Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #93

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #93
Description
His exaltation predicted
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 24:3
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
New Testament Fullfillment
Acts 1:11
and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
 Phil 2:9
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Jeremiah 13:23 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #92

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #92
Description
“I am the Good Shepherd”
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 10:11
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
 1 Pet 2:25
For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – F

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

In our previous post, I supplied an introduction to this psalm that may be beneficial for review if you have not read it. Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – A

Lets continue with Psalm 34:15-18

15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Much could be said about the fact that David ascribes physical descriptions of the King of glory, and some folks have carried it to it’s literal conclusion. This isn’t a proper way of considering this description, other than in it’s application to the Lord Jesus, as He walked amongst us.

David was describing the God of Heaven in ways he could understand and communicate to others, but he certainly was not stating that the Father above had arms and fingernails.

What I would like to consider is the action going on in the verses, what the eyes are doing, what the ears are doing, what the face of the Lord is doing. You see, the term “towards” is ‘el, and is sometimes referring to motion.

The eyes of the Lord are moving toward the righteous. He is not passive, but looking to the righteous, looking to those who follow after Him.

Have you ever longed to be with someone, waiting for them to come home, for the door to open and to come in for the night? Have you prepped a supper for someone to come home to, to enjoy together? To sit with and converse? Is this the attitude that David is describing here in this passage, of the Lords eyes looking towards us, of actively seeking the best for the loved one?

In the next portion of the couplet, the psalmist speaks of “His ears being open to their cry. H7775 (šavʿâ) speaks of the cry of help, and the translators of the ESV have inserted “are open” as being understood from the previous couplet.

When reading the Old Testament, I think some times verbs were not inserted into the passage if they were to be understood by the reader from a previous use in the passage. If this is true, (I am no Hebrew scholar by any stretch of the imagination!), the Lords ears are of the same “attitude” as his eyes, in this passage in relation the the cries of help.

In a crowded room, with conversations buzzing, if my wife or a child, on the other side of the room, mentions my name, I hear it. If it is a cry for help, I am moving towards them before their cry is out of their mouth. My ear is towards them, friends. My ear is towards them.

Yet, to have the face of the Lord against you is some serious stuff. In the life of the righteous, He provides life everlasting. To those who do evil, He will cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

To have the face of the Lord against you will result in the life lived being forgotten. To be of nothing. To be a fact that is not considered on this earth. To be without any weight or substance in on this planet. There may be other consequences of “doing evil”, but in this passage, it is that they are forgotten.

Consider the impact of another’s face. With the slightest movement of a minor muscle with the face, one can discern and anger or a delight, a sorrow or a joy.

The face communicates the heart, and for the face to be spoken of in this passage, denotes the entirety of the persons attitude. For the face of the Lord is against evil doers does not seem to provide much hope for the one doing evil. Repentance and faith in the loving heart of the Father, found in the sacrifice of His dear Son is the only remedy.

He has placed before us life and death. Choose life. Repent of your hatred of Jesus and trust Him as your Lord and Savior.

Our final verse in this post speaks of the Lord’s response to the “evil doer” as he repents from his acts of evil.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

To be brokenhearted is to be near to the heart of God. To be crushed in spirit is to be near salvation.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #91

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #91
Description
“It is finished”
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:31
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 19:30
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
 Heb 10:10-12, 14, 18
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – The Chosen

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

I have a friend who is battling cancer and occasionally I will text him, letting him know we are praying for him and his family. He has been battling this death for over a year and his spirit has been exemplary, to the point that I enjoy hearing from him, and the encouragement he gives.

In one of our back and forth texting, he asked me if I had been watching “The Chosen” I had told him that I hadn’t heard of it and he encouraged me to check it out. He stated that the show emphasizes the humanity of the disciples and of the Lord Himself.

I find it extremely refreshing and somewhat challenging.

Just last might we watched the episode of Him healing a man with a withered hand, and the following confrontation with the synagogue leaders over the healing and of His claiming to be “Lord of the Sabbath”. The tension of these moments and the strife amongst the disciples seems much more relatable to me.

Another episode had the Messiah heal a leper on a path, and in response to the healed lepers astonishment, Jesus rhetorically answered. “Not to shabby!”

One more episode, and Jesus told His disciples “Get used to different”. He didn’t come to refurbish religion, but to provide life and that more abundantly.

Please do not go into this series hoping for King James English, and a simple recitation of the gospels as they were written word for word. The creators openly admit artistic license. So be it. Read the Bible for accuracy and study, and watch “The Chosen” for an interpretation of the lives of the One and His disciples. They were men with passions like as we, and had failings, weakness, prejudice and religion in their lives. This depiction of the Lord reveals One who loves people, has time for others, and suffers silently.

I have finished the second season, and anxiously (in a good sense!) waiting for the third to come out. I understand the producers are anticipating 7 seasons!

It is a crowd funded production and I am happy to support this effort to bring great light into the deep darkness that we are in.

It is available as an app for both iPhone and Android, and of course you can view on your laptop or tablet. https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen

If you have seen any of “The Chosen”, take the survey below and / or let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – E

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

In our previous post, I supplied an introduction to this psalm that may be beneficial for review if you have not read it. Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – A

Lets continue with Psalm 34.

11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Let’s remember the context of this psalm. David acted like a wild, insane man in front of the Lord’s adversary, in order to avoid the possible consequences of a terrible decision.

David will now teach us the fear of the Lord, per verse 11. But David, you are a failure in this, since you feared man in place of God in this act of shame.

But you see, that is the point! He did not let his failure consume him. Yes he failed, yet he knew his strength was not in him but in the Lord! His confession of being a “poor man” (vs 6) speaks of his humility, his admittance of inability and his dependence on the One who is able to deliver.

Many years ago I ran across a book called “Failure – The Backdoor to Success”. Never read it, and don’t know what it was teaching, but the title has stuck in my cranium for some reason. Most likely because I have had much failure in my life. Yet my failures have been some of the greatest teaching times in my life, as I confronted and learned from them.

David had failed, and yet he had the humility to admit it (in front of his fighting men) and to refocus on the LORD, and specifically on the correct object of fear. How wonderful that in the middle of some of our greatest failures, the Lord is able to shine forth and lead on!

He begins with a question that ultimately consumes each of us.

Who wants a Good Long Life?

David’s life was looking like it was going to be “short lived”, if we remember his circumstances. Still being followed by a murderous King Saul, and shaming himself in front of the Lord’s enemy, he was a man that was a heartbeat away from death.

And yet he offers counsel. Counsel that informs us that the Fear of the Lord is a learned condition. A habit of behavior that we are to exercise in our lives in order to realize, and live in, the fear of the Lord.

  1. Our Communication
  • Clean up your speech
    • This world freely spews forth whatever is brewing in their heart, with a bit cleansing to be “socially acceptable” This is not to be the believers method of communication! Paul is clear in that our speech is to be always gracious.
      • Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
  • Don’t lie
    • It is not merely the manner in which we communicate, but also the content of our message. Whether it is seemingly inconsequential chit chat or the presentation of the Lord Jesus to another, the content is to be open and truthful, understanding our own weaknesses.
    • Colossians 3:9 ESV – Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
  1. Our Actions
  • Turn from evil
    • Early in my faith, I was struggling with the concept of how faith relates to repentance, and as the anal spreadsheet fella that I was about to become, compiled all the verses in the New Testament ( and eventually the Old Testament) and tried to analyze the relationship of belief with repentance. Although it was highly instructive for a young believer, to this day one finding still resonates in my thoughts.
      • Repentance is spoken of towards the covenant person much, much more that to those outside of the covenant.
        • 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
      • Remember that the root meaning of repentance is “a change of mind” and that as we study the Word throughout our lives, we are to expect to find areas in our lives that are in opposition to the will of God. We are to “change our minds” concerning our behavior!
  • Do good
    • Often in the raising of our children, I would be the parent that would say “no”. My favorite (and only) wife would be the one who would come along and encourage the positive side of the coin, that of doing good instead of simply stopping some bad practice. Repentance (changing my mind) is not sufficient on it’s own in order to enjoy life, but that every void that is created with a turning from evil, that void needs to be filled with acts of “doing good”
    • I also love that David did not define “doing good”, since the background of the future kings message is that of the fear of God in relation to the will of God, that is the moral code of Moses. He was truly a man after God’s own heart, and not simply a rule keeper!
    • Jesus often used the term “do good” in His teaching. How liberating that He gives such freedom in our following Him. He does not define “doing good” with some limiting action, such as only on a specific day, or only to a specific group of people, or only in a specific place.
      • Luke 6:27 But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you
  1. Our Desires
  • Seek peace
    • What is the difference between seeking peace and pursuing peace? Our last couplet spoke of two sides of a coin, but this couplet directs us to our desires in relation to others.
      • To “seek” peace is not simply an occasional thought of friendliness to those who are irritating our lives, but according to strive after peace, to crave it, to seek it to find it.
      • Of course, all though we are instructed to seek peace in our behavior, the final result is dependent on two parties. This is the truth Paul speaks of in Romans
        • Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
  • Pursue peace
    • As mentioned above, seeking and pursuing peace seems, at first glance to be the same instruction for the one learning the fear of the Lord, but I am beginning to see that David may have meant this last phrase as a magnifier of the intent of seeking peace!
    • To “pursue” has multiple definitions within one of the study websites I refer to, but I find it illustrative to consider “pursue” occasionally includes the idea of hostility. It describe a greater passion than may be described simply by the term “seek”.
      • Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

How badly do you want a “Good Long Life?”

David gives instruction, and we do well to heed his wisdom.

Communicate graciously, live righteously, and chase after good relations with all.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #90

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #90
Description
He shall be the governor of the nations
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:27-28
All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.
New Testament Fullfillment
Col 1:16
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Persistent Widow and Crooked Judge

Such an interesting parable and personal challenge!

Luke 18:2-8

2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Earlier in Luke 17, Jesus begins His current teaching in response to the Pharisees questioning Him of when the kingdom of God would come. He provided a quick response and then turned to His disciples, and began to teach of their desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and yet will be disappointed. His teaching is directed to His disciples, using a question offered by those who considered Him the enemy.

When did the Lord give this parable?

This parable was given within three months of the passion week. For a helpful document, providing a list of all the events in Jesus Life, check out the following download.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

During the last three months of the Lord’s time in Israel, much of it was spent in Perea, on the eastern side of the Jordan, and finally in Jerusalem.

Why did the Lord give this message?

He provided a response to the Pharisees, as mentioned above, yet the intent of the parable is directed solely to those who will follow the Master through disappointing times.

Periods of extended time will be required of believers, times of waiting and persevering through times when many things are disappointing. Consider the following to understand the context the disciples were possibly understanding. Many may look to the coming of the Lord as being instantaneous, and very soon, and this is a great hope of mine. Even so, come Lord Jesus. And yet, let us not get our eyes of the fact that His final coming may yet be thousands of years away.

The timing of His coming is to be handled with kid gloves in my understanding, and has caused many to experience great disappointment in their expectations.

A few years back, I did a quick study on the Greek word translated as lightning in Luke 17:24 and found a most amazing teaching. His coming is as the sun rise, and not necessarily as the lightning strikes. In relative terms, the sun rise takes “forever” compared to a lightning strike. Consider the implications.

So why did He provide the parable of the persistent widow? Persevere in prayer through disappointing times, times of seemingly unattainable hope, times when all the cards are stacked against you and the Lord is still waiting to answer.

What was the message for the original audience?

Let’s compare the two characters in this parable.

Persistent WidowUnrighteous Judge
Under persecution by enemyLiving in comfort
HelplessNo desire to help others
PersistentNo fear of God
Genuine need of justiceUnwilling to perform his duties
Received in the endSelfishly gave in

The unrighteous judge is definitely a looser. A man who had attained his lot in life and was riding the milk wagon (milking it, as those in my industry speak of folks prior to retirement as simply coasting).

And yet the Master compares our Father in heaven with this unrighteous judge, who simply offered relief to the widow to get her out of his hair. She just kept pestering, nagging, bugging, requesting, bothering the judge. He wasn’t in it for the justice of the matter. He sought relief from his own “adversary”, the persistent widow.

In all the parables so far, Jesus describes our Father as a loving compassionate God. The Old Testament is rife with descriptions of a patient, loving God who reaches out to an unrepentant rebellious nation time and time again. The unrighteous judge is a diametrically opposed description of the loving Father.

And that is the point!

This is a comparison of difference, and the Master is highlighting their need to understand that their prayers will be heard, even in disappointing, discouraging and difficult times.

What is the message for us today?

Consider the character of the judge and compare each trait with your knowledge of the Father.

I will address only one of the traits detailed above, simply due to the fact that it is dear to my heart this morning. The last trait, the trait of selfishly giving in.

How do you understand our Father in heaven?

Do you see Him as a Father who grudgingly provides a few requests to His people, who is reluctant in providing guidance and support, who is hesitant to give His best to those who seek Him? Who would rather not be bothered?

How is it that you understand the Father in such a dishonoring way. He has provided His only Son for our deliverance, giving Him over to the ravages of whipping, the torture of crucifixion and to experience death for our sakes. The Son is not the only One who suffered on that glorious day, on the day when God the Father selflessly provided His most treasured love to His enemies, to those whom He had created and who constantly despised and rebelled against Him!

He has freely, out of an abundance of grace and mercy, provided us all things for our lives and for our future. Even suffering if required in order for us to grow up into mature children, believers who walk, though haltingly, after the Master and seek His ways.

He is good. In the midst of any experience, He is good. I speak as a fool, since I so often fail to live in His goodness. Join me in seeking to remember His goodness in the midst of any difficult time that comes into our lives.

Persevere in prayer, knowing that our Father in Heaven has provided all our spiritual needs, and knows our current temporal needs. Reflect on the goodness of God in the midst of disappointment, in the midst of fears and discouragement.

He is good. Be a “widow” of persistence in prayer!


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #89

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #89
Description
His Resurrection declared
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:22
I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
New Testament Fullfillment
John 20:17
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Humble Yourself

A few weeks back, I published the first of a series of posts offering 60 second short discussions on alternatives to the popular Calvinistic teaching in our churches these days.

The videos were provided by Dr. Leighton Flowers, and addressed a number of topics that related to Calvinism and it’s resultant effects on the believer.

Since then I have provided a few additional videos describing different aspects of a provisionalist perspective on the Scriptures.

The following video, (although not a 60 second short!) supplies a response to the following Calvin Concern.

How can someone humble themselves without God’s help? (Careful now – strawmen are lurking about!!!)

Take a 7 minute break and consider Dr. Flowers response to this question, and try to have an open mind.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #88

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #88
Description
Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:20-21
Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 2:14
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Workers in the Vineyard

This parable speaks of the benefits of waiting till the last minute to go picking grapes.

No.

Ok. How about this – it speaks of standing around idle in the marketplace.

No no.

Dang – I think I got it! This parable speaks of the benefits of not entering into a contract with an employer.

No no no.

How about we just read the parable and consider the message Jesus is trying to communicate to us.

Matthew 20:1-16

1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Back in Matthew 19:23, Jesus begins to teach his disciples of the difficulty of a rich person entering into heaven. It appears this parable is an extension of this teaching, especially when you consider the last verse of chapter 19 is identical to the last verse of our parable

When did the Lord give this parable?

This parable was given within three months of the passion week. For a helpful document, providing a list of all the events in Jesus Life, check out the following download.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

During the last three months of the Lord’s time in Israel, much of it was spent in Perea, on the eastern side of the Jordan, and finally in Jerusalem.

Why did the Lord give this message?

NALC Devotions - November 30, 2017 - North American ...

As mentioned in an earlier answer, this parable was given to the disciples.

As I have often been taught, this parable is focused on the generosity of the Master of the House, and this is true. He is gracious, and his freedom to do as He pleases is emphasized in this parable. And yet, the “punch” at the end of the parable was intended for the disciples.

You see, He purposely told the story to emphasize the Master’s “out of the box” generosity, in order to highlight to those listening to the parable of their own sense of justice.

What was the message for the original audience?

The message to the disciples is simple. Be satisfied with what the Master gives you. Do not let the time of serving define your worth!

How often has He had to teach this direct connection between the Master and His servant in the Word? How often has He had to tell His people to not compare themselves with His other children?

Consider John 21:21- 22

John 21:21-22

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

What is the message for us today?

The message for us is simple to understand, and yet it is so easy to forget. Remember that the Lord is gracious to all and that comparing our selves with others is foolishness.

2 Corinthians 10:12b

But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

How often have you seen a believer getting some attention and we find your heart falling into a jealous funk.

You see a disciple receiving answered prayers and become discouraged, because God isn’t answering your prayers as fast or as often.

You see a follower with (seemingly) no problems, and fall into a victimhood mentality.

Try to understand. Do not be “without understanding”.

The Master is full of mercy, generous to all, but it is His prerogative who and when folks will realize His mercy and we must trust His loving heart to rest in this fact!

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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 9

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our ninth blog post will begin with Revelation 20:15

This outline is taken from pages 162 – 163 of the aforementioned book.  I have simply added the verse referred to for the readers convenience.

Wicked are in the Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:15

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Entrance to the Lake of Fire is based on your name not being found in the Book of Life. 

Kindly note that the permanence of a name in the book of Life is not defined here.  That is, there may be a condition that names are added to and or removed from the book of life.  Or one other possibility is that all souls have their name ( a new name?) in the book of life, but that those who are in the Lake of Fire have not received their new name yet. 

The giving of new names is not uncommon in the Word.  Consider Abram, Jacob, Simon and Saul.

Either of these conditions may be possible

Revelation 21:8

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Lost sinners will be in the Lake of Fire. 

This is a fact stated clearly in the chapter we refer to. And yet, I do not see a reference to duration of time a lost soul suffers in this verse, unless the second death is interpreted as being eternal or everlasting.  That is not clearly stated here, and we all know that the first death was not eternal or everlasting if God gets involved. 

I would appreciate if someone could comment on the second death, and the duration being defined by way of a Bible passage.

They are outside the gates of the New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:14-15

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Entrance to the city and the right to the tree of life is only for those whose robes are washed.  This is the prerequisite of entering the city.

It is interesting that the verb in the first verse is in the present tense, as in “Blessed are those who wash…”, not “Blessed are those who have washed…”

The “nations of the earth” are the enemies who opposed Christ

Revelation 20:3, 7

and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison

Satan is thrown into the “pit”.  This is not necessarily the Lake of Fire.

They are not allowed inside the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:27

But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This truth was stated above, and is a reminder that only those who are redeemed may enter the New Jerusalem.

A river of Living Water flows from the Center of the City where the throne of the Lamb is.

Revelation 22:1

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

This verse implies the river flows from the center of the city to the outskirts.  Granted that this is implied, yet a few verses later, we find that the trees planted beside the river are for the healing of the nations.  Is this the same group that were deceived by Satan and were not redeemed?  That are in the Lake of Fire??

All who are thirsty are invited to come and drink freely

Revelation 21:6

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

Revelation 22:17

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Check out Luke 16:24 to find out who is thirsty. 

This is one of the great evangelistic verses found in the Word and yet it seems we are in the middle of two groups –  the redeemed in the city, and the damned in the Lake of Fire.  What are we to make of it?

The gates of the city are always open, and will never shut

Revelation 21:25

and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there.

The City of God will always show hospitality.  As we are instructed in this life, so be it in the next!

The tree of Life bears fruit every month, and the leaves are for the “healing of the nations”

Revelation 22:2

through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Remember it is the nations that are healed, and not the saints, for we have already been healed.  Granted, as believers, we will partake of the tree of Life since the Lord Jesus is the source of all Life and the only true Tree of Life!

Again I ask why the trees provide fruit for the healing of the nations, if the nations who were deceived by Satan, are condemned eternally in the Lake of Fire?

The nations will walk by the light of the glory of God, and the Kings will enter into the city

Revelation 21:23, 24, 26

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,

They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

Okay.  The nations and the kings of the earth will enter the City. 

Note that the verse does not state that some of the nations and some of the kings of the earth will enter the City.  THE nations.  THE kings of the earth.  This is truly an amazing verse and worthy of considering the implications of this train of thought that the apostle John seems to be providing. 

Only those whose name is in the book of life enter the city!

Revelation 21:27

But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Find your name in the Book of Life my friend. Look to the Savior for your Life, for He is all of Life and able to rescue the humble, giving grace to the one who comes to Him in faith.

He is good! Do not ignore His grace!


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #87

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #87
Description
He committed Himself to God
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:20-21
Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 23:46
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – The Used Car Salesman

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

It wasn’t long ago that I was in a class, a Sunday school class, for adults that is, when the concept of the used car salesman sprung to my mind. Let me start with my thinking of the proverbial used car salesman.

Loud, talkative, self serving, overly aggressive, pushy, annoying, manipulative dishonest; need I go on?

So Carl – what is the connection with Sunday School class and a used car salesman?

Well let me tell you a story

As many of you may know, we have been church going folks for over 40 yrs, listening to a man preach and teach from a pulpit. So many different men that we have been privileged to sit under, (and some that were a blessing to leave behind).

One of those preachers was a loud man, a man who felt volume was enough, that emotion should be the prime motivator for Christian living, that thought charisma was more important than character, and that saw himself as one amongst equals – although he was more equal than the rest of us. (Get my meaning?)

Nevertheless, after a decade of conventional church life, my wifey and I tripped into home bible studies, where a group of believers join together in a home, sometimes share a meal, have a bit of a study, and fellowship during desert – Yay for desert!. This ministry style has greatly impressed my wife and I and we love being a part of a group of caring believers. It is typically the high point of our week!

Contrast this style of interactive dialogue within a group setting with the typical church service, where one man dominates with a monologue. One person directs the singing, all planned, rehearsed and practiced. One ministers and the rest of us sit on padded seats, passively receiving.

So naturally, we tend to look for a sunday school class that mimics the dialogue style of the home bible study ministry we have been involved with and blessed by. We have been blessed with a class that we enjoy in our present church, and look forward to going each Sunday.

But the used car salesman lurks about in every meeting we attend. That one who wants to dominate the airwaves, sell his scheduled teaching notes without question, plough through honest questions, and speak of their experiences and victories while others suffer quietly, feel insufficient and are downtrodden.

Is this the correct way to minister to others – that is, to bluster your way through an allotted time, with nary a care of the one “buying” the product? Is the monologue style of ministry producing thinking Christians who can stand up and declare their beliefs, even amongst their own?

I realize I am on a bit of a rant right now, but I love being involved in a group as a participant, and not as simply someone that is “buying a product” from the teacher.

Consider Paul’s description of the Lord’s servant in the following passage.

2 Timothy 2:24
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Notice the terms used in this short passage, and consider if you have met a “Lord’s servant” recently.

  1. Not quarrelsome
  2. Kind
  3. Able to teach
  4. Patiently endure
  5. Correcting opponents with gentleness

If you are in a church with a Lord’s servant, praise God. If you have a friend who lives this life, praise God even more. Even better, if you know the Lord, be the servant He wants you to be in your daily life, amongst friend and foe, loved ones and strangers.

It is the way!

Thanks for putting up with my rant! I sometimes need to realign my thinking regarding Christianity and I find that writing helps me to get my thoughts in order.

If you have a comment or question you would like to provide, please take advantage of the comment box below. Thanks again, and may the Lord bless you in you daily walk with him.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #86

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #86
Description
They parted His garments
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:18
they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 19:23-24
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,

so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 8

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our eighth blog post will begin with passage Hebrews 12:6-11

Passage 8

Hebrews 12:6-11

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

As we visit this passage, we find that there are a number of verses within the passage that are helpful to Mr. Giles discussion, primarily reflecting on the nature of chastening and how it benefits the recipients, and reflects on the purpose of the discipline.

Mr. Giles initially refers to John 3:16, to remind the reader of the love of God for the entire world, and connects this passage to this thought. He then calls the readers attention to the phrase “all have become partakers” of God’s discipline. Hs argument is that all of humanity become partakers of God’s discispline, since God loves the world. The author of Hebrews then goes on to describe the result of the discipline (for all) in the receiving of life.

Mr. Giles also approaches the purpose of discipline, or God’s intended purpose of chastisement, and that is of restoration, of discipline being for “our profit”. The concept of punishment for the sake of retribution is not broached in this passage but the restorative love of God is, and the end result in that holiness is produced. At no place within this passage is the concept of God’s wrath.

Mr. Giles gives us a progression that is based on the teaching of God’s love for the world (John 3:16), that goes like this

  1. Everyone endures discipline
  2. Everyone is treated as a son or daughter
  3. Everyone endures a “painful” discipline
  4. Everyone becomes a partaker of His holiness

For Mr. Giles argument to convince me, I would need to understand the authors intended audience. My current understanding of the passage is that it relates to believers, and that all believers go through a disciplinary process.

He has assumed in a few of his texts that all of humanity are “in Christ”, which admittedly is a difficult teaching to follow. In my opinion and at this time in my life, it is a weak argument but the following verses were provided to show the Fatherhood of God for all of humanity.

Acts 17:26-28

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
for “‘In him we live and move and have our being‘; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Ephesians 3:14-15

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

Luke 3:38

the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

In all of the verses he has provided, there is an argument for seeing all of humanity possibly being considered, and I will leave it with my readers to arrive at their own conclusions.

If you happen to have passages that would provide additional support for this teaching, please provide. I am always willing to understand this teaching, but currently do not see this passage (Hebrews 12:6-11) as strong as some may assume.

Our next post will address Revelation chapters 20 – 22. It shocked me more than the Philippian passage. I hope you will join me.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #85

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #85
Description
Stripped Him before the stares of men
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 22:17-18
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 23:34-35
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – D

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

In our previous post, I supplied an introduction to this psalm that may be beneficial for review if you have not read it. Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – A

Lets continue with Psalm 34

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Fear of the Lord. It is seldom mentioned in our churches and we are the weaker for it. And yet, what exactly is the fear of the Lord. Based on this short snippet from the hand of David, we find the following.

  • Groups who fear the Lord are protected by an angel
  • Groups who fear the Lord are delivered by the angel
  • Groups who fear the Lord are exhorted to experience the Lord
    • This is not something that would be encouraged by a “fearful” presence, so something must be more complex than what we default to.
  • Groups who fear the Lord find Him good
  • The man who fears the Lord is blessed.
    • Fear of the Lord seems to be related to refuge – Interesting!
  • Groups who fear the Lord have no lack
    • Fear of the Lord is related to the One who supplies all of our need.
  • Groups who fear the Lord lack no good thing
    • Notice that fear seems to be connected with seeking the Lord.
    • In my earthly understanding, when I fear something, I tend to think of avoiding the one who causes my fear, yet the fear of the Lord is the equivalent of seeking the Lord – Very Interesting!!
  • Fear of the Lord can be taught.
    • The fear of the Lord is not a simple emotional reaction to a threat, as I often consider fear. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind that is to be learned, practiced and lived in.

A story of relating to fear has been helpful for me. As you may know, I work with railroads, and a healthy fear of trains is a beneficial attitude on site. They are powerful monsters of mass and motion, and if I follow a few principles the Class 1 Railroads have laid down, I can work around and with these behemoths safely. At times, these massive mechanical projectiles are hurtling through a space at high velocities, unable to stop. Standing on the train I’m safe. Standing 15 ft away from the tracks I’m safe. Standing on a bridge over the tracks I’m safe. During these times, I am amazed at the trains, their shear massive size and unyielding power.

Yet if I stand in front of a train, I am doomed! A dead man. Without hope. One spot that I shouldn’t be. On the tracks. Why do I stay off the tracks. Fear of the train!

Why should you stay off the wrong side of God. You will be doomed.

Yet any location you take to view the train, other than on active tracks, you will be safe, and possibly enjoy some benefit of the train. You may find, as I have, that trains are fantastic mechanisms of strength and power.

Likewise, learn of God and His Son Jesus Christ, taste and see the benefits of such a good and loving Creator. In all of your learning of the goodness and mercy of the Lord, do one thing for me.

Stay off the tracks!


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