Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Faithfulness and Obedience

I was reading this morning in I Kings 15 about Abijam, one of the kings of Judah. Even though he did evil, God left him in power because of God's promise to David. In verse 5 there is a statement that should server as a challenge to each of us. "David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite."

Now we all know the story of David's sin with Uriah's wife and that gets a lot of attention. Sometimes we, in our attempts to excuse sin, point to David as a man after God's own heart, but see what a sinner he was. We would do well to consider rather the quote from First Kings. Other than in that one matter, David did not turn aside from anything that God had commanded him all the days of his life.

What a challenge for our own lives this day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jesus' High Priestly Prayer -- Part 10

I’d like to take one more day to follow up on our previous two discussions. Look this time at Romans 8:28-30. Most of us know verse 28 where God says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Two posts ago we discussed the fact that God has given to Christ a people and that God has drawn them to Christ. We learned that all authority had been given to Christ for this purpose. The focus is on the saving work of God in the life of people. In the case of Romans 8:28, the people discussed are those who love God, i.e. those who are the called according to His purpose.

It’s important to notice that the thought does not end at the end of verse 28. Verse 29 begins with the word “For”. Those who were called were predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son and in this way Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren. This should remind of us of the previous post where Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers.

Verse 30 gives us the order of events involving the people referred to in verse 28. Notice that each of these verbs is in the past tense. They have already been accomplished as far as God is concerned. Also notice the order. We’re looking at Romans 8:30. Those he predestined He called. That means that if someone is called, He has been predestined. The ones who were called were justified. Sometimes we think some people who have been called were not justified, but here we see that if a person is called, he ends up justified as well. Those who were justified were also glorified.

So, if we work backwards from the conclusion, we can see that those who end up glorified in the end were those who were justified. If they were justified, they had been called and if they were called they had been predestined.

My purpose in bringing this up is not to extend controversies and debates that have gone on for centuries without agreement. My purpose is to strengthen our faith and joy in the power of God in the gospel. Our salvation is not based upon flimsy decisions that we make in ways similar to the way we decide whether to drive a Chevy or Ford or whether we want to be a Democrat or Republican. The decisions we make regarding Christ are rooted in His eternal love for us and the power of God in drawing and keeping us. These are eternal certainties that we know will save and keep us secure to the end.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Jesus' High Priestly Prayer -- Part 9

Last time we saw how all authority had been given to Christ for the purpose of providing salvation to all those God had given Him. I would like to expand on that a little bit this time by looking at another couple of passages outside the gospels. Look at Hebrews 2:10-13 for example. In this passage the writer talks about the fact that God is bringing many sons to glory. The part that amazes me is in verse 11 where it says that Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Think about that. Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers.

The reason I bring this passage up in light of our previous discussion is that the writer in verse 13 quotes from Isaiah where he says, “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.” He talks about the children God has given Him. Last time we saw that God has given Jesus a people who He has covenanted to save and secure. In this passage He mentions them again and talks about them as children whom God has given Him and says that He is not ashamed to call them His brothers.

Let’s see if we can understand what God is saying. God the Father has given people to the Son to save and to keep. All of these will certainly come to Him because the Father draws them. Those who come will never be cast outside, but they are kept by God the Father and God the Son for eternity and will in fact be raised up the last day. And further more, these people who he is saving He calls His brothers and is not ashamed to do so.

Take some time today to think that all through and see what it does for your spiritual life and health.