Saturday, March 16, 2013

A good and generous heart

"But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance."  (Luke 8: 15)

Lord, let your word fertilize my soul.  Help me to receive your word with a generous and good heart.  I want to bear large fruit for you.  I need your grace to persevere so that I can accomplish my mission.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Activation of the fruits of Redemption

"In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace."  (Ephesians 1: 7)

Through the cross and blood of Jesus Christ, redemption is made available to all.  The Great Commissions orders the Church to go and preach this redemption to the whole world.  The word of God convicts sinners who come forward to be baptized and confess their sins.  This action triggers the fruits of redemption to be released.

Below are part commentaries on Ephesians 1: 7 from John Gills Exposition and Matthew Henry Commentary

"Redemption supposes captivity and slavery, and is a deliverance out of it; God's elect by nature are in bondage to sin, Satan, and the law; through the grace of Christ, they are redeemed from all iniquity; ransomed out of the hands of him that is stronger than they; and are freed from the law, its bondage, curse, and condemnation, and from every other enemy: and this benefit Christ is the author of; he was called to be the Redeemer of his people from all eternity; and he was sent in the fullness of time, to procure the redemption of them; to which he had a right, being their near kinsman; and for which he was every way fit, being God as well as man; and which he has obtained by his obedience, sufferings, and death: and in whom it resides, as in its proper subject and author; who, by imputation, is made redemption to all the chosen ones; for not angels, but men, share in this redemption; and not all men, but elect men; such as are chosen in Christ, predestinated to the adoption of children by him, and who are accepted in the beloved: and this comes to them through the blood of Christ, which was freely shed on the cross to procure it; and was a sufficient ransom, or redemption price; it being not only the same blood with those who are redeemed, but the blood of an innocent person; and not of a mere man, but of one who is truly and properly God, as well as man; see more of this (See Gill on Colossians 1:14). A branch of this redemption follows, or a blessing that comes by it, and along with it,"
(John Gills Exposition)

"All blessings come from God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. No good can be expected from a righteous and holy God to sinful creatures, but by his mediation. He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings. Note, Spiritual blessings are the best blessings with which God blesses us, and for which we are to bless him. He blesses us by bestowing such things upon us as make us really blessed. We cannot thus bless God again; but must do it by praising, and magnifying, and speaking well of him on that account. Those whom God blesses with some he blesses with all spiritual blessings; to whom he gives Christ, he freely gives all these things. It is not so with temporal blessings; some are favoured with health, and not with riches; some with riches, and not with health, etc. But, where God blesses with spiritual blessings, he blesses with all. They are spiritual blessings in heavenly places; that is, say some, in the church, distinguished from the world, and called out of it. Or it may be read, in heavenly things, such as come from heaven, and are designed to prepare men for it, and to secure their reception into it. We should hence learn to mind spiritual and heavenly things as the principal things, spiritual and heavenly blessings as the best blessings, with which we cannot be miserable and without which we cannot but be so. Set not your affections on things on the earth, but on those things which are above. These we are blessed with in Christ; for, as all our services ascend to God through Christ, so all our blessings are conveyed to us in the same way, he being the Mediator between God and us."  (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Eucharist is the Sign of the New Covenant

"But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days—oracle of the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people."  (Jeremiah 31: 33)

Write your law in my heart, O my God and then I will remember it at all times.

"Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed* for many."  (Mark 14: 23 - 24)

The Eucharist is the everlasting covenant that Jesus Christ has left for us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today is the time of favor

"Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
I form you and set you
as a covenant for the people,
To restore the land
and allot the devastated heritages,
To say to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the roadways they shall find pasture,
on every barren height shall their pastures be."  (Isaiah 49: 8 - 9)

Today is the time of favor.  Today is the acceptable time to come confidently to the throne of grace to ask for strength in my time of need.  Today, I ask the Father to deliver me from the spirit of fear.  The Father has given me a spirit of love, courage and power.  Yet, I notice that my heart is troubled by unnecessary fears, worries and doubts.

"He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”  (Mark 9: 29)
I got the message Lord.  So I pray and keep praying till I am free.  Thank you Lord.  Help me Jesus to pray and labor for this grace which I ask of you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get wine and milk without money

"All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, buy grain and eat;
Come, buy grain without money,
wine and milk without cost!"  (Isaiah 55: 1)

Lord, I understand what you are talking about.  You are talking about the Eucharist.  You invite us to eat bread in the kingdom.  You offer us your Body and your Blood.  Your Church teaches us that this Meal is the source, center and summit of the Christian life.  Thank you Jesus for this awesome gift.

Everybody is invited to come and eat and drink without money.  But come thirsty.  Come hungry.  Do not forget to put on the proper gown.

"God indeed is my salvation;
I am confident and unafraid.
For the LORD is my strength and my might,
and he has been my salvation.
With joy you will draw water
from the fountains of salvation."  (Isaiah 12: 2-3)

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Heavens and New Earth

"I am creating new heavens
and a new earth;
The former things shall not be remembered
nor come to mind.
Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever
in what I am creating.
Indeed, I am creating Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying;"  (Isaiah 65: 17 19)

The prophet paints the picture of the Church in the fullness of time.  How glorious is the destiny of the Bride of Christ!

"The world is yours if you be Christ's, 1 Corinthians 3:22.  When God is reconciled to us, which gives us a new heaven, the creatures too are reconciled to us, which gives us a new earth."  (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Anyone who is in Christ becomes a new creation: new friends, new clothes, new joys, new entertainments, etc.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whoever is in Christ is a new creation

" So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."  (2 Corinthians  5: 17)

Who is in Christ?

  • He who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • He who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.
  • He who is confirmed in the Holy Spirit.
  • He in whose heart Jesus Christ reigns as Lord and King.
  • He whose life is directed by the Holy Spirit.

Such a one is a new creation.  Anybody that meets such a one a shopping mall, stadium, gas station, school, play ground would sense that something is different about the person.

A new creature cannot be hidden just as a tiger walking down the street is perceived for what it is.   In the case of a tiger, you take cover immediately.  But the new creation in Christ attracts.  He attracts because "the old things have passed away" in him.  New things are perceived.  Holiness attracts.