9/25/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Abraham had two sons


Abraham had two sons

John 8:31-45 depends on the story about two people who aren't even mentioned in the text; two people that Jesus depended on his hearers knowing about. They are Ishmael and Isaac. Jesus' hearers receive him as the promised Messiah but when he calls them to take him seriously and they would find freedom their pride rose up and overwhelmed any sense of pleasure they found in him.

 Rome might have taken over the land but that didn't make them slaves. Try telling French or Belgian people during Hitler's reign that they were German "slaves". They would admit they needed rescued from Rome but to suggest they were slaves was outrageous—they were the sons of Abraham and national pride blotted out all else.

Their slavery was real for all that! Israel's history of unfaithfulness to God and the covenant was written all over the OT and this was proof positive that sin was their master. Their physical connection with Abraham guaranteed nothing! Yes, but they were Abraham's children and that had to count for something.

Jesus, though he doesn't mention their names, reminds them that Abraham had two sons—Ishmael and Isaac; one was free and the other a slave though both were Abraham's sons. [See Galatians 4:21-31 and this]

The only point I wish to make is: without knowing the story about Ishmael and Isaac we miss the point Jesus is making in John 8:31-45.

It's important if we're to become better interpreters of scripture that we get to know the OT as well as the NT. Richard B. Hays makes that abundantly clear in his Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul and his later The Conversion of the Imagination.

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

The Barren Fig Tree by Kyle Butt, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1956

The Barren Fig Tree

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Upon encountering the story of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree, the average Bible student is slightly taken aback by the “strangeness” of the events that occur. Mark’s account records the story as follows:
Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.... Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away” (11:12-14,20-21, emp. added).
One prominent question naturally arises from a straightforward reading of the text. Why would Jesus curse a fig tree that did not have figs on it, especially since the text says that “it was not the season for figs”? In response to this puzzling question, skeptical minds have let themselves run wild with accusations regarding the passage. Steve Wells, the author of The Skeptics’ Annotated Bible, labeled this story as an absurdity and said in a sarcastic tone: “Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. He did this to show the world just how much God hates figs” (2006, emp. added). Louis Cable, another skeptic, responded to the story with this statement: “Now to curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit in March is not unlike kicking a dog because it can not speak English thereby punishing it for the inability to do the impossible” (n.d.).
Is it the case that Jesus capriciously, out of anger, cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, even though the tree was incapable of producing? With a little research, one quickly ascertains that such is not the case. Not only does an excellent reason exist for the curse upon the fig tree, but an equally good spiritual application should be considered as well.
When Jesus approached the fig tree, the text indicates that the tree had plenty of leaves. R.K. Harrison, writing in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, explains that various kinds of figs grew in Palestine during the first century. One very important aspect of fig growth has to do with the relationship between the leaf and the fruit. Harrison notes that the tiny figs, known to the Arabs as taksh, “appear simultaneously in the leaf axils” (1982, 2:302) This taksh is edible and “is often gathered for sale in the markets” (2:302). Furthermore, the text notes: “When the young leaves are appearing in spring, every fertile fig will have some taksh on it.... But if a tree with leaves has no fruit, it will be barren for the entire season” (2:301-302).
Thus, when Jesus approached the leafy fig tree, He had every reason to suspect that something edible would be on it. However, after inspecting the tree, Mark records that “He found nothing but leaves.” No taksh were budding as they should have been if the tree was going to produce edible figs that year. The tree appeared to be fruitful, but it only had outward signs of bearing fruit (leaves) and in truth offered nothing of value to weary travelers.
In addition, anyone even slightly familiar with the character of Jesus knows that He did not spend His time on this Earth eradicating barren fig trees as an ecological service to Palestinian farmers. What, then, was the point of such abrupt action against the tree? When one notices the context of the event, Jesus’ intention seems to become apparent and two fold. First, in its immediate context, the barren fig tree seems to apply to the pretentious religion of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. Following Jesus’ curse upon the fig tree, the text says that Jesus went to Jerusalem and began to drive the money changers out of the temple (Mark 11:15-19). The activities in the temple that once had been fruitful and wholesome had become empty of value and useless. Allen Black commented: “The cursing of the fig tree symbolizes God’s judgment on Israel for not bearing the fruit he wanted from the temple. It foreshadows the cleansing of the temple and ultimately the prophecy of its destruction in chapter 13” (1995, p. 200).
Second, in a general sense, Jesus often insisted that trees which do not bear good fruit will be cut down (Matthew 7:19; Luke 13:6-9). The fig tree did not bear fruit, was useless, and deserved to be destroyed: the spiritual application being that any human who does not bear fruit for God will also be destroyed for his or her failure to produce.
Jesus did not throw a temper tantrum and curse the fig tree even though it was incapable of producing fruit. He cursed the tree because it should have been growing fruit since it had the outward signs of productivity. Jesus’ calculated timing underscored the spiritual truth that barren spiritual trees eventually run out of time. As for personal application, we should all diligently strive to ensure that we are not the barren fig tree.

REFERENCES

Black, Allen (1995), The Book of Mark (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Cable, Louis (no date), “Some Famous New Testament Forgeries,” [On-line], URL: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/ntforge.html.
Wells, Steve (2006), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, [On-line], URL: http://www.Skepticsannotatedbible.com.
Harrison, R.K. (1982), “Fig, Fig Tree,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

From Mark Copeland... Worship In Spirit And Truth (John 4:20-24)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                 Worship In Spirit And Truth (4:20-24)

INTRODUCTION

1. At Jacob's well, Jesus and the Samaritan woman discussed the matter
   of worship...
   a. Samaritans and Jews differed as to where one should worship - Jn 4:20
      1) Samaritans believed they should worship on Mt. Gerazim
      2) Jews understood that it should be in Jerusalem
   b. Jesus said the time was coming for a different kind of worship
      - Jn 4:21-24
      1) Where worship would not be defined by its location (though Jews
         had been right)
      2) Where true worshippers would worship the Father in spirit and
         truth

2. What does it mean to worship the Father in spirit and truth?  Many
   say it means...
   a. To worship God from the heart ("in spirit")
   b. To worship God as He directs in His Word ("and truth")

3. Yet note the contrast made by Jesus...
   a. The Jews had worshipped correctly by going to Jerusalem
   b. But the time was coming when place would not be important
   -- A contrast is being made between OT worship and NT worship

4. Somehow Old Testament (OT) worship had not been "in spirit and
   truth"...
   a. Yet God required worship from the heart from the Jews - cf. Deu
      6:4-7; Isa 1:10-18
   b. And God required worship as directed by His Word - cf. Deut 5:32-33

[If "in spirit and truth" does not mean "from the heart and in harmony
with God's Word", then what does it mean?  Let's first consider...]

I. WORSHIPPING GOD IN SPIRIT

   A. MEANS TO OFFER "SPIRITUAL" WORSHIP...
      1. In contrast to that which is mostly physical
      2. This explanation is in keeping with the context - cf. Jn 4:24
         a. Jesus began by saying "God is Spirit..."
         b. The worship of God is to be "in spirit" (i.e., spiritual)
      3. Note these comments:
         a. "...men must offer a worship corresponding with the nature
            and attributes of God." - J. W. McGarvey
         b. "Since he is Spirit, he must receive spiritual worship..."
            - B.W. Johnson
         c. "A pure, a holy, a spiritual worship, therefore, is such as
            he seeks the offering of the soul rather than the formal
            offering of the body - the homage of the heart rather than
            that of the lips." - Albert Barnes
      -- A worship was coming that was more in keeping with God's
         nature!

   B. AS OPPOSED TO "CARNAL" ORDINANCES...
      1. OT worship consisted of carnal (fleshly) ordinances - cf. He 9:1-10
         a. A physical structure (tabernacle)
         b. Special priesthood, clothing for priests
         c. Lamp stands, burning incense
         d. Instruments of music
         e. Feast days
         f. Animal and meal sacrifices
         -- All which appealed to the carnal or physical senses of man
      2. NT worship is geared more toward the spiritual side of man:
         a. God's temple is now spiritual, made up of Christians - 1Co 3:16; Ep 2:19-22
         b. All Christians are priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices
            - 1Pe 2:5,9
         c. Our prayers are as sweet incense - Re 5:8
         d. Our music is making melody with the heart, not the harp - Ep 5:19
         e. The Lord's Supper - Ac 20:7; 1Co 10:16-17; 11:17-34
         f. Spiritual sacrifices of praise and service - He 13:15; Ro 12:1-2
         -- The emphasis is on the spirit of man, not his physical
            senses!

[Physical ordinances of the Old Covenant were until "the time of
reformation" (He 9:9-10), which occurred with the coming of the New
Covenant.  As Jesus proclaimed, the new worship is more in keeping with
the nature of God ("God is Spirit..."), designed to relate more to the
spiritual side of man.  Now let's examine...]

II. WORSHIPPING GOD IN TRUTH

   A. MEANS TO OFFER "TRUE (REAL)" WORSHIP...
      1. To worship according to the commands of God?
         a. Certainly we should do this
         b. But this is no contrast to what God expected in the OT - cf.
            Deut 5:32-33
         c. Jesus admitted that the Jews were right in their worship
            - Jn 4:22
      2. What then is the contrast between worship that was and that
         which "now is"?
         a. Not between true and false worship
         b. But between that which is true (real) and that which had
            been a shadow
      -- A worship was coming that was more in keeping with truth and
         reality

   B. AS OPPOSED TO "SHADOW (SYMBOL)" WORSHIP...
      1. Many elements of worship in the OT were simply a shadow or
         figure of that to come
         a. The Tabernacle was a symbol - He 9:8-9
         b. The Law with its worship was only a shadow of that to come
            - He 10:1
      2. Christ is now in the true tabernacle (heaven)- He 9:11-12,24
         a. We should expect the worship of the true to be different
            from that of the shadow
         b. We have already seen that to be the case:
            1) Old Covenant worship, which was but a shadow, was
               physical in nature
            2) New Covenant worship is according to the true realities
               (God is Spirit, Christ in heaven) and is therefore more
               spiritual in nature
      -- The emphasis is on that which is true (real), not which was a
         shadowy symbol of things to come

[This explanation of worshipping God "in spirit and truth" is more in
keeping with the immediate context. Since God is seeking "true
worshippers" who worship Him accordingly (Jn 4:23), some thoughts about
our worship today may be appropriate...]

III. WORSHIPPING GOD TODAY

   A. NOT ALL WORSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE...
      1. There is vain worship - Mt 15:7-9
         a. Based on traditions of men, while ignoring the commands of
            God
         b. Offered without involving our "hearts" (spirits)
      2. There is ignorant worship - Ac 17:22-23
         a. Ignorant of the true nature of God
         b. Ignorant of the worship He desires
      3. There is will worship - Col 2:20-23 (KJV)
         a. Self-imposed, not God-directed
         b. What we like, what we think is good
      -- Just because we worship God, does not mean He is pleased with
         our worship!

   B. MANY OFFER CARNAL WORSHIP...
      1. When they appeal to the OT for their authority for how they
         worship
         a. For instrumental music, burning incense, clapping, etc.
         b. They seek to justify that which appeals to the flesh
            (senses), not the spirit
      2. When they offer that which appeals to their fleshly nature
         a. Preferring what is based on how it sounds
         b. Preferring what is based on how it feels
      -- Striving to be more spiritual, some revert to becoming more
         carnal, a reason to be concerned (cf. Ga 4:9-11)!

   C. GOD SEEKS TRUE WORSHIPPERS...
      1. Who worship God "...with their spirits" - Matthew Poole
         a. Seeking to engage the spirit (mind) more than the organs of
            the body
         b. Content with the simplicity of worship that stresses the
            spiritual side of man
      2. Who worship God "...according to the rule that he hath
         prescribed, in truth and reality." - ibid.
         a. Not desiring to return to the carnal ordinances imposed
            until a time of reformation
         b. Content with the worship ordained in the New Covenant
      3. Who can worship God anywhere, anytime, with true spiritual
         worship - e.g., Ac 16:25
      -- God seeks such worshippers, who seek to worship Him in spirit
         and truth!

CONCLUSION

1. Matthew Poole offered this explanation of our text in his
   commentary...

   "God...is a spiritual Being, the Father of spirits, and requires
   a spiritual service proportioned to His being; and therefore those
   that pay a religious homage to him, must do it with their spirits,
   and according to the rule that he hath prescribed, in truth and
   reality."

2. How can we be sure to offer spiritual and true worship acceptable to
   God...?
   a. Look to the New Testament for our authority in worship!
   b. Worship in ways ordained by Christ and His apostles! - cf. Ac 2:42

3. As God is Spirit...
   a. Our worship should be spiritual and not limited to special places
   b. The emphasis should be on the spiritual (e.g., meaning of the
      words), and not the physical (e.g., how it looks, sounds, feels)

Remember...

   "...the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will
   worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking
   such to worship Him."
                   (Jn 4:23)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading September 25


Bible Reading  

September 25

The World English Bible


Sept. 25
Psalms 101-104

Psa 101:1 I will sing of loving kindness and justice. To you, Yahweh, I will sing praises.
Psa 101:2 I will be careful to live a blameless life. When will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a blameless heart.
Psa 101:3 I will set no vile thing before my eyes. I hate the deeds of faithless men. They will not cling to me.
Psa 101:4 A perverse heart will be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil.
Psa 101:5 I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor. I won't tolerate one who is haughty and conceited.
Psa 101:6 My eyes will be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in a perfect way, he will serve me.
Psa 101:7 He who practices deceit won't dwell within my house. He who speaks falsehood won't be established before my eyes.
Psa 101:8 Morning by morning, I will destroy all the wicked of the land; to cut off all the workers of iniquity from Yahweh's city.
Psa 102:1 Hear my prayer, Yahweh! Let my cry come to you.
Psa 102:2 Don't hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear to me. Answer me quickly in the day when I call.
Psa 102:3 For my days consume away like smoke. My bones are burned as a firebrand.
Psa 102:4 My heart is blighted like grass, and withered, for I forget to eat my bread.
Psa 102:5 By reason of the voice of my groaning, my bones stick to my skin.
Psa 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness. I have become as an owl of the waste places.
Psa 102:7 I watch, and have become like a sparrow that is alone on the housetop.
Psa 102:8 My enemies reproach me all day. Those who are mad at me use my name as a curse.
Psa 102:9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mixed my drink with tears,
Psa 102:10 Because of your indignation and your wrath, for you have taken me up, and thrown me away.
Psa 102:11 My days are like a long shadow. I have withered like grass.
Psa 102:12 But you, Yahweh, will abide forever; your renown endures to all generations.
Psa 102:13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for it is time to have pity on her. Yes, the set time has come.
Psa 102:14 For your servants take pleasure in her stones, and have pity on her dust.
Psa 102:15 So the nations will fear the name of Yahweh; all the kings of the earth your glory.
Psa 102:16 For Yahweh has built up Zion. He has appeared in his glory.
Psa 102:17 He has responded to the prayer of the destitute, and has not despised their prayer.
Psa 102:18 This will be written for the generation to come. A people which will be created will praise Yah.
Psa 102:19 For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary. From heaven, Yahweh saw the earth;
Psa 102:20 to hear the groans of the prisoner; to free those who are condemned to death;
Psa 102:21 that men may declare the name of Yahweh in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
Psa 102:22 when the peoples are gathered together, the kingdoms, to serve Yahweh.
Psa 102:23 He weakened my strength along the course. He shortened my days.
Psa 102:24 I said, "My God, don't take me away in the midst of my days. Your years are throughout all generations.
Psa 102:25 Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands.
Psa 102:26 They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed.
Psa 102:27 But you are the same. Your years will have no end.
Psa 102:28 The children of your servants will continue. Their seed will be established before you."
Psa 103:1 Praise Yahweh, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name!
Psa 103:2 Praise Yahweh, my soul, and don't forget all his benefits;
Psa 103:3 who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases;
Psa 103:4 who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
Psa 103:5 who satisfies your desire with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psa 103:6 Yahweh executes righteous acts, and justice for all who are oppressed.
Psa 103:7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the children of Israel.
Psa 103:8 Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.
Psa 103:9 He will not always accuse; neither will he stay angry forever.
Psa 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities.
Psa 103:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving kindness toward those who fear him.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psa 103:13 Like a father has compassion on his children, so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear him.
Psa 103:14 For he knows how we are made. He remembers that we are dust.
Psa 103:15 As for man, his days are like grass. As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
Psa 103:16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone. Its place remembers it no more.
Psa 103:17 But Yahweh's loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting with those who fear him, his righteousness to children's children;
Psa 103:18 to those who keep his covenant, to those who remember to obey his precepts.
Psa 103:19 Yahweh has established his throne in the heavens. His kingdom rules over all.
Psa 103:20 Praise Yahweh, you angels of his, who are mighty in strength, who fulfill his word, obeying the voice of his word.
Psa 103:21 Praise Yahweh, all you armies of his, you servants of his, who do his pleasure.
Psa 103:22 Praise Yahweh, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion. Praise Yahweh, my soul!
Psa 104:1 Bless Yahweh, my soul. Yahweh, my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty.
Psa 104:2 He covers himself with light as with a garment. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain.
Psa 104:3 He lays the beams of his chambers in the waters. He makes the clouds his chariot. He walks on the wings of the wind.
Psa 104:4 He makes his messengers winds; his servants flames of fire.
Psa 104:5 He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever.
Psa 104:6 You covered it with the deep as with a cloak. The waters stood above the mountains.
Psa 104:7 At your rebuke they fled. At the voice of your thunder they hurried away.
Psa 104:8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down, to the place which you had assigned to them.
Psa 104:9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over; that they don't turn again to cover the earth.
Psa 104:10 He sends forth springs into the valleys. They run among the mountains.
Psa 104:11 They give drink to every animal of the field. The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Psa 104:12 The birds of the sky nest by them. They sing among the branches.
Psa 104:13 He waters the mountains from his chambers. The earth is filled with the fruit of your works.
Psa 104:14 He causes the grass to grow for the livestock, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth:
Psa 104:15 wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face to shine, and bread that strengthens man's heart.
Psa 104:16 Yahweh's trees are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon, which he has planted;
Psa 104:17 where the birds make their nests. The stork makes its home in the fir trees.
Psa 104:18 The high mountains are for the wild goats. The rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
Psa 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons. The sun knows when to set.
Psa 104:20 You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the animals of the forest prowl.
Psa 104:21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God.
Psa 104:22 The sun rises, and they steal away, and lay down in their dens.
Psa 104:23 Man goes forth to his work, to his labor until the evening.
Psa 104:24 Yahweh, how many are your works! In wisdom have you made them all. The earth is full of your riches.
Psa 104:25 There is the sea, great and wide, in which are innumerable living things, both small and large animals.
Psa 104:26 There the ships go, and leviathan, whom you formed to play there.
Psa 104:27 These all wait for you, that you may give them their food in due season.
Psa 104:28 You give to them; they gather. You open your hand; they are satisfied with good.
Psa 104:29 You hide your face: they are troubled; you take away their breath: they die, and return to the dust.
Psa 104:30 You send forth your Spirit: they are created. You renew the face of the ground.
Psa 104:31 Let the glory of Yahweh endure forever. Let Yahweh rejoice in his works.
Psa 104:32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles. He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
Psa 104:33 I will sing to Yahweh as long as I live. I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.
Psa 104:34 Let your meditation be sweet to him. I will rejoice in Yahweh.
Psa 104:35 Let sinners be consumed out of the earth. Let the wicked be no more. Bless Yahweh, my soul. Praise Yah!
 
Sept. 25
2 Corinthians 5

2Co 5:1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For most certainly in this we groan, longing to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven;
2Co 5:3 if so be that being clothed we will not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For indeed we who are in this tent do groan, being burdened; not that we desire to be unclothed, but that we desire to be clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2Co 5:5 Now he who made us for this very thing is God, who also gave to us the down payment of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;
2Co 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2Co 5:8 We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Therefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well pleasing to him.
2Co 5:10 For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are revealed to God; and I hope that we are revealed also in your consciences.
2Co 5:12 For we are not commending ourselves to you again, but speak as giving you occasion of boasting on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who boast in appearance, and not in heart.
2Co 5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God. Or if we are of sober mind, it is for you.
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died.
2Co 5:15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again.
2Co 5:16 Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
2Co 5:18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.



From Gary... Delighted!!!!!
























At first glance it almost looks like they are flying, doesn't it? But, Wow! are they having fun or what???  Each one of them expresses it in different ways, as can plainly be seen from their faces. From that contented driver, or the adventurous girl,  to that wide open-mouthed boy at the end each one expresses their present delight in different ways.  Question: When was the last time you felt that way about your relationship with God? And then the Bible speaks...
 
 Jeremiah 15:16 NASB
(16)  Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
 
Psalms 1:1-2 NASB
(1)  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
(2)  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalms 37:4 NASB
(4)  Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.


All this reminds me of a hymn by Frederick Whitfield: 

Oh, How I Love Jesus
  1. There is a Name I love to hear,
    I love to sing its worth;
    It sounds like music in my ear,
    The sweetest Name on earth.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Because He first loved me!
  2. It tells me of a Savior’s love,
    Who died to set me free;
    It tells me of His precious blood,
    The sinner’s perfect plea.
  3. It tells me of a Father’s smile
    Beaming upon His child;
    It cheers me through this little while,
    Through desert, waste, and wild.
  4. It tells me what my Father hath
    In store for every day,
    And though I tread a darksome path,
    Yields sunshine all the way.
  5. It tells of One whose loving heart
    Can feel my deepest woe;
    Who in each sorrow bears a part
    That none can bear below.
  6. It bids my trembling heart rejoice;
    It dries each rising tear;
    It tells me, in a “still small voice,”
    To trust and never fear.
  7. Jesus, the Name I love so well,
    The Name I love to hear:
    No saint on earth its worth can tell,
    No heart conceive how dear.
  8. This Name shall shed its fragrance still
    Along this thorny road,
    Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
    That leads me up to God.
  9. And there with all the blood-bought throng,
    From sin and sorrow free,
    I’ll sing the new eternal song
    Of Jesus’ love for me.


Which in turn reminds me of the following exchange...

John 21:1-17 NASB
(1)  After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.
(2)  Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.
(3)  Simon Peter *said to them, "I am going fishing." They *said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
(4)  But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
(5)  So Jesus *said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No."
(6)  And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
(7)  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, "It is the Lord." So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.
(8)  But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
(9)  So when they got out on the land, they *saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread.
(10)  Jesus *said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught."
(11)  Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
(12)  Jesus *said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord.
(13)  Jesus *came and *took the bread and *gave it to them, and the fish likewise.
(14)  This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
(15)  So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He *said to him, "Tend My lambs."
(16)  He *said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He *said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."
(17)  He *said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus *said to him, "Tend My sheep.


Is your delight to love God? One very good question, to which only you know the answer. Something wonderful to contemplate on this dreary day in Florida!!!