VIDEO Peace on Earth – King Over the Earth

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:9

In 1959, a bronze statue was given to the United Nations depicting a man beating a sword into a plowshare. It suggests the cessation of war and a transition to a peaceful means of living such as agriculture. The statue was donated by the former Soviet Union and was based upon words from Isaiah 2:3-4—a prophecy about the Messianic reign of peace on earth: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Sadly, the United Nations has failed to keep peace on earth. Instead, nations have experienced the opposite: turning implements of agriculture into weapons of war (Joel 3:10). The Messiah was the One in Isaiah’s prophecy who would “judge between the nations” and bring peace on earth. In John’s revelation, he saw this time of peace as one thousand years following the return of Christ to judge the nations (Revelation 20-21).

All who belong to Christ today will reign with Him over a world judged righteously. And there will finally be peace on earth.

No God, no peace; know God, know peace. Croft M. Pentz


King Over the Earth, Zechariah 14:9 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

His Scars

He was pierced for our transgressions, . . . and by his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

 

After my conversation with Grady, it occurred to me why his preferred greeting was a “fist bump” not a handshake. A handshake would’ve exposed the scars on his wrist—the result of his attempts to do himself harm. It’s not uncommon for us to hide our wounds—external or internal—caused by others or self-inflicted.

In the wake of my interaction with Grady, I thought about Jesus’ physical scars, the wounds caused by nails pounded into His hands and feet and a spear thrust into His side. Rather than hiding His scars, Christ called attention to them.

After Thomas initially doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead, He said to him, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). When Thomas saw those scars for himself and heard Christ’s amazing words, he was convinced that it was Jesus. He exclaimed in belief, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28). Jesus then pronounced a special blessing for those who haven’t seen Him or His physical wounds but still believe in Him: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29).

The best news ever is that His scars were for our sins—our sins against others or ourselves. The death of Jesus is for the forgiveness of the sins of all who believe in Him and confess with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

What circumstances led you to believe that Jesus’ scars were for you? If you haven’t believed in Him for the forgiveness of your sins, what keeps you from trusting Him today?

Father, I believe that Christ’s scars were for my sin. I’m grateful!

All That Is in the World

1 John 2:15-17

John warns us not to love the world or the things in it. But what is the world? The apostle isn’t talking about the material realm, so there’s no need to deprive ourselves of everything we enjoy in life. Rather, he is reminding us that every good desire can be perverted by sinful longings and pride.

The nature of the world system is seen in the behaviors, attitudes, and ambitions of our culture:

Immorality. Our society seeks to gratify lust in ways that God has forbidden. Immorality has even entered our homes through the internet and television.

Greed. The culture is driven by a desire for wealth, material possessions, fame, and power—and some people lie, cheat, steal, or kill to get what they want.

Pride. People are lovers of self and want to be seen as better than others. It’s common today to portray oneself falsely on social media in order to be admired.

Despite the sinful condition of our culture, we shouldn’t be discouraged. God is greater than the world’s power to entice, and His purposes aren’t thwarted by sin. He is able to guide us through the darkness as we trust and follow Him.

The Ransom Price Paid

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

The thought that the death of Jesus and His shed blood were somehow the ransom price paid to redeem lost sinners from an eternal prison in hell has been a stumbling block to many of those very sinners. Yet, that is the teaching of Scripture, whether it appeals to their reasonings or not. “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold.…But with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). In the Old Testament economy, ransoms were paid for various reasons, such as freeing slaves. The last use of “ransom” in the Old Testament, however, seems to foreshadow the New Testament concept. “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death” (Hosea 13:14).

But to whom was the ransom of Christ to be paid? Not to the devil, of course, or to any human king. It can only have been paid to God Himself, for He had set “the wages of sin” to be “death” (Romans 6:23). For a time, these wages had been paid in part “by the blood of goats and calves” offered on the altar as a temporary covering for sins. But that was only until the true ransom could be paid. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who…offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).

Such a sacrifice was not foolishness as the scoffer claims, but “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Praise God—the ransom has been paid and we have been redeemed! HMM

A Striped Candy Technique

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

—Acts 2:42

 

Without biblical authority, or any other right under the sun, carnal religious leaders have introduced a host of attractions that serve no purpose except to provide entertainment for the retarded saints.

It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.

This has influenced the whole pattern of church life, and even brought into being a new type of church architecture, designed to house the golden calf.

So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed and heterodoxy in practice. The striped-candy technique has been so fully integrated into our present religious thinking that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ and His apostles.   MDP135-136

Help me to demonstrate a God so real that no one could ever be bored with Him. Amen.

 

A High and Holy Concept of God

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

—Psalm 34:3

 

Mankind has succeeded quite well in reducing God to a pitiful nothing! The God of the modern context is no God at all. He is simply a glorified chairman of the board, a kind of big businessman dealing in souls. The God portrayed in much of our church life today commands very little respect.

We must get back to the Bible and to the ministration of God’s Spirit to regain a high and holy concept of God. Oh, this awesome, terrible God!…

To know the Creator and the God of all the universe is to revere Him. It is to bow down before Him in wonder and awesome fear.

God wants to be an experience to us. We need to sense the possibility of being caught between the upper and lower millstones, knowing we can be ground to powder before Him. We need to know what it is to rise in humility out of our grief and nothingness, to know God in Jesus Christ forever and ever, to glorify Him and enjoy Him while the ages roll on. MMG080

God calls us to magnify Him, to see Him big. SAT040

 

The Secret of it All, cont.

2 Corinthians 5:15

Would we come and look where she had lived? They led us to one of the huts somewhat on the outskirts of the village. A simple mud hut consisting of two pieces, whereof the larger served for meeting place. The inner had been the Colonel’s own little room.

Dismay took hold of me as I looked. Could it be possible for anyone to live and work in this small space, and that for three consecutive years? No room for table or chair or any other bit of furniture, just a raised mudbank in one corner which had served in turn as table, sitting and sleeping place. In this place Yuddha Bai had lived and toiled for the population of the village three full years, absolutely separated from all European contact, comforts, and habits. She—the lady of gentle birth, reared in a home of ease and comfort, surrounded by all the culture and refinement.

Considering all that and hearing so much more of her devotion, her abnegation day by day and year after year, how could we help being deeply moved? How my little bit of discomfort paled into insignificance beside her noble sacrifice. For me it meant just a few weeks out in the villages and back again to home and comfort, while this lady had given her life to that one village and district.

What was the motive for this life of self-renunciation, of sacrifice, conforming to the life and habits of these villages, down to dress and food, learning their language? Such came the insistent question—the motive, what the underlying secret? Could her rich gifts, her graces, her social position, her beautiful devotion not be used to better advantage in the home country? Were they not spent in vain in the lonely deserts of this barren land?

Only one answer is possible. Is it not because she had drunk deeply of the spirit of her Master and tasted something of “the joy that was set before Him, enduring the cross and despising the shame,” (Hebrews 12:2) in going after Him to seek His other sheep, for whom, too, He died.

Was it not because that love, that wonderful love of Calvary, had constrained her to count all things—all these earthly advantages—but “loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

And shall it not be found to be our secret too, of a joyous, blessed life with Him and spent for Him here in the days of our warfare and pilgrimage?

Catherine Bannister, The Practice of Sanctification