Archives For Bible Verse

a single verse that means something to you

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek. 36:26–27)

This is a cataclysmic event. “Getting saved” is not about praying a prayer and then continuing to live our lives as though nothing happened. No, when God enters our lives, we are changed from the inside out.
— from Multiply

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“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”

or

Why do we get bombings and people trying to kill one another?

or

Why is everyone angry all the time?

We have been waging a war since the beginning of time between good and evil. However, God wins. Externally, it may look like Satan is winning because we see tragedy, death, hatred, and wars. Suffering evidences itself because sin is still prevalent. I am a saved victorious Christian and a son of God but that does not make me immune to my sinful “DNA” and my desire to do wrong. Through Christ I have conquered sin however until he returns I am in a struggle between good and evil. An unsaved individual regardless of position and location is unable to please God and therefore must only please himself. This is done through a variety of means and one of the ways we please self is to seek revenge, destroy, and hurt other people in a twisted effort to elevate ourself and/or our cause. God gives hope that shames our pride and gives us new life capable of communing the Creator. We must not minimize the hope given to us by Christ but we must magnify His work on the cross.

So why is everyone angry all the time and why is everyone trying to kill each other? Well, one reason is they have not believed in Christ’s attack on hostility, for Christ killed all hostility and has replaced all strife with peace.

Ephesians 2:12-17

Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Eph 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Eph 2:16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Eph 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

Here are some notes that I took and used to preach a short message from. (I hope you can follow my train of thought as I walk through the passage and take several words and break them down.)

Kill the Hostility
  • Separated 
    • positional separation we aren’t on God’s team, we are the enemy
    • Aliens– foreigners, unknown, strangers, not citizens of God’s country
  • No Hope
    • without God we have no hope for any kind of future
    • in the world and of the world without God’s plan of redemption
  • In Christ Jesus
    • picture of proximity
      • far and near
      • Jews and Gentiles are made one church in Christ
    • to be brought near means to have access to God
    • He died not only for Jews but for all his sheep even those who were far off
  • He is Peace
    • Peace vs. Hostility
    • Hostility, bombing, killing, murdering, racism, abusing… is torn down and replaced with peace through the love of the Savior Jesus Christ
    • the wall of hostility could be an example of the inscription that alienated Gentiles from entering the inner courts of the sacred Jewish temple. A gentile would be killed if he crossed that wall and entered the place where only the privileged Jews could.
    • In the same way we as SINNERS get to talk to a God who is HOLY. Because Jesus covered up that inscription for us and he is now on our team inviting us to join him at the banquet table to eat and commune with the Trinity.
  • Abolishing the Law
    • the Mosaic law and commandments are now nullified and the result is a NEW MAN, a new human race (new Adam), who is now capable of pleasing God because of the blood of Christ covering our wickedness.
    • ONE MAN made peace for all men
    • vs. 16- one man in one body through the cross – the gospel
  • Killing the Hostility
    • the hostility between the two warring parties was made peaceful through a negotiation –  a hostage had to be sacrificed
    • Christ’s reconciliation has killed the hostility that stood like a wall between us and peace with God.

God’s Anger: For Us!

bobbyemberley —  March 7, 2013 — 1 Comment
I am amazed to realize that the terrible and awesome description of God in these verses is a result of God’s anger against David’s enemies. God was moved emotionally and volitionally because of opposition to His chosen king. I think there is application for me too. Since I am one of God’s children, chosen and redeemed, God’s anger is roused not against me but in my defense.
Psalm 18:6-17
6In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
14And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
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Life is choices
Choices have consequences
Make right choices

– Cliff Jenkin

Come Unto Me

dannygugger —  August 2, 2012 — 3 Comments

I love taking naps. Sometimes, I get so excited about taking naps that I can’t sleep. I used to hate naps (mostly because I was forced to take them instead of playing outside). Those days have long passed. I have a fairly busy schedule, so, to me, naps are like the instant recharge and refuel that keep me going. Also…I wake up feeling amazing. Most often, naps are my relief from the weariness of work or pain. I used to think that Christ offered rest like that…like the rest he offered was some sort of spiritual nap to relieve me from all the pains and trials of everyday life. I thought it was kind of like an escape from real life. I remember seeing a painting of the following verse depicting Christ with a sleeping child on his lap and a lamb sitting at his feet.

Matt. 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God promises an easy life and a Joel Osteen brand of heaven on earth type bliss, Right? Isn’t that what this passage is saying? Isn’t Christ offering spiritual nap-time to all the weary travelers of the world? I don’t think so. Let’s back up a couple verses and see who he’s talking to.

Matt 11:20-30 Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin!  Woe to you, Bethsaida!  For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon,  they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago! 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment  than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades.  For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

 

Jesus has just issued the strongest warning toward people that he ever gave while on this earth. He’s talking to the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida. After explaining the horrible logic they used to give themselves a reason to hate the messiah (accusing Christ of being a drunkard for eating with sinners), he begins to pronounce a warning to two cities; mostly because of the amount of revelation they received and the degree to which they rejected it. He says that even the most notoriously evil cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, will be better off on the day of judgment than these two cities (Chorazin and Bethsaida). The reason the day of Judgment will be so bad for them is that salvation was so close to them and they refused to see it. It’s that they were so arrogant that they didn’t care to notice Christ standing in front of them on earth. The feeling that they rejected something so obvious will be worse for them than Sodom and Gommorrah who never saw God in person or his miracles. Let’s continue on:

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him….

Jesus is telling them…you think you know me. And what you think you know about me…you don’t like. Just like John the Baptist (Matt. 11:1-15)…you are letting your presuppositions of what you think the Messiah should be like influence the view you have of him. You think he should fit into your little mold. So instead…you ask for another. You write the one off who’s actually the Messiah as a drunkard and a glutton. Your values are completely skewed. You think that you are wise. I thank God that he does not take your human intellect into account. (It is interesting that when Peter came to a true understanding of who Christ was, Jesus commented by saying that it wasn’t flesh or blood that revealed Christ to him…it was by “my Father”). Instead the gospel is easer for those who are not as arrogant and foolishly wise as you. They have less to be offended by (v. 6). In fact…this is how things really work. You think you know me… but nobody knows me except my Father. Nobody knows the Father except me and whomever I desire to reveal him to. Instead of being the glutton and drunkard you think I am…I’m going to turn your world upside down and reveal myself to you in the middle of your unbelief. This is who I really am. I am one who extends rest and patient learning to all who will come to me. Even you. The one’s who are rejecting me.

These are the people Christ is talking to when he issues the following invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He gave that invitation to the people who hated him. He says to them, “I will give you rest.” Often, as Christians today, we get confused about this “rest” that Christ promised. Instead of spiritual nap-time Christ offers a rest that is a burden. He says, “You’re already burdened, but you have no help carrying it. I will carry your burden for you. In return I’ll give you a burden that is only seemingly a burden. It’s only a burden if you make it one. It’s called the cross. You give me the burden of your sin…I’ll give you my cross. My yoke is the cross. You are not content wrapped up in your burdens. You can’t be. So, I offer you another way. You have the yoke of your sin and it’s so hard because you make it that way. All you have is the law that constantly condemns you. Your life is hard because you’re beaten down by the law. Let me take that from you and give you my grace. Let me give you my grace.” This is the rest that we find in the Messiah.

Our burden has been exchanged for a cross. Life is not promised to be “easy.” However, if we are trusting God he shares the weight of our life. It’s no longer you who has to carry it.

Rejoice in the work of Christ this season. Explore the greatness of his offer.

Whatever…

jordantmoody —  July 27, 2012 — 2 Comments
Whatever

Whatever (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

“Whatever” is often a phrase heard by attitude driven teenage girls who model their lives after a devious mix of Mean Girls and Lady Gaga. When posed with a situation when one of these tweeners must make a decision that demands responsibility or effort, in order to sound more important than the question or situation, she answers with a nasal response such as, “Whaaateverrr.” However, I think this seemingly mindless word “whatever” is quite the opposite from its popular use today. “Whatever” takes on a meaning completely opposite from its current use and the contrast is striking. “Whatever” today implying “nothing matters because I am more important,” as opposed to the Biblical usage of the word “whatever” meaning “nothing matters because Christ is more important.” These definitions are my own and the way I have seen it in the scripture but I think you will see what I mean as I further explain myself.

Paul mentions this idea in Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Again in Philippians 4:11
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Paul shows his contentment with this word “whatever.” He says further on that he has been brought low and yet he knows how to abound but that in any and every situation or circumstance, he has learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger or abundance and need. (4:12)

Paul had learned how to be content. He had learned it is Christ who supplies all his needs. If God cares for the lilies of the field and provides food for the sparrows how much more will he care for Paul and you? However, Paul’s contentment did not cause him to sit around and meditate in a zen-like state humming with a bunch of bald monks. No, on the contrary, he acted using contentment as his support system for what may befall his actions.

You see, contentment supports action. Christ was the most important thing to Paul. Christ was everything to him. Therefore, all other things, however important and sentimental they may be, were by the definition of the word, second. Christ was to come first and therefore whatever difficulty or trial that may arise was “whatever” in comparison to glorifying Christ.

Paul then could write Phil. 4:13 with confidence because Christ was first and he was content serving Him in whatever situation that may be. (This also happens to be the theme verse of Dublin Christian Academy. I recently heard Sam Wulbrandt share a misconception of this verse.  This verse is commonly taken out of context and away from its meaning of contentment not necessarily empowerment to attain superhuman strength.)

Paul shows his confidence in this belief Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

How could Paul say that? Really? All things? Does this mean I can pick up a car with one hand and throw it into the ocean if I want to? No. I can do all things (or whatever) because I am content with any state Christ will put me in because He is the MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life. Therefore, whether sickness and storms, whether pain and sorrow, whether success or failure, I can do it all because Christ gives me strength to do so. I may still feel pain but the pain is bearable because I am content in His success. For as Desiring God Ministries says so often and pointedly summarizes Paul’s theme,  “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

A friend and I recently had a discussion about the application of a well known passage. I believe we’re all in agreement that no Bible passage is of any private interpretation. Historically, this verse seems to have had many applications.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I understand this verse as a warning not to sin with our bodies, especially because we inhabit the Holy Spirit of God. The context of this passage is a discussion on fornication, a sin one commits with his body. In addition, we are exhorted to glorify God with our bodies.

I feel that this verse is misused, particularly as a “blanket” so we can label socially distasteful activities as sin: using tobacco, getting tattoos, etc… Yes, these things do harm our bodies, but it seems like a stretch to apply this verse that way. It seems like a contrived application, especially if God’s intended application was, “don’t sin with your bodies.”

Even if we make this application, we must apply this consistently. Should Christians box or play football? Should we eat Big Macs? Should we donate plasma? Or organs? All of these practices definitely hurt our bodies.

I was going to try to present both sides of the argument, but since my bias would clearly shine through, I realized it would be better just to explain my point of view and let someone else argue the other side. I’m really not trying to be controversial, just making sure we accurately apply God’s Word. So please, let me know what you think!

The God of All Comfort

bobbyemberley —  April 18, 2012 — 1 Comment

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

It is encouraging to know that the difficulties we face are ultimately for our good as God works to make us more like Christ. They are also for others’ good as God uses our difficult circumstances as a tool to teach us how to comfort others who are going through similar hardships.

Verse 6 from the same chapter says “6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.”

Paul says that we experience comfort when we patiently endure suffering. So in some way comfort comes to us as we patiently endure. I don’t know how this all works nor do I know how to do it very well. Yet, it is a challenge for me to endure keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and to pray for others that they would do the same.

God is Teaching Me

jordantmoody —  April 16, 2012 — 1 Comment

We ought to pray the way Paul did in I Thessalonians 3:5

May the Lord, direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 

Through all the Lord is putting me through right now, I need to pray that it will direct my heart to God’s love and Christ’s steadfastness. We shouldn’t always pray to rid ourselves of trials or hardship but often pray to His increase and my decrease.

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