Thursday, May 28, 2009

Job Chapters 1-5 - May 28, 2009

Again, we are looking for God's missional heart for the entire world in the first 5 chapters of Job. Let me know what you think...

The first verse in the first chapter of Job introduces us to the broad scope of God's influence over and love for the people of the world. Job is not an Israelite, he is a man from the land of Uz who fears God and flees from evil. God holds Job up as a stellar example of faith and he is not specifically from the ranks of God's people. Eliphaz may be off base with his accusations against Job, that he must have done something to bring the down the wrath of God, but he brings up some points that speak to the person of God. In Chapter 4 verse 17 Eliphaz says some that is echoed by Paul in the New Testament, "Can mortal man be right before God?" The truth behind this rhetorical question is part of what explains God's plan to save the world. There is no one righteous before God. In order to bring salvation to the world, the world needs to see that even chosen people given the instructions how to live and the sacrificial system cannot save themselves. Again, Israel will be held up as a light that guides the world to God. Only God can save.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Joshua Chapters 1-5 - May 27, 2009

Read the first 5 chapters of the book of Joshua and add any thoughts you have about God's heart for the entire world.

The book of Joshua starts out where Deuteronomy has left off. Moses is dead and the unfaithful generation of Israelites has passed away, so it is time for God to give the nation of Israel the land He promised them. This land in itself is a testament to the love that God has for the entirety of humanity, because the Israelite people will be used as a beacon to draw the world to God. In chapter two we see that prostitute named Rahab has become a God-fearer from her knowledge of his work through the Israelites. Her heart for God and the fact that she is spared in the invasion show that God is concerned with the lost from every nation and merciful with those who humbly approach Him. When God allows the people to miraculously cross the Jordan in chapter 4, He also instructs them to build a monument to His work in bringing them into the Promised Land. This monument will stand as a reminder of God's power and love for people Hebrew and Gentile to see. Joshua even says at the end of chapter 4 that God dried up the waters of the Jordan and allowed His people to cross into the Promised Land so that all the earth would know that the Lord is mighty and that they might fear God forever. If that doesn't testify to a heart for all nations, I don't know what does!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Genesis Chapters 1-5 - May 26, 2009

Sorry about the long break. For my Masters Program, I have to turn in a journal with ten different 5 chapter overviews about God's missional heart for the world. So read through the first 5 chapters of the bible today and give me your thoughts on how you see God's love for the entire world. It should be fun and it will help me out.

From the very beginning it seems clear to me that God has a heart for all of humanity...why else would he create us? The bible starts out, "In the beginning, God CREATED..." and the very fact that He created anything at all tells us that He wanted to give Himself away. He didn't need us to be alive...He had perfect community in Himself. God created because the essence of love is giving one's self away. God is love, so He created man pour out His love on a creation that could choose not to return the favor. That sounds like a missional heart to me! Everything about the creation narrative tells us that God cares. He made a beautiful home for humanity to dwell in. He made men and women in His image. We are image-bearers of the uncreated God. Every man, woman and child that has ever walked the face of this earth is the child of God and I have to believe He desperately wants to be in community with each one. In chapter 2, we see that God creates the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if you truly love someone, you have to give them the option to reject your love if they so desire. In chapter 3 when Adam and Eve choose to reject God, God imposes punishment on them, but even this is missional in design. While living in a perfect world, Adam and Eve were not satisfied and they sought to become god-like themselves. God allows pain and suffering to come into the world as consequences for sinful actions, so that people will turn to Him in their brokeness. In chapter 4, Cain commits the first murder in human history and God still shows him mercy by promising to protect Cain from the vengeance of others. This is a perfect picture of God's mercy and patience with His fallen creation. It is clear from the outset of the bible that God's heart calls out to all of creation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revelation Chapter 20 - May 13, 2009

21:1 - "New heaven and a new earth" leads me to believe that there will be a physical earth of some sort to live on somehow...fortunately God has that all under control and I don't need to know all the details.

21:3 - That sounds so incredibly refreshing. To walk in the presence of bask in His connect to the creator God I was made for. Can't wait!

21:22 - This is another great picture for me. There is no need for temples and church buildings because the God is there. This directly applies to us today - God is with us...He is not somehow chained to the inside of a church building. We have his power and love to call on at all times.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Revelation Chapter 20 - May 12, 2009

20:1-10 - It is better to be on the side of God any way you look at it. It's better right now for your life...and it is definitely better when the end comes. Make sure you are on the right side of the equation.

20:11 - Some people want to know why God doesn't literally show up and let us see Him. Why don't we get to see God? Well, this verse may answer some of the questions. There is no place for God here, in all His glory and majesty and power. He cannot be contained within the earth and sky. In the end He will bring us into His presence, because there is nothing created that contain the glory of God.

20:12 - The only way it is possible for the book of life to proclaim you as righteous, is if your sins have been erased from the book by the blood of Jesus Christ. If everything we had ever thought or said or did was written on the pages of the book of life, imagine how humiliating and disturbing it would be to hear it all read out loud. Imagine that! We would find out just how broken and sinful we were...we would understand just how far we are from God. Thankfully, the sacrifice of Jesus offers us a righteousness...a cleanness we could never attain on our own.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Revelation Chapter 19 - May 7, 2009

19:7,8 - This tells of the uniting of Jesus with his bride the church. This is the culmination of God's plans. My rebelled, God put His plan to work, Jesus paid the price for our sin and now we can be united with God like we were originally supposed to be. I like how the passage says, "it was granted her to clothe herself," since we all have to understand that we only get to put on righteousness because Jesus has allowed us to...through his death, we are made worthy of being his bride.

19:10 - This jumped out at me, because sometimes I get these things I like to call "theological man crushes" where I almost bow down to incredible Christian communicators that I like. I need to remember that we are all just fellow servants of the most high God. No bowing down to anybody but Him!

19:11-21 - The return of Jesus. He takes a little different approach this time, huh?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Revelation Chapter 18 - May 6, 2009

18:4-5 - This is a call from the angel of God for all of us and for those who come after us to leave the world behind and go running to God. God is giving people a second chance, calling them to Him even out of Babylon (Or the world of self worship). God is calling us to leave the lies behind and experience real life.

18:7 - WOW! Talk about a wake up call. How many times in life has that been me? Glorifying myself and seeking comfort for myself...seeking luxury? How many times? It is brutal to see the great prostitute Babylon described in a way that easily paints a picture of who I have been before...that hurts. We have to understand the price for serving self and seeking only comfort is way too high...torment and mourning! Am I willing to pay with my soul for a few shorts years of earthly comfort?

18:14 - Read em' and weep. This is truth. Eventually everything the world chases after will be worth absolutely nothing - TVs, cars, houses, popularity, vacations, clothes, technology, fame, everything! We will all see that clearly at some point. I hope for our sake, we see that before the end.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Revelation Chapter 17 - May 5, 2009

17:5 - What is the mysterious name of the great prostitute that is leading people away from God? Her name is lust, pride, temptation, selfishness, lies...she promises fulfillment, but never delivers. She is the fallen wisdom of this world (See James 3).

17:6 - How intense is this verse? She is drunk on the blood of the saints of God. Whoa! What does that mean? It means she is drunk off the power of conquering the humble servants of means she is drunk because she was able to hurt God's people in her war against God...she is drunk on bringing misery and death and making this world as miserable and broken as she is - she is drunk on living out a path that only leads to destruction for her.

17:6-7 - John tells us that he marvels at her. How often do you and I marvel at the things of this world? How often do we marvel at the lies of this world? Look at verse 8...we marvel at a corrupted world that will inevitably reap its own destruction. Not much to marvel at really.

17:14 - Fortunately for the true followers of Christ - Jesus is the king of kings...lord of lords...and he conquers all!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Revelation Chapter 16 - May 4, 2009

16:5-6 - God is just. That is who He is. He cannot be unjust. Those who destroy good and go to war against God and seek to spread evil in the world will be judged appropriately...they have to be, or God is not just.

16:7 - You gotta understand, it's not that God is not loving...justice is a part of loving. When you love someone you treat them hold them accountable for their actions. To love truly there has to be justice...there has to be consequences for sinful actions.

16:9,11 - Even in the face of the power and judgement of God, the evil people do not repent. Even when they receive the judgement for their deeds, they refuse to back down. They have chosen self over God and nothing can change that. God offers His love to everyone...He offers almost limitless second chances, but in the end He gives people what they want. If they choose to reject God, they will reap the consequences of that rejection.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Revelation Chapter 15 - May 1, 2009

This is a really short, simple chapter.

God's judgement will be swift and unstoppable when He decides the end has come.

How about that song in verses 3 and 4...The Song of the Lamb. Somebody needs to put that to music so we can be singing the songs they sing to God. Those words are incredible.