O Holy Night
We are looking at popular Christmas hymns and their origins in Biblical truth during this advent season. Our objective is not to exposit the hymns, but to worship along with the hymn writer and the countless others who know the hymn. We will look at the Biblical truths that inspire the hymn. This week we are singing the hymn, “O Holy Night.”
There is only one person who can render a judgment as to who will be the greatest in His kingdom. The King of kings decides which of the apostles will be the greatest. It will be the opposite of what they think. The least among them shall be the greatest.
When we are in heaven, we are not going to be marveling at His power or authority. Jesus’ power and authority are truly marvelous. We will be praising the glory of God’s grace. We will be marveling at how such a magnificent God goes to His death so we may be saved. We will marvel at the Bridegroom laying down His life for His bride.
My Son Luke writes his gospel by putting together an account of things accomplished by Jesus. He ga...
In heaven, the Lamb of God who dies for us and sets us free is the bright and shining glory of God. God’s glory is His forgiveness and mercy and the Lamb of God is God’s glory. Put your faith in Christ alone and nothing else. God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Believe Jesus is God’s Son and Chosen One coming again in His Glory.
Follow the Suffering Christ
Following Jesus is to live in a way that proves He is our most valuable treasure. Treasure the suffering Messiah as supremely valuable over all things, including life itself.
The Suffering Christ
There are two truths upon which we place our faith. One is the person of Jesus. We put our faith in His identity. Second, we put our faith in the work of Jesus. We put our faith in what He accomplishes. The eternal outcome of our soul is at risk. Where we spend eternity depends upon our understanding of these two essential truths about Jesus.
Bread From Heaven
Jesus heals the sick, teaches them about the kingdom of God, and miraculously feeds them all with only a few fish and five loaves of bread. Do you wonder what it might have been like to be in the crowd that day? To follow Jesus, get healed, hear His teaching, and then be satisfied with fish and bread? What if we were one of the twelve apostles? How might we remember that day? Let’s put our imaginations to work. Let’s take the description of the day given to us by the four gospels, and compile two stories. The first story is that of a young couple who encounter Jesus. The second story is that of one of the twelve apostles.
Jesus is the Gospel
In a world full of bad news, Jesus is the good news that we all are seeking. Jesus has the power and authority to reverse all that is wrong in this world. Only He is the source of good. Put your faith in Him.
Jesus is the Messiah who restores life. Jesus didn’t come just for the woman with the hemorrhage or to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Jesus came to save all sinners. He came for you and for me. One day, we will be in a grave. But, when we believe Jesus is the Messiah who restores life, we no longer fear the grave. We know that after we are dead, Jesus will extend His hand to us. We will sing with joy and say, “The grave has no victory over me. Jesus gives me eternal life.” He will take us by the hand, and just like the girl, we will also eat. We will sit at the great banquet of the marriage supper of the Lamb and we will enjoy the presence of Jesus forever.
A Right Mind
Jesu will meet a man who is without hope and in desperate need of salvation. He is a man abandoned by society and left in the wilderness while everyone waits for him to forever vanquished. Imagine living a life that nobody wants to be in your presence. His end will be good news for the city of his upbringing.
God raises up a storm over the Sea of Galilee so His Son may prove He has authority over creation. God desires to show that He and Jesus are One. The fullness of God dwells in Jesus. It is by Jesus that all things are created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things are created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). The storm is created by Him, so He may rebuke it and say, “Be still.” Jesus proves that He is able to lift the blanket of corruption from this world, because He has power over sin and creation. Are there storms in your life? Are the catastrophes that make you anxious? Are you worried about the coronavirus? Are you facing life-threatening circumstances? Where is your faith?
Jesus came to warn the citizens of the kingdom of this world that God hates the rebellion. A day coming when God will pour out His wrath upon all who rebel against His authority. Jesus tells people they can escape the wrath to come if they put their faith in His salvation, and submit to His authority. Jesus came to save us from the inevitable destruction of the kingdom of darkness and to transfer us into the kingdom of His light.
The deeper our understanding of sin, the more we may understand grace and forgiveness. A shallow understanding of sin will result in a shallow love of Jesus. If we think we have little sin to forgive, our worship of Jesus will be lacking. The woman at Simon’s home shows an extraordinary understanding of the forgiveness of sin. She goes to Jesus despite great risk of public ridicule and shame. She values Jesus more than she values what others may think. Let us be a people who prove we believe we are forgiven much by loving much. Let us not be ashamed of loving our Savior. Let us be a people who weep openly at the feet of Jesus because we are thankful that He gives His life so we may live forever with Him in glory.
In God’s wisdom, He lovingly provides a way to be just and loving at the same time. He gives the world His beloved Son, who willingly takes the punishment we deserve. When people put their faith in God’s salvation from sin, by believing Jesus takes their punishment, they are saved from God’s judgment. God’s holiness and justice make salvation necessary. God’s love makes salvation possible. Jesus’ message is simple. Do not be offended by Jesus. Don’t stumble over the rock of salvation. Those who put their faith in God’s wise proclamation of salvation are saved. Believe God’s proclamation of salvation as perfect wisdom.
Who is Jesus?
The prophetic testimony of the sure word of God is compelling and reliable. I implore you to think about Jesus's ministry, teachings, and His life. Remember that Jesus is seen alive and His disciples went to their grave believing Him as risen from the dead. Believing in Jesus requires faith in believing the testimony of God’s word. Put your faith in Jesus, the compassionate Savior.
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Blessings and Woes
Do you look around at what is going on today and fell like life is slipping away? Is your heart sick? Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Perhaps God is showing us how much we are trusting in this world. We don’t know how much we trust in this world until the things of this world are taken away. How would we pray to God if tomorrow the grocery stores were taken away? Give us this day our daily bread is a different prayer when there are no stores and no flour. Why should our prayer with no store be any different in a world with stores? Put faith in God for His blessings and don’t put faith in this world.
Jesus sets a beautiful example of ministry. He faithfully prays to God. He trusts God will hear His prayers. He actively engages in discipleship. He is very intent on Growing God’s kingdom through equipping and enabling others to take His place. He leaves a legacy of people who follow in His footsteps. Lastly, Jesus ministers to all people, and we need to do the same. Let’s follow the example of Jesus for the sake of glorifying Him and for our joy.
Lord of the Sabbath
Everything about the Law of God, whether the law is from the Mosaic Covenant, or the New Testament, points to Jesus. The Mosaic Covenant points to Him prophetically. The commands of the New Testament call us to follow His example. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who use the commands of God to fill themselves with pride. Let’s live knowing God’s commands are for good. They point to mercy and love. They declare Jesus as our Sabbath rest. God’s commands lead to life.
Levi is a follower of Jesus. He knows that Jesus is worth forsaking everything. Jesus is a cause for celebration. Levi invites people to his home to be with Jesus because Levi knows that Jesus heals those who repent. Those who are with Jesus love Him and are devoted to Him as a bride is to her Husband. Levi and all those who follow Jesus know that following Him means being given a new life. The old things pass away and the new things have come.
There are many miracles that Jesus performs, but not all of Jesus’ miracles are written in Luke’s account. The fact that Luke gives details surrounding these two miracles in chapter five, the healing of a leper and a paralytic, we may expect that they reveal very truths into the person of Jesus. These miracles reveal the extent of Jesus’ authority. They will show that Jesus has the authority to declare the unclean clean and that He has the authority to forgive sin.
Marks of a Disciple
To be a disciple of Jesus requires a radical and continual evaluation of life. Jesus requires His disciples to follow Him in every way. We can take this sentence, “Being a disciple of Jesus requires me to evaluate how I blank (fill in the blank) and make changes as necessary.” The blank can be eat, drink, work, love, dress, drive, and play. In short, the blank is best filled with the word, “everything.” Being a disciple of Jesus requires me to evaluate how I do everything.”
Throughout Luke’s gospel, we will see two responses to Jesus. Some people respond like the people of Nazareth, and they want to throw Jesus off a cliff. They like Jesus up until a certain point. They are no different than people of today. People today like Jesus up to a certain point. But, as soon as the topic of sin emerges, talk of Jesus is no longer welcome. The gospel is not enough. Others, like the disciples who continue to follow Jesus, are willing to hear the truth, even when it gets difficult. When Jesus asks them, “Do you want to stop following Me as well?” Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69) What about you? Do you believe Jesus is the Holy One of God who has words of eternal life?
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The truth of Jesus is life-changing. It is to “rock our world,” “shake our foundations,” and cause us to stop in our tracks and evaluate everything about life. The truth about Jesus is the most important truth. It is said that Jesus brings peace and prosperity to the nations. He offers people comfort, security, and satisfaction. His followers claim there is unspeakable joy in His presence. To all who are sick, hungry, thirsty, and dying, Jesus offers healing, food, living water, and eternal life. There is no question that the claims of Jesus are astounding. If all that is said about Him is true, every person in the world ought to beg to know more about how they may have access to all that He offers.
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