Friday, December 27, 2013

Gideon Tests the Lord!

Mo. 12/30/13: Judges 6:11 – 12                           Who appeared to Gideon?
Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Who appeared to Gideon? The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon.
Tu. 12/31/13: Judges 6:36 – 38                               What was the first test?
So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said—look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water.
What was the first test? The wool fleece was to be wet, the ground dry.
We. 1/1/14: Judges 6:39 – 40                              What was the second test?
Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
What was the second test? The opposite: two days went by! God waits.
Th. 1/2/14: Judges 7:19 – 22                      What weapons did the 300 use?
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp … and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands … and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And … the whole army ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled.
What weapons did the 300 use? They used trumpets, pitchers and voices.
Fr. 1/3/14: 1 John 4:1 – 2                                            Are we to do likewise?
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God
Are we to do likewise? Yes, we are to test spirits: the test is Christ.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ruth and Christmas

Mo. 12/23/13: Ruth 1:1 – 5                               How do we counter famine?

Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons … Elimelech, Naomi, and Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. Then Elimelech died; … her two sons … took wives of the women of Moab … Orpah, and … Ruth. … Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died.

How do we counter famine? We keep faith and turn not from the Lord.

Tu. 12/24/13: Ruth 1:6 – 8, 14 – 17                 What was Ruth’s response?

Then she arose (to) return … for she had heard … that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house.” … Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth … said:

“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

What was Ruth’s response? Ruth responded in faith, clear and radiant.

We. 12/25/13: Matthew 1:1,  5 – 6, 18                       What was the result?

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham … Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king … David the king begot Solomon … and Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

What was the result? Ruth became part of the Royal lineage of David.

Th. 12/26/13: Ruth 4:9 – 10                                             What did Boaz do?

And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife … you are witnesses this day.”

What did Boaz do? He became Kinsman Redeemer and husband to Ruth.

Fr. 12/27/13: Ruth 4:11              What was the response of the witnesses?

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
What was the response of the witnesses? It was prophetic of the Messiah!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Courage and Confidence

Mo. 12/16/13: Joshua 1:5 – 6                  What was God’s promise?
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
What was God’s promise? God promised an inheritance: are we confident?
Tu. 12/17/13: Joshua 1:8 – 9                  Where is God’s promise?
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Where is God’s promise? In the Bible, God’s Word: do we read it?
We. 12/18/13: 2 Corinthians 10:1 – 2                  What was Paul’s attitude?
Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
What was Paul’s attitude? Meekness towards those who walk by the Spirit, boldness towards those who walk by the flesh.
Th. 12/19/13: 2 Corinthians 5:6 – 8                  How should we walk?
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
How should we walk? We ought to walk by faith with confidence.
Fr. 12/20/13: Hebrews 13:5 – 6            What are we NOT to do?
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
What are we NOT to do? We are not to be fearful; what can man do to us?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

He comes from heaven

Mo. 12/9/13: 1 Thessalonians 1:9 – 10                  Who do we wait for?
For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Who do we wait for? We wait for God’s Son who will come from heaven.
Tu. 12/10/13: 1 Thessalonians 2:19 – 20                  Why does Paul rejoice?
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.
Why does Paul rejoice? The Thessalonians are his joy.
We. 12/11/13: 1 Thess. 3:12 – 13                  What happens at His coming?
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
What happens at His coming? We will be blameless in holiness.
Th. 12/12/13: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17                  How will He come?
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
How will He come? He will descend from heaven with a shout and a trumpet of God.
Fr. 12/13/13: 1 Thess. 5:23 – 24                  How will we be at His coming?                 
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
How will we be at His coming? Our body, soul and spirit will be blameless.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

This week’s blog is a condensation of a Thanksgiving message by Dr. Michael Harris in Wisconsin.

Mo. 12/2/13: John 10:22 - 23                  What was the Feast?
Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.
What was the Feast? The Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. This year Thanksgiving coincides with the first day (of 8) of Hanukkah. This will not recur.

Tu. 12/3/13: John 10:24                  What was the question?
Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
What was the question? The Jews asked Jesus Christ if He was the Messiah, the Anointed of God.

We. 12/4/13: John 7:45 - 46                  Why was the question asked?
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Why was the question asked? Earlier, in the Feast of Tabernacles, Christ claimed this and was to be taken prisoner by officers of the Temple. They returned empty-handed with this comment.

Th. 12/5/13: John 7:37 - 38                  What was Christ’s invitation?
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
What was Christ’s invitation? Jesus Christ offered them the Holy Spirit who was yet to come.

Fr. 12/6/13: John 10:30 - 31                  Where did they find stones?
I and My Father are one.”
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.
Where did they find stones? This must have been the plan all along: stone Him! They could have collected stones for this purpose beforehand.