2/27/14

From Jim McGuiggan... STUBBORN OUNCES

STUBBORN OUNCES



You say the little efforts that I make
Will do no good;
They never will prevail
To tip the hovering scale
Where justice hangs in balance.
I don’t think
I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
In favour of my right to choose which side
Shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.
Bonaro Overtsreet  

When we self-confessed sinners [self-confessed because God has opened our eyes] oppose “the world” [1 John 2:15-17] and its powerful allies and attempt to set prisoners free we’re not making a futile, pointless gesture and much less are we appealing to the goodness of a “world” that enslaves and crushes, a “world” that is the Glorious God’s enemy.

We align ourselves with God—clay pots, fragile and vulnerable, with no claim to moral superiority—and offer ourselves as God’s instruments to promote and bring to fulfillment God’s glorious enterprise in Jesus Christ. It's in people like us that God invests the gospel treasure that an impoverished and oppressed humanity needs so desperately. That's all the NT elect have to offer—a Message, good news. Nothing else! Not medical advances or social reforms or scientific breakthroughs however fine they might be. We offer nothing but the wisdom and power and righteousness of God embodied in the Lord Jesus and we do it in the humiliation of preaching [1 Corinthians 1:18, 21-25].

That can’t be a blunder and it can’t be an act of blind stupidity for God himself would have it that way. The now glorified Lord Jesus chooses again the way of humiliation as he did in his pre-exalted ministry.

Our eyes are fixed on God’s self-disclosure in and as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ who is himself the justification for the very existence of humans! Who is himself the embodiment of God’s eternal war against all that enslaves and narrows and robs and humiliates.

Our stubborn ounces are thrown onto his scale and because of Him we’ll discover one day that they weighed as much as worlds!


©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... Advantages Of Jesus' Humanity (Hebrews 2:5-18)






                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                 Advantages Of Jesus' Humanity (2:5-18)

INTRODUCTION

1. Following his warning against drifting (He 2:1-4), the writer of
   Hebrews continues to illustrate Jesus' superiority to angels...
   a. In the first chapter the emphasis was on Jesus' deity
   b. Now the focus is on Jesus' humanity

2. One can imagine the sort of objections that could be raised about
   Jesus' humanity...
   a. When Jesus became flesh, didn't that make Him lower than the
      angels?
   b. How then can it be said that He is superior to angels?

3. The response is that Jesus' humanity provided several advantages...
   a. In regaining man's lost dominion
   b. In bringing many sons to glory
   c. In disarming Satan, and delivering us from the fear of death
   d. In becoming a sympathetic high priest

[Yes, becoming flesh did not prove to be a handicap or a mark of
inferiority; rather, it served to make Him "perfect"!  To see how,
let's note how Jesus' humanity first...]

I. ENABLED JESUS TO REGAIN MAN'S LOST DOMINION (2:5-9)

   A. MAN ONCE HAD DOMINION OVER THE EARTH...
      1. At the beginning, man was given dominion over God's creation
         - Gen 1:26-28
      2. David marveled that God set man over His works - Ps 8:4-6
         a. Even though man was made "a little lower than the angels"
         b. Yet God "crowned him with glory and honor"!

   B. MAN HAS LOST THAT DOMINION...
      1. As is rather evident:  "But now we do not yet see all things
         put under him." - He 2:8
      2. As a result of The Fall, man lost his dominion

   C. JESUS, AS A MAN, REGAINED THAT DOMINION!
      1. Jesus was "made a little lower than the angels"; i.e., He
         became a man!
      2. Because of His suffering of death, He was "crowned with glory
         and honor"!
         a. What man once had and lost...Jesus has regained!
         b. Those who are in Him share in that rule, both now and in
            the future!
            1) Seated at the right hand of God, Christ rules over all
               - cf. Ep 1:20-22
            2) Those in Christ sit together with Him - cf. Ep 2:4-6
            3) Especially so, when we pass from this life to the
               next... - cf. Re 2:26-27; 3:21

[Such dominion, both now and in "the world to come", was never given
to angels (He 2:5). Man had it and lost it. Becoming a man and
suffering death enabled Jesus to regain that dominion for man!

By the same suffering and death, Jesus was able to "taste death for
everyone" (He 2:9). By the grace of God, then, His humanity also...]

II. ENABLED JESUS TO BRING MANY SONS TO GLORY (2:10-13)

   A. HIS SUFFERINGS IN THE FLESH WERE "FITTING"...
      1. God gave Jesus the task...
         a. To bring many sons to glory (to restore man to his position
            of glory and honor)
         b. To be the "author" (captain, pioneer, leader) of man's
            salvation
      2. His sufferings in the flesh made Jesus "perfect" for the task!
         a. This is not to imply that Jesus was imperfect when He was
            on the earth
         b. The word "perfect" means to be "complete, effective,
            adequate"
         c. To be complete and effective as our Savior and High Priest,
            Jesus' sufferings were necessary - cf. He 2:18

   B. HIS HUMANITY MAKES HIM "ONE" WITH THOSE BEING SAVED...
      1. Even though He is the One who "sanctifies", and they are
         "being sanctified"
      2. His humanity (and suffering) makes them "all of one"
      3. Such identity with man makes Jesus proud to call us
         "brethren"! - He 2:12-13

[The idea of Jesus as the One whose suffering in the flesh makes Him
the perfect author of our salvation, and not ashamed to call us
brethren, is expanded even further in the remaining verses of the
chapter.  Here we see that the humanity of Jesus...]

III. ENABLED JESUS TO DISARM SATAN AND DELIVER US FROM THE FEAR OF
     DEATH (2:14-16)

   A. JESUS' DEATH GAVE HIM VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL...
      1. Through His own death and resurrection, Jesus "destroyed" the
         devil!
         a. The devil is still very active - cf. 1Pe 5:8-9
         b. But though he once "had" (past tense) the power of death,
            no more! - cf. Re 1:18
      2. His power greatly weakened by Jesus' victory over death, Satan
         will be destroyed for all time at the time of our own
         resurrection! - cf. Re 20:10-12

   B. JESUS' DEATH GAVE US FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH...
      1. A fear that keeps many in bondage throughout their lifetime
      2. But the faithful Christian need not fear death!- cf. Ro 8:
         37-39; 1Co 3:21-23; Php 2:21
      3. Thus it is to the "seed of Abraham" (faithful Christians, cf.
         Ga 3:29), and not to "angels" that Jesus has given such aid!
         - He 2:16

[Finally, partaking of flesh and blood, suffering and dying on the
cross...]

IV. ENABLED JESUS TO BE A SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST (2:17-18)

   A. JESUS IS A MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST...
      1. In coming to this world, Jesus was "made like His brethren"
      2. He became like man "in all things"
      3. This equipped Him for the role of a merciful and faithful high
         priest
         a. "In things pertaining to God"
         b. "To make propitiation for the sins of the people"
         c. We read later that the role of high priest involved
            offering gifts and sacrifices for sin - He 5:1

   B. HE IS ABLE TO AID THOSE WHO ARE TEMPTED...
      1. He too has suffered, and been tempted, though we learn later
         He remained without sin - He 4:15
      2. Such suffering makes Him compassionate - cf. He 5:2
      3. Therefore those who come to Him can expect to receive mercy
         and grace in time of need! - cf. He 4:16

CONCLUSION

1. What angel has accomplished such things as...
   a. Regain man's lost dominion?
   b. Bring many sons to glory?
   c. Disarm Satan, and deliver us from the fear of death?
   d. Become a sympathetic high priest?

2. All these things (and certainly much more) Jesus has done by virtue
   of becoming man...
   a. Yes, He became "a little lower than the angels"
   b. But in so doing, even His humanity makes Him far superior to
      angels!

3. With the first two chapters we see the superiority of Jesus...
   a. Over the prophets, as God's perfect spokesman
   b. Over the angels, by virtue of His deity and His humanity
   -- Why should we ever want to turn our back on such a Savior?

We have also seen that Jesus, who was tempted, who has suffered and
tasted death for everyone, is not ashamed to call us "brethren".  Are
we ashamed to call Him "Lord"?  Are we willing to serve Him as Lord?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading February 27






Bible Reading  

February 27

The World English Bible



Feb. 27
Exodus 8

Exo 8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, "This is what Yahweh says, 'Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 8:2 If you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your borders with frogs:
Exo 8:3 and the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and come into your house, and into your bedchamber, and on your bed, and into the house of your servants, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading troughs:
Exo 8:4 and the frogs shall come up both on you, and on your people, and on all your servants.' "
Exo 8:5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch forth your hand with your rod over the rivers, over the streams, and over the pools, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 8:6 Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:7 The magicians did in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat Yahweh, that he take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to Yahweh."
Exo 8:9 Moses said to Pharaoh, "I give you the honor of setting the time that I should pray for you, and for your servants, and for your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, and remain in the river only."
Exo 8:10 He said, "Tomorrow." He said, "Be it according to your word, that you may know that there is none like Yahweh our God.
Exo 8:11 The frogs shall depart from you, and from your houses, and from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only."
Exo 8:12 Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to Yahweh concerning the frogs which he had brought on Pharaoh.
Exo 8:13 Yahweh did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields.
Exo 8:14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.
Exo 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and didn't listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken.
Exo 8:16 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 8:17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were lice on man, and on animal; all the dust of the earth became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:18 The magicians tried with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they couldn't. There were lice on man, and on animal.
Exo 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God:" and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he didn't listen to them; as Yahweh had spoken.
Exo 8:20 Yahweh said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; behold, he comes forth to the water; and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh says, "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 8:21 Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants, and on your people, and into your houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
Exo 8:22 I will set apart in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am Yahweh in the midst of the earth.
Exo 8:23 I will put a division between my people and your people: by tomorrow shall this sign be." ' "
Exo 8:24 Yahweh did so; and there came grievous swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses: and in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies.
Exo 8:25 Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land!"
Exo 8:26 Moses said, "It isn't appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Yahweh our God. Behold, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and won't they stone us?
Exo 8:27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Yahweh our God, as he shall command us."
Exo 8:28 Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to Yahweh your God in the wilderness, only you shall not go very far away. Pray for me."
Exo 8:29 Moses said, "Behold, I go out from you, and I will pray to Yahweh that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow; only don't let Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to Yahweh."
Exo 8:30 Moses went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to Yahweh.
Exo 8:31 Yahweh did according to the word of Moses, and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. There remained not one.
Exo 8:32 Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he didn't let the people go.




From Gary... A real prize????


If you watch television during the Christmas season, you will have seen "A Christmas story". The above picture says it all; this "big prize" was placed in view of all the neighborhood and was scandalous!!! 


(click on the links above to view)

By the standards of morality accepted by the general public, however, this lamp was "no big deal".  For Christians however, some of the attitudes expressed are offensive.  The most prominent would be lust, which is what this lamp is a symbol of.  Sound too puritanical for you?  Well, consider what The Apostle Paul has to say on the subject...

Galatians, Chapter 5
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.  17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, that you may not do the things that you desire.  18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness,  20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies,  21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 

  22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.  25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.  26 Let’s not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.


The standards for those who follow Christ have never changed; purity is purity. Simple thought- Don't do the things of the first paragraph, but follow the second one instead.  And don't go out and just buy this lamp; you won't be doing yourself any good!!!