taking His usual approach, He went into the synagog on the Sabbath and stood up to read. The reading He selected was from the book of Isaiah. (In modern Bible translations it is filed as chapter 61, verses 1 and 2) “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME. BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN, AND TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

After Jesus read the passage He said, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

All of this prompted a question from those in attendance, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

Now here is where a new understanding begins. You see, I previously understood that the question from the people was a raised as a challenge to the Lord’s proclamation that the Scripture had been fulfilled. I have heard it preached and taught, and I am sure I have taught it myself, that the people were challenging Jesus based on the fact that He was only the son of a carpenter, but that is not what went on there that day!

When we look further to the word’s of Jesus recorded in Luke 4 verses 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 and examine the question fully within the context, we find that the people were not challenging the authority of Jesus. The Lord knew and spoke against not what the people said, but the condition of their hearts, and what they were about to ask.

By their question, the people in that meeting were recognizing Jesus as the son of Joseph (and Mary). The one who performed the miracle of turning water to wine in Capernaum. By His reading from Isaiah and proclamation they were  suddenly enlightened as to whose presence they were in.  Their problem was not that they refused to recognize Jesus, but that they DID!

Their problem was that because of the condition on their hearts, their enlightenment did not result in a time of praise, adoration and worship for the Lord. Jesus immediately knew that the condition of their hearts was about to turn them to the selfish objectives and ambitions of seeking the miracles He could perform.

What occurred that day in Nazareth happens to this day, and is something we must be careful to guard ourselves against. Enlightenment in Jesus is not supposed to be about seeking the miracles He may work for us. Enlightenment in Jesus is supposed to be about seeking Him and having fellowship with Him through praise, adoration and worship!

Yes, God is a God of miracles, but if what we are seeking is miracles, we have missed the message.

(Note: All excerpts are from the NASB published by Holman in Nashville, TN.)

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